The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

To My Darling Jill …
May 13, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: Comment, Jill, Otis, Parents

There’s no post on Monday.

Which is good, because after you read this, you’ll either be sick or shocked and it will give you a little more time to get over it.

Ready? Well here we go …

Being married to me is hard.

Not just for the obvious countless reasons, but because we keep moving countries.

In fact, in the last 6 years, we have lived in four countries.


Add some more years to that total and the number of countries we’ve lived in goes up again.

And again.

And again.

But that aside, the reality is we’ve kept moving countries predominantly for me.

And every time, Jill has been nothing but supportive and encouraging – even though it has meant she’s had to leave her friends, passions – and in the case of Shanghai – her successful cake business, Stir.

OK, so after dragging Jill around the world for nearly 2 decades, coming to NZ was as much about getting her closer to her Mum as it was about me joining Colenso … but even with the added benefit of family proximity, Jill had to start her life all over again.

I’ve never been in this position.

When you move for a job, you are given an instant network.

You’re in an office. With people. Who you get to connect with, talk to, meet.

You also have a ready made job … with things to do and things to change.

In almost no time at all, you feel part of the place with people who can help you overcome any question or obstacle you face.

But not Jill.

When she moves, she starts from zero.

She has no support network except her husband and son.

And given I’m at work and Otis is at school, that means she doesn’t even get us easily.

I am under no illusion how hard this is on her.

I am also under no illusion how much she has sacrificed to allow me to live this life.

It is more than I could ever expect or hope for and yet, despite all the challenges it places her under, she has never complained or stopped us exploring adventure.

She could have.

There are times she probably wanted to.

But she has done it over and over again because of us. Or should I say, me.

My wife is the most compassionate, considerate and caring person I know.

Always looking out for us.
Always ensuring we are settled as quickly as possible.
Always protecting the family.

I say all this because Jill has started taking some tentative steps into exploring a career again.

When Otis was born, she made the decision she wanted to be a full-time Mum. We were in the very fortunate position that we could make that happen and she loved every second. But now Otis is 7 … he has independence and is at school … so Jill wants to use the time she has got back in new ways.

But starting something new when you’ve been away for a while is daunting.

And for all the talent and experiences and achievements my wife has earned in the past, she is doubting herself.

I can literally see the arguments she is having in her head.

The fight between curiosity and self judgement.

The worry she may not be good enough.

Of course all women go through this.

The most evil thing men have done is make women believe they have to be perfect before they can try something new.

Which means many don’t, leaving men – who don’t give a shit about perfection because of our deluded self-confidence – to take opportunities that could be better served and expressed by female talent.

I am proud of my wife for many reasons, but for someone so gentle, she is immensely strong … and despite her not really sure where she will end up, she is starting a little design studio focused on digital art.

Not NFT’s … but just different designs that can be used in different ways and places.

She knows it’s hard to get noticed in this field.

She knows it’s a lot of work for not a lot of reward.

She knows she has to build up her portfolio of work.

And while it would be easy to point to the privilege she has in being able to do this when so many don’t even have that option … I am watching a woman seeking a different sort of self-worth. One that goes beyond being an amazing wife and Mum, but an independent person

I have never had to worry about this.
Otis is unlikely to have to worry about this.
And I wish Jill didn’t have to worry about this … but she does and so she should.

Add to that the time she has been out of the workforce – something she did for us to be able to walk forward – and what she’s doing is insanely important.

For her.
For us.
For any woman who faces this situation.

I love this woman.
I’m so proud of her.
I am watching her put so much of herself into this.

Not just in terms of designing … but thinking, considering and questioning.

This is a huge thing for her – far more than just a design project – and I want her to feel excited and proud about what she’s doing.which is why I have a favour to ask.

Not as someone’s wife. Not as someone’s Mum. But for who she is and what she does.

A brilliant, clever, talented, smart, kind human.

Someone willing to put their vulnerabilities on show and on the line in the hope it may lead to something they can’t quite define.

What an amazing person.

I’m such a lucky bugger to be her husband.

Thank you Jill.

I love you.

23 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Well said Robert. Jill is the best.

Comment by Mary Bryant

Will you be asking George why he has never written anything like this about you? I know he doesn’t have a blog but what sort of excuse is that?

Comment by DH

I will discuss it with him later.

Comment by Mary Bryant

Thank you David.

Comment by George

Thanks Mary. She is.

Comment by Rob

Already following her. Not following you, though! Make of that what you will 😉

Comment by Simon


Comment by DH

This is a side of you I don’t recognise. Was this the work of your ghost writer again?

Comment by DH


Comment by andy@cynic

what the fuck have you bought campbell to make you such a fucking creep?

Comment by andy@cynic

Something eyewateringly expensive with wifi.

Comment by George

Bizarrely nothing. Though maybe this lays the ground to …

Hadn’t thought about that, ha.

Comment by Rob

like fuck you hadnt thought about it.

Comment by andy@cynic

“being married to me is hard”

understatement of the fucking millennium.

and why the fuck are you on holiday on monday? why not just say when youre actually at work, it will be much fucking easier.

Comment by andy@cynic

I know … I know … but given Jill and Otis were stuck in Oz with covid for almost a month, I just want to hang out with them a little. They may not, but I do – ha.

Comment by Rob

Dear Jill. We all know you are the talent behind Robert’s success. You have nothing to worry about or prove. Your strength of character to charge head on into challenges that would hold most people back is inspiring. Whatever you choose to do next, I hope it gives you the fulfilment you deserve.

Comment by George

That’s really nice … and true. All of it.

Comment by Rob

I can count the amount of comments on social channels (outside football) for people not in ‘my circle’ I have made on one hand….But, well, can I tell you what is nice, strange, standout, and stupidly rare, is to read something as genuinely bang on – and heartfelt – as this post. Something in it resonated, am not even sure myself precisely what, but best of luck to Jill.
And keep up the blog, love it,

Comment by mark

This proves this was written by Rob’s ghostwriter.

Comment by DH


Comment by Jemma King

This is a joy to read.

Jill. You have continually impressed with the range and quality of your talent. I know Burnt Maple will be another example of that.

Comment by Lee Hill


Comment by Rob (The other one)

[…] I wrote a post about her a few months ago, she was a bit embarrassed about […]

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