That Time When I Wasn’t in Charge

Every mum has their own vivid memories of childbirth; some which bring little shivers of joy when we think of them; others which deserve to be put into a secret box and never brayed of tongue again.

For me, the arrival of my wee angel and the shock that she was not after all, a he, are obviously my favourite memories of the experience.  But there is one other moment that I often think of.  It makes me laugh out loud every time.

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I still feel a trickle of mortification creep onto my cheeks when I think of it.  Because, that moment, just before my little one arrived, was the moment when I finally had to admit to myself, that I was not in charge…of anything.

I had to have a c-section. I was ready and prepared.

Everything was calm and organized and exactly how I’d imagined it would be. (I grew up on a farm, so have witnessed dozens of MamaCows go through this procedure, so I was stupidly sure that I knew the basic concept of what would happen!) The doctors would perform surgery and Mini-Me would come out the sunroof, as opposed to out the door.

I’d never had surgery before, so of course I was nervous.  As I lay there, looking up at the bright spaceship lights on the ceiling, listening to the murmurs of the surgeons and anesthetist and nurses, aware of the beeping machines around me, I had a sudden recollection of the story of a woman who felt everything as the anesthetic hadn’t worked.

In my obviously, absolutely calm, reasonable and logical mind, I realized that this would OBVIOUSLY be what would happen to me.

I felt cold substance on my leg, which jerked me back from my reverie.

“1-10?”

“Sorry?”

“On a scale of 1-10, how cold is this?”

“Erm, 10”

Cripes, where the heck was my husband?

“1-10″

“Still 10″

Ok, so now my fears were becoming a reality.

“Now?”

“8, I suppose”

Who should I tell that the anesthetic isn’t working?

What if I needed some sort of horse tranquilizer to knock my nerve endings out of action. I need to get my husband in so he can sort this…Hang on!  Who owns those legs?!

Two huge, gleaming, white tree-trunk legs are floating in front of me, just above the blue divide that Mr. Surgeon has placed above my belly.  Two very strong women are holding one each and I’m suddenly aware that the legs are indeed, mine.  There’s a serious amount of maneuvering being done beyond the blue, but the top half of my torso is happily oblivious.

And so I began to laugh.  Not a subtle giggle of course. A proper crazy woman, high on a cocktail of all of the anesthetic and other drugs that I assumed weren’t going to work.

And hence, my poor husband re-entered the room, just in time for the arrival of the Boss, to find his wife laughing like a bloody hyena.

Of course, the laughing turned quickly to tears of joy and all was right with the world again very soon afterwards.

I’d had my first ever surgery.  I’d had my first baby.  And I’d learned for the first time, that even though I thought I was in charge of things, I really and truly wasn’t.

I genuinely believe it was one of those precious moments of clarity and insight, It taught me one of the most important lessons I need to be a Mammy.

You might think you’re in charge.  You can pretend you’re in charge.  You might even convince others that you are in charge, but really, we never know when someone’s going to take control of your big white legs.

And when they do, be glad that they’re there to take control… and don’t forget to laugh.

 

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Still an Issue – Bump Shaming

It’s Memory Monday…

Body Shaming happens to all women, of all ages, of all shapes and sizes, all the time…EVEN, believe it or not, during Pregnancy. 😲
Yes, Pregnancy…
You know that time when you are eating for two and are supposed to GLOW like a fricken Christmas Tree and your body is a temple of growth and nurture, for all to admire and be in awe of?

When you’re also a hormonal wreck, paranoid, vulnerable and particularly susceptible to tears? 😢😢

When you’re growing a PERSON inside of you; sometimes more than one, 😥and you are supposed to be officially exempt from giving a continental crap about your shape for the next year and more?
Yes. Even then.

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Body shaming the Bump DOES happen.

It’s not usually intentional, but it happens.
I have a confession to make.
During my last pregnancy… (and I mean last in both senses of that word!)…I did something mean. 😈
I got so fecking SICK of people freaking out when they saw the size of my bump, that one day I decided to have a little fun with it.
I was HUMONGOUS. (And no, I am NOT exaggerating. Ask ANY of my family or friends and they will smile a dim smile and nod in agreement.) And just to prove how big my perfect bump was, the photograph below was taken when I was 36 weeks. And I wasn’t quite as big as I would be at 39! 😂👇👇👇👇👇👇

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With Mini-Me, I showed at 10 weeks.

With Princess, I got to 7 weeks before I got fed up trying to hide my bump.

I have always been quite slim so in fairness, trying to hide a bump was never going to be easy, but even loose tops didn’t cover my little (or not so little) secret.

We never really got the chance to keep it to ourselves until after the 12 week scan, but hey!
So you can imagine how big I was by 30 weeks. I looked bigger than most expectant Mammas look at full term. I remember walking into a shop one day at 31 weeks and the look of panic on the shop assistant’s face when she clocked the BUMP was hilarious. She approached me and flew through the usual chitchat to get straight to her point.
“When are you due love?”

I couldn’t help myself my Pretties. It was out before I even thought about it.
“Ten days ago”, I answered, shaking my head and rubbing my big belly, “I’m hoping a walk around the shops will help get me started.” (added puffs for effect…pause as if wincing in pain…)

“Here let me help you!” I swear to God, she ran around that shop filling my wee basket so quickly, I really couldn’t keep up with her.

“All the best now Lovey, I hope all goes well!” she cooed after me as I left. I’m pretty sure she needed a strong drink after that. and yes, I shouldn’t have lied, but I was fed up.

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For almost 10 months, you become the property of the world. (and yes, it is 10 months…9 my arse.)
EVERYONE has an opinion.

You’re so HUGE!” (Really? I hadn’t noticed. Is that why my pelvis is dragging on the ground when I walk?)😐
“I was never as big as you!” (Piss off.) 😐
“Aw poor Maria. You must be scundered…” (No Deary. I’m just pregnant.)😐
“Well Tracy SAID you were huge but I didn’t think you were THIS HUGE!” (Yup. For this one, I had to kick my sister under the table to stop her from DESTROYING the unintentionally offensive woman.)😅
“Is it heavy?” (In fairness, this question was from a lovely friend who has bever been pregnant so it was a genuine question and I gave her a genuine answer…”Yes. I feel like I’m carrying an articulated fecking LORRY on my ladybits.”)
“I suppose you can barely move with that bump?” (No. I’m just back from Irish Dancing. I’m high kicking Higher than ever before!)😂
“Aaaaaaah you’re not THAT big!” OK, OK. Who am I kidding? I NEVER heard this one! 😅😂
“You must be nearly due?” (No I’m only 28/30/32/34 weeks…cue shock/horror/sympathy/panic on their face.)
And these are only the few I remember.And so maybe now, you understand why I played the trick.

Do I feel guilty? No, but I felt really fricken frustrated a few weeks later when I didn’t have the balls to go in with my even BIGGER Bump and I really wanted a certain cheese the lady stocked. 😆😆
But seriously, Stop it. We all need to stop it. (And of course I include myself in this. We ALL do it don’t we?)

In fairness, we don’t even realise we’re doing it.

The things we say to a pregnant lady are usually not intending ANY offence AT ALL. Of course not.
But if you’re going to say anything, try not to comment on the bump.
Tell her she looks glowing, even if you think she looks knackered.

Tell her she’s gorgeous, even if she looks like the articulated lorry she feels like she’s carrying.

Tell her it suits her. She might just need to hear that, but don’t comment on the size of the bump, regardless whether it’s big or small.
The Mammy who hears “You’re so neat”, might have spent the whole night up counting baby’s kicks, or panicking that her bump is too small compared to others. 😣

The Mammy who hears “You’re huge!” doesn’t need to be reminded. Trust me, she already knows. She remembered once she opened her eyes this morning and tried, like an upturned turtle, to get out of the bed to pee. 😅
So keep it positive and keep it off the bump.

And yes I know that many people don’t mind and maybe even enjoy the attention the bump brings, but unless you’re telling them their bump is gorgeous, just Ssssssh!
And then…THEN comes the Post Baby body Shaming but that’s another post altogether.
You’re beautiful and your bump is perfect.

That is all you need to hear.

The S-Mum xxx

Seriously? Yes. Seriously!

So it seems this picture is doing the rounds again. I wrote a response to it a few years ago… it stands true!

Read the extract from 1950 Home Economics Book below. 👇👇👇👇👇

🙄Have Dinner Ready🙄

Plan ahead, even the night before, to have some sort of food in the house for your family, possibly including your husband, not because you have been thinking about him or give a continental shite about his needs, but because YOU need food so he might as well get fed too.

Most men are hungry when they get home, but most men are well able to get their own feckin dinner, and make you some while they’re at it.

🤨Prepare yourself🤨

Take a 15 minutes rest if you can. Or, sneeze so your eyes close briefly. Just make sure you remove the key from inside the front door so he doesn’t waken you with the doorbell as he lets himself into the house.
Your man should think you’re the prettiest thing he’s ever seen, even when you haven’t worn makeup for 5 days, stink like a badger’s arse and have forgotten what a razor looks like. If he suggests putting a ribbon in your hair or spraying perfume, threaten to bobbit him with said ribbon, spray the perfume in his eyes and use a pointy stiletto to give his day a little lift. Smile gayly while doing so. It’ll make his day more interesting and less boring.

😆Clear away the Clutter.😆

If you can make it from one end of the living room to the other without stepping on lego or tripping on a Paw Patrol weeble, your house is perfect. Tidying everything up before he gets home only leads to a false impression that the kids have NOT destroyed EVERYTHING on sight since 7am. Reality is good.
The messier the house, the more chance there is that He will run you a bath, or pour you a gin, realising what kind of afternoon/day you must have had with his Holy Terrors. Your Husband will probably not notice either way as he’ll be too busy answering very important emails or catching up on Bookface to give a crap. If he wants a haven of rest and order, he can just give you a hand to lift everything of the floor.
Equal rights and all that.

😑Prepare the Children😑
Do try to wash the children’s hands and faces, if only to avoid spaghetti bolognese stains on your duvets. Do not attempt to comb hair in the evening, unless you are really in the mood for a screaming match. Do not under any circumstances change their clothes. Feck that. You’re just creating more washing for your bottomless basket. Actually, remove their clothes before dinner and cover them in bin bags. You might even get another day out of their outfits if you’re really clever.

They are his little treasures, so let him play the part. Toddle off to the cinema with your mamma squad (or on your own!) and let Him do bath time and bedtime. Let’s see how much clutter has been lifted by the time you get home eh?

🤗Minimise all noise.🤗
Scrap this. Turn on all appliances before he arrives home, just to emphasise your absolute busy-mummy-ness, because unless he sees it being done, he often won’t realise it’s been done! Let the children scream and shout at each other, turn up the Tellybox and any other devices and do not attempt to hush them. Actually, if you are heading out shopping or to, like a sewing class, give them sugar before you leave. Greet him with a warm smile, be glad to see him and run out that fecking door as fast as your feet can carry you.

🤨Some Don’ts🤨
Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Wait until he is having his dinner and the kids are listening and casually remind him of what you’ve asked him 309 times to do already.
Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner. It’s him who’ll have to eat it cold, not you. Why give a hoot? Save complaints or ranting for after the kids have gone to bed, so you swear more effectively.
Men love a passionate woman who knows her mind. If his day can trump being covered in poonami, screamed at incessantly by a teething toddler or puked on 3 times, then in fairness, be nice. And then tell him he needs to change jobs.

😋Make him comfortable.😋
Indeed, wait until he’s comfortable before telling him the bin needs to go out. Stomp about screaming “Fine then I’ll do it myself!” until he gets up to do it… If you catch him lying down in the bedroom while there are still children at large, throw a cold drink over him and tell him it’ll be hot next time. Threaten to arrange the pillow on his face while he is sleeping if he doesn’t get up RIGHT NOW to help with bedtime. Speak in low, soothing, threatening tones.
It’s much more effective.

🤣Listen to him🤣
You may have a list of things to tell him. Write that list down so that you don’t forget all of the things, and then email, text and stick that list onto his forehead, before still having to repeat the same list tonorrow. Wait until he has his coat off, or better still, catch him on the toilet. He has no escape from there.

🤔Make the evening his🤔
Oh, Feck off 1950.

😄The Goal😄
Try to make your home a place where you can both manage to keep the children alive and teach them not to be completely feral and grumpy little shits, while (the odd time) having some down time together to remember that you actually do like each other.

Oh. And you can see why the man who wrote this was so anally retentive and ridiculous… there is no mention of SEX anywhere. 😂😂

Sanctimammies Toddle On By

Sanctimammy

Noun – A Mammy who believes that her way of parenting is the correct and proper way; judging and dismissing other Mums who do not parent as she parents.

Adj – Sanctimammious     

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‘Live and Let live’ they say.  But once you dip your toe into the world of Parenthood, that seems to change for some people.  It becomes ‘Do as I do, Think as I think’. There is no area in our lives which can cause heightened levels of self-doubt and self-criticism as parenting.  And often, it is the outright self-righteousness and shared opinions of other parents which makes us doubt ourselves.

Have you ever been asked something about your child, only to have an eyebrow raised, or a lip pursed at your reply?  Have you ever been nervous of telling someone how YOU do things, because you know that they do it differently?

We all have.  We’ve all been there.

Parenting styles and beliefs and practices vary, not just in countries, or counties or communities, but within homes.  For twenty houses in an estate or on a road, there will be twenty different parenting styles happening at once. But here’s the thing.

Just because you do things differently, doesn’t make you better.

Just because you work AND have kids, doesn’t make you better than the Mum who is working her ass off at home.

Just because you’re able to stay at home with your Puking minion, doesn’t make you a better Mum than the Mum who had no choice but to leave hers with Granny, because she couldn’t get off work.

Just because you Breastfeed your baby, doesn’t make you better than the Mum who, for WHATEVER reason, has to (or choses to) Bottle feed. You don’t know why they can’t (or don’t) breast feed.  You don’t have to. It’s none of your business.

Just because you use organic, reusable nappies, you are not superior to the Mammy who stocks up on Packets.

Just because your Baby sleeps well, does not mean that the Mum who hasn’t slept for 14 months is less brilliant than you.

Just because you’ve decided to wean your Baby by the guidance of some book, feeding Quinoa and avocado and peppers, doesn’t make you better than the Mum who feeds her kid mashed potato and gravy, or (shock horror!) fishfingers and waffles.

Just because your little Japonica goes to 5 activities a week at 11 months old, does not make you a better Mum than Jacinta next door, who can just about leave the house to do the shopping, because her PND is so crippling that she can’t breath.

Just because you gave birth without drugs, in a calm and wonderful experience, does not make you a better Mum than the lady who has had 3 sections.

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Now, I am NOT saying that you shouldn’t make an effort to do what’s best and what’s healthy for your baby. What I am saying is that what YOU deem right and important, might not be the same as another Mum.  Our priorities are all different. And that’s OK

Every Mum does what SHE has to do for HER family. And the only person who knows what is right for your family is YOU.

You don’t know another Mum’s circumstance. You don’t know her. You don’t know if she’s happy, or watching you getting into your car to go to work, longing to be you.

You don’t know if she’s driving to work in tears because her Baby cried again as she was dropping him off.

You don’t know how many times a day the Mammy in the office feels a gutwrenching guilt at being away.

You don’t know how the Mum in her kitchen is longing for a conversation.

You don’t know how much the Mum who has to pay bills rather than pay for Baby swim classes longs to be able to sign her baby up.

You don’t know how much time and effort that Mum, looks fab at the school gate, took to just get out the door this morning because she cried all night.  

You don’t know how much the Mum who seems to have it all, wishes that she had something else.

You don’t know how much the Mum who is mixing up formula berates herself.

You don’t know Jack sh*t.

As long as your children are fed, and loved and looked after, you’re doing great.  

How we parent our children, is nobody’s business but our own.  And what other Mums think of your parenting, is absolutely none of YOUR business.  

And if you EVER hear yourself dismissing or tutting at another Mammy because she’s doing it differently to you, lift your hand, grab a wooden spoon and hit yourself a good hard slap on the arse with it.

No one likes a Sanctimammy.

I am Something that Babywipes Can’t Beat Mum

Mammy loves the Babywipes.

Every parent loves the Babywipes, don’t they?

We really should thank the Inventor of the Babywipes.
Apparently, the first Babywipe was invented in the 1950s and first produced by a company called Nice-Pak… Almost 70 years later, I’m sure that if the inventor of the Babywipes is still alive, he or she is rolling themselves in Babywipes every evening, breathing in the sweet, musky smell of their own genius.
So to them, (or to their ghost who is possibly reading this blog over someone’s shoulder😉), Thank you for the Babywipes.
Thank you from every Mammy in the world.

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When Babywipes were born,😂 Mammies everywhere sighed in relief and danced a little pee-inducing dance with utter joy and thrill that FINALLY, there was a handy, disposable, multi-use Mammy tool.
Indeed I am sure the the inventor of the Babywipe rubbed his or her happy hands together in glee when they realised that the Babywipes were going to become SOsought after, so cherished and so NECESSARY in the lives of parents EVERYWHERE.

Not only EVERYWHERE in the world, but EVERYWHERE in every parent’s world…the changing station, the baby bag, the handbag, the car, the office drawers…

Poo poo, Bum bum, Ching ching. 😂

Another unbelievable use for Babywipes is, believe or not, cleaning grease.  Have a layer of grease on the top of your kitchen cupboards or the mantle above your cooker?  You know that kind that no product can remove?  Get out the bumwipes and watch isdissolve in front of you.  I’m not even joking!

Babywipes can remove practically EVERYTHING!

But let me tell you ONE thing that the Babywipe inventors, and indeed the modern-day Babywipe producer omitted, and CONTINUE to omit, from their research and development.

 The one thing they UNDERESTIMATED…
Weetabix.

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Yes.  Another classic staple in every home.  How the fecking Babywipe makers HAVE NOT yet figured out HOW to remove digested Wheetabix from the peachy bottom of a wriggling Poopmonster is beyond me.

Have they not got edumacated sciency people formulating and developing the Babywipes in big sanitised laboratories somewhere near “Area Fiftybum”?

Do they not do fire tests and Delta force style strength tests  or use sandblasting to ensure that these mammy weapons are teflar-ly durable?

Are there not product testers who tick off the list of “Things the Babywipe can dissolve and remove”, like:

🌈pee pee ✔

🌈 baby spit ✔

🌈 yoghurt  ✔

🌈 mashed potato ✔

🌈 makeup ✔

🌈 ordinary, run of the mill Poonamis ✔

🌈digested blueberries…well…

🌈 Pooped out weetabix… NOOOOOOOOOOO.
How is Pooped out out Weetabix NOT the TOP of the list?
Have the product testers NEVER cleaned the nether-regions of a wobbler who has eaten an average of 2 of the cardboardy biscuits a day?
I wonder if the sciency people would like a “Test bummy” to try to figure out how to fix the babywipes so that they CLEAN AND REMOVE the shards of poo, as opposed to pushing them around the soggy bottom, like little grains of sand that love to simply ROLL over the skin, clinging it like feckin mini-leeches to shiny, smooth glass…
I can offer the services of a Poopmonster.

Do you think if we Mammies offered to help them to develop their technology further, could we call the research “The Big Bum Theory”?

I’m running out of bummy jokes and puns here. I didn’t have my Weetabix this morning, so I’m pretty wiped out…

Boom.  Or should that be Bum?

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