I am Secrets Mum

Secrets.
As parents we have sooooo many things that we keep from our kids for as LONG as possible.  There are so many truths and realities that we try our hardest to keep from their little eyes and ears.  As time goes by, it seems that our children’s innocence about all things “real life” is being tarnished earlier and earlier.  As parents, we cringe at the thought of the moment when they suddenly ask a particular question, or learn about particular things.  
We hope we won’t have to face awkward truths like puberty, sex, the birds and the bees, death etc…until they’ve reached a certain, more appropriate age, where we know that they’ll be able to digest whatever information it is. 😐
But the FIRST TRUTH that we must deal with happens soooooo much earlier than I’d EVER anticipated. 
And it isn’t for the sake of our children that we try to keep it a secret…
Oh no no no no no noooooo!
It’s ALL for the sake of the Mammies and Daddies. It’s completely selfish on our parts and it’s completely necessary. 
Because the longer we can make it before they realise that the dreaded, awful, ride-on, money eating, monstrocities in the shopping centres MOVE IF YOU PUT MONEY INTO THEM, the better for EVERYONE. 😂😂
These little fuckers are the enemy of the Mammy.  They are EVERYWHERE. They ESPECIALLY like to lurk at the exits of shopping centres or venues, so that they can lure our minions to their daft, bulgy eyed, smiling faces just as we are trying to get them out of the place.  The Peppa Pork ones are the spawn of these Devils.  Even before our minions know they can MOVE, the oversized (and frankly quite creepy) cartoon characters are plague.  Princess can’t say many words but “Paaapaaaaaa” is as clear as a fecking bell when she sees the stupid pink fecker. 😐😐
But as long as they don’t know these things MOVE, life remains safe and normal and manageable.  We can distract them from the primary-coloured puke fest and carry on easily enough.  Once they know that they MOVE, however, the proverbial starts hitting the fan and the coins start hitting the dust.
If 99% of Mammies KNOW instinctively that showing them that these yoks move is a BAD IDEA, HOW do they ever figure it out?
Three ways…
1. They spot another child on them, smiling and weeeeeeeing to their heart’s content and they realise. And then, Game Over Mamma. You lose. 😂
2. Daddies… Because Daddies don’t view these feckers with the same reason or ration that Mammies do. Daddies don’t think of the longterm effects.  Daddies don’t UNDERSTAND the turmoil and torture and tantrums they can cause! 😭 WE see them as torture equipment. Daddies see them as 30 seconds of fun to distract their little ones and themselves. (And they NEVER last more than 30 seconds do they?) 😂😂
3. Grannies/Grandas:  Because they FORGET why they NEVER ALLOWED US on them when we were kids and suddenly see them as another way to be cool and wonderful and “the bestest!” 😂😂😂 
And once the minions KNOW that these mechanical gobshites MOVE, life is never the same again.  They are armed with this knowledge that changes everything. They see things differently.
To the Mammies whose minions are still immune to the disease that is the ride-on yok, enjoy every second.  Enjoy the innocence.  Enjoy the secret and keep it from them for as long as you can.  😂😂
To the rest of us… may the odds be ever in your favour and may there be an alternative door you can use to get out of that shopping centre.😥😥
And to the creators of and instellers of them, may your nightmares be filled with rocking Peppas and smiling trains, choochooing around your head…all…fecking…night. 😂😂😂
👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

I am Starfish Mum

Today is Memory Monday.
I had a savage blast from the past this week Ladybelles.  💗

On my Instafeed, there popped up a beautiful photograph of a friend’s beautiful wee babby.
Nothing unusual there?
But I felt like a truck had hit me.

Why?
Because the perfect little one was wearing a hip harness and suddenly I was back 5 and a half years, remembering things that I haven’t thought about in, well, 5 and a half years.
Mini-Me wore the same little hip harness for 9 weeks.  Her hip dysplasia was diagnosed when she was just 24 hours old.  A student doctor spotted it, and within a few hours, she’d been fitted into the contraption that would (and thankfully did) fix her little hips.
She’d been breach from 28 weeks in my womb and was born by C-Section, folded in half with her left leg up against her left ear. Her wee ear was bent forward, that’s how crushed over she’d been!  (I remember laughing because the Furbaby came to us with a floppy left ear too.  The things that go through your head eh? 😂😂)
But anyway, in the space of a 10 minute examination, everything changed.  Now, in hindsight, we know we were soooooo lucky.
We were lucky that the student Doctor had been invited to check her. The Doctor had missed it.  We were lucky that the hospital had one of the little harnesses in stock, so she didn’t have to wait in pain.  We were lucky in that she responded well and after 9 weeks, we got the bad old harness off.  We were lucky as no surgery was required, and apart from a little phase of physio until she was 2, no follow up action was required.  She didn’t walk until she was 20 months.  In hindsight, I should have enjoyed that!  Princess has been CLIMBING since 11 months and I’m feckin exhausted! 😂😂
It’s not a big deal.  There are a million other things that we could have been told.  There are a million parents who would tut at something as insignificant as hip dysplasia.  In the scheme of things, it’s not the worst thing that will happen.  And yet, when I saw this photograph, I was over run by emotions and memories that as I spoke to The Him, I realised that I have pushed to the back of my brain.
And like everything to do with parenting, when it happens to your baby, to you, regardless of how seemingly small the issue is, it’s still your issue and it’s still horrible to deal with.
I was sitting there with my seemingly perfect little girl. and then we were the parents who had to learn how to hold her. Who had to deal with not being able to bathe her ourselves.  Who had to explain why she looked like a wee starfish (so cute).  Who got sympathetic looks from people when we were out and about.
None of the clothes she got could go on her.  She didn’t FIT into the car seat we’d bought for her.  When she had a poonami, she couldn’t be washed properly.  Her skin was chaffed and raw where the harness rubbed constantly.  She was restrained, just when she should have been free to kick and feel.
Of course, we figured out ways to deal with all of these little problems quickly.  The staff in LUH were fantastic. The moment the Doctor pulled her wee legs back and strapped them into the harness, she let a huge sigh out of her and fell asleep instantly.  She slept for 6 hours straight.  She had been in so much pain up until then.  Every time I had changed her nappy, I had wondered why she was screaming.  Then I suddenly knew and ironically, it was that realisation of her pain that softened the blow for us. So we did what all parents do.  We pulled ourselves together and got on with it and where we couldn’t shower her with water, we showered her with kisses.  😘😘

Yes it was horrid.  Of course it was hard, as a first time Mammy especially, to suddenly have everything change.  My expectations shifted.  My visions of nightly bath routines and pretty outfits went quickly out the window, but we got on with it.
And in hindsight, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Except that it obviously was more upsetting for me than I gave myself credit for.  The photograph brought back so many memories, good and bad.  It got us talking about our little Mini-Me and those few weeks.
And it made me wonder why I’ve never thought about it?  Why I’ve never thought to write about it?  Why have I put it all so far away into my mind?  I have no idea.  I was so relieved the day that the consultant took the harness off her.  And once the physio told us that she was developing just fine, slowly but fine, I cried with joy.
The day that I saw the photograph of my lovely friend’s little starfish, My Mini-Me had won the sack race in the school sport’s day and was on stage dancing that night.  And so my memory flashes were short-lived and my next reaction was that I needed to tell my friend that it will all be worth it.  That it’s a good thing that it was detected early.  That it’ll be off before she knows it.  I told her the little tricks that we found, like using emulsifying ointment and light bandages to stop the skin chaffing. Like putting light tights for age 3-4 over her wee legs and how she can still put on pretty dresses.
But most importantly, that it’s completely fine that she’s finding it difficult to deal with or to feel upset, because there is no Blue Peter Badge for brave Mammies and Daddies and sometimes, shit things happen.😳
But thankfully, in our case anyway, things were and are fine. (Look at how cute our little Starfish was!  It was actually hard to get used to needing 2 hands to hold her after the harness came off!)  She is sine and my friend’s little one will be too
So there we go.  Have to be serious sometimes you know!?.
Has anyone else dealt with hip dysplasia?  Do you have any tips or advice that you’d like to share below for my friend or any other Mama who might be dealing with it right now? Please share or PM me if you’d rather not be identified.
Hope you all had a lovely day. 💙💙💙💙
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I am Some Perspective on Father’s Day Mum

This column was harder to write than I had anticipated.
Why?
Because no matter what angle I approached it from, I found myself anticipating the negative comments from other people.
I am blessed to have only wonderful father figures in my life.  My own Daddy is the actual, official “King of all the Daddies in the world”.  (That is an indisputable fact and anyone who declares their Dad to be better, is wrong. Don’t even try to argue.)  

  But even though Daddy G is indeed The  King of all the Daddies in the world, to me, I would also argue that My Him is the King of all the Daddies in the world too.

And therein lies my problem, see?
Perspective.
If you are reading this thinking, “Well actually love, MY Dad is The King of all the Daddies in the world“, then YOU are right too.  But he is only the King of all the Daddies in the world TO YOU.(and your siblings!)
And if you are thinking “Hold up there S-Mum, my partner is actually The King of all the Daddies in the World, you silly mare!”, you are right too.
Because, we only see things from our own perspective, don’t we?
Today, those of us who can visit or call our Dads are blessed.  There are so many who wish they could,  Today, like Mother’s Day and Christmas and every other day of the year, is difficult for so many people.  There are empty chairs at so many tables, and they seem even more empty of days like today.  To my Lovelies with this perspective, I send my love today.
Others will read this and roll their eyes, because Father’s Day means little to them for one reason or another. That’s OK too.
Many Fathers will spend today surrounded by their family, opening endless bags of socks and Toblerone.  There will be packed carveries and Mr Hall-of-the-Mark shall be rolling in his money from all the cards and utter crap that we have binge bought over the past few days.  There will be lunches, and dinners and grandchildren playing and hugs and general appreciation for what we appreciate every day, but don’t always say.
But so many Fathers will spend today missing their children.  Perhaps because of distance.  Perhaps because of circumstance.  Perhaps through choice.  Perhaps because of someone else deciding they can’t see their child.  And while there are of course, so many who spend today alone for so many reasons, it is important to remember that those who are broken-hearted today, are still Fathers.

Again Perspective.
Like Mother’s Day, Like Christmas, everyone’s perspective of Father’s Day is tinted by their own experience and their own story.  While one person curses the day for the memories it stirs, another celebrates the day because of the year they’ve had.  One person hates the day because it makes them angry, another celebrates it because it makes them happy.  One person breaks their heart the whole day, another doesn’t give it a second thought.
What is it anyway?  It’s just a day.  It’s only a day.  But if you are in a position where you are blessed enough to have a Daddy or a Grandad or Stepfather or <em>any</em> Father-figure in your life, enjoy it.  Enjoy celebrating them and all they do for you. Call them.  Visit them.  Enjoy every second of today.
Because like every other day, we never know what is around the next corner.  We never know when our worlds will change.  And we never know how important seemingly unimportant days like today are, until we are forced to change our perspective.

And so you see why I found this difficult. Because my perspective will not always be the same as that of my reader, but that does not mean that one of us is wrong.
Whether you are celebrating today, or not, have a wonderful Father’s Day.   xx
Remember to follow my Daily blogs and join in the conversation on Facebook  https://facebook.com/the.s.mum or on my website httos://the-smum.com

I am “So Is Daddy babysitting?” Mum


​For My Him 😚
Is Dad babysitting? Well actually, no.

They’re his minions too or Didn’t you know?

He’s just as responsible for our little girls

As I am. Imagine! It’s a crazy old world.

 

Imagine if Dads got the credit they’re due

For all of that “parenting” stuff that they do?

For the fact that he might have had something to do

With me having babies. Afterall, it takes two!
For the feeding and changing and burping and snot.

For the fact that he also can stand by the cot,

For the fear and the tears that he so often hides,

As he holds it together, while screaming inside,

 

For helping to raise them, for holding them tight,

For also being kept wide awake in the night,

For changing the bed when it’s covered in puke,

For the times when he’s tired and still reads her books,

 

For the washing he does, (even though it’s not often!)

And the times when he hoovers, or sticks on the oven,

For the hugs and the kisses, the cuddles and smiles

For the hours he works, missing them all the while.

 

For the phone calls and texts when he’s trying to work

For the airplanes he makes with a spoon or a fork,

For the times when he kisses my forehead and squeezes

My hand, for the friendship and even the teases,

 

For reminding me every so often that he

Loves me as their Mammy, but also, as ME.

For his laughter and strength, his time and his love,

Because while I was sent these wee gifts from above,

 

They aren’t just mine, and No he’s not babysitting,

(Ok I do most stuff), but who am I kidding?

He’s just as responsible for our little girls

As I am.  He’s not just their Dad.  He’s our world.

I am Shouting in my Car Mum

It’s Rally Weekend.  

Yay…

Can you sense my enthusiasm?

(Swearing alert. If your eyes are easily offended, click on by!) 😘😘

I found myself talking out loud to some other drivers on the road last night. 

 Here are some of the things that, usually, I would have said in my Car every year over Rally weekend.  But obviously, because of my walking-talking swear jar and Little miss Repeatyarse in the back seat, I can’t indulge as usual this year.  Instead, let me get them out of my system here…
“WTF is THAT yok?”

“Is that even a real car?” 

“Shit there must be a checkpoint…nope… just GOBSHITES holding up the traffic.”

“Are you for real? Dumbass…”

“You’re not an ACTUAL FUCKING RALLY DRIVER YOU TWAT!”

“Did I SAY you could pull out in front of me?”

“Go ahead there. Pull on out! You were going anyway. I’ll just sit here shall I?”

“You’re driving a CAR, not a feckin aeroplane, you twat.”

“There are more wings on thon yok than there are wheels”.

“WTF?  Am I invisible?”

“Did you not SEEEEEEE my big fucking car?”

“Oh yeah, you are soooooooooo cool.  brrrrrrm brrrrrrrrm…Dickhead.”

“Did you not SEEEEEEE my indicator?”

“Did you stick a tumbledrier onto your car wee pet?”

“How can he even see over the fucking wheel?”

“Thon buck’s lying down.  Look! He’s driving the car, lying on his back!?”

“That car’s driving itself!  Oh wait, no,  There’s a wee head there.”

“Brrrrrrrm  BBBROOOOOOOOOOMM  BRRRRRMMMMMMMM”

“OMG. You are SOOOOOOOOOOOOO cool…”

“Gobshite.”

“Stupid twat.” 

“Don’t you fecking dare pull out there.”

“YOU ARE NOT IN THE FUCKING RALLY!”

“Oh is there an invisible lane for DICKHEADS?”

“GET OFF MY ASS YOU TWAT.”

“WTF?”

(In fairness, I have been known to say quite a few of these things at other drivers, every other weekend of the year too. )😂😂
NOW.  Let me clarify. 
 I have nothing against the rally.  🚘🚘🚘
The ACTUAL rally.  
Where the qualified and experienced sports people rally as safely as they can, within the realms of the RALLY. Where the “sport” of rallying is carried out properly and the drivers are respectful of the roads and the people who live on them.  I love the buzz and business it brings to the town.  I don’t follow it myself, but I don’t HAVE to.  I get what people love about it and it’s fantastic for our county.
It’s a brilliant event, well run and exciting for those who follow it. 🖒🖒
What I hate however, are the Gobshites who THINK they are in the rally. 😡😡😡

Who declare themselves Rally Fans, when really it’s just an excuse for them to stand around  comparing the size of their knobs and pipes at various locations, nowhere NEAR the ACTUAL rally.  

Who pollute our ears with their stupid car growls and revving at every opportunity. 

 Who for some reason think it’s cool to make circles and 8s all over our lanes and roadways in the middle of the night, while the REAL rally drivers are in bed.. 

Who THINK they are in the rally, even though they go NOWHERE near the stage that day. Who make us have to reconsider using certain roads on our journeys because we know that that is where they like to meet up and pretend to be rally drivers. 

Who risk the lives of others because, well, because they’re gobshites really.  
Yeah.   So, I don’t like the TWATS.  
And now, because I am a LAYDEE, (and I have vented here), my little Darlings shall not have to listen to my colourful language in the car.  Instead, they can watch all the cool, colourful, ACTUAL rally cars and Mammy can practice her lipsync skills in the front seat. 
Go on.  What are your favourite things to say/shout in your car?

And if you don’t shout at other drivers, we probably can’t be friends anymore.
Good luck to the REAL rally drivers in the REAL rally by the way. And to the ACTUAL rally fans who FOLLOW the rally,   I do hope you all have a safe and brilliant weekend.
 I won’t shout at YOU, I promise. 😂

I am Setting her in the Car Mum

Have you ever wondered what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? 😭😭
Let me show you.  👇👇👇

Imagine the inner monologues of the Mammy and the Princess…😂
Mammy:  “I shall gently set my perfect little Princess into her car seat and strap her in securely and we shall be on our merry way to continue the 287 errands I am trying to get done before we pick Mini-Me up. I am a very organised and clever Mammy who has ALL of my shit together and can not be stopped by anything today.  I shall put Princess into the car and drive to my next destination without any issue.”
Princess: “Will you feck Wench…” 
Mammy: “I am in charge. I am a strong Lady. I shall NOT be controlled by a wobbler.”
Princess : “How’s that going for you Woman?”
Mammy: “Oh how strong you are my Little Princess. Not to worry. I WILL get you into the carseat. I AM in charge.  I am strong.  I am in control.”
Princess: “You are a twit. I can do this ALL DAY Bitch.”
Mammy  “Why are you so strong, you stubborn little fart?”
Princess “Where do you think I get it from?”
Mammy “FML”
How was YOUR day? Any little planks? 😭😭
Have you found me on Facebook yet? Daily smumbles @the.s.mum xx

I am Saying it out loud Mum

Grab a cuppa Ladybelles… it’s a long one today. 😂
💙My little Bitch, Anxiety💙

 

Being a Mammy is hard.  Everything changes.

 

Your body. Your home. Your routine.  Your relationship.  Your friendships. Your mind.

Everything.

 

But it’s worth it.  It’s soooooo worth it.  

 

Yes, you’ll experience exhaustion like you’ve never imagined.

Yes, your hormones will be a mess for a few months (I’d argue forever more, but I’m no expert!).

Yes, life will never be the same again, but the love and the joys generally outweigh the negatives. 

 

And while you might feel like you’ve lost “you” on your journey to bring another human into world, YOU WILL return, a better, stronger, more wonderful version of yourself.

 

Before I had my Mini-Me 5 years ago, I thought I was on top of things.  I’d never really struggled with my thoughts, with my mind.  I could sleep when I was tired.  When I went to bed at night, my brain generally allowed me to sleep.  I lead a ridiculously busy life and I felt invincible.  

 

We were over the moon to find out that she was on her little way, and began painting and shopping and all the rest.  Then, at 16 weeks, my heart decided it was going to misbehave and landed me in hospital.  It misbehaved for the duration of my pregnancy.  I was put off work for the remainder, I had to give up so many things that I loved: my exercise, the show I was choreographing and (gasp) caffeine.  I went from being Everyone’s reliable somebody, to sitting on my ever expanding bum at home…

 

The world carried on around me…

 

For the first time in my life, I struggled.  

It’s only now, 5 years on and another baby later, that I can recognise that I was probably, definitely, possibly dealing with anxiety and I was probably, possibly, definitely, a little bit depressed.  

 

Have I ever been diagnosed with anything? No.

 

Have I ever told my Doctor I was struggling? No.  (I was afraid they’d take the baby off me.  Ridiculous eh?😐 )  

 

Can I say categorically that I have struggled with my mental health, both after and during pregnancy? 

Yes.  

For the first time ever, I can say it, or rather, I can write it.  

 

In the same way that I now know, The Him knew.  My Mum probably knew.  My sister has no slows on her. 😂 My closest friends probably knew.  But of course, because I pretended that I was fine, no one said anything out loud.  I convinced everyone around me, and myself, that of course I was fine.  

 

I’ve still never said it to a Doctor.  I have however said it to my Husband.  And the day that I told him that I was struggling and that I didn’t know what exactly was wrong with me, things began to get better.  I still have shit days.  Who doesn’t? And even though I know on certain days that I have NOTHING to be sad about, it doesn’t stop me being sad.  There are still days and weeks where, regardless of how wonderful my life is, (and it is mostly!), I can’t see past the great big clouds that seem to be getting in the way of my sunshine a little bit.  
I’ve come to realise that that is not just me.  

That is life.

But I’m learning how I need to deal with it, for me, as me.

 

I’m feeling good now.  I can honestly say that 18 months after Princess was born, I’m only recently feeling like the old me again.  Physically and emotionally.  

But the anxiety is always there.  

 

She lurks.

She fizzes through me, usually when I’m not stressed, ironically enough.  It seems that adrenalin and stress keeps her at bay, and then when things are sailing along nicely and I’m physically relaxing, she bubbles from my tummy, right into the tips of my fingers and it stays there until she’s done.  

 

How do I deal with her?

 

Writing. My blog has been my therapy, even when I didn’t understand that it was.  Also, Rescue remedy, cutting out alcohol, upping the exercise… and telling My Him.  

 
Even saying the words “I’m anxious and I don’t know why” makes it OK.  Once I know that it’s not just me, in my head, it’s easier to batter that little bitch back into her box.

 

She’ll never go away. She’ll sit in the box and wait until she senses my weakness again, until life seems quiet and good and this Mammy thinks she’s got her shit together again.  And then she’ll pop up and say “ahahahahha!  Oh no you don’t Madam”… 

 

And if I think back over the years, she’s always been there.  Hindsight is 20:20 isn’t it?

I just didn’t recognise who she was.  I thought she was low blood sugar, or exhaustion, or stress.   She was actually panic attacks and I was just so ridiculously sure of my own mental health that I didn’t recognise her.  

Why do I say “she” and not “it”?  
Because how I feel is not an IT.  My feelings are part of ME.  But these particular feelings are not only ME, they are a different, unwelcome little PART of me, and so I will refer to her as She, because it makes me feel like I’m in charge.  I’m not afraid of her.  I’m just sometimes influenced by her negativity.  But I will not give her a name.  She’s not THAT significant.  And just like my two minions, I’m in control of her…mostly! 

 

I’m not sure if this makes sense.  Maybe it doesn’t.  And I’m very aware that someone who has suffered and been diagnosed properly with such issues, might be tutting at my ramblings, but all I can do is say how I have felt and how I feel sometimes.  I’m not saying that I understand depression or anxiety.  I’m simply saying that just because a Doctor has never typed it in someone’s notes, it doesn’t mean they haven’t dealt with it.

 

Was it becoming a Mum that brought it to light?  Yeah, probably.  And a few other things over the last few years made me re-evaluate important parts of, and people in, my life.  

 

Mammies are afraid that admitting weakness makes us weak.  One of my most empowering moments, as a Mammy, as a wife, and as a woman, was realising that admitting weakness gives me strength.  

“There’s strength in numbers”. “A problem shared is a problem halved etc”.  Clichés yes,  But there’s truth in most clichés, isn’t there?

 

And so there we go.  The post I never thought I would write.  Because S-Mum has NEVER suffered from mental health problems.  Officially.  On the record.  I’ve never been diagnosed, but yes I have struggled. 

 

Maybe there is nothing to diagnose now, but in the past, if I had only had the guts, or in my case, the cop on, to realise or admit that things weren’t right, a doctor might have said the words out loud.   

Who knows?

She might some day.

 

And so be it.  Because it’s about time that we, mums especially, should be able to admit that sometimes, it’s not all simply a phase.  Sometimes, it’s not just tiredness.  Sometimes, it’s not just hormones.  

Sometimes, it’s something more and sometimes, we need help.

 

I’m not qualified to counsel, or diagnose, or treat.  I am not a psychologist.  I am not a Doctor.  I am not a councillor.  I’m not going to suggest that just because I’ve come to realise that I have a little Bitch called Anxiety to batter every so often, that I am an expert.  Of course I won’t.  That would be ridiculous.  Just because you’ve sat in a Ferarri doesn’t mean you can fix one does it?  

 

NO, so just because someone has experienced something, that doesn’t mean they know what YOU should do to fix YOU.

 

But if you feel that you can empathise with a little too much of what I’ve written, please ask for help.  Tell someone you’re struggling.  Be strong and admit that you feel weak.  Say it out loud.  It won’t sound as ridiculous as you think it will. 

 

And you’re allowed to be weak.  No one is strong all of the time.  

 

And do you see that little Bitch Anxiety?  She’s only as strong as we let her be.  She’s like a bully.  If one person stands up to her, she stands her ground, but when she sees that you have back up, she’ll soon retreat to her box.  

So ask for back up.

And put that bitch in her box.

 
 💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙