I am Solo Traveller Mum

Don’t you just love hairyports?

Places of excitement, of anticipation, of promise. A place where, if you are sans Minions, even the THOUGHT of the airport instills notions of SATC-esque soloness and general peace..
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Mammy shall find a quiet corner, order a large sauvignon and people-watch until it’s time to board. Mammy shall look altogether calm and fablis, just as if she does this “All the time Darling”. Mammy shall be soooooooo relaxed…

But no matter how much you like the hairyports and are excited by them, travelling solo is always the same.

And right now, as the snap suggests, Mammy is indeed sitting in a corner, Sipping sauvignon and looking quite appropriately bored and nonchalant…

Reality however?

Mammy queued in the impossibly long queue, cursing herself for not having paid for fast track and listening to Greg from Newry giving out STINK about having to queue. Ridiculous apparently. Perhaps, Mammy wonders, the Newrywegians have been keeping a new and improved system as a secret, all to themselves…

Mammy obviously, as feckin always, Beeped in security and was given onesided foreplay by the woman who seemed confused by the concept of an underwired over-the-shoulder-pepple-holder. She should try one but Mammy was certain that suggestion of such might end with Mammy being arrested.

Mammy then did what EVERY solo traveller does on arrival into the shiny brightness of the Dutyfulfree. She avoided eye contact with the shiny bright sales staff, found the Chanel section and spryed herself liberally with Coco Mademoiselle before scampering before anyone could challenge her liberal spraying or make her give it back…

Then Mammy wandered through the various bars and food venues, trying to look like she knew where she was going, whilst simultaneously trying to gauge which would be best suited to Mammy’s trying to fit in but wanting Poole to leave her the feck alone mood. Add to this Mammy trying to figure which of said watering establishments might serve wine of the non-pish variety without charging 16quid a glass… and suddenly Mammy’s head becomes quite fuzzy.

Mammy eventually chose a fairly classy looking joint, approaches the bar and awaits the teenager to notice that I am awaiting.
“A large glass of sauvignon please” Mammy says and is secretly pleased when said teenager opens a new bottle to pour. “What part of Donegal are you from Lovely?” Asks a 154 year old beside me. “Erm…” (Don’t talk to strangers!) “Let me guess. Letterkenny?” (Fuck.) “Yes that’s right. Well done you! K gebye!!” (Wtf is my wine?)

Mammy gets wine and calmly and cooly tries to find a seat AWAY from 154 year old stalker type. Sees 134 year old man Sipping red grapes and reading a battered copy of “The DaVinci Vode”. Figures he’s been here since 2005 so is safe enough to perch beside. Mammy is correct. 134 year old barely flinches.

Mammy is now safe to sip and watch and DESPITE promising to never be THAT woman who sits tappety-tapping her phone in the airport, Mammy also realises that this is a good chance to write my Lovelies a wee chuckle. 😂😗

And now Mammy has precisely 14 minutes to board her flight and approximately 6 minutes to eat something to ensure that the large glass of sauvignon does not render Mammy incapable of actually getting into London.

Mammy may now also berate herself for choosing THIS particular trip to London to fly into the one fecking airport she has NEVER used before!

Tit.

#smartmammy
#notAsCalmAsILook

I am State Examinations Mum

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Exam season is upon us again.

It seems to come around faster and faster each year, doesn’t it?

If your little darlings are about to do their Junior or Leaving Certificate Examinations, here are some ideas on how you can help them.

  1. Sleep: Seems obvious and it’s easier said than done to get teenagers to go to bed at the best of times, and yet sleep is the one thing that we need in order to function properly. Talk to your child and agree a consistent bedtime for the next 3 weeks. Agree on a cut off time for studying, no matter how much they insist that they need to do more. Agree on a cut off time for screens and insist that until the exams are over, screens should not be in bedrooms. Even the simple absence of the phone from the bedroom can do wonders for the sleep that we get.
  2. Hydrate: Yeah yeah Yadda yadda… but again, vital. Challenge them to drink 2 litres a day. There are loads of cool bottles that help to motivate water intake now. And they all have apps on phones that can help remind them to drink water too. Dehydration leads to headaches and sluggishness; all of the things that they DON’T need at the minute.
  3. Nutrition: The State Exams can last for up to 2 weeks for some students. If an athlete were going into a 2 week event, they’d be fuelling up their bodies in preparation for months. If your child has a balanced and varied diet already, great. Keep it up. If not, try to introduce more whole foods and more fruit and veg. Convenience snacking is a massive issue when stress and tiredness kick in. Try to have dinners pre-cooked and healthier snacks in the fridge for when they appear from their pit “staaaaaarving”. In fairness to them, the last thing they are thinking about is their food right now. But don’t make a big deal about it. Remember when they were toddlers and you conveniently had lots of healthy snacks and precooked meals in the kitchen? For the next 3 weeks, go back to that! Just maybe ease up on the purees! (AND BREAKFAST is a must. They might not be hungry, but they can’t sit a 2-3 hour exam on an empty tummy. Bananas are great for calming butterflies in the tummy.) exam4
  4. Exercise: If your child has a hobby, or goes to a class each week, let them continue with it. As a teacher, I hear parents saying “Oh they’ve stopped that until after the exams”. And while yes, many need to cut back on some activities in order to study, cutting out EVERYTHING is a bad idea. Try to encourage them to do something every day, even if it is simply going for a ten minute walk. Send them to the shop. Throw them a basketball. Dust off the punchbag in the garage. Anything to get them moving for even a few minutes. Times of high stress are the times when we NEED to be able to release, may it be dancing, kicking, running or a gym class. It helps keep energy levels up. exam
  5. Keep the stress levels down: And I’m not just talking about THEIRS. State Exams have a way of reducing Mums and Dads to tears. Yes, this is a big deal. Yes, the exams are important, but what is more important is that your child is alive and well and able to do the exams. Don’t dismiss the significance of these exams, but equally, don’t paint them to be the be all and end all. Their best is all that they can do and regardless of what is in the little brown envelopes at the end of the summer, life will go on and they will be ABSOLUTELY FINE!
  6. Positivity: Rather than constantly “annoying” or “torturing” them, let them hear praise. (Because no matter what we say, they only hear nagging don’t they?) Let them hear you believe in them. Let them hear “You will be fine” or “Do your best” or “I’m proud of you.” Seems silly maybe, but trust me, so many of our teenagers are so skilled at feeling useless and crap all by themselves. Sometimes all it takes is for them to hear someone tell them they can do it. exam1
  7. Last minute pages: SO this is the teacher talking now. Get them to take an A4 page and for each subject, on which they write down all of the key phrases and ideas and names and keywords, dates etc., all over it, on both sides. If their teacher has things that he or she CONSTANTLY repeated in class, write those down too. Use different colour pens and make it bright. Laminate it when they’re done if you like. But have it that THAT PAGE is the ONLY thing they look at on the morning of the exam. I also advise that when they walk into the English paper, before they even read the questions, to jot down as many of the important terms and titles on one of the roughwork boxes or blank pages. That way, they have a go-to wordbank if they get a blank brain AND they won’t forget character names or poem titles in the heat of the exam. (Happens to the best!)
  8. Ditch the Drama: Warn your kids of the dangers of the Drama Llama on the morning (or afternoon) of the exam. While they’ll want with their friends, so often it is the worst place they can be. Hearing “Oh I only glanced at Chapter 23 last night” or “I haven’t LOOKED at that book!” or “I am so screwed”can cause panic in an anxious child’s mind. They’re already dealing with their own anxiety and nerves. They don’t need JohnJoe or Nancy’s stresses on top of their own. Tell them to politely stay away from groups until after the exam. They are much better served by reading over their last-minute page on their own. They can chat about it as much as they want when it’s over, but being focused and quiet before the exam really does work wonders. exam3
  9. SPACE it out: If space allows, tell them to skip 2-3 lines between each paragraph. This allows them space to jot down anything that might come to mind as the revise over what they’ve written at the end. (And it makes life easier for the examiner if sentences aren’t written sideways up a margin!)
  10. Believe: While the state exams are possibly THE biggest thing in your whole family’s life right now, it is important to remind the kids that every single person who is older than them, has been through and sat through these exams. They can only do their best. Yes, they’re a huge deal, but they’re also just a bump in the road that you have to drive over to get to summer. They’re well ready and well able.

I hope that exam season passes with as little stress as possible in your house. And remember that if your kids see you stressed, they stress. So even if you want to scream and tear your hair out, don’t. Or at least wait until they’re in bed and then pour yourself a gin and scream in a pillow.

And the very best of luck to your minions.

I am Sit on My Knee Mum

On my Knee.”
Today you are poorly,

My precious wee lamb.

Today you need Mammy

And right here I am.
I’ll sit right beside you

I’ll rub your wee toes

I’ll clean up your mess and

I’ll wipe your wee nose.
I’ll kiss all your fingers and

rub your wee face

I’ll not give a damn about

the state of this place.
I’ll cuddle and snuggle you,

I’ll let you complain

You don’t understand

this feeling of pain.
To see you feel poorly

It breaks Mammy’s heart.

I’d take every ounce of it,

every last part,
To make you feel better,

To make you feel fine,

I wish with my essence that

the sickness was mine.
And whether you’re sniffly,

or puking or hot,

You’ll sleep right on top of me,

not in the cot.
And yes this is minor

and yes you’ll be fine

But I am your Mammy

And your pain is mine.
So today, there are so many

things I should do,

But none of those things,

as important as you.
The world won’t stop turning

if I stay here with you,

Some days I’m just “Mammy”

Cos only Mammy will do.
So cuddle your Mammy,

Just sit on my knee,

When you need your Mammy,

right here I will be.
xxx Mammy xxx

I am Saying “Hi” Mum

Well it seems that Mammy has quite a few new readers over the past few weeks and so it’s only polite to say Hi!  Also, some of my lovely FB followers suggested that I not get lost behind the guise of only being Mammy, and so I thought it a good time to say Hi to you all.

Welcome to the madness of my life.

It might be humdrum and ordinary, but it certainly is not quiet or dull.  For those of you who have been following me a while, thank you for still being here!  And to those of you who have just stumbled into my pile of Smumbling, let me introduce myself.

I am Maria, a Donegal Mammy of two minions, one 6 and one 2.  We live in our palace on Smumble Hill.  Our palace is a messy, toy crowded bungalow with an impressive “layer of love” and windows that get washed once a year. We have cows in the field and a bare garden because Mammy could kill a plastic plant.

Mini-Me is 6, is an absolute drama queen (like her Mammy) and has provided me with some of the most wonderful and some of the most challenging moments of my life.  She is Mini-Me for a reason; not only is she my double in looks, she is a walking, talking miniature of myself…probably half the reason she drives me so bananas! She’s a wee legend.

Princess is 2 and she is a Dictator of the world in Training.  Hilarious and full of badness, she is not only keeping us on our toes, she is making us dance. She’s a rascal.

My husband, or The Him, is Mr Rushe Fitness and runs a gym (Jim) here in Letterkenny as well as an online training platform.  He’s quite the handsome oul devil and I still like him a lot. He’s the best Daddy and not bad at the Husband part either!  We have a very busy life and a very noisy house and as knackered as I am, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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I’ve been writing this blog for over 3 years and have been a finalist in quite a few National Blogger awards.  I’ve had loads of great opportunities and I still love that I never know what will be in my mailbox when I click open in the morning.

As well as blogging here, I am a teacher, I write stuff and I’m Director with our local musical society. I like to be busy.  While I love to get Glammy Mammied, 90% of the time I am either in gym gear or PJs.  I ROCK the badger’s arse look and I like to look windswept and interesting.  I am very good at that.

The S-Mum Blog is my Mammy voice. I like to make people laugh.  I like to show other Mammies that life is not and should not be instaperfect.  I am not one to use #soblessed or #mybestlife.  You’re more likely to see #wtf or #fml…

I do some collaborations with companies that I use and like and sometimes I run giveaways, but that is not the focus of my blog.  It never has been. It’s about writing and sharing and starting conversations…and sometimes making Mammies smile. I also do a bit of chatting at things.  I likes to chat. (No idea where Mini-Me gets it!)

I am a Gym Mammy, I love to train and I like my body to be a certain way.  Not only does it make me feel better physically, if I don’t lift things and hit things, I get a bit hormental. But don’t worry, I tend to keep my gym content over on Instagranny or on the lifestyle section here.

I also like wine and gin and good food. I can eat like a starved gorilla.

So there.  Boring yet busy.  Ordinary yet fun.  I’ll tell it as it is. I don’t accept BS and if you don’t like what I write, feel free to bugger off.  If you do, like and comment and enjoy the fun.

So there.

This is Mammy and Mammy says hi.  Thank you for following my Blog and I hope you enjoy  xx

 

Come join the conversation on:

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I’m on Instagranny too!

 

 

I am Speed-Clean Queen Mum

Good evening, on this, the 83rd of January, 2018.
 
It is Sunday night once again. Mammy has a list of things she needs to do, but after running around the house for the past 90 minutes finding schoolbags, and lunchboxes and searching for the magical tie and parts of the uniform that get blown to the 4 corners of the earth on a Friday evening, Mammy is fit for NOTHING except parking her posterier on the sofa.
 
Mammy had some lovely friends over for an impromptu dinner last night. Mammy spent 45 minutes speed cleaning the rooms in which her lovely friends would be. It is amazing just how much Mammy can get done when faced with the thought of lovely friends coming to visit. (Not that lovely friends give a continental shite what state Mammy’s Layer of Love is in, but still.) And so Mammy managed to blitz the kitchen, tidy, move, clean bathrooms, mop floors and clean glass, all so that she could apologize for the “state of the place” when the lovely friends arrived.
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How ridonculous eh?
 
“Good evening Lovely Friends, please doooooo come in and look at how homely and coziful Mammy’s practically perfect in every way home is on this fine evening. I must apologize for the layer of love. Please do not judge Mammy for the mess of her candlelt kitchen… Woulds’t one likest some cucumber in one’s gin?
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Ready for catch ups

 
And of course the response from one of the lovely friends was “Yeah yeah. The place looks great. Shut up and start pouring.”
 
The evening was lovely until Princess decided to have her firt EVER nightmare just before 1am. The poor little cretur screamed so loudly that one of Lovely Friends almost spilled her cucumbery gin over herself. And so Mammy had to bid her lovely friends Adieu and take the High-temperatured, sweaty little shaking mess away from the “Bug Bear under me bed” and into our bed.
On the up side, The Him was happily left entertaining lovely friends AND HE did all the cleaning up of Mammy’s showhouse worthy kitchen before he went to bed. And so the remnants of the Heavenly Indian takeaway we had, were gone when I got up.
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Could lick the screen…

 
Fear not however my Mammies. The house is once again a mess and all pretentious notions have left Mammy. Mammy is back in reality, smiling at how quickly Mini-Me and Princess recreated their Layer of Love and glad to have such Lovely friends to speed-clean-for-them-to-not-notice anyway.
I am now ready for bed, hoping and praying that there is no bear or monster under Princess’s bed tonight.
Hope you had a lovely weekend and that you are ready for the last 38 days of January.
The S-Mum