I am Some Things that Make me Smile Mum

What makes you smile Mammy?

“My children’s arms around my neck… spending time with my family… seeing my childrens’s faces when… hearing my children’s voices…cuddles with my babies…”

Yadda yadda yeah.

Of course these things make you happy.  And so they should. Being Mammy is the most rewarding and smile inducing thing in the world.

But Back up Bitcheepoos.  I asked what makes YOU happy.  What things, (not including your precious little cherubs and their hillarious/cute/wonderful milestones), make Mammy smile.   I want the OTHER answers, the things OTHER than your kids that make you smile, because it’s important to remember the things that make Mammy smile, other than being Mammy.

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Apart from these two, obviously.

Here are some of mine:

Food:  Food is possibly my favourite thing in the world. Nothing gives me the same joy as good food. The smells.  The textures. The flavours… I have been known to make questionable noises while eating certain things.  Add a smooth warm wine to a Prawn Balti and I may just love you forever. Eating is not just functional.  It’s sensual. God dammit, sometimes food is just sexy. End of.   I’m salivating now just thinking about it… To Hell with diamonds…The way to this woman’s heart is through my belly.  Just feeeeeeed me.  I’m like a puppy.  I’m not beyond being bribed to do tricks…

When someone else thinks of me:  When Himself leaves my cup and pod ready in the coffee machine before I get up.  When my friend hands me a pair of ridiculous slippers just because she thought of me when she saw them. When someone calls me, not looking for something, just to say hi. When someone texts me out of the blue.

Chatting:  With two chatterboxes for daughters, I don’t get a word in edgeways.  If I get the rare chance to meet my mate, my Him or my Mum for a cuppa without my little people, Oh but it does make me smile.  Uninterrupted, uncensored conversation with our favourite grown up people is soooooooo good for us, isn’t it?

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Hugs:  Apart from my Him and the Hers, there are some people whose hugs make me especially happy.  My Daddy is the bestest Hugger in the world.  End of story. No one will ever win an argument with me about that.  I love hugs from my siblings, especially the two who flew over the Irish Sea to make their nests. It doesn’t matter how long has passed between hugs, they’re stronger than ever each time.

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Hugs makes the sun shine

Being alone:  The true joys of being alone can never be understood until you are a parent.  When I get it, I take it.  And I’m talking ANYWHERE!  The bathroom. The shower. The car journey between drop off and work.  Sometimes, I run awful errands just to get 25 minutes alone! Even putting the bin up to the road is a chance to stop and breath and be alone for a minute. Grabbing a coffee alone is a luxury. I get up most mornings before 6am, just to have an hour to myself.  And who needs a holiday when you have the Supermarket to mosey through all by yourself?

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How I feel on aisle 3

The Beach:  The beach near my home is my absolute favourite place.  It’s my thinking place. Yes I love to walk here with the girls, but add this one to Number 5 and you’ll see a content and happy S-Mum.  If I stand on that shore long enough, all the world realigns and everything is better. It’s cleansing. It blasts away my stresses. And I’m discovering as I get older, that the worse the weather is, the better the blast.

People watching:  This one makes me smile just thinking about it.  I LOVE to people-watch.  I love to pretend and make up what is happening with them.  I write them into characters and scenarios in my head, and sometimes in my book.  (If you have ever passed me, especially if I’m alone, there’s a chance you’ve inspired something. That counts as a disclaimer right?)

Exercise:  This one might not be everyone’s list, but it’s definitely something that makes me smile.  It also makes me swear, grunt and cry, but so does food! There is a fine line between pleasure and pain isn’t there!?

Food: I know I’ve said food already, but seriously, I don’t think I have enough words to make anyone understand the utter joy that it brings me. 🙂

Smells: Stop and smell the roses, or the cut grass, or the baking bread.  Breathe in your Granny’s perfume, your baby’s head, the chocolate cake.  ALWAYS take a second to smell your wine. Or your coffee.  Or the washing powder.  Or the smell in your parent’s hall when you visit.  Smells are memories.  Memories make me smile.

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Breathe it in…

I could go on.  And even as I write this and think about these things, I realise that they are largely easy to do, find and that they are mostly free.   And so it makes me wonder, why I don’t do them more often.  Of course, time is an issue. Being a busy Mammy with a job and 20,000 other things going on will always make time an issue, but at the same time, none of these things are outrageous or elusive really.

And so maybe it’s time to make time to do them.  

So now, I ask you again.  What makes YOU smile? (apart from your Darlings).

Write down a few of them and stick the list on your fridge or in your diary.  Then, try to tick one or two of them off that list at least once a week.

 

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My Random Musings

 

I am Some Really Virtual Friends Mum

After the initial business of arriving home with a new Baby, comes a quiet and calm, that can be lovely and much needed.

However, a few weeks or months, or even years in, and many Mums find themselves isolated. Being a Mum generally means that “you will never be lonely again”, but in reality, it is often the loneliest place in the world.

I’ve spoken before about how social media can help with the isolation of new parents.  But boy is it a double-edged sword?  The same platforms and pages that offer modern Mammas conversation, support and company, very often also encourage feelings of loneliness, despair and isolation.

I like social media.
I like how it allows me to stay in touch with people.
I like how it helps me to connect with old friends.
I love how it allows my family members who are scattered like glitter across the planet, to see what’s happening at home.
I love how one comment or image can spark conversations that are both heated and entertaining; sometimes even intelligent!
I like to see photographs of the people I like, smiling and happy.
I enjoy it and I get it I suppose.

As a Mummy, it provides some escapism. When the kids are asleep or you find yourself with 5 minutes to sit with a cuppa, there’s something nice about hitting the little blue F and seeing what’s happening in the real world.

You know? That place where exciting things happen? Where Peppa Pig isn’t in charge and where people live wonderful lives?

Where everyone has terrifyingly precise, painted eyebrows and sparkly white teeth and where people look naturally happy, all of the time?

You get to look into the lives of your “friends”: see their exciting nights out, admire their fabulous clothes, wonder where they get the time or money to visit that salon again.

We see happy families, smiling for the selfie.
We see who’s at the gym, who’s out for dinner and who’s heading away on holiday.

And while there is no harm in this really,  the key is to know that what you’re looking at is not reality.
It’s virtual.
It’s fabricated.
It’s lies.

No one’s life is perfect all of the time.  We know that, but let’s face it…who is going to voluntarily put a shitty photograph of themselves up for the world to see?

The natural selfies are probably one of 23 shots.

There are magical filters that apparently beautify! (Note to self…find out more about these.)

The reality is that regardless of how careful you are, if you look through your list of friends, you’ll possibly come across at least 2 people about whom you have to ask yourself “who is this?”

And while it keeps us connected, a huge issue for many new mums, is the isolation caused by social media.

Yes, we can see what’s happening and stay up to date with our friends.  We post photographs and status updates about our children and about our lives, to let our friends and families see how cute they are and how entertaining life is with kids.

But when this means that our friends feel that they don’t need to visit, or meet for coffee, or pick up the phone, then… we have a problem.

When seeing everyone else having fun, makes you feel boring and frumpy in your busy, unglamorous world of feeds and nappy changes, then…we have a problem.

When you know the story before someone tells you it, then…we have a problem.

When someone you haven’t spoken to in 2 years only realises that you’re no longer friends when you finally unfriend them on social media, then…we have a problem.

When every conversation you have includes the line “Yeah, I saw that,” then…we have a problem.

And it’s our own fault.  We see it all on social media so we no longer feel the same need to ring someone up to ask how they’re doing.
After all, we know they’ve been to dinner this week, had the dog to the beach and that the baby has been puking. We read it on Facebook.

We no longer consider a coffee date important as we know what’s going on with them.
We read it on Facebook.

But of course, Facebook doesn’t give you the same satisfaction that you get from good conversation over a cuppa.
Facebook doesn’t give you a hug before you go back to the whirlwind of your life.
Facebook might help you feel connected to the world outside your home, but only for a second, and only until it doesn’t.

Recently, I met a good friend for coffee.

She’s not on Facebook.

It was refreshing. She was interested in my stories, in how I was, in how the girls were doing… she hasn’t seen it on Facebook. I was delighted to hear about what she’s been up to. It was real conversation and it was lovely. We actually had so much to catch up on.  There were no lies about how perfect life is.  It’s difficult to lie to someone’s face.

We were able to talk about the difficulties we have with our respective Mini-Mes. We laughed at things we remembered from our nights out BC. Stories were interesting because they hadn’t already been told or seen. It was good, old-fashioned catch-up and it made me feel fuzzy and loved and ridiculously real again.

So while this isolation I speak of obviously doesn’t just apply to mums, that’s the angle I’m seeing it from.  I’m lucky that I have a wonderful family and some very good friends, but sometimes, just sometimes, being a mummy in the presence of two fabulously fun princesses 24 hours a day, can be a lonely place.

And while social media is fantastic and helps us stay in touch, it isn’t real.

So if you know someone; a mummy or daddy, or friend or cousin, who you have to really think about the last time you actually spoke to them, do you and them a favour.

Pick up the phone and say hi.
Or call to visit and actually hold the baby, while she makes you a coffee.

Rather than sharing sentimental quotations or memories on our friends’ pages, we really need to try to make more of our reality… not our virtual reality.

So there you go.
Social media is fabulous.  I get it.  I enjoy it.
But sometimes, it just isn’t enough.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to speaking at a Mammy Meet Up which has been organised by my good friend Sarah Barr of New Beginnings.  See details here.

We did indeed meet online and our friendship blossomed online, but a few months ago, we took the plunge and went on a DATE! We met in an actual bar, had actual food and actual conversation. And now, we’re not just virtual friends, we’re ACTUAL friends… in real life like! We’ve been getting up to all sorts of projects together and I have to say, she’s a Doll.

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So if ANY of the things I’ve mentioned in this article have you nodding in agreement, please come along to SONDER tomorrow at 7pm for a coffee and a chat with us.  You never know who you might meet or what new friendship is around the corner.

I am Snapping before bedtime Mum

​Today is Chooseday.

Today, I choose the word YES.
Pre bedtime chaos shot. 👇👇👇


Yes, they are too close to the tellybox.

Yes, I know it’s not good for their eyes.

Yes, they’re watching reruns of Scoobyfuckingdoo,🐕 with Velma and Daphne and the other weird-eye-animated unaging and omni-teenage detectives and their big thick plank dog🐶 chasing yet another fucking zombie in disguise.

Yes, it will possibly give herself nightmares.(Princess, not so much, given that the zombies would run AWAY from Crazy little her.😂)

Yes, I know they shouldn’t be encouraged to watch Tellyboxes or any other evil screen (or as I like to call them Mammy’s sanity savers) so late at night… tut…

Yes, I know I’ve probably just ruuned my chances of winning “Mammy of the year.” 😂

Yes, I give NOT ONE continental fuck what the “No way. Bad S-Mum. My kids would NEVER get screen time” Sanctimammies think. (Do you think they binge watch Scoobydoo in their cupboards while the kids play scrabble and suduko and stuff?) 😈😈
Yes, Princess is sitting inside a box..👇😂

Yes, she got in there all by herself.

Yes, she could have sat in the cool pink princess size chair.

Yes, she could have squished herself into the slightly bigger box

Yes, she got stuck.

Yes, of course I left down the mug and lifted her out.😜

Yes, she climbed right back in.
Yes Mammy was drinking coffee at 6.30pm and we all know that one should not drink the magic beans so late in the day, but let me put it to you like this.
It was too early for grapejuice…🍷
Yes, Mammy is knackered.

Yes, the kitchen is a mess.

Yes, I still have to cook dinner.

Yes, Princess still needs a bath and so without the magic beans, Mammy wouldn’t have actually been awake enoigh to wash the slabber covered salty little fudgemonster.

Yes, I’ll probably be up all fucking night doing “to do ” lists in my head.

Yes, I’ll regret it at 1am.

Yes, The Him will want to kill me when I wake him up at 2am to ask him if he thinks we should wallpaper the living room.

Yes, I’m clever. The Him will agree to an indoor pool and special “Mammy grape cupboard” with a comfy chair and everything, if it will shut me up at 2am.

Yes, I am a genius 😈😜 and yes, the coffee worked and so I functioned enough to wash Princess and put the two little terrors to bed.

And now, I have JUST ABOUT enough energy to ACTUALLY tidy the kitchen and cook Him some dinner.☹
So now…what do you think?

Is it time for a little glass of grapes to reward Mammy for being such a feckin legendary Goddess?
The word you’re looking for, is YES!
How was your Chooseday?😘😘

I am Sunrise Mum

This morning, Princess woke at 6am with a sore tummy.  I brought her into my bed and tried all of my usual tricks to get her back to sleep. 
Just one more hour please.
Usually, she snuggles up to me, plants a pudgy wee hand flat on my cheek and sighs.  It’s quite adorable.
This morning she was searching frantically through closed eyes for the teat of the bottle that I obviously should have had in her mouth ten minutes earlier. Her arms were flailing and she was grunting like a little pig at the swill bucket.
I swear, it was as if she hadn’t been fed in 3 days. 
She’s funny when she decides she’s hungry.  Feed me NOW. (She’s like her mother I suppose!)

And so, for the first time in a few weeks, I find myself up and coffeefied before 6.30am.
I got herself settled and she’s currently snoring in the corner. 
I was thinking about going back to bed, but then I looked out the window and realised that I haven’t seen the sunrise in a long time.
I’ve always been a morning person.
I’m the person that those “If you see someone smiling before 7am, slap them!” mugs, are about.

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I’ve always loved the calm and the quiet of day break, when you can breathe in the nothingness before the world awakens. 
And so, I put on my warmest coat and sat on the back doorstep; coffee and huge dog cuddles keeping me warm.

And I watched. 
And I listened. 
The countryside at stupid o’clock is eerily quiet. It’s gorgeous.

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And while I knew that this calm would not last; because my little Tasmanian Devil would be waking up to take on the world in approximately ten minutes; I took it all in and enjoyed it.

My backside was freezing by the time I heard her footsteps coming up the hall, but my head was calm and my heart was all warm and fuzzy.
I was ready for the day ahead.

I would have loved an extra hour in bed, obviously,
but sometimes it does not harm to be
Sunrise Mum.

Follow S-Mum on Facebook https://m.facebook.com/Secretsofsmum/
And on Twitter @Maria_Rushe

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