The InstaMammy Reality

I like social media.
I like how it allows me to stay in touch with people.
I like how it helps me to connect with old friends.
I love how it allows my family members who are scattered like glitter across the planet, to see what’s happening at home.
I love how it lets me see my niece’s little face and how she knows who I am even though they live abroad.
I love how one comment or image can spark conversations that are both heated and entertaining; sometimes even intelligent!
I like to see photographs of the people I like, smiling and happy.
I enjoy it and I get it I suppose.

As a Mummy, it provides some escapism. When the kids are asleep or you find yourself with 5 minutes to sit with a cuppa, there’s something nice about hitting the little blue F  and seeing what’s happening in the real world.

You know? That place where exciting things happen? Where Peppa Pig isn’t in charge and where people live wonderful lives?

Where everyone has terrifyingly precise, painted eyebrows and sparkly white teeth and where people look naturally happy, all of the time?

You get to look into the lives of your “friends”: see their exciting nights out, admire their fabulous clothes, wonder where they get the time or money to visit that salon again.

We see happy families, smiling for the selfie.
We see who’s at the gym, who’s out for dinner and who’s heading away on holiday.

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And while there is no harm in this really,  the key is to know that what you’re looking at is not reality.
It’s virtual.
It’s fabricated.
It’s lies.

No one’s life is perfect all of the time.  We know that, but let’s face it…who is going to voluntarily put a shitty photograph of themselves up for the world to see?

The natural selfies are probably one of 23 shots.

There are magical filters that apparently beautify! (Note to self…find out more about these.)

The reality is that regardless of how careful you are, if you look through your list of friends, you’ll possibly come across at least 2 people about whom you have to ask yourself “who is this?”

And while it keeps us connected, a huge issue for many new mums, is the isolation caused by social media.

Yes, we can see what’s happening and stay up to date with our friends.  We post photographs and status updates about our children and about our lives, to let our friends and families see how cute they are and how entertaining life is with kids.

But when this means that our friends feel that they don’t need to visit, or meet for coffee, or pick up the phone, then… we have a problem.

When seeing everyone else having fun, makes you feel boring and frumpy in your busy, unglamorous world of feeds and nappy changes, then…we have a problem.

When you know the story before someone tells you it, then…we have a problem.

When someone you haven’t spoken to in 2 years only realises that you’re no longer friends when you finally unfriend them on social media, then…we have a problem.

When every conversation  you have includes the line “Yeah, I saw that,” then…we have a problem.

And it’s our own fault.  We see it all on social media so we no longer feel the same need to ring someone up to ask how they’re doing.
After all, we know they’ve been to dinner this week, had the dog to the beach and that the baby has been puking.
We read it on Facebook.

We no longer consider a coffee date important as we know what’s going on with them.
We read it on Facebook.

But of course, Facebook doesn’t give you the same satisfaction that you get from good conversation over a cuppa.
Facebook doesn’t give you a hug before you go back to the whirlwind of your life.
Facebook might help you feel connected to the world outside your home, but only for a second, and only until it doesn’t.

Last week, I met a good friend for dinner.

She’s not on Facebook.

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It was refreshing. She was interested in my stories, in how I was, in how the girls were doing… she hasn’t seen it on Facebook. I was delighted to hear about what she’s been up to since Christmas. It was real conversation and it was lovely. We actually had so much to catch up on.  There were no lies about how perfect life is.  It’s difficult to lie to someone’s face.

We were able to talk about the difficulties we have with our respective Mini-Mes. We laughed at things we remembered from our nights out BC. Stories were interesting because they hadn’t already been told or seen. It was good, old fashioned catch up and it made me feel fuzzy and loved and ridiculously real again.

So while this isolation I speak of obviously doesn’t just apply to mums, that’s the angle I’m seeing it from.  I’m lucky that I have a wonderful family and some very good friends, but sometimes, just sometimes, being a mummy in the presence of two fabulously fun princesses 24 hours a day, can be a lonely place.

And while social media is fantastic and helps us stay in touch, it isn’t real.

So if you know someone; a mummy or daddy, or friend or cousin, who you have to really think about the last time you actually spoke to them, do you and them a favour.

Pick up the phone and say hi.
Or call to visit and actually hold the baby, while she makes you a coffee.

Rather than sharing sentimental quotations or memories on our friends’ pages, we really need to try to make more of our reality… not our virtual reality.

So there you go.
Social media is fabulous.  I get it.  I enjoy it.
But sometimes, it just isn’t enough.
And that’s the truth.

 

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Great Expectations Vs Greater Reality

Christmas.

I LOVE it! I love everything about it.  I love the sparkle, the sounds, the smells, the smiles.  I love the kindness. I love how it brings out the best in so many people.

But what I don’t love, is the pressure placed on us by the interweb to create magical, Christmas card worthy Hallmark moments. It’s started already; Instagranny and Bookface are full of pictures of beautiful trees and perfect living rooms.  None of us posted the mess of them being put up though did we!? Myself included.  Of course not.  We want to show the world our best smile don’t we? We want to give the general idea that we’ve gont our sh*t together.

MY Christmas Eve shall be fablis. Here’s how it shall look if I post it online.

Some last minute, calm and fun shopping in town, a family breakfast with my siblings and all of our minions, a quick visit to the grandparents’ homes and then home, where Mammy will wear her apron and help the girls make homemade cookies for Santa, create perfect Belgian hot chocolate for them before snuggling up to watch a movie.  Then, I prep all of the veg etc for Christmas dinner.  Then, as Daddy bathes the girls and gets them ready for bedtime, Mammy shall pour a little drop of mulled wine and begin creating the turkey. We shall have some hearty homemade soup for tea and mammy shall double check her lists to ensure that all is done.  In a whirlwind of excitement, the girls shall leave out their fablis homemade cookies, a carrot and some milk for Santa. They’ll sprinkle reindeer food on the steps and go to bed, happy and excited.

Then, Daddy shall pop a bottle of bubbles, we’ll finish wrapping presents and then we’ll cozy up on the sofa and wait for Santa.

REALITY CHECK

The last minute shopping will not be calm and fun, unless you have someone to sit in the car with minions while you pop in and out of shops.

Family breakfast WILL be fun, but it will most likely also be filled with nyaming and crying, with things like “She’s sitting on meeee”, “He got more berries” and “Stop that nonsense now!”.  The adults will eat breakfast, pretending to have jovial conversation, but really just throwing random and disconnected statements at each other between bouncing the kids.

Visiting – Yes, but the over excited and wound up kiddies will be needing a sleep by then and there is a high chance of tantrums forecast once a loving and caring  Grandparent enters the room.  Add sugar before wrestling kids into car.  Perfect!

Bake cookies:  Buy a box of cookie mix. Add an egg and there you go.  Mary Poppins indeed.

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Hot chocolate: Not Belgian.  Not fancy.  Straight from the coffee machine pods. Plop in the marshmallows and she’s happy out..

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Movie:  In my head it’s Miracle on 34th Street, in reality it’ll be ELF again for 38 minutes before Ben and Holly return.  And it’ll be grand, because Mammy will realistically be watching it from the kitchen.

Homemade soup: HAHAHAHAHA! I’m not that organised.  I go to Mum’s on Christmas Eve and steal a lunchbox full of hers.  No point in both of us making it, is there?

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Mulled wine:  Buy a jar or packet. Slosh in some cheap wine and orange juice.  Done.  (Oh, and if you don’t like mulled wine, why the heck are you making it?)

Prepping dinner:  This I DO do.  Not because I’m Mary Poppins, but because the only thing any Mammy needs to be peeling on Christmas Day is the paper off presents (or the foil of my Chocolate Orange!)  PS.  Did you know you can buy PRE-PEELED SPUDS!?  Go for it Mammy.  It’s Christmas after all!

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Lists:  Once you’re home, scrap the lists. Whatever you haven’t bought by then, doesn’t need bought.  I will do a last To Do list, just to remind me of what needs done before I can sit on my backside for a few glasses of grapes later.  TIP: Write some stuff you’ve already done so you’ll feel better that there are a few lines through it already.

Bedtime: Yes it will be exciting, but it will also be frantic with two children who can’t control their highly stimulated and sugar induced emotion, and full of threats of “If you’re not sleeping, Santa won’t come”.  Eventually, Mini-Me will succumb to sleep, but them going straight to bed and nodding off instantly is as possible as me getting a Chanel coat. Then you get to start to tidy and clean and do all the other stuff that needs doing, just like every other day.  And who will notice or care if your sitting room looks perfect?

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Presents: If you don’t like wrapping stuff, don’t.  Keep it simple. You don’t need fancy curled ribbons.  They do not need to be Pinterest worthy.  Tell people the kids wrapped them, or better still, buy Christmas gift bags.  Sorted.  Santa doesn’t have time to wrap presents in my mind. Santa has better things to do.

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Waiting for Santa?  Yeah.  After 2 hours of tiptoeing about the place, forgetting where things are and trying not to wake the kids with rustling bags, as you try not to KILL each other!   Then you finally sit down to “relax” before realising that the kids will be up in, oh… approximately 4 hours!

Seriously though.

Relax.

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Christmas will come and go. It is magical and wonderful, but it is also what you make it. I just HOPE my Christmas is exactly as I have described, because cheats and realities and all, it’s MY perfect. No one else’s.

The Christmas inspector is not going to visit on Christmas morning to check if your home in Hallmark worthy.  NO ONE actually cares that you wrap EVERY SINGLE ONE of the presents.  No one cares what your kids get from Santa.  No one cares if you have your hair brushed. No one cares if you’re all in matching PJs. And the only person whose opinion matters on these things, is you.

While we like to see people we like and care about looking happy on Christmas morning, remember that you are under NO obligation to post pics  or share ANYTHING on social media.  You are also under no obligation to even look at other people’s photographs on social media.

If looking at other’s “perfect Christmas” makes you feel crappy, put down the device and look at what’s in front of you .

Chances are, your perfect Christmas is right there in front of you…in the real world. Chaos and all.

Enjoy it!

I am Seasons Fecking Greetings Mum

“Hello my two minions. How are we at 5.30pm on this Friday evening after a full week of school and routine and mayhem? Shall we go to town and watch the Christmas lights being switched on? It is after all the season of glitter and Santa and smiles and joy. Let us go among the throngs of people and celebrate the official start of the festivities. Oh Joy! Oh Rapture! Let us not consider bedtime and the fact that Daddy is working. Let us girlies go anyway, to make memories and be blessed and potter around the atmospheric street. Mammy is a strong and adventurous Mammy, more than capable of taking you, my little cherubs, in to experience the joyous atmosphere and twinkling lights and seasonal songing from other local children. Let us go-ho-ho!”🎅

Mammy is the biggest Christmas Fairy walking and so my children must have obviously inherited my enthusiasm for all things Santaful… 🎅🎅
Mammy is also a Twat. 🙄

Having allowed one “OOOOOOOH!” at the lights outside the Voodon’t, and permitted me to find a “perfect spot” where we could all see Mr MC and the amazing snow, with a bench for them to stand on and room for Mammy to move, they decided that 3 minutes of chilltime was more than enough for Me.

“I’s cold”
“I can’t see!”
“Where IS Santa?”
“I don’t see any lights!”
“Stop singing Mammy!”
“I don’t wike it.”
“It’s too loud!”
“I need a peeeee”
(I had never intended to have my daughters in a pub toilet. Funnily enough, I never noticed how small the cubicles were. Probably because I haven’t ever had another person clinging to my knees and screaming “My Bum is soaking” in there. Well… if you don’t count that…never mind!)😂😜

Having lost the perfect spot because of the sudden need to peepee, Mammy and her minions struggle through the crowds to find another spot where we can safely stand without Princess being stepped on, or Mini-Me being hit in the face by a flashing fucking glowstick.

Mammy is insistent that we shall smile and grin and be merry and fucking bright, but Mammy forgets that despite the pintsize of the youngest Mini, when she decides she’s DONE with something, she is DONE.

Mammy can smile and grin and be merry and fucking bright all she wants, Mammy is not really in charge.

Mammy makes promises. Mammy makes promises through gritted teeth. Mammy makes threats through same teeth. Mammy allows her laugh to tinkle over the head of the tantruming threenager… Mammy hopes it does not sound as hysterical as it feels.

Princess Demonica takes every ounce of Christmas spirit from Mammy, throws it on the ground and stomps all over it. She then takes her Skye teddy from the handbag…Skye, her most beloved and revered teddy…and FLINGS it onto the ground, so hard I think I hear the teddy cry a little. Perhaps it is my poor self whose cry I hear. She then combusts into hysterics because “Skye is on da gwouuuuuuund!”

The other Doll is channeling her inner teenager, shoulders hunched, hair over her face, bored pout perfected. “Any chance you’d smile?” asks Mammy, desperate for some comeradierie. “I am smiling” she answers, rolling her eyes…

Mammy decides that nothing will ruin our fucking Memory making.

Mammy smiles and dances.
Mammy takes some photos.
Mammy videos the countdown and the faces of her two cherubs, who abandon their crusade to break Mammy for 20 seconds…

Mammy glances around at the other festive fuckers. All the families and children and flashing lights and smilings for the camera and wonders what she did in a past life to have children who are intent on testing the limits of twattery every time Mammy tried to ‘make fucking memories.

And then Mammy sees the other kids who are also protesting at being up past bedtime, or out in the dark, or cold. She sees the other Mammies and Daddies, struggling to carry little people and bags while pushing buggies.

She sees all of the adults who are determined to create a festive atmosphere and make memories for their children, despite the fact that the children give not one shit and would be quite happy at home watching Paw Patrol.

And so Mammy takes a breath, remembers that she is not alone in her deluded notions of festivity, that very few families are actually “pottering” happily around the street, or singing the carols in unison, or being Hallmark worthy… and then Mammy does something incredibly clever.

Mammy bribes the children with promises of Happy Meals and does the side-shoe-shuffle down the street to the car, just before the Santa arrives to add anymore drama to the Llamas.

And so we are in the car, through the Drive-Thru and back in Chez Rushe by the time the other knackered parents and their little Darlings have even thought about moving.

While the rest of the town are sitting in traffic, Mammy is jingling all the way home to do the Bedtime dance with two feral wagons. But despite the stress and #fml moments of the evening, Mammy is glad she insisted. Because thankfully, the only person who remembers any of those, is Mammy.

All they remembered as Mammy tucked them in were the lights and the songs. And really, it’s not MY #memories that are important. It’s theirs.

Because, now I come to think of it, Mammy doesn’t remember anything other than fun and festivities when I think of things MY parents brought me to. I must ask Mum how SHE remembers them! 🤣😂😘

I am Sorry, but Yes You Will Mum

“You will , you know!” 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕

“Everyone is the perfect parent…until they have children.” Who said this first? I have no idea. Who says it now? Me. Every single day!

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I am the proud and enthusiastic Mama bear of a 6-year-old Drama Queen and an almost 3 year old Dictator. I spend my days winging it through EVERYTHING… breakfast, school runs, work, homework, dinner, bedtime, marriage. Some days, I feel like I NEARLY have my shit together.

Most days, I want to stomp my foot, throw and tantrum and call for my own Mammy! To many, I seem like I hold things together.

Those closest to me, know I’m a fraud.

I don’t know what I’m doing.

I don’t deal with everything in a calm and mature fashion.

I don’t adore my children every single second of every single day. I don’t always have the schedule sorted.

I don’t always remember everything I’m supposed to.

I don’t always know what’s wrong with the baby, just by her cry. I don’t always have a sparkly clean house. (Actually, I don’t EVER. Who does?)

I don’t always remember to wash the uniforms.

I don’t always want to get my No Diggity on in the bedroom. I don’t always feed them homemade meals.

I don’t always give the right answer.

I don’t always say the right thing.

I don’t switch off my brain, even when it’s His turn to get up with them.

I can’t. Because I “Mammy” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sometimes, I yell. Sometimes, I bribe. Sometimes the fridge is empty. Sometimes, I’m so exhausted that I let them eat breakfast cereal for dinner. Sometimes, I pretend I don’t hear the monitor and carefully kick Daddy so he’ll have to get up instead. Sometimes, I let them watch TV…a lot. Sometimes, I swear.

Sometimes, I wish it were bedtime at 3pm. Sometimes, I cry so hard that my Husband doesn’t know what to say. Sometimes, I like being at work because I get to finish a coffee in peace…and I don’t feel guilty. Sometimes, I get a babysitter and go out for dinner.

Sometimes, I hand the baby to Himself as he comes through the door and go for a run, or a pee. Sometimes, I feel like I’m so utterly useless that someone, somewhere will certainly report me to an authority of some kind.

But ALWAYS, I love.

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I am NOT a Stepford Mammy. I will never get it ALL right. No one can, because a perfect Mammy doesn’t exist, and as long as I love my girls fiercely, I’m already doing it right. The moment that a Mammy realises that there is no such thing as “The right way” or “the proper way” of parenting, is light bulb moment.

When you recognise that YOUR choices for your family are NO ONE’s business, a giant weight will be lifted off your tired shoulders. You don’t have to justify your parenting. You don’t have to explain why you breastfeed, or don’t; why you chose this school instead of that one; why you put the baby in their own room at 3 months, or why they still sleep in your room 2 years on.

You don’t have to justify your parenting to ANYONE. The ONLY people who matter in your home, are YOUR FAMILY. And nothing or nobody outside of that matters.

If you are expecting your first Baby and reading this, with your jaw on the floor, thinking “I will NEVER do those things!”, You will you know!?

You will bribe. You will eat leftovers. You will survive on 2 hours of broken sleep. You will use Babywipes for EVERYTHING. You will hate your partner for sleeping. (Sometimes, you will hate them for breathing! 🙂 )

You will enjoy watching kids’ TV. You will have a favourite CBeebies presenter. You will spend your money on the best you can afford for your kids, while wearing a 15-year-old t-shirt yourself. You will be so excited at the offer of a babysitter, that you cry. Oh, and you will cry; tears of frustration, tears of worry, tears of laughter and tears of pure, unconditional LOVE.💕

Because being a Mammy is sometimes crap, but it is ALWAYS wonderful.

And if you are wondering if you’ll be a good Mum?

You will, you know. x

I am So you think you won’t Mum?

10 things I thought before I had kids:
1. I shall never shout at my child:  Oh you will you know.  Actually, it’s more a case of shouting at yourself really, because if you are having to shout at all, chances are that you’ve reached that wonderful stage where the little minions have decided to ignore every single fricken word you say, until you are screaming it at the top of your lungs like a mad woman.  And do you know what else? Even THEN, they’ll probably not listen to you.

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2. I shall love my child unconditionally always.  Yes,  indeed.  But that doesn’t mean that you have to LIKE them unconditionally or always.
3. I will never have to deal with a tantrum in a shop:  Oh yes you will.  The 30 seconds of your Minion’s meltdown will feel like an HOUR and even though no one is looking at you, you will feel like the entire shop has stopped specifically to watch your little Hell Demon throw his strop.  You will burn a new shade of crimson that you never even considered possible, and you will discover dexterity and wrestling skills that you didn’t know you possessed as you wrangle the wriggler out the door.  And yes, you will growl through gritted teeth and swear that you’ll NEVER leave the house again.
4. I will only feed them healthy, nutritious, organic home-cooked meals:  For the most part, we all manage this one, most of the time…mostly.  But trust me, Freezer Fridays are a thing and Leftovers are a blessing in disguise. I write my weekly meal planner on the fridge most Sundays.  At the beginning of the week, it makes me feel like I’m the bestest Mammy ever.  By Friday, it reminds me of just how hilarious I can be sometimes.😂 But hey!  They get fed don’t they?         Most days.
5. I will never be manipulated by a toddler: Yes, yes you will.  And even when you are using the bribery and blackmail (that you swore you’d never resort to), you’re still being manipulated by the minion.  And this is not reserved for toddlers.  Signs of parental manipulation can appear as early as Day 3 of your baby’s life, when they learn that if they make a certain noise, you’ll react.  And it never ends.  Our kids manipulate us forever… My Daddy loves me most you know. 😉😉

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6. I will bath them every night:  Ok, some parents DO manage this one.  If you are a Daily bathermum, I salute you and am in awe.  I NEVER got into this habit.  There are 3 reasons that mine get bathed.

A) It’s the weekend

B) They’re so rotten that I have no choice but to wash them if I want to keep up the facade that I have my shit together.

C) In the event of a Poonami or a Pukenado.
7. I will never swear in front of my children:  Yeah, good luck with that one. 😂 Try not to swear AT your children.  That should be reserved for special occasions, but swear in front of them, you shall. And do you know when you’ll realise it?  When they repeat what you’ve said at full volume in front of the WRONG person, you know, like the local priest or the PHN, or the School Principal, or…a Sanctimammy.  And sometimes, as mortified as you are, you’ll be slightly proud that they have used the expletive in the correct context.
8.No other child is as special as mine:  This one is true.  My children are the most special in the world…to me. 💖💖

 

9.Being a parent can’t be that hard. Everyone does it:  hahahahahahhahahahhahahahhahahah.  Yes, everyone does it. And most of those everyones at SOME point wonder WHY they did!
10. I will never turn into THAT Mammy:  Oh my Darling.  Yes.  Yes you  will.  Every one of us has an inbuilt ability to be THAT Mammy.  You’ll surprise yourself.
I’m sure you could add your own Ladybelles xxx