I am Some Chilling Facts Mum

“And that’s how valleys were made!” says Daddy, utterly proud of himself as he helps Mini-Me into her carseat.  He’s just had her looking over one of Donegal’s most beautiful valleys, The Poison Glen.

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Look at meeeeee Daddy!

They’ve stood out, looking and pointing and chatting, with Daddy being ‘the business’, informing her, teaching her, being the Daddy of all knowledge, and her little ears taking it all in.  I’ve been in the car with a sleeping Princess who quite frankly couldn’t give a hoot about anything other than when she next gets to eat or sleep.

He straps himself in and starts to drive.

Did the Ice-age really happen then?’ she asks, still wide eyed.

‘It did indeed.’  he answers smugly.

‘When like?’

‘Oh Millions of years ago.’

I’m enjoying this.  It’s nice having someone else answer her questions!  It reminds me of when I was her age and my Daddy knew EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING too. I was in awe of him.  (I still am.)

The Him’s enjoying it too. He smiles his handsome smile at me as he stops at a junction. Superdaddy…

‘Millions of years ago Daddy? Really?’  There’s doubt in her voice/

‘Yep.  Millions and millions of years ago…’

‘And was it really cold?’

‘It was. So cold that everything was covered in ice!’

(I know what’s coming in the way that only a Mammy can know what’s coming…)

‘So did Granny have to buy you a warmer coat?’

And just like that, his ice bubble was shattered into millions of pieces.  It’s amazing how quickly thathandsome smile can be replaced by Grumpy grump!

I turned up the heating.  It was suddenly quite chilly in the car…

 

I am She was wearing the Blue Jumper Mum

Mini-Me’s powers of description and interrogation are wonderful. There are departments of Intelligence all over the world who could do with hiring her.

Daddy was driving yesterday as we passed a local school.   

Mini-Me announces:

“My friend Nancy goes to that school.”

“Very good Darling.”

“She doesn’t go to my school but we’re still best fwends.”

“I wonder if they were in Daddy’s gym the day the school visited.”

“WHAT?”

“Some of the boys and girls from that school came to visit Daddy’s gym last month. I wonder was your friend there.”

“Are you JOKIN?”

“No. I’m not joking.”

“You mean to tell me that my BEST fwend Nancy came to see your gym and she NEVER told me?”

“Well I don’t know.  Maybe she wasn’t there.”

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“Was there a girl there with Red hair?”

“There were lots of girls there.”

“But was there a girl with red hair?”

“Maybe…”

“With reddy Blonde hair?”

“Ehm.  I’m not sure.”

“Well it’s more blonde. Was there a girl there with blonde hair?”

“There might have been pet. I don’t…”

“It’s long and wavy and blonde… with red. It’s kind of red but a wee bit blonde.”

“Daddy didn’t notice.  There were lots and lots of girls and boys there.”

“But was there a girl there with red hair and GLASSES?”

“I…”

“Glasses Daddy.  You HAVE to have seen the glasses?”

“Daddy didn’t look…”

“They are blue…or mabye green glasses.”

Erm…

“And they might have Cinderella on the side.  Did you see a girl with reddy blonde hair and bluey-green Cinderella glasses in your gym Daddy?”

(Daddy’s eyes are beginning to glaze over…)

“I’m not sure.”

“You HAVE to KNOW Daddy?  She was probably wearing a blue jumper.”

Daddy is now speechless.  Mammy decides to help…

“Come on now Ted, she was wearing the blue jumper like”.

It’s probably a good job he was driving…

 

I am Share the Daddy Bloggers Mum

With so many support groups and networks in place for Mums, wouldn’t it be great to see similar initiatives being set up for male parents?

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Most Mums agree that the Menfolk would benefit from support groups just as much as Mammies.

Of course they would, but when we live in a society that still thinks Dad is “babysitting” when he spends time with his kids, rather than, you know, “PARENTING”, and where Dads are often dismissed as being lesser parents or not as significant as Mammies, we have a long way to go.

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But change will come. And the first signs of it are seeping into society.

I know four  Daddies who stay at home with their children while Mum goes out to work.  And that’s just off the top of my head. Loads more share parenting duties and responsibilities with their children’s mum. It’s not a new thing.

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I am single handedly fighting the “Is Daddy babysitting?” bullshit with my semi-violent responses becoming quite famous around Donegal.  It may eventually be a nationwide epidemic that might even cause some bloke in Government to ban the question completely, and punishment for uttering the words will carry a sentence of a full Netflix session of Peppa Pork… or worse, Max and fricken Ruby.

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The Him Most Certainly DOES NOT Babysit his girls. He Daddies them.

But most fabulous is the rise of the Daddy Blogger.  I know and follow a few Daddy Bloggers and am delighted that this rare and wonderful species are speaking out for the Daddy folk and giving the Mammy Bloggers a run for the children’s allowance.

So in order to spread the love and in the hope that maybe some of my 97% female readers might tag or share with their Daddy Bear type, I want to share my top 3 with you. (If you know a Daddy who might enjoy following some really cool Daddy types, tag away and share this with them.)

My Favourite Daddy Bloggers!

The Stented Papa is a must follow for ALL parents. I’ve met this dude. He is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met and his blog has me in stitches laughing frequently.

 

 

 

Daddy Poppins is the hilarious and honest musings of an Irish House Husband. Serious wit here my Lovelies!

 

 

 

Digital Dad is brilliant.  Again, funny and so honest, his posts will crack you up!

 

 

OMG Family, Life and Food keeps it real and relevant. Love his food posts.

These guys are a breath of fresh air.  Get following!

If we can get Dads sharing and reading and recognising and empathising with other Dads, who knows?

Eventually we might live in a society that praises and applauds all the amazing Dads who DO exist, rather than wondering what’s wrong with them for being, you know, Dads?

And yes, there are some useless Dads out there. but remember, there are some useless Mums out there too. Shock fecking horror! I get in trouble every time I say this, but hey! Giving birth doesn’t make you the best parent. Loving the child does, and that includes the parents who love their children from different homes and sometimes from afar.

 

If you have any Dad bloggers to recommend, please do so in the comments!

#dadsarefabtoo

I am So Not a Halloween Mum

Today’s Thoroughly Modern Mammy for Donegal Woman
😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈

You know the BEST thing about Halloween?

Once, it’s over, it is FINALLY Christmas. I’m not a fan. For this little Mammy, Halloween is simply a pot hole which we have to drive through to get to Santa Season.🎅

The Him however, LOVES it.🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

He loves it so much that he insists on making a huge fuss about it with the girls. It seems that both of the minions, especially the Older one, have inherited Daddy’s love of the season of orange and creepy crap. In fact, Himself and the two of them went AT the destruction/decorating of the house with such gusto yesterday evening, that I went outside to clean the windows.

Yes, you read right. I voluntarily left my cosy living room and went out into the cold to wash the windows. When I returned, it looked like Scooby Doo and Shaggy had puked the contents of the Mystery Machine all over the room.

I thought I was being clever last week getting the painters to come in. “No bluetack on the walls Daddy. It’s just been painted” I announced as I flounced out the door with my bucket and chamois, smug that my genius plan had reduced the possibility for decorations on every surface!🎃

How futile that was. He simply found somewhere else to hang everything and has completely destroyed my kitchen units…

There are witches and ghouls and spiderwebs and spiders (she forgets that last week she was afraid of them!) and there are little green and orange lights EVERYWHERE.

The (clean thank you) windows have jelly skeletons and witches on them and random lamps shout or cackle at me as I walk past. They may end up in the Swilly.

But most annoying and upsetting of all, is his need to make all of my pictures and photo frames uneven on the walls. It apparently adds to the effect.😥

All it REALLY adds to is my desire to scream and punch someone in the nose.

But Herself loves it. And they had great fun all evening putting everything up. I feel that the fact that she is doing something that Mammy dislikes and tuts at, is adding to her love for it. Until November 1st, it’s Mini-Me and Daddy 1, Mammy and Santa 0.

I refuse to admit that they’ve done a good job and that actually the place looks kind of cool. I’ll grumble about having to dress up. I’ll scold about the photographs hanging sideways on the walls. I’ll curse everytime I have to stretch up to lift the pumpkin lights so I can close the cupboard door.

But I’ll do all of this, not because I ACTUALLY hate the holiday, but because it adds to the enjoyment and mischief that The Him and Mini-Me get out of their mutual taunting of Silly Mammy.

Will I get into the spirit of it? Of course I will, (and gin is a spirit so technically, he can’t argue!)😂 I’ll dress up. I’ll dress the girls up. We’ll go to town and meet friends for Trick or Treating. We might even venture into the fireworks this year.

I’ll show her how to make a witch’s costume out of a bin bag and tinfoil, before letting her dress in the unoriginal and manufactured costume I bought her.

I’ll do the bobbing for apples with them, before wondering why the hell I thought this would be a good idea.

I’ll talk about baking an apple pie, before buying one for handiness.

I’ll paint her face every morning this weekend, before scolding that the facepaint must be made of concrete and complaining that it won’t come off.

I’ll pretend to be a witch and get so into character that I scare the bejaysus out of Princess.

And I’ll pretend to hate the whole season, because I know how special it is for Daddy and Mini-Me to have a love of something together that doesn’t include Mammy. Even better if it gives them an excuse to form an alliance and rebel against her eh?

Because these are the memories we are making in our home and every year, they become more and more natural and fun.

And then on Tuesday night, at midnight, POOF! Glitter and Christmas and Jingles EVERYWHERE! And The Him can buckle up, because he only THINKS he knows how to decorate a house!

He ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!😂😂🎅🎅😛😛

What are your favourite Halloween traditions?🎃🎃🎃

I am So, Is Different Always Wrong Mum?

On Wednesday, I wrote a blog post on how an imaginary spider and a pair of knickers caused a post apocalyptic meltdown in my house before 7am. I went to work in tears, spent the day in an absolute state and only settled when Mini-Me was tucked up after a very calm and snuggly bedtime. Most of the stress came from the fact that although yes, SHE had started it, I knew in my heart and soul that the biggest reason for the stand-off…was me.

I wasn’t going to post, but as my readers know, I’m not one for pretending this parenting lark is easy. I’m not Mary of the Poppins. Nor am I Nanny Mc Phee. In fact, most days, the S is S-Mum stands for ANYTHING EXCEPT Super. But post it I did and I’m glad I did.

It never ceases to amaze me how supportive and kind other Mammies can be. (And Daddies actually.) Within an hour of posting it, a dozen Mums and 3 Dads had commented their empathy and another dozen had private messaged me to say that they too had crappy days; that they had also been dealing with similar bahaviour in their homes.

One Mammy, whose kids are now adults, messaged me to tell me that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and that every mum goes through bad mornings and bad days. Her message made me cry. I went to bed feeling particularly crappy and emotionally exhausted, but Thursday was another day and thankfully, a LOT better.

For every reader who empathised with my strggle, I’m sure that there were a few who tutted their sanctimammious tuts at my post; at my honesty and at my admission that I’d fooked up that morning. That’s par for the course as a blogger. If my #mammyfailure made them feel smug and self righteous. Good. But the readers I care to impress are the ones who think “Thank God it’s not just me.”

Last night, a very followed and applauded Mum blogger in the UK and her equally popular Blogger Husband, posted on Instagram a photograph of themselves out on a date night.

The post initially seemed quite run of the mill, but as you read, it became clear that it was an #ad. The responses to the post were instant. They set the interweb on fire and within a few minutes, had hundreds of comments; most of them negative and disgusted, many of them aggressive and hateful.

Why? Because what initally looked like a typical “Yay! We’re out!” post, was actually an advert for the Babysitting App they had used that evening. “The Uber of babysitters” is how it is described. It’s an app that provides qualified babysitters, all of whom are apparently first-aid and childcare trained and have had thorough background checks done on them.

It’s quite popular in cities, where many parents find themselves without the “Village” required to raise a child. Indeed many of the comments were from people saying that they must check them out. But within minutes, the abuse of the couple began. Lots of people simply stated their suspicion of the app, or the fact that they personally wouldn’t want to leave their children with a stranger. Some went so far as to point out the fact that if the children awoke, they’d be faced with a stanger, (my first thought too.)

But others took it quite personally and went so far as to reprimand and scold them for their “irresponsibilty”, “Disgusting content” and “poor parenting”. Some criticised them for leaving their children with a stranger for an Ad opportunity. Basically, they and their parenting got annihilated by the hundreds of Sanctimammies who felt it their duty to share their disapproval.

Now, while I personally wouldn’t use such a service, I don’t feel the need to tell these people that I have a different view. I am however, also lucky enough to live near family and to have wonderful friends who are part enough of our girls’ lives to mind them if we need them to. But do you know what? Not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone has a support system on their doorsteps. Not everyone has a buddy who can pop over for an hour. And as usual, not everyone parents the same as me, or as you.

And we are so quick to judge. It made me sad to read. I can only imagine how dreadful this couple must have felt if they read some of these comments. While I find it a strange concept to leave your kids with a stranger, I only find it strange because I don’t need to do it. It’s obviously something that there is a demand for. Why would it even exist as a business otherwise?

There is a conception that if you put details of your life online, then you deserve any criticism that comes to you. Well actually, this is nonsense. No one deserves the level of abuse that this couple received last night. Of course, people have the right to say what they want and to criticise and to disagree, but when this turns into disapproving abuse and aggressive attacks, then no. People do NOT have the right to do that.

If you don’t like what someone writes, or what they share or what they say, unfollow, delete or ignore.

There’s no excuse for hateful comments and there’s no need for them. We should be lifting each other up, not putting each other down.

As parents, we beat ourselves up enough don’t we? I know I do. And someone else sticking the boot in is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

So without bashing any other parents, what’s your take on a Babysitting app? It’s an interesting one isn’t it?

(First published on Donegal Woman on Thoroughly Modern Mammy

http://www.donegalwoman.ie/2017/10/22/is-different-wrong/ )