10 Apr When you realise you’re the worstest parents on earth.

We are irresponsible, selfish parents. This is never more fully hammered into my brain than when I’m preparing to leave my children and fly halfway around the world. Not for work that will earn us money to put food on the table (for the children.) Not for book promotion that will ONE DAY (ie when I’m ninety years dead) earn us money and then food on the table (for the children.) No we are leaving them simply because we want to. Because we care more about our own pleasures and pursuits than we do our life’s blood. Selfish, selfish, selfish.

Like the time their father was going to California to do a Half-Ironman. He at least had a good reason for abandoning his children to the elements and cruel twists of fate. But I? I had no excuse.

Did he need someone to carry his bike bag? No. Did he need support crew to give him water along the course? No, it’s an official Ironman event and nobody’s allowed to give him stuff except for the official Ironman volunteers. The question is then, if Im not doing an Ironman,and he doesn’t need a water girl – WHY THE HELL WAS I GOING? Why was I abandoning my poor helpless children in Samoa?

Because  I’m a selfish evil woman. #BadMother.

It’s a few days before we fly out when it hits me. We don’t have a will. We have ushered five children onto this earth and we don’t have any legal instructions ensuring their safety and well-being if the plane blows up. I panic. I can’t breathe properly. I want to cry. Images assault me.

All the emergency signs start flashing and the plane begins its death spiral. We survive the crash, but then I drown since I’m not an Ironman and can’t swim. And then he gets eaten by sharks. OR in a slightly better scenario (but not really), he makes it to a deserted island, where he’s stuck by himself for 20 years, grows a beard down to his knees and loses his mind. By the time he’s found, the children have found new parents for themselves, who aren’t selfish and irresponsible. 

We are walking down the street in America and police stop us for #walkingWhileBrown. The Ironman will make the mistake of reaching into his jacket for his passport to show them we are brown people from Samoa and not brown people from America. (Because that’s sure to make a difference.) They will think he’s going for a weapon and we will both get gunned down.

Or (and this one is the worst scenario of all that keeps me up at night), what if while we’re in America, there’s an apocalypse event where all electrical things are zapped forever, planes drop out of the sky and the world is plunged into the dark ages? Me and Darren will be stuck in a faraway continent and NEVER be able to come back to our kids. Because I only went to paddling once and didn’t learn enough. Because it doesn’t matter that Moana said  ‘We were voyagers!’ – we wont know how to make a boat and use the stars to navigate across the Pacific Ocean. Instead we will roam the Americas fighting off ruthless scavengers and post-apocalyptic zombie types, and the whole time, I will be tortured with thoughts of my kids far far far away..

Our children will be bereft and adrift in a cold cruel world without their selfish parents who were silly enough to go to America for an Ironman.

We need a will, I tell the Ironman. But I don’t know a lawyer who can rustle us up a will in two days. Correction – I don’t know a lawyer who can rush rustle us a will without charging us an exorbitant sum (equal to the cost of two plane tickets to America.) I am broke and broken (because hello, I’m going to America. That’s expensive.) I don’t want to pay a lawyer to do us a will.

But it’s ok. Because I am a clever woman. I have Google. I know stuff. Ha.

I find a free downloadable template for a will. (So it’s for people living in America. So what?) I’m a clever woman. I can make it work. I download us both a will. Then I spend two days fixing it and entering our assets and instructions in case of our untimely death by airplane explosion or by police shooting. It’s quite a sobering thing, making one’s will. Especially when one doesn’t own much. I notice the Ironman’s will is longer and more detailed than mine. Why does he have way more stuff than me?? All I got is copyright ownership of my books. Which none of the children seem interested in inheriting. My son wants to know ‘Who gets Dad’s black Holden car?’ Definitely not you now that you’ve asked, demon child.

I get distracted hunting for my wedding band and my engagement ring. They haven’t fit my fat fingers since Kid One was born. But suddenly it’s VERY IMPORTANT that I find them so I can bequeath them to one lucky child. But Bella looks at my dismal jewellery collection and says, ‘They’re not very shiny are they?’ She’s not enthused at the thought of inheriting them. Ungrateful demon child. Fine then, I’m going to leave instructions to bury me with my #notShiny rings dammit. (On a string around my neck since they don’t fit my fingers.)

Finally, after much angst the will is done. I print out multiple copies and explain the details to the Big Children who are actually adults. I am triumphant and relieved. We are not totally crap parents. (Just a little bit selfish and crap.) We may be leaving the children and going to a different country, but we have made the necessary arrangements for their wellbeing.


It’s a mad rush to get to the airport. I have spent too much time working on the will and not enough time on packing. But hallelujah, praise be, we make it on time and I am sitting next to my husband on the plane as it taxis down the runway. That’s when it hits me.

“Oh shit. We didn’t sign the will.”

Yes. These poor children have the most selfish’est, worst’est parents on earth.

Or maybe its more apt to say that they have the silliest DUH-est mother on earth.



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