A wee poem … or two… for all the Mammies. 💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗
💞💞From Mammy on Mother’s Day💞💞
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways… I love you each second of every day And even when sometimes I grumble and scold I hope that you know that even if you’re being bold, I trust you, I get you, I love you so much I’ve loved you since the minute I first felt your touch, (Whether birth or first meeting, It matters not HOW I became your Mammy, I’m your Mammy now.) My total existence revolves around you; Your growth and your wellness, everything that you do. I’m thinking about you, awake and asleep And even if I’m not with you, please know that I keep you so close in my heart and always on my mind. You’re my reason for living, the reason I find to get up on the mornings where there’s been no sleeping to keep smiling and going, when I just feel like weeping. But always, no matter how much I may struggle The world can be fixed with just one little “cuggle”. When I look at you sleeping, so pure and calm, I love you with everything that I am. I’ll push you, protect you and help you to grow, I’ll make sure you know all the things you should know. I’ll keep you as safe as I possibly can. I’ll make sure you know just how proud that I am To be raising a child who’s so brilliant and clever and to be your wee Mammy, forever and ever. So how do I love you, let me count the ways. Every day Darling, not just on Mother’s Day.”
💞💞To Mammy… EVERY Day💞💞
How to I love thee, well count I can not, But I don’t need my numbers to tell you a lot. I love you for reasons that do not need words, For the fact that you’re mine since I came to this world. Because you love me every day and each night, When I’m being my best, or I’m giving you frights. I know that you sometimes are worried and scared But you don’t let me see that, You’re too busy being there When I need you, for playtime or stories or songs, When I call in the night, and you carry me long, long into the hours where we should be asleep, When I hide from the monsters or cry or hurt deep. When I eat all my dindins or throw it at you. When I giggle and cry, when you’re covered in poo. It really doesn’t matter what I do or I say, You are my Mammy and I’ll simply love you always.
Much love to all the Mammies of any Babbies, all over the world.
‘Make some time for YOU Mammy and have a relaxing bath’ say the instafluencers.
Well OK then!
An instaworthy bathing relaxation event is about to go down in Chez Mammy… buckle up Bitcheepoos.
I sniff in the steam as my very ‘spensive and much loved bubble bath, (made up of ingredients I cannot pronounce for lack of vowels… LangyLang and mystical howabajobawobahoohoo berries and Blossoms and such) fills my bathroom with sweet scented steam.
I need this. I deserve this. I shall read. I shall RELAX and have some time ON MY OWN.
I have the suds. I have the soaps. I have the candles lit. I have my book ready. I have my musical soundtracks ready to play. Most importantly, I have the wine poured.
I EVEN have a few nice big dirty fat creamy chocolates sitting on my the fancy board that sits across my bath, (which I decided that I NEEDED on night 309 of lockdown after a bath where I almost smashed my favourite wine glass into my thighs as it refused to balance on the side of the bath.)
I am going to sip on my Shiraz and listen to Idina Defy Gravity, while I hum along, calm and content and soaking my cares away.
I switch off the ‘big light’ and slide into the suds.
It’s too hot. Of course it is.
It will ALWAYS be too hot, for I am a muppet. I’ll never learn. That’s a fact.
Deciding that the chances of ACTUAL burns are not quite as high as usual, I wait for my skin to stop screaming and close my eyes.
This shall be heaven. I insist it shall.
I reach for my book…
I cannot see my book.
For you see, the romantic and subtle candlelight is SO subtle that I actually can’t SEE any of the words on the fucking page.
I call Himself.
“Will you turn on the big light please? I can’t see!” He grumbles something rather dangerous and foolish about how he “told me so” and the light dazzles me.
Ok, so it’s not quite as relaxing, but at least I can see the words now. I balance the book in my soggy hands.
Within a few moments, the steam is causing my fingers to leave big damp splodges all over the pages.
It seems that the book is gaining weight. I’m sure it wasn’t this heavy 5 minutes ago.
It seems to have morphed into the entire collection of the Britannica Encyclopedia and I’m wondering HOW it now weighs 25Kg as my arms struggle to hold the fecking soggy pages above my head. This is so uncomfortable.
I put the book down, hit play on the phone and listen to the Wicked soundtrack.
As I pop a chocolate into my mouth, the WIFI cuts out (I’m more than a metre from the fucking kitchen. What did I expect?) so the music stops and starts so many times within a minute that I think I have whiplash.
I switch off Idina and throw another chocolate into my mouth…
Or AT my mouth, for, you see, I miss.
And the dirty big champagne truffle sinks like yer man Jack in Titanic and I think I cry louder and more genuinely than thon Rose bitch.
Such is the severity of my sense of loss. I fish the little fecker out, but not before it has started to melt, because yes, the water is still too hot.
I plop the sodden truffle onto the fancy board. It looks like a poo.
Then I call the Husband again to come down to open the window, because obviously I am still melting and my heart is working too hard in the boiling water and I fear that I may die.
“What now?” “Can you open the window please?” There are grumblings and mutterings as he opens the window. He eyes the tiny poo on the board and the suspicious trail of pooey clouds in the water and raises an eyebrow at me, before leaving me to my ‘pampering’…
I hear the words “Every fucking time…” as he stomps out to continue wrestling the two hellfiends into their beds.
‘This is SOOO relaxing’ I think as I listen to them announce to Daddy that actually, it is NOT bedtime and they are in fact NOT going to bed until Mammy reads a story…
The wine is lovely…just the right temperature. I allow the berry-red joyjuice to do that weird tingle it does to my muscles. It’s rather lovely.
I set it the glass back and close my eyes because the big light is by now fucking blinding me, and I try that ‘relaxing’ thing people talk about. After approximately 2 minutes, I’m bored.
The door opens and I hear her before I see her.
She is settling her tiny self on the toilet and as she does so, she announces “you might want to cover your nose Mammy.”
Well. You can imagine how the rest of this story goes…
Mumpty Mumpty, up there on the wall… You look at your babies, both now grown so tall That their uniforms probably won’t even fit When we finally get ourselves out of this shit.
You look at the table, the mess on the floor, The toys that are trailing right out the hall door. You look at the school books, still sitting in piles You see your to-do list that still goes for miles.
You stare at the laptop, then set it aside, For you know all the work that awaits you inside. You fight off the constant attacks of the guilt That now sit on your shoulders and won’t seem to quit.
You listen to questions, to snaps and to fights You wonder how many more hours until night When you’ll finally get your wee darlings to bed When in dreams, you would tuck them in, kissing their heads,
Before putting your feet up and watching TV., But these days that simply won’t happen you see, For once your kids finally succumb to their sleep It’s time to start working and trying to keep Up with zoomcalls and emails and missed calls and work, All the things that one simply can’t do while we burp Our baby on our knee, or are wiping a bum. While trying a failing to work out a sum That we possibly learned ourselves while in 3rd class But that now we don’t understand, nor would we pass Our son’s Irish exam or his History or sciences And we wonder while stuffing more socks in appliances How much of this stuff we have learned but forget How much of it really was needed, and yet We feel like a failure for not being able To answer the questions being fired from the table Like missiles and bombs that might make us explode And the dishwasher’s beeping to signal its load Is all done. It needs emptied and does the machine And speaking of empty, the fridge needs restocked For breakfast, break, lunch and dinner are all round the clock.
While washing the dishes, we’re answering calls We’re hitting our deadlines and cursing our walls That we’re all sick of seeing. We long for normality Where work is for work and where home is for family.
Where hours are set for the parts of our lives That are suddenly jumbled together like knives In a drawer that’s a mess, where nothing is found, Where as parents we can’t keep our feet on the ground.
We’re doing our best, but we’re doing too much. We’re tired and stressed and our brains are like mush. We’re trying to be parents and workers and teachers To be friends to our children and support our teenagers
But stop. Take a minute and gather your thoughts. Who says that we have to keep joining the dots? We can’t do it all. It’s impossible really To try to do everything we once did so easily.
And who is it really that’s making these rules That we all have to manage to mix work and school? We can’t do it all. It can fall asunder We’re breaking ourselves with the pressure we’re under.
Our children need school, of that there’s no doubt And they’ll get back there soon and with glee we’ll all shout. There’s light at the end of this tunnel, you’ll see. And soon, all of this will be just memories,
But now, in the meantime, go easy on you. And remember there’s only so much you can do.
We’re all feeling a bit incredulous really. This past few days, it’s felt like we are slowly sliding into chaos once again.
We’re trying to adapt to all of the changes that are coming at us faster than Sonic the bloody Hedgehog, while trying to maintain a “calm” in front of our kids.
And with the indecisiveness, “we will , we won’t, we might-iness” of our Government, we can be forgiven for wondering what the actual feck is going on.
Once again, we’re back to working, whether at work or online, all while minding and homeschooling our kids, trying to keep them occupied and fed and generally trying to do eleventy billion jobs from our kitchen tables.
And this time, we don’t have the long sunny evenings or unusually warm weather to soften the blow.
And as I try to get my own head around this new situation in my own house, I’m trying to remember the things that worked (and that did NOT work) for me last time we were in this type of lockdown.
One thing that became VERY clear to us last March, was that Homeschooling was NOT something that we were successful at. Trying to pivot your business online and trying to teach online for the first time ever, after almost 20 years of standing in an actual classroom, meant that finding time to sit with our girls to “homeschool” was impossible.
I felt like crap about it to start. How is it that a teacher, for God’s sake, couldn’t manage to educate her own children? Disgraceful…
And then I copped myself on. I couldn’t do it. I was trying to make up a whole new version of my job AND we were trying to keep our family business alive. And it’s going to be the same this time to be honest. (Also, I could teach Shakespeare to a duck, but 3rd class maths? Nope!)
I will get them to do some of the work their angels of teachers send, but it’ll be done within the realms of OUR ability and only as long as it isn’t adding more stress to our lives.
Here we go again I suppose.
One of the biggest mistakes that loads of us made last time, was to think that we had to do it all. Think about it…
There aren’t enough hours to combine the 6/7 hours your kids spend at school, with the 8/10 hours you work, the few hours you need for cooking, cleaning etc… never mind homework, exercise and trying to stay on top of things. You’re trying to fit about 30 hours of “stuff” into a 24 hour day. When do you sleep Mammy?
It’s not physically possible to do it all.
SO choose what you NEED to do and do that.
Give yourself a break. We’re in a global pandemic.
Here are some things that work for me.
Routine: Make a plan for the week, just as you would if you were all getting up to go to work/school. For me, I tend to get up at 6am as usual to do a few hours of school work before the girls get up and then a few more in the afternoon. I’ll allocate a time for the kids to do some school work. The girls will have playtime and downtime and bedtime will remain as normal as possible. And they’ll know that Mammy and Daddy still have to work for certain hours.
Eating: If your kids are anything like mine, they’re ALWAYS hungry. I’m going to try to keep the idea of “breaktime” and “lunchtime” etc going at home. Otherwise, Princess’s bum will be stuck out of the fridge constantly.
Get dressed: seems obvious, and yet it’s so easy to stay in the pjs. But from tomorrow, it’s up, shower and get dressed. Just without heels or makeup. See the positives where you can!
Don’t overdo the Mary Poppins act: I’ve already seen social media influencers who have done 3 weeks worth of arts and crafts activities in the first 2 days of no school. Calm yourselves. Let the kids play. Let them be bored. Let them read or draw. Put on their coats and open the door if you can! Not every activity needs to be organised or planned. Save those for the really long rainy days where they are genuinely bored or need cheered up.
Follow people who inspire you: Social Media has been a dark place this past few months. Don’t allow yourself to become bogged down or overwhelmed. Switch off the phone. And try to have a switch off time in the evening. And only follow people who are making you smile. Please learn to use the unfollow/mute button on accounts that make you doubt what a Queen you are.
Keep active: We’ll train together every morning with our Rushe Fitness members and most days, I’ll try to get out for a run/walk. Sometimes, just getting OUT is amazing. While it’s cold and slippy, it’s still gorgeous out there. Go for a walk or jog. Fresh air is good for everyone. Get as much as you can. If you’re used to training but can’t do it alone, join us for our online programme which you can follow from your home at a time that suits you.
Read: If you’re like me, you’ll have a pile of started and unread books in the house. Put down the phone and start to read. Let your kids see you do it. Have a “reading time” block in the day where you all sit and read. Monkey see, Monkey do.
Cook: Again, most of us cook functionally and conveniently. Rather than firing on the slowcooker or cooking in a hurry, set your inner Nigella alight and get chopping. Let the kids cook too. They love it. And if you have a few of those “Betty” quick brownies in the press for the really long days, you’re winning at life AND you have something sweet and tasty for your cuppa.
Stay in touch: For many of us who are used to social interaction with colleagues or clients, the sudden isolation and lack of communication can be upsetting. Talk to each other. Message friends. Set up messenger groups with people who you would usually see each day and check in on each other. Make phonecalls. Pick up the phone and call someone rather than always messaging. Some people might not hear another voice from one end of the day to the next. Communicate.
Stay positive: yeah it’s easy to say isn’t it? But it’s hard to do. We all have good days and bad days. But go easy on yourself. You’re allowed to be scared. You’re allowed to be upset. Grief and fear are not signs of weakness. In order to deal with things, we first have to process it; to let it sink in. So allow yourself time to process. Then, look for the positives and focus on those.
We are in weird times. We are dealing with disappointments and stresses that are unprecedented. Much of what we are facing is bleak. and yet in the middle of it all, we’re seeing glimpses of hope and finally, an end is in sight.
Mind yourselves. Go easy on yourselves. You are not in competition with anyone. Do what you need to do, for you.
I’m a big bungled bag of mixed thoughts and emotions as I sit to write this.
Usually, my last blog of the year flows easily; full of nostalgia and positivity and hope and excitement… and actually, I’m feeling all of those things right now too. I just can’t seem to write them down in a way that will be meaningful to everyone. Because now, more than ever, none of us can fully understand how anyone else is feeling.
We’ve just come through the weirdest year of our lives.
I could start to talk about how “while it was bad, it was actually good”, or “In the midst of the chaos, was joy”, or “the lessons I’ve learned this year”. God I could write 20 pages on each of those titles if I’m honest.
It was good, in its own way.
I did learn loads about myself and about life in general. (80 pages coming on that…next year!)
In the midst of the chaos, there was joy.
We did make loads of memories.
Yes, 2020 was good for lots of reasons. 2
The main lessons I learned were that actually, life did NOT need to be as busy and chaotic as it was and that actually, as long as I have my own wee family safe within my own four walls, then all is right with the world, no matter how frightening the world is. (I wrote a LOT about our own four walls this year. I spent a lot of time looking at them I suppose!)
And while I could sit here and wax lyrical about how we must all look at the positives of 2020 and be grateful for this, that and the other, I can not let the year end without acknowledging that it was the hardest, most frightening, confusing, frustrating and heartbreaking fecking year that we have ever faced.
I am grateful. I’m so grateful for my family and for health and for work. And personally, I know so many people who have had too much sadness and hardship to bear this year. I’ve cried with lots of friends (virtually) and like everyone, I’ve had moments of WTF?
But as always, perspective is key. I can, and will, only ever speak for ME.
I’ve been afraid. I’ve been stressed. I’ve struggled. I’ve freaked out. (I’ve had panic attacks about going to do the fricken shopping for God’s sake.) I’ve spent more hours than I care to remember, looking at my children, terrified that they’re not OK. I’ve spent hours and hours stressing with my husband about our family business and wondering how many more slaps it can take, I’ve cried onto my laptop as I tried to figure out a whole new way of trying to do my job, while trying and failing to homeschool my own children. I’ve missed family. I’ve missed my friends. I’ve seen my best friend once since March… I’ve been angry. I’ve been frustrated. I’ve been sad. I’ve even been judgemental. Show me someone who at this stage, has NOT given out about someone else’s actions this year (and then send me whatever magic potion they’re using please.)
And yet, tonight as I sit watching the clock tick towards 2021, I can’t help but feel proud. I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of my kids. (Kids are amazing!) I’m proud of my husband. I’m proud of every one of my family and friends who have clawed their way through the shitshow that was 2020.
We made so many memories this year. We found joy we’d never realised we could find within our four walls and indeed on our own doorsteps. We’ve been surprised by the things that we’ve missed and the things that we found that, actually, we didn’t miss at all.
We’ve been torn apart by the ferocity of missing people and being apart from people we love. And yet, we’ve also realised quite abruptly who is important to us and who is, maybe, not.
I can look back through my camera roll tonight and share my “highlights”. It is filled with photographs of 2020, each one telling a story to anyone who looks at it, and yet each one holds so many memories that no one but us could ever understand. Behind lots of those smiles are a million other emotions. Some of the smiles are real. Some of them are hilarious. And yet, some are frantic and frightened. Some don’t reach the eyes.
I have looked at some today. They’ve made me smile and laugh. But I won’t be sharing them anywhere. I’m not looking back. I’m too tired to be honest! And so I’m looking forward. I can’t wait for it to be tomorrow so I can close the metaphorical door on a year that I’ve been wishing away since March.
I’m ready for it to be over. And while I know full well that at midnight tonight, absolutely NOTHING but the date is going to actually change, I am excited for the new year. Every day will bring us one step closer to getting back to some sort of normality, where 2020 is a distant memory that we talk about and reminisce about.
So whether you’ve come through 2020 enlightened and empowered and energised, or you’ve skid towards the end, glass in hand, roots to your armpits and a bit delirious, I raise a glass to you tonight and wish you a better and more fablis 2021.
Give yourself a round of applause. You made it!
And no matter what 2021 brings with it, it’s a brand new year that we are at least a bit more ready for than last year.
From Emmet and the girls and myself, I wish you every best wish for 2021. May it be filled with brighter days, good health and hugs and smiles that reach your eyes. Love to all.