I am Some Things You Should Know Mum

Things that no one tells a soon to be Mamma.

Please be aware that this is a NHB (No holding back) post which may contain TMI for some readers! 😂😂

If you read this and wish you hadn’t, too bad really… But you can’t say you weren’t warned!

The Early Days

1. The first visitors to the hospital will be a blur. I was so out of it on adrenaline and whatever horse tranquilisers they’d given me that my first visitors still talk about how “great” I was… And yet I don’t remember a thing about the first day!

If you have other kids, manipulating the visitors so that your kids and then Grandparents are first in, is a military operation! Hopefully it will only be your nearest and dearest who come along initially.

Most people are good at knowing that it’s best to wait until Mamma is settled at home before they visit. There are no rules of course, but in my little rule book, only go to the hospital if it’s one of your closest friends or a close family member.

2. The interruptions: You’ll just have drifted off to snooze after finally getting your little one to nod off and the door of the ward shall swing open and in comes “The Beeper”.

The Beeper is the little Blood Pressure monitor and fancy trolley the lovely nurses push from ward to ward to make sure you and baby are doing OK. It looks like Johnny 5 and has a habit of appearing at the most inconvenient times.

Don’t get me wrong. The nurses have a schedule and have to do their rounds and it’s all in your best interest, but you will learn to loath the Beeper. But it’s only for a few days and it makes going home to your own bed all the sweeter.

3. Your first toilet trip: With Mini-Me, I read all the books. ALL of them! My Darling mother happily answered my questions with brutal honesty. When I found out I’d be having her by section, my amazing friend told me all about hers in her colourful language.

Having grown up on a farm and having helped out, hands on I might add, with MANY C-Sections on Cows, I felt quite prepared. I put my faith, my trust and my vulnerable self in the care of the surgeons and all was right with the world.

But NO ONE prepared me for the first toilet trip…when you go for your first pee, apparently it’s normal to feel like you’re being sliced open again without anaesthetic this time! I swear to God, I thought I was going to die right there on the loo. It was not pretty. The pain almost made me puke.

And as if that wasn’t terrifying enough, the first poo is fecking horrendous! I have it on good authority that it is the same for Mummies who deliver vaginally. Again, I thought my entire insides were falling out.

I roared so loudly that The Him actually called for a nurse and she had to come in to convince me that no, I hadn’t just passed my bowel and no, I wasn’t going to die. But don’t tell anyone. How undignified and ridiculous right?

4. The Boobs: Now, for me, this was a big deal. And I mean Big in every sense of the word. As a woman of the Fried egg club, to wake up on day three with two bald heads in my bra, was quite the trauma. I swear to God I looked like Jordan. I’ve always wondered if I’d like to have boobs… No. No I wouldn’t . Thank you. No. Give me my fried eggs any day.

 

5. The journey home: My memory of this one still makes me laugh. The walk from the ward to the car with your lovely car seat is one of the most surreal experiences of your life. I hadn’t stepped more than 6 foot to the bathroom in 4 days.

Suddenly I had to waddle my way down corridors, into lifts (oooooh that bump takes on a whole new level of weirdness after a section!), through a lobby (carrying balloons to boot!) and out into the car. It was like running 20feet and then thinking you’re ready for a marathon the next day.

Daddy is grinning like a Cheshire cat while you shall be torn between scolding him for swinging the seat too much when he walks, and holding your ladybits in because they feel like they are about to fall the hell out of you with every step!

Getting into the car is a challenge and then there’s the drive home. I dare say The Him didn’t go above 40mph the whole way out to the house, because of the precious cargo and of course because of my delicate state. We both give out about Dooters on the road, but Oh my did he dooter out the road that day!

6. The tears: Oh tears. You unpredictable little feckers… They come in waves. You have NO control over them. They’ll arrive at the worst times. And you’ll possibly laugh at the same time because you will have no idea why the hell you’re crying! But let them flow. It’s completely normal! I’m still crying over anything and my Baby is nearly 3!

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7. The Visitors: While you’ll want nothing more than to see people and introduce your new bundle to your loved ones, bear in mind that your first day or two at home will be exhausting, emotional and terrifying. If I had been able to pay the midwives to come home with me, I would have. I remember getting to the house with The Him and the Car seat and being soooooo frightened. There was no buzzer. There were no nurses down the hall. It was just us. But we were fine.

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8. Newborns aren’t overly interesting:  Ok, they are actually much more interesting than you ever thought they were. But here’s the key. YOUR newborn is interesting. To YOU and your partner . Don’t be offended if your visitors only start at the baby for a few minutes. Yes of course they’re interested and of course they’ll think your baby is gorgeous, but while you can watch this little person doing NOTHING for hours on end, to others, it is exactly that…a little person doing nothing!

They don’t see the miraculous progression from yesterday, or that the baby is holding your focus for a few moments longer… or that her grip seems more purposeful. So don’t get offended that your friends seem to politely stare at the baby for only a few minutes, declaring his cuteness or that she has your eyes, before moving promptly on to some other topic of conversation. It’s normal.

And be honest, you’ve probably done it yourself many times. Because other people’s babies are not that interesting are they?

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9. Lasagne can make you cry: The gifts and parcels and flowers will come and be hugely appreciated. But the most welcomed and remembered offering to the home of the newborn…is food! And the best kind of food is something that can be portioned, reheated, frozen or even eaten cold from the casserole dish. Think curry. Think chilli. Think lasagne. You never realised how good lasagne tastes. It’ll make you so happy that may cry tears of joy.

10. You suddenly won’t care who washes your knickers: Maybe this was just me. Before I had Mini-Me, the thought of someone else doing my washing would have driven me mad with shame. Not because there’s anything wrong with my smalls, No! But I could never have even entertained the thought of my Mum or Mother-in-Law washing them.

And then I got over that VERY quickly. Because the first time I realised that the washing machine was going without me having started it, my initial panic was so overwhelmed by total gratitude that I even surprised myself. Now, I still don’t like the idea of someone washing my knickers, but for the first few weeks after birth, you really shouldn’t give a damn.

So now you’re home. And you could probably add 10 more things to this list. Add away Supermums.

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I am Seeing Her Heart Break Mum

Our holiday was a week of firsts for us all; first time abroad with the girls, first rollercoasters, first time tasting different foods for the girls, first time jumping in water; lots of firsts and lots of memories…
 
But one first that has been tapping at my heart since it happened, was Mini-Me’s first breakup.
 
She met a little girl on the second day. Matilda let’s call her. As little girls do, they went from strangers to BFFs in 3.4 seconds. They spent a full morning playing together, splashing, jumping, laughing and generally having the time of their little lives.
 
And I sat on my lounger, watching them happily. Happy that she’d made a friend. Happy that she has the social skills to make friends. (Never underestimate this Mammies. And that’s the Teacher talking…) Happy that she’d found a wee buddy to play with…
 
And then.
Then, Matilda’s mammy struck.
 
And let me tell you, she was no Miss Honey.
 
“Matiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiildaaaaaaa, get ouvaa hea Noiw!” she screeched at the child.
 
“I’m going for lunch. See you later” said Matilda as she swam off.
 
And Mini-Me came bouncing over to tell us all about her new Best Fwend.
 
We too went for lunch. And a few hours later, back in the pool, Matilda swam by us. Mini-Me of course went ballistic with joy.
But Matilda ignored her.
 
“Go say Hello” I said and stepped back, knowing already what was going to happen, but knowing it had to happen anyway.
 
“Do you want to play?” asks Mini-Me.
“My Mum says I’m not allowed to play with you. Sorry!” answers Matilda, genuinely looking a bit sad, before she swam off again.
 
And there Mammies, is where my baby girl’s wee world shattered down around her.
She turned around, in the middle of the busy blue swimming pool, her big goggled eyes found mine, and she burst into tears…
I swooped her up and brought her to Daddy.
 
He of course thought she’d bust her head off something, she was wailing so hard. “She”s just had her wee heart broken” I whispered to him as I placed her on top of him for Daddy cuddles. Then I did what any calm and rational mother would do…
 
I got my inner Trunchbull on and went searching for Matilda’s Mammy to have it out with her…
Well that’s what I WOULD have done, had the sensible Him not given me the “Sit you down and calm yourself woman” look.
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After 15 minutes wrapped in Daddy’s big strong arms, and an icecream, and lots of conversation about how not everyone will want to be your friend and if someone doesn’t want to play with you, that’s their problem, not yours, Mini-Me was fine. She eventually went back to play, shoulders a bit slouched and heart a bit sore, but within 20 minutes, she had met another BFF.
(Having spoken to THIS BFF’s Mum earlier, I knew that this was their last day, so of course we were destined to another heartbreak that night, but hey!)
 
Heartbreak and rejection will come. And they don’t really get any easier to deal with, they just become less of a big deal. But when you’re 6, the smallest things are the biggest.
 
I’m not really sure whose heart was most broken though if I’m honest? Mini-Me’s for an hour, or Mine? Because thinking about her wee face still makes my tummy flip…and makes me want to swing that other Mammy by her pigtails.
 
Poor wee Matilda spent the rest of the week playing on her own. I shit you not Mammies. My heart was more sore for her by the end of the week than it had been for my own wee Dolly.

I am Still Talking to Myself Mum

I spend much of my life muttering things like “I’ll talk to myself”, “Nobody listens to me” and “Talk to yourself Mammy”.

Actually, if I ever get around to publishing my s-mumblings, my title might just be “Nobody listens to Mammy.”

It makes me want to claw out my own eyeballs sometimes. Sometimes, I actually do answer myself.

But going on holidays last week, I experienced something that has made me feel a whole lot better.

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Lying by the pool one afternoon, I found myself laughing at the tirade of statements floating around in the air above me.  All of them had been said by a Mum or Dad, and ALL of them had been dutifully ignored by their respective Minions.

Here are just a selection of the floating statements that I both heard AND said at least 39 times in one week away.

  • Don’t run!
  • You’re going to fall.
  • Stop running!
  • Japonica I will NOT call you again
  • Where’s your sister?
  • Sit on your seat.
  • Do not lick the water. (This was NOT just me, I assure you!)
  • Mind the lady.
  • Don’t jump!
  • Get over here NOW!
  • Good girl!
  • If I have to come over there…
  • Don’t RUN!
  • You’re going to slip.
  • Let the baby past.
  • Wait your turn.
  • Go ahead now.
  • Don’t let people push you.
  • I don’t want to hear it.
  • Stop fighting.
  • Do you need a pee?
  • Why are you hitting your sister?
  • Lift that unicorn…
  • Well done!
  • Oooooooh you’re a mermaid!
  • Stop splashing people.
  • You need more suncream!
  • Use your legs
  • Watch your head.
  • Hear my voice!
  • Am I talking to myself?

Well actually, that’s just it Mammy Dearest.  You are indeed. And you may get used to it, because it seems to be a universal gift that children have, which transcends borders, nationalities and continents.

A few times, I heard myself.  I heard another Mum saying exactly what I had said 10 minutes previously.  And I returned the favour I’m sure, letting other parents hear ME saying the exact same things that THEY had earlier too.

Lesson learned? Nope.

Because the next day, I still called out the “Mind where you’re going!” and “You are going to FALL!” and “Stop RUNNING!”  Because I like to give out? Because I’m a saddo?

Nooooooooo. Because it’s my instinct to keep my minions safe and even if they’re not LISTENING to me, if there’s at least a chance that they might HEAR me, I’ll keep on talking to myself gladly.

And I’ll answer myself too.

I quite like conversations with myself actually. Good job eh?

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Because these two don’t hear a word I say…

 

 

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I am Spelling Mum

Phonetics…

Gone are the days of learning the good old alphabet and putting together the words, just because.

Now, it’s all different. And obviously, it’s much more effective. Of course it is. Who am I to question it?

I’m used to it now, but initially when Mini-Me came home calling letters by their sounds, I couldn’t deal with it at all.

Suddenly, dog was not spelled Deee-oooh-Geeee. Apparently now it is Di – oh – Ga. And C-a-t is Ki-aaaaah- Teh.

Now that she has finally started to blend the sounds together, Mammy is excited. I am excited for when she will be able to disappear into worlds unknown, and go on adventures with exciting new friends, all from the comfort of the sofa or her own wee bed. Because to this Mammy, reading is the greatest gift that we can give our children. Without a da-ooh-uh-(silent)ba-ti…

Now, because Mini-Me is learning through Irish, her sounds are slightly different to what I as an English teacher would expect. And never was this more clear that on holidays last week.

“Sah-te-oh-pe….satooopa…stoooopa…STOP!”

“Well done Darling!”

“Oh-pa-eh-nah…ohpehna…OPEN!”

“Yes that’s right! Look at YOU reading all by yourself!”

And then we sat down at a table, on which was screwed a sign. The sign simply said “NO PICNIC”

She got “no”, Noooh bother.
Picnic however?
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“Pii-iiii-ka-niii-iiii-sa”

“No. Try again.”
“Pii-iiii-ka-niii-iiii-ka”

“Almost darling. Try it in two parts”. Clever mammy here covers the first syllable of the word, thinking that if we broke it down, it would be easier for her to decipher.

“Pi – iiii – See… I KNOW I KNOW! It’s PISS!” she screams in exuberance, at the top of her voice, in the middle of the outdoor restaurant.

“Shhhhhhhhhh! No!”

“It IS Mammy look! P-I-C is PISS!” And language barrier or not, every adult in the place, turned to look at the feral Irish child, roaring PISS at the top of her voice, as proud as punch of herself.

Aren’t phonetics phun?
Phuck my Liphe…

I am Spin & Rinse Them Mum

How often do you do your washing then?

And by washing, I mean your kids?

Are you one of those Mammies I envy who can manage to wash their Minions every night? With a peaceful and practiced routine which includes fluffy towels, Pink skin amd Smiling cherubs?

Or are you like me?

The shameful excuse for a Mammy who gives them a deep clean once a week and sometimes throws them in for a rinse and spin midweek if there’s a chance that social services might be called as a result of the spud-growing levels of soil which could be ploughed under their Nails…

For whom the thought of wrestling the two skinnyarses out of the bath, (getting them INTO it is never a challenge!), Screams at the hairdrying regardless of how much conditioner is used and the general BOMBSITE into which the house descends, are enough to make Mammy consider grapes at 5pm…

The Mammy of the kids who are the OPPOSITE of the angels who get tired by a bath at bedtime? The kids who absorb the energy of the feckin water through their pores and end up BOUNCING for 45 minutes after being exorcised… sorry extracted, from the bubbles. (Yes even the lullaby-ing lavender-y Spensive bubbles).

Regardless of which of these you are, as long as they’re happy, does it REALLY matter how dirty they are?

And really, a dirty child is a healthy child yeah?
And the smell of a clean minion is short-lived anyway isn’t it?

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And really, how often we do our washing is the same amount of other people’s business as how many times a day we fart, is it not? 

 

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