I am State Examinations Mum

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Exam season is upon us again.

It seems to come around faster and faster each year, doesn’t it?

If your little darlings are about to do their Junior or Leaving Certificate Examinations, here are some ideas on how you can help them.

  1. Sleep: Seems obvious and it’s easier said than done to get teenagers to go to bed at the best of times, and yet sleep is the one thing that we need in order to function properly. Talk to your child and agree a consistent bedtime for the next 3 weeks. Agree on a cut off time for studying, no matter how much they insist that they need to do more. Agree on a cut off time for screens and insist that until the exams are over, screens should not be in bedrooms. Even the simple absence of the phone from the bedroom can do wonders for the sleep that we get.
  2. Hydrate: Yeah yeah Yadda yadda… but again, vital. Challenge them to drink 2 litres a day. There are loads of cool bottles that help to motivate water intake now. And they all have apps on phones that can help remind them to drink water too. Dehydration leads to headaches and sluggishness; all of the things that they DON’T need at the minute.
  3. Nutrition: The State Exams can last for up to 2 weeks for some students. If an athlete were going into a 2 week event, they’d be fuelling up their bodies in preparation for months. If your child has a balanced and varied diet already, great. Keep it up. If not, try to introduce more whole foods and more fruit and veg. Convenience snacking is a massive issue when stress and tiredness kick in. Try to have dinners pre-cooked and healthier snacks in the fridge for when they appear from their pit “staaaaaarving”. In fairness to them, the last thing they are thinking about is their food right now. But don’t make a big deal about it. Remember when they were toddlers and you conveniently had lots of healthy snacks and precooked meals in the kitchen? For the next 3 weeks, go back to that! Just maybe ease up on the purees! (AND BREAKFAST is a must. They might not be hungry, but they can’t sit a 2-3 hour exam on an empty tummy. Bananas are great for calming butterflies in the tummy.) exam4
  4. Exercise: If your child has a hobby, or goes to a class each week, let them continue with it. As a teacher, I hear parents saying “Oh they’ve stopped that until after the exams”. And while yes, many need to cut back on some activities in order to study, cutting out EVERYTHING is a bad idea. Try to encourage them to do something every day, even if it is simply going for a ten minute walk. Send them to the shop. Throw them a basketball. Dust off the punchbag in the garage. Anything to get them moving for even a few minutes. Times of high stress are the times when we NEED to be able to release, may it be dancing, kicking, running or a gym class. It helps keep energy levels up. exam
  5. Keep the stress levels down: And I’m not just talking about THEIRS. State Exams have a way of reducing Mums and Dads to tears. Yes, this is a big deal. Yes, the exams are important, but what is more important is that your child is alive and well and able to do the exams. Don’t dismiss the significance of these exams, but equally, don’t paint them to be the be all and end all. Their best is all that they can do and regardless of what is in the little brown envelopes at the end of the summer, life will go on and they will be ABSOLUTELY FINE!
  6. Positivity: Rather than constantly “annoying” or “torturing” them, let them hear praise. (Because no matter what we say, they only hear nagging don’t they?) Let them hear you believe in them. Let them hear “You will be fine” or “Do your best” or “I’m proud of you.” Seems silly maybe, but trust me, so many of our teenagers are so skilled at feeling useless and crap all by themselves. Sometimes all it takes is for them to hear someone tell them they can do it. exam1
  7. Last minute pages: SO this is the teacher talking now. Get them to take an A4 page and for each subject, on which they write down all of the key phrases and ideas and names and keywords, dates etc., all over it, on both sides. If their teacher has things that he or she CONSTANTLY repeated in class, write those down too. Use different colour pens and make it bright. Laminate it when they’re done if you like. But have it that THAT PAGE is the ONLY thing they look at on the morning of the exam. I also advise that when they walk into the English paper, before they even read the questions, to jot down as many of the important terms and titles on one of the roughwork boxes or blank pages. That way, they have a go-to wordbank if they get a blank brain AND they won’t forget character names or poem titles in the heat of the exam. (Happens to the best!)
  8. Ditch the Drama: Warn your kids of the dangers of the Drama Llama on the morning (or afternoon) of the exam. While they’ll want with their friends, so often it is the worst place they can be. Hearing “Oh I only glanced at Chapter 23 last night” or “I haven’t LOOKED at that book!” or “I am so screwed”can cause panic in an anxious child’s mind. They’re already dealing with their own anxiety and nerves. They don’t need JohnJoe or Nancy’s stresses on top of their own. Tell them to politely stay away from groups until after the exam. They are much better served by reading over their last-minute page on their own. They can chat about it as much as they want when it’s over, but being focused and quiet before the exam really does work wonders. exam3
  9. SPACE it out: If space allows, tell them to skip 2-3 lines between each paragraph. This allows them space to jot down anything that might come to mind as the revise over what they’ve written at the end. (And it makes life easier for the examiner if sentences aren’t written sideways up a margin!)
  10. Believe: While the state exams are possibly THE biggest thing in your whole family’s life right now, it is important to remind the kids that every single person who is older than them, has been through and sat through these exams. They can only do their best. Yes, they’re a huge deal, but they’re also just a bump in the road that you have to drive over to get to summer. They’re well ready and well able.

I hope that exam season passes with as little stress as possible in your house. And remember that if your kids see you stressed, they stress. So even if you want to scream and tear your hair out, don’t. Or at least wait until they’re in bed and then pour yourself a gin and scream in a pillow.

And the very best of luck to your minions.

I am Silent Puker Mum

How to sleep with a silent puker… 😐

Who the hell am I kidding? There IS NO sleeping with a silent puker.πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯

Princess makes no noise.
None.
She can empty the 4 stomachs she seems to have inherited from the Granda’s cows, without making so much as a single sound. πŸ˜‚ It’s shocking.
Not.
a.
Fricken.
SOUND!

And it means that when she is unwell, (which quite frankly seems to be every fecking FORTNIGHT since we went back to school😠), Mammy here gets to spend the night with small person’s foot shoved up her nostril, or her skull on my nose…

The bed is covered in towels, the basin is set on the bedside locker. Of course, she manages to sleep on the only part of the bed that ISN’T covered by towel and if she pukes, I can damn be sure that she’ll hit the ONE part of the bed that hasn’t been protected! πŸ˜‚

I end up dozing, sitting upright in the bed, constantly ready to jump for the basin. Every sound she makes, every time she turns, every time her breathing changes or pauses… Crazy frog here is wide awake and ready to pounce.

Everytime she gets a tummy bug, I end up booking a session with a physio within a week because my Mammy Bear reflexes are more concerned with keeping her safe (and keeping the fricken bed cleanπŸ˜‚!) than minding my dodgy back.

The Him gets banished to the spare room. Not by me.
Hitler-beag doesn’t like sharing beds with anyone but Mammy. She hisses at him like a deranged Gollum determined not to share her “Precious” with anyone.
Poor lucky Fecker… πŸ˜πŸ˜‚πŸ˜

He checked us this morning before he went to work. We looked like a right angle apparently. Her leg was across my jaw. I swear to God, there’s times I think that wee Doll would climb back inside me if she could.

So yes. Poor Baby.
And Poor Mammy. (Seriously. Shape of me!)

Night 1: No sound = No sleep.

She’s snoring now…in her own room. I’ve only checked her 23 times since 7.30pm.
And so begins Night 2: the night of “Mammy needs to but can’t sleep becuase she’s going to leap out of the bed and run to her room everytime she moves in the cot”…

What the feck am I like?
Anyone else got a silent puker?

I am “Shut that alarm clock up” Mum

Mammy has been stressed since BEFORE she opened her Feckin eyes this morning… Why? Because of The Him.

You see The Him is tired and when The Him is tired he likes to play a game called “Let’s see how many times I can make the alarm clock go off before the love of my life loses the plot and physically kicks me OUT of bed game”.

This morning, he played that game and let’s just say, it did NOT end well. On the THIRD Snooze attempt, Mammy opened one sticky eye and whispered “Pleeeeease get up. You’ll be late.”

On alarm number Four, Mammy opened the other eye and hissed “Do NOT let that fucking thing go OFF again. If you wake the Baby, I will HURT you.” “I’m up. I’m up” says Him, very OBVIOUSLY NOT UP. In fact, the end of his sentence was punctuated by a guttural nearly-snore.

By now, I was stressed. I was glaring through his big dopey head, stressing about the fact that HE was going to be late for HIS work, while HE slipped back into the type of sleep that only a feckin MAN can! πŸ˜‘

So there lay Mammy, WIDE AWAKE at 7am, the ONE morning the Minions slept beyond 6.30am this SUMMER, stressed that The Him was going to be late for work, while Him, the big Gombeen waited for his fecking alarm clock to sing at him for the FIFTH time…and SING it did. 😑 Loudly.

So loudly in fact that it did INDEED awaken the Minions across the hall, BEFORE it woke him. Actually, to be pedantic, it probably wasn’t the alarm clock that woke him… It MIGHT have been Mammy pulling the quilt off, putting her feet to his arse and pushing him OFF the bed, all the while serenading him with affectionate terms of endearment, some of which I’m pretty sure even HE hasn’t heard before! (And he worked on building sites for years, so you can imagine the colour Language of THAT morning wake-up callπŸ˜….)

Anybuts. By 10am, I’d calmed down. A bit.

And now, all is right with the world… We have a babysitter, I’ve stolen sparkly danglies from my Baby sister and we’re heading out for his birthday dinner tonight, so I can’t be too grumpy with him, but it’s safe to say that if an alarm clock goes off EVEN ONCE tomorrow morning, someone WILL get hurt. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Have a Super Saturday Lovelies.

Anything exciting planned?

I am She loves her dodees Mum

S-Mum is a TUBE.

Little Miss Princess has a habit. She requires 3, yes THREE, dodees every night to go to bed; One in her mouth, and one in each fudgy little paw.

Mini-Me was the same. I think it’s cute that they have this little quirk in common. Yeah, yeah, she shouldn’t have a dodee at 20 months.

Yeah yeah, 3 dodees seems excessive.

Yeah yeah, your kid never takes a dodee… good for you.

But this little habit has allowed this Mamma and Pappa to have 12 hours sleep for 18 of the past 20 months so as long as she looks for the dodees, she shall get them. I’ll get them off her when she’s ready and I am able to deal with 3 or 4 nights of Demonic screaming, but I won’t stress too much about it to be honest. Have you ever seen a 17 year old with a dodee? (In public πŸ˜‚)

But recently, with the rather impressive development of her new friend Temper, πŸ‘ΆPrincess has been participating in new behaviour, which quite frankly has a) become a royal pain in the arse and b) caused more than a few 5am mornings in the past few weeks. 😑😑

You see, her new friend Temper, sometimes convinces her to throw her 3 dodees OUT through the bars of the cot, which then leads to dramatic sobs until one of us, (yes, ME), stumbles into the room to return the little feckers to her from the floor.

At 5.30am this morning, I was back in bed, listening to her scream and refusing point blank to go back into the room and I thought, for the 371st time that I must find and invest in one of the little teddies/taggies that my very clever sister-in-law has for her babies. You tie the dodees onto it and baby always has access to them at night time.

So today, I was in town TWICE, forgetting BOTH times to go looking for one of these little yoks which will CERTAINLY solve our problem. I was putting her down to bed tonight, cursing myself for forgetting and vowing in my head to hunt for one tomorrow. As I was leaving her room, I spotted this πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ little taggy yok that has been in her nursey… SINCE MY BABY SHOWER… But which I’ve never ACTUALLY looked at properly.

Since my FECKING Baby shower!?

Seriously… Possibly bought by same clever sister-in-law. πŸ˜‚ And LOOKIT! The little ends of it unravel to allow you to TIE THE FECKING DODEES ONTO THEM!

This has been under my nose THE WHOLE TIME. And I didn’t even know.😑😑😑 So yes, S-Mum is a tube, but tonight I am a smug and happy tube who will HOPEFULLY NOT have to drag my sorry arse out of bed to pick up the dodees tonight…or at least until Temper decides to tell her to feck the full taggy out over the cot sides instead. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ How was your day? 😍😘

I am Sleepless Nights & Schoolbags Mum

​Hello Ladybelles.
It’s been a funny old week here at S-Mumblehill.

I feel like it’s been 16 days since Monday.  I’m knackered.
Monday was apparently officially the shittiest day of the year.  I don’t usually believe this crap but by 8.50am I was agreeing out loud with the radio presenter as I pulled into the school carpark. “YES. Yes it fucking well IS the shittiest day of the year. And it’s not even 9am.”
  Mini-Me had been up for yet ANOTHER full fecking night, PLAYING in her room and setting up weird little messy shrines in the fricken hall.  “Oh she’s imaginative” said one of my colleagues in a futile attempt to comfort me.  My reply…”Well she can be imaginative without creeping around the flipping house at 3am, making an unholy fucking MESS of random crap in my hallway, just outside my bedroom door thank you very much.”
 I’d taken great pleasure in bouncing into her bedroom at 7am, turning on the light and singing “Good morning Beautiful. It’s time for schooooool!” (That’ll teach you you little night creeper.) I was prepared for a grumpy little Gollum who would pull the covers up in protest and be like a bag of bitches all day.  I WAS NOT prepared for the little face glaring up at me, COVERED in blue.  She had drawn ALL OVER her feckin face in blue crayon and both she, AND the pillow, were like something that smurfville had puked up.πŸ’™πŸ’™
Cue meltdown central, for both of us… Me trying to keep cool and not scream at her and FAILING miserably; her trying to remember wtf was on her face that was making Mammy so mental at Stupid O’Clock…and Princess crawling at my leg shouting “nonononono! ah! Ah! Ah! AH!”

So off I trotted to class, feeling shite at having lost my cool and sent her off to school probably still covered in blue crayon.
#Twatmum.
 The rest of the week has been busy and filled with MANY stressful bedtimes, where she’s been up, still wide awake until after 10pm.  I have NOOOOO IDEA what is going on. She’s usually so good at bedtime, so this is weird and I PRAY it’s only a phase.  I tried letting her have some chill out time in her bedroom before bed.  Didn’t work.  She just made a complete mess.  I’ve even had to lock my bedroom door as she was in there last night and left a trail of my fricken Chanel lippy on the wall. Cheers love.  I’m going to do it back to her you know.  When she is old enough to have nice stuff, I am going to draw all over her bathroom mirror with her favourite lippy.  So there.
So today, I’ve opted for the good old faithful Fresh air stunt.  I let her run wild on Fahan beach, πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ (my ABSOLUTE favourite spot in the world.  AN hour there can fix all the world’s problems!), and then directed her towards the trampoline for half an hour when we got home.  I’m afraid to look down the hall, but I have a small notion that she MIGHT just be asleep, WITHOUT any hallway adventures.


Fingers crossed. πŸ˜‚
I am confident that she shall sleep like a cherub until 7am and that I shall NOT break my ankle tripping over a fortress of lego and naked dolls outside the bedroom door.  Then, she shall awaken from her slumber and the bad tempered, exhausted, emotional wreck demon I’ve had here all week, shall be replaced by my smiling, perfect little angel… hugely confident.

Well confident enough.


And incase anyone doubts that I’ve lost my shit altogether, here’s my #mammyfuckup of the week…  I sent her to school today WITHOUT HER SCHOOLBAG.
Yup.

Do you think I deserve a wee grape? πŸ˜’πŸ˜’


Make me feel better supermums.

What was your #Mammyfuckup of the week? πŸ˜‚