Friendship Bras… Does Yours Still Fit?

This year has been weird. And the whole idea of friendship has been weird too.

Many of us will say that we’ve had friendships change, for better and for worse.

We’ve tightened our circles. We’ve made new friends. (Isn’t the tinterweb amazing in fairness?)

We’ve been chatting to strangers online and some really fun connections have been made. Some of us have made an effort. Most of us have retreated into our own wee worlds and only let a few in. Maybe you’ve had zoom calls or been in Wattsapp chats or messenger groups. Maybe you’ve removed yourself from chats that you found to be zapping the life out of you.

The list of ways that we have been dealing with social interaction, or lack thereof, is infinite.

And we’re all different.

I’ve been through enough “friendships” in my lifetime to know that they don’t always last.

We’ve all had friends not reply to our calls or messages.

We’ve all had the message group that has stopped pinging.

We’ve all had the realisation that we’ve not been invited to something.

We’ve all had the friends who’ve unfollowed or deleted us.

We’ve all had the friend who took themselves out of the message group for some reason.

I’m sure every one of you reading this can empathise with some of this. Maybe you’ve reassessed who your friends are. Maybe you’ve been hurt. Maybe you’ve felt left out. Maybe you’re the friend who has cut ties with someone.

I saw a meme about friends last week announcing that If they don’t check in on you, they’re not worth your time….” or something to that effect. So many people were commenting and agreeing…

BUT

In the past year, we have all been through so much.

Most of us have literally had to put all of our energy into keeping things going. Or “between the ditches” as one of my mates says.

And for most of us, our priorities changed.

We’ve all coped, (and not coped), differently.

And maybe the friend who “cut you out” or “didn’t bother about you”, just couldn’t. Maybe they just had a million other things happening and you weren’t a priority.

It may seem harsh, but the reality is that no one owes us anything.

No one is required to message or call or include us in anything.

Everyone has been fighting their own battles for the past year and yes, there may be relationships that will need effort to be rekindled and rejuvenated, that will eventually be OK again.

But maybe there are relationships that were intended to fizzle out.

So maybe, let them go?

Friendship is a two way thing. If there isn’t effort from both sides, it won’t work.

Everyone comes into our lives for a reason, and if they leave, they might have left memories. They might have left scars or hurt. But even those people teach us something, either about people, or about ourselves.

I care deeply about people I let into my life.

I try hard to make people feel valued and cared about.

But if I think for one second that I am upsetting or having a negative impact on someone’s life, I feel sad.

I don’t get annoyed if someone removes me from their circle or from social media. If what I say or post makes someone feel badly, then I’m pretty damn proud of them for hitting block. Or whatever button they press.

We all got caught up in the glamour of all of the friendships and social circles in the chaos of pre-covid life. And I think many of us blurred the lines a bit.

We called people we really didn’t know very well, “friends”.

We called acquaintances from events or different communities we were in, “friends”.

We have the added complication of social media where genuine and brilliant connections CAN and are formed. But until the person you’re connecting with has seen you at your best and at your worst, should we really call them “friends”?

We all define friends differently.

I have a very small and very tight little circle. I’m so very lucky. There are three ladies who have been in my life for many, many years. I have one or two buddies who I adore and who give me such joy in our conversations. I’ve always been open to making new friends, even as an adult. But I try not to confuse all of the different ‘types’ of friends.

True friends are like a favourite Bra; the ones we go to for comfort. The ones we don’t need to put on frills for. The ones who have been in your drawer for so long, it would be empty without them. They’re safe, comfy and supportive. And they might not be worn every single day, but they’re our go-to every time. And they don’t need matching knickers. They’re perfectly fabulous all on their own. These are your friends.

Yes it’s nice to have the fancy, frilly, sexy or sassy boobie-baskets in the drawer for different occasions or “events”, and they’re just as fabulous, but only worn the odd time. They are for certain outfits, or have certain functions, or make us feel a certain way. These are your acquaintances; you pals.

Then there is the bra that broke on you, or whose wire snapped and stabbed you in the ribs… or that left marks on because it really just didn’t fit properly. But you keep it in the drawer just to remind yourself not to wear it again and not to buy that particular brand again. These are your lessons learned.

So there. Friends are bras.

All different style and sizes; Some a good fit, some not so good. Some to be kept forever, some to be worn by someone else. Some to be admired and appreciated for their style and beauty, but some that really just weren’t your style.

And when we realise that not all bra CAN fit us, and that indeed we won’t always be the right fit for the bra, we can appreciate that sometimes, gently removing the bra, popping it in the recycle bag and wishing it all the better boobies in the world, is the only way forward.

Yes, there will be some people who have disappointed us or hurt us this past year, but actually, the only person who controls YOUR disappointment or hurt, is YOU.

And maybe we’ve been the “friend” doing the disappointing?

If you’ve felt ignored by someone, ring them. Say hi. Maybe they’re feeling the same way about you.

But remember that only person who owes you anything, is yourself. And if someone needs to remove you, that’s their right. None of us should wear an uncomfortable bra.

And none of us need to stay in “friendships” that really, really aren’t.

S is for Special – Happy World Down’s Syndrome Day x


It’s World Down’s Syndrome Day. 

It’s a day to celebrate the extra chromosome that makes some people just a little bit more special.
One of the first images I saw on Instagranny today was of my good friend Lee Gooch’s handsome little superhero, Noah.

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And oh! How it melted my heart.

What an angelic, gorgeous and perfect little face.  There is mischief in those eyes and he has his Daddy wrapped around his little finger by the looks of this. (Image shared with permission as always)

This image, like all of the beautiful images on my Timelines today, melts my heart, not only because of the joy it shows, but also because of the memories it provokes in me.

Lee and his family are blessed.

I know this, because my family too were blessed.

Actually, we still are.

A child with Downs Syndrome isn’t just their extra chromosome.

A child with Downs, is special.
Special in every sense of the word.
My own Aunty Carmel was special.
She was beautiful, mischievous and intelligent. She held more love in the tip of her finger than ANYONE I have ever known. She was witty, bold and an absolute rascal, loving nothing more than to get the craic going with whoever was visiting.

She loved to dress up, adored The Rose of Tralee and loved to dance.  Every single person who walked through the door of my Grandparents’ home, fell head over heels in love with her. She was the most head-strong, determined and fearless Ladybelle I’ve ever met.  She kept our family on our toes.


And she taught me many lessons.

The main one being that we are all different and that different is good.
I remember being in the Shopping Centre with her and my other Aunty when I was about 5.

Other kids were staring at Carmel. It was the first time I realised that she was different because I suddenly became aware of other people’s reactions to her.

Her reaction to one teenage boy who stopped to look at her? She stuck out her tongue at him, laughed her hearty laugh and waved at him mischievously as we pushed her past.
There and then, I was proud of her. Even at that young age, she taught me that you must NEVER let anyone bring you down, that you must be YOU, and that there IS no other You to be.
She was perfect.

She was the strongest woman I ever had the pleasure of knowing.  Carmel had no tolerance for nonsense, seeing the world without political correctness or prejudice. She also had no filter! (I take after her like that!)  She simply saw people.  She recognized and delighted in kindness. She had no time for people who were not kind.

She was more brave and more caring and more wonderful than I could ever put into words and I miss her every day.

She was indeed my Special Aunty, but for so many more reasons than her Downs Syndrome.

Special doesn’t even start to describe her or the love that she gave or more importantly, the love that she demanded.

Love.

Pure and true…

Like the love on wee Noah’s face in that photograph and every day.
A family who have been blessed with an extra chromosome, know a love that is beyond words.
So there.

We miss Carmel every day and she lives on in our hearts and in our memories. Knowing and loving her is responsible for so much of who I am today. 

And I send my love and respect to every single family who are fighting every day for the rights of Downs Syndrome children, and who are helping to make people realise that the “S” in DS should not stand for “Syndrome”…

It stands for “Strong”.

It stands for “Smile”

…and it stands for Special.

#worlddownsyndromeday #smile #love #special

(Lee has given me permission to post this pic. Thanks Lovely. And kisses to Noah and his beautiful Mummy and big brother too.)

Are YOU rocking the socks today? You can support Down’s Syndrome Ireland by posting with #LotsofSocks4DSI

My girls and I rocking our socks today for World Down’s Syndrome Day

Mother’s Day Poems, From Mammy, To Mammy

A wee poem … or two… for all the Mammies.
💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗

💞💞From Mammy on Mother’s Day💞💞

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
I love you each second of every day
And even when sometimes I grumble and scold
I hope that you know that even if you’re being bold,
I trust you, I get you, I love you so much
I’ve loved you since the minute I first felt your touch,
(Whether birth or first meeting, It matters not HOW
I became your Mammy, I’m your Mammy now.)
My total existence revolves around you;
Your growth and your wellness, everything that you do.
I’m thinking about you, awake and asleep
And even if I’m not with you, please know that I keep
you so close in my heart and always on my mind.
You’re my reason for living, the reason I find
to get up on the mornings where there’s been no sleeping
to keep smiling and going, when I just feel like weeping.
But always, no matter how much I may struggle
The world can be fixed with just one little “cuggle”.
When I look at you sleeping, so pure and calm,
I love you with everything that I am.
I’ll push you, protect you and help you to grow,
I’ll make sure you know all the things you should know.
I’ll keep you as safe as I possibly can.
I’ll make sure you know just how proud that I am
To be raising a child who’s so brilliant and clever
and to be your wee Mammy, forever and ever.
So how do I love you, let me count the ways.
Every day Darling, not just on Mother’s Day.”

💞💞To Mammy… EVERY Day💞💞

How to I love thee, well count I can not,
But I don’t need my numbers to tell you a lot.
I love you for reasons that do not need words,
For the fact that you’re mine since I came to this world.
Because you love me every day and each night,
When I’m being my best, or I’m giving you frights.
I know that you sometimes are worried and scared
But you don’t let me see that, You’re too busy being there
When I need you, for playtime or stories or songs,
When I call in the night, and you carry me long,
long into the hours where we should be asleep,
When I hide from the monsters or cry or hurt deep.
When I eat all my dindins or throw it at you.
When I giggle and cry, when you’re covered in poo.
It really doesn’t matter what I do or I say,
You are my Mammy and I’ll simply love you always.

😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

Much love to all the Mammies of any Babbies, all over the world.

The S-Mum xxxx

‘Just RELAAAAX’ They Say…

‘Make some time for YOU Mammy and have a relaxing bath’ say the instafluencers.

Well OK then!

An instaworthy bathing relaxation event is about to go down in Chez Mammy… buckle up Bitcheepoos.

I sniff in the steam as my very ‘spensive and much loved bubble bath, (made up of ingredients I cannot pronounce for lack of vowels… LangyLang and mystical howabajobawobahoohoo berries and Blossoms and such) fills my bathroom with sweet scented steam.

I need this.
I deserve this.
I shall read.
I shall RELAX and have some time ON MY OWN.

I have the suds.
I have the soaps.
I have the candles lit.
I have my book ready.
I have my musical soundtracks ready to play.
Most importantly, I have the wine poured.

I EVEN have a few nice big dirty fat creamy chocolates sitting on my the fancy board that sits across my bath, (which I decided that I NEEDED on night 309 of lockdown after a bath where I almost smashed my favourite wine glass into my thighs as it refused to balance on the side of the bath.)

I am going to sip on my Shiraz and listen to Idina Defy Gravity, while I hum along, calm and content and soaking my cares away.

I switch off the ‘big light’ and slide into the suds.

It’s too hot. Of course it is.

It will ALWAYS be too hot, for I am a muppet. I’ll never learn.
That’s a fact.

Deciding that the chances of ACTUAL burns are not quite as high as usual, I wait for my skin to stop screaming and close my eyes.

This shall be heaven.
I insist it shall.

I reach for my book…

I cannot see my book.

For you see, the romantic and subtle candlelight is SO subtle that I actually can’t SEE any of the words on the fucking page.

I call Himself.

“Will you turn on the big light please? I can’t see!”
He grumbles something rather dangerous and foolish about how he “told me so” and the light dazzles me.

Ok, so it’s not quite as relaxing, but at least I can see the words now. I balance the book in my soggy hands.

Within a few moments, the steam is causing my fingers to leave big damp splodges all over the pages.

It seems that the book is gaining weight. I’m sure it wasn’t this heavy 5 minutes ago.

It seems to have morphed into the entire collection of the Britannica Encyclopedia and I’m wondering HOW it now weighs 25Kg as my arms struggle to hold the fecking soggy pages above my head. This is so uncomfortable.

I put the book down, hit play on the phone and listen to the Wicked soundtrack.

As I pop a chocolate into my mouth, the WIFI cuts out (I’m more than a metre from the fucking kitchen. What did I expect?) so the music stops and starts so many times within a minute that I think I have whiplash.

I switch off Idina and throw another chocolate into my mouth…

Or AT my mouth, for, you see, I miss.

And the dirty big champagne truffle sinks like yer man Jack in Titanic and I think I cry louder and more genuinely than thon Rose bitch.

Such is the severity of my sense of loss. I fish the little fecker out, but not before it has started to melt, because yes, the water is still too hot.

I plop the sodden truffle onto the fancy board. It looks like a poo.

Then I call the Husband again to come down to open the window, because obviously I am still melting and my heart is working too hard in the boiling water and I fear that I may die.

“What now?”
“Can you open the window please?”
There are grumblings and mutterings as he opens the window. He eyes the tiny poo on the board and the suspicious trail of pooey clouds in the water and raises an eyebrow at me, before leaving me to my ‘pampering’…

I hear the words “Every fucking time…” as he stomps out to continue wrestling the two hellfiends into their beds.

‘This is SOOO relaxing’ I think as I listen to them announce to Daddy that actually, it is NOT bedtime and they are in fact NOT going to bed until Mammy reads a story…

The wine is lovely…just the right temperature. I allow the berry-red joyjuice to do that weird tingle it does to my muscles. It’s rather lovely.

I set it the glass back and close my eyes because the big light is by now fucking blinding me, and I try that ‘relaxing’ thing people talk about.
After approximately 2 minutes, I’m bored.

The door opens and I hear her before I see her.

She is settling her tiny self on the toilet and as she does so, she announces “you might want to cover your nose Mammy.”

Noooooooooo!

Well. You can imagine how the rest of this story goes…

Yeah.
Have a bath they said.
It’s so relaxing…

Lying bitches.

Maria ‘The Mammy’ vs Maria ‘The Múinteoir’

Maria the Mammy thinks...

Nope. 

Not a hope. 

Not sending them ANYWHERE NEAR schools. 

Need to keep them safe.

Can’t control things when they’re away from me.

Fuck the government and their ineptitude.

I don’t want them to be away from us.

I don’t want them to be frightened or worried or scared by anything.

I don’t want to think about how they can’t hug their friends or play with other kids who aren’t in their pod or whatever.

I don’t want them to go on a bus, mixing with kids from 6 different schools.

I don’t want to have to send them to Afterschool

How am I going to manage to be both in class and at the school gate on days where I have to pick up my own kids?

I’ve had months of keeping them close and knowing they’re safe.

BUT… 

They miss school 

They need school

They miss their friends

They need more social interaction

They need more than Myself and their Daddy

They need normality. 

They need education…because Home-learning DID NOT happen as much or as well as it should have done. (Kind of difficult when both of us were working full time from home.)

They need other adult voices.

They need routine.

They’re in a wonderful school and have wonderful teachers who I know will do everything to keep them safe and secure.

Maria the Múinteoir thinks…

I don’t want to put myself or anyone of my colleagues or students in harm’s way.

What if I get it?

What if I’m an Asymptomatic carrier?

What if one of my kids gets sick and it’s my fault?

What is it going to be like teaching some classes in school and the rest online?

Am I going to be able to do my job properly?

Am I going to be able to make the kids feel safe and secure?

How can I support the students who need support?

How can I teach in my usual groupwork and collaborative style when they have to be socially distanced and I can’t sit beside them?

What about my students with extra needs?

How can I not meet anyone outside of my own bubble, but I can stand in a room with up to 30 young adults for up to 80 minutes?

How is under Jesus is this going to work?

BUT

I can’t wait to get back to work.

I miss my colleagues.

I miss my babies.

I miss teaching.

I need routine.

I need adult conversation.

I need some sort of normality.

My students need school.

I know it’ll be OK

I trust my management to keep us safe.

I will absolutely do MY best to keep my students feeling safe.

Teachers are a resilient bunch. 

We’ll do our best.

And it WILL all be OK.  

We are not in control and we can only deal with things as they come.  We did it in the autumn and we’ll do it again now.

So many of us are experiencing all sorts of emotions tonight, especially those of us who are parents also.  We are genuinely torn.

I need the Mammies and Daddies who are feeling the exact same way as I am as a Mammy, to trust me in the same way that I have to put MY trust in my daughters’ teachers. 

I need the parents who are sending their kids into me, to trust that I will do my absolute best to make sure that their children are able to learn in the current environment, and that they feel safe and secure in my presence. 

I need the parents to understand that I understand THEIR worries, because I too am a Mammy who is nervous (terrified) about releasing my little girls into the big scary world right now too.

We are frightened.  We are worried.  We are anxious.  And our fears are real.  

But we are determined and we are professional and we are fully qualified to educate.  And as teachers, we care about your kids. 

The emotional chaos of the sudden closure of schools again in January was huge… but that’s a whole other article. 

So while Maria the Mammy might fall apart in the utility room a few times today at the thought of MY precious babies leaving me every day to go to a whole new world, Maria the teacher will pull myself together, take a deep breath, hang up my tracksuit and go back through the doors of my much missed school, to teach and to support my “other babbies”… 

And it will all be absolutely grand.