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that's life!

that's life! Issue 18, 2021

Many media outlets try to connect with readers and engage them. But for genuine engagement and a vibrant sense of community, there is nothing else on the Australian media landscape that so clearly connects with its audience like that's life! magazine. That's because our million-plus readers also provide our content - it is their voice that makes that's life! the magazine with heart.

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52 Issues

in this issue

2 min

As is always the case, it was incredibly difficult to choose a winner from the many wonderful, moving and beautiful Mum in a Million entries we received. Our entrants all – quite rightly – reckon their mother is a mum in a million. Just as our winner Carole’s daughter, Tayla, wrote, ‘She’s always been my mum in a million’. My own mum, Sally, is certainly mine. She’s always been there for me, with a shoulder to cry on or wise words of advice. Mum is my biggest fan. I just love spending time with her, and how good is it when you are with someone who laughs at exactly the same things. One occasion we still laugh about happened almost 30 years ago, when I was living interstate. I had…

1 min
your life!

I found a croc in the hotel pool. Charlotte Kee, Hocking, WA Thank you so much for my fantastic headphones prize. They put a smile on my face in what has been a really challenging year. Susan Bullock, Pearcedale, Vic Billie, four, is very excited and ready to dance. Tara Corballis, Maudsland, Qld Tracy-Lee, one, loves to read that’s life! just like her mum. Alison Buys, Butler, WA My wife Julie and I had the time of our lives with friends Pamela and Roy. We visited Freeling in South Australia, where the TV show McLeod’s Daughters was filmed. Colin Green, Athelstone, SA My beautiful mum, Phyllis, celebrated her 92nd birthday surrounded by her children. A great day was had by all. Theresa Corn, Cobram, Vic Dylan was so excited to catch his first ever mackerel while out fishing with his mum and…

4 min
born with half a heart

As two strong blue lines appeared on the pregnancy test, I barely reacted. ‘It must be a false positive,’ I shrugged to my partner Michael, 36. ‘I’ll go to the doctor for a check-up.’ There was just no way I could be pregnant... I’d been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and endometriosis, which the doctor said would make it difficult to conceive. When I met Michael – a police officer like me – I knew I had to be honest. ‘I can’t have children,’ I told him after a few weeks of dating. Michael had a son, William, who he adored, from a previous relationship. ‘I don’t need to have any more kids,’ he reassured me. William quickly became like a son to me and I stopped thinking about getting pregnant. Now, after a month of feeling sick, I was…

5 min
i was trapped in a body bag for three days

Shirley Smith, 37, Sydney, NSW* Swaying on the dance floor, I was having the time of my life. Aged 18, I’d just graduated from school and was excited to let my hair down. Then, I locked eyes with a good-looking guy across the room. Introducing himself as Sean*, we hit it off straight away. And as I got to know him over the next few weeks, I found Sean was attentive and charming. Driving me to and from work, I felt so secure. But, four months in, his behaviour shifted. After a few drinks, Sean would call me hurtful names, and seemed irritated when I spent time with my family. ‘They don’t love you like I do,’ he’d say. Though they hadn’t met him, they’d heard from family friends that Sean wasn’t a good influence and tried to convince…

3 min
meet our mum in a million

Mum in a Million competition. We had so many amazing entries. Our winner is… Carole Watson! She was nominated by her daughter, Tayla, who explains why her mum is so special Tayla Watson, 26, Lake Macquarie, NSW Have a look at this,’ I called to my mum, Carole. ‘It looks like you’ve bumped it,’ Mum said, inspecting the red golf-ball-sized circle on my right thigh. But she booked me a GP appointment to be safe. It was just after my 21st, and we were about to go on a cruise to celebrate. Sadly, the trip wasn’t to be. ‘It’s a desmoid tumour,’ a specialist told us. ‘It’s not cancerous but is very aggressive.’ Without surgery, it would keep growing and could damage my organs. ‘You’ll be okay,’ Mum reassured me as I was taken in for the op. With…

2 min
meet our other mums!

Donna Hedley, nominated by Paige Schmock Raising me as a single mum, we struggled financially, so Mum washed our clothes in the bathtub and cut our lawns with clippers. She helped with homework and made sacrifices so I had clothes, toys and school excursions. As a teen, I asked why she’d never had another partner – she said she wanted to focus all her energy on being the best mother she could. Gail Cairns, nominated by Carrie Dugan Just before NZ’s lockdown I ruptured four discs in my spine. Despite enjoying her retirement, Mum took my place at work to keep my job open. We thought it might just be weeks – well, it lasted a year and two spinal surgeries! Mum cared for me, had a stroke herself and is back at…