It’s a Girls World!

Why is it that your children always seem to break the most expensive items you own or dive straight in to wreck those prized possessions that you love the most? It’s right isn’t it…I can see you all nodding your head along as you are reading this. We’ve all been there, from the stain loving blackcurrant juice spilt all over the new sofa, to them smashing a special vase as they ‘play fight’ in the living room. You go through all the emotions from horror, to anger, to guilt for shouting at them and then you spend a fortune trying to replace items only for it to happen again not too far into the distant future!

I distinctly remember going through all those emotions when my daughter was about five years old.

It was the day she decided to give herself the makeover of all makeovers when her school friend came over for a playdate.

A VERY expensive playdate it turned out…

As I recall I’d done the ‘good mother’ thing of giving in to my daughters pleas of having a friend round and spent ages dreaming up activities for them to do  – from building a den, making bracelets, colouring in Disney Princesses and had even bought a packet cake mix so I could show off my culinary skills and bake with them!  Within five mins of her friend arriving my well-prepared role was redundant though as they ran upstairs to my daughter’s room, giggling and chatting like two old women.

This ‘playdate’ thing is quite easy I thought – I really shouldn’t have got so stressed, what had I been thinking?

I poured myself a celebratory brew and sat down to watch a bit of telly, one ear firmly on the girl’s giggles, the other on Loose Women’s gossip.

And then it happened…the laughter stopped. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

As a parent, you know what that means – one thing – mischief has begun!

I flew up the stairs two at a time (Jess Ennis has nothing on me) – BANG – I opened the bedroom door…EMPTY…where were they?

Bathroom? (Where girls LOVE to go in pairs-something they never grow out of even as an adult, right?) …EMPTY.

There was only one room remaining and as I realised which one it was, the blood started to drain from my face…

OUR BEDROOM!!!

I slowly opened the door to be greeted by two clown faces smiling back at me.

I wanted to laugh but then I looked down at the open make up bag and carpet covered in foundation, glitter and lipstick and then I wanted to cry.

Yes, with the lack of an 80s Girls World in our house (if you are of a certain age you will know what I mean by this), she’d gone straight for the jugular and given herself and her mate a makeover from my brand-new MAC collection. She didn’t even touch the Collection 2000 eyeshadows or the ancient Estee Lauder lippy. At least I can console myself in the fact she’s got good taste.

I don’t think this will be the last time she raids Mums make up bag but back then the girls were swiftly taken to wash their faces clean (as best they could caked in 3 layers of an array of colours and sparkle). And then it was ‘home time’ when the playdates parents rang the bell for pick up. Of course the friend mentioned their makeover as the first thing out of their mouth but like any ‘good Mum’ I laughed it off – ‘oh it was fine, nothing really’ (just a hundred quids worth of make up ruined in an afternoon).

So, as I find myself putting on those rose coloured glasses now and again as my daughter races to double digits and I pine for the times she was ‘oh so cute and adorable’ I will remember these moments and store them up to get my revenge on her by retelling them to future boyfriends, her 18th and of course at her hen do!

A Mums got to do what a Mums got to do right?

 

 

Dr. Google will see you now!

Dr. Chris Steele, Dr. Ranj and even Doc McStuffins have got nothing on me when I decide to be a ‘have a go’ doctor. Oh yes, we’ve all done it haven’t we? Running a temperature, heartbeat racing faster, I’ll just type it into Google and see what it says…usually finding out within a couple of clicks that it’s something horrendous, or even worse, terminal. Cue adding sleep deprivation to the list of symptoms as you absorb the facts from the modern font of all medical knowledge.

I’ve TRIED to get out of the habit numerous times but it’s just so bloody tempting, especially when you have kids and are like Miss Marple trying to get to the bottom of their ‘mystery illness’.

I remember when my little boy was just a few weeks old and I’d put him in his moses basket to sleep at night and found him soaking wet the next morning, despite having a nappy on. His little vest was soggy but his bottoms were pretty much bone dry.  This happened not just one night but continued for about three and by then I’d convinced myself that there was something seriously wrong.

‘Oh my god…excessive sweating’…what does that mean???

There’s only one thing for it…Dr Google!

So, I found myself (already in the ‘new baby sleep deprived state’) lighting up my dark bedroom with my mobile phone as I searched for the definitive answer.

Ping…Click…Ping…Click…wait…wait…

Heart Disease!

Oh my god, oh my god!

I woke up a very grumpy and tired husband (who had already told me under no circumstances to ‘go on Google’) and, like a screaming banshee, proclaimed we had to get our son to hospital ‘right now’ and ‘I KNEW something was wrong’!

After being made to take a series of deep breaths and calm down, I started to look less like the woman from The Exorcist and decided to meet him halfway and ring the maternity unit’s 24hr helpline first.

Shaking I pressed in the number and put the phone on speaker so we could both hear.

“Hello there, my little boy has been wet through for three nights after being put down to sleep and I’ve just Googled and it says he has heart disease, should we bring him in?”

It came out so fast that my teeth were tripping over my tongue!!

Silence.

 “Can I ask if his nappy is on right?” she asked.

“Of course it is, this isn’t my first baby, I know how to put one on,” I hysterically snapped.

“Was your first baby a boy or a girl?”

“Girl” I answered thinking ‘cut to the chase here Matron, we might not have much time…Google says it’s serious’.

“Ahhhhh…right.”

Silence. Followed by…

“Can you do me a favour and loosen your sons nappy and look to see in which direction his winky is pointing…”

I carefully followed her instructions.

“Up” was my answer, confused as to why this was relevant.

Pause.

 “I think you’ll find that little boys need their bits pointing downwards when you do up their nappies. It seems that your baby has been sprinkling upwards for the past few nights.

Give it a try and I’m sure the problem will be resolved.”

My husband stifled a laugh and turned over. I hand palmed my head in embarrassment. What a neurotic idiot I’d been! And how much had I gotten myself into a state thinking the absolute worst.

What followed was the usual ‘I told you not to Google it, now turn off your friggin’ phone’ from the husband along with him mumbling about how his new son must have ‘a very effective winky’ to be managing to spray that far over himself these past few nights.

Men eh!?

I’m not gonna lie and say I no longer consult ‘Dr. Google’, because I still do, I’m like an addict in rehab slowly weaning myself away from the web and its unreasonable medical verdicts. I take solace in the fact that I’m not alone – I know there’s others out there like me. To those parents I say, repeat the mantra ‘Google is a guideline only’ and remember if you want a proper diagnosis speak to someone who isn’t made up of pixels and, finally, if you have a baby boy right now and you are going through something similar….point it south!!

 

 

Bad Mum on Tour!

What do you get when you put seven girl friends into a house for a get together, add copious amounts of gin, a laptop and a credit card?

Answer – A hangover from hell and the realisation you’ve all booked a three-night break in Majorca for later that year!

That’s what happened to me back in January and five months later I found myself on the beach enjoying my first ever girl’s holiday at the ripe old age of 40. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t plain sailing getting there. First up I had to break the news to my husband…eek! Would ‘the drink made me do it’ work? Or maybe, ‘it was peer pressure’. Whatever I said to him I knew it was going to go down like the ending of Game of Thrones…not good!

The reactions in my house went a bit like this:

Husband – sighs and shrugs head, then silence (errr, does that mean you are ok with it then???)

Son – unfazed, doesn’t even look up from playing Roblox on the iPad

Daughter – exclaims “Yey! Does that mean we can have take-out every night you are away and eat Haribo’s for breakfast? Sick!”

The icing on the cake really came though when I found out later that day that the girl’s trip only bloody fell on the same weekend of my mother in laws big birthday party, so now I had joined the club of Bad Mums, Bad Wife AND Bad Daughter in Law!!

Despite the huge amount of guilt I felt in the lead up, I held on to the mantra that ‘life is too short’ and sometimes it’s about putting yourself first, which as a Mum, we rarely get to do.

And, oh my god the trip was a revelation – firstly by realising that as soon as we got to the airport, it was just me I had to look after.

I could browse duty free without having the other half bugging me about the amount of time I’d spent trying on a lip gloss on and I could go for a wee when I wanted to, not because my little boy had asked me to take him to the toilet for the umpteenth time.

It was like a whole new world, one where my name was Michelle, not Mum.

Things I did on my trip…

  • I bought an ‘unmumsy book’ (Irvine Welsh’s Dead Man’s Trousers) AND I got time to read it.
  • I got a full 9 hours sleep and lay in past 7am!!!
  • I sunbathed
  • And the only hard decisions I had to make was should I get a sangria or a gin cocktail.

Don’t get me wrong I missed my kids and husband incredibly (they will be reading this) and I face timed them every day but getting a part of me back meant the world.

Sometimes as a parent we often forget where the real ‘us’ went. I’m not suggesting you all go out and book a random girl’s holiday (cue hubbies everywhere coming after me en masse) but what I AM saying is it’s ok to be ‘the real you’ every now and again.

So, take a few moments after reading this and think about something you used to do before having kids. What did you really enjoy, and not what you think you should do now you’re a Mum.

Maybe it’s rediscovering your passion for music, dancing like no one is watching or buying a pair of killer heels that definitely don’t come with a Mum tag

Oh, and one bit of advice before I sign off…don’t take your credit card out when drinking gin, you never know where it might take you ; )

Till next time,

The Big Bad Mumma (also known as Michelle!) xxx

 

 

 

Facebook or Fakebook?

They say a picture tells a thousand words but in the era of filters and photo-shopping the only thing they are saying now is a ‘fake perfect’. When have you ever put a photo on social media that you weren’t happy with? It’s not what we do is it. And god forbid anyone who tags you in to a shot that you haven’t approved.

Yes, admit it, we are all guilty, but it seems we get even worse once we’ve had children.

You post a snap of ‘little Tommy’ smiling sweetly hugging his dinosaur, when just minutes before he’d had a meltdown because you’d left it at the Toby Carvery and he had screamed blue murder in the car till you drove back.

Upload ‘our Katie’ in her bridesmaid dress but don’t reveal on the comments it took bribing her with the promise of having time on the iPad straight after the wedding just to get her to let you take it.

The reason I bring this up is that one of my good friends went on holiday to Dubai with her husband and two-year-old daughter and, as is the norm nowadays, posted regular pics from her break away onto Facebook. It went a little something like this…

The three of them on the beach looking sunkissed…check!

Her and her daughter adorably holding hands by the pool…check!

All of them in matching outfits with the sun setting behind the Burj…check!

#LivingOurBestLives hashtag…check!

Now, I’m viewing all these in my PJs, make up off, hair scraped back whilst on the sofa having a well needed glass of wine (after the kids have wound me to within an inch of breaking point). I remember whining to my husband ‘We could never manage to take the kids somewhere like that without it ending up being hell on earth. Why can’t we be that perfect?’

The week after my friend returns home and we meet up for a brew and a catch up.

‘How was your holiday? It looked amazing. I’ve got to admit I was so jealous’, I confessed.

‘Oh god, it was awful, I couldn’t wait to get back! Me and him had a row on the second day and hardly spoke after that and my little girl had a tantrum by the poolside which was so bad everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at us.’

I felt a mix of smugness, then empathy and then a bit angry…not at her but at me for believing that what we see on social is always true. Deep down we are the same, dealing with similar issues and all just trying to survive with our sanity intact. Sometimes we just want people to believe that we are perfect just as much as we wanted Prince Charming to exist when we were single.

Remember what you see isn’t always reality and ‘parenting perfection’ is as big a fairy-tale as Cinderella.

That’s one of the reasons I set up Bad Mums’ Club so there was a place where Mums could go along, be themselves for a night and realise that in person we are all the same, whether we holiday in Dubai or Devon…bake cakes or buy them.

Our next event night is Thursday 27th June at Alkrington Community Centre when the theme will be Summer and we will have lots in store to spread some sunshine into your lives. Come along if you can…tickets available via our Facebook events page.

Right, I’m off to see how many likes this latest post has got ; )

World B***** Book Day!

March…when spring has sprung and yes Mums out there…when World Book Day dawns once again!

March 7th is etched into my calendar, staring back at me laughing as time runs out for me to get my thinking cap on and come up with some kind of creation for not one but two of my children.

Anyone else out there feel my pain??

In the past we’ve done The Wizard of Oz – (school summer dress, hair in plaits, a pair of red shoes and a teddy bear pretending to be Toto…my little girl was 5 at the time, she knew no different). The following year we recycled the school dress idea by me convincing her that Matilda was the way to go (after realising the night before that I had NOTHING for her to wear – a lifesaver as all she did was wear the dress, put a bow in her hair and carried a Roald Dahl book – voila!). Then last year we were given a life line as the school decided not to do the whole dress up thing (I cried so much…not!!)

But now it’s 2019 and I have two children at school, which is double the dilemma.

God help those who have 3, 4 or even more to sort out. You see it wouldn’t be so bad if everyone was at the same level of inadequacy as me but there’s some parents who are just genius at these sorts of things and actually make their OWN costumes. Oh yes, I’ve seen a kid come in as a wardrobe for (you guessed it) The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and a child as the witch from Room On A Broom come in complete with a replica of the actual broom along with a home-made cat, bird, frog and dog on it (I mean…seriously).

There’s no real regulations about who they come dressed as though is there?

I mean do you think World Book Day could be accepting of a comic character? Might I get away with the recycled Spiderman outfit or the PJ Masks jumpsuit my little boy has worn only once after screaming the shop down that he wanted it ‘more than anything in the WHOLE world’?

The mischievous Mum in me wants to send him in all different (50 to be exact) Shades of Grey – I mean that is a bestseller isn’t it? It might make for a good discussion around the teaching staff ; )

But no, here I am contemplating how I make my little girl into The Ice Monster (a Walliams favourite) and my little boy into Zog. God knows how I will fair with that!

Answers on a postcard to Harrassed Mum, 1 Gin Needy Way, Helpsville.

Good luck to all the Mums out there in the same boat as me xxx

 

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