Motherhood, Work Life Balance

Let Go

21st July 2014

A few years ago, there was a great song by Frou Frou – Let Go.  I am not great at determining song meanings, but I really think this song is about humanity, and what it is like to love, live and experience every day adventures.  I love the line ‘ there is beauty in the breakdown’ – as it rings true with me constantly.  I can honestly say, that as a mother of four, I loose my crap, and do ‘break down’.  It might be over spilt milk, or another sibling fight.  But in that moment, and for every moment, I am beautiful and amazing to my kids. The relevance here?  Give me a few minutes of your time…
My four kids are going to have their perception of beauty and self image modelled by me (no pun intended!).  I am pretty crap at accepting a compliment, have next to no fashion sense or any idea of style, and would list my favourite clothing as pyjamas.  But to my four kids, I am a rock star.  I am ‘so pretty mummy’, have the nicest shoes (pink chuck taylors), and have the bestest t-shirt (featuring wonder woman).  None of these items of apparel will land me on the cover of a magazine; but for my kids, I am the prettiest lady in the world.  And I need to learn to accept this.  Because, I do not want my chickens thinking that there is anything wrong with them – we are all unique, we are all magical, and we are all beautiful.  Easy to say, harder to prove!

I shy away from the camera, and if I do have to have a photo taken, I scrutinise my appearance.  I don’t know why because I am yearning for the near impossible.  I am never going to look like ‘that’.  I am never going to have junk in my trunk because let’s face it, my trunk has been through two pregnancies – one a triplet pregnancy, and it has now in my 30’s seen better days.  But my laugh lines, are that – my laughing, smiling and absolute moments of hysterical laughing.  Moments etched in time, and etched in lines I guess is a good way to put it.  My stretch marks on my tummy are my kids paintings.  I tell them that when they were in my tummy, they got bored sometimes and this is what they did.  I kinda like that they are there, they are a reminder that I can do and grow pretty good things.  And that I am strong.  But they are not that pretty!

Despite all my perceived faults, I have a husband who loves me, and children who know nothing different as I am their mum.  Sure the scales vary, and I find it harder to coerce them the ‘right’ way sometimes when that baked delight is looking so incredibly good, but I have to learn to shift my focus before my kids learn bad habits and perceptions from me.

The revelation of this nearly floored me the other day.  I don’t want my children to worry about numbers, I want them to focus on being healthy, active and happy.  I think that is the crux of my beliefs.  You cannot put a size on healthy.  You can put a perspective on it though, and that is what I need to start being more mindful of.

The kids take countless selfies and photos of me when I am not expecting them.  I look at them and often grimace as I am looking tired, drawn, sometimes cranky (usually if I am trying to get my phone back!) or other times plain defeated (4 v 1, you get the math).  But this is how my little chickens see me!  But I sit there and delete the photos before the cloud even gets a look in.  Why?  Because I don’t like the photo – I don’t like the angle, or I don’t like how my stickyouty tummy is sticking out a bit too much there, or I have terrible posture (from a childhood of stooping as I am so tall), or I just don’t like it!  The irony here is that I love the natural, and unposed photos of my kids.  I love looking at them when they think they are not being watched.  The happiness, the delight in play, brushing a dolly’s hair, building lego – I love it.  Yet if they were to take a picture of me working, or doing something mumsy, I would delete it.  What example am I setting here?

Every week I document our lives through Project Life.  Every week I have countless photos of the kids, and rarely any of me!  How will the kids be able to remember what I looked like when they were four?  I need to start applying the principles of healthy, happy and active to myself!  I cannot change a great deal about myself – yeah the kilos could be shed and I am working on that, but I have to change my perceptions of me.  We all have flaws, and I certainly know mine.  From the big nose that has been broken, to the monkey arms…my list is extensive.  But for all intents and purposes, my kids see me as beautiful.  I can kiss away owies and apply bandaids with master precision.  I can soothe unsettled sleepers, I can frighten off the boogey man.  I can fix things, I can bake things, and I can tickle and make them giggle until they are literally unable to draw breath.  I can guarantee you that I am the only one that can do this.  And for this reason alone, I am pretty darn special.  I am strong, fearless when it comes to my kids and their safety, and a master chef.  I am a ‘super organiser’ and a ‘nurse who helps sick kids and their mummies and daddies’.  I need to stand taller, walk prouder and remember all that I am rather than all that I think I am not.

Sounds easy.  I know it is not going to be as simple as deciding to simply just do it – I am going to have to work at it.  But my challenge will be to get in the photos, let the kids keep the photos they take without me ‘approving’ them.  And be happy in the knowledge that, just like me, the kids have take a photo for a reason.  For whatever reason they pointed and clicked they wanted a photo of me.  Their mum.  Their mummy.  And I have to be OK with that.  Because if I am not, well, what message am I sending them?  That photos are to be reviewed and approved?  That we cannot look less than ordinary?  Nope.  Not going to do that.  There will be enough hardships that they will have to encounter- other kids and their experiences, different opinions, different or unfamiliar situations.    They need to be confident in themselves, as people before they an learn how to adapt and change to the societal setting that is school.  They need to be strong enough to take a hit, and safe enough in their own self worth that they are going to get through.

So, there is my challenge.  I don’t think it is anywhere near as overwhelming as I think the safe passage of childhood is.  But I think it is an integral part of it.  Visually we are a society now where we are inundated with pictures and advertising in many forms. So I need to steer my chickens through a path focused on being healthy, being active and participating, and being happy!  Not just being happy, but choosing happy.

So here is me…I don’t think I have brushed my hair properly, I am running on about 3 hours sleep, and I am make up free (I don’t actually know how to put it on properly).  But this is me.  Ali, Mum, Mummy.  Watch this space 🙂

Photo on 21-07-2014 at 12.40 pm


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  • Reply Amanda 21st July 2014 at 03:03

    Honest, Beautiful and Raw. I love it. Your words speak truth to us all.

  • Reply Emma 21st July 2014 at 03:07

    You are gorgeous lady!

  • Reply Kellie Winnell 21st July 2014 at 03:45

    I am just in awe, in awe of your extreme honesty and in awe of your way of speaking to make me realise just how right you are. The girls often take photos of me, and I delete them, or they ask to take a picture and I refuse, because I look like crap, just got up, tired, cooking, cleaning. I take some with them and often take about 20, mainly because Chloe just can’t take a photo without making a face, lol.

    I keep having these moments, moments of looking at my girls laughing and playing and thinking, they will never be this young again, they think the world of me, I need to enjoy them as much as I can, everyday. I look at Kira and know that she may have just turned 15 a few weeks ago, I’ll look at her on her 18th and think, where, where did the time go. [while I know that is not overly what your blog post was getting to, it’s something that like you, just hit me].

    Beautiful post Ali xx

    • Reply Ali Moloney 21st July 2014 at 06:13

      Oh Kellie! You’re comment is beautiful. Just like you!
      I didn’t think (in all honesty) this post would touch everyone.
      I know what you mean about time flying, and sure enough your beautiful Kira will be 18 soon! Stuff the housework and play, laugh and sing badly with them all. It’s over in a flash and this right now is what they will remember. That mum sang a song or did something will stick rather than a clean floor!!!
      Thanks mate, I really appreciate the comment

  • Reply melanie darcy 21st July 2014 at 04:10

    Aww Ali, you’re such a rockstar!! Every time I see someone post the meme that says ‘I grow twins/triplets – what’s your superpower?’ I think of you!!! I’ve also seen nursie ones too that are similar!! Love your honesty 🙂 I vow now to continue to take photos of you and send to you to include in your album, just because I love you and think you rock!!!

    • Reply Ali Moloney 21st July 2014 at 06:15

      Oh you! All those memes are totally applicable to you and your super two sets of twins and nurse powers!
      I’m going to do the same and send you photos!!!
      Thank you for your beautiful comment!
      Much love x

  • Reply Jess 21st July 2014 at 05:24

    I seriously love this. It’s beautiful.
    My mum does the same thing and I’m 27. I’m going to get her to read this. Your mum is your mum. Regardless of what she looks like, if her hair isn’t dyed, if her nails aren’t done. She is still beautiful because she is amazing.
    Good luck on your journey. I’m looking forward to reading it. 🙂 xxxxx

    • Reply Ali Moloney 21st July 2014 at 06:16

      Thank you so much Jess for your lovely words! I hope your mum gets something out of it as well!
      I love looking at your PL and how fearless you are in all your photos – but more importantly how happy you are! I need to take a leaf out of your book!!!

  • Reply Tanath Hoff 21st July 2014 at 05:27

    Wow, so so true. THANKYOU

  • Reply Stacey-Lee 21st July 2014 at 06:45

    Big fan of letting go, more so in respect to housework and letting kids be kids but yes, I made a conscious decision to appear more in photos and be seen more in our Family PL album a little while ago. I’m slowly perfecting the selfie haha go you! no makeup and little sleep, you are still gorgeous 🙂

    • Reply Ali Moloney 21st July 2014 at 21:53

      Love this Stacey-Lee!! I’m so glad to hear that you’re now in the picture more!!
      Any tips on perfecting the selfie??
      Good on you for being so conscious of letting go of the small stuff – you’re awesome!!!
      Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂

      • Reply Stacey-Lee 22nd July 2014 at 07:37

        Haha head up & chin out before posing and slightly side on = no extra chins and less puffy face, for me anyways 🙂

        • Reply Ali Moloney 22nd July 2014 at 07:59

          Thanks for those – will definately use them!!

  • Reply Heather 21st July 2014 at 07:36

    An amazing post…love you honesty, I think most mums need to life by this…I am certainly going to try!

    • Reply Heather 21st July 2014 at 07:38

      Hmm should check spelling before pressing send….need to live by this…not life!! Oops

    • Reply Ali Moloney 21st July 2014 at 21:52

      Thanks so much Heather! Good luck!

  • Reply Gordy's sister 21st July 2014 at 08:10

    You are the most beautiful soul all wrapped up in goodness. Love ya.

    • Reply Gordy's sister 21st July 2014 at 08:11

      P.S. Going to take a pic of myself and the boys in all my tired after school weariness. Thank you. xo

      • Reply Ali Moloney 21st July 2014 at 21:51

        And I loved that pic too!! It was gorgeous!!!!

    • Reply Ali Moloney 21st July 2014 at 21:51

      You’re gorgeous x

  • Reply Trudy Maskell 21st July 2014 at 10:06

    You are pretty darn special Ali, this is a beautiful post. I love the story you told your kids of your stretch marks, their very own art work you can keep forever! What a beautiful soul you are, your kids are very lucky to have you as their Mum. Xoxo

    • Reply Ali Moloney 21st July 2014 at 11:46

      Thank you Trudy!
      I think the stretch mark story is one that makeshift feel like I earned motherhood title!
      Thanks again for your lovely comment

  • Reply Sian Barnard 21st July 2014 at 11:29

    Thank you Ali!! This is a journey I have been on over the past 12 or so months… I used to hate photos but am slowly feeling more at home with them – still have to conquer the need to have the hair done etc… I wanted Lilly to have photos of me as I don’t have any from my childhood. And I wanted to have photos with her as well!! Your post also encouraged me to be more present with her and in fact she was sitting next to me while I was reading your post, having a ‘huggle’ and you made me shut the screen on the laptop and put it aside to be there fully. She even commented, ‘yay a real huggle’ when I did so – making me realise how important it is to fully unplug for her!!! How beautiful is their unconditional love!! And they do indeed grow up way too quickly and I don’t want to look back with regrets!! Thank you for sharing your journey……

    • Reply Ali Moloney 21st July 2014 at 11:53

      Sian – thanks for your wonderful words. You always take the time to really comment

  • Reply Natalie 21st July 2014 at 12:54

    How beautifully honest.

  • Reply kelsydemelo 21st July 2014 at 14:26

    Gorgeous picture! Love your honesty in this post. Your children are very lucky to have a mom who knows what is really important 🙂

  • Reply Michelle 22nd July 2014 at 04:36

    So well written and every word TRUE! Thanks for inspiring me. And for the record, you look like one hot mumma to me. So glad I found your blog x

    • Reply Ali Moloney 22nd July 2014 at 05:32

      Hi Michelle. Thankyou so much for your lovely comments! I’m glad you found my blog too!!!
      I’m very overwhelmed by the response this post is getting – it’s ringing true for so many people 🙂 thanks so much

  • Reply Aroha Barlow 22nd July 2014 at 12:15

    Everything you said is how i felt especially after the weight gain while i was pregnant i hated photos and steered clear of anything that would have my reflection in it, i know i am not alone and i am trying to get my face more into the picture and am feeling ok with it all. I watched a music video called All about that bass, and thought yes i need to love every inch of me no matter what
    Your amazing and beautiful and thank you for sharing xoxo

    • Reply Ali Moloney 22nd July 2014 at 22:51

      Hi Aroha! Thank you for your comment 🙂
      I need to check out that video by the sounds of it!
      Pregnancy was amazing, but the aftermath is a shock huh? How can something so beautiful cause so much carnage on us!?
      Take care, and get in the picture!

  • Reply michelle s 22nd July 2014 at 12:48

    Whoa Whoa Whoa… so Much of this speaks to me I am speechless!!!
    Love it Ali xx thankyou 🙂 although I think Leila and I have reached a point of selfie overload the last few months lol I just need to start documenting them Properly 🙂

    • Reply Ali Moloney 22nd July 2014 at 22:52

      Thanks mate 🙂
      I love all the selfies you post with Leila! They are gorgeous! Keep doing it, and keep documenting it all. One day you will be so glad you did mate 🙂

  • Reply Chantelle 30th July 2014 at 06:20

    Hi Ali. xxx

    • Reply Ali Moloney 30th July 2014 at 06:41

      Hi Chantelle! Thank you so much for your comment and for reading my post!

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  • Reply Rach 31st July 2014 at 02:57

    Thankyou so much this is just what I needed to read today! I’m a mother of 4 – a 7, 3 and 4month old twins. This last week has been my toughest yet and theae words were inspiring and so genuine! Thankyou

    • Reply Ali Moloney 31st July 2014 at 03:03

      Thank you for your heartfelt comment Rach. Hang in there. They outnumber you but it’s worth it!! Stand tall, you’re a mum!

  • Reply caitlinshappyheart 1st August 2014 at 11:31

    Ali, I had this page open on one of my internet tabs for a few days waiting to read it. It was definitely worth the wait. A beautiful post, hope you have a happy piccy of yourself with your cherubs this weekend.

    • Reply Ali Moloney 1st August 2014 at 12:35

      Thanks Caitlin! Glad you liked it 🙂

  • Reply Sam 1st August 2014 at 14:42

    Ali, what you wrote really hit home. All of it is so true to so many people. Make sure you play and have fun with your kids not spend each day like they will always be that age. Thankyou x

  • Reply Ali Moloney 3rd November 2014 at 00:50

    Reblogged this on Moloney Mayhem 🙂 and commented:

    Re-blogging this for a reminder to be kinder to myself, and to take ‘everything’ in. Enjoy the little things and also think of the big things. Happy Monday 🙂

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