Welcome to the Hills District Mums website. I’m so excited that it’s finally live! It’s a fantastic extension of the Facebook group we all love, full of mums who can provide faster responses than Google – I’d be lost without my 8000+ HDM friends. As for this site – well-timed and what a fabulous idea! I personally know how much blood, sweat and tears has gone into it – bravo!

So now to introductions…my name is Lara Thom and I have five children. Let’s get this out of the way first:

  1.  Yes, Catholic. No, not a religious decision.
  2. Mad? Totally, thank you for noticing.
  3. Do we have any TVs? Um, yes, almost one in every room so clearly that didn’t stop us – have always found that question really odd.
  4. Tarago – I know, embarrassing.
  5. Groceries? Hmm, less than you think but probably more than I like. They eat hard.
  6. No, we’re not having any more. I am done and very happy with the current crew
  7. How do I cope? Wine. Lots and lots of wine… and very little sleep.

These are simply the same seven questions that any mother with over three kids is constantly asked, so thought it best to get it out of the way upfront.

Now, when the gals asked me to write for them, about 10 topics sprang to mind which I’ll gradually cover, but I want to share my recent experience of this phenomenal group of mums we call HDM as it’s been a life-changing experience for me (and believe me, I’m not a deep person, in fact The Big Guy, my hubby, tells me I’m as shallow as a pond).

As you all know, there are a number of places where you can BUY, SELL, SWAP local goods online. I know all of you are members of them as I’ve seen you all on HDM as well. This fabulous buzzing micro-commerce market is truly alive and kicking. I decided to give it a whirl when I found some excess clothing stock from a business I had recently sold sitting in the garage. I took some pics and then, SOLD, SOLD, SOLD, SOLD – you didn’t stop buying, my phone was buzzing every few minutes. You love a bargain, you love the simplicity of it and you love supporting one another. I was blown away and quietly cheering that the school fees were paid in two days of selling. Uh huh!

The following three days seriously changed my life. One by one no less than 200 mums arrived at my door to pick up their purchases. I didn’t intentionally grill anyone on their lives but conversation flowed freely and all of you literally blew my mind. Stories of women who had left marriages, been physically hurt, were nursing unwell husbands and partners. There was the mum who hadn’t bought herself new clothes in THREE years and had tears in her eyes because she had bought four beautiful pieces for $40. Then the mum who lost her beautiful baby at the age of one, the stunning single mum who I couldn’t stop looking at because she was SO pretty (was sure she was thinking I had a bit of lesbian in me as I openly told her!). She was a single mum – I couldn’t fathom how any bloke would let her get away!

Each of you shared a story that touched me. It made me realise that we don’t know what goes on behind the keyboard. Everyone has their issues, their problems and some have to carry a burden so great that we will never know the strength they have to muster each and every day to simply get out the door. I walked around the house in a daze wondering why on earth I was bitching about needing to buy predominantly white sneakers for the kids’ return to school when so many others had bigger issues to deal with.

So, next time someone posts something you may think is a little bit silly, clueless, banal or the same question that’s been asked a thousand times, just remember that the person asking it may have a bit more going on behind closed doors than we realise and this incredible network of women we now fondly call Hills District Mums is here to help one another, not tear each other down.

I look forward to sharing some laughs and my experiences with you all and am so pleased this site is up and running, a site that’s been created by HDMs, for HDMs.

Remember, be kind!