I am She DON’T WIKE it Mum!

Yesterday morning I dressed Princess.
I wanted to put on her Christmas skirt and Christmas jumper as they were filming the Christmas DVD in creche. 

I got the skirt on…

This is the same Christmas skirt that she wore so proudly on Saturday… the same Christmas skirt that she danced around in, swishing and swooshing with a sparkling smile at her Daddy, as happy as can be, announcing “Aaash nice pippy” (pretty) 
I dressed her, left the room for 23 seconds, and returned to a bare bummed #wobbler who had removed said Christmas skirt while declaring at the TOP of her voice, 
 “I. No. WIKE. it!”

Cue Mammy’s frantic finding of a NOT Christmas skirt and urgent attempts to remember the names of the other kids in her room to try to get the Christmas jumper on her.

I tried 4 names to no avail, before FINALLY hitting the jackpot with 

“Shay will be wearing HIS Christmas jumper” .
That worked. 🤣
Noooooo idea who this little man is, but I OFFICIALLY owe him one and apparently he’s more influential than Mammy! 😛😛

I am Some Last Firsts Mum

My Baby

Tonight Mammy is hormental.

I’m coming to terms with the fact that even though I keep referring to Princess as The Baby, she is in fact, not a baby any more.

Tonight, I put my last one year old to bed for the last time.

In the morning, she shall be two.

Two.  

A real number.  

No longer counted in months… no more 18 months.  No more “one and a bit”.

Nope.  From tomorrow, she is TWO.

And someone needs to pinch me and explain how the HELL that happened?

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In my head, she’s a Baby.  

But more and more as I look at her, I’m getting reminded that she is in fact a little girl. She’s a toddler.  She’s a kid.  

Not a baby any more.

And while her dress for her 2nd birthday party is for aged 3, it doesn’t matter how big she gets, or how tall she gets, or how old she gets.  She WILL always be MY Baby.  

Maybe I’m emotional because I reckon she’s my last first; my Last first birthday. Last first shoes.  Last first tummy bug.  Last first tooth.  She’ll be our last first day at school.  Last first everything.

Does this make me sad?  NOPE.  But it does make me pay just a little more attention to these little lasts.  I find myself memorising things. Watching a little more closely.  Hugging a little tighter.

And while tonight should not be sad, because of course every year marks a celebration of life and of health… for some reason, I have a wee lump in my throat.  I was teary putting her into her cot.  I found myself watching her and savouring her more today.  Maybe because of that last first.  

How did she get so big?  Where have those 2 years gone?  If I close my eyes, I can still smell her as a new baby snuggled into me.  I can still see her face as it was the second I met her.  In my head, she hasn’t changed a bit.  In reality, she’s thriving. And I thank my lucky stars.

Tonight, as I tuck them in, I have a five-and-a-half-and-three-quarter year old who will be 17 on her next birthday… and a Baby.

From tomorrow, I’ll have a five-and-a-half-and-three-quarter year old who will be 17 on her next birthday… and a TWOublemaker.

Let the fun begin.
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I am Silent Puker Mum

How to sleep with a silent puker… 😐

Who the hell am I kidding? There IS NO sleeping with a silent puker.😥😥

Princess makes no noise.
None.
She can empty the 4 stomachs she seems to have inherited from the Granda’s cows, without making so much as a single sound. 😂 It’s shocking.
Not.
a.
Fricken.
SOUND!

And it means that when she is unwell, (which quite frankly seems to be every fecking FORTNIGHT since we went back to school😠), Mammy here gets to spend the night with small person’s foot shoved up her nostril, or her skull on my nose…

The bed is covered in towels, the basin is set on the bedside locker. Of course, she manages to sleep on the only part of the bed that ISN’T covered by towel and if she pukes, I can damn be sure that she’ll hit the ONE part of the bed that hasn’t been protected! 😂

I end up dozing, sitting upright in the bed, constantly ready to jump for the basin. Every sound she makes, every time she turns, every time her breathing changes or pauses… Crazy frog here is wide awake and ready to pounce.

Everytime she gets a tummy bug, I end up booking a session with a physio within a week because my Mammy Bear reflexes are more concerned with keeping her safe (and keeping the fricken bed clean😂!) than minding my dodgy back.

The Him gets banished to the spare room. Not by me.
Hitler-beag doesn’t like sharing beds with anyone but Mammy. She hisses at him like a deranged Gollum determined not to share her “Precious” with anyone.
Poor lucky Fecker… 😐😂😐

He checked us this morning before he went to work. We looked like a right angle apparently. Her leg was across my jaw. I swear to God, there’s times I think that wee Doll would climb back inside me if she could.

So yes. Poor Baby.
And Poor Mammy. (Seriously. Shape of me!)

Night 1: No sound = No sleep.

She’s snoring now…in her own room. I’ve only checked her 23 times since 7.30pm.
And so begins Night 2: the night of “Mammy needs to but can’t sleep becuase she’s going to leap out of the bed and run to her room everytime she moves in the cot”…

What the feck am I like?
Anyone else got a silent puker?

I am Smile, You ARE Enough Mum

Mammies.

No matter what kind of day you are having right now, remember that You ARE enough.

You have bad days.  You have bad mornings. You have a short temper. You have a sore head. You have a sad heart.  It’s not what you thought it would be. It’s not easy.  You’re exhausted.  You don’t know where to start. You can’t understand how that other Mammy seems so together. You feel terrible for shouting. You promised you wouldn’t shout today.  You were determined not to scold.  You never knew you could love anyone so much.  You never knew you could love someone and dislike them at once. You’ve tried everything. Why won’t she listen?  HER kids do what she asks them.

We all have the inner Mammy Monologue:

I forgot his coat. I haven’t brushed her hair. Why don’t I have time to do her hair like that Mum? How many times do I have to show him this?  Why doesn’t he SEE that that needs done.  I may as well chat to the wall.  No one LISTENS to me. Nothing seems to work.  Maybe I’m doing it all wrong? I can’t remember everything. My head is going to explode.  HOW did I forgot about the fecking party? Surely being this stressed is not right? No one else seems this stressed.  What am I doing wrong? What’s wrong with me?

Nothing.

You’re doing nothing wrong.  Let me tell you a secret… EVERY SINGLE MAMMY thinks one or more of the above statements EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Somedays, it seems like we can think ALL of these things at once.

We all have bad mornings, or bad days, or bad bedtimes.

But guess what?  A bad morning does not make you a bad Mammy.  A screaming bedtime does not mean that you are rubbish at parenting.  We can be as determined as we like about not rising to them, or giving in, or shouting, but some days, our minions seem determined to test every strand of our patience.  We can’t control or predict how our little rascals are going to behave.

Sometimes, we are not in charge.

Now, I am no parenting expert.  I haven’t a clue what I’m doing most of the time.  Sometimes I shout so loudly that I think the neighbours are probably running to their cars or finding their shoes incase the crazy lady across the hill actually gets to number 3.

But as well as knowing that daily stresses and meltdowns are part of parenting, because they’re part of growing up, it’s also important to know that there ARE many experts, qualified experts, and professionals in all areas of parenting that can help.

There are many resources available in Donegal. There are Childcare experts who can advise on behaviour, or bedtime routines, on how we should respond to behaviours, on routine, on difficult or challenging behaviours.

There are no quick fixes and no rule fits all.  What works for my child, might not work for yours.  What I need to change in MY home, might not be happening in yours.

There are some great online support groups and parenting communities (just be aware that often the most vocal on these aren’t actually qualified to be giving advice.)

There are also fabulous counsellors and behavioural experts around who can help with concerns or worries.  I’d be wary of those who promise to change your life forever.  No matter how brilliant a technique or response is, anyone who tells you they can take away all the stresses of parenting, is lying.  So here are a few services and resources that are available to parents in Donegal.

Parent Hub: These guys are amazing. They run courses, provide support and generally know everything about how to get parents the help that they need.  Check them out on:

http://parenthubdonegal.ie/

They’re also on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/parenthubdonegal/

New Beginnings is a counselling service provided by Sarah Barr.  She runs a wellness programme called Minding Mammy which is dedicated to Mammies (and which is fab!).

Starting on November 6th, she is also beginning a monthly Mammy meet up in Letterkenny which is free.  Details of both here:

https://www.facebook.com/NewBeginningsCounsellingService/

Letterkenny Babies is great as a conversation forum to ask advice and get support from other mums on all things Mammy. The admins will always remind you to seek professional or medical advice for more serious queries however.

https://www.facebook.com/letterkennybabies/

If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, or swamped by the negative thoughts I began with; if you get to the point where you know that it’s not JUST a bad day, or a bad week, then ask for help.

I have said it eleventy squillion times… it’s OK to not be OK.  What’s important is to know that there is help available and where to go for it.

Your GP or PHN can signpost where to get support of help for your child, or indeed for yourself, if you are genuinely concerned that a behaviour is more than just the terrible twos, or teenage troubles.

But remember 2 things

  1. You are NOT alone and
  2. You ARE enough.

The S-Mum xxx

I am Stop Body Shaming -Part 2

If you think that the public ownership of your bump disappears after pregnancy, you’re wrong!

Your post-baby belly and bootay may seem to remain public property LONG after your uterus has finally stopped SCREAMING at you and your ladybits have decided to no longer HATE YOU.

HOW and WHEN you get back to your pre-baby shape, is everybody’s business apparently.
In both of my pregnancies, I put on quite a bit of weight (not bump!).
My post Mini-Me BOOTAY in Pregnancy 1 was mostly a result of very hard work… (eating cream buns and hot chocolate, with cream of course, was hard work alright!)
I’d had a tough pregnancy and was put off work very early. Looking back, I was probably struggling a bit and food made me feel better.

It took me 18 months to get back to my pre-bump self.
Pregnancy no 2 was different. I was in better health, eating well, exercised up to 6 months and crammed in pregnancy pilates and reflexology. It was much more enjoyable and much less depressing than first time round, but I still managed to gain a fablis amount of weight.
And both times, it was worth every ounce and I enjoyed every bite!

The LAST thing ANY pregnant lady needs to be worrying about is their weight.
But when Baby is here and you’re getting back into routine, may it be after a few weeks or a few months, or a few years…at some point, we all strive to get back to being US.

For some people, that means getting back to work. For some, it means starting back at a hobby. For some, it means getting back in shape.
Even the fact that as I write this, I am hoping that other Mummies don’t read it and get annoyed because I’m talking about weight, is the perfect example of how bloody sensitive the subject is.

I am writing about me.

Just Me… not you.
It’s all personal.

It’s all about perspective.


(Mini-Me helping me stretch in Jim)

I love to train. I like to hit things with hammers and lift heavy things. I feel good when I’m a certain shape. I keep my mental health in check when I get to train. I find that it falters if I don’t get to train. I’m not particularly vain…I’ll happily go out and about looking like a badger’s nether-regions, (I often do!), but I like to look a certain way so I do my best to do so.

That’s not a reflection on anyone else. It’s just me.

So what has this got to do with Bodyshaming?
Some of the lines I heard after I started training again last May, when Princess was 6 months old.

“What are you doing back at the gym already?” (Look of disapproval.)

I’m sorry, does this offend you? Not that it’s any of your business, but this is my second attempt at starting back because The Him sent me home on my first attempt 2 months earlier, telling me I wasn’t ready yet. ( He was right.)

“Cop yourself on, you’ve just had a BABY!”

Well actually, my Baby is 6 months old and now I feel like I need to get out of the house a few hours a week.

“You’re grand the way you are.”

Thank you. I know you mean well and that is very sweet, but it’s ME who has to feel good about me. Not you.

“You shouldn’t even be THINKING about exercise yet.”

Why exactly? I enjoy it. I miss it. I’m not asking you to do it for me, am I?

“For God’s sake, stop worrying about your weight!”

Maybe, just MAYBE, my weight is NOT the main reason I want to train. People train for exercise, for me-time, for their sanity, for (shock horror) ENJOYMENT!

And WHY the hell does ANYONE think that it’s OK to tell ANYONE to stop worrying about THEIR weight anyway?
You NEVER know who has their own demons to deal with. You have no idea what the person you are talking to sees when they look in the mirror; what they’ve struggled with in the past; what THEY feel is THEIR beautiful. Telling someone to stop worrying about their weight, is akin to telling someone who’s sad to cheer up.

But my favourite one… “Wise up. You should be ENJOYING your Baby.”

Where do I even start with this one? If you dare to leave the baby for an hour to go to the doctor or do the shopping, that’s fine…but the GYM? Well you must not “Enjoy” your Baby…put it back in there why don’t you?

Seriously.

When you’re expecting your baby, you have NO CONTROL over your body. NONE!
AFTER you’ve had your baby, you have even LESS control over your body!
Things are different. Things don’t work. (Other things work WAY too enthusiastically.) Even stepping out of the car too quickly can make you feel like your insides are going to fall out!

It takes time to feel like you’re in charge of YOU again.
So if and when, you decide that you FINALLY feel ready to take a little bit of control back, take it.
Like the Bumps, most of those who comment mean NO HARM WHATSOEVER. In fact, they’re usually trying to make you feel better.

Some comment because they’re uncomfortable that you are training again after a baby and it annoys them for some reason.
But like with the Bumps, the opinion of others is simply that. An opinion and other people’s opinions shouldn’t affect your confidence. They shouldn’t make you doubt yourself. They certainly shouldn’t make you feel the need to explain yourself.
So don’t.

Instead, Love yourself.
Love how you look in all your squishee-belly-ness as your body recovers from cooking that perfect little cupcake.
And if and when you feel like getting back into those jeans, or into that dress, GO FOR IT!

Surround yourself with positive Ladybelles and let the negativity roll off your amazing stretchy skin. (Warwounds, not stretchmarks!)

May it be walking, Slimming World, Exercise classes, Personal Training, pilates… DO WHATEVER YOU ENJOY AND WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU. (Except the Weight loss…sorry “lifestyle” pills, shakes, teas, diets etc. They are BAD no matter HOW they are pitched or advertised.)

And if you DON’T feel like thinking about exercise yet, or ever, good for you too. That’s no one else’s beeswax but your own.

The S-Mum xxx

(Updated post. Always relevant!)

First published 2016.

Last published on http://www.donegalwoman.ie Sept 2017

I am She’s not quite getting it Mum

Mini-Me: Mammy, Did you know Uncle D and Aunty P gotted maawied FREE times?

Mammy: Three times? Why do you say that?

Mini-Me: Sure cos dey have FREE children. Dat means dey gotted maawied free times.

Me: Oh Really? (I’m pretty sure there’s nothung FREE about 3 kids!) And so how many times have Uncle C and Aunty B been married?

Mini-Me: Eh you KNOW dat? DEY have TWO children so TWO times like…

Me: And does that mean me and Daddy got married twice too?

Mini-Me: Yes. You and Daddy gotted maaaaawied twice. Once for me. Once for Fudge. (Her nickname for the littlest shitster 💖😆)

Me: Gosh I don’t remember getting married twice Daddy, do you?
(And I know I’d remember having had a new dress and fab shoes and another hen party… come to think of it, is it time to renew our vows yet? 😂😂)

He laughs. And then…

The Him: So do you have to get married EVERY TIME you get a new baby?

Mini-Me: Yup. (Smugness personified.. 🙃)

The Him: Did YOU know that your Granny M (The Queen Mother of all the world) had TEN Babies?

Mini-Me: 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

Speechless

That’s a WHOLE lot of weddings eh? And a WHOLE lot of dresses. 😘

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

#innocence #speechless

I am “Sort out that Bull” Mum

Just another Saturday Morning…

I’m driving along, with Granny Dearest in the passenger seat and the two Minions behind me. Mini-Me has told 32 stories in 3 miles. I’m just about to tune out, glad that Granny Dearest is on with me to answer her. I don’t have to “Mmmmhmmm” and “Really?” and “Very good” like a broken record. Granny Dearest is doing a great job of making all the right sounds. I’m humming along to Despasito, when I hear a new conversation begin.

“Granda needs to move them Bulls out of the field Gwanny,” announces Herself.

“He’ll be bringing them in soon pet” answers Granny.

“No, no, no, no, but He Needs to take the Bull out of the field Right NOW.”

“Why Darling…?” (Oh Jeeeeesus I suddenly know where this is going.)

“Because that Bad Bull HURTED one of my wee Cows.” ( Granny Dearest takes a breath and I know that SHE also now knows where this is going.)

“Buckle Up Granny Bear” I mutter, knowing full well what is about to come out of her mouth and wondering WHEN she saw it, and WHY she is only telling me now?

“You see my wee cow Ellie was scratching her neck at the feeder that Granda weft in the field and that big, bad, black bull pushed her out of his way and he hurted her and it wasn’t very nice. That bad Bull CLIMBED up on Ellie’s BACK… and do you KNOW what he did THEN?”

Oh Sweet Jezabell… WHAT is about to come out of my child’s mouth?

“What Darling?” I just about get the words out. I can’t breathe.

“That Bull started RUNNING Granny! ON HER BACK! He is NOT a very nice Bull.”

That’s it. Granny might need a defibrillator in the passenger seat. I’ve pulled in and stopped at the junction. Trying to drive right now is NOT an option. Granny Dearest is turning a perfect shade of magenta, as she tries and fails to hold in her laughter because Mini-Me can see her face from where she sits on her innocent, self-righteous little throne.

I on the other hand am buckled over the steering wheel, in hysterics laughing, while Granny tries to redirect the conversation to a safer and saner place.

“Oh no. The poor wee cow. Maybe the Bull was just playing?”

“Nope. He was being mean. And poor Ellie couldn’t get away.”

“Was she giving him a piggy back maybe?” I venture through the tears.

“Now Mammy. (teenage eyeroll included here). They are COWS, not Piggies. Granda doesn’t HAVE pigs. You KNOW that…”

And that’s that. Granny explodes and I crack up completely.

“It’s not funny you guys. It’s for REAL LIFE
(This is her new one. Everything is “for real-life”.)

“You’ll have to tell Granda when we get home pet,” Granny has composed herself enough to be coherent. I’m still parked on the side of the road…

“I will. I’ll have to tell him to sort that Bad Bull out!”

(I think Ellie might have already done that. Lucky Bull. I now know how I’ll start my answer whatever day she asks where babies come from. “Well Darling. Do you remember that day the bull and Ellie were… )

#thedonegalmammy #thesmum #bull