I am Still That Friday Feeling Mum

Mammy has “That Friday Feeling”.

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Once upon a time, “That Friday Feeling” meant going straight to a licensed establishment with one’s co-workers for a bevvy or beverages. Or it meant finishing work with an air of excitement at the prospect of going home, spending a few hours primping and preening oneself to perfection, trying on 46 different outfits, popping open a bottle of something exciting at 6pm and stepping into high-heels, before going into town with whoever for dinner, or drinks and a boogie.

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It meant not only the excitement of getting out, but also the joy of KNOWING that you could lie on in your bed until whatever time you wished on Saturday morning, before deciding to be very “grown up and sensible” by staying in on Saturday night.

Or you know, getting ready and going out ALL over again!

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Oh, how things have changed.

Now while Mammy does get the odd night out, it is usually prepared for by a spray of dry shampoo, grabbing a top that doesn’t need ironed and a 5 minute slap on of the muck-up; sometimes after the girls have gone to bed, or sometimes my speciality…the one legged Babby-swing, where Princess swings on my leg as I try to apply mascara.

But while I am not going out tonight, Mammy still has “That Friday Feeling”‘; you know the excitement, the relief and the joy? It might be slightly different to what it used to be, but it’s still here… just like me really.

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Me, right now!

Now, “that Friday Feeling” means much more:

  • It means no homework for Mini-Me.
  • It means excitement at the prospect of not having to make lunches for the morning.
  • It means firing the contents of the Freezer into the oven and not feeling one bit bad about it. Call it “Freezer Friday”. They love it!
  • It means no work for 2 and a half days!
  • It means not watching the clock to make sure the girls get to bed before 7.30pm (and some nights, watching the clock to MAKE SURE they are in bed by 7.30pm!)
  • It means a mental switch off from school, where I can allow myself to NOT worry about the notes I need to do, or the copies that need marked.
  • It means knowing that when they are in bed, that I can sit on my arse on the sofa and watch whatever I want, without that feeling of “I should be doing…”
  • It means being able to spend time writing, or reading, or simply scrolling the interweb to watch what other Mammies are doing with their Friday feeling.
  • It means putting on our PJs once we all get home and not feeling one bit bad about it!
  • It means being able to say “yes” if Mini-Me asks to watch a movie at 6pm.
  • It means being able to pour a glass of wine without feeling dreadfully uncouth and Scummy Mummyish for drinking on a school night.
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  • It means pouring a second glass if I so wish.
  • It means not having to plan out what everyone is wearing before bed.
  • It means not setting an alarm clock…
  • It means a generally happier, more relaxed Mammy, because there is a certain celebration and achievement in the fact that I have made it through the week with all of my Minions and myself mostly in one piece.
  • It’s a joy that is difficult to describe, but Friday evening is absolutely my favourite time of the week. And while it might be different now, it’s just as exciting and it’s much more wonderful as when I was young and free.
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Now, I’m old(er) and not so free, but I’m a better me and I’m exactly where I want to be. So bring on the fluffy socks and grapejuice Ladybelles.

It’s Friday and It’s Fablis.

Have a good one.

I am Surviving a Mary-of-the-Poppins Christmas Mum.

 

This week’s Thoroughly Modern Mammy column for Donegal Woman is an updates post on Christmas Survival for the Mary of the Poppins types…

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“Surviving Christmas,” “Christmas Survival Tips for the Working Mum”, “How to Survive Christmas”…

I googled these last night.

Some of the “advice” online is nothing short of HILARIOUS.  I fear most of it may have been written by one of the following:

🎄Mary of the Poppins herself

🎄Someone without kids

🎄A Man… 😂😂😂
Here are some of the best pieces I gleaned, followed by my honest and polite responses: (Buckle up!)

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1.  “Be Prepared.”

No sh*t Sherlock.  As opposed to waking on Christmas Eve and remembering to buy a turkey and gifts? Seriously…  This is a useless piece of advice. It’s like telling a woman to calm down.  When in the history of the world has telling a woman to calm down, resulted in her calming down?  Never. So telling a Mammy to “Be Prepared” for Christmas, is NOT helpful.
2. “Buy gifts throughout the year and wrap them as you go.” 

Now this one I can partially agree with, except S-Mum’s version would read “Buy gifts throughout the year, put them somewhere safe and then forget all about them until the week before Christmas, when you have all the gifts bought and then open a box or bag or suitcase and find all the PawPatrol jigsaws you bought in July.  Or even better, find them when you’re putting the decorations away in January!”

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3. “Choose a theme for your gifts to add that personal magic”. 

Here’s a theme.  Shut.  up.  Most of us just about manage to buy for everyone we have to buy for.  And if you’re anything like me, you’ll remember someone on Christmas Day and freak out with guilt and embarrassment and mumble some crap about it not being delivered on time, before popping to the loo to order on Amazon with next day delivery.

(But if you doooooo want to add a personal touch and be remembered fondly by your loved ones, put glitter🦄 into all of the cards and gifts so that their floors get clattered and you are applauded for spreading the magic of Christmas. Go ahead, I dare you! 😂😂)
4. “Place delicate or expensive ornaments on higher branches.

Ok this one, I can empathise with.  Especially if you have toddlers or dogs. 🐶But in reality, put delicate or expensive decorations in the ATTIC and leave them there until 2026.

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5. “Ice the Christmas Cake 2 weeks before Christmas”

Or in real life, remember on the 23rd that for some reason you need a Christmas cake to have in the kitchen which will never be cut or eaten.  Then you’ll  either pop to Marks of the Spensive or decide not to bother with cake this year. Either way, it doesn’t really matter does it?
6. “Decorating the home should be a family occasion followed by a family meal.”

Oh really? Should it really? If by “family meal” you mean a bottle of wine after the kids have all gone to bed, then yes…yes this is true. 😅

Decorating the home is, for most, a painful and highly stressful process which generally takes more than one afternoon and involves tears, mess and even declarations of divorcing children… and husbands.  If you can get the actual tree up in one go, save yourself the stress and put everything else up by yourself, on your own, without the rest of the family annoying your head.  After bedtime is ideal.😘😉
7. “Keep alcohol locked away.”

Out of the reach of children yes, but keep the key in your frilly fricking apron Mammy Poppins.
8. “Stock up on essentials:  batteries, bread, milk and cream.”

Why there is no gin or wine on this list, is beyond me.

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9. “Go Christmas Shopping without children. Bring a drink and a snack with you.” 

Who the hell wrote this? It is common knowledge that drinking while shopping with your children is frowned upon in civil society.  Oh… they meant for the children?  Ohhhh… I knew that.  Well, here’s an idea.  If you can get someone to mind the minions for an hour, OF COURSE, go Christmas shopping without them. Then, if you really want to follow the Perfect Mammy rule book, have a drink and eat all the snacks… by yourself!
10. “Create a cleaning schedule for your home to keep on top of things this Christmas”.

There aren’t enough swear words for this one. A Cleaning Schedule? Who the hell has time to write a cleaning schedule? In the time it would take me to write a cleaning schedule, I would probably have half the cleaning done.  If you can keep floors lego free and counters salmonella free, you’re doing great! You deserve a treat. 💚

Riddle me this Mammies?  Why would you spend hours cleaning before opening the boxes of decorations that are going to cause the whole place to need hoovered and dusted again in an hour anyway?  Why?

So there were the Top Ten pieces of advice from the various Perfect Mammy websites…

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There were a few little nuggets in fairness.  Some of the better advice included “Scale down your expectations”, “Invent your own traditions”, and “Give yourself a break.”  

Another gem that I completely agree with is “Buy disposable baking trays”: I stock up on aluminium turkey trays every year and everything is cooked in them.  It’s a life saver!

Alos, Yes to shopping lists. And sublists. (Any list!  I do love me alist!)  Plan your meals for Christmas week and do the shopping based on the list.  It will save you from buying piles of stuff that you won’t actually use. Will you actually use that goose fat or are you only buying it because it’s beside the cranberry sauce you’ve lifted…that no one in your house eats.

AND  remember to factor in Christmas Eve Dinner too.  Don’t do my speciality… realise you have a fridge full of food and nothing for the dinner when you finally get back to the house on Christmas Eve.  This will lead to arguments about who is going to the shop AGAIN, or toast for dinner.


The “Preparing for Christmas” articles largely did what they always do however; they put undue pressure on already busy parents to stress themselves to create a Hallmark worthy perfect Christmas card-esque scene that, in reality, is nonsense.

Do what YOU want to do.  Buy what YOU can afford.  Cook what YOU like to eat. If you don’t like mince pies, don’t fricken buy them. If you want to let your kids open all of the presents on Christmas morning, do it!  If you like to wrap all the everything, do so.  If you don’t, DON’T!

It’s that simple.  We don’t need a survival list to survive Christmas, we need to give ourselves a break and enjoy it, because if you take a second to stop and look around you, often in the midst of lost presents and superfluous food shopping, you can see a little bit of magic without having to buy it.

A perfect family Christmas is like a Perfect Parent… all that’s REALLY needed is love and what works for YOU!
What is your favourite “Survival tip” and why?

I am Ssssssh Mum

So I’ve been suffering a bit from the oul writer’s block.

Well, actually, I’ve not REALLY. I’ve just been busy this past week or two.

It’s been less “Writer’s block” and more “Mammy’s focked!” 😂😂

There comes a time every so often when this Mammy’s constant attempts to be a bouncing, caffeinated and enthusiasitc Duracell Bunny who has eleventy squillion plates spinning on one hand, while trying to squeeze 43 hours into a 24hour day, with a full time job AS WELL as being a fulltime Mammy, brings the blog to a little lull… and so by the time Mammy gets the girls and their random respective temperatures and snotters to bed each night this past week, Mammy has been fit for nothing else but planting her tired arse on the sofa. 😂
Even the thought of looking at a screen for more than a few minutes hurt my brain.
So I didn’t.

When I get busyful like this, I tend to cool off the interweb for a bit. Yes, I still browse briefly, but I don’t post as much. (I delete the apps off my phone for a few days so I have to really BOTHER to look at them on other devices. It works. Try it!)

I try to stock up on ideas and fun to write about when I get myself back into the swing of it, (and trust me, these two are firing it at me!), but generally, I recharge the blog batteries by putting it on the backburner for a bit.
I’m still here. I’m just not putting pressure on myself to write and I’m not looking at the screen as much.

Social Media is great, but it does no harm every so often to remember that it’s not real and that ACTUALLY, you CAN survive for a few days without it. Life goes on, and it can suddenly become much more focused on the technicolourful wonder that it is, when we’re not being distracted by the little screen quite so much.

Mammy is looking forward to getting some blogs and posts put together this weekend, and normal smumbles will resume soon…just as soon as I recharge my OWN batteries! 😚😂

And just so you don’t think I’ve lost my mojo completely, here’s an update of the death of Michael Jackson… Mini-Me had to draw a picture at school of someone who she knew who had died … guess who she drew!?

Chat soon Ladybelles.
Happy nearly Friday Day!

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