I am “So it’s Results Day” Mum

Although it is many moons ago, Mammy remembers getting her Leaving Cert Results.

Mammy was certain that the contents of the little brown envelope were going to change her life. Had Mammy’s life REALLY depended on the contents of that little brown envelope, quite frankly, I’d be living an utterly dreadful, mediocre and half-arsed attempt at one. 😂

Because the results printed on my little scrap of yellow paper were quite awful, if I’m very honest. The only mark I remember (or tell anyone about!) was my A1 in Honours English. Go figure. As for the rest of them? I’d say the examiners only passed me so that they wouldn’t have to read my verbal diahorrea again the following year. 😂I’m not exaggerating either.

But the other grades didn’t matter. The A in English was all that mattered to me, both then AND today. Yes, I got into college, but not until I had spent a week back in the brown uniform 😣😣 convincing myself that I needed to repeat. It wasn’t until the second round offers and a trip to meet (attack😛) the Dean of the English Department in Coleraine, that I finally got my place on the degree course. (I might have only been 17, but I was a stroppy one!😂)

English was all I loved. It was all that I wanted to study and, as the little brown envelope told me, it was apparently all that I was good at… All that I was good at THEN. At 17. Turns out, I’m good at a whole load of things. I just didn’t get to take exams in singing, dancing, shopping or eating. The Big LC recognised my ability to understand Shakespeare and write stories off the top of my head, but it didn’t (and couldn’t) know how strong I was at things like organisation, being a friend, laughing or pulling pints. So I was crap at French. Biology for me ended after the section on photosynthesis. But although my math grade was dismal, I challenge you to find ANYONE who can work out a % as quickly as me when I see the word “SALE”. 😂😂

So there. Now, almost 20 years on, I’m a teacher and of COURSE I value the Leaving Cert. I love teaching the course and I try my best to encourage my Babbies to give it their best shot. But I also know that they are teenagers. That they have a LOT going on. That some of them have things going on in their lives that are a WHOLE lot more important that exams. 😢 That whole some of them will give it their ALL for 2 years, on the day of the exam, it might just not happen. And sometimes, that at 18, they’re just not quite ready for the ridiculousnpressure of the state exam.

For a whole load of reasons, tomorrow is a huge day for our young adults. But that little brown envelope is only that. An envelope. Despite what it is inflated to be, it is NOT the most important piece of paper in the world. Yes, the letters and numbers inside it will have an immediate effect. Yes, some doors will open and yes, some doors will close, but what is written on the page does not define them.

The Leaving Cert does NOT know our children. It doesn’t see the kindness. It doesn’t measure their ability to change things. It can’t recognise their skills as motivators, or thinkers, or makers, or doers. It does not define them, nor should it. And as parents, yes, some of us might be disappointed tomorrow. But mostly we should be proud, because regardless of what is on that page, they are OUR children and they have done their best and we must remind them that they CAN do whatever they want. Because WE know what they can be.

There are ALWAYS options and sometimes, the path that they are so determined to be the ONLY one for them right now, was never the right one for them…it usually takes a few years for them to realise that however. But they will. 💕

So tonight, tell them how brilliant they are. And leave them under NO illusion that no matter what words and letters are on that piece of paper tomorrow, that you are and will always be proud of them and that you will help them to get to where they want to go, may it be straight through the college door or in a longer, roundabout way. But all roads lead ahead. And before they know it, they won’t even remember what was printed on the page!

It might be almost 20 years since I opened my little brown envelope and had my heart broken in a million pieces, but trust me, everything happens for a reason. 😇 Tonight, I send love to all of the young people (especially my own Babbies😘😘) and to all you exam parents whose minions face the brown envelope tomorrow.

And remember, that little brown envelope does NOT hold the key to their future. They hold that key already.

It’s right inside them.

And no piece of paper can change that. XXX

I am Suck it up Mum

Right. Feck it.

I’m doing it.

Before and After Posts… Let’s call out the BS.

This is my first Before and After post. The two photographs were snapped only 3 seconds apart. 😅

So what did I do? What did I take? A magic pill? A Fantabulous Super-shake? A cup of Magic Tea? Nope.

A breath.

I took a breath. 😅

I straightened my back, turned my body slightly and sucked it all in!👇👇👇 You see, yes, I might be back in my favourite jeans, (after 16 months of training in Jim- NOT overnight), but after 2 magnificently STRETCHY pregnancies and two VERY messy C-Sections, my Belly is not what it might APPEAR to be when you meet me in my clothes! 😂

It’s squishy. It’s soft. It’s covered in stretch marks. There is extra skin that sags when I suck in my tummy. If I relax my tummy muscles, it is quite humongous! 💕

Some days I love it. Some days I hate it. Somedays I am so bloated that I look like I’m 6 months pregnant again. But everyday, I look in the mirror and I see a real life miracle. The stretch marks are my war wounds. My skin is stretchy because it made a house to grow my babies in. 💕It’s my Post-Baby Belly and the only person whose opinion on it matters, is ME.

So when your news feed is full of “Weight loss” adverts showing you “before and after” shots of how you can lose “15 stone in a day” if you just sign up to their pyramidic BS shakes, pills, teas, knickers etc, remember that it is likely that the pictures might just be BS. And when you see someone posting their “Look at my abs” pics, telling you how happy they are with their progress, there MIGHT just be another photograph in their camera roll that they HAVEN’T chosen to share.

If I had posted these and said there had been a 6 month gap between photographs, chances are you’d have believed me. (And of course, you WILL see GENUINE “Before and After” photographs of GENUINE weight loss journeys, but they are “JOURNEYS”, with hard work and sweat and determination, NOT miracle products.)😲

And if your body has stretched and changed to grow your minions, be proud of it. It’s yours. It’s a miracle and it’s beautiful, whether you suck it in or let it all hang out. Have a fablis Friday my Lovelies.

(It goes without saying that anyone who feels like writing anything hateful or negative, has my polite invitation to go build themselves and bridge and get over themselves. My body. Not yours.) 😙😙😙

#beattheBS #realityplease #postbabybelly #perspective

I am Such a GENIUS Mum 😘

Mammy is a genius.

A feckin genius I tell you.

As Mini-Me’s ability to COMPLETELY ignore me becomes increasingly professional, I find myself sometimes wondering HOW the FECK to get her to do even the most simple daily tasks?

My orders, my requests and any other hint of a suggestion of her doing something that might please me, seem to float around her head, never quite making contact with her ears. Usually, it’s only when I SHOUT or SCREAM that she eventually acknowledges that my voice HAS in fact been sending massive soundwaves in her direction.

She’s just chosen NOT to surf them. 😂

And even when she finally acknowledges that I’ve asked her to do something, she still finds 162 ways to procrastinate or forget or simply not be able to do it.

“Put on your Pjs please Darling.”

“Put on your Pjs please Darling.”

“Put on your Pjs please Darling.”

“Put on your Pjs please Darling.”

“Put on your Pjs please Darling.”

“Mini-Me I am not going to ask you again…”

“Whaaaaaaaaat?!” (Add eye roll or exasperated sigh for effect.)

“I’ve asked you to Put on your Pjs. Get them on right now.”

“But where ARE they?” (Still watching Tellybox/making jigsaw/rolling on the floor etc…)

“Wherever you left them. Now go put them on!”😡

“But…” insert random WTF-inducing excuse/problem/comment here.

“PUT ON YOUR PJS NOOOOOOOOOOW!” Screaming BansheeMammy appears.

“Okay! Okay!” Stomps down hall, muttering something about “no need to shout”. (Little twatsickle.)

Mammy sighs in deluded, false victory, before being interrupted by “MAMMEEEEEEE. I can’t FIND them!” or some other shite like that, then stomps down hall, muttering and swearing to find her standing right in FRONT of the fucking Pajamas, which are the ONLY thing lying on the floor, but which are seemingly fucking INVISIBLE to my daughter.

Cue scolding, fighting, retaliation, defiance, huffing, puffing, threatening, snarling, crying and Mammy eventually putting the fecking things ON HER. (It’s that or throw them AT HER. Bad Mammy. No! Terrible thoughts Mammy.)

Different night, same old shite. Until tonight. Tonight, Mammy is a genius. The requesting, finding and putting ON of the fecking PJs took a whole 1 MINUTE AND 37 SECONDS.

I SHIT YOU NOT.

Why?

Because as I was about to ask her for the first time to “Put on your Pjs please Darling”, I opened the cupboard and spotted this👇👇👇 and I had a brainwave.

“Oooooh look what Mammy found! I know, let’s have a race!” (Singsongy voice, think Mary-of-the-poppins.) “I’m going to time you to see how quickly you can put on ypu Pjs. Will we see what number we can get?”

“Yay! I LOVE races!”

“On your marks, get set…GO!” And I swear to God, she slid sideways back into the kitchen, fully dressed in her fricken PJs, a whole minute and a half later…

“Did I beat it?” (Not sure what she’s beating, but when it stops me wanting to beat my head off a brick wall, I’ll roll with it! 😂😂)

“Of course you did, you are AMAZING!” And it was.

Amazing.

And I am a genius.

And I will try it again tomorrow night, but she’ll probably have copped on to me by then.

Ah well, I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. 😂😂😂 How was your day? 😘😘😘

I am Stay Smiling at You Mum

To my Darling Mini-Me

You stopped me in my tracks this morning. I walked past your bedroom door. You were standing in front of your mirror, brushing your hair, with your little sister watching you silently. You had no idea that you were being watched. You were beautiful. Suddenly, you looked so different; so grown up. The little smile on your face as you gently combed melted me.  You were smiling because you were happy;  Happy with what you saw.  Content with your reflection.  Beautiful and perfect and blissfully content with how you look.

You caught me watching and stopped, mid-stroke.

“Am I gawjus Mammy?” you asked before continuing to brush.

“You really are Darling” I answered, but you were already back at it, not really caring what I said.  Because you already knew that you are.

And indeed you are.

You’re beautiful.

For you, Dear Daughter, I have many hopes.  One of my main hopes is that you get to smile that little smile while looking at your reflection for as long as possible.  Because there will come a day, when you will look at yourself just a little bit differently.  You will compare yourself to your friends. You will look at the images online and in print and wonder why you don’t look like they do.  You will suddenly find yourself criticising your reflection, rather than enjoying it.

And it breaks my heart.

If you’re anything like your Mammy (and we both know you are!), you will deal with wonky teeth, you will be tortured by bad skin well into your adult years, and you will probably wait impatiently for the boobs that everyone else seems to have!  I can save you a lot of trouble right now my Darling.  You’ll probably still be waiting as you approach 40, but by then, you’ll be glad that they never arrived!

Life is cruel and society can be one savagely bitchy playground.  If I can give you one thing, it will be the ability to be comfortable in your own skin.  You may wish your teeth were straighter or that your skin was blotch free or that your nose was smaller, but you will know that you are you, and that it is these little features that make you stand out, that make you individual, that make you perfect.

And I do my best.  Yes, I have days where I feel yucky, but I have finally reached the point of contentment where I care only what one person thinks about how I look:  and that person is ME.

Me, Myself and I.

You might not realise this, but I purposely take off my makeup after work in the kitchen so that you can see that it’s OK to not wear any.  When you ask me why I am putting on mascara, I try to answer that “I sometimes like to wear it”.  I’ll play dress up and makeup with you because I want you to know that it is something that women enjoy.  But I’ll also let you see me going into town without even brushing my hair, because I want you to get into the habit of not giving a crap if people don’t like what you’re wearing or how you look.

I’ll let you wear tights that do NOT match your dress if you want to, because in no time at all, society will be dictating what you wear anyway. And you will not see me standing on scales.  You will see me train but you’ll not hear my swearing under my breath at the exercises! Any issues you are going to get about your beautiful self, I do hope that they do not come from me.

I will do anything for you both, you know that.  I care for you.  I feed you. I look after you.  And I promise that I will also help you to always think you are gawjus.  I will tell you you’re beautiful, even though some parenting “experts” tut at young girls being told they’re pretty.  Nonsense.

I will always tell you you’re beautiful, because there’ll be enough bitches who revel in making you feel that you aren’t.

So you keep smiling that perfect little smile my Gawjus girl, because there is nothing more beautiful than a smile.

And there is no one more beautiful to me, than YOU.

All my love,

Mammy.

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I am Some reality Mum

For anyone who complains that Mummy bloggers portray an unrealistic and ideal life… they’re reading the wrong bloggers.

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Mini-Me has upped her Bitch-game this evening. Seriously, there are teenagers with less attitude.
Am trying to remind myself that “a strong-willed daughter will be a strong woman, able for anything the world can throw at her.” Whatever…

Tonight, SHE threw EVERYTHING at me before bed. Tantrums, crying, huffing, puffing and death stares. She threw herself onto her bed, arm across her face, sighing and declaring dramatically “I am just FED UP.” (Looks through elbow to see if she’s getting required reaction.)

I had to leave the room; Part of me laughing at how hilarious she is, part of me DYING a little inside that I saw myself in front of my own eyes. 😳😳😳
Bad Mammy.
Bad, not-doing-anything-right, setting-seriously-bad-examples, fucking-my-child’s-emotional-responses, opposite-of-positive-parenting BAAAAAAD MAMMY.

Deep breaths. Compose oneself. Remember who is in charge…
(Little voice… “She is. She’s in charge you Crazy Woman…”) 😈

I eventually got her settled, read “The Dinosaur that Pooped the Bed” and tucked her in.
Then I came up the hall to THIS MESS.👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

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I don’t even know where to start, and so I’m ranting to you, my lovely S-Mummies 💖, to avoid it…

And to stop myself from pouring a HUMONGOUS grape-juice. 🍷😂

On a BRIGHTER NOTE… 🌞🌞🌞

I almost puked in public today. 😂😂

Week three of #operationskinnyarse began with the most terrifying and dreaded piece of equipment in the gym…
The mat.
I shit you not. It turns out that the most torturous, challenging, hardcore machine in there is my own fricken bodyweight and a mat.
Who knew?

Hope your Monday was equally as wonderful as mine.
Maybe Winnie the Poop was right! 😂

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Over and out…
🛌🛏🛌🛏

#SMum #Mammyblogger #Mummy #MiniMeAndPrincess #glammymammy #meandmygirls #parentblogger #RealStruggles #reallife

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I am Sleep Dance Mum

I love to dance. 
I’ve been dancing since I could walk.
I’ve danced on stages and I’ve even choreographed a few shows.

My current speciality is the Sleep Dance.  And I’m brilliant at it.

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Sleep is a currency…who knew?

Currently, I’m broke while Hubby is rich, rich, rich…well he’s richer than I am. He’s dancing the Sleep Dance too, but he doesn’t even know most of the time.

In the world of new parents, the parent who tallies up the most Zzzz hours owes the other: Big time.

They say that we forget the difficult things about having a newborn after a while…like the pain, the exhaustion, the stress.  There must be some truth in that as we keep having children, don’t we?

We had Princess almost four years after Mini-Me whirlwinded into our lives.  That gap was just enough to have allowed us to have completely forgotten EVERYTHING about having a new baby in the house.  How do we bath her?  How many ounces do we give her? How does this damned sterilizer work again? 

My first hour at home after Princess’s birth was terrifying.  We moved house last year, so I didn’t have the luxury of memory to assist me. Our previous home was smaller, so even if Mini-Me was in the bedroom, I could hear her in the kithen.  The new house is lovely and spacious, but so new and unfamiliar to us.
Where would I keep the nappies? Which cupboard should I put the baby’s stuff in?  Where should I put her while she’s sleeping?  The arrangements and habits that we had created for our first baby, were redundant.  We had to start again.  Ok, so this is not a huge issue and may sound ridiculous, but to a new Mammy, 3 days post-section and drugged to the eyeballs, it was MASSIVE.

For the first week, we caught ourselves looking at the other for help or reminders on more than one occasion.  Do we mix the formula when it’s hot or luke warm?  Do we go to bed now or just wait until after her next feed? How do we ensure that Mini-Me is still getting her usual attention? The list goes on and the struggles were real, but after a few days, we were the proverbial quacking ducks and the water was no longer quite so choppy.  Everything became normal again…except for the sleep.

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Before a Baby arrives, how much we sleep goes unnoticed.  Pre-parents should really listen when told to enjoy their sleep now.  Ok, so you can’t stock up on it, and how much you get before the arrival of your little bundle is not going to help when you’re knackered at 4am, but you can ENJOY it.
  Enjoy the luxurious feeling of turning over in the bed without worrying about disturbing Baby.  Enjoy being able to go to bed when YOU feel like it.  Enjoy not giving a continental hoot how much sleep your partner gets, because once Baby arrives, you’ll moniter their sleep as carefully as you moniter the money in your bank account, or lack thereof.

Every second of snoring that is greater than the seconds you spend snoring, is noted. 
Every time he or she turns in the bed, oblivious to the demanding grunts from the cot, (and oblivious to your glares!), is stored in your memory.
Every time you have to haul your ass out of the bed to replace the dummy in your little Munchkin’s mouth, you jot it down in your mind.
Every innocent snore is transformed into the sound of coins being dropped in the piggy-bank of your mind.
Your mind becomes a ledger… how much do I have?  How much did he/she get?
Every second your partner sleeps while you are awake between the hours of 11pm and 6am, becomes currency. 
In other words… YOU OWE MEEEEEE!

And if he/she gets one hour more than you, you will want to make them pay. 
As well as taking mental notes of how much more sleep your partner got, you’ll be taking notes of how little you got.
Yes, while Baby Brain might cause you to forget your own name, (or in my case, the Baby’s name…twice.), it strangely adds to your mathematical brilliance and your late night memory. 
Example:

6 x out of bed to replace dummy
2 x thinking she was choking
3 x unnecessarily
2 x across the hall to Mini-me to scare off bad dreams
1 x across the hall to Mini-me to beg her to go back to sleep
1 x to the kitchen to heat Princess’s bottle
1 x to the kitchen to dump said bottle as said Princess was snoring again by the time I returned
1 x to get another bottle an hour later
1 x sitting on the edge of the bed for 20 minutes after feeding as she screams everytime I move, knowing that the snuggly Mammy is going to try to deposit her in the cold cot.
1 x your snoring
…and don’t even start me on the ten minutes between your alarm going off and the snooze button!
Do the math.
Or don’t.  Just know that YOU OWE ME!

 

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And of course the rational mind reminds me that Himself is working full-time.
And that of course he needs sleep with 5am-8pm working hours.
And that I am off work at the minute.
And that this only lasts for such a short time.

I know all of that, but sometimes, I’m not very rational.  Because I’m shattered!

And of course, there are the nights when Daddy’s on Baby-duty and I can sleep, but I don’t usually.  Not because I need to be awake, but because I’m programmed to be on my feet and functioning before my mind knows I’m awake. 
That’s reality.
I am learning however.  I’m now forcing myself to accept the lie in, even if it is only until 8am.  I am getting better at going back to sleep when I know that Daddy’s got her. (even if sometimes I’ve had to kick him three times to tell him to get up!)

So yes, be prepared for the Sleep dance. 
Be prepared to know exactly how much sleep your partner got and be prepared to know just how much you didn’t.
Be prepared that no matter how honest you usually are, you WILL lie about how many times you were out of bed, just to make sure that partner understands how much he/she OWES YOU!
Be prepared to feel utter resentment for the person you love in real life…because 4am isn’t real life really, is it?

And be prepared to get on with it and to get over it, because it’s worth every single second.

No matter how exhausted your body is, when you look into the cot at stupid o’ clock and see two big, beautiful eyes looking at you; when your finger is gripped by tiny hands, holding on to you for dear life; when you listen to the coos and noises as she drinks; tiredness disappears and is replaced by love.

But yes.  He (or she) still owes you.  How you make them pay, is completely up to you!

I am Sleep Dance Mum 🙂

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I am So-it-begins Mum

We’ve reached week four of pre-school and all was going well, until this morning.

As I dropped Mini-Me off, her lovely teacher smiled at me, chirping “This is for you Mummy!”  I took the piece of coloured card from her, thinking that it must be a note from the school about something that she needs or did.  Thanking smiling teacher and waving goodbye to my little one, I left.

When I got to the car, I looked at the piece of card…it was a birthday invitation.

And so it begins.

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My initial reaction was one of shock.  This is the first invitation she’s received to a party that isn’t one of her cousins. And then it inspired a mixture of feelings inside this inexperienced Mummy that I still can’t quite describe.  I was initially delighted and a little part of me felt smug that she’d been invited.  Having been one of those kids who watched others getting invited to the cool kids’ parties, a part of me felt chuffed that my Princess was popular enough to be invited to a party after only a few weeks!

Then I laughed at my own stupidity as I remembered a friend telling me that the parents in her daughter’s pre-school invite ALL of the kiddies to ALL of the parties.  Most likely, all of the parents had been handed the pretty pink card this morning.  I was no different, I just happened to be the last parent to get mines…and that’s when the fear hit me.

There are 22 in her class.  This lovely, kind parent, who is going to the bother of possibly inviting (and obviously paying for), ALL of the kiddies to meet up on Saturday to play, may have just started a class tradition.  Or is it a dilemma?

Am I the only Mummy who thinks ahead to my daughter’s birthday in a few months and now panics?  If this “invite the whole class” pressure is now mounted onto us as parents, how does one stop the spiral?

Because I know that I for one, can’t even imagine being responsible for having 22 toddlers in my care for an afternoon, never mind being able to afford to pay for a party for the full class.  And then there is the fact that this number will be added to the 8 cousins and 6 baby-friends that have made up her first three birthday parties!

Add parents.  Add Grandparents.  Add aunties and uncles.

Add valium.

As children, my siblings and I were always allowed 3 or 4 of our best buddies from school to come home on the day of our birthday for a small party.  I’d imagined that I would do the same for Mini-me when the time came.  I didn’t anticipate it beginning in pre-school.  I didn’t anticipate it happening so soon.

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I thought that I had a few years to go before I had to be “that mummy” – you know the one who bucks the trend and stands her ground by not giving into playground politics?  Yeah, that’ll be me.  I thought.  Now I’m not so sure.

I read a thread on a local Mummy page today where another new-to-this-craic Mummy asked advice on inviting her 6 year old’s full class to a party for her son.  The responses appalled me.

All of them were saying that yes, the whole class is usually invited and that the basic expectations include village halls, gifts for all the kids so that no one is left out, bouncy castles and hot food.

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The responses terrified me and made me really understand that I am bloody well clueless and that my notions of being “that mummy” might just catapult me (and in turn Mini-me) back into that abyss of unpopularity.

So yes, mixed emotions.

Looking at the lovely invitation, I recognised the beautifully scripted name as that of the little girl my Princess sits beside (and whom she talks about non stop, attributing the title Best Fwend to her daily).  So yes, of course I will happily take her to the party.  It’ll be lovely to meet a few of the other pre-school parents…she’ll be with this group of kids through national and probably secondary school after all.

And of course, it comes with the territory.    But I will be hugely interested to see if only a few of the kiddies have been invited or if the whole class and their entourages do indeed, arrive in force.

If that’s the case, the panic will be founded.  If not, I’ll sigh a huge sigh of relief and rest easy for another while.

I quickly took a snap of the invitation and sent it to Hubby.  His first reply was “Aw, her first invitation”…followed two seconds later by “And so it begins!” The latter text had a laughing emoticon at the end.  But we’ll see who is laughing when it’s our turn to send out the invitations.

I am So-it-begins Mum.