Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

WAIT- How did my baby turn EIGHT?!

My baby. My beautiful baby girl.

How did we arrive here?

How is it that I find myself buying a gold, foil number 8 balloon and watch you with your bouncy bunches skip off to school chatting excitedly with your sister and your mates?

school 2019

bethan tenby teddies


It’s mere minutes since your daddy and I brought you home in your car seat and lost hours marvelling at your tiny fingers and toes and beautiful bow lips.

Rosalind Grace Photography
Bethan, my darling, I loved you before you existed. I loved you as a bump and as a wincy wee. I have loved you every minute of every day since your inception and I will do until my last breath and then again from wherever I go next.

That doesn’t make me a perfect parent and it doesn’t make you a perfect child. Perfection is a myth so just be real. You aren’t bothered a jot about what you wear, the way you look or what others think. Cling on to that Kid- it’s gold dust.

You are you with your abstract imagination, your love of colouring and Lego and reading and Harry Potter. I am me with my baffling brain, my love of learning and literature, my permanent need for a fluffy bed sock and a brew. We are we with our books and our blankies and our Bake Off and we are all the better when we are doing all of that or anything else as a four; Team Leary 😊

NE Beach

chill factore

maui waui


Bethan- you have more gifts than I care to count and more will reveal themselves to you and to me and to the world as you grow. Thank you for your gentle nature, your whimsical way of seeing the world. Thanks for your jokes, your patience with your sister and your cousins. Thanks for your zest for life, your efforts at parkrun and cricket and at everything!

parkrun girls (3)

glasgow transport museum

Sometimes aloof, sometimes breath takingly empathic. Thanks for noticing when I’m a little fraught and for speaking to me gently as though you’re the adult.

You blow my mind. You always have.

Bethan 2
There will come a time when I don’t have the privilege of seeing and being in your life so much as I am now- you might travel, you might take a path that I don’t totally get and, that is just as it should be but, know this my love, that decision is yours. Me and your daddy will be here, in as much of your life as you want and need forever.
Happy Birthday Bethan Gwen.
We will love you until the seas run dry.
And that will never happen.
Love Muma.


PS- Just in case you are reading this years from now, your 8th birthday was a weird and wild time politically… look it up! WOWZER.

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For my Cheeky Baby!

It’s been some time since I wrote my last blog post. First there was the Frost Fair, then there was Christmas, now we’ve had New Year and, being honest- I simply can’t understand how I had time to fit it all in before- I have every intention of writing and getting back into it but for some reason it hasn’t quite happened- until now.

There was probably only ever going to be one thing that forced my hand and that is the fact that you can’t do something for one child without doing it for the other. Thankfully I’m already a shamefully bad mother in the sense that neither of the girls have baby books and I’m dreadful at photos too but, hopefully writing an annual birthday blog will go some way to amending all of my other short comings…

This time last year I wrote about my first year as a life of two in Happy Birthday Beaut  and, the journey of the arrival is already more than adequately documented so the only thing left to do is this…

For My Cheeky (quite literally) Baby.

Kate Jade Photography




I can’t believe our baby girl’s already turning 2.
To celebrate I wrote this post- especially for you!

Creation station

Getting ready for a bit of DIY!!

Now Hannah darling it’s hard to know just where I should start.
I suppose a good place might just be
To say you melt my heart.

Don't worry about presents, just bring a cake!

Don’t worry about presents, just bring a cake!

Thank God you do because sometimes you drive me bloody barmy.
I think when you’re a teenager I’ll pack you off to the army.

2 brushes are better than one and, now I've finished the cup, I think I'll start on the highchair!

2 brushes are better than one and, now I’ve finished the cup, I think I’ll start on the highchair!


They say that no two are ever the same and this is very true.
You compliment each other though and you’re perfect through and through.



littleme teepee


Tanya & family-54

You wear your heart upon your sleeve.
We know when you are cross.
I think it’s also fair to say you’re actually The Boss.

Who doesn't love a hat!

Who doesn’t love a hat that says it how it is?!

Don't panic Muma; I'll get breakfast!

Don’t panic Muma; I’ll get breakfast!


Your smile just sets my heart alight you’re cheeky through and through.



I love you and you’re perfect.

Very few can carry off a  tutu on a trike.

Very few can carry off a tutu on a trike.

Don’t ever stop being you.




Tanya & family-58
(Unless that means that you don’t cry every single time you have to have a pull up on or I have to brush your back teeth).
Apart from that, we’re good.


I love you my darling.




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Because I can’t be bothered with all that midnight malarkey!

Around this time last year, I posted a blog about my manic and crazy life.

How grateful I was for friends and family and how much I was looking forward to better fortunes for many of my loved ones in 2014;

Fast forward 12 months and much and nothing has changed.

I still feel utterly blessed to have a wonderful family and so many brilliant friends.

I still feel small and sad and powerless about the fact that not everyone is quite so fortunate and so, rather than rehashing an old post I’ve just straight out copied it. Sorry about that but I’ve been a little busy dancing in the kitchen with my babies and my hubbyto create fresh copy…I’ll do better in 2015…promise!

With all my love, hopes, dreams and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2015.



Because I am a skinflint (actually just a busy mum) I didn’t send out any Christmas cards this year and, as the sun sets on 2013 I feel the need to write a little post so I can be sure that you are all aware that I’m not the Ebenezer Scrooge of the blogging world.

2013 has been a roller-coaster, amazing and manic!
There’s been so many big life events for us.

All of these occasions, as well as the minutiae of everyday life have been made better by the people who I over share my life with.
So here, from the bottom of my heart is the wish for a happy and healthy 2014 for you all.
You mean the world to me.

An Ode to Friends.

To old school friends who’ve reemerged, my uni pals as well, it’s fab to have you in my life to talk of that old hell! (It wasn’t hell, it was fab. You try thinking of rhymes whilst parked up in a well-known dogging spot just to get a moment’s respite from the constant wailing of a teething baby. 😦 )

To the besties I see everyday you’ve seen me at my worst. (Apologies!)
I hope I can return the favour, unless it’s just me that’s cursed!

To my brand spanking new Muma mates- I think you are the dogs.
I understand that in return you feel I’m madder than a box of frogs.

For my far-flung friends who’ve moved away,
I think of you fondly everyday.
(Admittedly, when it is tipping it down I’m mainly cursing your names but never the less, you’re in my thoughts- every cloud and all that).

To Facebook friends and blogging buds-I feel we’ve a forged a bond
I could be wrong, it’s hard to tell when you’re from across the pond. (Being honest, most of you are UK-based but that didn’t work- let’s face it, I’m no Keats!)

For friends and fam who can’t wait to see the back of the bad luck that the year 13 brought to your doors, if you need me, I am here.
NB- I am probably wiping a mouth or a bum or a sick covered floor, but I am here. Partly because I don’t have a real job to go to, but you’ve got to take what’s offered dudes. Anytime. Honestly.
(Annoying that this bit doesn’t rhyme but since it’s the totes emosh bit I think it’s ok that it has a different tone don’t you?!)

I’m not really being flippant. I love you, ok but lets not get all OTT about it shall we?

So that is it my gorgeous pals,
I’ve nothing more to say
I hope a Healthy and Happy New Year is coming right your way.

Lots of love and hugs and kisses.


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Summer Holiday Fun… #SWEEET

Hi all. How are you holding up halfway through the Summer hols?

At the moment, Summer holidays mean very little to me. The girls are too young for school and nursery is open all year round with only a few days off between Christmas and New Year. Perfect.

At the moment, Mr L and I don’t need to draw up complicated timetables of who’ll be taking time off when, which family and friends will be drafted in to cover the 6 week Summer Holiday Stretch.

6 weeks.

6 weeks is 42 days.

42 whole days.

That is a loooong old time- you’d better have some tricks up your selves people?!

You don’t…oh my, that was foolish- fail to prepare, prepare to fail and all that. Not to worry; here’s my fool-proof guide to surviving the Summer. Read the rest of this entry »


A Potty Peer Pressure Poem!

Sit on the potty

Try for a wee

Come on my darling,

Please try it for me.

Natalia is doing it,

And Amelia, and Beau.

Come on my baby,

Please give it a go.

It’s not on your radar.

It’s not yet your thing.

You’d rather by messing about on the swing.

I really can’t blame you,

It’s not any fun.

To sit on a cold seat,

And wipe your own bum!

Why would you bother.

You can poo as you play.

Sitting on a potty just gets in the way.

I’m a little half-hearted,

I’m too laise faire,

And honestly, I’m more bothered about your mad hair!

There’s some tell tale signs,

that we sometimes miss.

It’s not a big deal

Until I slip on your piss. **

I don’t want to push you.

There’s really no rush,

You’ll just dig your heels in if I start making a fuss.

So don’t worry darling,

Don’t follow the crowd,

When you finally do it I’ll be ever so proud***


**True story! OWWWW

***Seriously though- please try not to wee on the bedroom floor during facetime with Nanny and Grandad…it makes me look bad!

Love Muma.



If you liked that- please think about voting for me in the #BiB’s LAUGH category, all you need to do is click the badge below and find me in category 13.



For the one and only, Sister Big!

Today my wonderful sister turns 35.

soraya races
That’s right people, in biblical terms at least she is officially half way through her life.

I hope she isn’t because I am hoping for us to be sipping Bellini’s in Selfridges well into our 80’s but- that’s what the good book reckons.
Let’s hope that given it is now almost 2000 years old there is some room or manoeuvre. There certainly has been for Tina Turner (73)  and Lionel Blair (82) and my big sister far outshines either of them. In fact, in Tina’s own world, she is ‘Simply the Best’.

So then Soray, this is especially for you. (as per annoying request)

My beautiful, brilliant big sis.
I love you very much.

Clear and natural talent.

Clear and natural talent.

It’s not always easy to write poems that rhyme,
I’ve left it quite late, not sure I’ve got time.
I don’t want to crowbar in things that don’t fit.
No one wants to read a poem that’s …not very good.

So this is a collection of some memories of you.
Some funny, some touching but all of them true.
You were Born in Australia in ’79
And like a good Shiraz you’ve improved with time.

Camping is always improved with a crown!

Camping is always improved with a crown!

You once were so quiet, so shy, so unsure,
But now you have flourished. A wallflower no more.
So how did you get here, let’s turn back the clock
Right back to the 80’s when I showed up on the block!

You were cautious and quiet and gentle and kind
A better big sister I just couldn’t find.

photo (7)

All our school holidays were down on the farm.
Out in all elements we came to no harm.
Climbing the hay loft or the sacks down the Cop
Or walking the miles to the one local shop. *

The walks home from school, Kicking through leaves.
And Laughing so hard that one of us weed.**



Red Cross was always a Wednesday night must.
In an emergency it’s the Corbett’s you trust.
A check of the scene and a pinch of the ear.
But that silly old Annie, never could hear.

Annie are you ok, Are you ok Annie?!

Annie are you ok, Are you ok Annie?!

We packed in activities each day after school
But it was the Roller disco that really was cool.

Jessica Ennis likes to think she can hurdle
But you used to fly in gym knickers like a girdle!
You swim like a fish and love to run too,
I quite often wish I was speedy like you.

BTR Liverpool half

2012…Roll on 2014…

total warrier 2

At this point I’m afraid I must, mention the quiff.
How much hairspray did you need to make it so stiff?
I don’t want to go on Soray but the big blue glasses too?
Who chose that pair in Conlons- please say it wasn’t you?!

(you are so lucky mum wouldn’t let me put in THAT picture!)

But this stage is long gone now. You are a real hotty.
Pedro is a lucky guy to have you as his totty.

Bit much for work!

Bit much for work!

You’re loyal to a fault and a wonderful friend
In fact, you’re so popular it drives me round the bend.
You love a prosecco and a night on the town.
If anyone asks, you won’t let them down.

Such a trooper! Tough times

Such a trooper!
Tough times

We are almost opposite but somehow the same.
Some times I’d swear you’ve seen inside my brain.***
You are so very kind and have so many friends
Your Christmas card list never comes to an end.

You have a beautiful heart and a beautiful soul
But without your glasses, you’re as blind as a mole.

You like Miranda,
I think she is pants.
I like to stay home
You love a good dance!

We are so different in so many ways
But when you are with me you brighten my days.
Without you my sister oh where would I be.
I don’t know, can’t tell you, but I’d be a bit less ‘me’.


Love You.

Your favourite Sister Little.

photo (8)

The 3 musketeers

The 3 musketeers

*this would be frowned upon in this health and safety obsessed times but it was acceptable in the 80’s (see what I did there!)

** by one of us,  I mean me. Sad times.

***not a huge amount to see here.


Happy Birthday Beaut!

Good Morning My Beautiful Baby Girl.

Can you believe it- today is your very first birthday; you have been here with us for one whole year completing our little family unit.

Before you were born my darling, your daddy and I used to worry that there wouldn’t be enough love for you and your sister to share. I thought  that I couldn’t possibly have enough love for two babies. I thought that I would be stretched too thinly, that I’d have a favourite and that I wouldn’t be able to do justice to looking after two babies.
Now you are here I know that I was so silly to worry about that.
Even for a minute.
You have been loved unconditionally by 3 people rather than two from the moment you were born.
How lucky is that?

It hasn’t all been plain sailing. Let me tell you, it is absolutely knackering being a Muma of 2!!
There have been many moments when I’ve wanted to tear my hair out.
There have been moments when you HAVE torn my hair out (just when I was thinking I quite liked it actually!)

But, one year in to this life long journey, let me tell you this Hannah Muriel.

You are loved beyond measure.

I love the fact that you wake before your sister and we have precious time just the two of us.
The moment that I walk into your room and pick you out of your cot will forever be one of life’s highlights.
In some ways you are so ridiculously different from your sister and because of that, the way I get to love you is totally different too.
She wants to be near me, you just want the odd glance to check I’m checking you.
That means that when you do fancy a Muma cuddle it is one of the highlights of my day.
You are the ultimate independent baba. I can tell already that you are a go getter and I adore that.
Get out there sweetheart. You grab life by the scruff of the neck and fly by the seat of your pants.
Your dada and I will be right here if anything goes wrong. Don’t you worry baby.


Your naming Day- not a great picture of you as you had the pox.


I am actually writing this a couple of days before your birthday.

I hope you don’t mind, it is just so tricky to get anything done when you and your sister are around, (I don’t know why!)

 And I would much rather be snuffling at your lovely neck or watching you balance in your little truck than be messing about on the computer if you’re awake (and anyway, all of the stuff I am about to tell you will be just as true next week as it is now).


Now, you may recall that I wrote your sister a very earnest sort of poem on her second birthday.
Yours, my darling is a little bit different because, you are a lottle bit different (this is not a typo- I have made it up. It is a mixture of ‘a little’ and ‘a lot’ because in some ways you are A LITTLE bit different and in some ways you are A LOT different; ged it?!). A bit more like me I think…

So anyway, enough of this- here is your poem. 

For our Glorious little adventurer Hannah Houdini.

You arrived right on time with a bit of a nudge.
Without the ventouse you just wouldn’t budge!

I think it’s because I made a comfortable home.
I flippin’ well hope so, I was the size of the Dome.*

My actual stomach. (not really)

My actual stomach.
(not really)

So Hannah my darling, a year has now passed.
I blinked and I missed it.
It flew by so fast.

So here are some highlights I want you to treasure.
I’ve written them down for you to read at your leisure.

Your smile quite literally lights up my world.
My beautiful, gorgeous, little girl.

Look how beautiful you are!

Look how beautiful you are!

When I walk into your room and see you stood in your cot,
It’s hard to think of a thing I’ve not got**

You are crazy!

You are crazy!

When you are sneaking your way back up the stairs.
You turn and you smile, as yet with no cares.

Your giggling, crawling, cruising ways, bring such huge pleasure to everyone’s days.


You are part of a pair but are whole on your own.

Taken by Kate-Jade photography. Thanks Kate!

Taken by Kate-Jade photography. Thanks Kate!


Know this my sweetheart, you’re never alone.***


When you and your sister are giggling with glee,
There’s no sight on the planet that I’d rather see.

You’re naughty,

It's like the Brittas Empire all over again!

It’s like the Brittas Empire all over again!

You’re cheeky,

Looking a bit like Penfold I think!

Looking a bit like Penfold I think!

You’re gorgeous,

Just hangin in the shower!

Just hangin in the shower!

You’re loud.

Milliseconds prior to meltdown

Milliseconds prior to meltdown

Hitching a ride with Dada

Hitching a ride with Dada


You’re our darling daughter and we couldn’t be more proud.


Love Muma and Daddy.



A note for the current Mr L.

Today, 13 years ago I went on my first real date with the current Mr L!

We went to a bar called Casa in Nottingham where we ate mussels and chips, drank, talked, drank, ate pudding and went for a long walk along the Trent and watched the fireworks in the black night sky.

Obviously, because it is me, my heel broke during the walk which led to a very undignified hobble back home and that was it.
The mask properly slipped that day and, even when I have been at my most hurt, most vulnerable and most low I have never truly been able to shield my heart and soul from my actual, other half.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Once upon a time there…

Hiya Everyone. How are you doing?
I have just woken up having put the girls to bed at 7pm. I am feeling hideous. URGH.
Think it comes from trying to do too much but I have always been the same. I get an idea in my head and I want to do it. NOW.
Start writing a blog I want it to go viral, start a business I want to be in the Times Top 100. Start doing reviews I take on loads!
I just can’t do baby steps very well for some reason. But I do seem to have a tendency to fall absolutley flat on my face. 😦
I have at least learnt that about myself in the 33 years I’ve been rushing around this planet like a blue arsed fly so I’m less surprised by my own actions than I used to be and I am taking steps to change that. Yey me.

Got to be honest though…still a little surprised by this one though…

Are you sitting comfortably?

Once upon a time, there was a crazy lady called Muma Leary.

She had uneven hair and twinkly eyes that crinkled when she smiled (which was often as she had two lovely daughters to make her laugh!)
Muma Leary loved reading to her little girls and, because she didn’t want to get a boring grown up persons job, she skipped along to a little bookshop she knew and asked if she could read stories for them.
They were very happy that someone loved books as much as they did and said that she could come and read for anyone that fancied coming to listen.
And so, that is how Muma Leary’s Story time was born.

Now, Muma Leary knew that some of you had school or nursery or lived down the road, round the bend, over the hill and past the postbox, which is far too far to come for a story, so, she decided that she would record the stories too (she’s a bit of a show off you see!) so you could listen to them whenever you fancied. In the car, in the bath, in your bed- perfect! What do you think of that?

I hope you enjoy listening to them. Did you know that reading or listening to stories is like exercise for your brain? It makes you super smart and gives you an amazing imagination. So, chose a story and let’s snuggle up and have a look.
If you have a favourite that you’d like me to read, let me know and I will read that one especially for you.
Lots of love,

Muma Leary. 🙂

So, yeah, that’s it really. My new (voluntary) job- alongside working remotely a couple of days a week for Young Rewired State is to be a modern day Mrs Doubtfire. Obviously I won’t be in drag and I am not doing it as an opportunity to see my children but you get my drift…do you?

I can’t wait to put on some weird voices and entertain some toddlers. Does that make me weird?
Anyway, if you think that sounds like fun, come down to Linghams in Heswall on Wednesday 30th October at 2pm and I’ll read some stories whilst you get a coffee or something.
Sounds good hey?
See you there.

Muma Leary.


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Now you are 2!

To my darling daughter.

I am sure you don’t quite get the significance of the fact that today is your birthday.
Yup, you have been here, with us for a whole 2 years, or 24 months, or 104 weeks or 730 days, I could go on but I don’t have a calculator so my maths could embarrass me.

So, what can I tell you about life since you arrived?

Plenty actually, we have been to two weddings, had a holiday in Centre Parcs, given you a baby sister and endured two horrible stays in hospital.
Going through the last two years would be a slog to be honest so I thought I’d try and get the creative juices flowing and write you a little verse to say Happy Birthday.


Since you arrived in Slough that September,
You’ve given us all lots of times to remember.
(Obviously there have been times to forget too but they don’t work too well with a slushy, sentimental poem. I’m talking specifically about the poo in the bath phase)

I’ll start again, sorry.

Since you arrived on that warm September day,
You have changed my life in every possible way.
(Yup, I used to be able to have a shower, a wee and apply my make up in blissful silence)

Bloody hell, I’ve done it again. Sorry.

Third time lucky hey…

*clears throat*

To my beautiful baby girl.

Before you arrived I was so worried that I wouldn’t be like all the other mums.
I was worried that I wouldn’t be that bothered about bring a mummy and I wouldn’t love you with every fibre of my being.
I worried that it wouldn’t come naturally to me and people would be able to tell from a mile off that I was a fraud.
I worried that I would do an horrendous job and you would prefer to be with anyone other than me.

But, happily, two years on from a very long weekend in Wexham Park, I can tell you this.


You have given me crows feet and eye bags and stretch marks.
and a heart that aches if ever you are unhappy.

You have made me look at your daddy in a whole different way and love him even more than I did before you arrived.

You have made me into an utter soft touch. Someone that now cries at the drop of a hat.



You have made me stronger than I thought possible and more vulnerable than I would ever choose to be.

You have made me proud and frustrated and knackered and humble.


You make my heart melt whenever I see you babbling to your baby sister.



You make me weak at the knees when you hug me so seriously around my neck when I wake you up in the mornings.

You make me laugh when I see your little legs going a little bit too fast for your body.
You make me crazy when you cry without any tears because I am picking up your sister first.
You make me worry about politics and feminism, E numbers and organic farming in a way I rarely did before your arrival.

You have changed me almost completely both inside and out and I wouldn’t change any most of it for a second.

Happy Birthday my gorgeous, gorgeous little baby.


I hope you have a wonderful day.

All my love,


NB- the final photograph was taken by the brilliant Rosalind Grace, my friend. I absolutely love it.
If you are Surrey based and need some snaps doing, she is your gal. Fab. 🙂



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