I am Some Christmas Reality Mum

Christmas.

I LOVE it! I love everything about it.  I love the sparkle, the sounds, the smells, the smiles.  I love the kindness. I love how it brings out the best in so many people.

But what I don’t love, is the pressure placed on us by the interweb to create magical, Christmas card worthy Hallmark moments. It’s started already; Instagranny and Bookface are full of pictures of beautiful trees and perfect living rooms.  None of us posted the mess of them being put up though did we!? Myself included.  Of course not.  We want to show the world our best smile don’t we? We want to give the general idea that we’ve gont our sh*t together.

MY Christmas Eve shall be fablis. Here’s how it shall look if I post it online.

Some last minute, calm and fun shopping in town, a family breakfast with my siblings and all of our minions, a quick visit to the grandparents’ homes and then home, where Mammy will wear her apron and help the girls make homemade cookies for Santa, create perfect Belgian hot chocolate for them before snuggling up to watch a movie.  Then, I prep all of the veg etc for Christmas dinner.  Then, as Daddy bathes the girls and gets them ready for bedtime, Mammy shall pour a little drop of mulled wine and begin creating the turkey. We shall have some hearty homemade soup for tea and mammy shall double check her lists to ensure that all is done.  In a whirlwind of excitement, the girls shall leave out their fablis homemade cookies, a carrot and some milk for Santa. They’ll sprinkle reindeer food on the steps and go to bed, happy and excited.

Then, Daddy shall pop a bottle of bubbles, we’ll finish wrapping presents and then we’ll cozy up on the sofa and wait for Santa.

REALITY CHECK

The last minute shopping will not be calm and fun, unless you have someone to sit in the car with minions while you pop in and out of shops.

Family breakfast WILL be fun, but it will most likely also be filled with nyaming and crying, with things like “She’s sitting on meeee”, “He got more berries” and “Stop that nonsense now!”.  The adults will eat breakfast, pretending to have jovial conversation, but really just throwing random and disconnected statements at each other between bouncing the kids.

Visiting – Yes, but the over excited and wound up kiddies will be needing a sleep by then and there is a high chance of tantrums forecast once a loving and caring  Grandparent enters the room.  Add sugar before wrestling kids into car.  Perfect!

Bake cookies:  Buy a box of cookie mix. Add an egg and there you go.  Mary Poppins indeed.

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My favourite!

Hot chocolate: Not Belgian.  Not fancy.  Straight from the coffee machine pods. Plop in the marshmallows and she’s happy out..

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Sure why not?

Movie:  In my head it’s Miracle on 34th Street, in reality it’ll be ELF again for 38 minutes before Ben and Holly return.  And it’ll be grand, because Mammy will realistically be watching it from the kitchen.

Homemade soup: HAHAHAHAHA! I’m not that organised.  I go to Mum’s on Christmas Eve and steal a lunchbox full of hers.  No point in both of us making it, is there?

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Mulled wine:  Buy a jar or packet. Slosh in some cheap wine and orange juice.  Done.  (Oh, and if you don’t like mulled wine, why the heck are you making it?)

Prepping dinner:  This I DO do.  Not because I’m Mary Poppins, but because the only thing any Mammy needs to be peeling on Christmas Day is the paper off presents (or the foil of my Chocolate Orange!)  PS.  Did you know you can buy PRE-PEELED SPUDS!?  Go for it Mammy.  It’s Christmas after all!

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Do you really need baubles on the plates?

Lists:  Once you’re home, scrap the lists. Whatever you haven’t bought by then, doesn’t need bought.  I will do a last To Do list, just to remind me of what needs done before I can sit on my backside for a few glasses of grapes later.  TIP: Write some stuff you’ve already done so you’ll feel better that there are a few lines through it already.

Bedtime: Yes it will be exciting, but it will also be frantic with two children who can’t control their highly stimulated and sugar induced emotion, and full of threats of “If you’re not sleeping, Santa won’t come”.  Eventually, Mini-Me will succumb to sleep, but them going straight to bed and nodding off instantly is as possible as me getting a Chanel coat. Then you get to start to tidy and clean and do all the other stuff that needs doing, just like every other day.  And who will notice or care if your sitting room looks perfect?

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Warning… lasts a maximum of 3 minutes!

Presents: If you don’t like wrapping stuff, don’t.  Keep it simple. You don’t need fancy curled ribbons.  They do not need to be Pinterest worthy.  Tell people the kids wrapped them, or better still, buy Christmas gift bags.  Sorted.  Santa doesn’t have time to wrap presents in my mind. Santa has better things to do.

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I wrapped these myself…not!

Waiting for Santa?  Yeah.  After 2 hours of tiptoeing about the place, forgetting where things are and trying not to wake the kids with rustling bags, as you try not to KILL each other!   Then you finally sit down to “relax” before realising that the kids will be up in, oh… approximately 4 hours!

Seriously though.

Relax.

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What’s in that cup Mammy?

Christmas will come and go. It is magical and wonderful, but it is also what you make it. I just HOPE my Christmas is exactly as I have described, because cheats and realities and all, it’s MY perfect. No one else’s.

The Christmas inspector is not going to visit on Christmas morning to check if your home in Hallmark worthy.  NO ONE actually cares that you wrap EVERY SINGLE ONE of the presents.  No one cares what your kids get from Santa.  No one cares if you have your hair brushed. No one cares if you’re all in matching PJs. And the only person whose opinion matters on these things, is you.

While we like to see people we like and care about looking happy on Christmas morning, remember that you are under NO obligation to post pics  or share ANYTHING on social media.  You are also under no obligation to even look at other people’s photographs on social media.

If looking at other’s “perfect Christmas” makes you feel crappy, put down the device and look at what’s in front of you .

Chances are, your perfect Christmas is right there in front of you…in the real world. Chaos and all.

Enjoy it!

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I am Still That Friday Feeling Mum

Mammy has “That Friday Feeling”.

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Once upon a time, “That Friday Feeling” meant going straight to a licensed establishment with one’s co-workers for a bevvy or beverages.  Or it meant finishing work with an air of excitement at the prospect of going home, spending a few hours primping and preening oneself to perfection, trying on 46 different outfits, popping open a bottle of something exciting at 6pm and stepping into high-heels, before going into town with whoever for dinner, or drinks and a boogie.

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It meant not only the excitement of getting out, but also the joy of KNOWING that you could lie on in your bed until whatever time you wished on Saturday morning, before deciding to be very “grown up and sensible” by staying in on Saturday night.

Or you know, getting ready and going out ALL over again!

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Oh, how things have changed.

Now while Mammy does get the odd night out, it is usually prepared for by a spray of dry shampoo, grabbing a top that doesn’t need ironed and a 5 minute slap on of the muck-up; sometimes after the girls have gone to bed, or sometimes my speciality…the one legged Babby-swing, where Princess swings on my leg as I try to apply mascara.

But while I am not going out tonight, Mammy still has “That Friday Feeling”‘; you know the excitement, the relief and the joy?   It might be slightly different to what it used to be, but it’s still here… just like me really.

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Me, right now!

Now, “that Friday Feeling” means much more:

  • It means no homework for Mini-Me.
  • It means excitement at the prospect of not having to make lunches for the morning.
  • It means firing the contents of the Freezer into the oven and not feeling one bit bad about it.  Call it “Freezer Friday”. They love it!
  • It means no work for 2 and a half days!
  • It means not watching the clock to make sure the girls get to bed before 7.30pm (and some nights, watching the clock to MAKE SURE they are in bed by 7.30pm!) 
  • It means a mental switch off from school, where I can allow myself to NOT worry about the notes I need to do, or the copies that need marked.
  • It means knowing that when they are in bed, that I can sit on my arse on the sofa and watch whatever I want, without that feeling of “I should be doing…”
  • It means being able to spend time writing, or reading, or simply scrolling the interweb to watch what other Mammies are doing with their Friday feeling.
  • It means putting on our PJs once we all get home and not feeling one bit bad about it!
  • It means being able to say “yes” if Mini-Me asks to watch a movie at 6pm.
  • It means being able to pour a glass of wine without feeling dreadfully uncouth and Scummy Mummyish for drinking on a school night.
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  • It means pouring a second glass if I so wish.
  • It means not having to plan out what everyone is wearing before bed.
  • It means not setting an alarm clock…
  • It means a generally happier, more relaxed Mammy, because there is a certain celebration and achievement in the fact that I have made it through the week with all of my Minions and myself mostly in one piece.
  • It’s a joy that is difficult to describe, but Friday evening is absolutely my favourite time of the week.  And while it might be different now, it’s just as exciting and it’s much more wonderful as when I was young and free.

 

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Now, I’m old(er) and not so free, but I’m a better me and I’m exactly where I want to be.  So bring on the fluffy socks and grapejuice Ladybelles.

It’s Friday and It’s Fablis.

Have a good one.

 

I am She DON’T WIKE it Mum!

Yesterday morning I dressed Princess.
I wanted to put on her Christmas skirt and Christmas jumper as they were filming the Christmas DVD in creche. 

I got the skirt on…

This is the same Christmas skirt that she wore so proudly on Saturday… the same Christmas skirt that she danced around in, swishing and swooshing with a sparkling smile at her Daddy, as happy as can be, announcing “Aaash nice pippy” (pretty) 
I dressed her, left the room for 23 seconds, and returned to a bare bummed #wobbler who had removed said Christmas skirt while declaring at the TOP of her voice, 
 “I. No. WIKE. it!”

Cue Mammy’s frantic finding of a NOT Christmas skirt and urgent attempts to remember the names of the other kids in her room to try to get the Christmas jumper on her.

I tried 4 names to no avail, before FINALLY hitting the jackpot with 

“Shay will be wearing HIS Christmas jumper” .
That worked. 🤣
Noooooo idea who this little man is, but I OFFICIALLY owe him one and apparently he’s more influential than Mammy! 😛😛

I am Slight Toy Story Moment

The Trauma…

On Thursday last, I sent The Him into Mini-Me’s school with a box of toys to donate to the Bring and Buy Sale.  You know the Bring and Buy Sale?  Where Mammies can offload a pile of redundant crap for a good cause, but where you know your minions are going to arrive home with someone else’s offloaded redundant crap, but it’s for a good cause… so everyone wins really?

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Yeah.

My first mistake?

In my Sudafed inhibited state, I placed one of her “favourite” (apparently) dolls on top of the box.  Now, I don’t recall seeing her play with this doll for quite some time, but as she informed me in HYSTERIA on seeing Daddy place the box in the car, “It’s my FAYAAAYVWIT Dolleeee!”

Initially, I shrugged in off and tried the whole, “we have to make space for Santa to bring new toys melarky”… and then I envisioned her sitting in her class the next day, watching one of her classmates playing with their new Dolly, which she still sees as her Dolly and I imagined how utterly dreadful that would be for a not quite 6 year old, and so the heartless wench in me subsided.  I couldn’t do it to her.  I just couldn’t.

If she had moaned a bit, fine.  She usually complains once, just to be complaining, but quickly forgets about things.  This time however, the tears were real.  They were silent and genuine and she was trying so hard to control her wee sobs in the back of the car, that I HAD to take note.  I know I come across sometimes as being hard on her.  Hard yes, but not heartless.

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And so suddenly, we had a problem.

It was like being plunged into Toy Story… How the HELL was I going to get the Doll back before some other unsuspecting and innocent child bought it in front of her?  I had visions of her attacking said new owner and the Doll being ripped in two in the playground.  But worse, I had visions of her breaking her little heart as her “favourite” Dolly got hugged and loved by someone else, right in front of her eyes.

A message to the school FB account and all was sorted.  When I got the “Is this her?” message with the picture of the rescued Doll, I almost danced with joy.

I blamed The Him of course.

The Doll shouldn’t have been on the pile, but I’ll not admit that it might have been my fault.

Nope.

All his.

And so thanks to Mammy’s quick thinking and the secretary’s quick response, home she skipped on Friday evening, her favourite Dolly under her arm.

My second mistake?

And this is one that TRUST ME, I shall NEVER make again.

I gave her €5.

Five. Fecking. Yoyo.

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When I said this in the staffroom at work, the other Mammies gasped and snaughled at my stupidity. Pity none of them thought to warn me eh?! (Note to self, my first book shall be entitled “Mammying: the unwritten rules that Mammies should be told rather than having to learn for themselves.” Too long? I’d buy it!)

In my defense, I did tell her that she had to spend €2 on a gift for Princess.  Have to teach her to share you know? #twatmum

She arrived home with SO much crap, sorry, “stuff”, that she needed an extra bag and 4 more arms to carry it.  A teddy, a broken game “Poo face”? “Pie Face?” or some such eyebrow-raise-inducing “Nevergonnahappen face” from Mammy, Cards of something I’ve never seen before…AND the best one?  A toilet for a doll.  That flushes.

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I shit you not!

And was there anything in this loot for Princess?  Was there feck? (Although the Dolly loo may come in handy for the potty training journey that lurks ahead in 2018.)

 

“She can share wif me Mammy.  It’s for BOTH of us!”

Yeah right.

So lessons learned.

Don’t assume that she doesn’t play with particular toys anymore.

And for Bring and Buy sales?  50c will do from now on.

Someday, Mammy will learn.  Until then? We’ll gin it and wing it.

(Are you following me on Bookface?  I’m on Instagranny too!  Oh and sometimes, I twit as well as Twat!)

What’s the most ridiculous thing that has arrived home in your Minion’s schoolbag?

I am Slipper Sock Symptoms Mum

Mammy was sick last week.

Not sure if I mentioned that.

It wasn’t quite as bad as ManFlu.  (Thank the Lord and the Little Donkey…)

But it did leave me festering in the same clothes for three days.  Trackies and fluffy socks and serious coziness at all opportunites.

So much so, that when I turned up to collect Mini-Me from “afterschool” on Thursday, she eyed me suspiciously.

“Are you better Mammy?” she asked as I strapped her into the carseat.

“I’m feeling much better Darling.” I answered, shocked and chuffed in equal measure that she even knew I was sick. (At least somebody noticed…is that a violin I hear?)

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.  Mammy will be all better by the morning.”

“You’re NOT better Mammy.”

“Why do you say that?”

“You’re still wearing your slipper socks under your runners, aren’t you Mammy?”

WTF?

“Dat’s how I knows you’re not better yet.”

There you go then!  Nothing to do with symptoms or temperature or medication… just look at my feet apparently.  THAT’s how you know when I’m reeeeeally not well.  😂😂😂

I am She’d SO win D’apprentice Mum

THOROUGHLY MODERN MAMMY – CHILDISH TRAITS OR LIFE SKILLS?

I watched The Apprentice this week and was reminded of this piece from last year. 👇👇

Turns out that one year on, not only is Mini-Me still the same, but Princess is equally as strong a candidate.

Lord Alan-of-the-Sugar wouldn’t last 5 minutes in MY boardroom!

And I’ll bet you Mammies can see your own Minis in this Letter of Application?
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Dear Sir Alan-of-the-Sugar,

I attach the CV of my Daughter, Miss Mini-Me of the S-Mum, who I feel must be brought to your attention.

Having watched the opening episode of your FABLIS show “Dapprentice”, I feel that IF you were to fly Mini-Me  (and her Mum obviously) to London to meet you, you would hire her IMMEDIATELY and put an end to the tedious, although highly entertaining, process of ” Dapprentice”.

For her 5 (and a half and 3/4) years, she is VERY accomplished.  I will outline just a few of the qualities she possesses which make her an obvious addition to your team.

She would certainly impress you, Her-of-the-fablis-straight-face-and-shiny-hair and Him-of-the-bald-head-and-eloquent-speaking.

In fact, I do believe that she could be your Mentor if I’m honest:

■ She is highly intelligent. Beyond her years really.

■ She is ruthless and assertive.

■ Her communication skills are superb. She speaks English, Irish and French  (Buideal means “Hi” no?). She also speaks Mini-Me which even YOU can’t speak.)

■ She is loud and can be obnoxious if the situation requires her to be so.

■ She will manipulate the knickers off an elephant.

■ If she doesn’t get her way, she will revert to tears if necessary.

■ She is loud.  She WILL be heard. There will be NO ONE in the boardroom who will be louder than her.

■ She is hugely adept at the talking AT the handset as opposed to INTO the phone like a normal, non-dapprentice person does.

■ She can change Best Friends at the drop of a hat, so really, you could fire ANYONE and she wouldn’t care.

■ She will blame EVERYBODY else in the room, even if the project has failed SOLELY because of her.

■ She believes in herself and her abilities 100%. (And so she should. She’s awesome.)

■ She can stare wistfully out a car window, seemingly ignoring everyone, but listening to EVERY SINGLE WORD and storing it as evidence for the boardroom.

■ The doll who thinks she has the “energy of an atomic bomb” would look like a fart in the wind beside Mini-Me.

■ Her negotiation skills are world class.

■ She is SUPERB at listening to instruction from her Team leader, before COMPLETELY IGNORING said instruction and doing her own thing. I call this INITIATIVE. Others would call it insolence…

■She is not beyond Blackmail or Bribery.

Mini-Me is determined and diligent.  In fact, she can be like a dog with a fricken bone if she decides she wants something.

Feel free to contact her references:

Granny of the Hill, Granny of the Liffer, Santa Claus.

(No point in asking me or her Daddy. Even SHE doesn’t listen to us.)

Good luck in your search, but honestly you won’t find a more suitable candidate than the aforementioned.
Kind regards,

The S-Mum
Secretary and PA to Mini-of-the-Me and Princess-of-the-world 😗

I am Special Fundraiser Mum

Well what can we say?

Today, we had the most festive few hours with the most wonderful people and raised lots of money for two very worthy charities.  The Jack and Jill Foundation and The Victoria Thompson Scholarship do such incredible work for so many families and children all over the country.  What better cause to do a fundraiser for before Christmas, than Children and their parents?

 

A few months ago, I commented to The Him that it’d be lovely to watch the Polar Express on the big screen again.  “Make it happen then” he said.  So I did.

 

Today, 220 smiling faces watched the Christmas Classic on the Biggest screen in Century Cinemas.

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The queues began to form at the cinema from before 11am, with the excited crowd clutching their golden tickets.

 

Tickets were punched by the Polar Express Conductor, (The Him does have a fun side outside of Jim!) and everyone, EVERYONE, received a little Jingle Bell, just like the bell in the movie, as they entered.  No one has any excuse not to believe now…

 

We thanked everone for coming and for supporting, before presenting a cheque to Sharon Thompson from the Victoria Thomspson Scholarship.

 

(We’re meeting a representative from Jack & Jill next week!) Then we told the girls and boys that the train needed some Christmas magic to get started, and so the crowd sang Jingle Bells before the much awaited feature.

 

And, just as we’d hoped, it was WONDERFUL!  It’s a beautiful movie and the runaway train scene was just as spectacular on the big screen as it was the first time we saw it.  The most magical part for me was when everyone started to jingle their little bells as Santa arrived.  It was AMAZING!

And this evening, I’m smiling from ear to ear at the photographs of families at the event, and of the kids hanging the bells on their trees at home.

Thanks to our followers and friends, we were able to present over €900 to EACH of our chosen charities; The Jack and Jill Foundation and The Victoria Thompson Scholarship.  But tonight, I can happily announce that the final total for each charity is a whopping €1000!  

The event was sponsored by Rushe Fitness and wouldn’t have happened without Anne-Marie, Pete and Mark in Century Cinemas.  Thank you all so much for supporting yet another one of my random ideas.

So that’s that… for now! It might just need to be an annual event apparently, but I’ll get tonight over me before I start planning anything else!

 

We do hope that everyone who joined us today had a wonderful time and once again, thank you to you all.

The S-Mum & The Conductor…