A Mum Was Born Too

“A Mum Was Born Too”

Oh! Congratulations, you’ve become a mum,
However you got here, come join in the fun.
It’s really the most natural thing in the world
And women have done it forever you know…”

“So why then, please tell me, for many of us,
Do we struggle and worry and panic and fuss?
How come it all comes so easy to YOU?
And how does SHE always know just what to do?

Why do I feel like a haven’t a notion
No matter how long I’ve been swimming this ocean?
Why does it never seem so obvious
If what I am doing is the right thing for us?

Why, even though I’ve been Mumming for years,
Can zipping a coat up reduce me to tears?
Why do I spend my whole day so uptight
Convinced that nothing I do could be right?

Why does it feel, that for all of my thinking
That I’m possibly, certainly, definitely sinking?
How can ‘the most natural thing in the world’
Continuously spin me and throw me in whirls?”

Well, stop and I’ll tell you, you beautiful lady
We all have these days with our beloved babies.
And no matter what age they are; wee tots to teens,
They test us and try us all the days in between,

And as for you asking why you find it tough?
You’re not on your own, we all have it rough.
Remember that day that your child came to you?
Well remember that day, that a Mum was born too.

The first little cry that announced their arrival,
Set YOU on a path to ensure their survival,
You instantly put yourself second and third
And started to navigate through this new world.

You nurtured and cared and you directed their way
Through the phases and stages and good and bad days,
But while you are focusing on helping them through,
Did you stop to consider that Mums are new too?

We’re all learning daily. And we all make mistakes.
We all doubt ourselves and we all need our breaks.
We need to go easy and give ourselves credit.
We’re all writing books we have no chance to edit.

So don’t look at others and start to feel bad.
And don’t beat yourself up if a day turns out bad.
Give them a hug and take a deep breath,
And give yourself credit for doing your best.

There’s no graduation. There’s no interview.
There’s suddenly more love than you ever knew.
And nothing prepares you for what is to come,
Each day that our kids grow and learn, so does Mum.

Maria Rushe
2020

Dumping the Notions…

It is midterm.

Mammy knows that she needs to try to decompress and relax while one has time off the job job.

And so one does the equivalent of booking a spa day for Mammy… one demands a skip from the husband.

No, this is not a euphemism.

A lovely big skip arrived today.

Mammy started with the kitchen. Just a long overdue “spring clean”… nothing major.

And yet 3 hours in, Mammy is questioning why, in fucking fact, one started this… and Mammy is really quite exhausted from the physical exertion of hauling all but the kitchen sink outside.

But therapeutic it is.

So much so, that Mammy has actually learned quite a few things about oneself today; I doubt I’d have had such revelations after an hour of essential oil infused meditation goat yoga in an outdoor tub…

Mammy reconnected with younger Mammy and realised/recognized/comprehended…that pre-C Mammy was actually a naive and ridiculous twatgurl who was full of NOTIONS.

(And Pre-C is Pre-children, not Pre-Covid… that’s a whole other post.😂)

Mammy dumped eleventy squillion tiny little pretentious shot flutes, which were bought on the Portstewart promenade 20+ years ago, when Mammy was not a Mammy, and before Mammy had an actual house to fill with such shitery.

Said pretentious little shot flutes were fablis you see. They were used to serve dainty and delicate desserts and sweet sherry to the very fanciful folks Mammy served in the super posh restaurant Mammy worked in at the time.

They were required, you see, to fulfil Mammy’s notions of throwing dinner parties if and when Mammy ever owned a kitchen.

And they have sat in the glassy glass fronted glass presses of both of Mammy’s houses for the past 20 years.

What have they been used for?

Dust.
Holding dust.
Looking fancy holding dust.

Mocking and scoffing at Mammy’s notions and dreams of being a Domestic-fucking-Goddess…

Until today.

Mammy took great joy in smashing those little feckers. They were too dusty and dainty to pass on to someone else, and in truth, they’d simply have taken up someone ELSE’S notiony notions and humbled them in 20 odd years time as they realised that actually, they never DID get used for those dinner parties that never happened.

And then, Mammy found the scallop shells, which were OBVIOUSLY necessary for all of the seafood delicacies and scallopy starters which Mammy NEVER actually cooks or serves, even on the very rare occasion that Mammy does have/did have actual adult people around for dinner.

Add to said scallop shells, countless ramekins and glass trifle bowls…even though the only trifle Mammy EVER eats is in GannyGanda’s on Christmas day… and one had a very literal representation of one’s utter fucking NOTIONS laid out on the kitchen counter today.

And don’t even START me on the pestle & mortar choppy sets. What was I going to do? Grind my own fucking pesto?
Mash my own ketchup?

Cop my own on more like.

And so yes, Mammy has been humbled and taken down from her domestic goddess pre-C notions.

Mammy is quite content however that these accoutrements are no longer required for Mammy to KNOW that she is in fact, a dinner party Queen.

And Mammy is MORE than happy to admit that since the arrival of my cherubs, any “dinner party” occasion that HAS happened in our house, usually required someone to collect it from the Chilli Shaker.

But you’ve never seen ANYONE set out a takeaway as fabulousitified as Mammy.
And that’s WITHOUT the never used fancy shot flutes or scallop shells.

Notions I tell you.

Taking the Compliment…

” Your daughter is beautiful!” Aw she is, isn’t she? Thank you.

“I love her coat.” I know, isn’t it gorgeous?

“Your son is so funny.” Yeah, he cracks me up.

“You look gorgeous.” Aye right, I haven’t even brushed my hair.

“I love your top” Penney’s best.

“Those are nice jeans.” Oh I’ve had these old things for years.

“Is that a Hilfiger shirt?” It was on sale!

Notice anything?

We don’t know how to take a compliment.

Nothing new there. We all know that the Irish don’t take compliments well. We are suspicious of them. We don’t like them. For some reason, they make us feel very uncomfortable.

But when someone compliments our kids, we are more than happy to agree with them. If someone points out something positive about your little minion, chances are that you will be delighted that they’ve noticed and you will nod in agreement, as proud as punch.

However, if the same person tells you with their next breath that YOUR hair is lovely, you will most likely find yourself disagreeing and parting your hair to show them just how badly your roots need redone.

So what the hell is wrong with us?

If I tell Mini-Me that she looks beautiful or that her hair is pretty, she smiles at me and says “Thanks Mum” or “I know!” (shock horror!)

She takes the compliment. She doesn’t NEED it to feel better or to affirm her or any other such nonsense. She takes it, because at 7 years old, she doesn’t find it strangethat someone would praise her or compliment her.

She is indeed beautiful x

It is not unusual to her that someone might point out something positive.

She is not suspicious of compliments.

She doesn’t need to be.

So when does that stop? When will she suddenly begin to apologise for her positive features? When will she become flushed with embarrassment because someone comments on how well she dances?

What will happen to make her suddenly feel that she should disagree with someone who tells her she is clever, or pretty, or talented or funny?

Will she simply wake up some morning, feeling the need to apologise for being good at something, or for being nice?

Now, of course I know that we must teach them to be humble also. No one likes a boaster. But why the hell should we teach them that they should apologise for being good at something?

Why should we teach them to disagree with someone who is genuinely being nice to them?

When did humility become the same thing as humiliation?

Because somewhere along the way, we’ve confused the two.

If someone admires your hair today, reply by saying “I know! It’s sitting nice today isn’t it?” I dare you. And watch their reaction.

It’s pretty likely that they’ll flinch in surprise.

If someone admires your top, try “Thanks, I like it too.” (Would you have bought it if you didn’t?)

If someone points out something that you are good at, thank them and tell them “Yeah, I try hard.”

If they walk away from you thinking you’re big headed or conceited, then who has the problem? If they meant the compliment, they won’t mind that you agree with them.

Does it not make sense that if we were to let our kids see us accepting compliments more comfortably, maybe we’d be helping them?

Our kids learn by watching us, our behaviours, our responses. Someday soon, when Mini-Me hears me answering “Oh God, this old thing?” or “Aw my skin’s a mess” or “God no, I sound dreadful!”, then she’s going to store it in her bank of “Acceptable grown up things to say” isn’t she?

And therein begins that humiliation.

We all do it.

I do it. I did it yesterday when a friend praised me. I automatically told him he was full of nonsense.

Why? If he hadn’t thought I was good, he wouldn’t have bothered to tell me I was, so why did I disagree with him?

Because we are trained, somewhere along the line, to apologise for ourselves.

Because acknowledging our own strengths and positive characteristics is seen as terribly obnoxious and wrong.

Because one day, without even realising it, we learned that to accept a compliment was wrong.

We’re hardwired to think the worst about ourselves; to worry about what others think. Being a parent brings a new level of this.

We are constantly comparing ourselves, berating ourselves, apologising for our decisions, for our behaviour, for our children’s behaviour.

But the sooner we can rewire ourselves to look more closely for our own positives, the more chance we have of teaching our children that it’s OK to say “thank you” when someone compliments us.

Plenty of people will thrive on bringing them down, on highlighting their weaknesses and flaws. We need to teach them to recognise those people. And we need to teach them that if someone feels the need to comment on them in a negative way, then it’s that person who has the problem, and not them.

So accept the compliment.

Let your children hear you accepting it. Let them see that it’s OK to be proud of yourself sometimes and that you don’t need to ever apologise for being good, or kind, or talented or clever.

And give someone a compliment today too. Feel free to compliment your friends in the comments below.

Let’s SHARE some love today!

You never know whose day you might just make.

By the way, you have a lovely smile!

I am She’s Punishing Me Mum

Smile and Nod.
Mammy must smile and nod…
Mammy is very good at the smiling and the nodding. 😆😶

“She’s the best girl. There’s not a bother with her.” 💕

Every day I hear this. And the lovely Ladybelles who say it, mean it 100%.❤
And I smile and I nod and I agree, but as I do, my inner Mammy voice is laughing.
She is laughing hard.
So very hard.

On the outside, I Smile and Nod…
What I’m THINKING however, is “Let me tell you, as a Mammy with previous experience of a “Street Angel, House Devil”, that while she is indeed being ‘the Best Girl’ and giving you ‘Not a bother’ here all day, she is simply saving all of her energy for the Wilderbeastial Demonic Darling that she will morph into when I get her into the car.” 😈

It begins with her luring Mammy into a false sense of security with her displays of excitement as she runs into my arms when I arrive to collect her. Cue “Ooooooohs” and “Aaaaaaaahs” from all with ovaries in the room. She hugs and kisses and answers “Uhhuuuuu” in her adorable little husky voice as I carry her little Koala Bear Butt 🐨to the car. I breathe her in and sniff her sticky hair and coo at her, knowing full well that I may enjoy it while it lasts. 😂

Once in the car (maybe even before I get her strapped in if she’s feeling particularly thick with Mammy), her demeanour changes. Sometimes, it’s gradual, building up as we approach home, revving up with every gear change. Sometimes it’s instantaneous, spontaneous combustion because I’ve looked at her wrong, or asked her a question, or you know, breathed.

It escalates with a simple “No”.
Not just an utterance of negativity or disagreement. A proper, teenage “NO”, complete with attitude and challenge. When the “NO” is accompanied by the furrow of the brows, we know we are entering the beginning of the tantrum. 😣

By the time we reach home, my excitement at the thought of an evening at home with my Baby has been replaced by a devastation of the reality that ONCE AGAIN, I have NO control over the moods of my minion. Any notions I had of a picture perfect evening of #Mammywins have been left at the creche. And once again I remember, that I have NO idea what the hell I am doing.
I am winging this Mammy craic, 100fricken%. I’m scrambling my brain for tricks and clever Mammyisms that might avert the direction of the storm that is brewing in the back seat.

I throw promises around like a Politician before an Election.
“We’re going to have pizza for tea!”
“NO!”
“Will we play jigsaws when we get home?”
“NO!”
“I can’t wait to get snuggles when we get home!”
“NO!”
and eventually (yes always) “Will we watch Peppa?”
(Hold breath…)

Princess “YEEEEEEAH!”
Mini-Me “Aw Maaaaaaaaaammy, not again!” (insert eye roll here)
Me “FML” (Probably under my breath. Maybe… Maybe SLIGHTLY audible. Bad Mammy.)😐😂

Parenting experts and friends with kids have explained to me many times in the past, that such behaviour is normal and that the child acting in such a manner is a “compliment” because she feels that she can finally release her frustrations and confusion at the world, in the arms of her favourite person. That I am her safe place and that it all means that she loves me.😶

SOME days, I buy this. Other days, I prefer to see it that she is a little wagon who actually HATES me and is determined to PUNISH her evil Mammy for abandoning her cute, bad-tempered little fudgeybutt to go to work. She sees me coming, smells the Mammy-guilt off me. After her initial “Oh there’s my Mammy” excitement, her mind goes straight to “Hang on a second. WHERE do you think YOU were all day Woman? Did you DARE to drink warm coffee and have adult conversations? Do you not know that YOU ARE MY SLAVE?” 😐

She has to fit 8 hours of reminding Mammy who is the BOSS, into a very short evening. And she must make sure that Mammy PAYS for leaving her at the Fablis and fun-filled creche, where she spends her days being loved and played with and fed and stimulated without the tellybox, and where she is the “best girl” and gives them all “not a bother”. She nevers bites or screams NOoooooooooooooo or kicks or throws custard or cries or scratches the lovely girls.

No,
She saves that for Mammy Bear.
Because she loves me and I am special.
And apparently because I am her safe place. 😍😆

Right now, she is playing with sudocrem…but she’s no longer screeching at me, so we’ll roll with it.

Smiles and nods. 😙

#fml
#mammyguilt
#yessheistheboss