Time-Out For Mums
by Raylene Bliss
First published in the Southern Courier 9 May 2000

Too much work and not enough play can take the shine off the armour of even the supermum. With Mother’s Day this Sunday it is the perfect opportunity for all mums to hang up their mops, pack away their briefcases and do something for themselves. “From a psychological perspective, it’s important for everyone to have some time-out and do things that are just purely for fun and pleasure. That particularly applies to women,” clinical physiologist [NOTE: should read: ‘psychologist’ not ‘physiologist’] Lara Keogh said.

“We are often brought up to think of and look after others first, at the expense of our own needs. This of course pertains even more to those of us who are mums. While you may feel guilty about leaving the kids with your partner, relative or a sitter, it is extremely important that you do so on a regular basis. Having time-out for yourself will help to boost your mood and lower stress levels. This in turn helps you to be a better mum.”

It is important for all women to keep a balance between work demands and doing things for themselves.

“Personally, I have to watch myself very carefully as I tend to become a workaholic very easily, so having a class to get to in the evenings is a great way of keeping the day in perspective and ensuring I don’t spend endless hours at work,” Dreaming Of Jeannie Bellydance Academy proprietor Despina Rosales said. [NOTE: the quotes in this entire paragraph should have been from Lara, not me!] “it also gets me out of my old pattern of coming home and collapsing in front of the TV and therefore living the ultimately unsatisfying work-TV-sleep routine. Of course Bellydancing is not the only way to achieve a balanced life, but with its psychological, mental, social and physical benefits it’s a great place to start.” 

Caption: Fun for mums: Dreaming of Jeannie Bellydance Academy proprietor Despina Rosales.

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Time Out For Mums
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Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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