Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

How not to go insane in hospital.

Evening all,

Firstly, Thanks so much for all of your comments and get well wishes for Baba A. I really really appreciate them. 🙂 she is on the mend I reckon. Slowly slowly but I can see we are moving in the right direction. Today we even made it to the playroom so that is progress. 🙂

However, I’m not going to lie to you, hospital life can be pretty darn dull and days can be pretty freaking long.

Once you’ve heard about the water works issues of the other inmates patients and even seen a diagram, seriously, do I have a sign on my head?!, have exhausted the limited DVD selection and the playroom has closed for the day, you need to find something to occupy your mind lest you should go utterly stir crazy which is, generally speaking, no help to anyone, unless you consider the possible ego boost for others who want someone to compare themselves favourably against.
I’ll level with you, you will find a scattering of such people outside most hospitals, most of the time. They are recognisable by the oxygen mask and fag or, thin cotton nightie in the snow and a fag or the mahoosive baby bump and the fag. Yup. I’m judging.

One of the things that could help to while away the hours might be writing a blog- well blow me, how fortuitous. I already write a blog.
…Every cloud and all that.

Soooo, this evenings offering is my top ten of books and blogs which have made me smile/snort in a most unladylike like fashion as well as a selection of beautiful and totes emosh books to read to a poorly baba.

Grown up choices…

1) Richard Bacon; A series of unconnected events.
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Mr L has a total man crush on Richard Bacon. He crow bars him into approximately 50% of all of the conversations we have. So, to humour him- and ensure that we continue to have something to talk about 13 years into our relationship, I have begun reading his book.
My expectations were low to be perfectly honest but I love it, only really knowing about the whole cocaine thang but, I am a total Bacon convert. He is hilarious and the book is an ideal toilet read as the chapters are short and can be read as stand alone stories if you so desire. Obviously, no self respecting woman reads on the toilet but, you get my drift. The first chapter is about the whole sorry snorting affair. Reason enough for the purchase.

2) Caitlin Moran; How to be a Woman.
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If you are looking for a more well rounded, more well educated, funnier and more polished version of this blog which instead of being a blog is a book, this is what you are after.
A fiercely intelligent woman and unashamedly strident feminist she has articulated everything that I think.
Pretty bloody annoying really as that is another income stream gone. Thanks Moran.

3) Caitlin Moran; Moranthology.
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As above. Double annoying.
I whole heatedly agree with her rant on party bags and aside from not knowing a jot or giving a toss about Doctor Who, I basically want to be her.

4) The Poke; www.thepoke.co.uk
Funny pics of random stuff. Absolutely no value to it at all aside from to make you smile.

5) ScaryMommy.com
The very fact that this blog uses the word Mommy should mean that I would never, ever darken its virtual doors. I hate that word.
However, I have had time on my hands during the last few evening and, thanks to the wonders of technology (RIP Steve Jobs) and my willingness to click yes when asked if I was a member of staff in need of WIFI access, I have perused many websites and blogs in the wee small hours.
For more funny stuff check out Mumsnet or Tots100.

Obviously, I would subscribe to my own humorous, anecdotal motherhood blog if I was not the author. That goes without saying.

Now for the kiddiwinks…

1) Nancy Tilman; On the night that you were born.

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Our best man read this verse at Baba A’s Naming Day.
It is amazing.
It perfectly articulates exactly how utterly bloody marvellous your baby/my baby/Kate and Wills baby is.

2) Nancy Tilman; I’d know you Anywhere my love.

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Love this.
Basically it is telling your child to reach for the stars, achieve their ambitions, be whatever the hell it is they want to be any you will still know them. If they dress up as a bird (obv in teen years this is more likely to be a goth, emo, whatever the kids are calling it these days!) you will still be able to pick them out of a feathery line up.
A pretty fab confidence boost I would think.
Clearly, this will be a subconscious message unless your kid really is an actual genius and can read between the lines.

2b) Basically anything by Nancy Tilman.
It should be clear by now the her books are unashamedly gushy and emotional reads about the serious levels of love you have for your child. (It should be perfectly obvious that she is a septic tank, us Brits are way too stiff upper lip for all of this).
They say absolutely nothing about the occasions where you are so knackered you could cry or have just found your brand spanking new lippy being used as a crayon for your walls.

3) Edward Monkton; Love Monkey.
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A whimsical story about a monkey who searches the world over for his dream monkey to give her his perfect heart.
Very simple illustrations, very beautiful message. Your heart will be perfect for the person it is meant for. Gawjuss.

3b) Edward Monkton; A Lovely Love Story.
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Fab story about two dinosaurs that are very different but a perfect match.
Highly unlikely to be based on any of Attenborough documentaries but lovely all the same.

4) Julia Donaldson</a; Tiddler.
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Tiddler.
When all the emotional claptrap is too much, get involved in a bit of rhyme about a little fish!
I love this book, it is ace.
Tiddler is a fish who to all intents and purposes is a big, fat lier. But one day something happens that blows all his fibs out if the water.
Great pictures, brill rhymes and available in a variety of forms ie board books, paperback and audio.
I love Julia Donaldson, obviously best known for The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child she has a whole host of books, poems, songs and plays which are well worth checking out.
My second favourite is The Singing Mermaid. Nasty old Sam Sly!!

5) Caryl Hart; The Princess and The Peas.

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A book chockablock with opportunities for voices and silliness.
Lily Rose May is generally a bit of a goody two shoes to be honest but gets into a bit of a flap over one of her 5 a day… Her Dad tries to sort it but in the end he has to call in the big guns.
A massive part of me hopes that the next child Kate and William have is a girl so Pippa pert ass Middleton can buy this as an ironic birthday present.

Incidentally, if you are going into hospital you will need an IPad. Fact. Without it you will surely die of boredom or, worse, succumb to the hospital shop and news of Jordan’s 19th wedding to a dancer that was once on Fame Academy behind Alex Parks.

Also, if you are going to buy any of these books which, quite clearly I recommend you do, please try to buy them from an independent bookshop. They are just nicer. Our local one, Linghams, just one Independent Bookshop of the Year. Totes Amaze.

I am now going to try to get some shut eye in the 10cm wide gap that is left of my camp bed since my baby came to join me in it.
Is there a better feeling in the world than having a little hand curled around your finger whilst watching their chest rise and fall and seeing them look peaceful?
Probably not but it does make writing a blog post pretty freaking tough!

Laterzzzzz. Lots of love.

XxxxX

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Life lessons

Hi again.

I hope that you’ve all had a good day.
Ours has been emotional in lots of ways.

As you know, yesterday can only be described as pants. If you missed it you can read bout it here but to cut a long story short it involved a temperature, a trip to the docs and the unswitchoffable feeling of guilt that is part of being a parent.

Fast forward to this morning. I could have fried an egg on Baby A’s stomach this morning and decided that waiting until Friday for another doctors appointment was not an option so, without going into all of the boring details, it is now 14 hours after we arrived at the walk in centre attached to the hospital.

My beautiful, beautiful first born is sleeping fitfully in a cot next to my put you up bed on the children’s ward. She is as white as a sheet, has a temp of 40 and a cannula for her antibiotics.
She has just, for the very first time in her life, been sick so is now not even in her own jim-jams, she is in a hospital gown looking teeny, tiny and pretty forlorn.

Despite all of this, today has been a better day than yesterday. It has been better because of my glorious friends and family and the kindness of strangers.

This morning I sent a text to two of my very clever medical friends, describing Baba A’s presentation and asking what to do. My gut told me to go to the walk in but my head was saying;

They’ll think you’re a neurotic mother.
You have an appointment on Friday.
You are over reacting.
Stop being a drama queen.

Now, for those that know me, I AM a drama queen, I absolutely love a bit of drama. I love being the centre of attention. I am a born show off.
There is absolutely no denying that I wish I was a mixture of Dame Judy Dench, Alan Carr, Caitlin Moran, Mary Portas and Pink but, drama like this I could do without.
I haven’t got Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy or anything (slightly concerned that by physically writing that down it make me look like I HAVE got MSbP- again, I haven’t!)

Both of my friends concurred that I should get her checked out and I am so glad I did.

No one made me feel like a neurotic mum and as soon as we arrived on the assessment ward it was as if my baba thought, ok, cool, I am in the right place now, I can give up this brave rubbish and just rest.
She has slept in my arms for the majority of the day.
I have kissed her forehead, mopped her brow, had the horrid job of holding her so the doctor could take her bloods and I have felt my heart swell and allowed myself a wry smile as she clamped her teeth shut so no one cold check inside her mouth. Fighting spirit. All is not lost 😉

I have done my absolute level best to telepathically send her the following message but just incase she didn’t totally get it, I’ll write a quick praisy for her to look back on in years to come.

My darling darling girl,

You are one of THE most precious things in my life.
I love you totally and completely.
I am here.
I will never leave you and if you ever, ever need me, I am yours.
Always.

If I could take on your fever,
Heal all your hurt,
Cuddle you better,
I’d do it, the works.

But me and your daddy,
We made you so strong,
So you do it baby,
I’ll carry you on. *

Btw- if you are into excessive mushy sentiment check out these books by Nancy Tilman. I will give £5.00 to anyone that can read them without getting a lump in their throat.**

Baba B meanwhile has been looked after by my sisters boyfriend (a term which frankly I think is a little teenage, but life partner sounds weird so I will stick with it), my sister and my fabulous, calm under pressure, simply wonderful yummy mummy friend Jojo and, midwife, criminally gorgeous and cool in a crisis Kirsty.
THANK YOU.
I bloody love my friends.

The nursery has offered to have Baba B tomorrow which is a massive help and something they totally did not need to do.

The doctors, nurses and HCA’s have taken time, checked my baby out thoroughly, explained everything to me and made me drinks and toast even though I am sure they have more important things to do.
God bless the NHS.

When I burst into tears in the taxi on my way to try to see my other baba, the middle aged, stiff upper lip, more comfortable on the terraces, taxi driver told me not to worry and offered me a tissue, possibly to prevent me snorting on his seats but still. Kind.

Situations like this remind you that in general, people are lovely, kind, caring and generous.
A lovely thing to be reminded of and a brilliant ethos to teach our girls going forward.
Obviously some people are tits but I haven’t encountered any of those today.

The more I know of life the more I think that Henry James really knew what he was talking about when he said;

“Three things in human life are important:
the first is to be kind;
the second is to be kind;
and the third is to be kind.”

NB- I know I’ve used this before, it is just so true that I thought it was worth repeating.

So, there you are, we are all up to date.

In summary, my baby is strong, my friends are awesome, the NHS is pretty special and people are kind.

Night all.
XxxxX

*If you are reading this in 2025 Baba, in some sort of angry teenage strop-clamber down from that high horse. See how much I love you?… Well then, come and apologise for staying out so late and anything else you may have been up to recently.

** I obviously won’t do this.

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Well, what a hideous day that was.

You know some mornings when you wake up you just know its going to be one of those days.
I got that this morning and this is how it panned out…

*Went to the shops, walked around the shops, got to the till and realised wallet was on sideboard at home.
*Drove home in the pissing rain, got wallet.
*Reversed out of drive, knocked over bin which fell into road.
*Both babies are crying at this point. Hideous.

Drive to toddler group in Neston. Figure out how to get in via hidden stupid ramp and then see the stupid fucking sign to say that the session is off.
T’riffic.
Not to worry, go to the park instead.
Bring on the rain. Again.
FFS

By this time baba A has a raging temperature and is lethargic to say the least. She is refusing her lunch and looks sinfully miserable.

I decide to go to the sit and wait clinic at the doctors, again. Our eldest baba has been under the weather and not quite herself for over a month now. I can not put my finger on what exactly is wrong but nursery has commented that she isn’t quite her usual self as have friends from rhyme time and family members.
Her ear, nose, throat and chest are all clear, there has been one clear urine test and they are now testing a second, we have an appointment with the paediatric doctor on Friday so hopefully will get some answers then.

So, we head home, Baba B’s nappy has exploded so needs a full change, again. Utter crime scene.
This is done against a backdrop of Baba A wailing.

Baba A has a sleep which provides some respite from the crying and allows me to spend some time with the baby baby who is having a bit of a tough time playing second fiddle to the bigger baby, but I am filled worry as to why, having slept in the car in the morning and at lunch time she still needs a nap at 4pm.
Can’t enjoy the time with the baby baby due to worrying and feeling guilty that I can’t please them both and am stressing my husband out big time as he can hear all of this whilst working from home.
Ergh. Horrid.

So- eventually bath and bed time rolls around which quite frankly is a relief. The baby baby has a lovely bath, splashing and giggling and playing. Phew.
7pm- We made it! To say that makes me feel like absolute rubbish because it is admitting that my day with my babies today has been like wading through treacle. But it has.

I’m off to eat my weight in chocolate now and then drink a vat of wine.
Good day to you! Fingers crossed tomorrow will be a better one…I’ll keep you posted.

XxxxX

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How Many Kids have you got?

I wrote the blog post below a few years ago about the frustrations of supporting young people in the care system and, having had a message from my lovely friend Emma, I felt obliged to let people know, again, how the other half live. You can find other similar posts here.

I wrote this before having my own children. Before I fully understood the enormity of the role of being a parent and, now I know what it entails and how much impact what you say and do (or don’t) it feels even more important that these young people are supported as much as is possible because otherwise, who breaks the cycle? Who stops their children from going through the same experiences…. Some food for thought.

How many kids have you got?
As you can see I haven’t blogged for a while but, it is tough to fit everything in when you’re a parent to 20 kids.

Alright; I’m ‘only’ a corporate parent, and they are over 18, and they don’t actually live with me (actually lots of them are only those faceless scallies that you see on the street that’ll never amount to anything and people cross over the road to avoid) but- THEY ARE MY RESPONSIBILITY.

Do you have kids?
What are they like?
What would you do to stop them feeling pain, committing a crime, becoming homeless, going to prison.
I bet you’d walk over hot coals- I would.

I only met my kids when they turned 18 and I can actually only be their parent until they’re 21 (or in the unlikely event that they do continue in education, until they’re 24) and, to be totally honest I am actually only legally obliged to see them once every 12 weeks- 4 TIMES PER YEAR. Yeah, that’s right government…that’ll be enough to keep them on the straight and narrow,
get them into education or a work placement,
help them to find independent accommodation in the borough that they WANT to live in, not the only one that’ll agree to take responsibility for them,
make them genuinely believe that they are worth something
and they can achieve
and they do deserve better
and to deal with any of the other day to day issues that they might be struggling with over these three years.

The governments Every Child Matters agenda states that all young people deserve the following:
To be healthy
To be safe
To enjoy and achieve
To make a positive contribution
To achieve economic well-being

I agree whole heartedly with these objectives, but I don’t think that they can be properly and fully achieved in just 3 years.

· I think that any young person needs a stable home, preferably their own family but, if not, then a long term, stable loving, foster placement. Not like one of my kids who can list well over 20 placements that she’s had in the last 10 years (she’s now 20)
· I think that I think that any young person deserves to feel healthy and safe, to have the knowledge and understanding of what will keep them safe, mentally, emotionally, sexually, physically. Not like one of my kids who has a rare form of asbergers but is currently sofa surfing because he hasn’t yet got to the top of the council housing list. He can’t cope with going into a hostel as he doesn’t feel confident with people that he doesn’t know.
· I think that it is incredibly important that all young people have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to society, several of my young people were really interested in going on a weeks volunteering trip to Bulgaria with Vinvolved and attended interviews but…it was cancelled at the last minute due to a lack of interest.
· I believe that achieving economic well being is currently a distant dream for my young people; currently only 5 out of my 20 have a job.

The Banardos advert couldn’t be more true and it has to stop.
All to often meeting kids aged 18 is 10 years too late. They don’t trust people, they’ve been let down and have left school with few qualifications and low self esteem. Then, just when you build a relationship with them, they open up and you really get to know them, you close their file and that’s it, they’re on their own again (another point to note; the average age children leave home now is 27- unless they’re care leavers…)

As I say every time; it wouldn’t be good enough for your kids, it wouldn’t be good enough for my kids so WHY is it good enough for these kids?

ANSWER…It’s not.

So- I am not sure what I can do to make a positive contribution to this issue at the moment but I know that I want to and I hope that some of you reading this will do to. I will be having a think in the coming days and weeks and will let you know what I come up with- of course, all comments, suggestions, shares etc etc are all very welcome.
I know that there is a lot of chat about the whole Big Society idea but I don’t know what is out there at the moment that is working- something must be?

Oh- and just incase you think that one person can’t make a difference…

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Lots of love.

XxxxX

PS- if you are one of ‘my kids’, know this- I think about you every day. Genuinely. People don’t do jobs like this for the money, they do it because they care. XxxxX

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Working 9-5 the only way to make a living?

So, the ugly conversation has been had…it had to happen at some point of course but since I simply have no idea what the answer is I have tried to avoid it for as long as possible.
I am referring of course to…returning to work, earning a living, having a job…doing the 9-5 thang.

I officially finished work on Friday 4th January this year and have since resigned from my position as we moved out of the area. I have no job to go back to and no idea, literally NO idea, what I would like to return to and, since I have no idea, I can not figure out if such a role exists, if it pays well and if I am qualified to do it!

My statutory maternity pay will end on 11th October and by January I will need to be back at work or earning in some capacity.

I have 20 years of employment under my belt. My first job was packing flapjacks in ‘The flapjack factory’, (actually a kitchen tacked on to the back of a tiny terraced house) and my last was as an Assistant Team Manager for a care leavers service. In between those roles i have been a nanny, a teacher, a waitress and a bar maid. I have owned my own business and I have always, always earned my own money.
I do not like the idea of not having my own income and therefore having to ask permission to buy something or feel like I need to justify a purchase. (Point to note- my husband isn’t some kind of penny pinching tight arse) but I fear he values an antique church pew slightly less than I).
If I like something I like to be able to buy it and not have to answer to anyone. 2014 could be the very first time in my life when I won’t be able to say;

Yeah- well I like love the faux zebra print shoe and belt combo/the neon shellac/the MAC make up brush kit/The Chateauneuf du Pape and anyway- it’s my money so it’s my choice.

Ergh. Sad times indeed.

Sadly the zebra print shoes are no longer with us due to an unspeakable incident with a puppy. The belt is nothing on its own. It is a sad deflated, wrinkly balloon. I can’t look at it.

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So, the question remains- what am I to do?!

If I return to work the salary needs to cover the cost of the necessary childcare otherwise it is pointless. I like my independence but I ain’t paying to work. That’s just madness and anyway wouldn’t then allow any of the above!

The role needs to be flexible enough to allow me to both take my children to, and collect them from nursery and have time off for kid related stuff.
I want something that is intellectually stimulating and does not involve working with idiots.

If the role did not need to fall within these parameters I would obviously have gone directly to telephone sex operator.

How hard can it be (excuse the pun) to purr provocatively into the ear of Nigel that I’m wearing a purple wipe clean basque that can barely contain my 34 G’s and a pair of pretty polly hold ups in sheer sherry (they’re what his Doreen used to wear) when I am actually wearing some M&S pjs and slipper socks whilst trying to mop up some supermarket own brand corn based cereal.
Very hard it would seem thanks to the invention of SKYPE.

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A blog about blogging…

NB- if this IS something that you think you can do please feel free to check out this link– as soon as I googled ‘telephone sex line’ they came up.
They are also recruiting telephone psychics…bet you didn’t see that one coming! (If you didn’t see that one coming. Don’t apply. You have to GENUINELY have the gift. They aren’t in the business of conning people you know).*

I do have a BIG idea, it is just that whilst I am figuring all of that out I need to be earning some money and so- I turn to this…the blog.

I understand that some people actually earn a living from blogging. I also know that many, many more people do not. This seems like an ideal solution if it could work for me. It would answer all of my prayers. (Ok, some of them).

I would be available for coffee my children, I could write about things that I know (and know nothing) about and I could have contact with other people both virtually and in actual real life via networking, mother and baby groups and other projects that I am yet to hear or learn about.

So- this week I took the first step. I met up with someone from The Women’s Organisation and discussed how I can make this work for me, whether it is feasible and where to go from here.

I have now signed up for some of their FREE courses including
Planning for Success and
Promoting your business using Social Media

Additionally, the service has mentors, business space in Liverpool city centre and a networking business club.

Most importantly for me, the motto on the front of their leaflet is;

Well behaved Women rarely make history.

Now I’m not aiming to make history or anything but that strikes me as a pretty brilliant quote.

I will let you know how I get on and hopefully I will also be able to let you know about other women that have benefited from the WO.
If you are a woman, have a business or a business idea and are based in the North West, I would strongly recommend getting in touch with them. You can find out more about them here.
Now, obviously I am going to have to learn a hell of a lot more about the business of blogging and as I learn I will be sure to pass on any pearls of wisdom to you dear reader. What I really really want is to win a spot at the next Blogcademy so I will need to get my creative hat on, and sharpish!

So- I guess what I am aiming for is a blog which allows me to be around for my babies, to rant, rave and review to my hearts content, to make people laugh and to make people think, all the while keeping the wolf from the door. I am not asking for the moon on a stick (or a Mulberry Bayswater)** just for a little longer at home with my babies.
Is this just another pipe dream or something I can make a reality- I don’t know yet but I will keep you informed. Watch this space people.

Lots of love.

XxxxX

* I have no evidence to support this. They may actually be in the business of conning people. Hum…
** I AM really!

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It’s not right but it’s OK.

Katy Hill has drawn my attention this morning to the front cover of OK magazine on sale today less than 12 hours after The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge left hospital with their new son.
Suffice to say I am not impressed.

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I am not impressed at all.

Now, I am an intelligent women. Yup, it’s out there. I am bright as a button, sharp as a tack. Pretty ruddy smart.*

I’ve got GCSE biology so I know very well that it takes 9 months to incubate your baby, to ensure that they have all the nutrients and time needed to develop.
I also know that it will and should take AT LEAST that time again to lose the weight you gained, the muscle tone you lost and to get your head around the fact that your tits my friend are basically done. That’s it, you’ve had the best of those bad boys. Get used to it.
And yet, I am not immune to feeling like utter rubbish simply for being normal.

So, just to set the record straight and to prevent other new mums from looking at themselves in disgust and wasting time feeling bad about themselves when what you really ought to be doing is giving yourself a freaking humongous pat on the back for simply getting out of bed in the morning and caring for your baby here is my top five of It’s OK if…

1) It is OK if your knickers now start just above your knee and finish just below your bra. (Additionally it is ok if they are more grey than dazzling white).

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2) It is OK if your leaving hospital was not a beautiful polka dot dress but a pair of XXL trackies which were more ASDA price than Jack Wills. (It is not a deal breaker if they are speckled with sick and/or other bodily fluids).

3) It is OK if your knees and nipples are now closer pals than you’d ever thought possible. (It is also ok to sometimes cry a bit about this).

4) It’s OK if your training regime involves picking up your baby rather than a set of dumbells, running a bath instead of a race and sitting on the sofa instead of 100’s of sit ups.

5) It is OK if your beauty regime is now a babywipe and some chewing gum, dry shampoo and incognito sunnies.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.

You’ve had a baby, this is massive. Enjoy this time. You will never, ever ever get it back.

Please, please do not waste a minute that you could spend cuddling your baby, feeding your baby, loving your baby-OR- having a break from your baby, by worrying that you are not good enough, don’t look good enough aren’t coping well enough. Bollocks.

Get your exercise from walking with the pram, laughing with friends and gathering up your boobs from the floor. Ha ha ha.
Exercise is not something to leap back into after a break. Take things easy, take advise and do something you enjoy.

PS- in the interests of education…this month is Ramadan. Some of the principal rules for Muslims particularly at this time of year are;

* No negative or degrading, or belittling thoughts about yourself, or anyone else.
* No harsh words, rude manners, or obscene behaviour towards any others.
* Be as kind, loving, generous, giving and nurturing as you can be to all the people and to yourself as you can be.

Good advice no?!
If in doubt think to yourself- would I give my baby or my friends as hard a time as I am giving myself?…

Love you dudes.

XxxxxX

* I have come to this conclusion myself. It may not be 100% accurate.

6 Comments »

Dear Kate.

I am genuinely thrilled to hear the news that Kate (I can’t get involved in calling her Catherine I’m sorry- I hope you don’t mind) has given birth to a beautiful baby boy.
I say beautiful, despite the fact that I have yet to have my invite to the Lindo Wing to meet the future monarch in person, because ALL babies are beautiful- sometimes only in the eyes of their parents but never the less, beautiful.

I am less interested however in the utter tripe being spoken and written by the media. On the radio last night a presenter described Prince Charles as

‘The happiest new grandfather in the Country’.

Now I don’t want to clamber up onto my soap box over this but- I imagine, that had there been any other new grandfathers listening, they would have been somewhat disgruntled to hear that their grandchild was slightly less good and making them slightly less happy than William and Kate’s baby is making Charles.
Absolute Rubbish.

The press are going mad for it. Totally.

Today I have also had the pleasure of learning, without even trying, the gynaecological history of Camilla. Yep. Camilla. No blood relation to the bambino but the press has seen fit to inform me that the main man at the business end of yesterday’s delivery has also had the pleasure of checking out the mistresses muff and The Queens quim prior to overseeing Kate’s delivery. Ergh.

TOO MUCH. TOO MUCH.

I know that we are all interested, I know that most people simply want to know all is well and wish the new family all the very best. But seriously, lets give them a break.

Becoming a mum is amazing, bewildering, life changing, life affirming, mind boggling, heart melting and body breaking.

I imagine it can only become harder when done in the public eye with such intense scrutiny.

When there is a sweepstake on the name, breast or bottle, type of pram, Gina (Ford)’or Tracy (Hogg) you know that privacy could be hard to come by.

Being born into the Royal family does not, contrary to popular belief, make you more loved or more lucky. It means that, as with every other child that has ever been born, you are born into a life not of your choosing and the various highs and lows that it entails. I hope that he will be equipped to deal with whatever life throws at him with grace and good humour.

Kate and William seem like a really lovely couple, down to earth and pretty normal. I like to think that they recognise that their baby is just as loved, just as precious, just as special and unique as every other baby.
We don’t need to worry about their baby being loved too much- there is no such thing. What we really need to remember on occasions such as this are the babies that aren’t loved enough.

I am taking a leaf out of Princess Anne’s book who said when asked…

It’s none of my business of course but it is wonderful news.

(I love Princes Royal almost as much as I love Claire Balding).

But, if you are interested Kate- here are my top five things every new mum needs to know:

1) Day 4 is tricky- once you know this it automatically becomes less tricky. This is usually the day when the euphoria is beginning to wain, you are shattered, aching and your boobs are full to bursting.
Approach this day with: plenty of Muslins, plenty of tissues, plenty of chocolate and very, very few visitors. (ie none aside from your ma)

2) Get some Bio Oil. This will do two things- one, it will make you believe you will have time for a bath and also time to moisturise post bath (PMA is a very important thing!)
It will also reduce the appearance of stretch marks like an absolute dream. I love it.

3) Your baby is quite simply THE best that the world has ever seen. Fact.

4) You can never have enough breast pads or properly heavy, heavy duty sanitary pads. I know you think you can but you are wrong. Also, just incase, don’t exit the hospital in a grey top. It makes leakage very obvious and embarrassing. Even if you aren’t famous.

5) If you bottle feed or mixed feed or struggle to feed you are normal. Don’t give up and don’t feel like you’re a failure. You aren’t.

6) This is an extra- if you are worried you aren’t doing it right, you aren’t good enough, people,are judging you and you are coming up short, don’t worry. You are normal. You are trying your best and that is enough.

Best of luck.

Massive congratulations.

Lots of Love.

XxxxX

PS- I promise I won’t write about you anymore because you need a bit of time to yourselves.

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Race for Life. Race to Live.

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Evening All,

Phew, what a busy few days we’ve had seeing friends and family, playing in paddling pools, going swimming and to fairs and even having a meal out, en mass, without an utter Wailing Cacophony.

Today I completed the Race for Life with my mum and my sister in celebration of my mums recovery and to support and spur on my cousin and brother in law who are currently fighting cancer as hard as they possibly can.

It was absolutely heartwarming to see women of all ages, shapes and fitness levels with their own motivations written on the back of their tee shirts.

For my Mum

For my Sister

For my Husband/Dad/Friend…

For Me

There were pictures, stories of loss, stories of triumph and lots of women being cheered on loud and proud by friends, family and several dressed up dogs!

I didn’t take my girls this year but I certainly will do next time. So many children were running, walking, dancing and being pushed by mums, nans and aunties and they had their own tee shirts and motivations. Seeing things like

For my Grandpa

For my Best Friend

For my Nana

Written in childish lettering puts a lump in the throat like nothing else.

It must have been so tough for the families to break the news that someone they love was poorly or had passed away but what I observed today seemed to be an opportunity to say Thank-you or We Miss You and We Love you and We are fighting with you and for you as much as we can. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Allowing children the opportunity to do this too is hard and brave and probably very right.
Children are clever, they pick up on emotions and when things are not quite right for one reason and another.
This blog details brilliantly how hard it is for children to cope with loss but that does not necessarily mean that we should always totally shield them from it.
Perhaps allowing them to see that illness, difficulties, hurt and grief can be dealt with with positivity, love, togetherness and honesty is a good thing.

I am learning so much from being a mum. Caitlin Moran puts it brilliantly in her book Being A Woman. Read it, asap. I have a massive girl crush on her (and Liza Tarbuck actually- filthy laugh, but I digress!) I imagine I will bore you with some life lessons in the weeks to come but For now I think I will leave you all with these pearls of wisdom.

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”

― Henry James

And finally…

“If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn . . .
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight . . .
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive . . .
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself . . .
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy . . .
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel envy . . .
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty …

BUT

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient . . .
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident . . .
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative . . .
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love . .
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves..
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is . . .
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice . . .
If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him . . .
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns the world is a nice place in which to live . . .”

― Dorothy Law Nolte, Children Learn What They Live:

Have a lovely week peeps, we are off to the zoo tomorrow with one of my bestest friends are her babies. Eeek. Can’t wait.

Lots of love.
XxxxX

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Note for God

Dear God,

Just a quickie- I don’t like to ask really as I know you’re busy and everything, but I was just wondering if you could turn the thermostat down. Please. Just slightly. If you don’t mind.
It’s playing havoc with the babies sleeping you see.

I know the way that things are usually meant to work, what with the concept of free will and all you aren’t meant to be stepping in every two minutes to bail us out like some sort of invisible (and clearly more powerful) James Caan, so, for precisely this reason, I haven’t asked for help with the really really big stuff but, this would just be a very small, very helpful thing.

I initially approached Carol Kirkwood but unfortunately, despite her very smiley, sunny disposition, it turns out she simply reports the weather, not creates it. I thought she may have had a bigger role as Bill (Billy) Turnbull regularly asks

What have you got for us Carol.

She hasn’t got anything for us per se Bill, she is merely imparting to us some of her meteorological knowledge (with a very lovely voice and smile and, from some lovely locations!)

I have never really been much of a one for the sun. I have the skin tone of the deceased and when it is sunny I never, never ever, tan. I often go pink, I occasionally go red and I always, always go patchy, get strap marks and sweat. Minging.

Another issue with this weather is people without children seem to presume that parents who are on maternity leave or off because of the school holidays or whatever are swanning about in maxi dresses sipping an iced latte watching Wimbledon followed by The Ashes or A N Other sporting fixture and leafing through the pages of OK or HELLO sitting on a sun lounger whilst our children happily splash away in a lovely paddling pool (which both blew itself up and filled itself).

In reality people we are wondering how the fuck to keep our little ones from hourly melt downs because they are so hot they don’t know what to do with themselves when all the toddler groups have closed for the summer (see you in September- yep, if I haven’t been institutionalised by then). 😉
The lovely paddling pool is awash with bits of grass and various bugs topped off with a sheen of sun cream. And, at some point in the day an over excited child will jump in, slip and then totally immerse themselves in chilly water which will result in utter hysteria (FYI- totally don’t blame them on this one).

That’s it really Big Man, I’d really appreciate it if you could fix this for me, and every other parent out there.

PS- I’ve come to you first but might approach Allah and Buddha and some of the other biggies if you don’t mind just to cover all the bases.

PPS- If you won’t do it for the masses, do it for Kate. She is Royal, and pregnant and must be pretty uncomfortable by now.

Many Thanks in Advance,

Muma.

XxxxX

Note for human readers- perhaps you could add your comments to this so that God is aware that its not just me making a big deal of things…

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Seeing friends now you have children…

Morning All,

Have had a pretty hectic week in the Leary household which is why I haven’t been able to post much and had seemingly fallen off the face of the earth.
It has included:
A wedding reception (fantastic)
Weaning (hardly Annabel Karmel)
Potty buying (OMG, our little girl is growing up)
Crawling #2 (OMG, our even littler girl is growing up)
A trip to Alder Hey (for a check up on the eye- looking good)
A trip to Tatton Park (a really lovely, lovely family day)

I have to begin this post with a massive caveat. I am utterly, utterly smitten by my children. I absolutely think that they are the best thing in the world. Additionally, I can not recall a period in my life when I have felt happier or more settled and at peace (yep, it’s out there, I am using new agey sort of statements like at peace. Deal with it). I have my husband to thank for this. He has made a humongous change to his life for the sake of his family and I am so grateful. (Apologies for the outpouring but there it is).

BUT… Bold statement of the day…

Kids really seem to get in the way of maternity leave if I’m totally honest.

They create washing and mess, need feeding, entertaining and loving and have to go to bed at a reasonable hour to prevent subsequent days from being utter carnage. Annoying!

What I had envisaged for our big move back to The Wirral was my school friends and I meeting up very frequently for coffee whilst our children played very happily together occasionally gambolling over like playful lambs to show us a book or doll or something that they were sharing considerately between them.
The reality of the situation is slightly different in that my friends have ‘jobs’.
They are usually working I tell you. Most inconsiderate when I am off and need to be entertained/kept sane by adult company. I don’t mean seedy adult company either- that isn’t what has stopped them calling, I don’t request that keys get thrown into a fruit bowl on arrival or anything.
I am very happy to provide tea and cake and, if I know they are coming, I will even put a bottle of Cif onto the kitchen worktop so they think I have hygiene standards.
NB- I would buy the cake too so it isn’t my shoddy cookery skills that is stopping them in their droves.

When we do manage to synchronise our diaries meetings usually go like this;
Hugs and kisses all round.
Adults because they are happy to have other adult company, children because they have been told to be polite (or are at the kissing stage- strangers, pets, inanimate objects be aware).
A conversation will start which is immediately interrupted by a child tugging on a coat tail asking for any/all of the following;
A wee, a poo, a carry, a cuddle, a book, a toy a snack, a smack (I am joking- don’t call the NSPCC).

An entirely new conversation will begin when said child/ren have been placated. By this stage no one can recall what initial conversation was about.
FYI- it is very likely to have been something exceptionally highbrow such as the coalitions attempts to restructure the benefits system (ill considered and quite frankly unworkable; if you want more details on why Davo, give me a bell) or our views on the current crisis in Egypt (looks like a military coup to me but I’m no expert).
The new conversation will have stepped down a peg or two and may be about school, sleep, weaning, potty training, money…)
This will be punctuated by us eating plastic or indeed utterly imaginary food and cuddling various toys, someone will need to read The Gruffalo or the current favourite Tiddler whilst all of this is going on- clue; it won’t be a child.

When there is a break in the fake picnic we will begin another, entirely new and unrelated conversation which may be getting close to our base level- this will likely include rants about all/any of the following:
Partners, Parents, Work, Money, Katie Hopkins, Jeremy Kyle…(I absolutely and unreservedly despise this programme and think it is a sad indication of the state of this nation. I can’t bring myself to watch it so it is unlikely that this subject will get much air time but I just wanted you to know how I feel. It is similar to how I feel about celeb magazines).

Atleast one child will be sleep deprived and grouchy, one will be teething and grouchy, one will be bored and grouchy and one will be sticking something up their nose and/or falling of a slide, a sofa or a n other surface of some variety.

Every so often something exceptionally cute will happen which will give us all the strength to continue for the next half an hour.
The happy throng will break up once we admit to ourselves that we can’t complete a whole sentence without forgetting what we were talking about and we will agree to do the same again next week!!
As the children go to leave they will do something as simple as hold each others hand or give a spontaneous kiss and we will all declare the gathering an unmitigated success and coo over how amazing our children are (because they are).

Once the last person leaves I will return to the kitchen to find a minimum of two cold, stewed cups of tea and a packet of biscuits. Phew, I know what I’ll be having for my dinner. Yeah, that’s right, sometimes I microwave my brew. :-/

PS- If this sounds like it applies to you, I LOVE you all coming round, accepting my house as it is and bringing your children to make noise, mess and memories. Don’t stop doing it or I am likely to go crazy/crazier.

Lots of love.
XxxxxX

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