Cats are a suitable substitute for children & other ways to make money writing

That’s right! I truly believe you should get a cat instead of IVF!

(or do I?)

Sometimes you have to take stock of your life. This blogging malarky is just not lucrative. There are far too many of us ‘Mummy’ bloggers, parent bloggers etc. It’s a saturated market. However – I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. After reading an article in the Daily Mail yesterday (well, I read the headline – I couldn’t be arsed to read the whole thing) I know where my destiny lies.

I will become a controversial Mum writer and mark my name in history as ‘Britain’s most hated woman’ after Katie Hopkins.

My plan is foolproof. First I will write an article that is sure to enrage the masses for no real reason other than notoriety and a large boost in my stats. So far my ideas are:

  • Breastfeeding is for losers
  • couples should only be allowed more than two children if they are a member of The National Trust.
  • Cesareans are cheating
  • Controlled crying builds self esteem
  • Stay at home parents just want to stay in bed all day and take off the state
  • Working parents are neglectful bastards
  • leaving children to fend for themselves makes great leaders (go to Magaluf for a fortnight).
  • Breastfeeding should be taught in prisons, to men

I’m sure more will come to me once I start.

In no time at all I am sure I will be called to be on Good Morning Britain or This Morning to sit along side another parent and battle it out! This will make me Instagram famous. I just need to remember to shout louder and bang home my point even if I don’t really believe it myself.

Soon the money will come rolling in.

Tune in next time for my first article “Male midwives are just perverts.

I just can’t wait for my new adventure!

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You won’t be like Binky … beware ‘reality’ TV mummy diaries

I am a big fan of Binky and I love to escape into the scripted reality world of ‘Made in Chelsea’, watching young, nubile, supermodel types supping champagne whilst I shove fistfuls of space invaders into my gob and neck merlot out of a tumbler. It’s pure escapism, so far removed from my life as a stay at home mum. And I was thrilled to see that Binky is with child. Congratulations to her.

However, something about it being on that show made me uneasy. The same uneasiness I get when I see adverts for Sam Faiers Mummy Diaries.

The uneasy feeling is one of wanting to shout at anyone watching the programs who hasn’t experienced pregnancy and motherhood first hand:

THIS IS NOT REAL! 

Maybe people aren’t as stupid as I take them for but I know a lot of young people aspire to be like these reality folks and it worries me that they are seeing a glossy perfect version of pregnancy and family life with a strong filter that will put ideas into their heads like “ooh, that looks lovely. I should do that. I can be just like Binky.”

Except you won’t. Not at all.

I fear the version of pregnancy and motherhood we are going to be projected on Made in Chelsea will be about as realistic as a Chicco advert. 

What we won’t see on Made in Chelsea, I can almost guarantee is:

  • Binky gaining four stone in pregnancy weight that she won’t be able to shift for four years after the birth of her child regardless of how many Zumba classes she does at the local leisure centre
  • Binky crying her eyes out on the toilet trying to have a movement whilst singing wind the bobbin up for the sixth time in a row to stop the child from crying
  • Binky struggling to cope on tax credits and frantically selling everything she owns on eBay just to be able to afford the wine she needs to get by
  • Binky calling JP a complete c#ntwaffle in the middle of the night for not hearing the baby and for ruining her life
  • Binky typing “should I LTB because he forgot my nipple pads?” onto mumsnet at 2am in the morning
  • Binky feeling overwhelmed and unwelcome at baby groups, struggling to make friends and only socialising with her cats for six months after the baby has been born
  • Binky arguing with a health visitor for implying the baby is behind in his development because he can’t pick up a raison with his pincer grip
  • Binky’s crusty bleeding nipples
  • Binky only being able to holiday at a child friendly caravan holiday (Hell hole) site 
  • Binky losing most of her friends and feeling utterly isolated
  • Binky shoving a dreadful sausage bap into her mouth at the soft play satanic cesspit (do they even do soft play in Chelsea?)
  • Binky buying peppa pig yogurts and only being able to get her child to eat potato smiles and fish fingers

What I think we will see is a beautiful, scrumptious, glossy, perfect version of motherhood and pregnancy – which I for one will be watching and enjoying as much as I usually do.

But I will take it with a pinch of salt, a bag of wotsits and a glass of red.

 

Motherhood – not quite what it says on the baking tin

About six months ago or more I bought a Peppa Pig cup cake pack from T’co-op.

I saw it, in between the cheese aisle and the wine aisle and I had a vision: There was me in my kitchen, two ankle biters next to me on cute stools. We were all wearing matching novelty aprons. My eldest was cracking an egg into a giant bowl. My youngest was adorably licking the wooden spoon. Icing sugar filled the air as we all chuckled spooning the mixture into the cup cake holders.

“Just think of the instagram pictures!” I thought! Just think.

Well six months passed and I glanced at the packet between making mountains of toast and wiping arses and cleaning and laundry and drinking and the time never came.

This morning – I don’t have a clue what possessed me but the baby was napping and my three year old was on his tenth tantrum of the day and maybe I was still drunk but I thought – let’s do it! I announced to the child “shall we make some cakes?” with smug glee.

I was finally going to be one of those mums who mother fudging BAKES BABY!

He looked at me with about as much enthusiasm as the average person would if I asked them if they wanted to help me lance a boil.

We weren’t wearing aprons. We were both wearing sweaty onesies. We weren’t in the kitchen as we can’t possibly fit in due to the bags of recycling and wine bottles as well as the oven being a death trap. No icing sugar filled the air because we are renting and I am a control freak.

Did he want to crack the egg? No.

Did he want to pour the mixture in? No.

Did he want to stir? Hell no!

Did he want to lick the spoon? (obviously the best part of baking). Did he bollocks! He looked at the spoon of creamy goodness like it was a pile of cockroach anuses on a Bush Tucker Trial.

He actually started crying like he was being tortured.

Then came the pleasure of waiting for the fuckers to be cooked. Turns out 12 minutes in child minutes equates to 100 hours of pure Hell. Then having to explain we couldn’t put the icing on (which I had already managed to fuck up) until they were cool brought another trauma no doubt he will be reliving to a counsellor in twenty years time – or Jeremy Kyle.

This is not how I envisaged mother and son baking time to be. And no I didn’t include the baby – are you crazy? Bull in a china shop springs to mind. A piglet in a cake factory would be a closer analogy. I have enough problems. The two of them would probably gang up on me and I would end up being pushed into the oven like the witch.

So we eventually iced the bastards and popped a sticker on the top.

They were as hard as rocks and tasted like scrambled egg. Despite this he seemed to enjoy eating them but I have a feeling Mr Kipling would have made him happier.

I am not deterred though – I want to make Gingerbread men this Christmas, but now I know the truth and my vision has shifted. Just like our vision of motherhood changes after being slapped in the face repeatedly with the wet kipper that is reality.

Instagram / Pinterest – they lie! Our perfect visions of motherhood are utter bullshit. Motherhood – not quite what it says on the tin.

“We made a cake didn’t we?” I chirped to him.

“Yes” he said.

“Is making cakes fun?” I asked.

“No” he said firmly and went back to watching Paw Patrol.

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To the kids being bullied – One Day

stephanie siviter

To the kids being bullied,

I know that today the bullies matter. I know that right now you can’t see anything else. I know that you think that all you are is a kid being bullied and all they are – are bullies.

One day your life won’t be about school. One day you’ll venture so much further than the school gates. One day you’ll travel. Because you can! You can do whatever you want.

I want you to imagine you’re up in a plane one day. You take off and start to pass cloud after cloud. You look down and see people. They get smaller and smaller and smaller until you can barely see them. It strikes you that they look a bit like ants. As you pass over the tiny houses and the land it will dawn on you how huge the world is and how tiny people are in contrast.

You will work, you will holiday, you will laugh, you will dance, you will eat delicious meals and listen to beautiful music. You might meet a partner. You will love. You will be loved. You will be confided in.

One day your partner might tell you they were bullied when they were young and you’ll say “me too! I know how you feel.” You will show empathy to each other and shrug your shoulders at the knowledge that sometimes really crappy things happen to really good people.

One day you might even have a family of your own. They might come home from school one day and say they’re being bullied. You will tell them you understand and it happened to you.

You will explain that they are purely tiny ants in the grand scheme of things and the world is so much bigger than they know. You will explain that one day they won’t matter. You will explain that one day things will be so much better for them. You know because you went through it. You survived. You thrived.

And where are they? The bullies? It doesn’t matter. Your life is so much bigger than they ever were.

One day. One day…. hold on in there.

 

Good Lord, he really is a little shit isn’t he darling?

 

You could never have met anyone on this planet more desperate, more excited and more suited to be a grandparent than my mother.

She had me, her perfect only child, obviously, and then began her wait to become a grandma. She waited a long thirty years. I saw her disappointed face after every relationship went sour. I think she thought it might never happen.

However, I was slightly worried about telling her I was pregnant as it wasn’t great timing, wasn’t planned, and I was living in sin in a fairly new relationship. I took a deep breath in Costa coffee and told her “you’re going to be a grandma.”

I apologise to the patrons of Costa that morning who were witness to a lady shrieking, screaming, howling and jigging about like Ed Balls doing a Samba. As soon as my son was born she had moved cities to be near him and is practically down the road handily popping by on a daily basis with milk, bread, wipes, ready meals and a million kisses for her little Lord Fauntleroy angel who can do no wrong. Then we surpassed her expectations and gave her a second grandson – well, you’ve never seen a happier woman.

However, like Marie Barone, she can be slightly critical of my parenting.

When she pops round the first thing she will comment on is how the boys smell. Apparently they always smell of something. She has the fully oxygenised nose of a greyhound, my nose has obviously curled up and died after living with three males.

“Hello darling, oh… has someone done a poo?”

“Hello darling, oh… I think he’s done a wee… shall I run them a bath?”

“Hello darling, do you mind me asking when you all last had a wash?”

After the smell notes she will comment on whether they are too hot or too cold (there’s never an in-between).

“Hello darling, oh…shouldn’t he be wearing warm socks on his ickle footsies?”

“Hello darling, oh… does he need that jumper on? he looks overheated to me.”

“Hello darling, HE’S NOT WEARING A JUMPER HE’LL CATCH HIS DEATH!”

And to top it off she will comment on how I should go out more. Why don’t I just pop down the road for example. Why isn’t the dishwasher filled. What have I been doing all day?

Last week she took us all on another little Yorkshire break to give me a “rest” (HA) and to spend quality time with the little darlings she had wished for for three decades.

On the second day after getting around five hours of sleep I saw her in the kitchen. She said our eldest woke up at “FUCKING FOUR! FOUR!”

“Yes” I said calmly, he does that.

My youngest was strapped to her leg letting out a high pitched dolphin sound trying to claw his way up her body. She was trying to fill the dishwasher dragging her leg around with my one year old attached to it like a dead weight. My eldest was running from room to room singing “Away in a manger” throwing hula hoops across the carpet. It was around eleven and she had been up for seven hours already.

“Grandma!” my three year old was shouting in his ridiculously high pitched Elmo voice, “can you play my game? can you play my game grandma?”

“Yes … just …. I’m …. I ….. need a cup …. of…”

“But Grandma? Grandma? Can you read the three bears now? Grandma?”

“Well….just….the dishwasher….I”

“Grandma? Grandma? Can I have a chocolate biskwit pwease Grandma?”

“You didn’t eat your toast…so….I”

The one year old was demonically howling now at her feet, his head buried into her crotch desperate to be picked up. She picked him up and held him with one hand whilst trying to boil the kettle with the other.

Both boys were wearing no socks and no trousers and I could smell a waft of turd.

She let out an agonising sigh and said to me

“Argh… he (my youngest) really is a little shit isn’t he?”

We laughed and I have never ever felt happier in my life. That feeling when someone else sees what your daily life is like, they get it. The moment when your most loved thing in the whole world is a “little shit”. She got it. I felt validated.

I held the little shit while she prised open a bottle of wine with her teeth and we had a splendid holiday. Hic…