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 “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?

slippers-2423994_1920

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 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 ‘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 Sad Mum

Everytime I start writing tonight, I find myself lost for words…
It seems inappropriate to make jokes and poke fun at my little world today.  It seems wrong to joke about anything tonight.

I can’t even bear to imagine what the families affected by last night’s massacre are dealing with today.
I can’t imagine what the emergency services and hospital staff have been dealing with.
I wanted to hug each and every one of my students today.  In every image I see of missing and lost children this evening, I see their smiles, their poses, their innocence.  And the fact that such terror can happen so close to home, is a terrifying reminder of just how quickly life can change for any of us.
Until this morning, I didn’t know who Arianna Grande was. Tonight, I feel so much sympathy and sadness for her. I really do. Such sadness.
Today, my minions were their usual delightful, devilish, rascalish, sibling-battering, screaming selves.

But they are here.

They are well.

They are mines.

And all the little things that I give out about, and complain about and scold about every other day, I breathed in deep today.
They’re tucked up in bed now, safe and blissfully oblivious to the evil cowardice that resides in our communities.

I’ve held them a little closer. I’ve kissed them an extra time. I’ve cuddled them a little tighter…

I’m sure we all have?
And, like every parent here, watching the devestation across the water, I’ve cried for our neighbours in Manchester.
I send my love, as futile as that may be, to everyone.

#manchester

💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

I am Soooo Mammarella Mum 😂

​Cinderella.  

You all know her.
The dolly who is a COMPLETE skivvy to everyone in her house and who gets a chance to go to the ball,  but has NO hope of going because of her fecking  To-do list and the constant pile of laundrey and sewing and cleaning and crap that grows and grows and grows, until her Fairy Godmother appears and BibbityBobbetyBoos her ass all the way to the ball.
Cinderella.
Well. Let me introduce you to the modern age Cinderella… 

MAMMARELLA.
The modern generation of Queens who sometimes get a chance to go to a fancy ball, but who wonder HOW THE HELL it’s going to happen because of the same reasons as Cinderella…being general skivvies, having to organise EVERYONE else in the house beforehand, and fecking  to-do lists that would knock poor Cinders off her glass slippers. 
On Monday, knowing that we had a super busy week ahead, but happy that it was going to end at a wonderfully glamorous affair, I took a breath and it was all systems go! 
THIS Mammarella however,  ain’t got no Fairy Godmother and so rather than being magically BibbityBobbetyBood from a pumpkin to a Princess, I had to cram a combination of grooming appointments and general maintenance, like you know, showering etc…into my already STUPID schedule.  
Do it I did,  with the help of my own fairies, and I EVEN managed to get my arse mahogonised in a spray booth.  
On Friday morning at 6am, I WAS Cindafuckinrella. 😂

 My To-do list was RIDICULOUS, because as well as making myself appear at the ball looking ALIVE, never mind FABLIS, I ALSO had to sort the minions, make a bed for the Granny, go to my JOB, fit in two meetings cook dinner for everyone else, write out baby routines, and keep everyone alive, pack bags and get to the hairdresser by 5pm….
The day was a whirlwind.

But we got there.

I put lines through that To-do list like an ugly sister on rollerblades.
And when I FINALLY got to the hairdresser, she used magic potions and lotions and turned me from sweaty, dishevelled, skivvy into a slightly #glammymammy. 
I got to the hotel, after being stuck in the most hilarious traffic ever, with ten minutes to spare, titsickle-taped myself into the dress and I was finally ready to go be a Princess.  
And The Him??
How did HE transform himself from a gym-gear wearing servantboy into a Handsome Prince?
He left work, took a shower, stuck on a tux that someone HANDED to him in a bag, and Bibbity Bobbity Boo! Turns into James Fecking Bond… 😲😲😂

But then he won and after all, he WAS the reason I got to pretend to be a Princess for a night wasn’t he?
Actually, Princess my arse… this Mamma Bear was a Queen for the evening. 

😂😂😂
So yes, Mammarellas.

Cinderella doesn’t have a CLUE! 😂😂😂
Wait until she has 2 minions and a Him to get out the door! 😙

I am Say Hello to Floor Mum

​Let me introduce you to my friend Floor.
“Miss Bedroom Floor” to give her full title.
Mummy misses Miss Floor. 😭

We have a complicated relationship.

We often go for months without seeing each other.

We can spend weeks apart, not talking, not asking how the other is doing, seemingly not caring aboit each other.
When Floor and Mummy fall out, it’s usually over clothes and shoes.

We have the same taste see.🤐

Floor also has a lot to deal with.  

Mummy neglects her. 

I do.

Since the kids came along, Mummy just doesn’t have the same time to spend with her.  You could say she has been abandoned, dropped on, forgotten by Mummy.

I walk all over her really.

There is a layer of cobweb on our relationship, and it’s horrible.😭😭😭
And of course, there are the OTHER Floors… Floor MUST be jealous as Mummy keeps the other floors generally tidy.

 SOMETIMES, (believe or or not), Mummy even MOPS the Other Floors.

I know. 

I’m awful.😲

So I really can’t blame Floor for hiding from Mummy and ignoring me sometimes.
But like any TRUE FRIENDSHIP, when distance grows between us, we both feel sad.

Mummy misses Floor terribly.

When she is sad and isolated and upset, and the distance between us is great, Mummy could cry.  

It’s all such a MESS. I feel like the whole house is falling down around me.  I can’t get over her.  I can’t get past missing her. I feel like my head is going to fucking EXPLODE.
This morning, my broken and disintegrating relationship with my friend Floor, became too much for me to deal with.

At approximately 7.45am, Mummy freaked out on The Him. 👤
I couldn’t DEAL with the absence of Floor any longer. 
“I can’t deal with this situation any more. It’s driving me insane. I just can’t get the time need to find Floor!” were just a few of the things I ranted and rambled while trying to find the trousers Floor had hidden from me.

STRESS CENTRAL.
I went to work, promising myself that this evening, I WOULD make time for my Friend Floor.  I WOULD fix this mess. I WOULD make her remember that she is loved and valued.
I would.
As I collected Princess from The Him after work, I was still determined to make amends with Floor.

As HIM drove off, he called “Try to get that Floor sorted this evening will you?”
He was waved off with less than 5 fingers and many obscenities, expletives and petnames muttered after him.

He will pay for that.
And then we came home and I opened the bedroom door to find THIS…

👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

NOT ONLY had The Him tidied up the room, he had rearranged the wardrobes to GIVE ME MORE SPACE!

I. Shit. You. Not.
I almost FELL on the floor in shock (and joy!)

I think I fell a little bit in lurve with Him all over again too.💙💙💙💙
Joking aside, I can’t find the words to express how much this simple, unexpected action meant to me today. It isn’t even the tidying that has floored me…(boom)… it’s the fact that he noticed how much it was stressing me out.

In a house where I sometimes feel like no one even HEARS ME most of the time, just to have something be noticed is amazing.
Tonight? If he bought flowers, diamonds, chocolates… none of that could compete with the utter joy of seeing Floor again.
The Him gets a tough time on here, so I must give credit where it’s due.

He is my Superhero. 

My S-Him.

AND I’m NOT even going to REARRANGE the rearranged wardrobes!
(I’ll do that tomorrow!) 😂😘😘😘