I am ‘So here’s the thing’ Mum…

“You will , you know!”

Everyone is the perfect parent…until they have children.”

Who said this first? I have no idea.

Who says it now? Me. Every single day!

I am the proud and enthusiastic Mama bear of a 5-year-old Drama Queen and a 21 month old Dictator. I spend my days winging it through EVERYTHING… breakfast, school runs, work, homework, dinner, bedtime, marriage.

Some days, I feel like I NEARLY have my shit together. Most days, I want to stomp my foot, throw and tantrum and call for my own Mammy! To many, I seem like I hold things together.

Those closest to me, know I’m a fraud.

I don’t know what I’m doing.

I don’t deal with everything in a calm and mature fashion.

I don’t adore my children every single second of every single day.

I don’t always have the schedule sorted.

I don’t always remember everything I’m supposed to.

I don’t always know what’s wrong with the baby, just by her cry.

I don’t always have a sparkly clean house. (Actually, I don’t EVER. Who does?)

I don’t always remember to wash the uniforms.

I don’t always want to get my No Diggity on in the bedroom.

I don’t always feed them homemade meals.

I don’t always give the right answer.

I don’t always say the right thing.

I don’t switch off my brain, even when it’s His turn to get up with them.

I can’t.

Because I “Mammy” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sometimes, I yell.

Sometimes, I bribe.

Sometimes the fridge is empty.

Sometimes, I’m so exhausted that I let them eat breakfast cereal for dinner.

Sometimes, I pretend I don’t hear the monitor and carefully kick Daddy so he’ll have to get up instead.

Sometimes, I let them watch TV…a lot.

Sometimes, I swear.

Sometimes, I wish it were bedtime at 3pm.

Sometimes, I cry so hard that my Husband doesn’t know what to say.

Sometimes, I like being at work because I get to finish a coffee in peace…and I don’t feel guilty. Sometimes, I get a babysitter and go out for dinner.

Sometimes, I hand the baby to Himself as he comes through the door and go for a run, or a pee. Sometimes, I feel like I’m so utterly useless that someone, somewhere will certainly report me to an authority of some kind.

But ALWAYS, I love. I am NOT a Stepford Mammy. I will never get it ALL right. No one can, because a perfect Mammy doesn’t exist, and as long as I love my girls fiercely, I’m already doing it right.

The moment that a Mammy realises that there is no such thing as “The right way” or “the proper way” of parenting, is light bulb moment. When you recognise that YOUR choices for your family are NO ONE’s business, a giant weight will be lifted off your tired shoulders.

You don’t have to justify your parenting. You don’t have to explain why you breastfeed, or don’t; why you chose this school instead of that one; why you put the baby in their own room at 3 months, or why they still sleep in your room 2 years on.

You don’t have to justify your parenting to ANYONE.

The ONLY people who matter in your home, are YOUR FAMILY. And nothing or nobody outside of that matters. If you are expecting your first Baby and reading this, with your jaw on the floor, thinking “I will NEVER do those things!”, You will you know!?

You will bribe.

You will eat leftovers.

You will survive on 2 hours of broken sleep.

You will use Babywipes for EVERYTHING.

You will hate your partner for sleeping. (Sometimes, you will hate them for breathing! 🙂 )

You will enjoy watching kids’ TV.

You will have a favourite CBeebies presenter.

You will spend your money on the best you can afford for your kids, while wearing a 15-year-old t-shirt yourself.

You will be so excited at the offer of a babysitter, that you cry. Oh, and you will cry; tears of frustration, tears of worry, tears of laughter and tears of pure, unconditional LOVE.

Because being a Mammy is sometimes crap, but it is ALWAYS wonderful.

And if you are wondering if you’ll be a good Mum?

You will, you know. x

I am So not in Galway Mum

Another year, another Ladies’ Day. 🐎🦄🐎🐎🦄🐎

I’ve just scrolled my news feed to see all of the EVERYBODY dressed up and eyebrowed to the hilt, in glorious colours and HUMONGOUS hats. And then I switched over from RTE Jnr to the lovely Ladybelles on Expose, (who succeed daily in EITHER inspiring me to wash my face and put on proper clothes… or hide in my pit eating icecream, depending on the level of hormental), and watched the interviews with all of the Everybody in their shiny perfection.

Every year, I declare that NEXT YEAR, I too will be Glammy Mammied to the ninety-nines, with eyebrows and concrete muckup and AMAZING high hair, quaffing chambubbles in a tent and smiling gaily at all the other Dollybirds. I would be wearing something chic and spensive and fablis and my neck would be sore from a MAHOOSIVE headhat which keeps stabbing The Him when I move, but I would NEVER admit that it is heavy because he would then be able to say “I told you so” and be all “Such a waste of money”, (even though he’d OBVIOUSLY never have been told how much it ACTUALLY cost!😂)

The Him would be beside me, all dapper of course, and my friends and I would clink glasses, admiring the fashionistas and keeping our smiles expertly fitted while we say things like “WTF is she wearing?” and “How can she walk in those?”, without words of course… just using our secret eyebrow code. 😄😘

And then we would have the coveted “FINALIST” sticker stuck on our outfits, and the afternoon would be a whirlwind of camera flashes and sore faces and I’d feel like a feckin Rose (yes, a geriatric rose, but still, it’d be as close as I’ll get.)

And then we’d all pop back to the G Hotel or some such fablis spot, where we’d spend the evening quaffing yet more chambubbles with all the fablis, shiny, eyebrowed Beauties, before rolling into bed, tipsy and still fablis.

Next year… (Coughs) 😄

For tonight however, I shall sit in my messy kitchen, listening to Princess refusing to go to sleep, getting over the fact that my Mini-Me told me she “doesn’t wub you no more” because I asked her lift the blocks before bed, wondering what I’ve eaten that has caused my skin to look like pizza and considering that I should perhaps change out of The Him’s PJs before he gets home.

(Lucky boy Him!😂😂😘)

Then only thing high about my hair, is my Mum bun, but in honour of all the glamour on my news feed, (which YES, I AM going to continue to stalk for the next hour or so), I have decided to glam it up with a big flower so I don’t feel quite so unglam and DOWDY (and slightly grubby if I’m honest!). Probably should shower the smell of lasagne off me too.

Yeah. I’m quite content here.

Who would want to be in Galway eh?

Not me.

Nope.

Noooooo sirreeeeee.

I much prefer watching everyone else being glam. I am however, going to pop a wee cork here and do some quaffing myself, all in honour of the horsies of course. 🐎🦄🐎🦄

Congrats to the winner in Galway, who seems to be getting a mixed reaction, but who I think looked fab. Amazing headpiece. (But I must say, Lisa’s Lust List was my favourite.)

Who was your favourite? #galwayraces #glammymammy

I am Seaside Mum

Well Feck-it-up FriYay was indeed splendiferous.
TODAY S-Mum was a very clever Mammy.

I collected the minions, and joyfully announced “Shall we go to the seaside my precious Darlings?”
“Yay!” Screamed Mini-Me.

“Woohoooooo!” Echoed Princess out the side of her dodee, not really knowing what was happening, but delighted to join in nonetheless.

Clever Mammy had sneaked home at lunchtime, packed towels, snacks and spare clothes for them and langered on some suncream on myself. (Well, most of myself.  The big patch I missed on my back is currently screaming “STUPID WOMAN!” at me. 😥)
Off we went to the seaside.
Yay! #Mammywin.
You see, unlike my sofa and floors, the seaside LIKES splashes of suncream.

And you see, when Princess decides to run, there’s really nowhere she can go, especially when the tide is so far out that the beach looks like a sad, empty wineglass.

And so you see, Mammy got to sit on her Stepford Mammy bum and to watch on lovingly as she waddled around after her big sister, gathering srones and eating sand.
It.

Was.

Joyful.
And then I realised No.1 of my Feck-it-ups…
We went splishing and splashing in the sea. In my sneaky quick change before I collected the girls, I’d shaved my legs quickly as although dogs are permitted on the beach, I’m sure people might frown at a wooly mammoth turning up to shed all over the lovely seaside. And I remembered, just as I entered the lovely salty water that salty water and newly shaved legs ARE NOT A GOOD COMBINATION. 😅😅
HOLY SWEET JESUS AND THE WEE DONKEY…
Anyway, I convinced myself that SOMEWHERE in the world, I’d pay a fortune to walk my raw legs into a salty ocean…
And so, I let them run into the sea fully clothed, smug in the knowledge that I was superorganised with spare clothes and towels for them.
Mini-Me almost selfcombusted with excitement when I told her she could “Splash away Sweetie.”  And Princess went at that water like baby Moana at the start of the movie. It was fun.
And then Princess fell flat on her fudgy little arse and ended up flat on her back in the water.  Oh how funny! Oh how she screamed! Oh how Mini-Me laughed…and laughed…and laughed.  She enjoyed it quite a little too much actually. 😈😂😈😂
As I lifted her up out of the water and started the 3 mile trek back to our blankets, I was chuffed with my Mammyself for being so relaxed and spontaneous. 😂
And then, as Princess’s soaking clothes permeated through mine, I realised my Feck-it-up for today…
I had clothes for the two drenched wee dollies, but none for myself.
What a Twat.
I had to dry and change them, absolutely SOAKED and then drive home with soppy shorts and a wet teeshirt clinging to my fried eggs…  Turns out, wee light shorts from Penneysbest are ACTUALLY quite heavy when wet. 👇👇👇
Glammy Mammy my arse.
But hey, the girls had an absolute blast, I enjoyed it all up until the drive home and they’re both out cold after their bath now. 💜💜

And if my only Feck-it-up, Fecked-it-up for only me, well sure, that’s fine. 😍😍😍
Anyone know a good truckhire company to return the 3 tonne of sand we magically transported from the beach? 😂😂
How was YOUR Friday dahlings?

Any Feck-it-ups to share with me?

I am S is for Special – World Downs Syndrome Day

It’s World Downs 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 Facebook today was of my good friend Lee Gooch and his handsome little man Noah.  

And oh! How it melted my heart.

Not simply because of the angelic and perfect little face of the wee man, but because of the smile on Daddy’s face.

  This 👇👇 my friends is the smile of true pride, of true joy…of true and utter love. 💙💙


And it melts my heart, not only because of the joy it brings, 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.

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.

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 Lee’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. 

I never thought I’d write about my precious Aunty Carmel, but today, I decided it was time. I miss her 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.)
Follow me on Facebook @the.s.mum and instagram @the.s.mum 

I am Stay Smiling at You Mum

To my Darling Mini-Me

You stopped me in my tracks this morning. I walked past your bedroom door. You were standing in front of your mirror, brushing your hair, with your little sister watching you silently. You had no idea that you were being watched. You were beautiful. Suddenly, you looked so different; so grown up. The little smile on your face as you gently combed melted me.  You were smiling because you were happy;  Happy with what you saw.  Content with your reflection.  Beautiful and perfect and blissfully content with how you look.

You caught me watching and stopped, mid-stroke.

“Am I gawjus Mammy?” you asked before continuing to brush.

“You really are Darling” I answered, but you were already back at it, not really caring what I said.  Because you already knew that you are.

And indeed you are.

You’re beautiful.

For you, Dear Daughter, I have many hopes.  One of my main hopes is that you get to smile that little smile while looking at your reflection for as long as possible.  Because there will come a day, when you will look at yourself just a little bit differently.  You will compare yourself to your friends. You will look at the images online and in print and wonder why you don’t look like they do.  You will suddenly find yourself criticising your reflection, rather than enjoying it.

And it breaks my heart.

If you’re anything like your Mammy (and we both know you are!), you will deal with wonky teeth, you will be tortured by bad skin well into your adult years, and you will probably wait impatiently for the boobs that everyone else seems to have!  I can save you a lot of trouble right now my Darling.  You’ll probably still be waiting as you approach 40, but by then, you’ll be glad that they never arrived!

Life is cruel and society can be one savagely bitchy playground.  If I can give you one thing, it will be the ability to be comfortable in your own skin.  You may wish your teeth were straighter or that your skin was blotch free or that your nose was smaller, but you will know that you are you, and that it is these little features that make you stand out, that make you individual, that make you perfect.

And I do my best.  Yes, I have days where I feel yucky, but I have finally reached the point of contentment where I care only what one person thinks about how I look:  and that person is ME.

Me, Myself and I.

You might not realise this, but I purposely take off my makeup after work in the kitchen so that you can see that it’s OK to not wear any.  When you ask me why I am putting on mascara, I try to answer that “I sometimes like to wear it”.  I’ll play dress up and makeup with you because I want you to know that it is something that women enjoy.  But I’ll also let you see me going into town without even brushing my hair, because I want you to get into the habit of not giving a crap if people don’t like what you’re wearing or how you look.

I’ll let you wear tights that do NOT match your dress if you want to, because in no time at all, society will be dictating what you wear anyway. And you will not see me standing on scales.  You will see me train but you’ll not hear my swearing under my breath at the exercises! Any issues you are going to get about your beautiful self, I do hope that they do not come from me.

I will do anything for you both, you know that.  I care for you.  I feed you. I look after you.  And I promise that I will also help you to always think you are gawjus.  I will tell you you’re beautiful, even though some parenting “experts” tut at young girls being told they’re pretty.  Nonsense.

I will always tell you you’re beautiful, because there’ll be enough bitches who revel in making you feel that you aren’t.

So you keep smiling that perfect little smile my Gawjus girl, because there is nothing more beautiful than a smile.

And there is no one more beautiful to me, than YOU.

All my love,

Mammy.

xxxxxxxx

I am Sssssh I’m Reading Mum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am Say Hello to Floor Mum

​Let me introduce you to my friend Floor.
“Miss Bedroom Floor” to give her full title.
Mummy misses Miss Floor. 😭

We have a complicated relationship.

We often go for months without seeing each other.

We can spend weeks apart, not talking, not asking how the other is doing, seemingly not caring aboit each other.
When Floor and Mummy fall out, it’s usually over clothes and shoes.

We have the same taste see.🤐

Floor also has a lot to deal with.  

Mummy neglects her. 

I do.

Since the kids came along, Mummy just doesn’t have the same time to spend with her.  You could say she has been abandoned, dropped on, forgotten by Mummy.

I walk all over her really.

There is a layer of cobweb on our relationship, and it’s horrible.😭😭😭
And of course, there are the OTHER Floors… Floor MUST be jealous as Mummy keeps the other floors generally tidy.

 SOMETIMES, (believe or or not), Mummy even MOPS the Other Floors.

I know. 

I’m awful.😲

So I really can’t blame Floor for hiding from Mummy and ignoring me sometimes.
But like any TRUE FRIENDSHIP, when distance grows between us, we both feel sad.

Mummy misses Floor terribly.

When she is sad and isolated and upset, and the distance between us is great, Mummy could cry.  

It’s all such a MESS. I feel like the whole house is falling down around me.  I can’t get over her.  I can’t get past missing her. I feel like my head is going to fucking EXPLODE.
This morning, my broken and disintegrating relationship with my friend Floor, became too much for me to deal with.

At approximately 7.45am, Mummy freaked out on The Him. 👤
I couldn’t DEAL with the absence of Floor any longer. 
“I can’t deal with this situation any more. It’s driving me insane. I just can’t get the time need to find Floor!” were just a few of the things I ranted and rambled while trying to find the trousers Floor had hidden from me.

STRESS CENTRAL.
I went to work, promising myself that this evening, I WOULD make time for my Friend Floor.  I WOULD fix this mess. I WOULD make her remember that she is loved and valued.
I would.
As I collected Princess from The Him after work, I was still determined to make amends with Floor.

As HIM drove off, he called “Try to get that Floor sorted this evening will you?”
He was waved off with less than 5 fingers and many obscenities, expletives and petnames muttered after him.

He will pay for that.
And then we came home and I opened the bedroom door to find THIS…

👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

NOT ONLY had The Him tidied up the room, he had rearranged the wardrobes to GIVE ME MORE SPACE!

I. Shit. You. Not.
I almost FELL on the floor in shock (and joy!)

I think I fell a little bit in lurve with Him all over again too.💙💙💙💙
Joking aside, I can’t find the words to express how much this simple, unexpected action meant to me today. It isn’t even the tidying that has floored me…(boom)… it’s the fact that he noticed how much it was stressing me out.

In a house where I sometimes feel like no one even HEARS ME most of the time, just to have something be noticed is amazing.
Tonight? If he bought flowers, diamonds, chocolates… none of that could compete with the utter joy of seeing Floor again.
The Him gets a tough time on here, so I must give credit where it’s due.

He is my Superhero. 

My S-Him.

AND I’m NOT even going to REARRANGE the rearranged wardrobes!
(I’ll do that tomorrow!) 😂😘😘😘