I am Soppy Oul Sap Mum

My Partner in Poo!

(I love you I do…)

“I take thee for richer, for poorer”, we said.

“For better for worse, in sickness, in health”

And while we meant all of these things on the day,

In hindsight, there’s probably more we should say.

“I’ll love you alone, while it’s just me and you,

Deeply and truly, as lovers should do,

But things might change slightly when two becomes three

And yet I’ll still love you, though it might be slightly

Different and strained as we sail through the seas

Of babies and nappies and purees and puke,

Of Peekaboo, nap-times and lego and books.

And then we realise three shall be four

I’ll still try to love you as much as before.

For while there’s less dinners and cinema dates,

Less romance and movies and less use of good plates,

Every so often, I’ll catch a brief glimpse

Of the Man that I married, and I’ll smile as you wink

I’ll love you in darkness, in fevers, in tears

And teething and pain and in each passing year.

I’ll love you in cuddles and memories and fun

In sneaky embraces and slaps on the bum

As we meet in the kitchen in the middle of night.

And when I watch you swinging our girls way up high.

When you’re loving our girls, I love you the most,

When you’re covered in poo, or you’ve not cut their toast

The right way, or you’ve left all the dishes and mess

To build them a fort or put Hulk in a dress.

When I see you exhausted, yet hugging them tight,

When you get up to cuddle or sooth in the night,

When you smile at them both, I can’t help but stare

At the husband that I never thought I could share,

But happily do with our two little girls,

Who weren’t in our mind as we took all those vows,

I know that you love me when I hear them call Daddy

And I’ll share all that love with our Princesses gladly.

So while we still love and while we’re still “us”,

With kids there isn’t so much time for the fuss

Or the dates or attention or time that we had,

But that doesn’t mean our love’s old or is bad.

It’s different and shared, but the spark is still there,

It’s just covered in pink stuff and snot in our hair,

And sometimes we’re knackered or covered in poo

But I still love you as much as when I said “I do”.

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Happy Blog-Birthday to Mammy!

Today is The S-Mum Blog’s birthday!  It is four years since I began my Blogging journey.

I really can’t get over that.  Four Years?  It seems as if I only started yesterday, and yet so much has happened…

I began with one baby girl and a very careful voice…Four years later and I’m still thinking about Merlot, but I have TWO little ladies and a whole lot less shits to give!

I know my voice.  It is loud and proud.  I have the most incredible MamBam who follow and engage with me every day.  And, I got a national award along the way too. 🙂

So Happy Blogday to me.

I shall be sipping bubbles this weekend to celebrate.  Today, there might be cake.

Actually, there will definitely be cake.

Here’s the first post I ever wrote on the Blog.

Hope you enjoy!

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I am Supermum?

To be someone’s Mum is a gift.  From early childhood, little girls happily play at being mum to younger siblings, or indeed to dolls, or pets.

Me, I’m the proud and doting mum of a 3 year old Drama Queen, and I am happy to admit, that I am STILL playing!  No handbook arrived with the little sweetheart.  I don’t have a degree in parenting.  I don’t have a bloody clue really!

I make it up every day.  I make decisions that I know make my own Mum cringe.  I’m sure that at times, my dear Granny shakes her perfectly blow-dried head in horror at my parenting techniques.

In fact, sometimes, I swear that I’m having an outer body experience when I deal with the child.

The Boss, as she has taken to calling her pretty self, stands in front of me; arms crossed, pout perfected, audience’s attention caught and voice ready and poised to hit those terrifying high notes…while I chuckle like a crazy lady as I watch myself try to remain in control;  Deep breaths, calm expression, remind myself that I am the adult here.

“Listen Darling.  We need to leave the toy back on the shelf for another wee child. “

I’m winning.

“Good girl.  Now, come on and we’ll go get a Babychino and then we’ll go home and watch Minions…”  (Yes, blackmail.  Get over it.  It works…sometimes.)

I have her… I just need to get her to take my hand and then we’ll skip happily out of the shop, leaving behind the assembled audience in a cloud of applause, appreciation and awe at how well that mammy handled that…

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!  I NEEEEEEEEEEEED TEDDY!!!!” Cue autotap tears and stratospheric screaming… Oh! and don’t forget the kicks and snake-like movements as I try to lift her gracefully into my arms.

I manage to wrench her under one arm, pick up the bags and move out of the shop.  The audience shake heads and probably judge.  At this moment in time, I want my Mammy!

We reach the bench outside.  I put screaming child down and hunker down to have a positive parenting style talk with her. Her beautiful blue eyes are glistening with tears and her cheeks give the word “Rosy” a new level of meaning.

“Now Madam, listen to me.  Don’t EVER…”

Her attention has been distracted by the huge cluster of helium balloons behind me.

“PEPPAAAAAAA PIG!!!  Mammy wuk!  It’s Peppa Pig bawoooooon!  I NEEEEEEEEED IT”

Tears gone.  Smile on. Adorable wee face up close into mine.  “Pweeeeease Mammy. I wub it!”

“Next day we’re out, I’ll buy you a balloon okay?”

“Okay Mammy!”

And as we skip off towards the car, I look at the messy little head on her, and I know that for all my “playing”, I’m not doing a bad job really.

I am blessed.  I am exhausted.  I am happy.  I would kill for a glass of Merlot.  I am 100% in love with Mini-me. I’m trying my best.

I am Super Mum. 🙂

 

 

I “So don’t Dooooo social Media”

“I don’t doooooo Facebook.” 

“I don’t doooooooooo Instagram.”

“I don’t doooooooo social media.” 

Do I have a problem with any of these statements?

Of course not.

There are no rules to say that we have to do any of the social media platforms we chose to sign up to, are there?  And I know many people who have signed off social media, for various reasons, and who simply and politely say “I’m not on Facebook anymore” if I make reference to it.

But see, when the “dooooo” is accompanied by a ‘duh’-sneer, then, I “doooo” have a problem.

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Because if you are involved in a conversation about something that was on social media, and you announce that you “don’t doooooooo social media”, with a snarled lip and a rolled eye, then what you are dooooooing, my Darling, is being mean.

Because your inference is that the other people in the group are silly or sad or even pathetic for still partaking in the odd scroll.

Now, I am the very Doll who warns often about the ability that Social Media has to suck us into its wormhole; of the powerful effect that it can have on our mood and on our lives.  I give talks on reading Instagram and recognising the falsity of it.

I’m pretty adept at knowing myself if and when I need to ease up on my own scrolling. 

And yet, I enjoy the interaction I get online.  I read interesting articles.  I see people I like doing well in things.  I’ve met lovely people (and a few loopdies too!) and I enjoy when content is clever.

I can keep up with news and current affairs and I enjoy the conversations that I have; both ONLINE and ABOUT what is online.

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It’s becoming quite frequent to hear people say that they’ve deleted their FB app from their phone, or that they’ve logged off Instagram, but many of those who say that they “don’t DOOOOOOO” social media still have their accounts and still have a snoop every so often.  Nothing wrong with that is there?  No.

And indeed there is nothing wrong with deciding that you are no longer going to share stuff on your social media profiles.  If I’m honest, I rarely use my own private account.  I write and post on my Blog’s social media.  But as for my own personal accounts, they’re pretty quiet.

But do I ever snub or scoff with a “I don’t doooooooooo facebook” or “I have better things to be doing than scrolling thank you,” or “That social media is such a waste of time”? 

No.

Because I’m not a judgy pants. I don’t feel the need to demean your decision.  And I don’t think I’m better than you because I DOOOO Doooo social media.

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Imagine if I did it next time I’m in a restaurant.

Waitress –  “Did you see the dish with the tomato?”

 Me –  “Eh No, I don’t DOOOO tomato?”, raise my eyebrow as if the waitress is the most stupid cretun I’ve even encountered and then dismiss the rest of the conversation as irrelevant, given that it’s based on tomato, (which I don’t dooooo…)  How would that go down?

Not well.    Because whether I do or don’t do tomato is really not that big a deal, is it?

I’d imagine she’d think me a rude cow actually.

She might even post about it on Facebook…

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I wonder how it would work if those of us who do still partake in the scrolling and socialmedia-ing were to say things like

“Eh NO, I don’t doooooo Netflix binges” or

“I don’t dooooooooo gardening. How sad!”  or

“I don’t dooooooooo watching TV”.

I wonder how the people who can talk for hours about the TV show they love to watch, or the podcasts they like to listen to, or indeed the books they read, or the crosswords they like to do, would feel, if I looked at them as if they were deluded, and sympathetically announced that “I don’t understand how they could be bothered” or that “I have better things to be doing than colouring in”?

And sure, I probably wouldn’t get an answer would I?

Because I’m posting this on social media and so they’re  all too busy off “NOT DOOOOOOOING social media” to see it, aren’t they?

Or are they?

We’ll see!

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Speaking of Social Media, are you following me over on my platforms?  I’m on Facebook and Instagram and sometimes, on Twitter.

 

The InstaMammy Reality

I like social media.
I like how it allows me to stay in touch with people.
I like how it helps me to connect with old friends.
I love how it allows my family members who are scattered like glitter across the planet, to see what’s happening at home.
I love how it lets me see my niece’s little face and how she knows who I am even though they live abroad.
I love how one comment or image can spark conversations that are both heated and entertaining; sometimes even intelligent!
I like to see photographs of the people I like, smiling and happy.
I enjoy it and I get it I suppose.

As a Mummy, it provides some escapism. When the kids are asleep or you find yourself with 5 minutes to sit with a cuppa, there’s something nice about hitting the little blue F  and seeing what’s happening in the real world.

You know? That place where exciting things happen? Where Peppa Pig isn’t in charge and where people live wonderful lives?

Where everyone has terrifyingly precise, painted eyebrows and sparkly white teeth and where people look naturally happy, all of the time?

You get to look into the lives of your “friends”: see their exciting nights out, admire their fabulous clothes, wonder where they get the time or money to visit that salon again.

We see happy families, smiling for the selfie.
We see who’s at the gym, who’s out for dinner and who’s heading away on holiday.

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And while there is no harm in this really,  the key is to know that what you’re looking at is not reality.
It’s virtual.
It’s fabricated.
It’s lies.

No one’s life is perfect all of the time.  We know that, but let’s face it…who is going to voluntarily put a shitty photograph of themselves up for the world to see?

The natural selfies are probably one of 23 shots.

There are magical filters that apparently beautify! (Note to self…find out more about these.)

The reality is that regardless of how careful you are, if you look through your list of friends, you’ll possibly come across at least 2 people about whom you have to ask yourself “who is this?”

And while it keeps us connected, a huge issue for many new mums, is the isolation caused by social media.

Yes, we can see what’s happening and stay up to date with our friends.  We post photographs and status updates about our children and about our lives, to let our friends and families see how cute they are and how entertaining life is with kids.

But when this means that our friends feel that they don’t need to visit, or meet for coffee, or pick up the phone, then… we have a problem.

When seeing everyone else having fun, makes you feel boring and frumpy in your busy, unglamorous world of feeds and nappy changes, then…we have a problem.

When you know the story before someone tells you it, then…we have a problem.

When someone you haven’t spoken to in 2 years only realises that you’re no longer friends when you finally unfriend them on social media, then…we have a problem.

When every conversation  you have includes the line “Yeah, I saw that,” then…we have a problem.

And it’s our own fault.  We see it all on social media so we no longer feel the same need to ring someone up to ask how they’re doing.
After all, we know they’ve been to dinner this week, had the dog to the beach and that the baby has been puking.
We read it on Facebook.

We no longer consider a coffee date important as we know what’s going on with them.
We read it on Facebook.

But of course, Facebook doesn’t give you the same satisfaction that you get from good conversation over a cuppa.
Facebook doesn’t give you a hug before you go back to the whirlwind of your life.
Facebook might help you feel connected to the world outside your home, but only for a second, and only until it doesn’t.

Last week, I met a good friend for dinner.

She’s not on Facebook.

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It was refreshing. She was interested in my stories, in how I was, in how the girls were doing… she hasn’t seen it on Facebook. I was delighted to hear about what she’s been up to since Christmas. It was real conversation and it was lovely. We actually had so much to catch up on.  There were no lies about how perfect life is.  It’s difficult to lie to someone’s face.

We were able to talk about the difficulties we have with our respective Mini-Mes. We laughed at things we remembered from our nights out BC. Stories were interesting because they hadn’t already been told or seen. It was good, old fashioned catch up and it made me feel fuzzy and loved and ridiculously real again.

So while this isolation I speak of obviously doesn’t just apply to mums, that’s the angle I’m seeing it from.  I’m lucky that I have a wonderful family and some very good friends, but sometimes, just sometimes, being a mummy in the presence of two fabulously fun princesses 24 hours a day, can be a lonely place.

And while social media is fantastic and helps us stay in touch, it isn’t real.

So if you know someone; a mummy or daddy, or friend or cousin, who you have to really think about the last time you actually spoke to them, do you and them a favour.

Pick up the phone and say hi.
Or call to visit and actually hold the baby, while she makes you a coffee.

Rather than sharing sentimental quotations or memories on our friends’ pages, we really need to try to make more of our reality… not our virtual reality.

So there you go.
Social media is fabulous.  I get it.  I enjoy it.
But sometimes, it just isn’t enough.
And that’s the truth.

 

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New Year, New You…re grand as you are Mum.

Before the onslaught of New Year, New You Bullshit starts, let me remind you of a few things…

Yes, January 1st is an obviously good starting point for new beginnings and new intentions.

Just like everything ‘starts on Monday’, at this time of year, we are all so good at using ‘I’ll start in the New Year’ as our mantra.

New project? I’ll start in January…
New intention? I’ll start in January…
Giving up something? Wait until January…
Starting something? Wait until January…
New routine? I’ll start in January…
Want to change something? Wait until January… Good intentions eh?

NEED to change something? Wait until January? And suddenly, what SEEMS like a good intention is ACTUALLY just procrastination. And we’re all good at that.

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Of course the New Year is a great time for motivation and change and new everything. However, if you are changing something because someone or something is making you feel like you’re not good enough, stop and think.

Over the next few days, our news feeds will be full of adverts which seem to be encouraging and motivating you.

You’ll see all sorts of quick fixes and miracle makers; everything from programmes and apps to help to start or stop a habit, to magic pills and shakes which will transform you into a Victoria Secret’s model faster than you can take a poo… (which is precisely what you’ll be doing if you take any of that crap.)

What we need to remember is that EACH and EVERY one of these adverts has been targeted at us. They’re not popping up on our screens by accident. They’re targeted by the companies; our age, interests, demographic, location, previous searches… it’s all algorithm and it’s simple and clever marketing.

Most of the ads are genuine companies who know their target markets and how to target them effectively at the right time, in the right way.

There’s no conspiracy in that.

Where we have a problem is when the companies are telling you, usually indirectly, sometimes bluntly, that YOU are not good enough AS YOU ARE.

They tell you you NEED to look a certain way. You NEED your teeth whitened. You NEED to lose weight. You NEED to calm down. You NEED to change your mindset. You NEED to spend less time or more time on whatever… You NEED to eat this way. You NEED to take this… You NEED to take that.

They tell you that your life is incomplete. They tell you that your life is mediocre.
They tell you that your life could be soooooo much better.

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They go so far as to show you “Real people”, their case studies, their Before and Afters. They put only the Glossy, filtered, Instaperfect images of their customers/clients on their websites. They tell you that YOU TOO could have this life…that it is SOOOO easy. They smugly imply that it really is a breeze, that if you join their gang/cult/whatever that you will also have shiny, filtered, smiling instafeed in as little as 10 days.

By showing you these glossy smiling examples, they are indirectly telling your that YOUR life is actually pretty shitty in comparison.

They are hitting you during the Post Christmas bloat, the gray Pre-January blur when family members have left and the tree is molting in the corner and we’re all feeling a bit meh. They are telling you that you are not enough.

They are wrong.

You are perfect, just as you are.
You are beautiful, just as you are.
You are strong.
You can face anything.
You are loved.
Your life is YOUR life and it should not be measured by anyone else’s prepackaged and filtered measuring tape.

Sure, we all have things we aspire to, resolutions an intentions. If you want to change something, do it. If you want to get healthier, do it. If you want to lose weight, go for it. If you want to make a drastic change to your routine, go for it.

But ONLY do it FOR YOU.
Not because some advert on your news feed tells you you are not enough.

Do it for YOURSELF. AND if anyone of the smug, shiny, “Look at how perfect my life is” brigade tells you they can “Make you the BEST version of YOU,” tell them to feck off. You’re doing a great job of being YOU, all by yourself.

You don’t need to buy a lifestyle from anyone. You don’t need a NEW YOU. You just need to realise that you’re already as YOU as you can be.

 

And you look pretty damn perfect to me.