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.

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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.  

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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.)   

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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 So not in Galway Mum

Another year, another Ladies’ Day. 🐎🦄🐎🐎🦄🐎

I’ve just scrolled my news feed to see all of the EVERYBODY dressed up and eyebrowed to the hilt, in glorious colours and HUMONGOUS hats. And then I switched over from RTE Jnr to the lovely Ladybelles on Expose, (who succeed daily in EITHER inspiring me to wash my face and put on proper clothes… or hide in my pit eating icecream, depending on the level of hormental), and watched the interviews with all of the Everybody in their shiny perfection.

Every year, I declare that NEXT YEAR, I too will be Glammy Mammied to the ninety-nines, with eyebrows and concrete muckup and AMAZING high hair, quaffing chambubbles in a tent and smiling gaily at all the other Dollybirds. I would be wearing something chic and spensive and fablis and my neck would be sore from a MAHOOSIVE headhat which keeps stabbing The Him when I move, but I would NEVER admit that it is heavy because he would then be able to say “I told you so” and be all “Such a waste of money”, (even though he’d OBVIOUSLY never have been told how much it ACTUALLY cost!😂)

The Him would be beside me, all dapper of course, and my friends and I would clink glasses, admiring the fashionistas and keeping our smiles expertly fitted while we say things like “WTF is she wearing?” and “How can she walk in those?”, without words of course… just using our secret eyebrow code. 😄😘

And then we would have the coveted “FINALIST” sticker stuck on our outfits, and the afternoon would be a whirlwind of camera flashes and sore faces and I’d feel like a feckin Rose (yes, a geriatric rose, but still, it’d be as close as I’ll get.)

And then we’d all pop back to the G Hotel or some such fablis spot, where we’d spend the evening quaffing yet more chambubbles with all the fablis, shiny, eyebrowed Beauties, before rolling into bed, tipsy and still fablis.

Next year… (Coughs) 😄

For tonight however, I shall sit in my messy kitchen, listening to Princess refusing to go to sleep, getting over the fact that my Mini-Me told me she “doesn’t wub you no more” because I asked her lift the blocks before bed, wondering what I’ve eaten that has caused my skin to look like pizza and considering that I should perhaps change out of The Him’s PJs before he gets home.

(Lucky boy Him!😂😂😘)

Then only thing high about my hair, is my Mum bun, but in honour of all the glamour on my news feed, (which YES, I AM going to continue to stalk for the next hour or so), I have decided to glam it up with a big flower so I don’t feel quite so unglam and DOWDY (and slightly grubby if I’m honest!). Probably should shower the smell of lasagne off me too.

Yeah. I’m quite content here.

Who would want to be in Galway eh?

Not me.

Nope.

Noooooo sirreeeeee.

I much prefer watching everyone else being glam. I am however, going to pop a wee cork here and do some quaffing myself, all in honour of the horsies of course. 🐎🦄🐎🦄

Congrats to the winner in Galway, who seems to be getting a mixed reaction, but who I think looked fab. Amazing headpiece. (But I must say, Lisa’s Lust List was my favourite.)

Who was your favourite? #galwayraces #glammymammy

I am Seven Summer Fundays in Donegal Mum


Summer

 

It’s here.  The summer holidays: when routine goes out the window, the fridge seems to have permanent bums waggling out of it, and we find ourselves wondering, once again, how on earth primary teachers deal with up to 30 of our little minions in one room.  Of course the holidays are great, but they also bring their challenges. The biggest one?

 

Boredom.

 

Kids get bored, verrrrrrrry quickly.  Kids need constant entertainment and fun.  Entertainment and fun cost money, and while there are of course hundreds of things you can do with your minions, here are 7 of my favourite things to do right here at home. They range from absolutely free to the not so free but no matter how often we do these things or go to these places, the girls always enjoy them and feel like they’ve been somewhere special.

 

In no particular order:

 

 

Glenveagh – Now those of you who follow my blog, know that Glenveagh National Park is a firm favourite in our little family.  We go there 2 or 3 times a month and myself and The Him love it just as much as the girls do.  It’s only a short drive from Letterkenny, has absolutely NO phone coverage and has THE most stunning landscape in the country.  NOWHERE beats Glenveagh for beauty. The best thing is that entry to the park is absolutely FREE. You can bring a picnic or try some of the insanely good cakes and food in the tearooms there.  We walk the 4k to the castle every and usually take the bus back up as Mini-Me’s legs aren’t quite able for 8K just yet! Bikes are available to hire from Grassroutes in the carpark too and you can get one of the little buggy-trailers for the minions.  The castle grounds are beautiful and while ours are too young to do the full bridal path, there is lots to occupy them (and their imaginations) in the gardens.  (Tell your minions that the gates with the stag heads are the Gates to Santa’s summer house.  Never gets old!)

 

The Beach – We are so blessed to have so many beautiful beaches on our doorsteps. Lisfannon Beach in Fahan is possibly my favourite place in the world.  It’s not only where I often escape for some sneaky Mam-me time, (seriously, some life changing decisions have been made on this beach), it’s also where I take the girls if we want to have some good old fashioned free fun.  It’s only 15 minutes from my house, but the girls feel like they’ve had such a treat, even if we only stop for a 20 minute run-about.  Over the summer, I keep a blanket and buckets in the car, so if we find ourselves nearby, it’s easy to stop here.  I also keep a bag with a change of clothes and a towel in the boot, just incase it’s warm enough for a paddle.  There’s loads of parking and in the summertime, there’s usually an ice-cream van in the carpark.

 

Nature Walks – Mini-Me loves these.  We live in the backend of beyond, so in fairness, even a play in the garden can be a learning curve, but if I really want to occupy them for an hour, I plop Princess in the buggy and off we go.  Mini-Me is beginning to recognise some of the tree types (reminding me  of things that I used to know!) and there’s a gate at the end of our farm where I once told her the fairy kingdom begins, so she loves to visit there.  She stands on the side of the road talking to the gate, but in her head, she’s on a serious adventure! Fun fun fun and FREE FREE FREE!

Parks – We love Ballymacool Park.  Just outside the town, it’s peaceful and quiet, even when busy.  It’s easy to park, has lovely trails for walking and beautiful views. The little playpark is wonderful; clean and full of playthings for kids of all ages.  The best thing about this little area is that it’s fully fenced off, and so no matter what direction Princess runs in, she’s safe (and enclosed!).  

 

Soft Play – Some days, Soft play is the only answer isn’t it? Especially with the summer weather we get here! The most exciting thing about going to soft play, is going to soft play with OTHER minions.  It’s win:win; A catch up for the mums, excitement (and a guaranteed successful bedtime) for the kids.  Arena 7, Dizzy Rascals and Century Play are all wonderful and have different features that the kids love, AND they all serve good coffee.  Keep an eye on their pages for deals and rates.

 

The Happy Camper –  Now.  Here is a secret that every parent in the area should know. The Happy Camper at Cooney’s is probably the ONLY place in Letterkenny where Mammy and Daddy Bear types can get to actually DRINK their cuppa.  Not only are the pancakes incredible, they have a fully childproofed level with a brilliant corner full of toys and chalkboards and books for kids.  There is a stairgate so even your littlest ones are safe to wobble about.  Now that Princess is at the stage of point-blank refusing to sit in a high chair, this spot is perfect for us.  If I meet a mate, we can actually chat.  And if I’m on my own with the girls, I get to drink my coffee and they’re in playtime heaven.  

 

Oakfield Park  –  Again, we LOVE Oakfield Park. It’s only 10 minutes from where we live and great for famiy Sunday-fundays, but also for random afternoons over the holidays. There is a charge to get in of course, but what I love about this place is that every year when they reopen, something new and wonderful has been added to the park. They add to the facility constantly.  The new Buffers Tea rooms are lovely, but you can also bring a picnic along with you. We bought the annual pass this year and it’s great value if you use the park often. The park is stunning, so well kept and beautifully presented.  There’s a play park and the Fairy tree is a favourite of Mini-Me’s.  The steam train is a real novelty.  Again, keep an eye on their page for events and activities coming up over the summer.

😘Their Teddy Bear Picnic is on this Wednesday from 12pm😘

https://www.facebook.com/Oakfield.Park/ 

 

 

So there you go.  These are just my top 7 go-to days out and activities in and around Letterkenny, all year round. I’m sure you could all add your own to this list. 

Here’s to a fun summer and some sort of summer weather! 

You can also read this post on my Thoroughly Modern Mammy column here http://www.donegalwoman.ie/2017/07/02/my-top-7-things-to-do-with-my-minions/ 

Join my daily blog on Bookface https://www.facebook.com/the.s.mum/

Or follow my Instagranny @the.s.mum 

I am So I took a week off Mum

So, as you’ll have noticed, I took a week off.  I deleted the FB app from my phone and took a long overdue trip with the love of my life, sans kiddies. 

This time last week, I was swinging off a lampost in central Park in 30° sunshine, 👇👇 singing “Singing in the rain” at the top of my voice and not giving a continental who heard me.  I’m going to spend the next 5 days starting sentences with “This time last week…” 😂😂 

We spent 5 glorious days in NYC, just me and The Him. (I’ll post properly about it during the week.)  Suffice to say, it was AMAZEBALLS and we really did have the time of our lives.🍏 But today, while it CERTAINLY was NOT 30°, we were back in our FAVOURITE park in the world with our favourite little people. Central Park doesn’t hold a candle to Glenveagh with our wee buddies. 💗💗

Oh how we missed Mini-Me and Princess, and we are so glad to be home safe and sound to them, but taking a few days to be Mammy and Daddy again, (or rather Maria and Emmet), was invaluable. When you’re busy parents, it’s hard to find yourselves in the mayhem.  Every conversation tends to be about the kids. Every phonecall or text message revolves around them. Each thought you have has something to do with the act of parenting. Your daily interactions are mostly about or for the kids. Your entire focus in day-to-day life, is the kids… 

And so it must be,  but to have had 5 full days and nights of just being US, did our little family unit absolutely no harm at all. 

Sometimes, a Mammy and Daddy need to find each other in the midst of all the madness, may it be simply for a dinner date or a movie night, or a trip away.  Yes, we spent much of our time talking about and missing the girls, but we also had fun together, laughed together, drank beer at 2pm, ate our bodyweight, and enjoyed being tourists in a ridiculously fun place.

  We finished conversations without being interrupted 167 times. We did what WE wanted to do when it suited us, just like we used to. We were spontaneous, not thinking about anything but us, and we remembered all the things we actually like about being The Him and The Her. 💗💙

So while the biggest challenge for me was to STOP referring to him as “Daddy” (and no it is NOT kinky! WTF like? 😂😂), we managed to have the holiday of our lives. 

 In fact the only thing that made us look forward to getting home, was the thought of getting squeezes and snuggles from the two Dollies. Their reactions were priceless when we got back. 
Mini-Me has announced that we are “never going on holidays again, ever!” and Princess seems to have doubled in size and has learned to use “Noooooooo” quite impressively.  They were spoiled rotten by Ganny and Gwanda.  Of course they were! 
I must admit that I did miss the daily craic here with you all,💗 but I think the week off from writing did me the world of good.   

And how is Jim I hear you ask? Poor Jim, was abandoned by The Him for the Her, for the 1st time in 3 years. Poor Jim my arse.  Jim is probably rocking in the corner waiting for Him’s Daddy back at 6am tomorrow.  
But did we miss him? Not one feckin bit! 😂😂😂

I am Secrets Mum

Secrets.
As parents we have sooooo many things that we keep from our kids for as LONG as possible.  There are so many truths and realities that we try our hardest to keep from their little eyes and ears.  As time goes by, it seems that our children’s innocence about all things “real life” is being tarnished earlier and earlier.  As parents, we cringe at the thought of the moment when they suddenly ask a particular question, or learn about particular things.  
We hope we won’t have to face awkward truths like puberty, sex, the birds and the bees, death etc…until they’ve reached a certain, more appropriate age, where we know that they’ll be able to digest whatever information it is. 😐
But the FIRST TRUTH that we must deal with happens soooooo much earlier than I’d EVER anticipated. 
And it isn’t for the sake of our children that we try to keep it a secret…
Oh no no no no no noooooo!
It’s ALL for the sake of the Mammies and Daddies. It’s completely selfish on our parts and it’s completely necessary. 
Because the longer we can make it before they realise that the dreaded, awful, ride-on, money eating, monstrocities in the shopping centres MOVE IF YOU PUT MONEY INTO THEM, the better for EVERYONE. 😂😂
These little fuckers are the enemy of the Mammy.  They are EVERYWHERE. They ESPECIALLY like to lurk at the exits of shopping centres or venues, so that they can lure our minions to their daft, bulgy eyed, smiling faces just as we are trying to get them out of the place.  The Peppa Pork ones are the spawn of these Devils.  Even before our minions know they can MOVE, the oversized (and frankly quite creepy) cartoon characters are plague.  Princess can’t say many words but “Paaapaaaaaa” is as clear as a fecking bell when she sees the stupid pink fecker. 😐😐
But as long as they don’t know these things MOVE, life remains safe and normal and manageable.  We can distract them from the primary-coloured puke fest and carry on easily enough.  Once they know that they MOVE, however, the proverbial starts hitting the fan and the coins start hitting the dust.
If 99% of Mammies KNOW instinctively that showing them that these yoks move is a BAD IDEA, HOW do they ever figure it out?
Three ways…
1. They spot another child on them, smiling and weeeeeeeing to their heart’s content and they realise. And then, Game Over Mamma. You lose. 😂
2. Daddies… Because Daddies don’t view these feckers with the same reason or ration that Mammies do. Daddies don’t think of the longterm effects.  Daddies don’t UNDERSTAND the turmoil and torture and tantrums they can cause! 😭 WE see them as torture equipment. Daddies see them as 30 seconds of fun to distract their little ones and themselves. (And they NEVER last more than 30 seconds do they?) 😂😂
3. Grannies/Grandas:  Because they FORGET why they NEVER ALLOWED US on them when we were kids and suddenly see them as another way to be cool and wonderful and “the bestest!” 😂😂😂 
And once the minions KNOW that these mechanical gobshites MOVE, life is never the same again.  They are armed with this knowledge that changes everything. They see things differently.
To the Mammies whose minions are still immune to the disease that is the ride-on yok, enjoy every second.  Enjoy the innocence.  Enjoy the secret and keep it from them for as long as you can.  😂😂
To the rest of us… may the odds be ever in your favour and may there be an alternative door you can use to get out of that shopping centre.😥😥
And to the creators of and instellers of them, may your nightmares be filled with rocking Peppas and smiling trains, choochooing around your head…all…fecking…night. 😂😂😂
👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

I am Sentence Smell Mum

We’re all about the senses here at S-Mumble Hill today.  
Princess’s favourite sense is TASTE.  She’s quite like me really.  She loves to eat…  Her CONSTANT eating is becoming a problem however. 

Why? 

Because it’s becoming difficult to get her backside out of the cupboard or off the kitchen chair long enough to GO ANYWHERE or DO ANYTHING!  I used to worry about leaving the house without nappies in the bag.  Now, I break out in a cold sweat if I realise that I forgot to put a banana or fruit in it.

Her most used word each day is “Muh, muh, muuuuuUUUUUHHH!” (More, more, mooooooore!)

Mammy went for Sense of TOUCH.  I decided to listen to my hairdresser and buy some Argan Oil for my dry hair. As I rubbed the 3-4 drops through my wet hair, my sense of touch informed me that it wasn’t quite enough, and so I slabbered a big dollop of the oil between my palms and rubbed it through my hair.  Then, I dried it…or tried to.  Because, no matter how much I blasted the hair with the dryer, it remained heavy and moist and shiny. 

 I bunged on my baseball cap as I didn’t have time to wash it and headed on into town, like an uberskank, and of course met EVERYONE I know in the space of 30 minutes.  If I squeezed my hair there’d be enough oil to make chips… which would be quite handy if Fudgeybum gets hungry again.

And then, on our way home, Mini-Me announces “Mammy someone’s spreading Slurry!” 

Indeed there was slurry.

“Slurry is the Irish for Poo you know Mammy?”  (Eh…no, it’s not actually.)

“I KNOW that it’s Slurry, because I have a good SENTENCE SMELL,  you know?”

“Of course you do Darling…”

And Mammy used her other sense, her COMMON sense, and changed the conversation…