Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Strong Women

With yesterday being international women's day, this quote sprung to mind, it got me thinking about all of the strong women in my life. There are countless names I could rattle off that have been an influence to me at some point or another.

From a career point of view there have been a number of strong women that have crossed my path and the lessons they have taught me will stick for years to come. Starting from way back in my early years with Margo at the Video Store, to Kim, Jodie and Karyn at Moylan's, Rosanna at PSI and Kristy, Kylie, Tina, Steph, Joy, Marlene, Sally and Mel through my Billabong years. Then there are the ladies from my journey in motherhood Aiko, Mel, Peta, Kylie, Kai, Amber, Briony, Kristy, Ange and Cathrine who have helped me navigate my way through the loops and turns that is the rollercoaster ride of parenting. There are long lasting friendships Ang, Lauren and Michelle who are always a constant and no matter how much time shall pass doesn't miss a beat when we catch up. There are the women that shaped my childhood, Jenelle, Pauline, Julie, Kim, Lorna, Amanda and Olive who helped me learn and grow into a grown up.

As I said so many strong influential women... I am truly blessed. I believe you are who you are based on your experiences and what you take from them, I believe the people in your life help shape you and I wouldn't be the person I am at all without the above mentioned women but in particular the following three women. Without them I would be nothing. I want to call them my top 3 influential women and in the spirit of international womens day I want to give them a nod of thanks for being just that.

My Mum
Obviously I wouldn't be here without her...  but she is more that just my life giver.   My mum has a strength that I don't even think she is aware of, a total inspiration.

 A a single mother of two in the 80's, when single mothers were not the norm. Raising two headstrong young girls on her own is just the start.  She worked full time, provided for my sister and I and gave us a happy and healthy childhood. She made sure that we were surrounded by love, had contact with our grandparents and had enough emotional support with an absent father. I couldn't imagine the strength it took to pack up and move home while pregnant in search of a better life, let alone stay in contact with your in laws but I am grateful that the strength was found.  My mother sold our home and built a new more manageable one, I can barely work out how to renovate the one we are living in and that is with a Husband.

She has travelled Australia and now the US of A, Crochets, bowls and now quilts like a woman of the deep south.  She will listen to me rave on for hours, even if she isn't really listening and provides sound practical advice.  There have been two moments in life that I have faced the fear of losing her, the first in one of the scariest days of my life she had a major car accident and was lucky to walk out with a broken arm (in 4 places), I remember walking into that room and the feeling of relief that washed over me to see that she was okay, she was sitting up in the hospital bed shining like an angel (due to the broken glass all over her blue jumper). The second was in 2011 after her first mammogram she was diagnosed with Breast cancer she had her breasts removed went through the treatment and is thankfully still here to tell the tale, Joselyn and her had a competition to see who could grow hair quicker and she won (Joselyn is still lacking in the hair department).

My mother has taught me so much.  

The first you can make fun memories on a shoestring budget, we had such a magical childhood, Sunday bike rides, picnics, holidays it was very rare that we did without.  

You need to make the best of what you have, if life throws you lemons make lemonade. We survived on what we had, we went out for dinner if mum didn't feel like cooking and we had holidays every year.

 To never judge a book by it's cover, mum has always taught me there are two sides to every story and to try have the patients to see both.

A strong woman can do anything but you need to be even stronger ask for help if you need it. 

Its amazing what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it, mum has made some amazing things me being the first (hehehe), quilts and blankets.

 A clean house doesn't make you happy.

And finally its okay to cry, she wears her emotions on her sleeve, even if she can't find the words to name them.  

My Sister
Kate is the first person in the world who has given me unconditional love and because of that she is one of the few people in the world that sees all of me.  My good, my bad and my just plain ugly.  We have fought over the strangest of things and bonded over even stranger.

She is one of the most generous, loving and kind people I know.  When we were kids our Nan broke her leg, Kate was given weeks off Daycare to help look after her because even as a toddler she had the gift of helping people. She is one of those beautiful generous souls that would give you her last dollar if you needed it. I call her the collector of wounded ducks, she finds people that have issues and becomes their friend and helps them through their toughest time and sends them on their way healed and ready to face the world again.  Its a quality I admire and wish I had the strength or compassion for.

Kate is also one of the most head strong people I know, she knows what she knows and won't budge without proof that she is wrong, another quality that both frustrates and fascinates me. She will tell you exactly what she thinks of something without fear, and if you disagree she doesn't care, she doesn't really care what others think and I wish I could apply the same attitude at times.

She gets obsessed about food and will eat the same thing everyday for a month and then not eat it again for 6 years. She is loyal, if you are her friend she's got your back and she will stand up for you until she is blue in the face.  She has a short fuse, one I'm sure comes from the Murrell side but underneath that tough exterior she will burst into tears at the smallest of things another quality that I am amazed by.

Kate is so Smart she is the first Murrell to ever graduate from University, she doesn't give herself enough credit for this and this amazing accomplishment and really lacks in confidence in her work but she is slowly learning to make her point heard. 

Kate has taught me that its okay to stand out from the crowd and have a different opinion, her love is unconditional regardless of your beliefs, she has taught me that there are nice people in the world, and that teachers have a compassion for children that knows no bounds and most importantly she has taught me how to be myself without fear.

My Nanny June
5 Children... really thats all that you need to say to a mother and I'm sure they look at her as the all powerful and wise one.  My Nan is the most loving and kind lady and I'm so glad that I get to call her my Nan.  She has this warmth and love beaming from her, she has a calmness and a strength that I like to be around but she also has this nagging quality that drives you crazy, until you crack it and feel bad because you know it only comes from a place of love.

Nan grew up in a time where life was simple, not that it can't be simple now but she has seen the world through so many modern developments.  When she was a girl there wasn't electricity at her farm, she saw the beginning of television, she still calls a radio a wireless and would sit me on the bench to show her how to press the buttons on the microwave. Now she is on Facebook!  She embraces change and technology like no other and I only hope that when I'm in my 70's I can keep up just like her. 

Listening to Nan and Pop tell stories about how they would go to the dances together and the early days of their marriage, how they survived on Pop's small income are some of the best memories and some really inspirational stories.

Nan has taught me to enjoy my Husband and the time we had before our kids came along, she has taught me that the baby comes to live with us not the other way around so not to change too much.  To make sure I make time for my Husband and not leave him out of the bond that comes from being a mum. She has taught me that a women's work in the house is always going to be more than a man's because we are just more capable and I should just learn to accept it.  She has taught me never to complain about my husband only speak of the good and you will only see good. Nan has taught me that you can only do your best and nobody can ask anymore from you. Most importantly she has taught me how much fun you can have with so little and love is really all you need as a family.

Thanks Ladies!  Happy International Womens Day!

M xo


  1. Beautifully said Maree, not sye about me a4e beautiful and strong and a wonderful Mum. So proud of you xxx

    1. You're reading my blog!! Thank you! X

  2. Beautifully said Maree, not sye about me a4e beautiful and strong and a wonderful Mum. So proud of you xxx