It's been around 15 years since I was treated for depression. I no longer recall if counselling wasn't offered or just wasn't offered assertively or frequently enough to make it through the fog. Either way I didn't get any sort of talk therapy for a depressive episode that was, in part, quite situational in origin.
I'm lucky that I responded well to a low dose of Prozac with few side-effects (there was some weight gain and loss of libido but depression had started both those jobs already) and I was able to find my way out of the dark.
Even so I think adding counselling to the mix would have made my climb out of the hole a lot easier and less tenuous. I still carry a few demons from that period and I do wonder if some of those hang-ups might have been avoided with a more comprehensive treatment plan.
I hate STV voting for health boards because it's often a huge list of people with often relatively low public profiles. Researching all those people enough to feel confident about ranking them precisely is not something I have the time and energy for. I'd love to be able to vote in tiers: yes, maybe, no, over my dead body etc.
We thought hard before hyphenating our kids names but it really was the only thing that made sense at the time. At that stage neither partner, nor I, wished to change our own surnames but it was important that the kids names connected them to both parents without privileging one name over the other.
We live in a community where about half the couples we know have different last names and there are usually a few other double-barrelled kids. The only issues we've had is one aunt worrying about them learning to spell their names and the some airlines not having enough space on their tickets for my younger son whose first name is also quite long (this has never taken more than a moment to sort out).
Over time the double-barrelled surname has come to be our family identity and we're looking forward to adopting it officially.
I got engaged to my partner of sixteen years (and father of our two children) on Thursday.
When we first got together there were a heap of practical reasons not to get married so we just didn’t bother. I did get a fair few comments questioning our commitment and there were times (like being listed as ‘single’ in midwifery notes) when it hurt. I protectively developed a principled stand against the whole institution.
It was same sex marriage that got in the cracks. If this was so important to some people I needed to think about it again. Last week, in the middle of some difficult and frustrating circumstances, we decided to celebrate love and joy and hope. Getting married won’t make us better partners or more committed parents (we’re pretty good already), it’s just an idea that’s making us happy – which is all it needs to be.
My partner is taking great delight in telling everyone that he plans on changing his name but I can do whatever I want (we shall almost certainly both hyphenate to match our double-barrelled kids.
Actually dying of laughter here.
We are in the middle of a remarkable disaster saga here involving a flooded house, rescue by fire engine, a loss adjuster who appears to be a black hole into which information disappears forever and a cleaning company who are unable to function without a nanny. Pretty sure it'll be badger-ants at the root of it all.
I want my kids thinking about sex years before they actually have any. I want them to go into their sexual and/or romantic relationships having considered what they and their potential partners might want, what the consequences of various choices might be, how they might deal with things going wrong.
Literature, which allows them to try out different possibilities and get into the heads of different people, is going to be a big part of this process.
Late to this but So Much Yes to Chch drinks.
When i was a kid my Mum was good friends with Christine who ran Everyman records in Nelson (they had a travelling puppet theatre). Christine approved of my taste in music and would keep an eye out for things she thought would interest me. She treated me with respect and was rewarded with most of my pocket-and-babysitting money.
When I moved to Christchcurch I spent a lot of time and cash in Echo Records. There was a bewildering array of stock, spread through several adjacent buildings, but the service ranged from dismissive to surly.
There are fewer record stores here now and it's harder to linger with kids in tow (though a stop in Slow Boat in Wellington demonstrated that they're going to be keen soon) but not much tops they joy of going through the dusty bins to discover the very thing you've been wanting.
What a wonderful thing to do!
We've run into the age appropriateness issue at our primary school a few times with some parents being horrified about their five year olds watching the older kids' videos of zombies and Hunger Games rip offs. I do see their point but also see that it's important for those kids to share their work with a wider community.
My oldest has largely avoided that ire by lovingly rendering his death and destruction in Lego.
As someone who quite enjoys cooking (on a good day) but often feels worn down by meal planning and shopping I can totally see the appeal of something like this and there are most definitely days where we are in the privileged position of choosing to value time over money.
It would have to be a lot more customisable to be actually useful though. How many families have no food allergies, picky people or veg*ans to deal with and regularly have the same number of people to feed every evening?