Playing Mummy and Daddy

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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!

If there's one thing Mini Miner learns from his father working in the mines, I hope it's that girls can do anything boys can do.

I know mining may not be the most obvious place to look for feminist examples, but in terms of equal pay and opportunities for women, not only has it come a long way in a short time, it seems to have leap-frogged other industries.

And then there's the parents taking on different roles.

Now I won't compare myself to a single parent because, number one, that undermines everything Mr Miner does and he is a wonderful hands-on Daddy. And number two, single parents are phenomenal. I don’t understand how they do it. Especially as there are and will be many more times I have to play both Mummy and Daddy roles.

For instance, this week I had to perform the classic 'Dad' task of putting the cot together. I don’t mean to sound sexist and I am sure there are also many mums who have done this, but in our house (as per all Hollywood pregnancy montages) it’s a Dad job... but Daddy was at work.

Luckily I'm fairly handy. Mr Miner may not agree with this statement, but I did survive seven years of adult life before meeting him after all (and no, I didn't live with my Dad the whole time!)

However, time management is not my strong point, so rather than allocating a suitable amount of time early in the day to get this done, I started the job at 5pm, thinking, 'I'll just get this done before bath time...'

Hahahaha! What a fool! Anyone with children, or nieces or nephews, or friends with children, or has in fact ever met a baby, will in fact know that 5pm is the witching hour, the time before day/night when they go freaking INSANE.

So everything started well – I settled him in his bouncy chair surrounded by toys, annoying musical things and general baby debris, while I carefully laid out cot pieces among the less-than-organised unpacking chaos of our cramped bedroom.

I should also point out that we had been back from our trip to the UK for approximately 24 hours and we were both jet-lagged and in a state of total chaos, but I decided in my sleep-deprived state that the transition from (fairly disliked) travel cot to real cot would be easier than putting him back in the bassinet.

So I got out my screwdriver set (the set I bought so I didn't have to use Mr Miner's, and the set he now keeps using) and started the assembly as the protesting whines began. And they only got louder and louder, until I was finally shout-crooning the Universal Mummy Mantra, "Just a minute darling, Mummy's coming. Just a minute! Good boy.... Mummy's coming..." Etc, etc, ad nauseum, while swearing under my breath at screws that wouldn't go in and my own general stupidity.

By the time the job was finished we were both stressed and red-faced, and at least one of us was in tears.

But the point of this whole story?

I got the cot together, while looking after the baby, proving you can play both Mum and Dad when needed.

One day I hope I can say I have raised a feminist, but for now I am happy to say my baby sleeps in the cot his Mummy built. Or I will be, just as soon as I can get him to sleep in it!

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!