I am “Sense or Superstition?” Mum

“Don’t tell anyone until you’re past the 12 weeks”

This statement has begun to bother me.  Of course, there are many reasons for such traditional views as these.  It’s a social norm that couples are supposed to keep their big news to themselves until the 12 week mark, just incase.

Why? Well I honestly don’t know.  I suppose it was because the scan could determine that everything is OK so far and that there is actually a Baby in there.  And of course, there is the fact that most miscarriages (80% according to a reputable site for all things Babyful) happen before the 12 week mark.  

Maybe we SHOULD heed this advice.  Or maybe, like so many other aspects of pregnancy and parenting, we are holding ourselves ransom to old notions, afraid to break the norm…just incase.

When I was expecting Mini-Me, we did keep it to ourselves until we were 12 weeks.  I’ve grown up listening to this mantra and I accepted it to be “right”.  If it was good enough for every woman before me, it’s good enough for me.

 

While pregnant with Princess however, we found ourselves having to admit our “secret” at only 9 weeks, quite simply because I could no longer hide the bump or pass my belly off as having eaten too much.  I showed early and so I told early.  Older family members reacted identically…

“Oh congratulations guys! Great news! How far along are you? 9 weeks?” (raise eyebrows and inhale sharply)

“Jeepers you’re not safe yet. I wouldn’t be telling people yet.”

 

Yup.  Pop our bubble why don’t ye?!

 

Some of us CAN hide our little secrets better than others too.  Physically, some Mammies can get to 20+ weeks before the bump becomes obvious.  My 2 bumps appeared early. I managed to cover Mini-Me’s with flowy tops until 11 weeks.  Princess? From the second I peed on the stick, the belly bumped!

 

I tried and failed to hide it and eventually just told people. But for some reason, we think that by announcing a pregnancy early, we are tempting fate.  


Well here’s what I think about that.

 

At only 6 weeks pregnant, I had a scare with Princess. I then had to ring my parents/sister to come mind Mini-Me and inform them in one phone call that I was both pregnant (Yay!)…but maybe not for long.  Thankfully, it was only a scare, but had that scare ended in miscarriage, as so many do, who was I going to share my grief with? And why should a couple have to deal with such devastation alone? So many mums (and Dads) return to work only a few days later, and carry with them a sadness so great.  

 

It doesn’t matter how early it happens, a pregnancy is a pregnancy and a loss is a loss.  Is a lost baby any less your Baby? No. I don’t think so.  If you have begun to love the idea of the little person inside, your grief at 10 weeks is just as valid as the grief of someone who loses at 13 weeks.  But we’re expected to accept it and get on with it because it was early. And of course, some people can and do, but it must be allowed to be grieved and our Paddy Irish Way of keeping it quiet like a dirty little secret must change.  Why is miscarriage always hushed and whispered about? There is nothing shameful about it. Miscarriage IS a big deal, so why is it deemed something that shouldn’t be talked about?

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For most people, (and I say “most people” because let’s call a spade a spade, not everyone is happy to find out that they are expecting. It’s not all glows and Miracles and joyeous raptures but that’s a WHOLE different conversation), for most people, the second you find out you are pregnant, you are a Mammy and you begin to love. Getting to the 12 week mark is a relief of course.  But so is hitting 13 weeks and 14 weeks and so on. Every day is a relief.  But to think that you are safe after the 12 week mark is wrong.  Unfortunately, we all know this. A pregnancy can end at any time. Until your Baby is in your arms, there is no relief.  And even then, nothing is certain.

 

Now, of course there are many shaking their heads and tutting as they read this. “I wouldn’t be telling anyone before 12 weeks.”  That’s OK. I’m not saying that you should. I’m simply writing my OWN thoughts on it. I don’t assume to be right, but I do like to question things that Mammies and Daddies face.  I’m not asking you to agree, and if I were ever pregnant again, I don’t know WHEN I would announce it.  I don’t have to know.  There are no rules. There are no laws.

 

I’m not saying that hiding your pregnancy until 12 weeks is wrong.  It’s like EVERYTHING in pregnancy and Parenting.  Do what is right for you.  If you want to keep your happy news to yourself until you’re heading to the Labour ward, good for you.  You do just that. You don’t HAVE to announce anything.  

 

And if you want to sing it from the rooftops once you find out, DO!  

Your Body, Your call…

 

But we do need to stop letting our personal situations be dictated by old fashioned notions and remember that there are no rules.  Things like this are a personal choice.  If someone choses to tell you their happy news at 5 weeks, accept that that is their decision and don’t dismiss them because YOU wouldn’t tell so early.  And likewise, if someone keeps their news a secret until 20 weeks or later, that’s OK too.  Because unless it is YOUR BUMP, your opinion on when the news is announced, is really not that important.

 

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 Such a Royal No-No Mum

(Today’s Thoroughly Modern Mammy column
“When are you going again?”
The Royal NO NO!)

So the royal family are expecting another Baby.
Good for them.


I’m as happy for Kate as I would be to hear of ANY pregnancy, but Holy Gemima, if I see ONE more headline or comment about how she’s “completing her family” or she’s now got “the magic number”, I shall scream.

Now, of course as an international celebrity, she will have every moment of her pregnancy and birth and life scrutinized and spread over the interweb and newspapers. That’s part of the job she signed up to isn’t it? And I don’t mind the reports of her pregnancy. It IS a matter of interest to our neighbours in the UK, and I’ll bet the Fashion bloggers and maternity shops are rubbing their hands in glee at the guaranteed content for the foreseeable future.

But like all things Mammy related, people are far too quick to jump to assumptions and conclusions, assuming to know inside information and writing anything to gain clicks and sales. To the journalists who wrote such rubbish as “Her family will be complete” and “Three is the magic number”, I ask some questions.

Will it really? Will her family REALLY be complete with 3 kids? Says who? How do you know that she will only have one more child? How can you guarantee that this little child will even be born? How do you know that she isn’t carrying twins? How will you cash in on this theory is suddenly her magic number is 4!? How do you know that she planned this one? For all you know, little Prince/Princess was a little heart attack for poor Willy and Lovely Kate.

Such statements and assumptions beg other questions too.

Why do people insist on telling you that you should “be going again” or “getting a move on”?
Why do people think it’s OK to assume that everyone wants to have more Babies? Or actually, even A baby for that matter.
Why, oh WHY, do people think that it’s OK to ASK why a couple aren’t “going for number 3, or 4, or 8?

Here are 6 reasons to NOT comment on a couple’s NON pregnant state:
1. It’s none of your business.

2. You don’t know their situation. You don’t know if they’ve had a miscarriage recently. People don’t generally go around announcing that do they? In fact, we good Irish still fall into the trap of thinking that we aren’t allowed to tell anyone until the sacred 12 week mark, and so when things go wrong, couples often have no one to share their grief or help them through it.

3. 1 in 6 Irish couples currently struggle with fertility. How do you know if the person you are innocently teasing about “going for another one” or “getting a move on” isn’t one of those couples? You don’t know if they’re trying everything and being constantly heartbroken. You don’t know if she’s injecting herself to try to help matters. You don’t know if he’s struggling with the fact that his sperm count is low. You don’t know if they’ve put every penny they have (and don’t have) into rounds of treatment, over and over again. You don’t.

4. Not EVERY couple WANTS to have a baby, or another Baby. For their own reasons. That they don’t have to explain to you.

5. Maybe that couple are in the process of adoption, or surrogacy. Maybe that couple are at breaking point, physically and emotionally and maybe…

6. …it’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

Of course people mean no harm when we joke about “filling that big house” or “getting them a wee brother”, but like all things Parent related, innocent comments and harmless questions can cut through people like a bolt of lightning. We shouldn’t comment. End of.

So when the headlines tell us that because the Princess, (or Duchess or whatever she is), is now perfect because she’s having another child, we should try not to let them convince us that what they think is perfect, is right.
Because it’s not. YOU know what is right for YOUR family.

I like Kate’s style and her hair and her shoes… but will I be following suit and having number 3 to make my family “perfect” or “complete”?
Eh, no.
We’re “practically perfect in every way” already thank you very much, not that it’s anyone’s business! 😂

I am She’s Not Quite Getting it Mum

“WHAT is THAT Mammy?”

“What is what Sweetie?”

“What is THAT fing on the tray?”
“That is the chicken for Mammy and Daddy’s dinner tonight.”

“Dat is NOT a chucken. Chucken is white.”
“Chicken is white when it is cooked. This is a raw chicken.”

“Why is it not moooovin like?”
“Because it’s dead Baby.”

“Nooooooooo? Who kulled the chicken?”
“Erm, the Farmer killed the chicken so that Mammy can cook the chicken before I eat it.” (This may not end well…😥😥😥)

“But that Farmer should NOT kill his wee chuckens. That is NOT very nice.”
“But how would we get chicken for our dinner if the farmer doesn’t kill it pet?”

(Looks at me as if I’m the most intellectually challenged cretur on the planet…😅)
“You COULD just go to the shop and BUY chucken Mammy. Then the farmer could stop killing da wee chuckens and everyone would be happy.”

“Ok. 😐😐😐That’s a great idea. I’ll do that the next day.”
“Good Mammy… And if you see that farmer, sort him out. He shouldn’t be going around kulling his wee pet chuckens. That is not nice behaviour.”

(I wonder if I should tell her where Granda will be sending her buddies Ellie and JohnJoe next Spring? 🐮🐄🐮🐄🐮🐄😂😂)

#fml #iswineonatuesdayallowed

I am Snored Mum

Anyone else feel as if they’ve been hit by a double decker bus?

I was in great form yesterday, full of energy and enthusiasm for the weekend after the madness of week 1. We had a lovely date night last night. (Saw Detroit. Tight watch but superb.) I went to bed rather smug in my ability to be all the everything and keep all of the plates spinning, and then I woke up this morning COMPLETELY knackered and spent the day dealing with an exhausted Mini-Me and teething, shattered Wobbler. (A bag of bitches in a briared hedge we were. 😛😛)
But The Him was well rested. 😠
Why?

I’ll fecking tell you why…

You see at 5.45am, Princess Headtheball began chirping through the monitor for her “Dodee” and her “Mammee”… And where “Mammeeeee” usually knows that she’ll eventually find the dodees herself and go back to sleep, you know, because it’s still the MIDDLE OF THE FECKIN NIGHT, The Him is not quite so clever. Before I was awake enough to STOP the big Gombeen, he was up and in her room, talking in soothing, FOOLISH, NAIVE tones to the Rugmonster that is our youngest manipulator. “Sssssssssh now. You lie down and go back to sleep etc…” 😅
I could hear her raising her eyebrow at him. I could hear him returning to the bedroom door in a fultile and quite hilarious attempt at leaving her there… and then I could hear the apopleptic SCREAM that signified that she was having NONE of it. It translated into “YOU get back in to this room and you lift my soggy bottom and slabbery head RIGHT NOW Servant Man. And Mammeeee? Bring me to her, Peasant.”😂

Fully awake now, Mammy here was thinking what a silly, foolish man her Him was and how he’d know about it now that he would have to get up at stupid o’clock on a Sunday Morning…

Into the bedroom he carries her. WTF?😠😠
“She’ll go back to sleep beside us” he explains.
Will she indeed?
Will she FECK! 😂😂😂

You see, poor Him was being both foolish and optimistic, but was also POSSIBLY trying to prove a point. Because last weekend when we collected the girls from a sleepover in Granny Dearest’s, Granda Bear informed us that she’d woken at 6am but that she’d slept in beside them until 8.40am…

But The Him forgot that such unusual and magical mysteries ONLY happen in the magical Narnia of the Grandparents’ house. Such occurences are not of the real world. 😛 Parents NEVER get to enjoy that kind of joy. NOPE.

Persistent as he is, he did indeed plonk her in beside me before climbing back into bed. She snuggled into me and for about 38 seconds, I thought she would go back to sleep. But then, she reminded me of her intentions to get OUT OF BED by spending 30 minutes sticking random limbs into my back, sitting on my head and sticking her fingers up my nose, into m mouth and into my ears.

That was it. He was going to have to get up and take her up to the kitchen.

Afterall , it WAS HIS mistake wasn’t it? I was just about to tell him as much when I heard it.

The one sound that can send a tired and hormental Mammy-type over the edge, into insanity and off her fecking head…

Yep.
He SNORED.😢😠😠😠😠😠

HOW I did not take a pillow and SUFFOCATE his slumbering, slabbering, snoring self in that instant, I will never know. (But the next time there are nominations sought for saintly people who go above and beyond for the safety and survival of others, think of me). 😅

And so Mammy ended up doing her usual “FFS I’ll do it MYSELF” stomping dance and getting up to watch CBeebies with the Fudgemonster. But, because Mini-Me was still asleep, I didn’t get to do it loudly enough for Sleeping Beauty to even hear me. 😅😠
As usual, NO ONE WAS LISTENING!

Has he learned his lesson? OH indeed he has. Because not only did he have to deal with his very own Bunnyboiler/EmilyRose😈 when he got up, he also had to deal with the Wobbler when she entered the realm of “past her sleep tired” that we parents all dread and fear so much.

Oh! And he has also been reminded 398 times that I am sleeping until 2pm next Sunday…

Yeah. What are the chances of that happening Mammies?😂😂😂

How was your day?

I am Some Mammy Poppins Hacks Mum

So we have survived the first week of normality and reality with everyone back to School, Childcare and work. I don’t know how you other Mammies are feeling this morning, but I for one am exhaustipated. Even though the girls have been up around 7am most mornings over the summer, suddenly having to have everyone out the door, fully dressed and even partially fed, has been a challenge.

It will take a few weeks to get back into the swing of it, but here are a few things that I did this week which helped, if only a little bit.

  1. Meal plan: I did out a plan for the week of what meals we’d be eating and then based the shopping list on what I needed for these. Mini-Me’s lunch tends to be the same every day, so that is handy and I’ll get back into the habit of making extra dinner for me to have as lunch the next day too. It’s now Sunday morning and the list worked so well, that there is NOTHING left in the fridge and so we might just have to go out for Brunch.

2. All hail the Slowcooker: Unfortunately, with The Him and Jim working 482 hours per week, family dinners are only a weekend thing here, so yes I usually end up cooking twice a day. When I’m off, this is not a problem, but now back at work, where you have to condense your whole day into 2 hours, it becomes one. And so my trusty slowcooker will be returned to regular use.

3. Get up early: Yeah yeah, cliched I know, but it is so true. I’m an early bird; not because I like getting out of bed. No. I LOVE my bed. But I also love having an uninterrupted shower and a full hot cup of coffee. If I’m not up at least 40 minutes before the girls, morning melts into mayhem. But if I can be up, washed, caffeinated, muck-uped and have the lunches packed BEFORE the babylink starts to flash, things are a whole lot more peaceful. If all I have to do is to focus on getting THEM ready, we can do it with a LOT less stress than if we all fall out of bed at the same time.

  1. Daily Drawers: I introduced this little trick when Mini-Me was in Naionra and it’s working a treat again already. I bought this stack of drawers and labeled the front. Every Sunday, I put clean pants and socks into the drawers. Her PE gear goes into the day she has PE and her shoes go into the bottom drawer every evening when she takes them off and the uniform hangs beside it. She loves it and it means we don’t have the “Wherethefeckareyourshoesforgodssakewewillbelate” debachle every morning! It’s also great for encouraging them to dress themselves.

5. Clean on a Thursday night: Since I have been working, even before I had the girls, I have always tried to be in the habit of cleaning on a Thursday. I do whatever washing needs done, clean the bathrooms, hoover and mop, and give the kitchen a once over. It means that when we get home on a Friday evening, the house is more pleasant than usual. And while the breakfast dishes and mess from Friday morning might be waiting for us, the house itself is generally clean and so apart from throwing uniforms and work clothes in the machine on Friday night, Mammy can focus on important things when they go to bed on Friday night… like what I’m going to watch and whether I want red or white!

Now, do NOT get me wrong. Mary Poppins I am not, but these are 5 things that are GENERALLY easy to turn into habits. Apart from the odd week, I’ll manage to maintain most of these goals and therefore, most of my sanity!

If you have any other tricks of #parentingwin hacks, please share them in the comments.