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.

Blogger or Blagger?

Blog:   
1. a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style. 
or 
2. Blog definition, a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other .
Blogger
a person who regularly writes material for a blog.
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“Oh, you’re a blogger?”
(Insert eye roll or eyebrow raise… )
For the past 4 years, I have indeed been a Blogger.  I own my own website, on which I post my own content, which I create all by myself.
I am a writer; a writer of blogs, a putter-downer of thoughts, and I share my thoughts with the world on my site and on my Social Media Platforms.
My aim?
To have people read my words, to entertain people, to make them think…(and to someday see it in book form.)
‘But what are you selling?’  NOTHING.
‘But who do you work for?’ ME.
‘But why do you bother?’ BECAUSE I ENJOY IT.
The past 18 months has seen the rise of the INFLUENCER… and while many of us boring writing, content creating bloggers might sometimes dip our toes into this world, the blurred lines between Influencers and Bloggers is becoming a problem.
If your Blog has a readership and a strong social media presence, it is probable that savvy marketing people are going to try to get you on-board to help them to promote something.  And if, (like me), you choose to work with or collaborate with certain companies or people, and you are completely honest and transparent in your work, there’s no real problem.
For example, any company with whom I have worked, has had a set of conditions from me.
1. I say and write what I want.
2. I am only honest in my reviews.
3. My links are No Follow and
4. I disclose all partnerships with my Mammies.
If a company doesn’t like any of these, I don’t work with them.  My time is valuable.  This is not my full time job.  I don’t NEED to collaborate with ANYONE, but some fun and fablis opportunities have presented to me and I have happily helped to promote and encourage those who I have chosen to work with.
That’s me.
But am I an INFLUENCER?
I don’t think so.  I would certainly never refer to myself as one.  If people are influenced by what I write or show or use or where I go, that’s a result of my words and my blog; not my “influence”.
Influencers can be wonderful.  Don’t get me wrong.  If someone is having positive ripples in the pool of the WWW, then good for them.  If your favourite Make up Artist declares each validation or promotion as an #ad or #af link or whatever it may be, then that’s fine.
But recently, the Blogger and Influencer pool has been flooded by self proclaimed influencers who set up social media pages and try to get famous (and to try to get free stuff!).
People now refer to themselves as a Blogger after a week of posting images of shoes, or memes, or food, or ladybirds or other people’s stories onto the Instagram page.  I was writing for 18 months and nominated for an award before I called myself a Blogger… and even then, I felt like I was a fraud.
Is there anything wrong with these pages?  Not really.  Each to their own.  If you like to share images of bugs, or shoes, or eyebrows, or weights, or inspirational quotes, or your arse, go for it… (well, maybe not the last one.)
But if you want to be a BLOGGER, here are some basic guidelines:
1. You must CREATE something.  Sharing other people’s content is NOT BLOGGING.  It is sharing.
2. You should have your OWN website or platform from which you can share this content.
3. You should NOT buy or beg for shares so you can boast numbers.  You must post quality content and engage with your readers to try to build a reputable following.
4. If you buy followers, you are not a blogger, you are a Twat.
5.  If you choose to monetise your site, you must be transparent about it.
6.  If you are collaborating or working with a business, you must declare it on every post.
7. Be prepared to write to yourself for weeks, or months.  If you want fame, go on X-Factor…
8. Don’t contact complanies declaring yourself a Blogger so you can get nice things.  If you are doing that, you are trying to be an INFLUENCER, NOT a Blogger.
9. You are not entitled to ANYTHING.
10.  If a company want you to collaborate, it’s not because you are amazing and famous and an expert in any field.  Usually, it is because they see you as a good platform from which to share THEIR product or service.  In effect, you are advertising for them, in a verrrrrrrry cost-effective way. (for them).
Why am I writing this now?  It’s been on my mind for a while.  With the Blogger Bashing that is happening online, many of us are disillusioned.
I recently had a man who set up a blog on a Sunday, message me the following Wednesday asking me to share his “blog” with my followers.  Erm. NO.  Good luck with it, I hope it goes well.  Come back to me when you have some content that I can read.
I’ve also been speaking to fellow bloggers ( actual writers, not insta-bams) and the general consensus is that people are so sick of the influencers or “Bloggers” as they are so often referred to, getting bad press and giving the word “blog” a bad name.
And finally, the whole Blogger’s Unveiled saga over the past few weeks has pissed me off.
While at times the comments and tone on the page were questionable, in general, the page highlighted the level of Photoshop and lies and manipulation and absolute BULLSHIT that exists among a new gang of people who go under the term Blogger or Influencer. BU might have been controversial in his/her approach, but the page highlighted fraud.  It highlighted plagiariasm and it seems to have woken a whole generation up to the fact that it’s NOT ALL REAL.  And people didn’t like that.
Are these people Bloggers if you look at definition?
No.
If someone is selling you something, benefiting from your purchases, and NOT telling you that they are selling, they are an arse hole.
If someone is photoshopping their legs, or arse, or filtering the fandangles off themselves and claiming to be “caught unawares” or “#nomakeup”, they are an arse hole.
If someone is lying to you about products they use, or “just popping on” to show you something (which they are being paid to do) and they are not telling you that they are working for that company, they are an ARSE HOLE.
If someone is trying to sell you magic shakes to make you shit your body weight, claiming that it’s amazing, (but forgetting to tell you they’re on commission), they, my friends, are an arse hole.
And if someone sends a mass card or a death threat or a threatening letter to someone because of something they’ve read on the internet, well, there are other words that we could use for THAT type of person.
And “BLOGGER”, certainly isn’t one of them.
So are all Bloggers (and Influencers) ‘hateful’ and ‘septic’ and ‘toxic’ and ‘liars’ and ‘wannabes’ and ‘charlatans’ and ‘chancers’ and ‘saddos’ and ‘bitches’ and ‘oversharing freeloaders’ and ‘bullies’ and ‘attention seekers’?  
NO.
Most of us are just writers or creators, who were happily paddling in pools of words and images and conversations and sometimes even awareness raising.  But now, we’re swimming against a fake tan coloured tide of BS that is starting to drown us.
Most of us are wondering when the word Blogger became a bad word.
Most of us would love to people to understand that Bloggers and Influencers are not always the same thing.
blogornotyw3

Source unknown but it’s pretty fab isn’t it?

In the current climate, where a woman has to fear for her life because she is being accused (without any real grounds) of being someone else, and where the internet are cheering on a witch hunt, maybe it’s time to start reconsider using both words.
So for the foreseeable, ‘Hi I’m The S-Mum and I’m a Writer…’
(Maybe I’ll be able to use the word Blogger again some day.  Not today.)
Mammy xx

I am Sobbing at Mamma Mia Mum

Mammy is an emotional wreck this morning…
I’m talking a blubbering, snottering, breath-catching, eye-brimming slobberpot.
 
Why?
 
Because snippets of the final scenes of Mamma Mia 2 keep popping into my head. I can’t look at the feral ones without seeing their whole lives, and mine, flit in front of me. Never have I been so fecking aware of my own mortality…
 
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Am I being over dramatic?
 
Well of course, probably…maybe.
 
But I challenge you to find a more real and emotional and poignant and absolutely fucking HEARTBREAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL portrayal of Motherhood than the final 10 minutes of this fricken movie. If you can find it, let me know, so I NEVER put myself through it.
 
Now, the movie is great. A bit weird to begin and not quite as electric and magical as the first one if I’m honest. The choreography and dance scenes were a bit disappointing, but the acting and the sentiment and the one-liners are fablis. The “younger” characters are so well cast that I’m not sure it’s beyond plausible that they were grown from the DNA of the “older” cast in a lab somewhere… shockingly believable.
 
And of course the music is class.
 
But it’s the cheese and glitter and escapist nonsense that you expect and love. And you will thoroughly enjoy it.
 
And if the ending doesn’t make you:
a) broody,
b) Bawl like a toddler whose just been handed the wrong spoon,
c) question your own life and mortality and
d) want to choke your own Mammy with an eternal hug, then you are either emotionally fooktarded or you are already dead.
 
Because this would make concrete weep.
 
It’s incredible.
It’s like the Directorial team had “Let’s break them all! Even the tough bitches” as their only objective!
But seriously, it’s so well directed and so well acted and the final song is just STUNNING.
 
Yes, I shall go back to see it again.
 
Last night I cried like a baby.
This morning, my eyes are still leaking a little.
I can’t look at the girls without wanting to squeeze this little shitsters. I’ve been told to “Stop squashing meeeeee!” three times already…
 
The broodiness however lasted a whole 3.8 seconds and has thankfully passed! Close call. Don’t tell Him.
 
Have you seen it yet?
What did you think?

I am Some Bridey Love Mum

Ok so it’s a bit off topic maybe, but my Lovelies have asked for more Lifestyle content, and sure why not?

So tonight is Mammy’s advice to any Brideys in the audience.

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The Him and I got married on a Wednesday, over Christmas in 2009, which was (you might remember) the year of THAT BIG SNOW.  I’m sure it was a huge inconvenience to many.  I’m sure some people grumbled about our choice of date.

But here’s the thing about weddings, they’re a lot like parenting really.  Because everyone has an opinion (or ten) and if you try to please everyone, you’ll spin right through the whole event in a whirlwind of stress and worry.

So from an oul married woman to you, the lucky Lovely who is planning your big day, here are some of my words of wisdom…

  1. Firstly, you WILL get opinions thrown at you.  As usual, people usually don’t mean any harm or to interfere, and yet it can be exhausting.  There is NO WAY of avoiding this.  We had our whole wedding arranged and booked for 18 months before we even put a ring on.  We got engaged just 10 months before the wedding, announcing our engagement and the date and venue etc in one go… and even then, we had “You need to look at this venue/band/DJ etc.”   We didn’t.  We’d booked what WE wanted.  And it was perfect.

2.  Do what YOU want.  Don’t book a hotel just because that’s where your 4 sisters got married.  Don’t get married in a chapel/church/field because that’s what people expect.  Don’t have a video if you don’t want one.  Don’t wear heels if you don’t want to. Don’t have a top table if it terrifies you.  Don’t have a traditional first dance if you hate the thought of it.  Decide with your partner how YOU see your day, and WHERE you see it happening, and do it.  You’ll be married the same as everyone else whether you have fancy cars or 47 priests on an altar. Your Day, your way.  And yes you may have some people grumbling about how THEY would have expected it, or done it, but unless you’re marrying your great Aunt Jacinta, her opinion isn’t that important.

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3. Don’t get caught up in who can and can’t make it.  Whoever wants to be there and CAN be there, WILL be there.  Life gets in the way some times; illness, no babysitter, kids suddenly sick, weather… And while you might be genuinely sad that someone can’t make it, or doesn’t turn up, the wedding will go on without them and you’ll still be married to the love of your life.  The only people who NEED to be there, are you and your partner and whoever is celebrating the marriage for you! We had some guests who didn’t make it (or used the snow as an excuse not to make it!) and yet, the day went on and we’re still married.

4. Stick to your means:  Don’t put yourself in debt for 5 years for one day.  You don’t NEED most of the things you think you do. Why do you need the most expensive hotel?  Why do you need 6 Bridesmaids? Why do you need eleventy billion people there? If you WANT them there, go for it.  If you don’t, why are they invited? If (like us) you are both from huge families, don’t be afraid to set limits.  Only aunts and uncles, or first cousins only, or adults only… or only the family members you see and spend time with?  Imagine!  Imagine NOT inviting the cousin you haven’t seen since you were 4, or the aunty who you’re pretty sure despises you? Imagine!

If you are going to be paying for this wedding yourselves, YOU are in charge of what, when, how and who…(If getting help, of course the people who are helping to fund it should be respected and included in plans.) Yes of course, many of us want to keep everyone happy, especially our parents, but it is YOUR day and if you are going to have to leave out your team mates or workmates so some schoolmate of your Mum’s (who you don’t know) can come, it might be time to have a chat with Mum.  Surround yourselves with the people who mean the most to YOU.  (Both of our sets of parents hosted a table each at ours.  It worked perfectly for everyone. Just a suggestion!)

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5. Say NO.  “We want to get you a magician as a gift.”  “We’d love to get you doves as a gift.”   “I’d love you to wear my veil.”   ALL of these are kind gestures and if they suit you, go with them.  But if you hate magicians, don’t want to see any birds on the day (unless they’re on your plate) and don’t want to wear a veil, JUST SAY NO.  But I might offend someone… Are they you?  Are they your partner? Are they getting married? No? Well then, they’ll get over it BECAUSE IT’S NOT THEIR WEDDING DAY!

6. To Kid or not to Kid…  OOOOOOOOOh, yes.  I am going there.   You can probably guess where I’m going with this.  Do you WANT kids at your wedding?   Then THAT’s your answer.  If you have kids, chances are you’ll be glad of some company for them.  If you have nieces and nephews, you’ll most likely want them there.  I’m talking OTHER people’s kids.  It’s so difficult to draw a line here and you’ll always get “Well if the kids aren’t invited, we can’t go…”  And while this is sad, it’s not your problem.

If we are invited to a wedding and the kids are invited too, unless it’s their aunt or uncle, they ain’t going NOWHERE!  If we’re invited to a wedding and can’t get a babysitter, we don’t go.  Or one of us goes.  It makes us sad, but our kids come first.  If we are invited to a wedding without the kids, usually we highkick it up the road, delighted at the prospect of a date day!

Of course, every situation is different and there are things to consider, (eg. Your friend’s Baby is 5 weeks old and she’s breastfeeding tends to be a genuine enough one), but if it’s someone who has 3 kids and just wants to bring them, then NO.  This is hard to do.  It causes problems.  It did at ours.  But we stuck to our guns and only had the first cousins, the youngest of whom was 5.  Outside of that, nope.  Some people didn’t come.  We were sad.  We’re still married though.

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7.  Delegate:  If (like me) you are a complete Monica, this can be hard.  But rather than getting stressed about what needs to be done the week or day before, delegate.  I only had one grown up BM. Thankfully she is as OCD as I am, but she took charge of things like collecting dresses and flowers and such, allowing me to spend the day before my wedding relaxed, getting my nails done and going for tea with Himself.  I did the same the day before hers. She gave me a to-do list. I dood it.   And never mind the BMs, I bet you have a friend or two who aren’t in the wedding party but who’d love to help with stuff? Let them.  Don’t spend the week before your wedding so busy that you miss the excitement of it.

8. On the Day:  1.  Between courses at the meal, we went to 2 or 3 tables to say hi to our guests.  It only took a few minutes and it meant that we didn’t feel obliged to spend hours after the meal walking around tables.  2.  Every so often, we’d meet to take it all in. Just us. He’d nod across or I’d catch his eye and we’d go to the bar, on our own, have a drink and watch the fun unfolding around us.  If we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have seen each other all evening AND we’d have missed his cousins doing a human pyramid on the dancefloor!

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9.  Does it matter?  Problems will arise and issues will present themselves.  The people you THINK will be problematic or stressful, are usually the opposite.  No.  The drama Llama usually comes in the person you’d least expect.  No matter what arises, stop and ask yourself, Does it really matter?  Does it really matter if John Joe and Jacinta won’t come if Nancy is invited?  Does it really matter if your hotel tell you they have to change the layout of the room.  Does it really matter if your invitations have the wrong shade of mauve on the ribbons?  Does it really matter if Uncle Jenny doesn’t like the band?  NO.  So unless the problem is going to affect you and your Him or Her getting married and declaring your love to each other, feck it.  It doesn’t matter.

10.  Enjoy.   Yes it’s cliched and it’s easier said than done sometimes, but your wedding day REALLY should be THE best day EVER.  And it will be if you remember that table plans and flowers and bouquets and all that jazz are superfluous.  Only have them if you want them.  (Ditch the table pan.  I’ve been to so many weddings recently where bar the front row of tables of immediate family, the rest of the hall was free-for-all.  Worked great.    Allow other people to help, do what YOU want and remember what’s important to YOU.

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And if you disagree with anything I’ve written, that’s fine too.  My way obviously isn’t how EVERYONE would do it.  You don’t have to agree.  You do what is right for YOU.

I loved every second of being a Bride.  I loved every second of our wedding day.  I’d do it all over again in the morning… and I’d even marry the same Him.

If you are getting married, I wish you all the love in the world.  Enjoy every magical moment, however and wherever you’re doing it.

Mammy x