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/ )

I am Sing it girl Mum

Mini-Me has taken to making up her own songs.

It’s adorable and Mammy is generally quite chuffled that she seems to have a tolerable voice and that she can rhyme off the top of her head.

Musical skills are very importantful in this life you know?

Yesterday’s fabulouscious song went like this:
(Think Buddy in Elf as he sings 🎶”I’m siiiiinging…”)

🎵🎶🎵”I am going to fiiiiiind
my Pwince Chaaaming
And we will get maaaaawied
and then live in Scotland,
coz dat’s what Jesus teaches meeeee
to beeeeee!” 🎵🎶🎶

Erm…😕😕😕

I don’t quite know where to go with this one.
Is that grape o’ clock me hears? 🤣🤣🤣

Happy Friyay Lovelies xxx

I am Someone Else Mum

Anyone else feel like their daughter hates them?

Ever consider that she genuinely was put on Earth to try every ounce and strand of your patience?

Have you ever genuinely wondered how you have fucked it all up so badly already?

Anyone else?

Please tell me that someone else goes to bed at night feeling useless and sad and guilty and wondering if it’s all in your head?  If the ACTUAL problem is YOU. Not her?

Well last night, this was me…

screenshot_2016-01-26-19-00-01.png

I was in tears going to bed, having stood watching her sleeping, wondering what the hell I am doing wrong and where the hell to go for help. No matter how much The Him comforted me and told me I’m a great Mammy, I couldn’t believe him.  Obviously, if she’s misbehaving and playing up so badly, being so very mean to me and basically doing everything she can to get in trouble, then I must be doing everything wrong mustn’t I?

She’s challenging me. Screaming at me, being bossy and downright horrible if I’m honest.  I am not bothered by very many people. I am quite the sharp little Madame if truth be told, but my 5 year old can reduce me to a quivering wreck with one glance.

She’s a Mammy Ninja, whose mission should she choose to accept it is to destroy every strand of strength possessed by her arch enemy, which is apparently these days.

I awoke this morning, after very little sleep because of a certain bed invader who snored her curly wee head off all night,  promising myself that I wouldn’t shout. That I would remain calm. That we would have a good morning. And we did as it happens, but rather than be proud of myself or congratulate myself on being Supermammy, I drove to work suspicious of why there hadn’t been a row.  I’ve already accepted that Demon-bum will make me pay for it this evening. How fricken ridiculous right?

meditation-277889_1920

And then, by pure chance, I bumped into the Mammy of one of her wee friends. She asked how Mini-Me was getting on and then proceeded to tell me that they are having a horrid time with her Mini, and are seriously considering getting “proper” help.  She’s  challenging them. Screaming at them, being bossy and downright horrible… and it sounded so wonderfully familiar that I nearly hugged the poor woman right there in the shop.

Should hearing that another Mum is going through a tough time with a misbehaving kiddy make me happy? Of course not, but can it make me feel better?  You’re darn right it can.  We didn’t have time to talk properly but have agreed to a coffee next week so we can discuss our little tyrants, sorry Darlings, properly.

I’ll still have to deal with some form of banshee this evening… and considering that The Him has just informed me that she has been up playing in the hall since 4am, it may be a very special level of crazy Baby that I have to deal with tonight, but hey…  As long as I know that it’s not just my Mini who is behaving this way, I think I can already deal with whatever she throws at me…

As always, it’s good to talk and it’s so very brilliant and wonderful when you realize that you are NOT the only Mammy going through something. I hope the other Mammy got the same joy out of my trouble with Mini-Me as I got out of hearing about hers!

#mammysquad #aproblemshared #allinthistogether

people-2559723_1920

I am Smile, You ARE Enough Mum

Mammies.

No matter what kind of day you are having right now, remember that You ARE enough.

You have bad days.  You have bad mornings. You have a short temper. You have a sore head. You have a sad heart.  It’s not what you thought it would be. It’s not easy.  You’re exhausted.  You don’t know where to start. You can’t understand how that other Mammy seems so together. You feel terrible for shouting. You promised you wouldn’t shout today.  You were determined not to scold.  You never knew you could love anyone so much.  You never knew you could love someone and dislike them at once. You’ve tried everything. Why won’t she listen?  HER kids do what she asks them.

We all have the inner Mammy Monologue:

I forgot his coat. I haven’t brushed her hair. Why don’t I have time to do her hair like that Mum? How many times do I have to show him this?  Why doesn’t he SEE that that needs done.  I may as well chat to the wall.  No one LISTENS to me. Nothing seems to work.  Maybe I’m doing it all wrong? I can’t remember everything. My head is going to explode.  HOW did I forgot about the fecking party? Surely being this stressed is not right? No one else seems this stressed.  What am I doing wrong? What’s wrong with me?

Nothing.

You’re doing nothing wrong.  Let me tell you a secret… EVERY SINGLE MAMMY thinks one or more of the above statements EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Somedays, it seems like we can think ALL of these things at once.

We all have bad mornings, or bad days, or bad bedtimes.

But guess what?  A bad morning does not make you a bad Mammy.  A screaming bedtime does not mean that you are rubbish at parenting.  We can be as determined as we like about not rising to them, or giving in, or shouting, but some days, our minions seem determined to test every strand of our patience.  We can’t control or predict how our little rascals are going to behave.

Sometimes, we are not in charge.

Now, I am no parenting expert.  I haven’t a clue what I’m doing most of the time.  Sometimes I shout so loudly that I think the neighbours are probably running to their cars or finding their shoes incase the crazy lady across the hill actually gets to number 3.

But as well as knowing that daily stresses and meltdowns are part of parenting, because they’re part of growing up, it’s also important to know that there ARE many experts, qualified experts, and professionals in all areas of parenting that can help.

There are many resources available in Donegal. There are Childcare experts who can advise on behaviour, or bedtime routines, on how we should respond to behaviours, on routine, on difficult or challenging behaviours.

There are no quick fixes and no rule fits all.  What works for my child, might not work for yours.  What I need to change in MY home, might not be happening in yours.

There are some great online support groups and parenting communities (just be aware that often the most vocal on these aren’t actually qualified to be giving advice.)

There are also fabulous counsellors and behavioural experts around who can help with concerns or worries.  I’d be wary of those who promise to change your life forever.  No matter how brilliant a technique or response is, anyone who tells you they can take away all the stresses of parenting, is lying.  So here are a few services and resources that are available to parents in Donegal.

Parent Hub: These guys are amazing. They run courses, provide support and generally know everything about how to get parents the help that they need.  Check them out on:

http://parenthubdonegal.ie/

They’re also on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/parenthubdonegal/

New Beginnings is a counselling service provided by Sarah Barr.  She runs a wellness programme called Minding Mammy which is dedicated to Mammies (and which is fab!).

Starting on November 6th, she is also beginning a monthly Mammy meet up in Letterkenny which is free.  Details of both here:

https://www.facebook.com/NewBeginningsCounsellingService/

Letterkenny Babies is great as a conversation forum to ask advice and get support from other mums on all things Mammy. The admins will always remind you to seek professional or medical advice for more serious queries however.

https://www.facebook.com/letterkennybabies/

If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, or swamped by the negative thoughts I began with; if you get to the point where you know that it’s not JUST a bad day, or a bad week, then ask for help.

I have said it eleventy squillion times… it’s OK to not be OK.  What’s important is to know that there is help available and where to go for it.

Your GP or PHN can signpost where to get support of help for your child, or indeed for yourself, if you are genuinely concerned that a behaviour is more than just the terrible twos, or teenage troubles.

But remember 2 things

  1. You are NOT alone and
  2. You ARE enough.

The S-Mum xxx

I am Slightly Ashamed Mum

Mammy is slightly ashamed of herself.
Today, Mammy reached a new low.

Mammy put her 23 month old between herself… and a snake: A teeny, tiny, shitty, scrawny fecking snake.

But Mammy here was so petrified with terror that I hid…BEHIND my baby.

We were at a party which had a (really cool) mini farm outside, all bunnies and hedgehogs and sheep and chickens. Nice animals. Proper animals. 🐏🐑🐇🐰🐁

I was sitting on the floor inside with Princess on top of me, playing happily and chatting to my brother. Next thing, in barges the wee man of the house with a snake…a REAL LIFE living, hissing, breathing, bastarding REPTILE… around his wee shoulders.

The Grannies and Aunties in the room FREAKED out; some with fear and swear words to make even ME blush, others with laughter at their reaction. 😂

Me?

I froze in terror, forgot to breathe and HID behind my baby, eyes closed. I couldn’t function… Even when my brother quietly told me “It’s gone…” I couldn’t move. I was afraid that if I opened my eyes, the red-eyed feckingwrither would have been hissing in my face, like an angry wee penis.

The room quietened down. Brother Dearest said it again, laughing “Relax yourself you madwoman, it’s gone.”

I slowly lifted my head and peeped out from behind my little curly headed saviour, to see my cousins looking at me. As I loosened my vice-grip on my poor child, one of my favourite wenches said “Tell me you did NOT just hide from that snake BEHIND your Baby?”

And then they laughed… and laughed and laughed. Bitches.😍

And after I stopped shaking and began breathing again, I too laughed.

Of course the poor wee snake was probably more petrified than I was, and had it been a REAL danger, OF COURSE I would have drop-kicked the slithering bellycrawling demon out the door, but I KNEW she was perfectly safe; partly because her big strong uncle was beside her, and partly because, well, it’s Princess…and she doesn’t KNOW waht fear is. Seriously, she could take on ANYTHING.
Hitler would run away from her if she was in the right mood.

Had it been Mini-Me, there’s a good chance I’d have been out the feckin window.😂😂

Yup. Mammy fail.
Big time.
I’m not even afraid to admit it. 😣😣😣

(But it gave the cousins a laugh if nothing else. Cough *brats!)

#mammyisachickenshit

I am Sleeping on my Head Mum

Well my little Princess is much better. Thank you for all the messages.

When Mini-Me was her age, she used to wake up at 5am and come into the bed between The Him and I for a wee snooze. She’d choose which of us she wanted to snuggle, swing her wee arm around a neck and settle in for another sleep. ❤❤❤

Princess has NEVER been like this. 😶
She only sleeps in our bed if she’s sick.
This morning, she woke at 5.30am. Being the knackered Mombie that I am after 3 rough days and 3 nights of no sleep, I brought her in between us, praying that she’d go back to sleep for an hour.
Lo and behold, she did.

She wrapped herself like a fecking CAT around my head, and no matter how many times I gently moved her off me, she shuffled her fudgybum back onto me each time.

I woke up looking right into her perfect wee face, innocent and still, breathing little kitten breaths ❤ and cooing gently, and I filled with a warm fuzzy fluffy joy at the sight.😍 She looked just like her big sister. I closed my eyes, savouring the feeling of her nose against mine…and then I remembered WHY I had brought her into the bed and I FROZE!

You see, princess is a silent puker. When she is sick, there is NO SOUND.
NONE… NOT A PEEP.
Just puke.
And no sleep. (Just me, sitting up in the bed, snoozing, WEARING my glasses, ready to grab her and the basin in 0.4 seconds.😥😂)

And so I remembered VERY quickly that it wasn’t my LOVE of having Baby-in-the-bed, but rather my FEAR of Baby-in-the-puke that made me break the norm and bring her in to my bed. And I realised that if she DID indeed decide to, the my face was 100% in line for a face mask.

I wasn’t long forgetting the warm fuzziness and manoeuvring that pretty little face away from mine Ladybelles, let me tell you.😂😂 I don’t think I’ve moved that fast EVER before!

Thankfully, she’s much better and thanks to magic pink medicine, normality has resumed.

The only side effect is that she seems to have grown a set of fluffy Bear ears👇👇👇,

…but I’ll take fluffy bear ears over sad panda eyes and puke ANY DAY! 😂😂😂

In other news, did you KNOW that cutting a child’s toast into triangles instead of windows is a bonafide reason for WW3 to break out in your house before 8am?

Silly Daddy. 😯

(How cute is the wee band? €4 in Dunnes Stores Ladybelles! )

I am She’s not quite getting it Mum

Mini-Me: Mammy, Did you know Uncle D and Aunty P gotted maawied FREE times?

Mammy: Three times? Why do you say that?

Mini-Me: Sure cos dey have FREE children. Dat means dey gotted maawied free times.

Me: Oh Really? (I’m pretty sure there’s nothung FREE about 3 kids!) And so how many times have Uncle C and Aunty B been married?

Mini-Me: Eh you KNOW dat? DEY have TWO children so TWO times like…

Me: And does that mean me and Daddy got married twice too?

Mini-Me: Yes. You and Daddy gotted maaaaawied twice. Once for me. Once for Fudge. (Her nickname for the littlest shitster 💖😆)

Me: Gosh I don’t remember getting married twice Daddy, do you?
(And I know I’d remember having had a new dress and fab shoes and another hen party… come to think of it, is it time to renew our vows yet? 😂😂)

He laughs. And then…

The Him: So do you have to get married EVERY TIME you get a new baby?

Mini-Me: Yup. (Smugness personified.. 🙃)

The Him: Did YOU know that your Granny M (The Queen Mother of all the world) had TEN Babies?

Mini-Me: 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

Speechless

That’s a WHOLE lot of weddings eh? And a WHOLE lot of dresses. 😘

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

#innocence #speechless