Riddle Me This… HOW is the ‘Big Shop’ Suddenly Causing Meltdowns?

So if you follow me on Instagranny, you’ll have seen me having a huge rant/meltdown after doing my shopping yesterday.

Not because of anyone else.
Not because of anything negative.
Not because of the shop.

Just about me.

And the realisation that something as simple and “normal” as doing the “big shop” had reduced me to a nervous wreck.

Yip. Me.

The very weirdo who doesn’t mind being in a bar or crowded place alone, who can happily spend a full day wandering around London on my own, and often, whose very joy DEPENDS on wandering around Dunnays ON MY OWN, got into the car after doing the shopping yesterday and freaked the feck out.

My heart was racing.
I was out of breath.
I had the fizzy fingers that I used to get when my anxiety was being a bitch, and I needed to decompress before I could even think about driving.

It was like a tidal wave of relief CRASHED over me once I closed the door.

What used to be one of my favourite things to do, has become something that I dread.

I hate it.

I hate the silence.
I hate the lack of eye contact.
I hate the absence of small talk and polite hellos.
I hate the heightened awareness of EVERY move made by everyone.
I hate the fear of stepping too close to someone by accident.

I hate the apocalyptic soft voice over the intercom reminding me to stay safe… it reminds me of ‘Children of Men’…a movie which I once taught as futuristic dystopian escapism, but which rings far too true these days.

I hate the whole thing.

But mostly, I hate my own weakness and how something so normal can freeze me to my core.

I hate feeling so weak.
I hate wearing the mask.
I hate the fact that so many of my friends and family are working on various frontlines every day, wearing these masks, and I can’t help.

I hate the fact that I melt down after wearing it for 30 feckin minutes.

I felt weak that I was complaining about doing the shopping. I mean Jesus wept, seriously Maria. Aren’t you lucky you having little else to be stressing about? Poor you my arse.

Yip. Absolutely. And I hate feeling so pathetically weak and I hate that I allowed something trivial to upset me so much.

But then, I read the hundreds, and I mean HUNDREDS, of messages from followers last night and this morning.

From women (and men) just as usually confident and capable as me, for whom the big shop has also become a terrible gauntlet run that frightens and stresses them.

And I don’t hate my weakness anymore.

I’m certainly not alone.

And yes, I’ll get on with it, and I’ll continue to do it for as long as it’s deemed essential by the people who are working to keep us all safe.

And I’ll pull up my big girl knickers and keep doing it, (in turns with Himself mind!), because, kids need food and all that jazz.

And I’ll remember that were all in this together, even though we have to stay 2 metres apart.

And I look forward to the day when this is all over, because then, I can promise you, I shall be skipping through the aisles, singing and smiling and hugging EVERYONE.

And there’ll be nothing they can do to stop me!

I am Shopping Mum

When did shopping turn into such a gauntlet?
 
I’ve never been a huge shopping fan, but recent experiences have confirmed to me that I actually HATE it.
 
I hate, hate, hatey McHaterson it. 
 
Last week I was lucky enough to have a few hours to wander around huge shopping centres in both Dublin and Belfast. 
 
Imagine the novelty for Mammy-Amazon here, whose clothes shopping generally consists of sportsgear or the odd binge buy in Dunnes-of-the-fablis, (usually on pay day before the Direct Debit Bandits have hit and I descend back into brokedom.) 
 
“I am in the city. I shall shop”, think I.
 
“I shall shop like the Fashionable Bloggers do.  I shall purchase cool and quirky stuffs which I might even share by doing one of those terrifying Haul things that they all do.”
 
But then, I laugh at the sillyfullness of such a thought.  Who wants to see what Mammy picks up in shops?  
 
In go I to the Debbienems… the mothership of mothershops in all corners of the civilised world. 
 
My eyes hurt instantly.  The lights…Christ alive!  Am I in surgery or a shop?
 
The evil yellow glare lights used to be only reserved for changing rooms and hairdressers.  Now it seems that they are par-for-the-course in every corner on every floor of these big bright shops… perhaps a way to highlight the few of us who still dare to enter such establishments with nout but mascara on our faces? 
 
I catch a glimpse of my naked face and tracksuit in one of the mirrors and I feel instantly less confident in my own skin than I did leaving the hotel. 
I thought I looked rather comfy-chic. I thought my swinging pony tail and make up free skin made me look slightly Yummy-Mummiful…

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The OPPOSITE of how I look when shopping

 
Turns out that even in my spensive leeeeezure wear, I actually look like a knackered, sleep-deprived, hungover SkankQueen.  I’d look more at home on Jeremy Kyle’s sofa truth be told.  
 
I am now convinced that I look like I’m about to shop lift the entire contents of the Benefit counter and I’m pretty sure that the shop assistants (perfectly preened and practically perfect in every way) are clustering closer to me as their Radar for criminal cretins goes off.  They’re watching me.  I know they are.
 
Then I realize, they want to torment me.  On every corner, another eyebrow asks me “Can I help you Dear?”  or “Do you need any help today Luv?”  It’s like being at home.  There’s a little person on every corner talking AT me and asking me pointless questions.  One even shoves a little pink basket in my hand, for heaven forbid I might only want ONE THING in the muck up section.  I know they’re only doing their job but Dear Jacinta, I just want to BROWSE!
 
Remember when you used to be able to wander aimlessly around the shops, browsing, looking, buying…not buying?
 
Remember when you could go to the checkout and simply pay for your purchase with nothing more than a polite smile and a thank you? 
 
And then you could leave, swinging the bag with your purchase and simply continue on your shopping…or not shopping?
 
Yeah.  Those days are gone my Darlings. 
 
And then…the WEIRDEST part.  It’s been creeping in to the shops at home too.  It makes me uncomfortable.  I find it a little invasive if I’m honest.  
 
“Do you have an email address?” 
 
“I do yeah.”
 
“Can I have it?”
 
“Oh…why?”
 
“So I can send you your receipt? Because of the environment and all?”
 
“Oh of course…” is what I SAY, before rhyming off the suddenly very hard to fecking spell email address.  (Seriously, none of us EVER considered that we’d be standing at tills in Debbieneems spelling OUT the feckin things when we created them.  We thought they’d always be, well, TYPED!)
 
What I want to say is “And what about GDPR? How can I be sure that YOU are not the reason that I get so many weird marketing emails from companies to which I’m pretty sure I NEVER subscribed? Can you not just print me off my receipt like a normal shop assistant so I can throw it into the bag or the car where it will lay for many months creating a tiny thesis of how and why I am always broke,  Little physical REMINDERS of what money USED to look like.”
 
  I swear to Granny, between Tap machines and Virtual receipts, I don’t even think it COUNTS as spending money any more.  There is NO evidence really…
 
And so I decide that I shall set up a NEW email address, just for the very PURPOSE of shopping.  It shall be emailaddress@ihateshopping.com   That’d be fun…
 
HAH!
 
Moral of the story?  
 
I HATE SHOPPING.
(I’m glad my laptop doesn’t yet have eyebrows to raise.
 
 
 

Mummy pages Plus – I’m an Advocate Mum

I have an exciting new club to share with you gals!

As you know, I don’t do collaborations or sponsored posts or the like, unless it’s a company that I genuinely use and like or I think that my followers are going to benefit from.

So when Mummy Pages Plus contacted me with news about their new platform for discounts, designed by Mums and aimed at Mums, with parents at the core of their plan, I liked the look of it immediately.

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I asked for more information and it looked good, so I signed up.  The annual fee is €60 and yet the first 100 to sign up will receive a pack of vouchers worth over €60. Mine came yesterday.  Here it is.

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Beautifully packaged with a little book too!

MummyPages+ is Ireland’s exclusive club for Mums, by Mums.

In their own words:

We’re on a mission to make family life even more rewarding by making great products and experiences that bit more accessible for you and your family.

We’ve hunted down discounts with lots of leading family and lifestyle brands and destinations around Ireland just for mums like you. 

By buying a MummyPages+ pack you’ll get one full year access to these exclusive rewards, not available anywhere else, and join our mission to help mums and their families thrive.

At present, we have well over €5,000 worth of rewards on the platform which, we hope – should be right up your street!

Many mums are reporting saving the annual cost of the card,  in the first few weeks of purchase!!

Get yours today, be part of a growing community of Mummy Pages Plus Mums around Ireland and start saving!!

I’m delighted to be an advocate for this new platform and I do think that if used right, Mums will find great businesses and services with exclusive deals for members.

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A screenshot of the app

They’ve already teamed up with some of the most loved household brands in Ireland and bigger brands are coming.

You simply sign up, download the app and sign in with your membership details and then you have access to all of the current deals and discounts.  You can clip the ones you are interested in for a specified time, and then use when you get a chance.

There’s also a dedicated facebook group which will keep you posted on the daily/weekly deals and help ensure that you are getting the most out of your membership.

I’m looking forward to using mine.  If you fancy having a look, check out their website.  You can sign up here.   Have a look and see what you think and if you think it’s something you’d benefit from, go for it!

(And if you are a parenting based business, or your audience is Mum, have a look.  I’m looking forward to seeing some Donegal businesses offering their discounts soon!)

Disclaimer: As a Mummy Pages Plus advocate, I received a discount on my own membership fee payment and will receive a % of sign ups through my #af link. 

But you know I wouldn’t recommend something that I didn’t think was worthwhile. 

I am Some Things I don’t Like about Christmas Mum

​If I were Queen of the whole world (as opposed to my own little corner), there are a few things I would change about Christmas…

  1.  Christmas jumpers should be permissable for wearing from December 1st.  To all occasions, without eye-brow raising, without judgement…unless you are judging how fucking FABLIS it is is comparison to your NOT Christmassy, everyday, boring Jumper.

2. Only competent drivers should be allowed on the road from the 11th until the 24th.  Because Christmas Eve is on a Monday, the last minute panic (and for some, ALL their shopping) will have to be done over one long weekend.  This would not be a huge problem if everyone knew how to DRIVE.  The town will inevitably stand still with non-moving cars and the special Dumbasses who the Grinch or some other Gremlin sends down from Dumbass Land, and who ONLY come out to drive on Christmas Eve and who test the patience of EVERYONE else by not using INDICATORS or knowing what a fucking YELLOW BOX is.  They are not even real people.  I think they’re like Matrix people who we can all SEE blocking the roundabout or taking 2 hours to reverse their Corsa into two spaces, diagonally, but they’re not ACTUALLY real… they can’t be.  That level of Dumbass doesn’t exist does it?


3. The shops should all close at 1pm on Christmas Eve.  Why? So that the creturs working in them get to GO HOME to their families of course! Be nice to retailers Ladybelles.  You might be stressed, but they’re still working. When I am queen, the whole world shall shut down early and Christmas shall be forced to begin at a decent hour.
4. Anyone who parks in a disabled spot or a parent spot without good reason or genuine need, should be zapped by a glitterfying lazer and beamed to a 1980s Tellybox set like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where they shall have to stay until Boxing Day, being continuously whipped by a mansized Bosco.  Better still, their CAR should be zapped away from them as they lock it so they can see just how fucking difficult it is to suddenly have an unnecessarily long distance to navigate a wheelchair or crutches or 3 screaming kids and 10 bags, just because they think they’re more special than the rest of the world.  Pricks. (Note…this applies all year round. 🤐)
5. Children and Hims should not be allowed to get sick before or during Christmas.  It’s hugely unfair on the Mamma Bears who are already trying to fit ALL THE EVERYTHING into their lunchbreaks and do the full grocery shopping in 8 minutes flat enroute to the school gate.  It is highly inconvenient and terribly upsetting when your minions suddenly feel poopy at this time.  Of course it could always be worse… especially if your Him decides to do his annual Nutcracker rendition and act out the part of the useless and slightly tragic wooden soldier who needs something fucking magical to instil life and joy into his bones again.  Of course I’m not referring to my own Him here.  😇He is a Braveheartesque soldier at all times😲😲 and never succumbs to manflu or calls for his Mammy when his Her tells him to “man the fuck up.”
6. Cars will have a secret “other” boot.  This will stop the drama of “How the feck will I get the stuff that isn’t really there and can never be seen by little eyes into the house before they decide to open the boot to throw their schoolbags in?” Such a debachle!
7. All Mammies will be allowed to drink tea or grapes or gin as early as they like from the 20th.  Sorry…the 19th 😂😂until at LEAST January 3rd.  This shall be law.

8.  Baby it’s Cold Outside and Fairy Tale of New York should be played on repeat in every shop from now until Christmas Eve, especially for all of the OFFENDED people who like to be OFFENDED so much that EVERYTHING OFFENDS them.  Yeah, that’s a whole other post…

Oh and everyone shall smile always, and wear big hats (which will ALL be made XL to fit humongously craniumed wenches like S-Mum) and we shall all be lovely to each other and sparkle like glittery unicorns because ’tis the fucking season and all that.
How was your day?

Are we there yet? 🎄🎅🦄🎄🍷🎅🎄🦄🍷🎅🎄❄⛄🎄🎅🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

I am Staring into the Fridge Mum

Mammy spends much time planning the weekly eating.

Not because Mammy is a super organised Mammy. More because Mammy loves food so much that Mammy likes to know what is for each meal, every day. Mammy is the sort who when she is eating one meal, she’s already planning and thinking about what shall be next.

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The Him first realised this about Mammy when he, as newly acquired Friendboy Him, accompanied Mammy and her bestie, Nickers, on holiday.

You see, whilst Mammy and Nickers sat on the Portugese balcony, munching on watermelon and sweet toast and local sardine paste, the conversation would not be so much about what we would do or where we would go that day, but more along the lines of:

“What do you fancy for lunch?”

“Fish”

“We’ll try that seafood restaurant on the beach so?”

“K”.

“Mmmmmmm shhhhhcallops” drool Mammy and Nickers in unison.

Then, whilst munching on shhhcallops and sipping cold Pinot at said seaside restaurant, the conversation would be primarily about which restaurant we’d eat in that night.

“Do you two just eat your way around Portugal?” asked a bemused Friendboy Him.

“Eh… obviously?” came the reply from both of us.

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And yet he stayed and despite Mammy’s obsession with food and planning all holidays and days out around what food we can eat and where we shall be eating it, and despite Mammy’s love of eating all things weird and wonderful and having to try the strangest thing on the menu, just because, he stayed.

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And so now. Mammy puts lots of effort into the purchasing of good healthy food for her minions. On becoming a mother, Mammy had intended to ensure that they shall eat only nutritious and healthy colourful and varied dishes every evening. Mammy also spends a lot of time staring into the fridge, wondering

1: how there is nothing to eat when I’ve just bought aisle 3 in Aldi-everything and

2: what the chances are of something having prepared and cooked itself while I was at work.

3: Why the hell I bother, because Mammy has also realised a few things.

  1. Children are twats
  2. Children don’t give a shite how much money Mammy spent on food
  3. Children don’t give a shite how much time Mammy spends cooking
  4. Children who “don’t eat chucken”, only mean that they don’t eat fresh chicken. Chicken nuggets, chicken burgers and chicken goujons are perfectly acceptable.
  5. Children who don’t like spuds, only mean that they dont like Mammy’s spuds. Granny’s are perfectly acceptable.
  6. Children are twats.
  7. Regardless of how much effort you put into presenting their food, most of it ends up on the floor anyway.
  8. Children will eat pasta, but only specific shapes… but buy ALL shapes as their favourite shape changes approximately 3 times per week.
  9. Children who don’t eat what Mammy gives them, will HAPPILY eat EVERYTHING that is put in front of them in Afterschool.
  10. Children who “aren’t hungry” will always forget this if sweets or chocolate are presented to them.

In fairness, my children are not too fussy…

As long as it’s from the freezer, is battered and is some variation of the colour beige, they’ll devour it. See? Not fussy at all.

 

And so Mammy can plan and dream all she wants, but really, she’d be better dreaming of that Portugese Balcony and shhhcallops and Sauvignon and sunshine.

Because there’s more chance of that happening, than of these two just eating what’s cooked for them.

Mammy x

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