Thoroughly Modern Mammy – I am Say what? Mum

Rational thinking goes out the window the second a pregnancy test indicates a positive result.  

Logic goes with it.

They are replaced by panic and worry and fear.

 

From the moment the word “Pregnant” appeared on the little screen over 6 years ago, the sensible and calm me has been replaced gradually by what I like to call the “Hormental” Me.

 

And of course, we CAN blame hormones for our newly irrational, illogical and panicked minds…  But we can also blame ANOTHER factor.

 

People.

adult-18604__340

When you are pregnant, people and the things that people say, when mixed with the hormones and genuine fears of pregnancy, create an explosive cocktail of mental mayhem.  Generally people mean no harm and their comments are 100% innocent, but what they say and what we HEAR are often two very different things.

 

Person Says:  “Oh my Gosh, you’re so neat!”

Mammy thinks:  “Oh my Gosh, there’s something wrong.  My baby must be too small.  What if he isn’t growing properly? When is my next appointment? I wonder is it too late to ring my midwife? I must order a doppler online right now.  Why am I not bigger? What’s wrong with me? Something’s wrong…”

 

Person Says:  “Oh my Gosh, you’re blooming!”

Mammy thinks:  “Oh my Gosh, there’s something wrong. I’m too big.  I must have extra fluid. What’s wrong with me? What if there’s something wrong with the Baby? Or maybe I’m just fat. I must look like an upturned turtle. I’m huge. When is my next appointment? I wonder is it too late to ring my midwife? I must order a doppler online right now.  Why am I so big? What’s wrong with me? Something’s wrong…”

 

Person Says:  “Oh my Gosh, you’re carrying so low!”

Mammy thinks:  “Oh my Gosh, there’s something wrong. I’m too low.  I must have dropped.  I’m too early to be low. I’m going to go early. There’s something wrong with the Baby? When is my next appointment? I wonder if I should ring Maternity…What’s wrong with me? Something’s wrong…”

 

Person Says:  “Oh my Gosh, you’re carrying so high!”

Mammy thinks:  “Oh my Gosh, there’s something wrong. I’m too high. I must look like I have three boobs. Why am I so high? Should my bump not be lower? There’s something wrong with the Baby? When is my next appointment? I wonder if I should ring Maternity…What’s wrong with me? Something’s wrong…”

 

Person Says:  “Are you feeling lots of kicks?”

Mammy thinks:  “Oh my Gosh, when did I last feel a kick? I can’t remember. It hasn’t kicked today. Did I feel kicks yesterday?  How do I know if it’s kicks or just wind?

There’s something wrong. When is my next appointment? I wonder if I should ring Maternity…What’s wrong with me? Something’s wrong…”

 

Person Says:  “Oh my Gosh, you look wrecked!”

Mammy thinks:  “Oh my Gosh, she’s right.  I look awful. Why am I so tired? I’m too pale.  My iron must be low.  Can I buy an iron level tester online? There’s something wrong with the Baby.  When is my next appointment? I wonder if I should ring Maternity…What’s wrong with me? Something’s wrong…”

 

Person Says:  “Oh my Gosh! You look AMAZING!”

Mammy thinks:  “Oh my Gosh, there’s something wrong. I should be sick.  Should I not be tired by now?  Why do I feel so well? What’s wrong with me? Oh my God, there’s something wrong with the Baby?  I When is my next appointment? I wonder if I should ring Maternity…What’s wrong with me? Something’s wrong…”

 

See the pattern?!

 

No matter WHAT people say, on certain days, your rewired Baby Brain will divert immediately to worst case scenario; to fear, to panic.  And this is completely normal.  It’s our brains preparing for the constant alertness of being a Mammy.  It’s instinct kicking in and it’s one of the ways we ensure that our little beans are as safe as we can possibly keep them, from the second they’re conceived.  

furious-2514031__340

If I had called Maternity every time I felt the urge to, I’d have been on the phone to the poor midwives 24/7.  Hell, I’d have moved into the labour ward the day I peed on the stick if it had been an option!

 

People say things to us, meaning no harm whatsoever.  We can’t help but over-think things.  It’s normal to overreact, especially when people make silly, albeit innocent, statements like the crackers above.

 

(But joking aside,  if you DO have a niggling worry or concern or you just feel like something isn’t right, DO contact your GP or PHN. Follow your gut… or bump.  You might be irrational and illogical and slightly hormental, but you’re also a Mammy-in-the-making and Mammy knows best.)   

pregnancy-784671__340

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 Starfish Mum

Today is Memory Monday.
I had a savage blast from the past this week Ladybelles.  💗

On my Instafeed, there popped up a beautiful photograph of a friend’s beautiful wee babby.
Nothing unusual there?
But I felt like a truck had hit me.

Why?
Because the perfect little one was wearing a hip harness and suddenly I was back 5 and a half years, remembering things that I haven’t thought about in, well, 5 and a half years.
Mini-Me wore the same little hip harness for 9 weeks.  Her hip dysplasia was diagnosed when she was just 24 hours old.  A student doctor spotted it, and within a few hours, she’d been fitted into the contraption that would (and thankfully did) fix her little hips.
She’d been breach from 28 weeks in my womb and was born by C-Section, folded in half with her left leg up against her left ear. Her wee ear was bent forward, that’s how crushed over she’d been!  (I remember laughing because the Furbaby came to us with a floppy left ear too.  The things that go through your head eh? 😂😂)
But anyway, in the space of a 10 minute examination, everything changed.  Now, in hindsight, we know we were soooooo lucky.
We were lucky that the student Doctor had been invited to check her. The Doctor had missed it.  We were lucky that the hospital had one of the little harnesses in stock, so she didn’t have to wait in pain.  We were lucky in that she responded well and after 9 weeks, we got the bad old harness off.  We were lucky as no surgery was required, and apart from a little phase of physio until she was 2, no follow up action was required.  She didn’t walk until she was 20 months.  In hindsight, I should have enjoyed that!  Princess has been CLIMBING since 11 months and I’m feckin exhausted! 😂😂
It’s not a big deal.  There are a million other things that we could have been told.  There are a million parents who would tut at something as insignificant as hip dysplasia.  In the scheme of things, it’s not the worst thing that will happen.  And yet, when I saw this photograph, I was over run by emotions and memories that as I spoke to The Him, I realised that I have pushed to the back of my brain.
And like everything to do with parenting, when it happens to your baby, to you, regardless of how seemingly small the issue is, it’s still your issue and it’s still horrible to deal with.
I was sitting there with my seemingly perfect little girl. and then we were the parents who had to learn how to hold her. Who had to deal with not being able to bathe her ourselves.  Who had to explain why she looked like a wee starfish (so cute).  Who got sympathetic looks from people when we were out and about.
None of the clothes she got could go on her.  She didn’t FIT into the car seat we’d bought for her.  When she had a poonami, she couldn’t be washed properly.  Her skin was chaffed and raw where the harness rubbed constantly.  She was restrained, just when she should have been free to kick and feel.
Of course, we figured out ways to deal with all of these little problems quickly.  The staff in LUH were fantastic. The moment the Doctor pulled her wee legs back and strapped them into the harness, she let a huge sigh out of her and fell asleep instantly.  She slept for 6 hours straight.  She had been in so much pain up until then.  Every time I had changed her nappy, I had wondered why she was screaming.  Then I suddenly knew and ironically, it was that realisation of her pain that softened the blow for us. So we did what all parents do.  We pulled ourselves together and got on with it and where we couldn’t shower her with water, we showered her with kisses.  😘😘

Yes it was horrid.  Of course it was hard, as a first time Mammy especially, to suddenly have everything change.  My expectations shifted.  My visions of nightly bath routines and pretty outfits went quickly out the window, but we got on with it.
And in hindsight, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Except that it obviously was more upsetting for me than I gave myself credit for.  The photograph brought back so many memories, good and bad.  It got us talking about our little Mini-Me and those few weeks.
And it made me wonder why I’ve never thought about it?  Why I’ve never thought to write about it?  Why have I put it all so far away into my mind?  I have no idea.  I was so relieved the day that the consultant took the harness off her.  And once the physio told us that she was developing just fine, slowly but fine, I cried with joy.
The day that I saw the photograph of my lovely friend’s little starfish, My Mini-Me had won the sack race in the school sport’s day and was on stage dancing that night.  And so my memory flashes were short-lived and my next reaction was that I needed to tell my friend that it will all be worth it.  That it’s a good thing that it was detected early.  That it’ll be off before she knows it.  I told her the little tricks that we found, like using emulsifying ointment and light bandages to stop the skin chaffing. Like putting light tights for age 3-4 over her wee legs and how she can still put on pretty dresses.
But most importantly, that it’s completely fine that she’s finding it difficult to deal with or to feel upset, because there is no Blue Peter Badge for brave Mammies and Daddies and sometimes, shit things happen.😳
But thankfully, in our case anyway, things were and are fine. (Look at how cute our little Starfish was!  It was actually hard to get used to needing 2 hands to hold her after the harness came off!)  She is sine and my friend’s little one will be too
So there we go.  Have to be serious sometimes you know!?.
Has anyone else dealt with hip dysplasia?  Do you have any tips or advice that you’d like to share below for my friend or any other Mama who might be dealing with it right now? Please share or PM me if you’d rather not be identified.
Hope you all had a lovely day. 💙💙💙💙
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I am Some Real Mums on the Tellybox Please Mum

Real Mammies lose it sometimes.
Real Mammies do NOT behave like the Mammies on the TellyBox…
Fact. 😶
Real Mammies, while we do indeed have our Mary of the Poppins moments, do not spend our days answering our minions in edumacated and enthusiastic, sing songy voices.  😅
So why do the TV shows aimed at our minions portray only Mammies who would give the authors of the Positive Parenting books the same satisfaction that one gets from polishing off a box of maltesers all by oneself?
Sickeningly sweet, always smiling, perky and positive and always saying the right thing, these Mammies dress head to toe in Marks of the Spensive, have Stepford Mammyesque hair doooos, and would put the most prim and perky primary school teacher to shame, with their well laid out everything and their general competency in all things Mammy.
But riddle me this Ladybelles?
If these shows, (which MUST be applauded for their educational and developmental content and tones), can  portray the world of a wobbler or a toddler or a minion so well, WHY do they lie to them about what parents should be?
“It’s OK (insert character name here). It’s normal to feel sad/confused/excited.”  the furry, talking animals tell their owners on our screens, before talking them through their emotions and making the world a wonderful place again.
But WHERE is the Mammy, or Daddy, who is tired? Where is the Mammy who explains firmly that NO, you can’t hit your sister or NO, It’s NOT OK to throw toys?  Where is the teenage sister who is throwing “shade” at the Mum?  Where is the Mum wiping yesterday’s yoghurt off the school uniform with a Babywipe as the child goes out the door? Where is the 4 year old crying that they can’t find the shoes that are RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM? 😡😡
Just once, I would LOVE to see Topsy and Tim’s Mum lose her shit. I’d love to see her looking like crap, with bags under her eyes and toast stuck to her arse.  Just once, I would love to see one of the delightful, BFF twins throwing a complete strop because their beautiful Mammy puts beans too close to the fishfingers.
The Kiddy Channels should do a post watershed episode of Bing where “What would Flopsy do?” is answered by Flopsy “Flopsy will drink 3 glasses of wine when you go to bed Bing…you little prick,” and where we get to SEE Topsy and TIm’s Dad eating the remains of their uneaten dinners before he scrapes them in the bin, while Mammy cries at the table because she’s failing at EVERYTHING and huffing that “NO ONE EVER LISTENS TO MEEEEEEEE!” 😥😥
THEN, I MIGHT take them seriously, because at least I would possibly get some understanding about MY emotions and MY struggles and I might feel a bit more NORMAL!

 

Now, where is the remote?  I really should turn the channel over from the “Has gone to bed. We’ll be back in the morning screen!” 😂😂

How was your day?

I am Smile for the dentist Mum

“Mammy. MAMMY. Da dentist came to school today.”
“Oh how lovely. Very good darling.”
“I gotted a noo toofbwush and EVERYFING,”
“Excellent!”
“And da dentist says we have to bwush our teef TWICE a day. After Breakfast and JUST before bed so we have fresh mouvs going to sleep…”
(Mmmmmmhmmmmm. Just what Mammy’s been saying for years.)

“Yes Sweetie. That is right!”
“We has to bwush our teef after EVERY time we eat you know. Sh-very important.”
“No sweetheart, you don’t brush them EVERY time you eat” (And considering that you, like your Mammy, have your arse sticking out of the fridge every 5 minutes, we’d have to hang your toothbrush on a necklace and stick a tube of toothpaste up your sleeve.)
“NO MAMMY. DA DENTIST SAID EVERY single TIME. And she is de BOSS of teef.”

Pulling into Granny’s, I have a feeling I’m going to want to hurt this dentist by bedtime.
Granny has a cuppa poured, digestive in her hand…

“Noooooooooo GWANNY STOOOOOOOOP!”
Granny drops the biscuit and almost scalds herself with the tea, such is the ferocity of Mini-Me’s scream. 😂

“What is it?” gasps poor Granny.
“No BISCUITS. Biscuits are BAAAAD for your teef!”
I swear to God Ladies. There aren’t enough words to describe that panicked, innocent wee face; the fear and terror that Granny was about to eat a digestive was genuine.. 😂😂
Enter Granda.

Poor, unsuspecting Granda!

“Ooooh pour me a cuppa” he says, reaching for a biscuit…
“GRANDA NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” She scares the proverbial out of him too! 😂😂

“What what what what?”
Biscuits will make your teef fall out. You can NEVER EAT BISCUITS AGAIN.”
Now it’s Granda’s face that is priceless. 😀

And so you can imagine how the rest of the evening went…
She has brushed her teeth 5 times since 4pm.😂😂
And she refused to do a pee before bed, because apparently da dentist says “Brush your teeth and go STRAIGHT to bed, Mammy, so I don’t have time for a pee. Sowwy.” 😭😭😭
I’m quite unsure about how long this little fad will last…

Possibly until the first time she’s offered some chocolate! 😉😉
Why is it that it takes a complete stranger to get them to believe the stuff WE’VE been telling them everyday since they were born?
I wonder if we sent the school a list of things we need the minions to start doing, would they arrange a series of visitors? You know, like someone who likes to eat vegetables? Or someone who likes to go straight to sleep? Ooooooh, or a waitress? Or a cleaner? Or a laundry Lady?
What profession or job would you ask them to send in?
Let me know.

Oh!  Mind you don’t choke on your biscuit there!
AAAAAAAAAAAND smile! 😆😆😆😆😆😆😆
🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

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 So THAT’s my Baby Mum!

​Every day, I get to know my minions better.
I am waiting patiently to understand them.  I may wait on by the look of things.
Mini-Me ADORED these books 👇👇👇 when she was younger.  We have most of them, still perfect condition, despite having been read 12 times a day for about 18 months.


Today, I learned something about her…

She is a gentle little lady, who despite having the temper of her mother and the patience of…well, her mother, is quite the delicate flower who looks after her stuff quite well.  
Especially books.
How did I learn this? 

WELL, I found this book today and decided to introduce Princess to our tradition.

And within 5 minutes, the pristine and perfect book looked like THIS. 👇👇👇👇


Mini-Me used to turn the pages gently and point sweetly at the “wee mouse” and cheep at the “wee birdies”.  She’d tentatively touch the sensory sections and her mind would flourish poetically and grow beautifully before my very eyes… 💖💖
Princess ripped the fecking book in bits… like the Hulk that she is…and banged it REPEATEDLY off the floor until she managed to bust the binding.  

5 minutes.

Rambo.
However, never one to dwell on the negative I have decided to perceive her reaction that she TOO was developing her sensory skills.  Her taste for reading can not be disputed either as she has tried many times to EAT the fecking book.  Not only do these books nourish the mind, they are great teethers too apparently.
And so there you go.  These little books do not ONLY educate and encourage and stimulate the minds of our minions, they can also teach Mammies the differences in the personalities of her two little darlings. 😂😂