I am Singing the Alphabet Mum

A – Z of Mammyhood

There aren’t enough letters in the alphabet for the crap we need to know to parent.

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A – AIM. Think of the Aims you have for the perfect rearing of your little cherub, and then lower them. considerably.

B – BABIES – Babies are class. Little chubby, fuzzy cherubs of talcy snuggles. They’re wee love bombs. And the fact that you can suddenly love this little person to infinity having only just set eyes on them, is phenomenal. And then when they arrive, we wonder if they’ll ever do anything other than sleep, eat and poo. Yup. That’s it. Boring little buggers really. But just wait and enjoy this stage, because you’ll soon have the smiles. And the smiles are fab… and then begins the EVERYTHING ELSE and you’ll soon be wishing that they were tiny and boring again.

C – C-SECTION – Not the easy way out that so many Sanctimammies like to paint it. Sections are adding fullblown surgery to the birth of your baby. You can read what I really think about that here.

D – DADDIES – Daddies are great. Now granted, many will disagree with me on this. And each circumstance is different. But many Daddies are just as excited and wonderful and hands on as Mammies. They don’t carry the baby. They don’t give birth. THEY DON’T UNDERSTAAAAAND! But Mammy, guess what? THAT’S NOT THEIR FAULT. If they are with you and willing to do what they should be doing, let them. And don’t let people refer to them as “babysitting”. Do YOU babysit your kids? No? Well why would Dad? They’re his kids too. (And if you and Dad, for whatever reason, aren’t together and hate each other, just remember that the kids are still his kids and that he still has a right to be their Dad.) And if you ARE together and very happy, just remember that wanting to kill him in the middle of the night because he doesn’t hear the babylink again, is perfectly acceptable.

E – EVERYONE – Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has advice for you. Everyone has their way of doing things. But remember, opinions are not facts. And everyone else can sometimes piss off. Go with your gut. Do what’s right for YOU and your family. And forget about EVERYONE else. If they’re not within your four walls, feck them.

F – FEEDING – Ooooooh… Is she going to go there? Eh yes. I am. I have already. I’m clear about this. You feed YOUR baby HOWEVER THE HELL YOU WANT! Breastfeeding is of course wonderful and natural, but it isn’t for everyone. And if, for whatever reason, you can’t (or don’t want to) breastfeed, that IS YOUR BUSINESS and no one else’s. And before anyone starts lecturing me on this, let me save your energy and tell you that once again, YOUR opinion is none of my business, so take it somewhere else. As long as Baby is getting fed, that is all that really matters.

G – GRANDPARENTS – Grandparents are WICKED. If your kids are lucky enough to be able to spend time with Grandparents, let them. But let me give you the heads up. Your children’s behaviour with you, and your children’s behaviour with Granny or Granda are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! Usually, they turn into starved, unloved, neglected and abused little feckers the second a Grandparent is within sniffing distance. But that’s not Granny’s fault. It’s nature. It’s just not written in the baby books, but trust me. It’s like a baby law or something… They all know it and they all abide by it. Until they’re approximately 37 years old I’m told!

H – HOUSEWORK – Yeah. Who has time for that craic? Your house will forever more amen be clattered with crap. Yes, we should try to keep it clean. Yes, finding a routine that works for you is great. (Mine is my Thursday night blitz. Works for me!) But no, your house will never again be the picture perfect show home that it might once have been. Think of the dirt and smudges and handprints as your “layer of love”. I’m not saying to let your home fall apart, but bring your standards down a bit and life will become easier. No one cares if your skirting boards haven’t been dusted since 2014.

I – IGNORED – You shall be ignored. You shall feel ignored. Children love to ignore their parents. Again, this usually lasts until they’re about 25 when they realise that ACTUALLY, you were right about most things.

J – JUMBO KNICKERS – Oh the JOY of the jumbo knickers. Those of you who are packing hospital bags and reading the shitlists of what you NEED to bring, should know that where it says “Disposable underwear”, it SHOULD say “BUY THE BIGGEST BLACKEST CHEAPEST KNICKERS YOU CAN FIND AND DUMP THEM AS YOU CHANGE THEM”. Your ladybits have been through enough Mammy. Paper knickers are pushing it.

K – KICKS – Aaaaaaah the kicks. What all pregnant Mammies long for and enjoy. The cause of excitement and smiles. The cause of heartburn and rib pain! But ultimately, how our little bean communicates with us in our bellies. Don’t worry however, these kicks don’t end after pregnancy. NOOOO! They continue well into their childhood. Don’t believe me, try changing the nappy of a wobbler who is throwing a wobbler. And tell me how much you miss those kicks after spending a night with a 3 year old in your bed.

L – LIQUID POO – Self explanatory really. My technical term for this is POONAMI. As the name suggests, this poo comes in a tidal wave which destroys everything in its reach. Nothing can be saved. Vests, socks, clothes… most shall be dumped. Don’t even try to salvage them. And liquid poos are the slimiest, stinkiest and most sudden of them all. The disguise themselves as farts and can swamp an entire car seat in .46 seconds. Sometimes, it takes many grown ups to deal with the aftermath of a poonami. Enjoy!

M – MAM-ME TIME – The most underestimated necessity of the Mammy. Sometimes referred to as Selfishness or Terrible by the Sanctimammious of society. Ignore them. Mam-me time is vital and can be acquired easier than you think. In a world where let’s face it, we can’t pee on our own for approximately 6 years, we soon learn the importance of getting some time to ourselves. It can be a simple chat on the phone when the kids are in bed. Go for a walk. Go to Aldi on your own. Make time for a yoga or gym class, or just get up an hour earlier than the kids to enjoy that cuppa or read or stretch. Sometimes however, more dramatic Mam-me time is required… a spa trip. An evening out. The Cinema. That hen party you’ve been invited on that you couldn’t POSSIBLY go on. An overnight date night. Whatever it is, take it. You can’t pour from an empty cup Mammy. And you get no medals for trying.

N – NAPPIES – sometimes do not do what they say on the tin. Babies like to wait for a nice clean on before they work their poonami. Also, you NEVER have enough in the house and you should NEVER leave the house without at least 2 in your bag or boot.

O – Oh no you did not... – You did not just eat a cold fishfinger off the plate you are scraping. You did not say “Stop licking the fridge.” You did not just sing the theme tune of Peter Rabbit in the shower. You did not just say “Good boy” to your husband as he handed you the remote. If you want to read more things that you WILL do, here ya go!

P – POO – Big, small, sheepballs, slimy, black, green, gray, brown, sneaky, silent, violent, sticky, honking… sniff that bum. Not sure? Swipe your finger in… Yup. Poo in the nappy. Poo in the bath. Poo on the floor. Conversations about poo. “Good nappies” Being a parent = poo! Lot of it!

Q – QUIET – The quiet and calm that descend on a home as the last child drifts off to sleep is like nothing else on earth. Busy homes and noisy homes. And noise is fab, but you’ll learn to appreciate quiet on a whole new level once you have babies. Enjoy it however, because once they hit the twoublemaker years, quiet becomes suspicious. If they’re not asleep and they’re quiet, be afraid, be very afraid!

R – READING – Nursery rhymes, songs, stories. Get used to them and get your children used to them. Rhymes are everywhere. They go from being soothing and fun to being really quite useful with toddlers. “Clean up, Clean up, everybody everywhere?” (works 78% of the time!) Read to your babies. And yes, that’s the English teacher in me coming out, but I’m right. Make a bedtime story part of your daily routine from day dot. And you should read too. Not just internet forums and blogs, try something grown up and funny. Even a few pages a day helps.

ALPHABET

S – SEX – Yes so that’s what got you here in the first place, but it doesn’t go away. We all have different ways of viewing sex. For some, they never want to think about it again. For others, they can’t wait to get back to business. It’s personal. If you’ve had a section, or a particularly traumatic birth, you might need to wait a while before getting back on the job. And it is new. It’s like the first time all over again, because things down there have changed and you might not be in as much control as you used to be of your body parts. But take your time. The first few times after birth, you might feel like you’ll never get back to the way it was. You will. It just takes time.

T – TEETHING – Labour is not the ultimate hell on earth. Teething is. It starts as early as 8 weeks and continues until feck knows when. I have a Princess who is cutting all four eye teeth at once… Try everything. Herbal remedies, gels, frozen teethers, chew toys, cold face cloths… It’s a bitch. But it is a phase and it WILL end.

U – U-turns – Be prepared. You think you’re going one way, you’re not. You are determined to do something, you don’t. “I will only feed my children organic food” becomes “Who wants waffles and fishfingers? “My child shall never have sugar” becomes “JUST GIVE HER THE FUCKING SMARTIES” “I could never leave my child for a night” becomes “Can you keep her for two?” You might have great intentions and if you can stick to them, good for you, but most of us end up doing massive U-Turns and making no apologies for them!

V – VIOLENCE – in many forms. 1. Violent mood swings. One minute, you’re beaming with joy, then a pampers ad has you in hysterics. 2. Violent thoughts as your partner snores beside you as you feed or burp for the 46th time that night. 3. Violent protection – the reaction in you when you think that someone has hurt or upset your child. It’s OK for YOU to scold and shout at them, but someone else does it, and you turn into a Lioness and are planning their slow and painful demise.

Also for VAGINAS – The most magical things in the world. Like Mammies, they can be stretched to the limit and yet spring back practically unscathed.

V is also for VASECTOMY, funnily enough…

W – WASHING – Let the games begin and may the odds be ever in your favour. Actually, the odds are that you shall never again see the bottom of your laundry basket. And you WILL wonder if there are 7 invisible people living in your house that you haven’t met. And you will find things in piles that you forgot you had. And you will wonder if you spend more time with your washing machine than with your partner. (The answer is possibly yes!) And yet, aren’t we #soblessed to have messy litte rascals to wash for?

W is also for Wine.

X – XXX. Babies also bring an endless supply of kisses. From the slabbery ones, to the snottery ones, to the stolen ones. And kisses and hugs and all internet love that I can send to you, one Mammy to another. Because you ARE wonderful. And you ARE doing a great job. If you’re worried about being a good Mammy, you already are one.

Y – YOU. Don’t lose you. It’s easy for me to write that with my baby now 2 and a half. But seriously. You are Mammy, but you are still you. You still have your needs and you still have your skills. And even if you aren’t able to look after them or use them right now, because you are doing the most important job in the world, you must keep them in sight as you will use them again soon. So keep up the hobby. Go back to the art class. Keep writing or making or baking or singing. Whatever it is that makes you you, show your babies and let them see you doing it.

Z – ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZS – SLEEP – The Holy fecking grail. For some it is fine. For others it seems to disappear for 7 years. There is no secret or answer. And I have NO idea about it. But I can tell you that a bedtime routine from the start helps. And I must also share with you the poewr of CBeebies. Since Mini-Me was a few weeks old, CBeebies bedtime hour was on in the background. Iggle Piggle and his multicoloured pals sing and dance and then there is a bedtime story and a nice lullaby, before the screen goes blue. To this day, it is how my girls know that it is bedtime. Supper, Jammies, storybook, teeth, bed. Sometimes it works, other times, it doesn’t. Bathtime before bed doesn’t work for me. (They get too wired up.) We also had a side of the bed system. Whoever slept beside the door was on Baby duty during the night. It did help, because we both got some sleep, some nights.

So there! Chripes that was longer than I’d planned, but considering that I could write (and have probably written) posts on all of the above already, I’ve done well I think to keep it to this length!

Have a great weekend !

I am So It’s a New Baby Mum

Mammy does love the news of a new babby.

Mammy doesn’t particularly fancy the prospect of having another one herself now, but Mammy still does be smiling when the news of another wrinkly little Squisheeface is announced.

Mammy does be particularly excited when the new babby belongs to someone she knows and cares about. 

And while Mammy couldn’t give a continental contraction about the Family Royale in the Brexit state, Mammy couldn’t help but think “Ah nice” when she saw the news on the Twit-feed this morning.

Mammy is glad that Katie and Billy Boy have welcomed another little prince to their family. Lovely. Honestly.

What Mammy doesn’t get however, is where the Media managers of the family Royale are and what they are drinking? Mammy would like to know why the fook they think that the poor woman needs to be paraded around only 4 hours after the birth, dressed to the nines and made up perfectly?

God but she looks stunning in fairness and no, Mammy is not bitter as Mammy is very aware that that is one of “the joys” that Katie signed up to when she sold her soul to the life of the eternal celebrity. And as long as she is happy, good for her.

(Also, Mammy is quite certain that I too probably looked EXACTLY like that 4 hours after the birth of her girls… Because Mammy was so drugged and knackered that she would have believed ANYTHING at that particular moment. I may have reached that level of bloat free and prettiful again by 5 months postpartum!)

Mammy would love to have seen lovely Kate (for she is indeed beautiful) walking out of the Lindybob wing looking happy but knackered, with her hair scraped back from her face and a comfy tracksuit. And flat shoes, for I am sure her Ladybits are crying with every step.

Because then, while I still would have wondered and awed at the fact that she was, you know, STANDING, I would have seen what she is behind the royal BS… A warrior woman who has just brought life into the world and who should be left the feck alone with her lovely wee babby, rather than having to not only parade around outside the wing looking like she was at a Ladies’ Day, but to look perfect while doing it.

I do hope that there are no Mammies looking at her today feeling lesser or inferior to what they are because they weren’t smiling to the world with a blow dry. I hope that no Mammy feels that she was doing something wrong because 4 hours after the birth she was wrestling with sanitary nappies and crying because she was crying and didn’t know why she was crying.

And mostly, I hope that right now, Kate is snuggled up in her baggies, on her sofa, hair up, bra off, cozy with her Hubby, enjoying tea and toast and smiling at her new wee Baby and glad that all of that circus is done with!

Congrats to them. And congrats to all the Mammies who didn’t have a live feed of their hospital wall running on Twitter as her little Prince was getting his crown on!

I am Snow Day Mum

“Oh Look Darlings. It’s snow!
Oh YAY Darlings, school is closed.
Hurray! We shall frolic and flail in the snow, making snow angels and building snowmans while singing the Frozen songs, and then we shall return to the house, rosy cheeked and fresh and snug as bugs to sip hot chocolate and snuggle up on the sofa…”
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And as quickly as the snow thaws and leaves a sloppy, shitty mess of reality in its wake, so too do Mammy’s nonsense notions of Mary-of-the-Poppinsy frolicking.
Indeed we did play in the snow. Indeed we did build a Mahoosive Snowman. And indeed we did have fun.
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He is quite fablis isn’t he?

We also had runny noses, red fingers, sore cheeks, wet toes, cold legs. There was frustration at slippy ground, frustration at stones in the snow, frustration at disobedient snow which wouldn’t stick where it was being shoved, and general frustration at not knowing why exactly we are grumpy when we should be frolicking in the fucking snow.
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My wee Snowangel

And then begins the trauma. The utter drama of trying to get the Eskimos unwrapped from their onions of layers. Sticky wellies, wet trousers suckering onto skin, fingers regaining their nerve endings and burning in the sudden heat, stepping into puddles of water as they step out of the wellies… Faces stinging, tummies rumbling, noses running…
Mammy did make hot chocolate and for a while, all was well. The washing machine was started for the 13th time today as everyone heated their backsides and enjoyed the sensation of feeling returning to their limbs. We admired our creation through the window and sipped the heat from the cups. Fablis…
And then, the exhaustion hit and the rest of the evening was spent with two incredibly knackered little farts who both decided that their one mission in life today was to drive each other, and Mammy, absolutely MENTAL.
Fighting, crying, complaining, declaring oneself as abused as Cinderella, declaring oneself to be missing her teacher, refusing to eat ANYTHING put in front of them, “tidying” by re-positioning crap from one room to another… You get the gist?
And then, just as Mammy thought she was going to go outside to drink gin with the leftovers of the snowman, they decided they were best fwends again and all was right with the world again…
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Shitsters…

“Did you have a good day?”
“The BEST Mammy!”
“What was the best part?”
“Playing in the snow ALL DAY!”
There you go… We were outside for all of 34 minutes and yet that’s what they remember. What was a small part of a very long day was the best day ever to them. And suddenly the stresses and snots and tears and tantrums and screaming melted into oblivion, along with our Snowman outside.
Playing in the snow is fab. It’s like a snowman actually… fab and perfect for a very short while, before disintegrating into a big wet puddle! But the carrot and stones and scarf that are left behind are just like the memories…solid and the only thing that matters. And worth every sore finger and wet backside.
They’re now tucked up in bed, dreaming of white stuff and I’m sitting here dreaming of red. Time for a glass of Blogday wine. Cheers my Dears.
Hit me with your snowman pics… or cheers with your glass/cuppa!

I am Show Me Show Me Mum

What we see...

Mammy had a lovely relaxing morning. Mammy had time to meditate, do yoga, have a shower, and do her makeup and hair. The children were angels. Mammy had all the clothes chosen, ironed and laid out beside the children’s shoes and clean underwear, before she went to bed at 9.30pm (where Mammy read her selection of Wellness and Good Parenting manuals in an attempt to ensure that she was indeed giving her children all of the positive assurance and interweb proven behavioural techniques possible to ensure that they will grow up rounded and functional humans.) The children ate ALL of their healthy and nutritious breakfast, packed their bags and put on their own coats before carrying their respective bags to the car (must encourage responsibility you know. It says so on page 34 of Clever Mammy Manuals) #clevermammy

Mammy was calm and chilled as she sipped her herbal tea and created Michelin Style breakfasts, not forgetting to snap pics for Instagram to make sure everyone could see how easy it was to eat exciting, colourful food all the time. Mammy was on time and no one needed to rush or shout or be stressed. The very good little girls sang nursery rhymes in the car while Mammy listened to them lovingly, smiling and wishing that she was able to capture this moment of Mummy perfection on her phone too, so she could show the world just how fabulous and perfect her morning was. She dropped the children at school and drove on to her wonderful job, already excited to get home to her spotless home and enjoy her little ladies in the evening. What a wonderful morning. Life is good. #soblessed #youseewhatIshowyou

What we don’t see.

Mammy got up at 6.30am, wishing she’d gone to bed earlier instead of sitting up with Hubby watching another episode of Stranger Things on Netflix. She showered quickly, ignoring her hairy legs in favour of washing her face, made her coffee, made the lunches, packed the bags, found the shoes, dried the uniform cardigan, remembered it was PE Day, found the kit, tumble-dried it, put on a load of washing, woke the kids, negotiated with the Oldest, bribed the youngest, dressed one of her girls in the tumbledried kit, (hoping that her body heat would flatten the creases before she got to school,) while singing the “Will you get dressed please” song over and over and over at the oldest, drank one mouthful of the cold coffee, swore a little under her breath, screamed at oldest to EAT SOMETHING off the plate, proffered Coco-Pops as bribery, cursed her own weakness, put nappy BACK on the baby, put clothes back on the baby, searched for PE runners, took the box of Quality Street from the Baby, wondered WTF she had found them, remembered to grab her own gym bag, put the lunches in the bags, packed the car, put the coats on her children, (because who the fuck has time to watch a 2 year old zipping up their own coat at 8am?), fed the dog, turned off all the lights, set the alarm, locked the house, strapped them in their carseats, swore at the straps and then swore (again) to buy a new carseat once she gets paid, ran back inside, unset the alarm, grabbed her handbag and coat, set the alarm, locked the house, nearly ran over the Horsedog, drove to school thinking about what she needed to do today, tried to hear herself think over the noise of the cat fight in the back seat where the youngest is repeating EVERYTHING the oldest says and driving her insane! “Stop it!” “DOPIIIT” “SHE’s COPYING MEEEEE” “SHEEEtoppeeeeeemeeeee!, turns on radio to distract, listened to Despacito being murdered by oldest, arrived at childcare, took girls and all their bags out of car, put coat back on the baby, told Oldest to lift her coat off the ground as she walked, tripped over oldest’s coat, kissed and hugges both girls singing Cheery “See you Later” and “Have fun at schooooool!” and “Mammy loves youuuuu!”, wondered if she’d have time to go to the shop enroute to buy the earlier proferred CocoPops, stopped at shop, did a dash around grabbing things she remembered she needed, remembered a bag as she approached the till, drove to work and parked the car, went into the staffroom, made a cup of coffee and drank it, sighed as she remembered that she hasn’t brushed her hair and that the washing is still in the machine and will need redone this evening, but other than that, what a great morning. Life is good!

#reallife #youdontseethatthoughdoyou

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Seriously!? Look at the hair! 🙂

I know which one I am.

And I’d rather have the chaos and craziness of my normal any day, than live under such notions of perfection that I see my life as a fecking TV Show.

Be real and Be you. You’re better to be a Mammy who knows she needs to shout less and that she really should try to iron her children’s clothes sometimes and that some mornings will be smoother than others, than one who lives under the pressure to seem “perfect” to the virtual friends and followers in your virtual life. Perfect is my kids safe, healthy and fed and loved.

Great mornings are the ones that keep coming. Enjoy them. They’re perfect already, just like you. And you don’t need Social Media to tell you that.

The S-Mumgreatmornings

I am Such a Silly Notion Mum 

Ooooooh it’s Friyay.

Today Mammy took a notion.
Mammy is going to surprise the girlies by bringing them to meet Daddy for a surprise dinner date and we’ll have a lovely family evening with our two well behaved darlings, who Shall eat their Yummy dindins. Then we shall have the joy of watching them eating Pink icecream, the adorable little munchkins, before going home for a relaxing bedtime where Daddy would put them to bed while Mammy pours a glass of grapes and puts her Tired feet up for a good old Corrie wedding…
Yeah.

Mammy is a deluded Twatsickle who often falls victim to her very own Disney Princess notions. 😂

But never fear.

Mammy has her very own Mini whose main purpose in life (today anyway) seems to be to knock Silly Mammy off her Disnified perch.
We did meet Daddy.

 From the second we sat down, Mini-me was a wagon. A proper little shitsickle. She made Princess look like an angel. That IS Quite the achievement! I won’t go into too much detail but when I tell you that ignoring the waitress, refusing to order, asking for a cocktail, bursting into tears because Mammy ordered for her, sliding onto the floor, scribbling on the menu were only a FEW of her party tricks, you can imagine the rest. 
Mammy and Daddy spent the date sending each other apologetic “what we’re we thinking” looks and starting conversations they both knew would not be finished before they started. 
Mammy wished she could go back to correcting exams and considered that she should have just gone home to cook the freezer contents. Daddy wondered why he had ever thought that leaving work early was a good idea… I’m guessing that only for fear of Divorce, he would have happily gone back to his BFF Jim.
They did go home: After NO dessert. They did get the girls to bed: After NO story and plenty of the special strops reserved only for the first Friday night after school holidays… 
Mammy did pour grapes. 

And just like Mammy’s fairytale picture of her evening DIDN’T happen, neither did the Corrie Wedding.  
But See there’s where Mammy is going wrong… sometimes life is Corrie, not Disney. 

At least with Corrie, you expect disaster! 

Here’s to all you Mammies who got a reality check from your little Notionwreckers today.
And here’s to Poor Sinead… she’s better off. It’s only have ended in no icecream and wine.

😂🍷😘

How was your Friday?

I am Scheme of Things Mum

Well it’s all done and dusted.

This year was pretty disastrous to be fair. At one point on Christmas Eve it felt like anything that could go wrong, was going to! 

And it did…

😐Our heating system broke a few days before Christmas and can’t be fixed until January. 

😐The Christmas tree lights broke on Christmas Eve.

😐My hoover broke. 

😐Princess has been sick ALL over Christmas.

We didn’t get all of the wee cousins together for even ONE photograph. She was having NONE of ANYTHING and has spent the past 4 days sitting ON Mammy. How I cooked dinner, feck knows.

She is literally only looking at what Santa left this morning…wee pet.

We’ve been to the doctors today and hopefully now she’ll be on the mend, but Christ having a poorly Babby in the house over Christmas just dampens it all, doesn’t it?

Lookit.

In the scheme of things, “whatever”.

And of course, in the scheme of things, I have NOTHING to complain about.

In the scheme of things, there are so many others who would kill for my little disasters. 

But when you’re in the midst of things, “the scheme of things” means Jack Shit.

And sometimes, if Mammy wants to roll her eyes to Heaven, stamp her foot and declare “fuck this for a bag of parsnips” or “Christmas spirit my arse”, then she shall. Because in MY scheme of things, things could have been better!  

And I Shouldn’t feel guilty for grumbling a bit. When it’s Mammy’s job to keep everyone else smiling, if she wants to feel a bit sorry for her sorry wee self when things break or go wrong, that’s allowed too. As usual however, after swearing a bit and cursing everything,  Mammy pulled up her big girl knickers and sucked it up.

In the scheme of things, wee buns.

We did have a lovely Christmas. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

Mini-me has had the time of her Wee life and isn’t that what really matters?

The lights got replaced at 10pm on Christmas Eve.

The Gillespie Mafia had 8 heaters on my doorstep within an hour of my Daddy sending the S.O.S to my aunts and Uncles. 

The hoover magically came to life again IN the shop when I took it in to complain, making me look all levels of psychobitch to the 4 snuggling Salesmen behind the counter on Christmas Eve.

And the Princess simply has a yucky old flu that will eventually pass,  so really, Mammy shouldn’t complain.

In the scheme of things, it was fab.  

I did get a few nice snaps, but Trust me, for each if the nice ones, there are 8 real-lifers. 

And everyone has them. So remember as you’re looking at all the picture perfect Instafeeds, behind all of those picture perfect moments, there might be a broken fridge, or a Puking baby, or broken heating, or a wobbly marriage, or a Screaming toddler, or a nasty illness, or a broken heart or an empty chair…

Real Life usually happens off camera,  (but when we DO capture it, it can be so funny that it reminds us that “in the scheme of things”, real life rocks! 👇👇👇)

How was your Christmas Mammies? Any clangers for me?

I am Santa Letter Mum

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Dear Santa…

Dear Santa,

I hope that you and Mrs. Claus are well.  I have been the bestest Mammy I could be, (most of the time), this year.

For Christmas, Mammy would like diamonds around my neck, a spa break and a big hug from a Fablis Chanel coat.  Mammy would also like:

  • an uninterrupted shower
  • to experience the joy of independent excretion on the porcelain throne…alone
  • for the children to recognise Daddy as the other perfectly capable adult who can do things for them in our home
  • for some, even only a few, sentences to start with “Daddy” rather than “Mammy”, just for one day.
  • for all of the seasonal bugs and sniffles to bugger off for a week!
  • for a laundry fairy to magic away the pile, just for a few hours

But, while all of these things would indeed be wonderful, Mammy must say Santa, that really, I need nothing.

As cliched and silly as it might sound, I have everything I want right in front of me. As much as I give out about the daily pains of being a “fulltime-everything-to-everyone”, I would’t have it any other way.

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My world 

These two little minions are mine. They are my carbon copies; a perfect little mixture of myself and my Him. For all their tantrums and chaos, they are my world.  They give their Daddy and I so much fun every day.  I’m glad I have their mucky little faces slabbering biscuits all over me, and their snottery noses to wipe. With each tantrum, I see two headstrong little girls who will change the world one smile at a time, and I know that they will be fine. Their arms around my neck are my diamonds.

And as for My Him?  Yes I might give out that he spends too much time with our Jim, but that’s OK too. He’s the hardest working man I know, just like my own Daddy. I wouldn’t have him any other way. We lead crazy busy lives, but at the end of every hectic day, we come home to each other. He’s my big bad handsome man. He’s the only person in the world who knows me better than I know myself. He’s my Him and he’s the only hug I need this Christmas.

Uninterrupted showers are overrated. Soon enough, I shall have privacy in the bathroom once more.  I will eventually find myself missing the fat little fingers against the glass. The snots and sniffles and puking, thankfully, come and go.  How blessed I am that they do.  The tears and tantrums might be plentiful, but they are outweighed by smiles and giggles that make the world chuckle in unison.

And they can “Mammy” me as much as the want.  That’s what I’m here for.  That’s what I am.

So yes Santa, “things” would of course be nice, but as for getting me what I need?  Don’t worry.  I don’t need anything. In the midst of the mess and laundry and chaos and tears and noise and stresses, it turns out that when I think about it, I have everything I could ever want right here already.

Have a wonderful Christmas Santa.

Lots of love,

Mammy xx

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I am Some Christmas Reality Mum

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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My favourite!

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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Sure why not?

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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Do you really need baubles on the plates?

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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Warning… lasts a maximum of 3 minutes!

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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I wrapped these myself…not!

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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What’s in that cup Mammy?

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!

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I am Some Really Virtual Friends Mum

After the initial business of arriving home with a new Baby, comes a quiet and calm, that can be lovely and much needed.

However, a few weeks or months, or even years in, and many Mums find themselves isolated. Being a Mum generally means that “you will never be lonely again”, but in reality, it is often the loneliest place in the world.

I’ve spoken before about how social media can help with the isolation of new parents.  But boy is it a double-edged sword?  The same platforms and pages that offer modern Mammas conversation, support and company, very often also encourage feelings of loneliness, despair and isolation.

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 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.

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.

Recently, I met a good friend for coffee.

She’s not on Facebook.

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. 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.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to speaking at a Mammy Meet Up which has been organised by my good friend Sarah Barr of New Beginnings.  See details here.

We did indeed meet online and our friendship blossomed online, but a few months ago, we took the plunge and went on a DATE! We met in an actual bar, had actual food and actual conversation. And now, we’re not just virtual friends, we’re ACTUAL friends… in real life like! We’ve been getting up to all sorts of projects together and I have to say, she’s a Doll.

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So if ANY of the things I’ve mentioned in this article have you nodding in agreement, please come along to SONDER tomorrow at 7pm for a coffee and a chat with us.  You never know who you might meet or what new friendship is around the corner.

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.

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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.

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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.

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#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…