I am So I’m a Career Mum (again)

Rejoice! Rejoice!

It is Friyay…the FIRST Friyay after a FULL week of school and work and routine. And we have all survived. (albeit just about, but survived we have.😂)
We may be frazzled and fooked Mammies, but still we must find the energy to REJOICE in the Fact that we have made it to the MOST wonderful evening of the week. 😆

This week, after two years of maternity leave, unpaid leave and jobsharing, I have finally dipped my toe back into the world of being a Full-time Mammy with a full-time Job. What have I learned? Nothing. But I have remembered MANY things; Things that I had battered down, suffocated and locked in a tattered old box at the back of the memory part of my subconscious, but which now bounce back to the forefront of my ridiculously tired little mind. 😐

Tired Children:

Tired children are cranky.
Tired children like to find a reason, ANY reason, to cry.
Tired children do not KNOW that they are tired.
Tired children refuse to admit that they are tired.😥
Tired children will bite one another.😠
Tired children do not like to go to their beds, regardless of how tired they are.
Tired children like to wake up at 2am and play with their toys, with the light on, noisily enough to waken everyone so that they have someone to tell that they are NOT tired.
Tired children do NOT like to get dressed in the morning.
Tired children do NOT like it when you bounce into their bedrooms at 7am singing “Good Morning, Good Moooooooorning!, opening curtains and declaring that it is time for school. (Especially the not tired children who have been up half the night playing with their fecking toys.😈)
Tired children like to say “No” and “No” and sometimes, “Noooooo!” to absolutely EVERYTHING that Tired Mammy asks or suggests.

And along with tired children, comes the Tired Mammy. But as well as being a tired Mammy, Mammy ALSO has to be SUPER-ORGANISED Mammy.
Mammy needs to keep on top of the fridge situation.
Mammy needs to pack lunchboxes and school bags and afterschool bags.
Mammy needs to remember the fecking HORROR that is HOMEWORK.
Mammy needs to think about dinners sooner than when she opens the fridge at 6pm.
Mammy needs to set her alarm to make sure she gets out of bed 30 minutes before everyone else if Mammy wants to pee, shower and have a coffee all by herself.
Mammy needs to be an intelligent and functioning adult.
Mammy needs to rid her brain of references to Peppa Pig and Andy and Bing because they are not relevant to Macbeth and teenagers do NOT respond well to them.
Mammy needs to try to keep the washing basket from puking and Mammy needs to arrange everyone’s clothes before bedtime.
Mammy needs to remain relatively Wifely and interesting enough to hold a brief conversation with Tired Daddy when he comes home from Jim.
And Mammy needs to get used to wearing stupid heels and muckup every single day. (I’ll last until the end of September…)
Mammy needs to cram all of the Mammying and playing and cuddling and scolding and fun into 3 hours in the evening, while being JUST as tired as her beloved Tired Children who are determined to PUNISH her tired ass for abandoning them in school and creche. (Even though they both LOVE where they go and actually CRY when they are collected.)
Mammy can not have grapes or gin during the week… 😛😛
Mammy struggles with balancing the Mammy guilt when she’s away from the girlies, and the urge to sell them on ETSY when she’s spent an hour being screamed at and cried at by her Tired Minions.

Mammy can’t win.

In conclusion. Mammy does INDEED need to rejoice that she has made it to Friday night, has the tired minions in bed, her feet up and the grapes poured. 😂And now Mammy needs all of her Lovely Supermums to say Hello and remind her of what I have been missing while abandoning you all this week while trying to keep 286 plates spinning without falling off her heels and onto her poor, muck-uped, Mammy-guilty face.

Cheers Bitcheepoos. xxx

I am Some Mammy Poppins Hacks Mum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am She’s a Stay at Home Working Mum

“Your Mammy doesn’t work.” or “Your Mammy doesn’t have a real job”

I remember hearing this a few times as a child and as a teenager.
I remember not thinking much of it. I didn’t see it as an insult or a scathing comment until I was about 16 and my Mum had had Baby Number 6, and I overheard a visitor “jokingly” dismissing my Mum with “Oh at least you don’t have a job to go back to. You should try having a career on top of it….hardeeharrhar.”

And I remember that moment because it was probably the first time I lost the plot with an ACTUAL adult. Let’s just say, there were metaphoric stitches required for the new posterier that might have been ripped. She didn’t visit again.

It was a line delivered with one of those fake “hardeehar” Mary of the Poppins laughs, which people of the bitch variety add to their insults to mask them as “Only jokes” or not meaning any harm. At 17, I was old enough to recognise that the visitor was in fact being a grade a Sanctimammy. And I was old enough to defend my Mum. Because my Mum might not have put on her face and heels every morning and gone to an office or a school or a hospital or a shop or wherever to do a JOB, but BY CHRIST did she work. She worked harder than any other person I know. She still does. She was there, and is there, for us every step of the way, and I’ll never know how she did it.

Being the eldest in a house full of Babies, I learned VERY young that being a Mum is a full time job. There is no rest. There is no relaxation. There are no coffee breaks. There is no “Clocking in” or “Clocking out”. No one cares if you’ve had your lunch hour. Hell, most days, you don’t get lunch! (unless you count their leftovers as lunch, which somedays, we all do. 😅) You don’t have a team to thrash ideas over. You don’t have a Boss to ask for advice. You don’t have a Supervisor to show you the way.

When we were kids in the Donegal sticks in the 80’s, our Mums had a VERY different life. Many of them were at home, all day, without communication, without conversation, without cars, until the Daddy came home (for an hour before hitting the farm.). There were no Forums to ask questions about teething, or wind, or puke. There were no online nurses to contact if a rash appeared. There were 3 TV stations FFS! So there were no digital babysitters. (and no Peppa in fairness.) There were few telephones and even if there was a phone in the house, you didn’t call up your mate for a 20 minute chat unless you were able to pay for it. There were no Mother and Baby groups, no baby massage, no Mammy meet ups… Being a Mammy TODAY is lonely. I can’t get my head around what it must have been like for our Mums. And remember too, that then, you DARE not admit that you were struggling with your emotions or your “nerves” as they used to say in hushed, loaded tones.

Being a Mammy is 24/7. It’s the hardest job in the world whether you’re a SAHM(Stay at home Mum) or a CM (Career Mum). If you don’t leave the house to work, you don’t get to say things like “Sorry, I’m finished for the day” or “That’s not my problem. Talk to JohnJoe” or “I’ll leave that until tomorrow.” You work all day, every day (and all fecking night sometimes) and there is no pay-cheque at the end of it. There is no sick pay. There is no annual leave. Running a home and organising a family is hard. It is full on. It is stressful. It is exhausting. You might not a get a playslip or wages at the end of the month, but boy, do you work.

Now, Before anyone starts their “Try doing all that AND working an ACTUAL job”, let me stop you right there. I AM a working Mum. I have a very busy, demanding and stressful job. I am fully aware that when I go back to work next week, I will have 3 times more crap in my head to think about than I do today. I know too well how fecking EXHAUSTING it is to trying to juggle being professional and organised in your JOB, keeping your family on top of all the EVERYTHING and trying not to lose your shit completely.

It’s a whirlwind and it’s madness, but do you know what? Just because I have a career AND kids, doesn’t make me better or superior to a Mum who stays at home to work. I envy Mums who can stay at home. I’m blessed that I was able to work part-time last year and that I get so much time off to spend with the girls. I know that. But it’s time for me to go back full time and I’m terrified. I love being at home with my girls, but do you know what? I love my job too. So that’s what is right for ME.

Today, I’m looking forward to dressing in my school clothes and having an uninterrupted conversation and a hot coffee in the staffroom next week. Next week, I’ll be breaking my heart that I’m not snuggled up in my PJs on the sofa, watching Peppa Pork.

But let’s get this straight. The mums who stay at home ARE working. They work full time. They just aren’t on a payroll. (Working Mums get the Children’s Allowance too so don’t even TRY that BS).
I envy the Mums who stay at home through choice, but remember that so many are SAHMs because the RIDICULOUS cost of Childcare doesn’t give them any feckin choice. Many would love to be back in the workplace. Many of them look forward to it. But, the shoe fits both feet. To the Mammies who tut at Career Mums for leaving their children to go to work, remember that you’re not a better Mammy than a Career mammy because you stay at home with your kids.

We all do what we have to do.

I go back to my usual mantra… Don’t be a Sanctimammy.

Just because you do things differently, doesn’t make you better.
Just because you work AND have kids, doesn’t make you better than the Mum who is working her ass off at home.
Just because you’re able to stay at home with your Puking minion, doesn’t make you a better Mum than the Mum who had no choice but to leave hers with Granny.
Every Mum does what SHE has to do for HER family. ANd the only person who knows what is right for your family is YOU.
You don’t know another Mum’s circumstance. You don’t know her. You don’t know if she’s happy, or watching you getting into your car to go to work, longing to be you. You don’t know if she’s driving to work in tears because her Baby cried as she was dropping her off. You don’t know how many times a day the Mammy in the office feels a gutwrenching guilt at being away. You don’t know how the Mum in her kitchen is longing for a conversation.

And if you EVER hear yourself dismissing another Mammy because she’s doing it differently to you, lift your hand, grab that redundant wooden spoon and hit yourself a good hard slap on the arse with it. 😂

Then get over yourself. 😘

Have a Fablis Friday night my Lovelies.
And keep up the good work.😘

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.

xxxxxxxx