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 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

I am Slightly Chuffed Mum

Last week was pretty exciting for me and my little old Blog.

On Thursday morning I got an email to say that I have made the SHORTLIST in the V by Very Blog Awards.  The S-Mum is Shortlisted in TWO categories.

  1. Best parenting Blog
  2. Best Blog Post for my post “I am Saying it Out Loud Mum” about my own struggles with “My Little Bitch, Anxiety”  

(Read it here  

https://the-smum.com/2017/06/11/i-am-saying-it-out-loud-mum/

 

V for Very Blog Awards 2017_Judging Round Button_Shortlist

http://blogawardsireland.com/

Then, that VERY evening, I received ANOTHER email from the lovely folk at Maternity and Infant to tell me that I have reached the FINAL in their Boots Maternity and Infant Awards.

https://maternityandinfant.ie/awards/

 

Now, let me explain to you what a HUGE deal this is to me…  Out of the 26 blogs nominated, only 10 make it to the final.  This in itself is exciting and the fact that I made it to the top 10 excites me no end.  But the MOST exciting thing is seeing my little old name up beside the other 9 bloggers, all of whom I follow and many of whom I hold in regard as being Parenting Blogger royalty in Ireland.

I can’t stop looking at the image of the ten Blog names.

And I can’t thank my readers enough for considering my Smumbles to be worth their time and energy and votes.

Should I never win a thing, I honestly don’t care.

I shall go to these ceremonies and meet lovely people and enjoy the fact that somewhere on the interweb, my words are being recognized as not being complete and utter waffle!

SO thank you to V by Very and the Bloggies and Thank you to Maternity and Infant and to everyone who is in any small way responsible for The S-Mum getting onto these wonderful lists.FB_IMG_1505424273626.jpg

I am She’s Punishing Me Mum

Smile and Nod.
Mammy must smile and nod…
Mammy is very good at the smiling and the nodding. 😆😶

“She’s the best girl. There’s not a bother with her.” 💕

Every day I hear this. And the lovely Ladybelles who say it, mean it 100%.❤
And I smile and I nod and I agree, but as I do, my inner Mammy voice is laughing.
She is laughing hard.
So very hard.

On the outside, I Smile and Nod…
What I’m THINKING however, is “Let me tell you, as a Mammy with previous experience of a “Street Angel, House Devil”, that while she is indeed being ‘the Best Girl’ and giving you ‘Not a bother’ here all day, she is simply saving all of her energy for the Wilderbeastial Demonic Darling that she will morph into when I get her into the car.” 😈

It begins with her luring Mammy into a false sense of security with her displays of excitement as she runs into my arms when I arrive to collect her. Cue “Ooooooohs” and “Aaaaaaaahs” from all with ovaries in the room. She hugs and kisses and answers “Uhhuuuuu” in her adorable little husky voice as I carry her little Koala Bear Butt 🐨to the car. I breathe her in and sniff her sticky hair and coo at her, knowing full well that I may enjoy it while it lasts. 😂

Once in the car (maybe even before I get her strapped in if she’s feeling particularly thick with Mammy), her demeanour changes. Sometimes, it’s gradual, building up as we approach home, revving up with every gear change. Sometimes it’s instantaneous, spontaneous combustion because I’ve looked at her wrong, or asked her a question, or you know, breathed.

It escalates with a simple “No”.
Not just an utterance of negativity or disagreement. A proper, teenage “NO”, complete with attitude and challenge. When the “NO” is accompanied by the furrow of the brows, we know we are entering the beginning of the tantrum. 😣

By the time we reach home, my excitement at the thought of an evening at home with my Baby has been replaced by a devastation of the reality that ONCE AGAIN, I have NO control over the moods of my minion. Any notions I had of a picture perfect evening of #Mammywins have been left at the creche. And once again I remember, that I have NO idea what the hell I am doing.
I am winging this Mammy craic, 100fricken%. I’m scrambling my brain for tricks and clever Mammyisms that might avert the direction of the storm that is brewing in the back seat.

I throw promises around like a Politician before an Election.
“We’re going to have pizza for tea!”
“NO!”
“Will we play jigsaws when we get home?”
“NO!”
“I can’t wait to get snuggles when we get home!”
“NO!”
and eventually (yes always) “Will we watch Peppa?”
(Hold breath…)

Princess “YEEEEEEAH!”
Mini-Me “Aw Maaaaaaaaaammy, not again!” (insert eye roll here)
Me “FML” (Probably under my breath. Maybe… Maybe SLIGHTLY audible. Bad Mammy.)😐😂

Parenting experts and friends with kids have explained to me many times in the past, that such behaviour is normal and that the child acting in such a manner is a “compliment” because she feels that she can finally release her frustrations and confusion at the world, in the arms of her favourite person. That I am her safe place and that it all means that she loves me.😶

SOME days, I buy this. Other days, I prefer to see it that she is a little wagon who actually HATES me and is determined to PUNISH her evil Mammy for abandoning her cute, bad-tempered little fudgeybutt to go to work. She sees me coming, smells the Mammy-guilt off me. After her initial “Oh there’s my Mammy” excitement, her mind goes straight to “Hang on a second. WHERE do you think YOU were all day Woman? Did you DARE to drink warm coffee and have adult conversations? Do you not know that YOU ARE MY SLAVE?” 😐

She has to fit 8 hours of reminding Mammy who is the BOSS, into a very short evening. And she must make sure that Mammy PAYS for leaving her at the Fablis and fun-filled creche, where she spends her days being loved and played with and fed and stimulated without the tellybox, and where she is the “best girl” and gives them all “not a bother”. She nevers bites or screams NOoooooooooooooo or kicks or throws custard or cries or scratches the lovely girls.

No,
She saves that for Mammy Bear.
Because she loves me and I am special.
And apparently because I am her safe place. 😍😆

Right now, she is playing with sudocrem…but she’s no longer screeching at me, so we’ll roll with it.

Smiles and nods. 😙

#fml
#mammyguilt
#yessheistheboss

I am She’s Chasing Cows Mum

Fecking Cow…

Mammy arrived at work half dressed and slightly dishevelled. Smug Mammy was up at 6.30am, perfectly on track for a practically perfect Monday morning and smugly smiling at the clock thinking “I’m gonna beat you today Beeaatch!” 😐

Then a cow walked past my kitchen window.

Yup.
A cow.

“MAMMEEEEEE DER’S A COW IN DA GAAAAAAARDEN” screams Mini-Me.
“Mooooooooo MOOOOOOOOO COOOOW! Screams Princess, even pushing the dodee to the side of her mouth to get the words out…

“Faaaaaaack!” shouts Mammy, scrambling for the phone to ring Granda.. (“Daddy, ring John Joe and tell him his fricking cows are in my garden” screams Mammy at her poor Daddy, hanging up before he has the chance to answer.)… while simultaneously pulling on the first pair of runners I get my hands on… I only notice that they’re the Him’s as I start to gallop up the garden! 😂

In 15 seconds, I’m out and running at the cow to chase it out of my garden. The poor fecker is bewildered looking. She doesn’t know where to go. In fairness, if I had a half-dressed woman running at me in her husband’s size 12 trainers, screaming like a banshee and wielding a deckchair, yes a deckchair, (it was the first thing I met when I ran outside😅), I’d probably be slightly terrified too. 😂😂

The horsedog 🐴🐶finally realises that something is up and hauls himself off his fat arse to come help me. Suddenly injected with adrenalin at the sight of his Mammy chasing a cow with a deckchair, he turns into 007Dog and Witchin 12 seconds has done an impressive impression of a sheepdog, herding the wandering cow back out my gate.
My hero…

Pity he didn’t think to stop it coming IN the gate! 🐴🐶

I run straight back to the house to find Mini-Me freaking the feck OUT, hysterical that Mammy was going to be hurt by the cow. 😭😭I get her cuddled and settled, explaining that the cow is fine…(or out of my garden at least😂)… but Princess running around in her nappy screaming “COW MOOOOOOOOO COW MOOOOOOOOO!” isn’t helping. #fml

I look at the clock, realise we have 5 minutes to get out the door and curse the cow some more. The only drying my hair is getting today is the wind that blew through it as I ran. Fetlocks blowing in the wind I tell you. I remember to kick off The Him’s gigantics and superspeed everyone out the door.

We just about make it to the bus and I take a deep breath as I pull into the carpark, realising that my shirt is buttoned wrong and my hair looks like a whin bush.

Mini-Me has told 3 people how “Mammy chased a cow up the garden” before I even get out of the building.

I wonder how many people heard her story today! 😂

Mammy 1. Random cow 0.

AND as I explained to my little worried Mini-Me earlier, Mammy is not afraid of cows. (In fact Mammy has dealt with many cows in her time, both bovine and not so bovine… and I generally win, just maybe not always in The Him’s size 12s… 😂😂)

#countrylife #alwaysafarmer

I am So I’m a Career Mum (again)

Rejoice! Rejoice!

It is Friyay…the FIRST Friyay after a FULL week of school and work and routine. And we have all survived. (albeit just about, but survived we have.😂)
We may be frazzled and fooked Mammies, but still we must find the energy to REJOICE in the Fact that we have made it to the MOST wonderful evening of the week. 😆

This week, after two years of maternity leave, unpaid leave and jobsharing, I have finally dipped my toe back into the world of being a Full-time Mammy with a full-time Job. What have I learned? Nothing. But I have remembered MANY things; Things that I had battered down, suffocated and locked in a tattered old box at the back of the memory part of my subconscious, but which now bounce back to the forefront of my ridiculously tired little mind. 😐

Tired Children:

Tired children are cranky.
Tired children like to find a reason, ANY reason, to cry.
Tired children do not KNOW that they are tired.
Tired children refuse to admit that they are tired.😥
Tired children will bite one another.😠
Tired children do not like to go to their beds, regardless of how tired they are.
Tired children like to wake up at 2am and play with their toys, with the light on, noisily enough to waken everyone so that they have someone to tell that they are NOT tired.
Tired children do NOT like to get dressed in the morning.
Tired children do NOT like it when you bounce into their bedrooms at 7am singing “Good Morning, Good Moooooooorning!, opening curtains and declaring that it is time for school. (Especially the not tired children who have been up half the night playing with their fecking toys.😈)
Tired children like to say “No” and “No” and sometimes, “Noooooo!” to absolutely EVERYTHING that Tired Mammy asks or suggests.

And along with tired children, comes the Tired Mammy. But as well as being a tired Mammy, Mammy ALSO has to be SUPER-ORGANISED Mammy.
Mammy needs to keep on top of the fridge situation.
Mammy needs to pack lunchboxes and school bags and afterschool bags.
Mammy needs to remember the fecking HORROR that is HOMEWORK.
Mammy needs to think about dinners sooner than when she opens the fridge at 6pm.
Mammy needs to set her alarm to make sure she gets out of bed 30 minutes before everyone else if Mammy wants to pee, shower and have a coffee all by herself.
Mammy needs to be an intelligent and functioning adult.
Mammy needs to rid her brain of references to Peppa Pig and Andy and Bing because they are not relevant to Macbeth and teenagers do NOT respond well to them.
Mammy needs to try to keep the washing basket from puking and Mammy needs to arrange everyone’s clothes before bedtime.
Mammy needs to remain relatively Wifely and interesting enough to hold a brief conversation with Tired Daddy when he comes home from Jim.
And Mammy needs to get used to wearing stupid heels and muckup every single day. (I’ll last until the end of September…)
Mammy needs to cram all of the Mammying and playing and cuddling and scolding and fun into 3 hours in the evening, while being JUST as tired as her beloved Tired Children who are determined to PUNISH her tired ass for abandoning them in school and creche. (Even though they both LOVE where they go and actually CRY when they are collected.)
Mammy can not have grapes or gin during the week… 😛😛
Mammy struggles with balancing the Mammy guilt when she’s away from the girlies, and the urge to sell them on ETSY when she’s spent an hour being screamed at and cried at by her Tired Minions.

Mammy can’t win.

In conclusion. Mammy does INDEED need to rejoice that she has made it to Friday night, has the tired minions in bed, her feet up and the grapes poured. 😂And now Mammy needs all of her Lovely Supermums to say Hello and remind her of what I have been missing while abandoning you all this week while trying to keep 286 plates spinning without falling off her heels and onto her poor, muck-uped, Mammy-guilty face.

Cheers Bitcheepoos. xxx