Thursday, June 23, 2016

The BabySitters Club!!!..and a few more.

Mullet Clad President!
When you're a kid, usually you'll have a go at making your own club. Or at least, most self-respecting 80s kids did. I remember starting the first ever Leichhardt State Primary School Gymnastics Club! Basically, it consisted of myself and my bestest 3 or 4 friends at the time, meeting up at playtime and doing tricks whilst feeling superior to all the other kids and saying - no you can't be in our club. The fact that I could only do a half-assed cartwheel and a Tower of Pisa-like Handstand, was of no consequence to me. I was the self-appointed president and as a highly-bullied kid, enjoyed the rare power of telling the others - nope you can't come in!

My club lasted about 4 days. The teachers sat us down and in their 80's like teaching way, said that we had to pull our heads in and let the others play or else we'd get lines for being mean shits. Bastards.. I even had a special pen I used to write down the order of who was performing first.. Sigh...

As we move through life, we become part of clubs but they are not as defined and obvious as we might think. They are the "join the club" kinda groups. We affiliate with different people at different times and through this, learn, grown, change and perhaps evolve into someone completely different from the Grade 4 President of the Gymnasts-Who-Look- Slightly-Stupid Club.

My Formal Photo... WTF...
For me, my first real group-culture club was the "picked on" kids club. To slightly touch on it, being a mullet-clad, high achieving classical pianist with slightly kinda moderate right-wing views was not the recipe for popularity and  successful high school relationships. I've been called every name, had every kind of lunch box food thrown at me and endured all sorts of hilarious practical jokes (for them - assholes!) and so when I see a bullied kid, I immediately know they are my people. They are in my club. Often I meet grownups who can't believe my pathetic school history. All it takes is a quick whip out of my High School formal pic and their "Oh..." response and they get it. I get it. Whilst it was cruel and crappy, it's made me empathetic and a people pleaser. I want to do right by people. I want to be liked. This club that i fell into, whilst isolating and debilitating, is one that ultimately I'm glad to have been a part of. I'm a better person for it.

My next club was the "Young and Married Club." Here I was, married at 21 and trying to find like-minded 21year old married people who still wanted to go to nightclubs and have fun but also enjoy board games and dinner parties with recipes made from this new fancy mag called "Donna Hay."  So i had to go further afield and look at - gasp - old people. And from this, I found a plethora of wonderful and exciting people. I had to learn things to be able to converse and keep up with the grownups, but I enjoy best friends who range from 70-24 now. I love meeting new people. 

Grade 4 Fete. Totally Cool.
Of course the ultimate Club for a woman is the Mother Club. I've done that. I've done that 4 times over. I can write volumes (that what they used to call Multiple parts to a Book for those under 20 playing at home ha!) And within the Mother Club are all the sub clubs: Breastfeeder/Bottle feeder/cloth nappy/Make Food/Playgroup/Homegroup/DairyFree/Gluten Free/Play-based Curriculum/Flashcards/Natural Birth/More than 2-3-4 kids/Only Child/Dummy Club/Thumb Sucking Club/Homeschool/Private School/Smacking Club/Time out Club/your child is a mongrel club blah blah blah blah. This is a club that I feel I have some serious stripes in. Yet, just when you think you know everything, you get into the Teenager Club.. Fuck.. My stripes just got handed back and I'm at the beginning again. Still learning. 

Here's some other clubs I've been a part of:
*The 4 children under 7 club
*The Isolated from Family Club
*The My Husband Works Away Club
*The Gifted Child Musician Club
*The Absolutely No Money and 2 Children Club
*The Parent Volunteer at School Club
*The I'm a Community Volunteer Club
*The Miscarriage Club
*The LIving with someone with Depression & Anxiety Club
*The I've Lived in a Mining Town Club
*The I'm not Naturally Thin Club
*The My Child has a problem Club
*The I'm going Crazy from trying to access services for my child Club
*The I crashed an uninsured Car Club
*The I'm an executive on a committee Club
*The I Stayed for The Kids Club
Pre 2nd Go at WeightWatchers
*The I'm frequently a part of funerals Club
*The Divorcees Club
*The I've Had a Bad Perm Club
*The I've been to Weight Watchers 3 times club
*The I Hate a lot of different foods don't judge me Club
*The My job is Playing Music at your event Club
*The I Love ABC&SBS Club
*The I don't watch Reality TV Club
*The We just lost our job before Christmas Club
*The My Ears stuck out and I was Teased About Them Club
*The Other Woman Club
*The Custody Sharing Club
*The Dancing Mum Club
*The Private Music Teacher Club
*The My Ex Spouse and I get along Extremely Well Club
*The I Smacked My kids when they were little and Very Naughty Club
*The I Wear High Heels a LOT Club
*The I Dress a Bit Differently at Times Club
*The Blended Family Club
*The I Found My Soulmate Club

There's more. Some flippant, some much more personal. 

But out of all of these mentioned clubs, by far the most challenging and rewarding is my latest club. The Step-Girlfriend-Parent club.

This one is all-encompassing. Every adjective you might want to use. This Club is one I had no bloody idea about until I started living it. And that's my point of this whole blog today - no one has ANY idea about ANYTHING until you're in the damn club. And then, thank FUCK for Google and those others that are in the club that you come upon, because they are your life-line, your understanding, your venting and your education. We make it up as we go along, a lot of the time. I spend a lot of time worrying about how to do things right, better, consistently and with compassion and just hope that I'm getting it semi-ok. I take it seriously, and I want to learn. I want to get this right, many days in the face of opposition and road-blocking, and some blissful days when the outside influences fall silent and we can just groove through this blended-co-parenting-step thing. This Club that I'm a new member of, is lifelong and I'm at the start of it. I hope to earn my stripes one day, and be able to help some other newbie to the Club. In the meantime, I'll just keep on keepin on and hoping that I'll get into a few more Clubs I've got on my secret wish list. They include:

*The I've watched my 4 Children plus my other half 2 be successful and happy Club
*The I've travelled to sooooo many overseas countries I'll make you want to stab me Club
*The I've enjoyed my parents living happily and healthily to an Old Age Club
*The All the kids have left home Club!
*The I got my Degree Club!
*The I Grew old, yet retained youthful and extremely  good looks, with Andy Club
*The Look At That I actually DID end up getting Good at Guitar Club
*The Grandparents Club
*The I had a shitload of people at my funeral because it turns out I was an alright person Club.
The Ears...

Bad Perm!

Good luck with your Clubs my friends. I hope they make you learn and grow. I hope you begin to see more, judge less and be more content. I hope you morph into complete EXCELLENCE!!

As usual.. I don't give a fig about typos, bad grammar or mis- appropriation of Capitals. I also use language. Cause I'm in the People Who Say Fuck A Lot Club too.. 

Till next time...