I am Sick of Sanctimammies Mum

Sanctimammy

Noun – A Mammy who believes that her way of parenting is the correct and proper way; judging and dismissing other Mums who do not parent as she parents.

Adj – Sanctimammious     

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‘Live and Let live’ they say.  But once you dip your toe into the world of Parenthood, that seems to change for some people.  It becomes ‘Do as I do, Think as I think’. There is no area in our lives which can cause heightened levels of self-doubt and self-criticism as parenting.  And often, it is the outright self-righteousness and shared opinions of other parents which makes us doubt ourselves.

Have you ever been asked something about your child, only to have an eyebrow raised, or a lip pursed at your reply?  Have you ever been nervous of telling someone how YOU do things, because you know that they do it differently?

We all have.  We’ve all been there.

Parenting styles and beliefs and practices vary, not just in countries, or counties or communities, but within homes.  For twenty houses in an estate or on a road, there will be twenty different parenting styles happening at once. But here’s the thing.

Just because you do things differently, doesn’t make you better.

Just because you work AND have kids, doesn’t make you better than the Mum who is working her ass off at home.

Just because you’re able to stay at home with your Puking minion, doesn’t make you a better Mum than the Mum who had no choice but to leave hers with Granny, because she couldn’t get off work.

Just because you Breastfeed your baby, doesn’t make you better than the Mum who, for WHATEVER reason, has to (or choses to) Bottle feed. You don’t know why they can’t (or don’t) breast feed.  You don’t have to. It’s none of your business.

Just because you use organic, reusable nappies, you are not superior to the Mammy who stocks up on Packets.

Just because your Baby sleeps well, does not mean that the Mum who hasn’t slept for 14 months is less brilliant than you.

Just because you’ve decided to wean your Baby by the guidance of some book, feeding Quinoa and avocado and peppers, doesn’t make you better than the Mum who feeds her kid mashed potato and gravy, or (shock horror!) fishfingers and waffles.

Just because your little Japonica goes to 5 activities a week at 11 months old, does not make you a better Mum than Jacinta next door, who can just about leave the house to do the shopping, because her PND is so crippling that she can’t breath.

Just because you gave birth without drugs, in a calm and wonderful experience, does not make you a better Mum than the lady who has had 3 sections.

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Now, I am NOT saying that you shouldn’t make an effort to do what’s best and what’s healthy for your baby. What I am saying is that what YOU deem right and important, might not be the same as another Mum.  Our priorities are all different. And that’s OK

Every Mum does what SHE has to do for HER family. ANd the only person who knows what is right for your family is YOU.

You don’t know another Mum’s circumstance. You don’t know her. You don’t know if she’s happy, or watching you getting into your car to go to work, longing to be you.

You don’t know if she’s driving to work in tears because her Baby cried again as she was dropping him off.

You don’t know how many times a day the Mammy in the office feels a gutwrenching guilt at being away.

You don’t know how the Mum in her kitchen is longing for a conversation.

You don’t know how much the Mum who has to pay bills rather than pay for Baby swim classes longs to be able to sign her baby up.

You don’t know how much time and effort that Mum, looks fab at the school gate, took to just get out the door this morning because she cried all night.  

You don’t know how much the Mum who seems to have it all, wishes that she had something else.

You don’t know how much the Mum who is mixing up formula berates herself.

You don’t know Jack sh*t.

As long as your children are fed, and loved and looked after, you’re doing great.  

How we parent our children, is nobody’s business but our own.  And what other Mums think of your parenting, is absolutely none of YOUR business.  

And if you EVER hear yourself dismissing or tutting at another Mammy because she’s doing it differently to you, lift your hand, grab a wooden spoon and hit yourself a good hard slap on the arse with it.

No one likes a Sanctimammy.

 

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As featured on The M Word

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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 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 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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I am Some Things the Baby Books Forgot to Mention Mum

I am ‘Some things the Baby Books forgot to mention’ Mum

Feel free to sing along!
“Nappies and dodees” should be read/sung to the tune of “Raindrops and Roses” from The Sound of Music.

“Nappies and Dodees and cute little sockies

Big teddies, small teddies, horseys that rockie,

Elephant mobiles that fly on their strings

These are just some of the new baby’s things.

Baskets from Moses and funky shaped pillows

Grufallos, Minnie Mouse, Wind in the Willows,

Breast pumps and bobos and wee plastic pots,

Plastic spoons needed for feeding your tots.

Where’s the dummy?

Close the stairgate.

Get the nappy baaaag.

I simply can’t deal with this amount of stuff

I miss the space that I had.

Cushions and door clips and safety latches

Lift all those candles and hide all the matches

Puke cloths and poop bags and powders and creams,

Lego and Stains on all of your things.

Carseats and carriers, high chairs and bouncers

Moniters, teethers and measures for ounces

Video moniters keep mammy calm

And Daddy’s still learning how to fold up the pram.

Toys toys toys toys

Toys toys toys toys

Did I mention toys?

I simply am listing the simplest of things

We gather for girls…and boys.”

The BS Bibles spout such shite as “Don’t worry! Babies don’t need to take up ALL the space in your home.  Dedicate a shelf or drawer in your living room to baby essentials to keep them close at hand.  The Baby’s clothes etc should be kept in Baby’s nursery (includes image of pale grey amd white, empty, tidy nursery…)  The moses basket should be in a well appointed space, not too close to any radiators or drafty doors/windows. A well organised changing station will help keep the home mess free.”

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Beautiful, isn’t it?

Where does it prepare us for the explosion of STUFF that ensures that EVERY nook and cranny of your once tidyish home gets covered in Baby?  It’s like a giant Baby lifts the roof off your house and projectile VOMITS a load of utter CRAP all over EVERYTHING.

No room escapes and while for the first few weeks you might be able to contain the Baby stuff to a few baskets or to one corner, once they begin to play with toys or move about, the house slowly becomes overwhelmed by toys that seem to reproduce and multiply while we sleep.And just like the list the BS Bibles give you, this is by no means exhaustive.

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This was my kitchen on a good day!

You will find more crap to add to it and you will wonder why you didn’t take millions of photographs of your lovely fengshuiyed, Cath Kitsonesque, picture perfect home BC to send to ‘House and Home’.

And as for new furniture or carpets?

Don’t bother your arse until they’re old enough to know NOT to write on the cushions with glitter glue. 
Wrecking balls…

Absolute wrecking balls. 😂😂😂