The Stay at Home Mum Christmas Party

stay at home mum christmas party

It’s Christmas time. There’s no need to be afraid. At Christmas time – the workers of the world get all giddy.

It’s a festive Salted Caramel coffee on the way in to the office. And look at Doreen! She’s rocking her Christmas tree light up dangly earrings!

And Stan’s got his Christmas bauble jumper on – the maverick. The canteen are doing mulled wine (one glass mind) and mince pie lattices. Look at all those pigs in blankets. They’ve put tinsel around the fire exits!

The halls have been buzzing since November with the count down to the Christmas break. The office is filled with the thrill of secret santa and you’re off to get inappropriately pissed at the Christmas lunch (four courses / steak house).

And then they’re off their heads practically elated typing their “out of office” email “back next year” fuckers.

Then there’s a Christmas party with them all linking arms wailing out “Fairy tale of New York”. Christmas hats on. The boss snogging Pauline in the third loo from the left. His wife won’t be happy.

And here we are – the stay at home parent.

“Are you ready for Christmas?” they ask us.

Christmas? It’s Christmas? What is the actual date today?

“Have you done your shopping?” No.

“Are you excited about your time off?” What time off?

There ain’t no point in wearing my Rudolph antlers and snowball earrings – no one is impressed here.

There’s no festive canteen treats – I am the canteen. And you’ll get what we’ve got in – beans and egg from now till Tuesday.

There’s no excited countdown to a “holiday” or break and when the other half puts on his “out of office” you think oh God – they’re home for how long? There’s going to be fights – and one more fucking person to hoover around.

There ain’t no secret Santa. You’re on your tod. And the only surprise parcel you’re gonna get is poop.

There’s no lunch, no party – none of that feeling – that ecstatic feeling of “It’s Chriiiissstttmassssss“.

Other half arrives home, rosy cheeked, party hat lop sided on their head, they’re wearing Doreen’s Christmas tree earrings … on their arse – “I’m home for Christmas love! You ok?”

“Muh” you snarl. “The eldest is constipated and the youngest has shit all up the door bouncer. Merry Christmas.”

Stay at home parents. Really – Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

 

 

 

 

I am the back in the kitchen

I am the back in the kitchen

I am the back in the kitchen 

My mother was always in the kitchen

peeling potatoes

making gravy

boiling vegetables

washing up

cleaning up

ironing shirts

me stood

knee high

staring at her back

how earth shattering it is

the dawning realisation

that now

I am the back in the kitchen

not ignoring

you my darlings

and she wasn’t peeling potatoes

nothing so minor

she was caring

providing

feeding

keeping our home

a home

I am the back in the kitchen

now I understand

why it was so turned from me

and appreciate

that back

so much more

not ignoring

you my darlings

 

Farewell my baby years

Mummy's Writing Darling

I have a niggling feeling

now these years are drawing to a close

I should have counted every one of your lashes

and felt the softness between your toes

I should have spent less time eye-rolling

when you’d never settle in the night

spent those hours staring at your shoulders

in the silence, by candlelight

I should have done less complaining

about the mess around our home

left the unimportant chores

to trace wrinkles around new bones

I should have smelt the skin behind your ears

enjoyed hours stroking tiny heels

bottled the sound of your innocence

stopped the time turning wheels

I should have been present in every second

not sighed relief when you slept

I should have cradled your head when it fit in my palm

tasted every tear that you wept

I should have spent more time bare

and felt your flesh against mine

Oh my precious last born

becoming more precious than the first time

It seems it’s my turn to be the baby

As I say farewell to these baby years

you’ve slipped through my fingers

and I can not see you, my babies, for all my tears.

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny New Toes: Antenatal Depression

Mummy's Writing Darling

Tiny New Toes, opening up about antenatal depression and the Seraphine Mum’s Voice Awards for Tommy’s.

 

The Seraphine  Mum’s Voice Awards for Tommy’s

Writing about the hilarity of pregnancy and parenting comes very easily to me and 90% of what I write is intended to make people laugh. However, during my second pregnancy earlier this year it became increasingly difficult to find the funny side.

No one was more surprised than me to find out I was suffering with antenatal depression.

Though I had heard lots about post natal depression – antenatal depression was not something I had heard about or foreseen. And it suddenly seemed impossible not to write about it.

I wrote a post called How to cope with antenatal depression and another about my birth trauma – which, through talking to a specialist midwife support officer, I realised was linked to my depression.

I wrote a post for Mothercare on the subject called “you’re supposed to” about the expectation that being pregnant will be the happiest time of your life.  But the best response I got was after I wrote a poem about my feelings : Tiny New Toes”.

Through these posts I connected with Tommy’s – the baby charity and also took part in their Talk to someone campaign.

Writing about my feelings so honestly was terrifying – especially without my usual jokes and punchlines – but I’m very glad I did.

I was overwhelmed to find out this week that I have been longlisted for the Tommy’s Mum’s Voice award sponsored by Seraphine.

If you have enjoyed my writing or anything I have written has helped you, you can help me get shortlisted for the Seraphine Mum’s voice award at the Tommy’s awards :

please email mumsvoice@tommys.org with Mummy’s Writing Darling in the subject title and a few words about why I should be shortlisted.

Thank you – and remember to keep on talking.

 

Tiny New Toes

Depression came a’drummin on my door.
She’s no stranger. I’ve seen her before.
I asked her in for a spot of tea,
she bounced my toddler on her knee.

you can stay for one,” I politely pressed
but I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong address,
there’s far more than cake on my expanding plate,
and I’m pretty certain you’ve got the wrong date

My two year old keeps me on my toes
and I’ve exciting news, everyone knows
makes you bundle with joy, bloom, glow, shine
we’re having a baby! In four months’ time.

we tried for this, the best part of a year
so I’m pretty certain this is a time for cheer!
our second miracle is on its way
so as I said, you truly can’t stay.”

She put down her cup and shook her head
“If that’s what you think, you’ve been misled,
I’ve a blatant disregard for all of the facts
frankly my love, I don’t give a rats

Baby or no baby, I’m here to stay
Spread the word mamma, I’m wired that way.”

Now as I sit in the dark, the dark sits in me
and I weep, as I rock my toddler on my knee

when the house is still, I wonder at it all
as tiny new toes come tapping on my inside wall.

 

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds Review

Let me tell you a bit about me. I’m a few months away from turning three and I’m a rebel. I don’t like to follow the crowd. You can’t call me a sheep! I’m more like the wolf. I have a short attention span. I was also a latecomer to the English language.

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The Rainbow Factory, leeds review

Last week my mum took me out, and not to a soft play or to bound about the park like a labrador. She seemed a little anxious, I don’t know why she always looks so stressed on our outings. We took my little baby brother too.

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds
The rainbow Factory, leeds

The place was unlike anywhere I’ve been before. It was called ‘The Rainbow Factory’. I like rainbows. A kind woman read a story about Christmas – something I don’t understand yet but I liked watching the other children describe ‘Reindeers’ – one has a red nose apparently. I also sat on the floor listening very well for five minutes. My mum said this is a personal best.

We walked around this magical place with dragons and wizards and trolls. I don’t know what these are yet but I loved looking at them – they felt like magic. We got to collect these special jewels and things in a special cone. I presume these were for protection from the dragon.

Mummy's Writing Darling, Leeds
The Rainbow Factory, Leeds, Review

Afterwards we sat down at a table and got to use our special jewels and string to make our very own christmas tree. It was fun and colourful.

But all of that was nothing compared to what I found next. I found the best things in the world. Mummy said they were called “bean bags”. I ran around and jumped up and down on every bean bag until I could barely breathe. I made friends who joined me … I’m so influential – because I’m so cool. Mummy looked stressed again and went off for a coffee. Really don’t know what she worries about.

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds
The Rainbow Factory, Leeds

I ran around and around and found a huge dressing up box. I dressed up like my favourite character in my favourite book – The Tiger who came to tea.

The rainbow factory, leeds
The Rainbow Factory, Leeds

I found a load of books and had a good flick through them and ran around in a large room no one else had even bothered to go in!

I started to feel quite wet. I had some apple juice and a bit of cake to replenish my energy reserves.

Mummy seemed to relax and even dressed up too!

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds, Review
Mummy’s Writing, Darling

We stayed for ages and I didn’t want to leave. I slept all the way home in the car. I dreamt of the dragons and wizards and trolls… I’d like to know more about them.

Mummy’s side of the story

The Rainbow Factory was a nostalgic walk down traditional story-time memory lane.

The feel of the exhibition had all the magic of The Brother’s Grimm and John Hurts’ Storyteller. Though the characters and themes were new to my son – this didn’t negatively affect his experience. His attention was retained throughout.

But the best thing for a stressed out mum of a toddler rebel was that he was able to express himself in his own unique way – and we weren’t made to feel out of place or like we were the outsiders (which can sometimes happen).

I could see other children on our tour, who are not like mine, who have better language, or who are older, who connected with the place in a different way. But my son was able to be physical and explore and be himself with no judgement.

I think, in that way – any child can take something from The Rainbow Factory. Mine took a taste of magic, an interest in dragons and a top up to his self esteem.

I also got to have a lovely cup of coffee and a bit of time to myself (and baby [toddler rebel two in the making])

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds
Mummy’s Writing Darling

Click here for more information about The Rainbow Factory

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