What we see...
Mammy had a lovely relaxing morning. Mammy had time to meditate, do yoga, have a shower, and do her makeup and hair. The children were angels. Mammy had all the clothes chosen, ironed and laid out beside the children’s shoes and clean underwear, before she went to bed at 9.30pm (where Mammy read her selection of Wellness and Good Parenting manuals in an attempt to ensure that she was indeed giving her children all of the positive assurance and interweb proven behavioural techniques possible to ensure that they will grow up rounded and functional humans.) The children ate ALL of their healthy and nutritious breakfast, packed their bags and put on their own coats before carrying their respective bags to the car (must encourage responsibility you know. It says so on page 34 of Clever Mammy Manuals) #clevermammy
Mammy was calm and chilled as she sipped her herbal tea and created Michelin Style breakfasts, not forgetting to snap pics for Instagram to make sure everyone could see how easy it was to eat exciting, colourful food all the time. Mammy was on time and no one needed to rush or shout or be stressed. The very good little girls sang nursery rhymes in the car while Mammy listened to them lovingly, smiling and wishing that she was able to capture this moment of Mummy perfection on her phone too, so she could show the world just how fabulous and perfect her morning was. She dropped the children at school and drove on to her wonderful job, already excited to get home to her spotless home and enjoy her little ladies in the evening. What a wonderful morning. Life is good. #soblessed #youseewhatIshowyou
What we don’t see.
Mammy got up at 6.30am, wishing she’d gone to bed earlier instead of sitting up with Hubby watching another episode of Stranger Things on Netflix. She showered quickly, ignoring her hairy legs in favour of washing her face, made her coffee, made the lunches, packed the bags, found the shoes, dried the uniform cardigan, remembered it was PE Day, found the kit, tumble-dried it, put on a load of washing, woke the kids, negotiated with the Oldest, bribed the youngest, dressed one of her girls in the tumble-dried kit, (hoping that her body heat would flatten the creases before she got to school,) while singing the “Will you get dressed please” song over and over and over at the oldest, drank one mouthful of the cold coffee, swore a little under her breath, screamed at oldest to EAT SOMETHING off the plate, proffered Coco-Pops on Friday as bribery, cursed her own weakness, put nappy BACK on the baby, put clothes BACK on the baby, searched for PE runners, took the box of Quality Street from the Baby, wondered WTF she had found them, remembered to grab her own gym bag, put the lunches in the bags, packed the car, put the coats on her children, (because who the feck has time to watch a 2 year old zipping up their own coat at 8am?), fed the dog, turned off all the lights, set the alarm, locked the house, strapped them in their carseats, swore at the straps and then swore (again) to buy a new carseat once she gets paid, ran back inside, unset the alarm, grabbed her handbag and coat, reset the alarm, locked the house, nearly ran over the Horsedog, drove to school thinking about what she needed to do today, tried to hear herself think over the noise of the cat fight in the back seat where the youngest is repeating EVERYTHING the oldest says and driving her insane! “Stop it!” “DOPIIIT” “SHE’s COPYING MEEEEE” “SHEEEtoppeeeeeemeeeee!, turned on radio to distract, listened to Despacito being murdered by oldest, arrived at childcare, took girls and all their bags out of car, put coat back on the baby, told Oldest to lift her coat off the ground as she walked, tripped over oldest’s coat, kissed and hugged both girls, singing Cheery “See you Later” and “Have fun at schooooool!” and “Mammy loves youuuuus!”, wondered if she’d have time to go to the shop enroute to buy the earlier proferred CocoPops, stopped at shop, did a dash around grabbing things she remembered she needed, remembered she forgot a bag as she approached the till (as usual), drove to work and parked the car, went into the staffroom, made a cup of coffee and drank it, sighed as she remembered that she hasn’t brushed her hair and that the washing is still in the machine and will need redone this evening, but other than that, what a great morning. Life is good!
I know which one I am.
And I’d rather have the chaos and craziness of my normal any day, than live under such notions of perfection that I see my life as a fecking TV Show.
Be real and Be you. You’re better to be a Mammy who knows she needs to shout less and that she really should try to iron her children’s clothes sometimes and that some mornings will be smoother than others, than one who lives under the pressure to seem “perfect” to the virtual friends and followers in your virtual life. Perfect is my kids safe, healthy and fed and loved.
Great mornings are the ones that keep coming. Enjoy them. They’re perfect already, just like you. And you don’t need Social Media to tell you that.
Today’s Thoroughly Modern Mammy for Donegal Woman 🙂
Oh how I do love being at home with my girlies.
Oh how I so looked forward to the Christmas holidays.
Oh how wonderful the 2 weeks away from the reality of work and routine were.
And yet oh! How wonderful it is to be back to normality.
By the time the alarms went off on Monday morning, this Mammy for one, was glad. It wasn’t the thought of going back to work that excited me, (although the prospect of drinking a FULL cup of coffee while it was hot and having some adult conversation was calling in fairness!)
No. What Mammy was most glad about was that the girls were going to get back into routine. Because Mammy can safely say after the Christmas break, that my two little Dollies NEED routine.
Yes the longer snoozes in the morning were nice. And yes, it was nice not having to worry if they weren’t in bed at the normal time. But after the mayhem of Christmas (and the fact that Mammy here had succumbed to the flu and so we were housebound for the final few days of the break), cabin fever had set in and the girls were craving normality.
This week was long. Monday morning Mini-Me actually cried when I woke her at 7am.
Tuesday morning, she asked me “Why are you waking me in the middle of the niiiiiight?”
By Wednesday, they were completely knackered!
Thursday evening was a struggle to keep Princess awake past 6pm, and by Friday evening? Well, let’s just say, meltdowns all around. (Read about it here!)
And on Saturday morning? When everyone SHOULD have been able to sleep on? 7am. “Maaaaaaaaammy!” Up and at it, bright and ever so feckin breezy!
And so now, it is Sunday again, and I’m out doing the weekly shop and trying to plan for the busy week ahead, and thinking about uniforms and schedules … and counting down the days until midterm!
And while I miss the girls when I’m at work and I feel terrible about leaving them during the week, THEY do better when they have school and childcare and routine and normality.
I don’t know why, but everyone seems a bit more content.
Mini-Me likes to know what day it is, when she needs her PE gear, what’s for tea, what nights Daddy will tuck her in and that weekends are “family-time”.
She likes to know that Mammy is early picking her up on Wednesdays and to have dinner at the same time in the evening.
She appreciates no homework on a Friday evening and that Saturday seems to take on a magical new sense of excitement and importance.
And so does Mammy.
So indeed, Mammy is already counting down to the next break from routine, but Mammy is also enjoying the weird contentment that comes to everyone in the house, when we are right in the middle of our humdrum, boring, normal, day-to-day, uneventful and ever so wonderful routine!
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
“I need to put on my lupstuck QUICKLY Mammy!”
Yeah to sit in a dark auditorium for the next 3 hours? Whatever! 5 going on 15.
And yet as grown up as she’s getting, sometimes things remind me of her adorable innocence!
Like the radio.
We’re driving home after the panto and I’m not really paying much attention to the radio. That is, until I find myself humming along to “I wanna sex you up!” and realise what’s is playing!
Just as I turn it down, oh so subtly, to save the ears of my little one, she tuts.
“What a Very wude song Mammy” she scolds.
Holy shit methinks. She knows the word sex. She knows that sex is a rude Word. (For the radio!) Hang on. Where has she heard That? How does she know? What’s haaaaappening?
“It is indeed” Mammy agrees.
“Did you HEAR what that man was singing?”
“What Silly words. Why would you sing a song Saying ‘I wanna say SHUT UP!’ So weird like!”
“I wanna say shut up?”
“Yeah Mammy. Dat’s what he was singing!”
Sing it wuf me Mammies!
“I wanna say SHUT up!” 😂😂😂
Happy Sauvignon…sorry, Saturday! 🍷
By the way, are you following me on Facebook? You should. The craic is mighty!
Ooooooh it’s Friyay.
Today Mammy took a notion.
Mammy is going to surprise the girlies by bringing them to meet Daddy for a surprise dinner date and we’ll have a lovely family evening with our two well behaved darlings, who Shall eat their Yummy dindins. Then we shall have the joy of watching them eating Pink icecream, the adorable little munchkins, before going home for a relaxing bedtime where Daddy would put them to bed while Mammy pours a glass of grapes and puts her Tired feet up for a good old Corrie wedding…
Mammy is a deluded Twatsickle who often falls victim to her very own Disney Princess notions. 😂
But never fear.
Mammy has her very own Mini whose main purpose in life (today anyway) seems to be to knock Silly Mammy off her Disnified perch.
We did meet Daddy.
From the second we sat down, Mini-me was a wagon. A proper little shitsickle. She made Princess look like an angel. That IS Quite the achievement! I won’t go into too much detail but when I tell you that ignoring the waitress, refusing to order, asking for a cocktail, bursting into tears because Mammy ordered for her, sliding onto the floor, scribbling on the menu were only a FEW of her party tricks, you can imagine the rest.
Mammy and Daddy spent the date sending each other apologetic “what we’re we thinking” looks and starting conversations they both knew would not be finished before they started.
Mammy wished she could go back to correcting exams and considered that she should have just gone home to cook the freezer contents. Daddy wondered why he had ever thought that leaving work early was a good idea… I’m guessing that only for fear of Divorce, he would have happily gone back to his BFF Jim.
They did go home: After NO dessert. They did get the girls to bed: After NO story and plenty of the special strops reserved only for the first Friday night after school holidays…
Mammy did pour grapes.
And just like Mammy’s fairytale picture of her evening DIDN’T happen, neither did the Corrie Wedding.
But See there’s where Mammy is going wrong… sometimes life is Corrie, not Disney.
At least with Corrie, you expect disaster!
Here’s to all you Mammies who got a reality check from your little Notionwreckers today.
And here’s to Poor Sinead… she’s better off. It’s only have ended in no icecream and wine.
How was your Friday?
Hurray and Woohoo!
Thursday is Takeaway Day.
It’s time for our local Ocras to get their weekly phonecall from me as I lift the girls from creche.
“TenminutesMaria!” (He doesn’t even have to ask who it is. That’s service for ya!)
And I look forward to it soooooooooooooo much. Not because I am going to eat it. No. This Mammy is back on the wagon and as much as I love Joe’s pizzas, I am being good (during the week anyway!)
No. I look forward to it for a few reasons.
Mainly because I am still traumatized by the sausages incident of last night.
Secondly, because I don’t get home until almost 6pm if I go to see Jim and my minions will be “Staaaaaaaaarvin Mammy” if they have to wait for me to cook.
Thirdly, because after the generally organised and productive start of the week, I’m running out of gas/petrol/thewilltolive and quite simply can’t be arsed cooking. (reminder to Him, we still need ACTUAL gas too!)
And most importantly, it means happy kids, no dishes and a headstart on my Thursday night Happy Mammy Blitz.
My Thursday Mammy Blitz is class.
No matter how knackered I am, I make Thursday night all about cleaning.
I get the girls to bed, do the washing, clean the sespits that are the bathrooms, mop all the floors and generally leave the place as clean as possible so that when we get home on Friday evening, it is actual down time. I’ve mentioned it before. I’ve done it for years. For me, the best thing about Friday evening is coming home and not having to start cleaning and doing housework. It’s a mess again by Saturday, but hey! Whatever works eh?
And the ABSOLUTE best thing about my Mammy Blitz, is that my reward for being such a superorganised-notsausageburning-shitMum, is that I get a glass of wine in front of the tellybox before bed.
And now that I have Derry Girls to look forward to on Channel 4 at 10pm, it’s going to be even better.
Ain’t nothing dousing this good mood today.
Have a good one!
Princess is a tyrant.
Her tantrums and strops are making anything that Mini-Me ever threw, seem perfectly angelic. Madam P is terrifying. Think 11 from Stranger Things when she stares at someone she dislikes? Yup. Princess.
Her latest acts of retaliation and protest include slapping, biting, growling (nope, not joking), and getting undressed.
She pulls off her clothes for no apparent reason other than to annoy the grown up in her charge. And over the past few nights, this has escalated to full removal of the poocatcher too.
Wednesday night, Daddy and I checked her before we went to bed. “What’s on the pillow beside her head?” whispers Daddy.
“I don’t know” I answered, mentally checking my memory for what was there when I put her down; Moana, George Pig and Jessie… And yet here was a white teddy of some sort.
I picked it up.
It was in fact a soggy nappy. A quick feel confirmed that yes indeed, Princess had removed the nappy. However, she had managed to put her Jammie bottoms back on.
A quick dry nappy on her stubborn wee bum and off we went to bed, laughing at the wee fart.
Thursday night. Same thing. However, the nappy was not on the pillow this time. No, she had fecked this nappy out of the cot, along with her pillow, quilt, teddies and dodees. In fact all that was in the cot was her bare bum and the vest she hadn’t gotten off.
Yesterday morning. I got her dressed and ran to my room to pull on my own clothes. I returned approximately 3 minutes later, only to find Bare-arsed Betsy running around the kitchen cackling at me.
So there you go. It seems we have a little naturalist on our hands. Either that, or she’s ready for potty training a WHOLE lot earlier than Mammy is ready for it.
I hope it’s a phase she’ll grow out of quickly. If not, let me apologise in advance for any fat little peaches you may see running behind me in Dunnes or Aldi-everything.
Well it’s all done and dusted.
This year was pretty disastrous to be fair. At one point on Christmas Eve it felt like anything that could go wrong, was going to!
And it did…
😐Our heating system broke a few days before Christmas and can’t be fixed until January.
😐The Christmas tree lights broke on Christmas Eve.
😐My hoover broke.
😐Princess has been sick ALL over Christmas.
We didn’t get all of the wee cousins together for even ONE photograph. She was having NONE of ANYTHING and has spent the past 4 days sitting ON Mammy. How I cooked dinner, feck knows.
She is literally only looking at what Santa left this morning…wee pet.
We’ve been to the doctors today and hopefully now she’ll be on the mend, but Christ having a poorly Babby in the house over Christmas just dampens it all, doesn’t it?
In the scheme of things, “whatever”.
And of course, in the scheme of things, I have NOTHING to complain about.
In the scheme of things, there are so many others who would kill for my little disasters.
But when you’re in the midst of things, “the scheme of things” means Jack Shit.
And sometimes, if Mammy wants to roll her eyes to Heaven, stamp her foot and declare “fuck this for a bag of parsnips” or “Christmas spirit my arse”, then she shall. Because in MY scheme of things, things could have been better!
And I Shouldn’t feel guilty for grumbling a bit. When it’s Mammy’s job to keep everyone else smiling, if she wants to feel a bit sorry for her sorry wee self when things break or go wrong, that’s allowed too. As usual however, after swearing a bit and cursing everything, Mammy pulled up her big girl knickers and sucked it up.
In the scheme of things, wee buns.
We did have a lovely Christmas. 👨👩👧👧
Mini-me has had the time of her Wee life and isn’t that what really matters?
The lights got replaced at 10pm on Christmas Eve.
The Gillespie Mafia had 8 heaters on my doorstep within an hour of my Daddy sending the S.O.S to my aunts and Uncles.
The hoover magically came to life again IN the shop when I took it in to complain, making me look all levels of psychobitch to the 4 snuggling Salesmen behind the counter on Christmas Eve.
In the scheme of things, it was fab.
I did get a few nice snaps, but Trust me, for each if the nice ones, there are 8 real-lifers.
And everyone has them. So remember as you’re looking at all the picture perfect Instafeeds, behind all of those picture perfect moments, there might be a broken fridge, or a Puking baby, or broken heating, or a wobbly marriage, or a Screaming toddler, or a nasty illness, or a broken heart or an empty chair…
Real Life usually happens off camera, (but when we DO capture it, it can be so funny that it reminds us that “in the scheme of things”, real life rocks! 👇👇👇)
How was your Christmas Mammies? Any clangers for me?
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land,
The magic was starting and all was in hand.
The trees were lit up and the turkeys were prepped,
The dog was quite cozy by the tree where he slept.
The sugar-filled children were bouncing and reeling,
The reindeer dust sprinkled, the cookies still cooling.
They hoped for and wished that the Big Man would bring
The gifts that they’d ask for, to make their hearts sing.
They stared at the skies, with eyes that were bright
As the stars they were searching for Santa’s sleigh lights.
The parents enjoyed the excitement and fun
But hoped they’d soon sleep. There were jobs to be done.
Santa’s snacks were set out and the stories were read
As the children got snuggled and cozy in bed.
With a sigh of relief and ten checks that they’re sleeping
Mammy opened the nice secret treats she’d been keeping.
They finished their jobs and left everything right
For the Big Man in red who would visit tonight.
And they danced in the kitchen, and with Bublé they’d sing
Excited themselves, for what morning would bring.
For the joy and excitement, the gifts and the hugs
For the fact they’re together and truly know love,
For their family and friends, far away and close by,
For the innocence and magic that can’t money can’t buy,
For the dinner and chocolates and all of the food,
For the laughter and smiles, for the contented mood,
That comes with the sunrise on each Christmas Day,
And they counted their blessings as they ended their day.
So, tired but happy, Mammy turned off the light,
“Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!”
(Maria Rushe 2017)
This Mammy wants to wish all of my wonderful readers a truly magical and wonderful Christmas. I hope Santa is good to you all and that you have everything you dream of.
The S-Mum xx
The one thing that I love about the long, dark evenings of winter, might seem strange to some.
“You’re doing it again aren’t you?” Himself will say to me in the car as we drive along, if I’ve gone quiet beside him.
I’ve been doing it since I was a little girl, sitting behind Mum and Dad in our seatbelt-free VW Golf as we drove through the winding Donegal roads at night.
Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I love looking through the windows of people’s homes.
I don’t mean that I walk around playing “Peeping Tomette”. NO, of course not. But when you’re sitting in the passenger seat of a car and it’s dark or getting dark, and people have yet to close their curtains, it’s amazing the little glimpses you can get into the worlds of strangers.
I look. And for a split second, I see a tableaux; a freezeframe – a photograph if you like of the home and sometimes the people in it. I imagine who they are; what they’re saying and what it’s like to be there, among them. Who has just walked into the room to make the child jump up like that? Where is he going? What are they talking about? My imagination creates full scenarios for the “characters” of these snapshots.
Christmas is my favourite time to do this, and with Christmas trees in windows, it’s the perfect time to catch beautiful moments. These are where the real Christmas-Card-worthy moments happen; A Granny laughing by the fireplace. An uncle arriving home. Windows being cleaned. A dog being scolded for jumping on a sofa. A child being lifted up high.
Snapshots, if you will.
Obviously, on Christmas Day, I don’t do this… because I’m not in the car much.
And so, I thought I’d get glimpses into the homes of others in a different way. I asked some of the top Parenting writers in the country what I would see if I happened to look through their windows over Christmas?
Each of them has kindly sent me a description of their very own perfect freezeframe; what they hope you’d see and what they hope to be doing while the world drives by next Monday.
Jen from – Mama-tude loves Christmas Eve most.
“My favourite moment of Christmas is Christmas Eve morning when the children wake up. It’s the one morning of the year that I’m very grateful for their early morning rising tendencies. They always bounce into our room, fit to burst with excitement knowing that Santa is coming that night.
My mum always arrives super early that morning with a special Christmas chocolate cake. She has come to terms with her daughter’s lacking of domestic goddess skills so in the interest of her grandchildren’s palate, she does the baking! Then we turn on the laptop, log onto Norad Santa tracker and countdown the minutes until he leaves. And so begins their excited running commentary on his whereabouts for the duration of the day.”
Ross from – The Stented Papa
“If you were to take a peek through my window on Christmas morning, you’d see a busy, excited household.
The funny thing is it depends on what time you’d be taking a peek! We’ve actually had to wake Nip #1 up for the last two Christmas mornings!! Even knowing Santa was coming, she was happy to sleep in! But I’ve a feeling this year will be a bit different.
So once everyone is awake, it’s a busy & excited place. Wrapping paper everywhere, the nips playing with their new toys, showing & telling us all about them. Christmas tunes in the background, dressing gowns on, fresh coffee brewing.
Then we get dressed & head over to Granny’s house for a big breakfast & more presents. Then around 1pm we head for Great Grandad Shay’s house with about 30 family (my in-law’s side) for some fun & yep, you’ve guessed it – more presents!!!
Finally back to ours this year for Christmas dinner with all the usual trimming & the odd glass of vino – sure it is Christmas ya know!! Cheers to the perfect day!”
Kellie from – My Little Babóg
“I would love to say all happy and merry but in reality you will probably see absolute carnage and one or both parents swigging from a bottle of Jack Daniels by midday. Christmas morning with a 1, 2, 3 and 7 year old is gonna be like any other day except with a skip full of new toys, wrapping paper and boxes upon boxes of selection boxes like the old days. It will be messy but hopefully full of fun and laughter.”
Jolene from – One Yummy Mummy
“Daddy of the house running down the stairs in his pjs to check and see if santa came; He lets us know with an excited roar up if he has.
Bursts of excitement from my 4 year old running down and crashing thru the living room door to see all the presents. Then you’ll Catch a glimmpse of few tears as I get caught up in the emotion of it all. Then to the kitchen were you,ll spy a few of my dance moves with a bucks fizz in hand, basting the turkey, with christmas FM in full swing.”
Becky from – Cuddle Fairy
“Christmas morning if you looked through our window you would see all of the Christmas lights on. Three kids happily tearing off wrapping paper and parents assembling toys. We are all in our pajamas with sleepy heads and unwashed faces. It’s straight downstairs when the kids wake up. There’s nothing as magical as Christmas morning.”
Benny from Daddy Poppins
“What would you see if you looked through out window on Christmas morning? In a word, Mayhem. We’ve two hyperactive children at the best of times but the magic of Christmas will send them over the edge. Think Santa’s elves high on sherbet and candy canes (but in child form, obviously). There’ll be wrapping paper everywhere and our little terrors will be flitting from toy to toy, unsure which to settle on for their first proper play. Mammy and Daddy will be trying to coax them into posing for pictures with their new acquisitions but it will all be in vein. Nothing will hold those little magpies attention for long as they dart from one shiny new thing to the next. Mayhem, but the good kind.”
And as for THIS Donegal Mammy? The carpet shall be clattered and camouflaged by wrapping paper and toys. Michael Buble will be crooning from the tellybox. Daddy shall be building stuff and Mammy shall be eating, starting the day with the obligatory Football Special and Terry’s chocolate orange! The girls will be hyped up on life, excited to the brink by cousins and presents and Grandparents and fun. Mammy and Daddy shall be screenfree, intent on not scolding for the day and stealing kisses every time we pass under mistletoe… And there still shall be tears and jobs to do and maybe the odd tantrum, and probably a few dirty nappies, but in the midst of it all, there shall be glitter and sparkle and love. And even the jobs and nappies and tears shall be dealt with with extra smiles and magic; with that special, inexplicable feeling that comes only with Christmas Day.
Whatever is happening in your window frame this Christmas, I do hope it is wonderful and joyful and as stress free as possible. I’d love you to share your snapshot in the comments.
Sending much love and Christmas wishes to all,
The S-Mum xxxxxxx