I am Spiders and Knickers Mum

Mammy has had a fuckitty fuck-up of a day.

It all began this morning at 6.45am, when Mammy’s coffee was interrupted by a meltdown over an imaginary spider and a pair of knickers.

“Go get your pants and socks please” seems like a simple enough request, doesn’t it?

Apparently not.

spiderweb

I don’t see a fricken spider…

Apparently, “Go get your pants and socks please” is the code phrase for “Go and imagine a spider that you can’t possibly see on the dark wall without lights on, have an almighty shitbrick attack, refuse to move, scream like a wilder-beast whose nether-regions have been caught in a metal trap until the only way Mammy can get you to shut up long enough to listen is for Mammy to scream even LOUDER than you, to the point that we are both roaring the house down, ending ultimately in a tearstained stand-off.”

 You see Darling, although yes,  it would be much easier for Mammy to go into the imaginary spider infested room and get the knickers and socks for you, this would also require Mammy giving in to your Primadona dramatics and losing the last string of authority Mammy has as well as the last string of sanity she just about has. No. As much as you dig those little heels in, Mammy HAS to wait for you to calm the feck down and eventually back down enough to at least look into the room (which Mammy has lit up with the amazingly clever light switch) to see that the mahoosive imagined spider is gone so you can run in dramatically and get your knickers and socks, otherwise Mammy will never get you to follow a single, simple instruction… EVER again…amen.

goats

Head to head…

Of course, Mammy should have just sucked it up and given in. Mammy knows that. It would have been much easier on everyone and most likely would have saved everyone from the Hellhole that our home had descended into by 7am.  It might have saved us both from the tears and sobs and snots and general feelings of utter shittiness that lingered over us (me anyway) until approximately 4pm.  Had Mammy not been such a stubborn, bad tempered, thran wench, and had you not been soooo like your Mammy, (you poor cretur), we might have had a peaceful and relaxed and tear-free morning.

sadmum

#mammyguilt

But no, we went full on “apocalypse now” and neither of us won. You went to school,  probably knackered and emotional… Mammy walked in the staff-room door and fell to bits when a colleague asked how she was. You might have forgotten all about it by the time you got onto the bus…  I’m still feeling like social services are going to arrive on the doorstep this evening while I’m feeding you whatever the feck is in the freezer, because quite frankly, I don’t have the emotional energy to think about cooking.

But for now, Mammy will have to pull up her big girl knickers and try her very best to make sure that this evening is the absolute opposite of the morning.  The Mammy guilt is real and Mammy needs the hugs just as much, if not more, than you do. And never worry about what’s for dinner. If we’re stuck, there’s apparently a huge spider in your room.  Maybe we could eat him.”

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Like Mammy, like Mini…

 

I am Smile, You ARE Enough Mum

Mammies.

No matter what kind of day you are having right now, remember that You ARE enough.

You have bad days.  You have bad mornings. You have a short temper. You have a sore head. You have a sad heart.  It’s not what you thought it would be. It’s not easy.  You’re exhausted.  You don’t know where to start. You can’t understand how that other Mammy seems so together. You feel terrible for shouting. You promised you wouldn’t shout today.  You were determined not to scold.  You never knew you could love anyone so much.  You never knew you could love someone and dislike them at once. You’ve tried everything. Why won’t she listen?  HER kids do what she asks them.

We all have the inner Mammy Monologue:

I forgot his coat. I haven’t brushed her hair. Why don’t I have time to do her hair like that Mum? How many times do I have to show him this?  Why doesn’t he SEE that that needs done.  I may as well chat to the wall.  No one LISTENS to me. Nothing seems to work.  Maybe I’m doing it all wrong? I can’t remember everything. My head is going to explode.  HOW did I forgot about the fecking party? Surely being this stressed is not right? No one else seems this stressed.  What am I doing wrong? What’s wrong with me?

Nothing.

You’re doing nothing wrong.  Let me tell you a secret… EVERY SINGLE MAMMY thinks one or more of the above statements EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Somedays, it seems like we can think ALL of these things at once.

We all have bad mornings, or bad days, or bad bedtimes.

But guess what?  A bad morning does not make you a bad Mammy.  A screaming bedtime does not mean that you are rubbish at parenting.  We can be as determined as we like about not rising to them, or giving in, or shouting, but some days, our minions seem determined to test every strand of our patience.  We can’t control or predict how our little rascals are going to behave.

Sometimes, we are not in charge.

Now, I am no parenting expert.  I haven’t a clue what I’m doing most of the time.  Sometimes I shout so loudly that I think the neighbours are probably running to their cars or finding their shoes incase the crazy lady across the hill actually gets to number 3.

But as well as knowing that daily stresses and meltdowns are part of parenting, because they’re part of growing up, it’s also important to know that there ARE many experts, qualified experts, and professionals in all areas of parenting that can help.

There are many resources available in Donegal. There are Childcare experts who can advise on behaviour, or bedtime routines, on how we should respond to behaviours, on routine, on difficult or challenging behaviours.

There are no quick fixes and no rule fits all.  What works for my child, might not work for yours.  What I need to change in MY home, might not be happening in yours.

There are some great online support groups and parenting communities (just be aware that often the most vocal on these aren’t actually qualified to be giving advice.)

There are also fabulous counsellors and behavioural experts around who can help with concerns or worries.  I’d be wary of those who promise to change your life forever.  No matter how brilliant a technique or response is, anyone who tells you they can take away all the stresses of parenting, is lying.  So here are a few services and resources that are available to parents in Donegal.

Parent Hub: These guys are amazing. They run courses, provide support and generally know everything about how to get parents the help that they need.  Check them out on:

http://parenthubdonegal.ie/

They’re also on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/parenthubdonegal/

New Beginnings is a counselling service provided by Sarah Barr.  She runs a wellness programme called Minding Mammy which is dedicated to Mammies (and which is fab!).

Starting on November 6th, she is also beginning a monthly Mammy meet up in Letterkenny which is free.  Details of both here:

https://www.facebook.com/NewBeginningsCounsellingService/

Letterkenny Babies is great as a conversation forum to ask advice and get support from other mums on all things Mammy. The admins will always remind you to seek professional or medical advice for more serious queries however.

https://www.facebook.com/letterkennybabies/

If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, or swamped by the negative thoughts I began with; if you get to the point where you know that it’s not JUST a bad day, or a bad week, then ask for help.

I have said it eleventy squillion times… it’s OK to not be OK.  What’s important is to know that there is help available and where to go for it.

Your GP or PHN can signpost where to get support of help for your child, or indeed for yourself, if you are genuinely concerned that a behaviour is more than just the terrible twos, or teenage troubles.

But remember 2 things

  1. You are NOT alone and
  2. You ARE enough.

The S-Mum xxx

I am “Sense or Superstition?” Mum

“Don’t tell anyone until you’re past the 12 weeks”

This statement has begun to bother me.  Of course, there are many reasons for such traditional views as these.  It’s a social norm that couples are supposed to keep their big news to themselves until the 12 week mark, just incase.

Why? Well I honestly don’t know.  I suppose it was because the scan could determine that everything is OK so far and that there is actually a Baby in there.  And of course, there is the fact that most miscarriages (80% according to a reputable site for all things Babyful) happen before the 12 week mark.  

Maybe we SHOULD heed this advice.  Or maybe, like so many other aspects of pregnancy and parenting, we are holding ourselves ransom to old notions, afraid to break the norm…just incase.

When I was expecting Mini-Me, we did keep it to ourselves until we were 12 weeks.  I’ve grown up listening to this mantra and I accepted it to be “right”.  If it was good enough for every woman before me, it’s good enough for me.

 

While pregnant with Princess however, we found ourselves having to admit our “secret” at only 9 weeks, quite simply because I could no longer hide the bump or pass my belly off as having eaten too much.  I showed early and so I told early.  Older family members reacted identically…

“Oh congratulations guys! Great news! How far along are you? 9 weeks?” (raise eyebrows and inhale sharply)

“Jeepers you’re not safe yet. I wouldn’t be telling people yet.”

 

Yup.  Pop our bubble why don’t ye?!

 

Some of us CAN hide our little secrets better than others too.  Physically, some Mammies can get to 20+ weeks before the bump becomes obvious.  My 2 bumps appeared early. I managed to cover Mini-Me’s with flowy tops until 11 weeks.  Princess? From the second I peed on the stick, the belly bumped!

 

I tried and failed to hide it and eventually just told people. But for some reason, we think that by announcing a pregnancy early, we are tempting fate.  


Well here’s what I think about that.

 

At only 6 weeks pregnant, I had a scare with Princess. I then had to ring my parents/sister to come mind Mini-Me and inform them in one phone call that I was both pregnant (Yay!)…but maybe not for long.  Thankfully, it was only a scare, but had that scare ended in miscarriage, as so many do, who was I going to share my grief with? And why should a couple have to deal with such devastation alone? So many mums (and Dads) return to work only a few days later, and carry with them a sadness so great.  

 

It doesn’t matter how early it happens, a pregnancy is a pregnancy and a loss is a loss.  Is a lost baby any less your Baby? No. I don’t think so.  If you have begun to love the idea of the little person inside, your grief at 10 weeks is just as valid as the grief of someone who loses at 13 weeks.  But we’re expected to accept it and get on with it because it was early. And of course, some people can and do, but it must be allowed to be grieved and our Paddy Irish Way of keeping it quiet like a dirty little secret must change.  Why is miscarriage always hushed and whispered about? There is nothing shameful about it. Miscarriage IS a big deal, so why is it deemed something that shouldn’t be talked about?

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For most people, (and I say “most people” because let’s call a spade a spade, not everyone is happy to find out that they are expecting. It’s not all glows and Miracles and joyeous raptures but that’s a WHOLE different conversation), for most people, the second you find out you are pregnant, you are a Mammy and you begin to love. Getting to the 12 week mark is a relief of course.  But so is hitting 13 weeks and 14 weeks and so on. Every day is a relief.  But to think that you are safe after the 12 week mark is wrong.  Unfortunately, we all know this. A pregnancy can end at any time. Until your Baby is in your arms, there is no relief.  And even then, nothing is certain.

 

Now, of course there are many shaking their heads and tutting as they read this. “I wouldn’t be telling anyone before 12 weeks.”  That’s OK. I’m not saying that you should. I’m simply writing my OWN thoughts on it. I don’t assume to be right, but I do like to question things that Mammies and Daddies face.  I’m not asking you to agree, and if I were ever pregnant again, I don’t know WHEN I would announce it.  I don’t have to know.  There are no rules. There are no laws.

 

I’m not saying that hiding your pregnancy until 12 weeks is wrong.  It’s like EVERYTHING in pregnancy and Parenting.  Do what is right for you.  If you want to keep your happy news to yourself until you’re heading to the Labour ward, good for you.  You do just that. You don’t HAVE to announce anything.  

 

And if you want to sing it from the rooftops once you find out, DO!  

Your Body, Your call…

 

But we do need to stop letting our personal situations be dictated by old fashioned notions and remember that there are no rules.  Things like this are a personal choice.  If someone choses to tell you their happy news at 5 weeks, accept that that is their decision and don’t dismiss them because YOU wouldn’t tell so early.  And likewise, if someone keeps their news a secret until 20 weeks or later, that’s OK too.  Because unless it is YOUR BUMP, your opinion on when the news is announced, is really not that important.

 

I am She’s Punishing Me Mum

Smile and Nod.
Mammy must smile and nod…
Mammy is very good at the smiling and the nodding. 😆😶

“She’s the best girl. There’s not a bother with her.” 💕

Every day I hear this. And the lovely Ladybelles who say it, mean it 100%.❤
And I smile and I nod and I agree, but as I do, my inner Mammy voice is laughing.
She is laughing hard.
So very hard.

On the outside, I Smile and Nod…
What I’m THINKING however, is “Let me tell you, as a Mammy with previous experience of a “Street Angel, House Devil”, that while she is indeed being ‘the Best Girl’ and giving you ‘Not a bother’ here all day, she is simply saving all of her energy for the Wilderbeastial Demonic Darling that she will morph into when I get her into the car.” 😈

It begins with her luring Mammy into a false sense of security with her displays of excitement as she runs into my arms when I arrive to collect her. Cue “Ooooooohs” and “Aaaaaaaahs” from all with ovaries in the room. She hugs and kisses and answers “Uhhuuuuu” in her adorable little husky voice as I carry her little Koala Bear Butt 🐨to the car. I breathe her in and sniff her sticky hair and coo at her, knowing full well that I may enjoy it while it lasts. 😂

Once in the car (maybe even before I get her strapped in if she’s feeling particularly thick with Mammy), her demeanour changes. Sometimes, it’s gradual, building up as we approach home, revving up with every gear change. Sometimes it’s instantaneous, spontaneous combustion because I’ve looked at her wrong, or asked her a question, or you know, breathed.

It escalates with a simple “No”.
Not just an utterance of negativity or disagreement. A proper, teenage “NO”, complete with attitude and challenge. When the “NO” is accompanied by the furrow of the brows, we know we are entering the beginning of the tantrum. 😣

By the time we reach home, my excitement at the thought of an evening at home with my Baby has been replaced by a devastation of the reality that ONCE AGAIN, I have NO control over the moods of my minion. Any notions I had of a picture perfect evening of #Mammywins have been left at the creche. And once again I remember, that I have NO idea what the hell I am doing.
I am winging this Mammy craic, 100fricken%. I’m scrambling my brain for tricks and clever Mammyisms that might avert the direction of the storm that is brewing in the back seat.

I throw promises around like a Politician before an Election.
“We’re going to have pizza for tea!”
“NO!”
“Will we play jigsaws when we get home?”
“NO!”
“I can’t wait to get snuggles when we get home!”
“NO!”
and eventually (yes always) “Will we watch Peppa?”
(Hold breath…)

Princess “YEEEEEEAH!”
Mini-Me “Aw Maaaaaaaaaammy, not again!” (insert eye roll here)
Me “FML” (Probably under my breath. Maybe… Maybe SLIGHTLY audible. Bad Mammy.)😐😂

Parenting experts and friends with kids have explained to me many times in the past, that such behaviour is normal and that the child acting in such a manner is a “compliment” because she feels that she can finally release her frustrations and confusion at the world, in the arms of her favourite person. That I am her safe place and that it all means that she loves me.😶

SOME days, I buy this. Other days, I prefer to see it that she is a little wagon who actually HATES me and is determined to PUNISH her evil Mammy for abandoning her cute, bad-tempered little fudgeybutt to go to work. She sees me coming, smells the Mammy-guilt off me. After her initial “Oh there’s my Mammy” excitement, her mind goes straight to “Hang on a second. WHERE do you think YOU were all day Woman? Did you DARE to drink warm coffee and have adult conversations? Do you not know that YOU ARE MY SLAVE?” 😐

She has to fit 8 hours of reminding Mammy who is the BOSS, into a very short evening. And she must make sure that Mammy PAYS for leaving her at the Fablis and fun-filled creche, where she spends her days being loved and played with and fed and stimulated without the tellybox, and where she is the “best girl” and gives them all “not a bother”. She nevers bites or screams NOoooooooooooooo or kicks or throws custard or cries or scratches the lovely girls.

No,
She saves that for Mammy Bear.
Because she loves me and I am special.
And apparently because I am her safe place. 😍😆

Right now, she is playing with sudocrem…but she’s no longer screeching at me, so we’ll roll with it.

Smiles and nods. 😙

#fml
#mammyguilt
#yessheistheboss

I am So not a Pottering Mum

Oh Joyful Joyful Joy! It is FriYay.

As it is the last Friday of the summer holidays, Mammy figured it was PROBABLY about time she started some Back-to-school shopsy. I dropped Princess to childcare and headed into town with Mini-Me, fully intending to “potter” around the shops for a few hours, casually picking up the bits and pieces she needs for returning to her wonderful, joyeous, heavenly educational establishment.

I anticipated a leisurely day of “pottering” with my first-born, where we would hold hands and giggle and have treats, and Mini-Me (free from the competitive…sorry, companionship, or the Wobbler) would lavish in having Mammy’s undivided attention and behave like a Walton child…

And THEN I remembered that I am NOT one of those InstaMammies who can “potter”, especially when accompanied by a 5 year old She-Witch who HATES shopping, starts sentences with “Mammy, in the olden days when you were little…” and had asked “Are we going home now?” 1275 times by mid-day. 😣😣😣 No.

Mammy doesn’t potter. Rather, Mammy TROTS. Like a drunk Pig who can smell the truffles under the muck, I scrummaged through the rails of grey and navy tracksuit bottoms only to realise that every single fecking Mammy in the County had bought the 5-6yrs and 6-7yrs while THEY did their Back-to-school potter BACK IN feckin MAY! The WENCHES. 😈😅 I swear to you. There will be 11 year olds turning up to schools next week wearing 5-6 trousers, just so their Sanctimammies can scoff and tut “I told you so” at their screen tonight.

I eventually found trousers, only to discover that I had been truffling in the boys’ section, and after the kind lady directed me to the girls’ section, my futile search for the right size began again… (Seriously, the trousers are IDENTICAL. Why they BOTHER with separate sections, is beyond this last-minute Mamma.)

On top of the Back-to-school shite, we also had to scour the town for something nice for Mammy to wear tomorrow night for The Him and Jim’s Summer Shape Up Presentation night. I HAD ordered a FABLIS sexyful, lowcut (to the bellybutton like) jumpsuit, which looked AMAZING on Mylene-of-the-Klass online…

When it arrived however, I remembered that I shouldnt shop on the interweb after 2 glasses of malbec and that Mylene actually HAS boobage,so unless Littlewoods deliver instant boobjobs, the beautiful jumpsuit must be returned. How terribly sad I am about that. (I may writento them to suggest that their returns sheet should have a box marked “Not suitable for fried eggs” or “I forgot I don’t have boobs” or “WTF was I drinking?”😂😂)

I didn’t get anything. There’s NOTHING in the town, just like all the NOTHING in my wardrobe. But whatever. Mini-Me is now asleep after her day of torture, Princess is snoring and there’s a grape in a glass, begging for mouth-to-mouth. 😂😂🍷

How was your Friday? Any Feck-it-ups?

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 Shopping Stupidity Mum

“Hello My Him. Welcome home from work, Love of my life, Winner of all Bread, Head of our home.”
“What are you looking for Wife?”
“Oh nothing. It is a Saturday and you are home at last! I know! Let us pop our minions into the car and drive to the lovely store and peruse the wallpaper, potter around the paint section and purchase all of the everything required to make our lovely living-room Walton-esque. Doesn’t that sound like fun?”

The Him looks about as excited as a Turkey at an invitation to a Christmas dinner…

What I MEANT of course was “Let’s put everyone in foul humour by going to the sensory-overload store that sells all-of-the-everything and DISAGREE on everything, spend our time telling the kids to “Shhhh” so we can hear each other disagree on everything, listen to the minions take it in turn to complain and whine, before leaving with absolutely NOTHING for the house except 3 samples of wallpaper, which NEITHER of us actually likes anyway… Doesn’t that sound fun Darling?”

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Seriously Ladybelles… WHY the feck do we bother?

Mini-Me decided from the second we entered the shop, that she was having absolutely NONE of the pottering. She made it her mission to be speaking for EVERY single second of our journey around the store, especially in the pauses in our conversation where we stopped to, you know, BREATH? She did the OPPOSITE of what we asked and of course because she had the other adult in the family to play me off, she did.

Princess was fine for the first 20 minutes, until we walked past a Peppa Fecking Pork cushion and didn’t give in to her “Miiiiiiiiines!” She took that as her cue to start the song of the She Devil.

Now see, while Mammy here is perfectly capable of continuing on the task at hand, despite the best attempts of my two proteges, The Him is not quite so capable. After 45 seconds of Princess’s shrieks, he had lifted her out of the trolley.

Game over Douchebag.
That, my friend, is the end of that.

Any hope we had of agreeing on all of the DIY crap we were perusing, went out the window, faster than she went out of the trolley. She looked at me with a smugness that said “Pahahaha Mammy Bear. You lose.”
And lose I did; my cool, my patience, my will to live. Ok, an exaggeration perhaps, but what I DID lose was ANY interest I had in looking at anything OTHER than the cake in the coffee shop. (Mango and Passionfruit… slabberlicious)

And as we had our coffee and the two screaming Trolley Trolls stuffed their faces with overpriced crap long enough for us to HAVE a conversation, The Him suggested “Why don’t you come back in during the week without the girls. Bring your Mum. You’re going to chose what you want anyway…”

And in fairness, he’s right. I always do this. I drag him around these places, apparently needing his opinion, when we both know that I’m going to chose what I like and he’s going to tut that it’s awful until it’s up on the wall and then he’ll admit that ACTUALLY it’s lovely and “See, you didn’t need me did you?”

So we agreed that next time, we’d just go straight for the cake, and save everyone the hassle of the pretend “Pottering”.

Look at the pair of them. “You are our slave Mr Him. Dance for us!”

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Cheers Supermums xxx