Gather round children, let me tell you about my youth… 

We would go out

on a Friday and Saturday night

and on a Thursday because the local club had an 80s night.

And on a Wednesday because they put on a karaoke night.

And on a Monday to celebrate getting through the first day back at work.

And Kate would always invite us out on a Tuesday because she knew I wanted Nachos.

We would drink

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cheap, nasty wine. Bottles of the stuff. Because we thought we looked sophisticated.

Or we’d get jugs of cocktails from Wetherspoons that were 5:1:3 parts ‘ice water slop: alcohol: shit cola.’

We’d guzzle Smirnoff alco-pop from glass bottles that left a thick cement of sugar on our teeth.

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We would have bright blue tongues from the WKD, or green tongues from the apple sourz – and sugar highs from the ‘fruit’ in the Breezers.

We would down shots of Aftershock that burnt our retinas,

and sambuca that some idiot suggested lighting,

or just sip Baileys in a whisky glass with ice like we were some Russian Bond beauties in a Skii lodge –

not a posse of pillocks in Birmingham.

And we’d dance.

We’d “ooh! push it (push it real good)” on podiums and wear barely there skirts.

We’d discover the bruises the next day from falling off the podiums.

We would sing,

badly on Kareoke. Eurythmics or Shania Twain or Robert Palmer.

and we’d would flirt.

we would wear corsets with jeans or mini skirts with playgirl bunny t-shirts.

We’d wear concealer on our lips, Vaseline on our eyelids and white eye-liner.

We were thinner than any of us appreciated.

525867_112104832261059_831007570_nAnd we’d snog.

We’d snog for days.

And the next day we’d laugh about who we pulled and text them on our Nokias.

We had no idea what they looked like because we had no cameras.

No smart phones.

We hovered in the dark with no flash, no selfies, no tagging, no permanent reminders.

We traveled

to cheap holidays on the Tenerife strip, and Magaluf and across the world.

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and we loved 

boys who were never that important.

We stuck together.

We fought

We had tiny tiffs – fixed with a text and a bottle of wine.

We dreamed

about what we’d be when we grew up, when we were successful, when we had big money,

when we could bring anyone home

we could do whatever we wanted because we were out of mum and dad’s.

When we found ‘The One’ who would make our lives complete.

We would be free.

 

THEN5

Now

we go out

one or two nights a year

or we go on little self labeled dates (day release) with the other half while the grandparents watch our son.

But we don’t tend to.

We would rather stay in.

Going out is exhausting; expensive.

Getting dressed up. Wearing heels. We can’t take it.

And we drink.

Shots of Gaviscon.

G&Ts trying to lose the self labeled ‘baby weight’.

posh wine from Waitrose to try and tell ourselves we’re middle class – not people who should drink a lot less.

Or we are growing a baby so we drink milk or orange squash (like the children we’ve sprung).

And we dance.

like pillocks at ‘Mini movers’ to out dated nursery ryhmes

to the ‘Makka Pakka’ and ‘Tombliboo’ dance on ‘In The Night Garden‘ half way through a conversation about life insurance like it’s perfectly routine.

And we sing 

the wheels on the bus, or wind the bobbin up (what the fuck is a bobbin?) or the alphabet song, over and over and over and over.

And we flirt

with the bin men so they’ll take our extra bags of nappies and milk cartons and empty wine bottles.

with people in the queue so they’ll let you pay for his chocolate buttons real quick – so you can shut him up.

we don’t snog

and we travel

to child friendly caravan parks and detached cottages and mum meet-ups.

We love

our children.

THEN6

We love our children.

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We love our children

1078622_283945295077011_1397594399_oWe love our children

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We love the partner we chose – if we are having a good day.

We love our parents more.

We love our families.

We love kind strangers.

We fight

with our partners, daily It’s your turn you bastard”

with our children “Go to bed, for the love of Christ”

and with our old friends:

we grow apart, we drift away, we make mistakes, we can’t fix our differences with a text and a bottle of wine.

We aren’t the same.

We wear clothes with more stretch and functionality.

And we dream

of a full night’s sleep

of a night off

of a holiday

of being slimmer

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So we go to bed at 7pm on a Saturday night because sleep is sleep and we don’t care what the clock says.

And the neighbours are having a party again.

Probably swigging alcopops and doing shots and singing Kareoke and snogging.

And you pop another Rennie in your gob and roll over and hate them.

And the baby kicks.

And you smile.

And you think about making pancakes for breakfast tomorrow and pushing your child on the swings in the park.

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Maybe the sun will come out.

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Sssh… some days… being a stay at home mum is a piece of piss

I am all about the moaning! I love a whinge! I am the first to complain (well..I’m very good at tutting). And it is generally very accepted (in life, as well as blogging) to have a right old grump about parenting: How hard it is, how draining it is, how much sleep you don’t get, the list of negatives just roll off your tongue. No one ever has a pop at you for complaining about being a mum (so far).

A couple of Tuesdays ago; the day usually reserved for doom, gloom, laundry and self loathing (which I have just decided will be the title of my autobiography), I woke up in a good mood. Maybe it’s the change in the weather. I put on my new maternity clothes (getting out of my pyjamas is a major milestone). I got the toddler ready and we went out.

But just before I left the house I read a tweet from that woman. You know the woman. I won’t name drop her. The woman who likes to upset people – it’s her career now. I followed her after she swayed me briefly on Celebrity Big Brother. It read something like

Stay at home mum? This just means you’re unemployed.”

I read it a couple of times, unfollowed her and heaved the three of us out of the door.

We went to the park just next to us. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. The flowers were in bloom. I watched my two year old stampede through the park, pushed him on the swings, lifted him up onto the slide. I then walked with him to our local collection of shops. I bought him two little cars. We walked to a local bar and he had the children’s fish and chips.

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I walked him half way home before he decided walking wasn’t for him anymore so I carried him the remaining half a mile. Once through the door he napped and I cleaned and caught up on TOWIE (don’t judge me!) I thought about the tweet again.

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The toddler woke up and we played together until Dad came home. Dinner time, bath time, story time, bed time. I sat down with my partner and he asked the usual:

“How was your day?” I shrugged ‘alright’. Not wanting to admit to him the truth:

that that Tuesday, that day – being a stay at home mum had been a piece of piss.

I never want to admit this to him – and it is an extremely rare occurrence – don’t get me wrong. But the day had been sublime. I felt organised, sun kissed, happy, stress free, a good mum, relaxed and accomplished. This doesn’t happen all the time. But it does, sometimes happen.

It reminded me of the summer when my son was only a few months old. I sat in the garden one day because we were experiencing a heat wave. My baby fell into a slumber in the shade. I poured myself a Gin and Tonic (just one) and I felt utterly at peace. My working partner returned home (sweating) and eyed me suspiciously, slightly angrily – I knew he was thinking

“I knew this stay at home mum gig was a piece of piss!”

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I threw the Gin in the paddling pool and started folding some washing off the line.

But – really, some days, being a stay at home mum is a piece of piss. And I’m admitting it. There.

Most days involve me pulling the covers over my head at least once and weeping silently or shutting myself in the bathroom for longer than it takes to do a wee and just shaking with frustration.

I honestly never felt worked up enough to respond to the tweet about me being “unemployed” – I could have written a post about how hard it is, how my Further Education Teacher’s pay doesn’t equal nursery fees plus travel, that I don’t receive any benefits (as I would if I was unemployed) but I don’t feel strongly enough about it. About her.

What I do feel is content – pleased, grateful and lucky that I am able to have these years at home with my son and also blessed that some days (at least 1 out of 34) are a piece of piss.

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ps. Post July I will have two children – and if you ever, ever insinuate that it is a ‘piece of piss’ or that I am ‘unemployed’ I will kill thee.

 

Dear Chicco, About Your Advert

After my 3.40am wake up on a Saturday morning I like to watch some Dawson’s Creek on Sony TV. In between the sickly sweet, utterly false, utopian, fictional drama – I have become aware of your advert. This one …

I feel we need to have a little chat about it.

The woman in it appears to be well rested, her hair is done and she has a lovely face of make up. Where are her bags? Where are her wrinkles? Where is the mascara smudged across her pale, sleep deprived, dry, pained face? Where are her roots? Why isn’t her hair matted and greasy? Why does she appear to have showered in the last day? Why does she look so happy?

Why doesn’t she look like an extra from The Walking Dead?

Why is the baby dressed in a clean, white baby grow? But more importantly, why is he sleeping soundly? He appears to be fast asleep. If this is the case – why is his mother awake? And if she is awake why isn’t she on Twitter, glugging coffee, brushing her teeth, watching Judge Judy and frantically rubbing baby wipes under her arm pits (all at the same time)?

Where is the bedside table of crap?

Including:
Several used baby wipes
Sick covered muslins
Three cold half cups of tea
A large glass of orange squash
Several packets of wipes
nappies
Chocolate digestives
a take away pizza box
Tissues (used and unused)
a TV
dust covered books
a breast pump
dirty baby bottles
one red wine stained wine glass
Some empty packets of quavers
Gripe water and saline solution
pain killers
a half eaten lemon drizzle cake

Why is her other half hugging her? Why is he sleeping? Why is he also happy? Where is his beer gut, grey hair and furrowed brow? Why is he in the same bed as her? Why isn’t he in a separate room? why isn’t he snoring?

Most importantly, why is she not spitting at him through gritted teeth “It’s your fucking turn you fucking arse hole!”

Now I know what you’re thinking – it’s an advert. Adverts are supposed to sell us the ideal – the dream. But I fear you are treading on thin legal ground here. Aren’t there some rules about false advertising?

I don’t worry for myself – I am a mother of two. I’m experienced. I am worried about the new parents to be – they might stumble across your advert after some love making and a lie in. Over their eggs Benedict and bucks fizz they might say “oh look sweetheart, doesn’t that look great?” “Yes pumpkin” he will reply, “let’s buy that!” and they will look forward to the day they will resemble the folks in your ad.

Over nine months later they might come knocking on your door asking for a full refund because daddy’s new nickname is ‘useless tit’, they haven’t slept in thirty six hours, and he’s spent the last four hours Googling “why is my baby crying” and “flights to Peru” on his iPad.

Can I suggest you just dial it back a tad?

First off – put the man in a separate room. The last thing she needs is to have to deal with a large sweaty, snoring lump hogging the bed and the duvet.

She needs to stretch out and if he is there and “doesn’t hear the baby crying” in the night the next time you’ll see her will be in a factual documentary about Spousal smothering. The theme tune of which will be “He had it coming” from Chicago.

Next – get rid of the natural lighting and the beautiful sun beams across the sleeping baby’s face. She should have black out ‘blinds in a box’ on her window that she had to buy after her neighbours complained about having to see her walk about with her breasts out wearing only her pants for two weeks straight. The last thing she needs after being awake for fourteen hours is a reminder that it is now day time outside. The lighting should be dimmed with the constant flicker of a mute Judge Judy lighting up the room from the table of crap.

Now make her a bit more realistic. I know she’s got a gorgeous baby and all – but no one is that smug. Keep your actress up for a few days and make her live on a diet of biscuits and toast for a week. Keep making her hot cups of tea and tell her she can’t drink them – don’t let her wash, or brush her teeth for a day or so, tape some earphones to her head and play ‘this is a song that will get on your nerves’ for seven hours and finally slap her across her face with a wet trout for good measure.

Make sure there is a side table of crap.

Lastly – get a baby model with a cold or colic who is wide awake and likes the sound of his own voice.

Yours, sleep deprived mum of two x

 

Mummy's Writing, Darling
Dear Chicco, about your advert

 

Why is it you?

mummy's writing darling

Why is it you?

 

At age two, to a goose, I wouldn’t say boo
whereas you son, would shoot it and stuff it too.

Why is it you?

who cant sit still, while fifteen others do,
Who has to play with the fire extinguisher on the wall,
while everyone else is queuing, single file, down the hall?

Why is it you who has to snatch the block off the three month old,
who doesn’t seem to acknowledge anything you are told,
who needs to jump up and down at the front,
who has to roar, bark, gurn and grunt?

Why do you always rugby tackle the babies,
leap and stomp and stamp on the daisies?

When others are sitting, listening sweetly in a trance,
why are you performing a deranged, erratic, river dance?

When everyone is singing ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ notes
why are you trying to shove the maracas down your throat?

Why is it you – and seemingly no other?
Can you not see everyone judging your mother?

When you turn five and all you ask is why,
why, why, why, why, why?

I shall say, great question son, glad you asked
Why, when you were two, were you such an arse?

poetry, mummy's writing darling
why is it you?

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Mum Lonely Hearts Ad

Seeking fellow mum to have strong coffee with and keep each other company during these terrifically isolating mummy years so I can stop talking aloud to Steve the Stegosaurus about how the toddler never listens.

Preferable: 

You will have a child a similar age to mine so they can entertain and amuse each other – so we don’t have to.

It would be nice if you were a big drinker. I’m not talking Bacardi on your sugar puffs or anything – but “shall we just have the bottle?” should be one of your most commonly used phrases.

If you don’t drink, we can get along – as long as you don’t tend to judge those who consider half a bottle of Rioja a ‘palate cleanser’.

You will be blind to my increasing belly – which we both know is just cake at this stage – and will not mention it until I am eight months gone (at least) or in full labour.

I don’t care what you eat as long as you mainly feed your toddler normal human food stuffs – the things I grew up on! Dairy-lee Triangles, spaghetti hoops, smash and fish fingers.

You will not judge me if you see me eating / drinking anything that is not on the ‘pregnancy approved’ list.

If you come over to my house you will always come bearing some sort of refined sugar and white flour combo and you will regularly say things like “sod the diet girl! Life is for living! What do you need to diet for anyway?”

You will like cats. More than children.

All suggested days out are planned carefully around my child’s and my own nap times. ‘Activities’ will involve sitting down with a cup of tea while children take care of themselves, glued to Cbeebies.

Talking of, you will not look down on any TV choices made by myself or my toddler (these can include ‘In The Night Garden’ and ‘Say Yes To The Dress’)

Full agreement that Mike The Knight is a cretin and Judge Judy rules.

If my child bites or head-butts your child during soft play – you will forgive and forget. And not assume it is because of their spaghetti hoop diet.

Essential:

A naughty sense of humour.
An understanding of sarcasm.
A willingness to be brutally honest about the toll of motherhood and pregnancy.
An ability to have a right old moan.
An empathy for all of parent kind.
Absolute honesty regarding your child’s talents, vocabulary and learning history/ potential. Along with an ability to provide video evidence of said child ‘talking about Fauvism whilst making Sushi’ before I am forced to entertain it.
Absolute honesty about your child’s pitfalls and willingness to see when they are being an arse.
Ability to see how wonderful my child is.
Non-judgemental about my parenting style (I don’t have one).
Non-judgemental on my choice of husband. (One man’s meat is another man’s poison).

I still want to hear from you if…
you breastfeed or use formula.
you co-sleep or put your baby in a cot.
you are a single parent, parent with a partner or husband / or wife.
you moan about your children all day long. I understand that it doesn’t mean you don’t love them – and it doesn’t mean you’re not a wonderful parent. As am I? Right?

What you will get from being my friend:
A laugh
An end to loneliness
A drinking / moaning / walking / coffee / doughnut buddy
Company
A supporter
I will defend you to the death.

I Need You.
Be My Friend.
Please?
I’m so lonely…
Apply within.
Bring Baked goods.

Mummy's Writing Darling
Please – send Wine