16 – 22nd November is PND Awareness Week…

16 – 22nd November is PND Awareness Week…

Postnatal Depression Awareness Week is 16-22 November.

Help raise awareness and reduce the stigma.

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Ahhh, pregnancy… do you remember yours fondly? Perhaps yours was awful and filled with illness and worry? Perhaps everything was great, until you started worrying and feeling depressed? Or perhaps everything was fine until about 6 weeks after you’d settled back in at home and then it hit you. You are now responsible for a whole other little person who totally relies on you and you can’t back out now…

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Did you know that up to one in 10 Australian women will experience depression during pregnancy. This increases to one in seven in the year following birth. Anxiety is thought to be even more common.

Now here’s where I give you my story to inspire YOU to be HONEST with others to CHANGE people’s lives and STOP THE STIGMA AROUND DEPRESSION.

I’ve suffered from mental illness since I was about 16 – anxiety and depression – and because I am treated by a psychiatrist both of my pregnancies were closely monitored by medial and psych staff to ensure that I wasn’t succumbing to depression.

My first pregnancy, although filled with constant vomiting and feeling hideous, was fine in regards to depression and anxiety. At six-days old my son was rushed into hospital and there he stayed for 6 weeks with heart problems, accidental overdoses by his medical team and a number of other ghastly issues; still I stayed ‘together’. In fact, I kept things ‘together’ in regards to his illness, my subsequent divorce and our battle to survive alone for another 4 years! I did pretty darn well, I think! Sometimes however, survival mode kicks in and you just can’t have the time, nor introspection to deal with a deep depression that is lurking in the background.

Over the coming years I suffered on and off with severe bouts of anxiety and depression – but didn’t allow myself to explore the reason behind it – probably due to the fact that I felt so bloody lucky that my boy survived that I didn’t really want to bring back all of the drama and feelings that I had about being on the very, very knife-edge of losing him. So, I pushed it down and talked with my psychiatrist about other ‘issues’!

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Nine years down the track, in a wonderful new marriage with a fantastic husband and a well, happy and kinda awesome 9-year-old son, I blessedly became pregnant again (hooray!!!!!)) and yes, I suffered – although I believe it wasn’t actually possible, much worse all-day hyperemesis (that’s constant nausea and vomiting). Also 41 isn’t your prime time to reproduce ladies – there is a name for us in medical circles and it’s a geriatric pregnancy! Humph!

This baby was the one I had prayed for. I had dreamed and begged and not been able to get the urge away that I needed to have another. For any guys reading this, I’m sure it’s biological – you just cannot be rational about it!

So when she arrived, she was perfect – okay, we had 24 hours in the special care nursery, but after my previous experience that was nothing! Everything was super, super awesome and I was so blissfully happy with my new bubba, my gorgeous boy and my darling husband that I didn’t put my finger on the little signs that had begun.

Things I was very much used to being aware of… unexplained worry about grand and insane tragedies that may befall my baby, my son or my husband. A constant feeling of unease. A few all-night insomnia bouts not related to the baby.

Yep, the anxiety had started and started in a big way. My psychiatrist and I had been planning for any potential PND and it happened pretty much right on time! Six to eight weeks after the birth…

So what was to be done?

Well we increased my daily medication, I had more frequent appointments with her and I began to learn the technique of mindfulness to combat the feelings – at times this works, at others, not so much! But I have been very, very blessed to be surrounded by amazing health professionals and a husband who has suffered depression before and felt it was very important to know what signs to look for in me so that we could attack the PND before it got any worse.

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So, two totally different pregnancies; two totally different first months of looking after a baby – boy child was looked after by nurses at the Royal Children’s Hospital, and missy was home in three days; two totally different situations in regards to my personal happiness and situation at the time (first marriage – abusive and frankly, awful and frightening on most levels – this time around I learned and learned well – we’re true partners, deeply in love and are happy, oh, and we laugh all the time!).

So girls, Post Natal Depression can strike you regardless of your situation, your personal feelings about parenthood, marriage, career or life, you can get it when you’re a normally happy-go-lucky woman or somebody who is more sedate and a planner. There seems to be no correlation other than you’re at a higher risk if you suffer from depression, or have had episodes prior, or if you suffer from anxiety. Also lack of sleep is a huge monster that makes PND much, much worse and as we know babies don’t like it when you sleep!

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My friends: I ask that you do something to change our world. Something in honour of your own mother, your female friends, your male friends, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers.

RAISE AWARENESS OF POST NATAL DEPRESSION.

There is NOTHING to be ashamed of in suffering from a mental illness – I discuss my experiences because I am DETERMINED to show that you can be a normal, unscary, and contributive member of society, a mother, a wife, a volunteer and a businesswoman and suffer. Yep, some times (not days, but weeks and sometimes months) are worse than others, but at 42 I’ve learned a lot about what gets the ‘black dog’ off my back quicker than I used to be able to and I’m in control of my illness – it DOES NOT control me.

So DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SHARE YOUR STORY – it will help others. It will give others the courage to speak out and share. And it will help others to seek treatment.

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How can you help? It’s easy-peasy! Just hop on over to beyondblue.org.au where they’ve got lots and lots of great materials that you can download, as well as helpful advice for mamas-to-be, dads-to-be and new parents.

There are also some other ways to get involved, you can:

  • Pop on over to the beyondblue’s Just Speak Up campaign website and add YOUR voice to the campaign. Take a look around the site and you’ll find lots of great stories to inspire and support
  • You can change your social media profile pictures to the Just Speak Up profile badge
  • Display the badge on your blog or other forum (you’ll see mine is over there on the side!)

More practically, you could:

  • Hold an event to raise money for beyondblue and you can even order FREE resources (including information booklets and flyers for women and their families as well as posters and postcards) to hand out
  • Display Just Speak Up posters on your community or work notice boards.
  • Include information about perinatal anxiety and depression in your workplace newsletter.
  • Include a link to the beyondblue and Just Speak Up websites on your workplace intranet and/or website.

Here are some files that may help you out!

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Good luck and remember NEVER be ashamed to be yourself. You are you and you are good enough JUST AS YOU ARE! The world only has one of you and it would be a lesser place without you.

I would LOVE for you all to share your experiences on depression, anxiety and also PND here and hope we can all be of support to each other – it does help a lot!

With extra-special hugs and hand-holding courage,
Mrs Jones x

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A Very Vintage Halloween…

A Very Vintage Halloween…

Hello Little Ones, Being Australian we really don’t do Halloween, although this isn’t stopping every major retailer from here to Tasmania giving their October marketing dollar a red hot run. So rather than spend the whole (I’m only spending a small portion) post bitching about it I shall share some gorgeous Halloween vintage photography with you instead! I’ve got to say unless you’re American and want to have a fun gathering teaching us Colonials all about this delightful tradition, I feel that by ‘celebrating’ Halloween here in Melbourne you’re likely to get, at best arrested, and at worst, never spoken to again by your neighbours who (I presume like most Aussies you ignore for the whole year, including Christmas Day) can find it rather surprising, to say the very least, to see their close neighbours ghoulishly-dressed child magically appear on their front porch, come early evening on October 31st, demanding sugary treats… Honestly friends, just give it a miss or use it as a good excuse for a catch-up with a few other families and have a backyard BBQ, letting the kids run free, now that daylight savings has arrived. Take a look at the tradition of Halloween and how and why it started; base your celebrations around that if you wish. So, rather than feature anything spooky, scary or gruesome, don’t into the hype here in Australia (this comment is to be thoroughly ignored, my darling and most delightful followers from the good ol’ US of A – this is your celebration; enjoy!) I thought I’d share some awesome vintage Halloween images for you to enjoy! So darlings. Enjoy!

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These little devils files look like they’re having fun!

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Every year since 1952, Margery became more and more concerned that her sons may not find suitable wives.

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Timmy was told to sit on the naughty step after he stole another banana.

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Giving Frank the table scraps seemed to be giving his coat a glossy shine.

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It was going to be a long night…

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Gladys and Bob were thrilled that adoption laws had finally been relaxed.

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The spacesuit always made Bobby feel he could punch above his weight.

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Edith kept kept a momento from each of her ex-husbands.

Love Mrs Jones x

Oscar de la Renta dies…

Oscar de la Renta dies…

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Oscar de la Renta the doyen of American fashion, whose career began in the 1950s in Franco’s Spain, sprawled across the better living rooms of Paris and New York, and who was the last survivor of that generation of bold, all-seeing tastemakers, died on Monday at his home in Kent, Conn. He was 82.

Here’s To You, Gough…

Here’s To You, Gough…

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Gough Whitlam, Australia’s 21st Prime Minister passed away this morning, aged 98.

He was a giant of Australian politics and, in my opinion, with the exception of very, very few have there been any others who have even come close to this great man.

Although he only lead Australia for three years, his party launched massive reform, both economically and culturally. Controversially, he began the reform into Aboriginal land rights; began universal healthcare in Australia with the Medicare system; normalised diplomatic ties with one of our closest trading partners, China; gave all Australians the right to a free university education; and ended conscription of young men in Australia, also withdrawing our forces from Vietnam.

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Today is a sad day for me as one of my first, distinct memories as a three-year-old was of a group of my parents friends listening to the radio on the evening that Gough was dismissed by the governor-general, John Kerr on November 11, 1975. My father, a teacher, was probably pretty radical in his time – as were the group of friends my parents had – and each and every one of them was in tears, angry and I remember a lot of anger and disbelief.

It is a memory that now, as a forty-two year old, has stayed with me incredibly clearly throughout the years and began my passion with politics, international relations and social justice for all Australians.

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This morning opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the Labor Party had “lost a giant” and “the nation has lost a legend”.

“Like no other prime minister before or since, Gough Whitlam redefined our country and in doing so he changed the lives of a generation. His vision, his ambition offered Australia a new sense of what it might be,” Mr Shorten said. “Our country is different because of him. By any test, the country is different and by any test the country was different significantly and better.

“He reimagined Australia as a modern nation where equality of opportunity belonged to all. There will be millions of Australians who feel his loss and will mourn his passing in the days to come.”

Mr Whitlam did inspire a generation of young people to get into politics; to make changes that would have seemed impossible to their parents; to get out there and change things they felt were unfair. He inspired me. He inspired my parents. He inspired many Australian songwriters, others currently and previously in public office and other notable Australians.

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So, to quote a song, by ‘The Whitlams’ I say,

“Here’s to you, Edward Gough Whitlam.”

And may the nation always remember you as a giant. A humble man who changed our nation. Australian politics has become a much less brave and inspiring place once you left.

Love Mrs Jones x

Very Pinteresting…

Very Pinteresting…

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Darling peeps, I’ve got some exciting new to share…

Drum roll please…

I’m not sure how it happened because I wasn’t keeping that close an eye on numbers, but… low-and-behold I just got m’self over 16,000 followers on Pinterest and frankly I’m a little excited!

You see, I began on Pinterest a little while after it began a few years back and was, naturally, obsessed with it. With images out there like this, who wouldn’t be?

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Too obsessed… and I had to have myself a little time out for a while… But with awesome vintage goodness like Gladys here, playing Bingo, I couldn’t help myself.

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So, I came back, with a more moderated love and have totally enjoyed seeing how it’s changed and improved as it’s grown. And, I’ve found more and more vintage awesomeness…

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I’ve curated. I’ve culled. I’ve rearranged my boards too many times to count. But, it was all worth it… Just so that I could reliably find any kind of classic or bizarre vintage image to share with you, my dear followers.

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But let me tell you friends, curating content of this quality doesn’t just happen by itself… It’s been hard work and Many days, weeks and months of neglect of my family that have gone into my profile and boards. You don’t find quality like this…

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Or this…

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Or even this…

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without a lot of hard work and late, late nights trawling through boards and pins!

So, to everyone who follows one or more of my boards on Pinterest, I say a big warm thank you and look forward to bringing you more yummy, curated content through gorgeous images and lots of laughs with the amazing stuff that the Interwebs has out there!

Love Mrs Jones x

Lauren Bacall…

Lauren Bacall…

Sadly, it does appear that media reports are confirming the death of the beautiful Lauren Bacall at age 89

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If correct, it appears that she died on Tuesday at her home. Bacall was best known for her roles in ‘The Mirror Has Two Faces’, ‘Designing Women’ and ‘To Have and to Have’.

She was also known for her marriage to Humphrey Bogart, which lasted 11 years until his death in 1957.

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Click here to go to her bio and all the info you could need on IMDb.

Donut Day…

Donut Day…

Hello friends! Did you know that the first Friday of June is officially
National Doughnut Day? Okay, in this instance ‘National’ refers to the grand landmass of the United States, but I fail to see just why there should be any roadblocks to celebrating such a worthy day worldwide!

This very worthy day succeeds the Doughnut Day event created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the men and women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.

The holiday celebrates the doughnut (a.k.a. “donut”) with many American donut stores offer free donuts… I think something should be done to bring this very worthy giveaway here to Australia!

I’ve tracked down some fantastic vintage images to whet your appetite – yes friends, that was a near perfect pun…

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If you’d like to read a little further on this celebration, head on over to Wikipedia…

1st of June…

1st of June…

Well friends, the first of June here in Melbourne means it’s officially winter…

It’s the end of sunny days lazing in the sun…

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The end of enjoying outdoor sports and activities, with the exception of Aussie Rules footy…

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It’s time to pull out your needles and get knitting, no matter your age…

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Because soon enough you’re going to be dodging raindrops to and from work…

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So you’d better dig out your woollies, wellies and brollies…

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Now is the time to snuggle with your sweetie, all warm and cosy! Both inside…

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Or out…

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After all, what other time of year can you give shaving your legs a miss without fear? Put on a few kilos without worrying just how you’ll fit into your swimmers? Wear all the black you want without comment? Add a sassy collection of headscarves, gloves, hats and coats to your wardrobe?

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Enjoy the change of season friends…

Love Mrs Jones x

Some Wonderful Vintage Advertising…

Some Wonderful Vintage Advertising…

Friends, I’ve been super-busy in Mama Land lately, which is why I’ve not been blogging and sharing the love. Honestly, it’s not that I don’t adore you all, it’s just that I’ve had to make some difficult decisions…

Gorgeous, Mr Jones and I had a truly honest and thought-provoking conversation last week that made both of us think about our priorities and how we both put so much effort into parenting and family that we’ve been neglecting the depth of our relationship, as well as the time we give to it…

I’ve moved a little ahead because at the end of the conversation we’d only worked out that we both put our kids before us, as a unit, every time and we really needed regular time to just talk (really talk!) and clear the air of any niggling worries or problems and really enjoy being together like we used to when we were dating…

This then got both of us thinking and after we went off on our week and each discussed the matter with a friend (him), therapist (me… I sound neurotic, but in promise I’m not! It was just that I had my appointment on the Monday!) these fantastic people both spoke a great amount of truth to us.

We both adore our kids – true. We both adore each other – true. But… As husband and wife we really need to stop over-thinking every little kid thing – they will probably turn out okay with the love, support and skills we’re giving ’em – and just enjoy the moment! Ahh… Live in the moment and stop over-analysing, stressing, borrowing worry and most of all that perfectly true quote that applies here, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’! We don’t compare ourselves and worry about other families, but more that we both worry and ‘compare’ what we could have or should have done, or should be doing.

Relax. Enjoy. Appreciate. The moments that are our life.

Kinda simple really. Easier said than done though, so we are now endeavouring to truly put this into practice and take some time for ourselves, alone, to recharge and not think this will damage our kids because we are being selfish; enjoy our days and the ‘bits’ of life they’re made of; enjoy and compliment each other on the great job we are doing just by being loving, caring and honest to each other and our little family…

Whew, again this plan for a quick post has turned into a thesis! My plan was to show you these awesome, and rather funny – looking back nowadays – mid-century advertisements that will give you a laugh, and pause to think about just how our society’s values have changed… Like I’m going to! Hopefully, I’ll look back and laugh at how stressed I used to get… Hopefully ;/

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