Some Leaving Cert Perspective

Although it is many moons ago, Mammy remembers getting her Leaving Cert Results.

Mammy was certain that the contents of the little brown envelope were going to change her life. Had Mammy’s life REALLY depended on the contents of that little brown envelope, quite frankly, I’d be living an utterly dreadful, mediocre and half-arsed attempt at one. 😂

Because the results printed on my little scrap of yellow paper were quite awful, if I’m very honest. The only mark I remember (or tell anyone about!) was my A1 in Honours English. Go figure.

As for the rest of them? I’d say the examiners only passed me so that they wouldn’t have to read my verbal diahorrea again the following year. 😂I’m not exaggerating either.

But the other grades didn’t matter. The A in English was all that mattered to me, both then AND today. Yes, I got into college, but not until I had spent a week back in the brown uniform 😣😣 convincing myself that I needed to repeat. It wasn’t until the second round offers and a trip to meet (attack😛) the Dean of the English Department in Coleraine, that I finally got my place on the degree course. (I might have only been 17, but I was a stroppy one!😂)

English was all I loved. It was all that I wanted to study and, as the little brown envelope told me, it was apparently all that I was good at… All that I was good at THEN.

At 17. Turns out, I’m good at a whole load of things. I just didn’t get to take exams in singing, dancing, shopping or eating.

The Big LC recognised my ability to understand Shakespeare and write stories off the top of my head, but it didn’t (and couldn’t) know how strong I was at things like organisation, being a friend, laughing or pulling pints. So I was crap at French. Biology for me ended after the section on photosynthesis. But although my maths grade was dismal, I challenge you to find ANYONE who can work out a % as quickly as me when I see the word “SALE”. 😂😂

So there. Now, almost 20 years on, I’m a teacher and of COURSE I value the Leaving Cert. I love teaching the course and I try my best to encourage my Babbies to give it their best shot. But I also know that they are teenagers. That they have a LOT going on. That some of them have things going on in their lives that are a WHOLE lot more important that exams. 😢 That whole some of them will give it their ALL for 2 years, on the day of the exam, it might just not happen. And sometimes, that at 18, they’re just not quite ready for the ridiculous pressure of the state exam.

For a whole load of reasons, Wednesday is a huge day for our young adults. But that little brown envelope is only that. An envelope. Despite what it is inflated to be, it is NOT the most important piece of paper in the world. Yes, the letters and numbers inside it will have an immediate effect. Yes, some doors will open and yes, some doors will close, but what is written on the page does not define them.

The Leaving Cert does NOT know our children. It doesn’t see the kindness. It doesn’t measure their ability to change things. It can’t recognise their skills as motivators, or thinkers, or makers, or doers. It does not define them, nor should it. And as parents, yes, some of us might be disappointed tomorrow. But mostly we should be proud, because regardless of what is on that page, they are OUR children and they have done their best and we must remind them that they CAN do whatever they want. Because WE know what they can be.

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There are ALWAYS options and sometimes, the path that they are so determined to be the ONLY one for them right now, was never the right one for them…it usually takes a few years for them to realise that however. But they will. 💕

So tonight, tell them how brilliant they are. And leave them under NO illusion that no matter what words and letters are on that piece of paper, that you are and will always be proud of them and that you will help them to get to where they want to go, may it be straight through the college door or in a longer, roundabout way. But all roads lead ahead. And before they know it, they won’t even remember what was printed on the page!

It might be almost 20 years since I opened my little brown envelope and had my heart broken in a million pieces, but trust me, everything happens for a reason. 😇 Tonight, I send love to all of the young people (especially my own Babbies😘😘) and to all you exam parents whose minions face the brown envelope this Wednesday.

And remember, that little brown envelope does NOT hold the key to their future. They hold that key already.

It’s right inside them.

And no piece of paper can change that.

Mammy  XXX

 

 

Remember that if you like what I write, the votes are still open for the final of Maternity and Infant’s Parenting Blog Award.  It takes two seconds to vote and you don’t have to register or anything.  Just click here to help me get to the final.  Much appreciated! 

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I am Stop Measuring Your Time on Someone Else’s Clock Mum

It’s August; which if you believe the Interweb and the Instafluencers, means it’s practically January already.

So apparently it’s time for Happy New Year already?

Eh. No.

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I did laugh at this. It’s funny coz it’s true…sort of.

Ok, I will agree that once the 1st of August arrives, I get a bellyflip of panic.  It means the long (and for once glorious!) summer is almost over.   It means it’s high time I was sorting Mini-Me for Back to School.  It means that I now only have 3 weeks to get through the mile long to-do in the summer list I wrote on the first day of her holidays.  It means everyone trying to cram all the things on the Summer lists into 3 weekends.

But it also means return to routine, which if your house is anything like mine, is something that I can not deny missing.

And then begins September; a month of sunshine and still long evenings where the dust settles on the chaos of the summer months and where Fridays take on a whole new meaning.

Then comes October, with the crisp coolness and warm colours and the excitement and build up to Halloween.

And then we have November, the month which will last 498 days and drive us all to stews and hot whiskeys and panics about how it’s nearly time for Santa Season and we haven’t even “started yet”…

And then it’s December and there’s a whole month of glitter and Christmas and Grinches and never-ending darkness and fires and heating blasting and cold and ice…

And we have ALL of that to do before we even think about next year.

So while YES, once August arrives, the end of the year does suddenly seem right around the corner, in reality, we still have 5 whole months until then.  5 whole months of birthdays and new beginnings and fighting and eating and laughing and growing and sniffling and working and parenting and everything else that our lives entail.

So take it easy on allowing memes and such online images to make you feel like you’re losing time.  You’re not.

You didn’t make it to every waterfall or family day out you’d planned.  Your kids didn’t get to go on nature walks every day.  You didn’t get that catch up with your cousin that you’ve been promising each other all year.  You didn’t actually get that night out with your besties that you’ve been putting off until summer since January.  You didn’t get your children to the top of a mountain. You didn’t make it to the beach and the fancy picnic basket remains unused since last year…

So what?

Who says these things have to be done in summer?  What’s wrong with getting that family trip in September if it suits your work better?  Why can’t you go to Glenveagh or to the beach in October? Who says that all of these things have to be done within school holidays?

So while these images and memes are quirky and cute and we find ourselves laughing or nodding in inst-agreement, they’re just another example of how we’re letting strangers online affect our own perceptions of our own lives.  Instead of thinking “sure the year’s nearly over”, ask yourself what you can still do and fit in and enjoy in the 5 months that are left…until next year, where guess what? We start all over again!

Scrap the summer bucket list and make up a new one for yourself and your family that doesn’t have a deadline.

Because yes, summer is limited, but thankfully, there are 3 other seasons and no one is measuring you, except yourself.

 

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Mammy needs your help Lovelies!

Ok Ladybelles.

It’s that time of year again when I ask you all to help me out.

The S-Mum Blog is in the running for “Maternity and Infant’s Best Parenting Blog Award” again this year.

Last year I made it (thanks to you lot) to the TOP TEN and I got to meet some of the loveliest people ever. 😍

With last year’s finalists in Dublin

 

And so I ask that if you like my blog and my posts and the general nonsense that I spout; if I make you laugh, or sob a little, or just feel a bit normal; please please please take two seconds to hit the link and throw me a wee vote.

You can VOTE HERE. (No registration or nonsense required!)

If you don’t like it, then I wonder why you’ve read this far, and I’ll still ask you to vote. Sure why not? 😋

The competition is FIERCE this year, but I know that my lovely readers will help me out. 😍

It’d be great to get a wee Donegal Mammy to the final again! You’re an incredible bunch and I do appreciate every like and heart and comment, so I truly would love you all even more if you could give me a click. 😋

You can do it here… http://bit.ly/VoteforMammy

And if you might be happy to share this for me, I’ll love you forever.

Thanks gals,
Mammy x

I am She Goes, He Goes Mum

 

“OH DU TOILETTE…”

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The Throne…

Becoming a Mum brings with it many wonderful and exciting changes for parents. The “books” will tell you how new babies will test even the strongest relationship.  They do not tell you that one of the biggest bones of contention between parents is the process of the poo.
Let me explain…

(Read alá David of the Attenborough on a wildlife show…)
The female of the species becomes quickly skilled at excretion. After childbirth, despite possible  complications and difficulties with the bladder, she will quickly evolve into a bladder controlling machine. Caring for her young is always a priority. Even with a full bladder, the female can retain control under duress and highly stressful conditions, often balancing her offspring on her abdominal area. She is strong however, and will wait for the perfect moment to pounce on the elusive porcelain.  When the opportunity presents itself, the Mama will swiftly and skillfully do what she needs to do.
The female can relieve a full bladder in 8.5 seconds and it has been said that faecal excretion can take only 5 seconds. (Evidence of this has not yet been acquired as the female is so skilled and speedy that scientific equipment is not fast enough to measure the act.)  The female performs the essential and necessary act of excretion faster than any other species, and often with up to 4 of her young hovering around, or indeed ON, her.  Cleanliness is swift and onehanded in many cases. Other species have yet to evolve at the speed of the human Mammy.

The male of the species is entirely different.
The male is special. He makes quite the production of the animal act of excretion. The bathroom must be empty of all young. The atmosphere should be peaceful and relaxed in order for the full joy and relaxation of the event. Full concentration is required.  Men have evolved to require the help of a handheld device for the excretion process. Tablets are acceptable but the clever male prefers the mobile phone, as it can be sneaked into the room, past the female, more easily.  The male may require anything up to 45 minutes for the process.
It is very difficult and he ensures that the importance of and difficulty of his excretion is heard by his female if she dares to question the length of time he has been in his throne room. “I’m IN THE F$#€** Toilet” may he roared in a manly way, by the manly man, during his manly process, if he perceives disapproval or tutting from the female outside the door.  The delicate procedure is prolonged and made easier for the male by perusal of Bookface or Instagranny for the duration. This device aids in the relaxation required for the faeces to remove itself from the manly male posterier.

Sometimes, for reasons as yet unknown to scientists, the male will remain on the porcelain seat for much time after the act of relieving himself. It has been suggested that this is an avoidance of the reality of the children who are not allowed to bother him while in the special pooping room. This is not yet proven, but breakthroughs are expected in the near future as female scientists are working on remote controls to switch off the prolonging devices. Other exciting developments are self flushing timed toilets, although there are fears that such a device might be mistaken for self cleaning.)
The male reappears into the homestead calm and relaxed, thoroughly relieved and oblivious to how long he has been in the bathroom. The bathroom and the rest of the world have different time rules when the male excretes… what he feels to be 5 minutes, is often 37 minutes by the female’s observant and obsessive count…

The male excretion ends with a ceremonial greeting by the female which can be high-pitched and erratic.

This process remains as such until the female completely loses her mind and screams so much that the children become afraid to interrupt her, or they finally reach the age where watching Mammy poo is no longer interesting or exciting…

The Male checks his phone and wonders what all the fuss is about.
#takeashitalready #soblessed #peeinprivate

I am Some Old Friends, Some New Mum

It’s International Friendship Day.
 
Many of us have probably found over the years, that our friends change. The friends we had at school, who we could NEVER imagine our lives without, change.
 
The friendships we form at Uni or work, tend to last a bit longer.
 
The hardest thing to learn about friendship is that no matter what age you are, friendships can and do change. And sometimes, they can and do end.
 
And there is no age limit on this.
 
Life gets busy.
Life gets stressful.
Priorities change.
 
Children coming along can be the biggest factor in the beginning of the end of some friendships.
 
And in the same sense, it can be the beginning of new friendships and relationships.
 
Last week I went on a blind date.
Yup. You read right.
 
I put on my heels and some muckup and I got my Him to drop me to the pub. And I hadn’t a clue who was going to turn up.
 
See the Mums in Mini-Me’s class have a wattsapp group and I had jokingly suggested a Mammy camp during a conversation about the camps the kids were all going to over the summer. We chose a random date and by the time it came around, only 1 or 2 could still make it.
 
“Shall we cancel?”
Tempting… but I was getting a Friday night out and I was going come hell or high water, even if it meant sitting on my own for a few hours.
 
Thankfully, two other Mums arrived, equally as anxious and unnerved at this new experience. We introduced ourselves, ordered drinks and sat for 4 hours chatting and sharing and drinking and laughing.
 
I highly recommend it. There’s something liberating about spending time with new people, with no motive and no expectations, other than to be nice and have company for an evening.
 
I’m looking forward to the next one where hopefully a few more of the Mums can come too. And there is always room for new friends. You never know who is out there waiting to be a fablis part of your life…
 
But aside from this, I have to admit that I have a wonderful Mamma Tribe.
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I have my Knickers; my fellow supper of Sea-wind, sharer of everything, Big sister and secret-keeper of all. We’ve been through more than any pair of friends I know, and we’re not done yet.
 
I have my LQ; my longest friend all the way from Uni, with whom I click right into place even when we’ve gone months without seeing each other. (She’s moving home from the UK tomorrow. Our children will grow up together and we shall grow wrinkly together!)
 
I have my Rainbow; My partner in many crimes who keeps me sane and grounded and yet agrees to fly with me everytime a crazy notion takes me soaring. She’s the Wendy to my Tinkerbell, holding my hand through the clouds and the stars. (And she loves gin as much as I do…)
 
I have my Lady V; who makes me smile and understands everything. So kind, so beautiful, so stylish and so funny. No masks or facades required around this Dolly.
 
And then there is my Jo: my beautiful gal whose optimism and kindness is like no one I’ve ever known. A bold rascal but always a lady, there’s so much more to this little lioness than meets the eye.
 
I’m lucky. Of course I am.
 
And even through the changes that having kids and husbands and dogs and, you know, life bring, I always know that one of these crazy bitches will be on the other end of the phone. And right on my doorstep if I need them.
 
Of course I’ve lost friends. I’ve had friends from whom I’ve drifted. I’ve had friendships which I’ve ended. I’ve had friends cut me out.
 
And while each of these makes me sad sometimes, there are a few that in hindsight, were not as fablis as I once thought. Some were draining. Some were exhausting. Some were unhealthy. Some were nothing short of septic, but hindsight is 20;20 isn’t it?
 
And I’m sure that while I am certainly better off without them, they are probably better off without me too. I’m far from perfect. Who is?
 
So today, on ANOTHER International Day of… send your Buddies a message, or tag them below, or pour a cuppa/glass and dial.
 
Because friends are the family we chose for ourselves aren’t they? And if tomorrow is “International Day of the Crazy Wine drinking cackling sarcastic Wagon-full-of-hugs”, will you be tagging the same gals? Because that’s how you know true pals.