So Not Trendy Mammy

Notions.

This Mammy is full of them.

Oooooooh lookit! Look at the pretty floaty girly dress which would look lovely with heels or flat sandals,

Look at the patterns and colours and floatiness of the gazillion samey dresses in all the shops.

Mammy could pull that off.
Mammy could look as smashing as the Holly of the Willybooby in these dresses.
Mammy could begin to wear patterns even though Mammy knows full well that patterns swallow her up and make her look like a 1970s curtain has puked on her.

Mammy will look boho and chic and funkiful and cool.
Mammy may even try to match it with the white runners that everyone is looking so fablis in all over the instaworld…

And then Mammy TRIES ON one of the summer floaty stunners, and promptly turns into Nora Fuckin Batty.

“That’s GORGEOUS on you!” goos the 11 year old shop, impossibly beautiful assistant, through her perfectly puffed up lips. “You could try it with white runners? They are so in right now!”

(Yeah… they were in when thirty years ago too Lovey, and even then I knew how impractical white runners were. They wouldn’t last a day on me… And I’m pretty sure that if I added them to this get-up, I’d look like my 8 year old self, dressed in handmedowns from my older cousin which hung on me like curtains again too!)

Mammy looks at her unfortunate self in the mirrors, sees her Great Great Great Grandmother staring back at her.
She’s laughing.

Mammy smiles politely at the shopchild.

“Naw, it’s not really me. Thanks anyway!”

“Really? I think it looks AMAZING on you!”

(Of course you do.)

“I look like Nora Batty.”

“Heeehehehee! I have no idea who that is!”

Of course you don’t… FML

Mammy gets back into her tracksuit, with her NOT white runners, and run-walks out of the shop, wondering if Last of the Summer Wine is on Netflix and if that dress would look better with curlers in my hair.

White ones obviously.

Notions I tell you.

*that dress is beautiful Obviously. On her!

Thoroughly Modern Mammy -Does Ma Face look Bovad?

Have you ever felt like you’ve let your kids down or made a mess of things?

Have you ever felt like a failure because you didn’t reach your own expectations of how things should be?

Like when you’ve had the morning from Hell and then you spend the day feeling guilty that your kids will be upset all day?

Or a part of a birthday gift didn’t arrive on time and you worry that it’ll ruin the whole surprise?

Or you find something after Christmas which you meant to use or do and now you feel like you’ve messed up?

Or you forget to put something into the schoolbag and worry that your minion will get in trouble?

Or you spend the whole of the weekend cleaning and doing housework and are sure that you are ruining their lives because they’ve had to entertain themselves all weekend?

Or you don’t think to book a magician for her First Communion and then it’s too late?

Or you’ve had to work late and feel like you are not giving enough attention to your kids?

Or you’ve not been able to organise (or afford) the cake you wanted to get your 3 year old?

Or you’ve told your 8 year old they can invite 4 friends to their birthday party, but Jacinta has the whole class at little Vincentula’s?

I could go on and on…and on…and on… and on…

We set ourselves so many standards and expectations around our children’s experiences.  We feel like a failure if their experiences are not what we intended them to be…

I’m currently reading Becoming by Michelle Obama.  It’s an incredible memoir.  Everyone really should read it.

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One of the memories she describes has stood strong in my head since I read it, is about her daughter’s tenth birthday.  She describes how it fell just weeks before the Presidential Election, when they were in the midst of the campaign trail, constantly surrounded by a management team and journalists and secret service.

She remembers that they had to make out that the 4th of July carnival they had to attend was for their daughter’s birthday…how they spent the day passing disappointed glances at each other, how they longed for the day to be over so that they could get an hour on their own with their daughter that evening.

The guilt that they both felt that day was immense.  And even when they did get to the hotel, their “private” party still had about 20 of their team present.  Michelle talks about the plain hotel function space, the “store bought” cake, the gifts that one of the team had had to go to buy as she was unable to go to a store alone… and she spoke of the desultory  disappointment she felt in herself.

She spoke about the shame she felt that her daughter’s birthday was spent working, dragging her along and not at home with her friends.  And she describes the guilt she and her husband felt in a way that every parent can understand.

I felt her pain as I read.  I’ve just returned from a 4 day work trip.  I had the worst dose of Mammy Guilt before I left and while I was there.  I felt that my girls were being passed from Granny to Daddy to Aunty to school and that I was the worst Mum in the world for not being close at hand for a few days.

But when I returned, I realised something.  My perspective to the trip was so incredibly different to theirs.

While I was teary eyed about leaving them on what happened to be my Birthday, they saw only that they were getting to play with their cousins.  While I worried that they’d miss me, they saw time alone with Daddy where Mammy wasn’t there to interfere!

Where I felt the guilt of sending them to my Mum’s house again, they saw the utter, imcomparable joy of getting a Sleepover in GannyGanda’s where they’d get pancakes for breakfast and 37 stories at bedtime.

Where I felt that I’d need to make it up to them when I finally got home, they only saw their Mammy, who was home safe with them.  The hugs were brief but tight, and after 5 minutes of showing me EVERYTHING they had made or done since I left, Mini-Me looked into my eyes and announced that they’d had a lovely time and asked when I had to go away again…

Just like Michelle Obama’s daughter bounced over to her parents on that birthday and hugged them tight announcing “This has been the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!”, My two girls saw things in a very different way.

Because that is what kids do.

And as parents we need to remember that.  Most of the things that we worry about, would NEVER be considered or noticed by our kids.

Kids don’t dwell on the bad morning.  They remember the kiss on the nose or the promise of “See you in a wee while!”

They don’t give a damn about the thing Mammy forgot to put out at Christmas, or that the spuds get burnt, or that there are no Pringles.  Kids are paying attention to a whole other set of things.

So ease up on yourself Mammy.

Are your kids loved?  Are they safe?  Are they fed?

Yeah?  Well chances are that even if YOU are feeling guilty or disappointed, or that you feel a failure about something, your kids don’t care.  They only see you.

 

I am Strapping her in Mum

To the Lady in the Car.
I know that right now, it does not look like it, but yes, yes they ARE my children. I am not trying to kidnap them.
Yes it may look like I am a stranger, dragging them against their will to a world unknown, to torture and penance, but trust me, the only one enduring torture and penance at this particular moment, is me. (and perhaps your eardrums.)
I am not a stranger however. I am their Mammy. I carried each of them in my stretched womb for 76 months… I have loved, fed, clothed and nurtured them since their births, and I spend the entirety of my existence working to provide for them, both spiritually and physically. Sometimes, mentally too, but that’s mostly Me. I have paper to prove that these little ones, who right now are screaming and hollering so much that I forgive your raised eyebrow, ARE INDEED MINE. I also have the stretchmarks and ruined ladybits as a receipt.
Right now, as I fight with my Twoublemaker to get her into the car seat in the car that they know well as ours, I wonder if I had an ACTUAL receipt, would some shop take them back…even just for ten minutes? Her plank is stronger than any grown Man in our Jim, and her ability to remain in said position despite Mammy’s manipulation, begging and near force, is fecking ridiculous. While she refuses to allow her arse onto HER car seat, the 6 year old wails because apparently going home with the woman who feeds and clothes and loves her, is a punishment worse than anything imaginable. She too, is crying. WHY? Fecked if I know…
What I do know however, is that to a stranger, it looks like the crazy sweaty woman in her honking gym gear has randomly pulled up to the childcare and lifted the first two children she bumped into. It looks like I am a monster, determined to steal them to sell them for rubies or diamonds…or gin or something.
And as I finally force, (not gonna lie, she didn’t go gently…), my uberstrong fartypants into her seat and strap the crying one into hers, I get into MY seat to start the car. I turn off the radio as I can’t hear it over the pair of them anyway. One is now asking why it is not Friday so she can have a treat, and the miniest one is screaming “POP POP POP” at the top of her strapped in little lungs. I look across and see you smile at my sympathetically and I wonder if your children also like to play the “Let’s make her lose the will to live as she straps us in the car” game. I believe it is their way of expressing their love for me… They love me dearly, they do.
We begin the long journey home, to the house where YES we do all live together, and of course, after approximately 35 metres, both of the little feckers are singing and chattering away in the back seat as if NOTHING has just happened.
I imagine them high-fiving each other behind my back, their eyebrows communicating in secret code, “Go us… we’ve made the wench pay. Now, let’s work on getting pizza for tea.”
“What’s for tea Mammy?”
“Brocolli”.
Take that Bitcheepoo. (Yes, they’re getting pizza… )
Sincerely in nappies and gin,
Mammy
pram
Funny how Jessie and Woody don’t freak out on HER when she’s strapping them into her “car, isn’t it?
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I am Some of Their Current Tricks Mum

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Do your little minions keep you on your toes?

Mine do.  So much so that I might as well dance around in ballet pumps, never mind walking.

While they try to keep me on my toes, half the time I’m actually walking around bare-footed…on lego.  I think I’ve sussed them.  I think I know them and their tricks. And then they remind me that actually, I have not a clue what I am doing and that I am most certainly NOT in charge in our little home.

Here are the top 5 ways that Mini-Me and Princess are keeping me “dancing” at the minute.  But sure hey, who wants boring well-behaved kids eh?

  1. Silence is… dangerous. Especially if there is more than one minion in your charge. Do not be fooled into thinking that they are playing quietly.  If they are quiet, they’re hoping you won’t catch or see them doing what they know they are not supposed to be doing.

 

2. Hiding is the best fun ever!  Especially when they hide behind their fat wee hands, right in front of you and genuinely believe that you can’t see them.  However, as they get bigger, hiding becomes a skill. And it becomes quite the pain in the posterier…especially if they decide to play “hiding” just as you are trying to leave the house. Princess is unbelievable at it.  She runs down the hall shouting “I Hideeeeeeen”.  Her favourites are in the bottom of a wardrobe, happily still in the dark, or standing like a statue behind a curtain.  Nightmare.  The only way I can find her in a hurry is to make her giggle.  (Mammy on the other hand can not hide.  ANYWHERE. Don’t waste your time trying.  They will find you.)

3. Clean nappies are best for pooing in. Especially when you’re just about to leave the house. Again, if a clean nappy is combined with silence and hiding, you’re getting a hat-trick Mammy.

4. If Mammy cooks it, they will not eat it.  If Granny, Aunty, Uncle, Childminder, Binman cooks it, they shall eat it.  Also, if, like me you have a child who doesn’t eat a particular food (still no go on the chucken), be warned that they WILL eat it EVERYWHERE ELSE.  Just to keep you look deranged and mad when you tell people they don’t like a certain food.

5. Crying is reserved for Mammy. A child can bump her knee at 10am and be brave. When you arrive at 5pm, they will cry about it.  A child can be as good as gold all day.  Once you enter another house or indeed, once someone else walks into your house, they will begin to act like demonic dictators just to remind you that they are indeed the Boss of the whole wide world. And to maintain your outside-the-house-persona as the Mammy-who-is-always-scolding.

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Otherwise, all is perfect and all is right with the world. I hope you all got lots of eggs and that the little faces are covered in chocolate.  Bring on the sugar rush and crashes this evening eh?  And don’t forget to put some egg in the fridge to have when they go to bed tonight! Goes well with grapes they tell me. 🙂

What is your little one’s trick of the month?