I am Scheme of Things Mum

Well it’s all done and dusted.

This year was pretty disastrous to be fair. At one point on Christmas Eve it felt like anything that could go wrong, was going to! 

And it did…

😐Our heating system broke a few days before Christmas and can’t be fixed until January. 

😐The Christmas tree lights broke on Christmas Eve.

😐My hoover broke. 

😐Princess has been sick ALL over Christmas.

We didn’t get all of the wee cousins together for even ONE photograph. She was having NONE of ANYTHING and has spent the past 4 days sitting ON Mammy. How I cooked dinner, feck knows.

She is literally only looking at what Santa left this morning…wee pet.

We’ve been to the doctors today and hopefully now she’ll be on the mend, but Christ having a poorly Babby in the house over Christmas just dampens it all, doesn’t it?

Lookit.

In the scheme of things, “whatever”.

And of course, in the scheme of things, I have NOTHING to complain about.

In the scheme of things, there are so many others who would kill for my little disasters. 

But when you’re in the midst of things, “the scheme of things” means Jack Shit.

And sometimes, if Mammy wants to roll her eyes to Heaven, stamp her foot and declare “fuck this for a bag of parsnips” or “Christmas spirit my arse”, then she shall. Because in MY scheme of things, things could have been better!  

And I Shouldn’t feel guilty for grumbling a bit. When it’s Mammy’s job to keep everyone else smiling, if she wants to feel a bit sorry for her sorry wee self when things break or go wrong, that’s allowed too. As usual however, after swearing a bit and cursing everything,  Mammy pulled up her big girl knickers and sucked it up.

In the scheme of things, wee buns.

We did have a lovely Christmas. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

Mini-me has had the time of her Wee life and isn’t that what really matters?

The lights got replaced at 10pm on Christmas Eve.

The Gillespie Mafia had 8 heaters on my doorstep within an hour of my Daddy sending the S.O.S to my aunts and Uncles. 

The hoover magically came to life again IN the shop when I took it in to complain, making me look all levels of psychobitch to the 4 snuggling Salesmen behind the counter on Christmas Eve.

And the Princess simply has a yucky old flu that will eventually pass,  so really, Mammy shouldn’t complain.

In the scheme of things, it was fab.  

I did get a few nice snaps, but Trust me, for each if the nice ones, there are 8 real-lifers. 

And everyone has them. So remember as you’re looking at all the picture perfect Instafeeds, behind all of those picture perfect moments, there might be a broken fridge, or a Puking baby, or broken heating, or a wobbly marriage, or a Screaming toddler, or a nasty illness, or a broken heart or an empty chair…

Real Life usually happens off camera,  (but when we DO capture it, it can be so funny that it reminds us that “in the scheme of things”, real life rocks! 👇👇👇)

How was your Christmas Mammies? Any clangers for me?

I am Stop Bump Shaming Mum -Part 1

Yes.  I’m saying it.

Stop Body Shaming bumps.😡
Body Shaming happens to all women, of all ages, of all shapes and sizes, all the time…EVEN, believe it or not, during Pregnancy. 😲
Yes, Pregnancy…
You know that time when you are eating for two and are supposed to GLOW like a fricken Christmas Tree and your body is a temple of growth and nurture, for all to admire and be in awe of?     When you’re also a hormonal wreck, paranoid, vulnerable and particularly susceptible to tears? 😢😢

When you’re growing a PERSON inside of you; sometimes more than one, 😥and you are officially exempt from giving a continental crap about your shape for the next year and more?
Yes. Even then.
Body shaming the Bump DOES happen.

It’s not usually intentional, but it happens.
I have a confession to make.
During my last pregnancy… (and I mean last in both senses of that word!)…I did something mean. 😈
I got so fecking SICK of people freaking out when they saw the size of my bump, that one day I decided to have a little fun with it.
I was HUMONGOUS.  (And no, I am NOT exaggerating.  Ask ANY of my family or friends and they will smile a meek smile and nod in agreement.) And just to prove how big my perfect bump was, the photograph below was taken when I was 36 weeks.  And I wasn’t quite as big as I would be at 39! 😂👇👇👇👇👇👇

With Mini-Me, I showed at 10 weeks.

With Princess, I got to 7 weeks before I got fed up trying to hide my bump.

I have always been quite slim so in fairness, trying to hide a bump was never going to be easy, but even loose tops didn’t cover my little (or not so little) secret.

We never really got the chance to keep it to ourselves until after the 12 week scan, so you can imagine how big I was by 31 weeks.  I looked bigger than most expectant Mammas look at full term. 😂

I walked into a shop at the end of 31st week and the look of panic on the shop assistant’s face when she clocked the BUMP was hilarious.  She approached me and flew through the usual chitchat to get straight to her point.
“When are you due love?”

I couldn’t help myself my Pretties.  It was out before I even thought about it.
“Ten days ago”, I answered, shaking my head and rubbing my big belly, “I’m hoping a walk around the shops will help get me started.” (added puffs for effect…pause as if whincing in pain…)

“Here let me help you!”  I swear to God, she ran around that shop filling  my wee basket so quickly, I really couldn’t keep up with her.

“All the best now Lovey, I hope all goes well!” she cooed after me as I left.  I’m pretty sure she needed a strong drink after that.  and yes, I shouldn’t have lied, but I was fed up.
For almost 10 months, you become the property of the world.  (and yes, it is 10 months…9 my arse.)
EVERYONE has an opinion.
You’re so HUGE!”  (Really?  I hadn’t noticed.  Is that why my pelvis is dragging on the ground when I walk?)😐
“I was never as big as you!”  (Piss off.) 😐
“Aw poor Maria.  You must be scundered…”  (No Deary.  I’m just pregnant.)😐

“Well Tracy SAID you were huge but I didn’t think you were THIS HUGE!”  (Yup.  For this one, I had to kick my sister under the table to stop her from DESTROYING the unintentionally offensive woman.)😅

“Is it heavy?”   (In fairness, this question was from a lovely friend who has bever been pregnant so it was a genuine question and I gave her a genuine answer…”Yes.  I feel like I’m carrying an articulated fecking LORRY on my ladybits.”)
“I suppose you can barely move with that bump?”  (God Noooo!  I’m just back from Irish Dancing.  I’m high kicking Higher than ever before!)😂

Aaaaaaah you’re not THAT big!”  OK, OK.  Who am I kidding?  I NEVER heard this one! 😅😂

“You must be nearly due?”  (No I’m only 28/30/32/34 weeks…cue shock/horror/sympathy/panic on their face.)
And these are only the few I remember.
And so maybe now, you understand why I played the trick.
Do I feel guilty? No, but I felt really fricken frustrated a few weeks later when I didn’t have the balls to go in with my even BIGGER Bump and I really wanted a certain cheese the lady stocked. 😆😆
But seriously, Stop it.  We all need to stop it. (And of course I include myself in this.  We ALL do it don’t we?)

In fairness, we don’t even realise we’re doing it.

The things we say to a pregnant lady are usually not intending ANY offence AT ALL.  Of course not.
But if you’re going to say anything, try not to comment on the bump.
Tell her she looks glowing, even if you think she looks knackered.

Tell her she’s gorgeous, even if she looks like the double decker Bus she feels like she’s carrying.

Tell her it suits her.  She might just need to hear that, but don’t comment on the size of the bump, regardless whether it’s big or small.
The Mammy who hears “You’re so neat”, might have spent the whole night up counting baby’s kicks, or panicking that her bump is too small compared to others. 😣

The Mammy who hears “You’re huge!” doesn’t need to be reminded.  Trust me, she already knows. She remembered once she opened her eyes this morning and tried, like an upturned turtle, to get out of the bed to pee. 😅
So keep it positive and keep it off the bump.

And yes I know that many people don’t mind and maybe even enjoy the attention the bump brings, but unless you’re telling them their bump is gorgeous, just Ssssssh!
And then…THEN comes the Post Baby body Shaming but that’s another post altogether. I’ll save that for Moody-Mum Monday.
Goodnight you #GlammyMammies.
You’re beautiful and your bump is perfect.  That is all you need to hear.

S-Mum  xxx

pregnancy-784671__340

I am “Sort out that Bull” Mum

Just another Saturday Morning…

I’m driving along, with Granny Dearest in the passenger seat and the two Minions behind me. Mini-Me has told 32 stories in 3 miles. I’m just about to tune out, glad that Granny Dearest is on with me to answer her. I don’t have to “Mmmmhmmm” and “Really?” and “Very good” like a broken record. Granny Dearest is doing a great job of making all the right sounds. I’m humming along to Despasito, when I hear a new conversation begin.

“Granda needs to move them Bulls out of the field Gwanny,” announces Herself.

“He’ll be bringing them in soon pet” answers Granny.

“No, no, no, no, but He Needs to take the Bull out of the field Right NOW.”

“Why Darling…?” (Oh Jeeeeesus I suddenly know where this is going.)

“Because that Bad Bull HURTED one of my wee Cows.” ( Granny Dearest takes a breath and I know that SHE also now knows where this is going.)

“Buckle Up Granny Bear” I mutter, knowing full well what is about to come out of her mouth and wondering WHEN she saw it, and WHY she is only telling me now?

“You see my wee cow Ellie was scratching her neck at the feeder that Granda weft in the field and that big, bad, black bull pushed her out of his way and he hurted her and it wasn’t very nice. That bad Bull CLIMBED up on Ellie’s BACK… and do you KNOW what he did THEN?”

Oh Sweet Jezabell… WHAT is about to come out of my child’s mouth?

“What Darling?” I just about get the words out. I can’t breathe.

“That Bull started RUNNING Granny! ON HER BACK! He is NOT a very nice Bull.”

That’s it. Granny might need a defibrillator in the passenger seat. I’ve pulled in and stopped at the junction. Trying to drive right now is NOT an option. Granny Dearest is turning a perfect shade of magenta, as she tries and fails to hold in her laughter because Mini-Me can see her face from where she sits on her innocent, self-righteous little throne.

I on the other hand am buckled over the steering wheel, in hysterics laughing, while Granny tries to redirect the conversation to a safer and saner place.

“Oh no. The poor wee cow. Maybe the Bull was just playing?”

“Nope. He was being mean. And poor Ellie couldn’t get away.”

“Was she giving him a piggy back maybe?” I venture through the tears.

“Now Mammy. (teenage eyeroll included here). They are COWS, not Piggies. Granda doesn’t HAVE pigs. You KNOW that…”

And that’s that. Granny explodes and I crack up completely.

“It’s not funny you guys. It’s for REAL LIFE

(This is her new one. Everything is “for real-life”.)

“You’ll have to tell Granda when we get home pet,” Granny has composed herself enough to be coherent. I’m still parked on the side of the road…

“I will. I’ll have to tell him to sort that Bad Bull out!”

(I think Ellie might have already done that. Lucky Bull. I now know how I’ll start my answer whatever day she asks where babies come from. “Well Darling. Do you remember that day the bull and Ellie were… )

#thedonegalmammy #thesmum #bull

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 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