I am So, Is Different Always Wrong Mum?

On Wednesday, I wrote a blog post on how an imaginary spider and a pair of knickers caused a post apocalyptic meltdown in my house before 7am. I went to work in tears, spent the day in an absolute state and only settled when Mini-Me was tucked up after a very calm and snuggly bedtime. Most of the stress came from the fact that although yes, SHE had started it, I knew in my heart and soul that the biggest reason for the stand-off…was me.

I wasn’t going to post, but as my readers know, I’m not one for pretending this parenting lark is easy. I’m not Mary of the Poppins. Nor am I Nanny Mc Phee. In fact, most days, the S is S-Mum stands for ANYTHING EXCEPT Super. But post it I did and I’m glad I did.

It never ceases to amaze me how supportive and kind other Mammies can be. (And Daddies actually.) Within an hour of posting it, a dozen Mums and 3 Dads had commented their empathy and another dozen had private messaged me to say that they too had crappy days; that they had also been dealing with similar bahaviour in their homes.

One Mammy, whose kids are now adults, messaged me to tell me that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and that every mum goes through bad mornings and bad days. Her message made me cry. I went to bed feeling particularly crappy and emotionally exhausted, but Thursday was another day and thankfully, a LOT better.

For every reader who empathised with my strggle, I’m sure that there were a few who tutted their sanctimammious tuts at my post; at my honesty and at my admission that I’d fooked up that morning. That’s par for the course as a blogger. If my #mammyfailure made them feel smug and self righteous. Good. But the readers I care to impress are the ones who think “Thank God it’s not just me.”

Last night, a very followed and applauded Mum blogger in the UK and her equally popular Blogger Husband, posted on Instagram a photograph of themselves out on a date night.

The post initially seemed quite run of the mill, but as you read, it became clear that it was an #ad. The responses to the post were instant. They set the interweb on fire and within a few minutes, had hundreds of comments; most of them negative and disgusted, many of them aggressive and hateful.

Why? Because what initally looked like a typical “Yay! We’re out!” post, was actually an advert for the Babysitting App they had used that evening. “The Uber of babysitters” is how it is described. It’s an app that provides qualified babysitters, all of whom are apparently first-aid and childcare trained and have had thorough background checks done on them.

It’s quite popular in cities, where many parents find themselves without the “Village” required to raise a child. Indeed many of the comments were from people saying that they must check them out. But within minutes, the abuse of the couple began. Lots of people simply stated their suspicion of the app, or the fact that they personally wouldn’t want to leave their children with a stranger. Some went so far as to point out the fact that if the children awoke, they’d be faced with a stanger, (my first thought too.)

But others took it quite personally and went so far as to reprimand and scold them for their “irresponsibilty”, “Disgusting content” and “poor parenting”. Some criticised them for leaving their children with a stranger for an Ad opportunity. Basically, they and their parenting got annihilated by the hundreds of Sanctimammies who felt it their duty to share their disapproval.

Now, while I personally wouldn’t use such a service, I don’t feel the need to tell these people that I have a different view. I am however, also lucky enough to live near family and to have wonderful friends who are part enough of our girls’ lives to mind them if we need them to. But do you know what? Not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone has a support system on their doorsteps. Not everyone has a buddy who can pop over for an hour. And as usual, not everyone parents the same as me, or as you.

And we are so quick to judge. It made me sad to read. I can only imagine how dreadful this couple must have felt if they read some of these comments. While I find it a strange concept to leave your kids with a stranger, I only find it strange because I don’t need to do it. It’s obviously something that there is a demand for. Why would it even exist as a business otherwise?

There is a conception that if you put details of your life online, then you deserve any criticism that comes to you. Well actually, this is nonsense. No one deserves the level of abuse that this couple received last night. Of course, people have the right to say what they want and to criticise and to disagree, but when this turns into disapproving abuse and aggressive attacks, then no. People do NOT have the right to do that.

If you don’t like what someone writes, or what they share or what they say, unfollow, delete or ignore.

There’s no excuse for hateful comments and there’s no need for them. We should be lifting each other up, not putting each other down.

As parents, we beat ourselves up enough don’t we? I know I do. And someone else sticking the boot in is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

So without bashing any other parents, what’s your take on a Babysitting app? It’s an interesting one isn’t it?

(First published on Donegal Woman on Thoroughly Modern Mammy

http://www.donegalwoman.ie/2017/10/22/is-different-wrong/ )

I am Suck it up Mum

Right. Feck it.

I’m doing it.

Before and After Posts… Let’s call out the BS.

This is my first Before and After post. The two photographs were snapped only 3 seconds apart. 😅

So what did I do? What did I take? A magic pill? A Fantabulous Super-shake? A cup of Magic Tea? Nope.

A breath.

I took a breath. 😅

I straightened my back, turned my body slightly and sucked it all in!👇👇👇 You see, yes, I might be back in my favourite jeans, (after 16 months of training in Jim- NOT overnight), but after 2 magnificently STRETCHY pregnancies and two VERY messy C-Sections, my Belly is not what it might APPEAR to be when you meet me in my clothes! 😂

It’s squishy. It’s soft. It’s covered in stretch marks. There is extra skin that sags when I suck in my tummy. If I relax my tummy muscles, it is quite humongous! 💕

Some days I love it. Some days I hate it. Somedays I am so bloated that I look like I’m 6 months pregnant again. But everyday, I look in the mirror and I see a real life miracle. The stretch marks are my war wounds. My skin is stretchy because it made a house to grow my babies in. 💕It’s my Post-Baby Belly and the only person whose opinion on it matters, is ME.

So when your news feed is full of “Weight loss” adverts showing you “before and after” shots of how you can lose “15 stone in a day” if you just sign up to their pyramidic BS shakes, pills, teas, knickers etc, remember that it is likely that the pictures might just be BS. And when you see someone posting their “Look at my abs” pics, telling you how happy they are with their progress, there MIGHT just be another photograph in their camera roll that they HAVEN’T chosen to share.

If I had posted these and said there had been a 6 month gap between photographs, chances are you’d have believed me. (And of course, you WILL see GENUINE “Before and After” photographs of GENUINE weight loss journeys, but they are “JOURNEYS”, with hard work and sweat and determination, NOT miracle products.)😲

And if your body has stretched and changed to grow your minions, be proud of it. It’s yours. It’s a miracle and it’s beautiful, whether you suck it in or let it all hang out. Have a fablis Friday my Lovelies.

(It goes without saying that anyone who feels like writing anything hateful or negative, has my polite invitation to go build themselves and bridge and get over themselves. My body. Not yours.) 😙😙😙

#beattheBS #realityplease #postbabybelly #perspective

I am Some Perspective on Father’s Day Mum

This column was harder to write than I had anticipated.
Why?
Because no matter what angle I approached it from, I found myself anticipating the negative comments from other people.
I am blessed to have only wonderful father figures in my life.  My own Daddy is the actual, official “King of all the Daddies in the world”.  (That is an indisputable fact and anyone who declares their Dad to be better, is wrong. Don’t even try to argue.)  

  But even though Daddy G is indeed The  King of all the Daddies in the world, to me, I would also argue that My Him is the King of all the Daddies in the world too.

And therein lies my problem, see?
Perspective.
If you are reading this thinking, “Well actually love, MY Dad is The King of all the Daddies in the world“, then YOU are right too.  But he is only the King of all the Daddies in the world TO YOU.(and your siblings!)
And if you are thinking “Hold up there S-Mum, my partner is actually The King of all the Daddies in the World, you silly mare!”, you are right too.
Because, we only see things from our own perspective, don’t we?
Today, those of us who can visit or call our Dads are blessed.  There are so many who wish they could,  Today, like Mother’s Day and Christmas and every other day of the year, is difficult for so many people.  There are empty chairs at so many tables, and they seem even more empty of days like today.  To my Lovelies with this perspective, I send my love today.
Others will read this and roll their eyes, because Father’s Day means little to them for one reason or another. That’s OK too.
Many Fathers will spend today surrounded by their family, opening endless bags of socks and Toblerone.  There will be packed carveries and Mr Hall-of-the-Mark shall be rolling in his money from all the cards and utter crap that we have binge bought over the past few days.  There will be lunches, and dinners and grandchildren playing and hugs and general appreciation for what we appreciate every day, but don’t always say.
But so many Fathers will spend today missing their children.  Perhaps because of distance.  Perhaps because of circumstance.  Perhaps through choice.  Perhaps because of someone else deciding they can’t see their child.  And while there are of course, so many who spend today alone for so many reasons, it is important to remember that those who are broken-hearted today, are still Fathers.

Again Perspective.
Like Mother’s Day, Like Christmas, everyone’s perspective of Father’s Day is tinted by their own experience and their own story.  While one person curses the day for the memories it stirs, another celebrates the day because of the year they’ve had.  One person hates the day because it makes them angry, another celebrates it because it makes them happy.  One person breaks their heart the whole day, another doesn’t give it a second thought.
What is it anyway?  It’s just a day.  It’s only a day.  But if you are in a position where you are blessed enough to have a Daddy or a Grandad or Stepfather or <em>any</em> Father-figure in your life, enjoy it.  Enjoy celebrating them and all they do for you. Call them.  Visit them.  Enjoy every second of today.
Because like every other day, we never know what is around the next corner.  We never know when our worlds will change.  And we never know how important seemingly unimportant days like today are, until we are forced to change our perspective.

And so you see why I found this difficult. Because my perspective will not always be the same as that of my reader, but that does not mean that one of us is wrong.
Whether you are celebrating today, or not, have a wonderful Father’s Day.   xx
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