I am Such a Weekend Mum!

 

Aw Ladybelles, where do I start?

On Friday 13th, myself and The Him headed to the Big shmoke for the Maternity and Infant Awards 2017.

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The Incredibly Beautiful Royal Marine Hotel

I couldn’t believe that my blog had even made it into final. Getting to meet the creme de la créme of Irish Parenting Bloggers was a dream come true for me.

We arrived at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire just in time to get changed and join in the champagne reception that was in full swing.  The hotel is GORGEOUS.  HImself had booked us a suite as a surprise and I have to tell you Ladies, it was amazing; big and bright with chandaliers and high ceilings and a view of the sea. Romance indeed.

We went downstairs and despite never having met any of the other bloggers, were soon hugging and chatting. Such a friendly bunch.  We really felt welcomed and any nerves I had settled very quickly.

We were ushered into the beautiful ballroom, where we were served a lovely luncheon. We were sitting beside the legend that is The Stented Papa and his lovely wife. On my other side was one of my heroes, Miss Jen Hogan from Mamatude. She’s a Mum of 7 and an all round Supermum who has even published a real, actual BOOK! I may or may not have been slightly starstruck by her! But what a cracker of a Lady she is. The amazing Jolene from One Yummy Mummy kept us giggling all evening and with the lovely Becky from Cuddle Fairy beside her, the laughs were many.  Add Kellie from My Little Babog, Cliodhna from Lean Mean Momma and the lovely Sinead from Bumbles of Rice and we were in great company altogether.

 

The awards were so well organised. (You all know how well organised things make Me happy!) Between courses, the lovely Maura Derrane from TV3 kept proceedings going, announcing awards and conducting interviews. Very impressive.

The wine was flowing and the craic was mighty.  And then it was time for the Best Parenting Blog Award.

No award for The S-Mum this Time, but lots of joy.

Well done to the amazing Jolene from One Yummy Mummy who deservedly won Best Parenting Blogger.

Huge congrats too to the lovely My Little Bábóg Blog and Leanmeanmomma who got Silver & Bronze respectively.

I was quite emotional listening to the stories of the winners of the People Awards. So many incredible stories and amazing people. Well done to all of the winners.

With the ceremony over, we all retired into the rather fablis bar where the wine, gin and general fun continued for a few hours.  Not used to the art of daytime drinking, myself and The Him grabbed barfood at about 8.30pm and hit the massive leaba in our suite.  This was easily the most comfortable bed I have EVER slept in.

We had to hightail it back to Letterkenny at 9am on Saturday as I was hosting a charity event with my buddy Joanne.

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Hosting the Donegal Youth ServiceAfternoon Tea with Joanne Gallinagh of Beaus and Belles

But we did manage to grab breakfast first. I do love me a good hotel breakfast, so I do!

We’ll definitely be back in the Royal Marine, but next time we will make sure we have time to sleep in and enjoy the area for a bit.

As for the awards?  We were treated like Royalty, and spoiled with food, drinks and goodie bags. I honestly hope we get a chance to attend them again.

Gals. I’m just delighted to have made the top 10. 😙😙 To be placed among the ten best bloggers in the country was such an honour. And as well as making memories, I’ve also made friends.

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With the  Finalists

Thank you. YOU LOT got me there; Your support, your votes, your messages. And I’m so very grateful.
And as always thank you to my Mammy Squad and especially to my Him… 😍😍😍

Oh and of course to the two little ladies who provide me with SO much subject matter! 🙂

#bootsmiawards17
#thedonegalmammy

 

I am Slightly Excited and Super Nervous Mum

 

I’m off to Dun Laoghaire tomorrow for the  Maternity & Infant Awards 2017.  I’ve made it to the final 10 in the Parenting Blogger category and I couldn’t be happier!

I’m looking forward to it, but truth be told, I’m bricking it. 🙂

Why?

I have noooooooooooooooo idea.

I suppose a part of it is excitement. Actually, most of it is excitement.  I’m going to meet bloggers and writers who I have admired and followed from afar for quite a while. I am quite proud to have even reached the top 10, to have my blog named alongside these writers is such an honour for me already.  To meet them and put faces to the virtual characters will be fab.

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Still can’t deal with my name in this list 🙂

“On a scale of Mum to Marilyn…”

What does one  wear to an awards ceremony? The whole “What to wear” issue usually doesn’t bother me too much.  I’m one of those people who will decide what I’m going to wear and even though I might change 389 times, I will end up back in the first outfit I’d chosen anyway.  But this event has had me slightly stressed this week.  Maybe because I don’t know any of the people I’m attending with.  Maybe because I had a dream on Tuesday night that everyone else was dressed in chic jeans and blazers and I was dressed like a 1980’s toilet roll cover…   (Could happen!)

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“On a scale of Mum to Marilyn, how glam are we going?”

There’s NOTHING in my wardrobe you know? Nothing!

So off I toddled to my buddy Rosie in Pure Boutique in Letterkenny .  I was looking for something to fit into the dress code on the invitation, but then I spotted a dress and had an “I need that” moment, so although it is quite possibly way too dressy, I bought it.   I may be closer to Marilyn than my usual Mum uniform, but it’s not very often we get to dress up during the day is it? And any excuse to be Glammy Mammied must be grabbed with both hands, mustn’t it?

I tried to convince my hairdresser Ciara in LK Hair Design to do my hair at 5am.  Instead, she had a genius plan to make sure my hair looks less Worzelled than usual, so I’ve been summoned into her this evening to have curlers/rollers put in, like the glamourous wans off the tellybox. (I never understand why they have the curlers in but end up with straight hair? But it looks the part, so I’ll pretend I know what’s going on and go with it.)

I’m dragging The Him away from Jim for the day and he is coming with me. I needed a driver… and Himself to myself for a day. When we’re getting the chance to have a day of We-time, we’ll take it. The awards are taking place in the  Royal Marine Hotel which looks amazing, so I’m looking forward to some chill out with him.  It’ll be an early start on Saturday morning however as I have to hightail it back to Letterkenny to host the Donegal Youth Service fundraiser, the Afternoon Tea in Castlegrove House with my Buddy Joanne.

Sunday shall be spent on the sofa, watching The Polar Express and asking The Him if it’s too early for a Chilli Shaker every 15 minutes from 10am.

One of the other glammy Mammies tells me that there is food, fun and wine, so I’m sure than after a wee slug of rescue remedy, a slap of lippy and a glass of grapes, I’ll be grand.

If I win?… well I can’t even go there…  We might need to have a party Mammies!?  It would be such an achievement.  But honestly, to even get to be at that table tomorrow and see my name in the top 10 is a huge personal achievement for me and “The S-Mum” already.  I couldn’t be happier and it’s all because of you lot; My Mammy squad, whose comments and messages remind me every day to write and keep smumbling.

It’s going to be a busy one. Tonight will be spent packing bags and cleaning and organizing the whole world.  I’ll be posting on my Instagram story tomorrow if you want to see what’s going on throughout the afternoon.  Nerves aside, I shall pull up the big girl knickers and take a breath and drag my Donegal Backside to the Big Smoke to meet some Fablis bloggers tomorrow… There’s nothing else for it really is there!

Wish me luck! xxxxxx

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I am Slightly Chuffed Mum

Last week was pretty exciting for me and my little old Blog.

On Thursday morning I got an email to say that I have made the SHORTLIST in the V by Very Blog Awards.  The S-Mum is Shortlisted in TWO categories.

  1. Best parenting Blog
  2. Best Blog Post for my post “I am Saying it Out Loud Mum” about my own struggles with “My Little Bitch, Anxiety”  

(Read it here  

https://the-smum.com/2017/06/11/i-am-saying-it-out-loud-mum/

 

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http://blogawardsireland.com/

Then, that VERY evening, I received ANOTHER email from the lovely folk at Maternity and Infant to tell me that I have reached the FINAL in their Boots Maternity and Infant Awards.

https://maternityandinfant.ie/awards/

 

Now, let me explain to you what a HUGE deal this is to me…  Out of the 26 blogs nominated, only 10 make it to the final.  This in itself is exciting and the fact that I made it to the top 10 excites me no end.  But the MOST exciting thing is seeing my little old name up beside the other 9 bloggers, all of whom I follow and many of whom I hold in regard as being Parenting Blogger royalty in Ireland.

I can’t stop looking at the image of the ten Blog names.

And I can’t thank my readers enough for considering my Smumbles to be worth their time and energy and votes.

Should I never win a thing, I honestly don’t care.

I shall go to these ceremonies and meet lovely people and enjoy the fact that somewhere on the interweb, my words are being recognized as not being complete and utter waffle!

SO thank you to V by Very and the Bloggies and Thank you to Maternity and Infant and to everyone who is in any small way responsible for The S-Mum getting onto these wonderful lists.FB_IMG_1505424273626.jpg

I am 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 Sssssh I’m Reading Mum

​I actually can’t remember the last time I read a book.

An ACTUAL book.. you know..with a plot and characters and twists and resolutions and stuff?
Since Princess arrived, I’ve had the same book sitting beside the bed.  “Making it up as I go along” is a collection of essays and articles by the very wonderful Marian Keyes.  It’s perfect for busy mummies, because you can dip in and out of it and you don’t feel like you have to start over again if you haven’t lifted it in 6 weeks. It’s delightful.
But this week, seeing the trailers for The Girl on the Train ignited a little spark in me that I thought had disappeared.  I wanted to READ A BOOK.

Not a kindle. Not a screen… an ACTUAL book, made of PAPER and INK.
 From the minute I could read, I was EATING books.  Indeed, Mother often reminds me that I ACTUALLY loved to eat paper as a baby! 😂 But seriously, the parentfolks couldn’t save the children’s allowance fast enough to keep me in Roald Dahl.  In fact, Mr Dahl himself couldn’t write fast enough for me.  I remember waiting for the next book. Oh the utter joy when the bookshop in Derry or Strabane FINALLY got “Going Solo” in!  (Remember how the Norn-Iron shops ALWAYS had the cool stuff in 3 years before here?) 😂😂
Between Roald Dahl’s masterpieces, I lived in Narnia and often went off on adventures with The Famous Five.  Life was good in my little world. I honestly would have read the side of the cereal box. There were never enough words…never enough stories…never an end to where the words could take me.  
Reading sent me to places I still only dream about visiting.   It kept me company.  It taught me that you can escape ANYTHING, forget about EVERYTHING and travel the world with the most interesting people, from the comfort of a chair or under the covers of your “Rainbow Bright” Bed.
My favourite place in the world to read was at a hedge in one of Dad’s fields, where I used to hide from my 27 siblings 👭😂 with my book and a cushion and a bottle of diluted juice! It was close enough to home to hear Mum call us for dinner, but far enough away that I felt like I was off somewhere magical. (I still read there.  I’m writing this from that exact spot. It’s where we built our house. 💖💖💖)
And the amount that I read as a child MIGHT have influenced my career choice! 😂  And it’s why I read to the girls EVERY NIGHT. I can’t even threaten no story at bedtime, because it’d upset me more than Mini-Me! 😂

It breaks my heart when I meet teenagers who honestly have only ever read the books they had to read in school.  They see it as a chore…as a punishment even.  So when I can get them to actually ENJOY Shakespeare or a novel, or Heaven Forbid, POETRY, it makes me happy.  Do they all enjoy it? Probably not, but it’s not for the want of trying! 😂😂
Before I became a Mummy and TIME got sucked into some other dimension, I read lots.  Mostly Chick-Lit if I’m honest…much to annoyance of the Him.

 “How do you read that muck?” (He’s never gotten over Bridget Jones 2!)  

“I teach John Donne for a living. This ‘muck’ doesn’t require me to think!”

(The Him loved to read too.  But then he met Jim and Jim is so needy that The Him rarely has time to now read anything other than edumacational stuff.)
So The Girl on the Train? Have you read it?
Apparently it’s a superb piece. And I want to read it before I see the movie, so I’m sitting here sniffing the pages and a little part of me is 10 again… I’m off on an adventure. 
Train departing Platform 1…