Amid the chaos of early motherhood, making time to give thanks

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Sarah Long arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2010 and met her Mr Miner soon after. They're based in Sydney and he does drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) to country NSW. Sarah came out to Oz as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!

It's fair to say that the last six weeks in our household have been busy ones, with the safe arrival of our Mini Miner on 15 April, celebrating six years together and moving into our first house two weeks later (yes we are insane!)

I can't quite describe how I feel, drifting between completely elated, exhausted and overwhelmed. But I do know that I have never felt so appreciative. So look away now if feelings make you uncomfortable, because this is about to get soppy. I blame the hormones!

I am appreciative of how lucky we are to have a beautiful, healthy baby boy and a wonderful new home to raise him in, especially when we have friends struggling to have either one.

I am appreciative of our parents (our mums in particular) who have been there for packing, unpacking, washing, cleaning, cooking, night feeds, day feeds, tears and cuddles (both Mini's and mine!). We couldn't have asked any more of them.

And I am appreciative of all the friends and family who have visited, brought gifts, brought food, sent best wishes and lovely cards and been completely understanding during this crazy time.

But most of all, I am appreciative of Mr Miner. I literally could not have done this without him and although we don't take it for granted, it is often easy to forget to acknowledge how much you appreciate someone (particularly when you're sleep deprived and you can't find where they unpacked the one thing you need).

So, in list form (because I am a new mum and this is the only way my brain can process these thoughts right now ... and because I love a list!) here are my thank yous for Mr Miner:

  • Thank you for looking after me so well for the last 10 months. Through the morning sickness tears when you were tired after night shift and I had no idea what I was crying about; the changing body that I could not get my head around; and the fear of everything from labour to looking after a newborn ... you were calm and patient and reassuring.
  • Thank you for organising removalists and cleaners while I was in my last month of pregnancy and stressed out, and thank you for coming home and packing between shifts, getting me organised when all I wanted to do was sit on the couch.
  • Thank you for the week before Mini was born, when I wanted to do things with just the two of us, before we became three. I loved our little road trip and dates even though you were getting impatient waiting for something to happen!
  • Thank you for everything you did when I was in labour. I know that you felt like you weren't helping when I couldn’t stand to be touched or speak to you. But it was you who ran baths, cleaned up vomit, made me walk around for nearly two hours of contractions to get everything moving (oh how I hated you then) and held my hand with a tear in your eye as Mini made his grand entrance.
  • Thank you for staying with me in hospital. Helping me into the shower, feeding me while I was learning to feed him, reassuring me that, "No, you won't die from lack of sleep" when I was 32 hours into a 48-hour feeding frenzy with no sleep in sight, and for telling me to go to sleep while you rocked him in the small hours.
  • Thank for doing everything when we got home, from shopping and cooking to nappies and burping (I still think it was a shock to your system doing it all, but you coped). I don't think I've ever seen you do so much in six years, hehe!
  • Thank you for being so supportive of my breastfeeding, from checking his latch when I was unsure in hospital and helping me to feel more confident, to understanding that it means sometimes I am tied to the sofa for hours at a time and you may need to bring me things (so many glasses of water!) I am so lucky to be able to feed our little boy and I appreciate that so much.
  • Thank you for arriving home after a seven-hour drive, on top of 12 hours' night shift to absolute chaos and the mother-in-law and continuing packing so everything would be ready at 7am when the removalists arrived.
  • Thank you for going to work. It is your drive, hard work and good saving habits that not only mean we could buy our family home, but also let me take a year off work to enjoy our little one. I know you hate leaving him and miss him when you're away, and I know heading back to work for that first shift was really tough. We will always know how hard you work for us.
  • Finally, thank you for being such a good daddy. Just watching you kiss and cuddle him and seeing how much you love him brings a tear to my eye (OK, that and the exhaustion and hormones). I am so very appreciative of our little family, so thank you for being the one to give me all this.

Our Miner's Girl also has her own website: check out her blog here at

And here's lots more from Sarah on Mining Family Matters:

If you've got a question for Sarah or would like to tell your own tale about mining life, we'd love to hear from you. Click here!