Samantha Turnbull Writer, mother, anti-princess

Jellyfish in Byron Bay

The non-hipster-mum-on-a-budget guide to Byron Bay

I’ve lived in ‘the Bay’ for about 15 years. That means I’m nowhere close to being a local… never really will be, but my kids are born and bred (they’ll just have to cop their mum being called a ‘blow-in’ – yawn).

I love it here, but have to deal with almost daily slandering of the place from colleagues and family who live in surrounding towns.

One relo called it ‘Nimbin by the sea’ at Christmas lunch… but I wasn’t sure if he meant it as a criticism or compliment, because the dude was actually from Nimbin himself.

I get why some people loathe it – it’s expensive, it’s busy, it’s a bit of a scene… but it’s not all of those things all of the time.Read More

‘Boys are just violent’

I turned my back for a moment to put down the baby.

As I swung around with a towel to dry my daughter, a boy from her swimming lesson swung too. He punched her in the cheek and she stood, stunned.Read More


‘Boys are stronger than girls’

It’s kind of poignant that it happened over a broken Barbie doll.

I’ve never felt comfortable with those tip-toed, big-breasted, doe-eyed things.Read More

Batboy and batgirl

I have lots of boyfriends

I was recently eavesdropping on a conversation between my three-year-old daughter, Libby, and our four-year-old neighbour, Nick, as they played outside.

Nick: Do you have a boyfriend?Read More

Jellyfish release

Nature, nurture, boys, girls and jellyfish

Mum never let me take sea creatures home from the beach.

I remember many tantrums while begging to adopt a hermit crab or urchin.Read More

Dad quote

Mother-son, father-daughter, it’s all the same

I’ve always found quotes like this about mother-son relationships a little creepy:Read More