My daughter wails, “Muuuuum, I don’t like silverbeet,” as she stares in horror at her dinner plate.

“Nobody does, sweetheart,” I tell her, as I avoid her icy glare, “but we eat it anyway.”

She pouts at me, “Is this going to last forever?”


“This” is our new frugal menu. I’ve decided that we spend far too much money on convenience foods, fruit and vegetable that go to waste and junk. So now, we use everything in the veggie bin, make our own cookies, cakes and muesli bars, and the only breakfast cereal I’ll buy is weetbix and rolled oats. Beans, lentils and pearl barley have become staples like they should be. Cheap cuts and offal are on the shopping list. Milk is bought in powdered form and made at home for a fraction of the cost. Fast food has been eradicated and replaced with freezer meals that I made ahead specially for the nights when I just can’t get my shit together.


It was actually pretty damn tasty – leftovers for my lunch tomorrow.

For the most part, the kids have embraced it. The truth is, they whined about the food I gave them no matter how fried and cheesy it was. I could have offered them a slab of chocolate for dinner and they would have found something to bitch about. But now, the whining has lessened, because there are no other options available and they know it.

They were reluctant about trying the sheep hearts that I found for a dollar each, but quickly decided that it was quite tasty (and fun to pretend that they were zombies eating human heart). The next evening, they both chose to add chopped up heart to their homemade pizzas. Girl-child rediscovered her love for liver, while boy-child finally decided that beans were indeed the musical fruit that I had promised them to be.

That’s how you win children over, it’s not through persistence like they tell you in parenting guides, it’s with zombies and farts.




The Bitch is Back

When I was younger and dealing with some pretty hideous mental issues, I was a bitch. Being broken on the inside, meant that I over compensated on the outside. I would fly off the handle seemly at random. I had a reputation for being a bit of a psycho, it was ugly. But it wasn’t all bad. I stood up for myself back then. I wasn’t afraid to push back when being treated badly. I never said yes when I wanted to say no.

Crazy Bitch

Crazy Bitch

Somewhere along the way, I changed. Not to something better, just different. My self esteem tumbled and my depression evolved into something new. I didn’t over compensate anymore, I just hid. People liked me better, I was easier to deal with when I sat quietly in the corner hoping that no one would talk to me. The world got scary and I became afraid of confrontation. I was so weak that I didn’t even have the resolve to stop Jehovah’s Witnesses from pushing their way into my home. I once sat at my dining table for two hours trying to think of a way to politely kick them out. If someone appeared aggressive toward me I would feel trapped and panicked. If my husband came home angry, I felt nervous and sick. If he was angry with me, I trembled and avoided him, even though I had no rational reason to fear him.

Bitch with deep inner turmoil.

Bitch with deep inner turmoil.

Even after I became well, I was still weak. Years of passiveness had made me easy to push around and quick to concede to the wants of others. Since embracing singledom, a new dawn appears to have broken on the persona of Jenny. In an unexpected twist, it appears that my inner-bitch is coming back to the surface where she belongs. I find myself more able to assert myself. In the last few months I have begun to confront people when I previously would have turned a blind eye. Not in a crazy bag-lady ranting way, but in a “how dare you hurt that child,” way, and a “just because you’re an asshole doesn’t mean I have to put up with your shit”, way, and a “how would like to be chained to a fence and starved you sick cunt,” way.

Ok, so out of context, that last one sounds pretty psycho, but at the time it was appropriate. I swear I’m not just yelling random threats at people who displease me. I’ve come a long way from 15 months ago, when I had to throw a bunch of Lorazepam down my gullet simply to be able to speak to the deputy principal at my daughters school about bullying concerns.

Long live the Bitch!