I am Secrets of S-MumΒ 

​Want to know the Secrets of S-Mum?


The secret is…

There IS NO MAGIC PILL that turns you into Mary of the Poppins.

Most days, I’m so FAR from being a perfect parent that I fear that even my kids have their Crap more together than I do.
Like EVERYTHING, there is no quick fix. There is no magic spell.
There is no manual.  

(Well OK… there are parenting guides and books obviously, but when “What to Expect when you’re Expecting” omitted the line “You’re going to push a water melon through your ladybits and realise that you’ll have NO idea WTF you’re doing EVER AGAIN”, it lost credibility in my eyes.) 
But there is ONE TRICK…
Knowing to ask for help and knowing where to find the CORRECT information from the RIGHT people is key.
There ARE a huge amount of resources and services and businesses right here in Donegal that are available to us S-Mums and Dads, and we often don’t even know where to look for them.
So while I can’t give you the Secret to being an S-Mum, I CAN put so many Information services, Businesses and Experts into the BIGGEST hotel in town, that the walls are throbbing like a wee heartbeat in the doppler yoke!
I am bringing almost 50, (YES 50!) Qualified Professionals, Experts and Services to Bump & Beyond.  

We have EVERYTHING covered: from fashion to fitness, pregnancy to potty training, Sensory Play to SLEEP…
You’ll be able to SHOP from dozens of AMAZING Pregnancy and Baby Business, with NEW LOCAL MOMPRENEURS launching on the day.

Our Princesses and Superheros are returning (with a VERY special performance by a certain Princess…) and there’ll be a Kids’ Corner and Facepainting.
We’ll also have Baby Yoga Demonstrations and the “Paparazzi” will be there snapping your little Halloween Ghouls and Goblins as they haunt the hall.
The most renowned Midwife in town, Geraldine Hanley, shall be there to answer your questions and Fitness Expert Emmet Rushe from Rushe Fitness will be addressing post pregnancy fitness.
Parent Hub, Parent Stop, Citizens’ Advice and The Women’s Centre (to name but a handful!) will be there to guide you through the vast range of services available to parents locally…
The first 50 Mummies to arrive will receive a FABLIS Goodie Bag and the exhibitors are running amazing offers on the day.
AND I am giving you the BEST gift ever… An opportunity to listen to and speak to the HUGELY ACCLAIMED and sought after Sleep and Behaviour Therapist Mrs DENISE GILLESPIE!
And seriously Ladybelles, this is only a fraction of what is planned for the day.  Keep an eye on Bump & Beyond for more details this week.
So, No.

I don’t have the answers.  I don’t have all the information. I don’t have any magic tricks or capsules…but I CAN put as many people WHO DO under one roof.
I AM simply a Mammy who struggles in the same way that EVERY other parent struggles, (I just happen to like a challenge and to be quite OK at organising small and subtle and quiet events.)
So please do come along next Sunday.
Hit the Likey button if you see this and feel free to invite anyone who might be interested in the comments section below.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all Ladybelles.

Lots of love xx

I am She’s way too clever Mum

​”Mammy is my tongue black?”
Somewhere along the last few days, someone has imparted this gem of information to my Minion.

And while this crap might have worked on US as kids, the minions have evolved. 

They are FAR beyond old wives’ tales or legends. 
Gone are the days of believing EVERYTHING you’re told, and being too terrified that there might be a LITTLE bit of truth in it, to even ATTEMPT whatever crime you’d been told would turn your tongue black, or freeze your face or make your nose fall off.

Nowadays, children are WAAAAAY too clever.

Or maybe the word I’m looking for is “manipulative”?
Mini-Me was rambling about her day in the back of the car.

I had listened for the first 6 minutes and then successfully responded appropriately enough in the correct pauses for her to think I was listening for another 5.
Then she announced “and we went to the match with Michael Murphy and I won you know?”

(Obviously it was the excitement of her tone and my FABLIS Mammying skills that brought my attention back to where it should have been… NOTHING to do with the mention of Thor. πŸ˜‚)
“Did you REEEEEALLY?” I asked laughing.

“Yup! And then we got back on the bus and came to school so you could collect me. I’m not lying Mammy honest.”


” Sewiously Mammy! Look! Is my tongue black?”
We were stopped at a traffic light by now, so I turned around to see her sticking her tongue out as far as she could.
“Why are you asking that?”

“Ith my tongue bwach Mammy?” ( tongue still out!)

“No. It’s not black Darling.”

“See!” (Smug little toot.) “My tongue isn’t bwack so I AAAAM telling the twoof.”
I continue driving, and she continues rambling about playing football wif Michael-of-the-Murphy.
And I laugh to myself.
Because, while I remember being TERRIFIED that my tongue would ACTUALLY turn black, or that an apple tree would ACTUALLY grow in my tummy if I swallowed the pips, MINI-ME is able to TWIST the old fable to use as substantiation and verification of her “Twoofs”.
I may give up now Lads.

She’s not even 5 and she’s two steps ahead of me.

And I may look forward to her graduation from Law school, because I have a feeling she is going to make a damn fine legal type.
So what were the stories (threats) you were afraid of as a kiddy? 

​The Him πŸ‘€ has childproofed the kitchen.
Isn’t Him clever?
Princess can no longer pull open the cupboards or potentially hurt her little self with dangerous kitcheny things.πŸ’–
Princess is intelligent but not so intelligent that she can figure out the clever clips from Clevamamma.

Princess is a little bit safer now.😍😍
So is Mammy.
Mammy too is a little bit safer now.😐
Because Mammy is not quite intelligent enough to figure out the bloody clips either and so now Mammy also can no longer open ANY of the kitchen cupboards.
Mammy is only able to open the one cupboard that The Him left Clevasafe clip free, but that cupboard is full of tupperware and lunchboxes and other useless, but safe-for-her-to-play-with crap, that Mammy really COULD dump because she NEVER uses anyway.
So today, because Mammy’s kitschen is now babyproofed AND Mammyproofed, everyone will be eating the VERY limited contents of the FRIDGE and they’ll be eating out of tupperware and lunchboxes! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I am Sssssh I’m Reading Mum

​I actually can’t remember the last time I read a book.

An ACTUAL book.. you know..with a plot and characters and twists and resolutions and stuff?
Since Princess arrived, I’ve had the same book sitting beside the bed.  “Making it up as I go along” is a collection of essays and articles by the very wonderful Marian Keyes.  It’s perfect for busy mummies, because you can dip in and out of it and you don’t feel like you have to start over again if you haven’t lifted it in 6 weeks. It’s delightful.
But this week, seeing the trailers for The Girl on the Train ignited a little spark in me that I thought had disappeared.  I wanted to READ A BOOK.

Not a kindle. Not a screen… an ACTUAL book, made of PAPER and INK.
 From the minute I could read, I was EATING books.  Indeed, Mother often reminds me that I ACTUALLY loved to eat paper as a baby! πŸ˜‚ But seriously, the parentfolks couldn’t save the children’s allowance fast enough to keep me in Roald Dahl.  In fact, Mr Dahl himself couldn’t write fast enough for me.  I remember waiting for the next book. Oh the utter joy when the bookshop in Derry or Strabane FINALLY got “Going Solo” in!  (Remember how the Norn-Iron shops ALWAYS had the cool stuff in 3 years before here?) πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Between Roald Dahl’s masterpieces, I lived in Narnia and often went off on adventures with The Famous Five.  Life was good in my little world. I honestly would have read the side of the cereal box. There were never enough words…never enough stories…never an end to where the words could take me.  
Reading sent me to places I still only dream about visiting.   It kept me company.  It taught me that you can escape ANYTHING, forget about EVERYTHING and travel the world with the most interesting people, from the comfort of a chair or under the covers of your “Rainbow Bright” Bed.
My favourite place in the world to read was at a hedge in one of Dad’s fields, where I used to hide from my 27 siblings πŸ‘­πŸ˜‚ with my book and a cushion and a bottle of diluted juice! It was close enough to home to hear Mum call us for dinner, but far enough away that I felt like I was off somewhere magical. (I still read there.  I’m writing this from that exact spot. It’s where we built our house. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–)
And the amount that I read as a child MIGHT have influenced my career choice! πŸ˜‚  And it’s why I read to the girls EVERY NIGHT. I can’t even threaten no story at bedtime, because it’d upset me more than Mini-Me! πŸ˜‚

It breaks my heart when I meet teenagers who honestly have only ever read the books they had to read in school.  They see it as a chore…as a punishment even.  So when I can get them to actually ENJOY Shakespeare or a novel, or Heaven Forbid, POETRY, it makes me happy.  Do they all enjoy it? Probably not, but it’s not for the want of trying! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Before I became a Mummy and TIME got sucked into some other dimension, I read lots.  Mostly Chick-Lit if I’m honest…much to annoyance of the Him.

 “How do you read that muck?” (He’s never gotten over Bridget Jones 2!)  

“I teach John Donne for a living. This ‘muck’ doesn’t require me to think!”

(The Him loved to read too.  But then he met Jim and Jim is so needy that The Him rarely has time to now read anything other than edumacational stuff.)
So The Girl on the Train? Have you read it?
Apparently it’s a superb piece. And I want to read it before I see the movie, so I’m sitting here sniffing the pages and a little part of me is 10 again… I’m off on an adventure. 
Train departing Platform 1…

I am Soppy Mum

​My Princess is a legend.
I’m proud of her every day. Every time I look at her fudgey little cheeks and those HUMONGOUS eyes, my heart melts.  She’s a wee dote and while I love both of my girls equally, she’s the only BABY I have left… Her sister is ready for college… πŸ˜‚ 
I’ve always been delightfully smug when I could say things like “Ah she’ll go to anyone”  and “She NEVER makes strange!” In fairness to the wee toot, my whole “Bump & Beyond” event was inspired by her and we’re a very busy family, so it’s fair to say that she’s been used to being handed to other people “for a minute” since she was born!  She’s a truly easy baby, if there is such a thing? 

She’s easy going and happy as long as someone is smiling at her…it doesn’t matter if she knows you…just SMILE DAMMIT! ☺
But in the past few days, she has suddenly realised that Mummy has a habit of buggering off and she has decided that it’s time to protest.
Since I returned to work, I’ve been missing her terribly.  I miss both of them obviously, but Mini-Me is off on her own wee adventure and is sooooo happy at school that it’s hard for me to be anything OTHER than happy for her. 

 Princess on the other hand, is still my baby.  She still at that precious stage of “firsts”.  I’ve been with her for all of them so far, but now that I’m off out at work again, I’m starting to get sad about what I’m missing.  
In the past week, she’s decided to up her GUILT GAME: Startled looks as I hand her to Granny. Crawling after me shouting “Mama Mama!”. Whining as I go out the door in the morning. 😭
It’s breaking my stupid heart, because it’s so sudden.  It’s as if she’s finally understood that I’m leaving.  I’m simply going to work, but o her, I’m ABANDONING her!! Ok, well I exaggerate obviously, bit still.  It’s taking the shine off my enthusiasm for going back to my lovely workplace a little.
But the sad eyes when I’m leaving are happily countered by the new excitement she shows when I come home.  She bounces out of the arms of whoever is holding her.  She smiles that adorable smile and she squeals with excitement and pulls my hair while she slabbers all over me! The Mummy Bun is up within 2 minutes of entering the room and no matter what I’ve been doing or where I’ve been, that mummy bun means I’m back where I should be.
And that’s what keeps me going.
Because as much as we’re both having to get used to our new routine…we will.  And while she WILL sometimes get upset as I leave, as long as I know she’ll react with such pure and perfect love every time I come home, it’ll get me to hometime each day.
Was I the same with Mini-Me? Of course, but I suppose this time feels a little different as I’m “aware”.

  Aware of how quickly they grow up…

Aware of how suddenly Mini-Me stands in front of me as an independent,  ass-kicking almost 5 year old…

Aware that before I know it, Princess will also be off to school and running out of my arms without even thinking about missing me…

Aware that each of her “lasts” is most likely MY lasts as a Mummy too.

So there you go.

Soppy Mum for a change.

No funnies tonight.
I’m on my best behaviour after Mini-Me’s last words to me before bedtime… “I’m telling my teacher on you.”
Is it Gin o’ clock yet?


I am Survived Hell and Back Mum

​I despise Peppa Pig.🐷

Yes, I said DESPISE!

No, I’m not going a bit too far.
She is a walking, talking, whining, obnoxious little lump of pork, with THE most annoying voice, who tells her Daddy he has a fat tummy, hangs up on her best friend when she is jealous and speaks to her brother George in the most patronising voice EVER! 

Peppa drives every Mummy, including Mummy Pig no doubt, to thinking about wine at 1pm.

She’s bratty and irritating and I TRY weekly (in vain) to BAN her from the tellybox in Smumble Hill.

She and I do have ONE thing in common. 😐
We both love jumping in muddy puddles.
Yesterday I completed Hell & Back Hercules in Sligo.
Hell and Back is a 10k (12k really) obstacle course through muck and mud and rivers and all sorts of shit.  (It’s on a working farm🚜, so I do not exaggerate here.)


The start was the worst part for me.  Talk about the gates of hell…😈😈😈
We were met with AN ICE-BATH where you had to step in and duck yourself under a row of tyres to get out the other side. I am not a fan of water and I surprised myself when I did it. I’d like to say it’s because I’m so brave…in reality, I’m just far too STUBBORN for my own good. 

I jumped in, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and pinched my nose and under I went. 
I emerged gracefully, like a dolphin leaping beautifully from the sea, without even a ripple behind me and landed like a gymnast…

My arse.
I remember as I emerge flailing and gasping like a fish that I wear contact lenses and so I have to get my eyes wiped dry before I can open them.  I’m trying to wipe them, but the stupid gloves I’m wearing are simply sloshing more water onto my face.  I know there are others trying to get out behind me so I have to get out quick.  There’s a steward shouting “Focus FOCUS!” at me. I’m shouting back another F word which I shall not repeat right now. He tries to help me out, but the next cretur behind me tumbles me as He emerges from the hell bath and I “graciously” FALL arse first out of the big container and ONTO “Focus Fecker”.  In his defence, he catches me, slaps me on the back and kindly and encouragingly screams “GO! GO! GOOOOO!”
Good start.  

But nothing could be worse for me than that start, so off we go!
We wade through rivers, jump over ditches, clamber over round bales, sink into muck, slide down hills, climb over nets and tree logs, fall into sludge, get stuck in the mud, lose shoes…
We get slapped in the face by rogue briars, and stung on the arse by PAINTBALLS as we run through forests.

We get ELECTROCUTED as we crawl under obstacles and SCRATCHED by barbed wire if we don’t keep our bums low to the ground.
We jump, leap, crawl, run, slip, slide and fall.
It’s like The Blair Witch Project combined with The Hunger Games … with a bit of Carry On Camping thrown in for good measure. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
The sounds are memorable.

We hear screams behind us and ominous cheers ahead of us. 

There’s some swearing…

 OK. Swearing us the language in Hell and Back. There is a LOT of swearing.
But mostly, laughter.

Glorious, bellyaching, snorting and snaughling laughter.

Strangers help strangers.

 We get encouragement from people who we’ve never met before. 

We get pulled over walls and pushed up slopes and no one really gives a hoot who owns the hand that has the misfortune of pushing your arse up or over! 
I surprised MYSELF with how easy I found most of it.  I’m fitter than I give myself credit for. I am good at jumping, not bad at falling πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚and I can lift my leg higher than I thought I could! πŸ˜‚ Although the course was long and exhausting, I did it no bother. I think I even surprised the Him. πŸ‘€
But what I wasn’t prepared for, was the comeraderie.

28 of the Rushe Fitness gang went to Hell yesterday and I must thank them for being the nicest, kindest, funniest shower of head-the-balls that I’ve ever had the pleasure to spend a day rolling in the mud with!  

Even those who finished earlier, waited at the 10ft wall to help the rest of us over, and then we all ran through the finish line together. As a team.
It’s tough.

It’s 12km of mayhem, but it’s easily the MOST FUN I’ve had in a long time.

I was 10 again, running through the farm, getting stuck in muck and “accidentally” shocked by electric fencing.

We were grown ups on an adventure.

We were splashing in muddy puddles.
And at the end, I had the nicest Pulled Pork Bap I’ve ever tasted. 😈😈😈
Gotta love Peppa and her muddy puddles don’t ya? 🐷
Look at how shiny and white we were at the start?

But look at how happy we look at the end! πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

Hope you all had a lovely weekend Ladybelles. I’m off for a bath full of Epsom salts…πŸ’–??πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–
#hellandback #hellandback2016 #SMum #rushefitness #muddymummy #peppapig

I am Sir Alan Sugar Mum

​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 Β (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 4.5 years, she is VERY accomplished. Β 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.
β–  She is highly intelligent. Beyond her years really.

β–  She is ruthless and assertive.

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

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

β–  She will manipulate the knickers off an elephant.

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

β–  She is loud. Β She WILL be heard. There will be NO ONE in the board room who will be louder than her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

β–  Her negotiation skills are world class.

β–  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…

β– She is not beyond Blackmail or Bribery.
Mini-Me is determined and diligent. Β 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 Lifford, 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.

I am Sign Lie Mum

​The joys of before she can read…
I’ve been hugely impressed by how much Mini-Me has picked up since starting school.  Her signature still looks like a roller coaster designed by a drunk Donald Trump, but she’s working on it. 
Her reading? 

I’m quite happy for it to stay where it is for now, because do you know something?

Once that little Dictator can read, S-Mum is fooooooked. 😐😐😐
Today, we went to Glenveagh National Park.

  (It truly is THE most exquisite place in Donegal. If you haven’t been for AGES, GO! We started going over on Sundays last year and are all slightly addicted to the place now.)
My FAVOURITE thing about Glenveagh is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO PHONE COVERAGE! 

AND EVEN BETTER…NO interweb access!
That’s right!


It’s fricken FABLIS!

And therefore it’s perfect for family catchup time. πŸ‘­πŸ‘€πŸ‘ͺπŸ’‘
I’ve referenced Mini-Me’s broken volume control before.

It’s not broken as such.

I don’t think she has one.

Actually, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have one.
She’s even loud in the wilderness.

Animals run and hide.

No parent has to use the words “Sssssh!” or “Stop shouting!” in a space as vast and HUGE as Glenveagh.

Except us.
Yes.  She’s THAT LOUD! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Generally, as we walk down to the castle, over Troll Bridges and up mountains and onto the LellowBwickWoad, we let her shout away, but when we enter the castle grounds, we have to try to turn the volume down, just a little.

It never works.

It’s like the BIGNESS of the place makes her think we won’t hear her, so she shouts…and shouts…and shouts. And she doesn’t give a crap who hears her.
So reading.


Mini-Me can not yet recognise any words other than her name and “Gruffalo”.

And today I realised just how handy it is that she can not yet read.
Today I used the “Sign lie”.

You know what I’m talking about.

Don’t pretend you don’t…

You’ve all done it, admit it. 😈😈😈
As we entered the grounds and I was telling her to “be a little bit more quiet now”,  we passed this sign.πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

And I said “Look! You must be quiet. The sign says so.”
Because, this sign says “No shouting please. Be quiet in the castle gardens.”

Can you see that?

It does doesn’t it? πŸ˜‚
“OK Mammy.”
And that was it.  She actually did stop shouting. 

For a few minutes at least.
 I was suddenly very aware that my time of having the “sign lie” will end quite soon.

Darn her lovely teacher! πŸ˜…

And so, I must use it at every opportunity until it does.
Bad Mammy!
Hope you all had a Stupendous Sunday.