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

 

Kids and Shopping DON’T mix!

There’s a saying that people in the TV industry like to live by – never work with animals or kids! I think there’s a lot of sayings you can apply to parenthood and I recently found that ‘never go shopping with the kids’ should be right at the top of them.

It was meant to be relaxing family stroll around what was left of the sales at the Trafford Centre but from the moment we got there stress levels had exceeded boiling point and the kids were bored as soon as we walked from the car park!

So, what do you do? Well after the kids inhaled the food supply from my Mary Poppins bag in less than five minutes (club biscuits, crisps, fruit shoots-all gone) the only other thing to try was splitting them up. Husband and daughter go one way – me and my 4-year-old son, the other – trying to give each other half an hour’s grace to browse successfully. Not a bad plan…right??

Wrong!

I had just picked up a well reduced dress that would possibly have turned me from scummy to yummy mummy when my son says the words that have all parents sighing up and down the country.

‘I want a wee!’

His legs start shaking, it’s obviously a race against time to make sure he gets to one.

So, it’s goodbye to the dress and hello to the loos.

Any Mum of a little boy will understand when I say, ‘the aim is always the problem’ and try as I might to get ‘Mr Winky’ pointing down the toilet bowl it was clearly facing upwards. At this point I’m saying to him…

‘Good boy, push Mr Winky down so you can see it go down the hole’

‘But I like Mr Winky spraying’

‘Yes, but it’s a Selfridges toilet sweetheart, just put it down’

And then it happened…

‘I want a pooh’

Christ!

I’m now squatting down opposite him holding his hand as he sits on the loo trying to push it out. Time is ticking and my precious half hour shopping time is dwindling fast.

Just as the pooh finally drops Mr Winky decides there’s more wee to come…in my direction.

Yes, that’s right, my coat is soaked, my face has sprinkles of wet on it plus he’s also managed to drench his jeans that are down by his ankles (don’t ask).

‘Mummy, Mr Winky was naughty wasn’t he?’

I hear sniggers coming from the cubicles to my left and right.

His wet jeans in my hands I sheepishly leave the cubicle with son behind, realising everyone in the ‘posh loos’ knows what’s just gone on.

My son is now as happy as Larry, I however have realised Mary Poppins has failed to bring the change of clothes in her bag so we spend the next 10 mins at the hand drier as new people come in thinking I am a rubbish Mum for having their kid stand there in his undies.

Dead on the 30 mins being up we emerge from the toilets to meet husband and daughter, grins on their faces and shopping bags in hands.

‘Aw, did you not find anything to buy?’ asks Hubby.

I looked down at my son, back in his jeans, smiling up at me.

‘Don’t ask…’ I say through gritted teeth.

Never. Shopping. With Kids. Again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Greatest Show-woman!

Do you sometimes feel like you are in a circus? I’ll admit, it’s often like being in The Greatest Showman in our house.

There’s my kids who are the animals. My husband the clown. And there’s me who switches roles on a daily basis from ringmaster (making sure everything is in order), to juggler (throwing lots of balls up in the air and hoping I don’t drop them) and finally  trapeze artist (teetering on the edge not knowing it I’m gonna fall flat on my face). Sound familiar?

Well this week the juggler in me definitely took their eye off the balls and they all came crashing down. Yes, I had one of THOSE days. When all you want to do is go back to bed and start all over again but you can’t, cos you are a Parent.

It all started when my 8 (going on 18) year old daughter defiantly proclaimed at the dinner table that is was “non-uniform day tomorrow” and she needed to take in cakes for the school fair for the privilege.

Despite me challenging her for at least the next hour it was a battle I was destined to lose, as she INSISTED she was right and I was wrong.

With less than 12 hours to go there was no way I was about to start baking (although who am I kidding, even if there had been a week I’d have still been sending her in with shop bought cakes).

So next morning I was up even earlier than usual in readiness to make a dash detour to the supermarket via the school run. We ended up with mini rolls (standard) and jam tarts (cos they were on offer) and, with 2 kids fully own clothed, we finally made it to the school gates just on time. It was then that I started to notice other parents staring at me. Was my jumper on inside out (cos that HAS happened before), was my skirt tucked in my knickers? No…it was worse than that…ALL the other kids were dressed in their UNIFORM!

Argh, I didn’t know whether to laugh or face palm!

Not only had I committed the ‘shop bought cakes sin’ but I had brought my kids in their own clothes on the WRONG DAY. It was even too bloody late to drive home and change them. So, I had to face the tears of my daughter (who conveniently had memory loss that SHE was the one who told ME it was own clothes day) and the pitying looks from the other parents when I dropped off my little boy at the nursery block in his Gruffalo onesie.

Feeling as if the day couldn’t get any worse, I walked red-faced with cakes in hand across the playground. And then, like my fairy godmother, a Mum shouted over to me…

“Don’t worry I did the same thing last week – you’re not alone.”

I smiled. Yes, deep down we ARE all the same. Circus workers on a daily basis.

I took a deep breath, got in my car and did the only self-respecting thing I could think of…opened up the cakes and scoffed one.

Hell yeah…THIS IS ME!

 

 

 

 

Lights, donuts and £10 slime!

Did anybody get to see the Blackpool Illuminations this year?

Every 12 months it sounds like a good idea to pack into the car and go and see the multi-coloured flashing lights adorning the seaside  town and every year we come back saying ‘NEVER AGAIN’!

Well, glutton for punishment, me and the hubby took the kids a few weeks ago and it seemed like EVERYONE in the world had had the same idea as us.

As you might imagine the traffic was bumper to bumper and the fun of ‘the first one to spot Blackpool Tower’ started to fade as it became apparent we’d have spotted the Eiffel Tower in less time that it took to get to the Golden Mile. When we finally arrived the kids were so high on Haribos they wouldn’t have known whether we were in Blackpool or the back garden.

You would have thought the trauma was over when we got there but then we had to park. Cue stress levels exceeding boiling point and my ‘hangry’ other half (who was dying for chips, peas and gravy by the prom) was being quite free with his tongue at the prospect we were driving around in circles. Then, from the back of the car, my 4-year-old son shouts out of the window ‘where’s the friggin’ space’! I officially wanted to die right there and then as it was so loud the crowds passing by all stopped with that awful judgmental look on their faces that says ‘I wonder where’s he got that from’? Needless to say, the hubby got the death stare from me and the windows went firmly back up.

It’s not just a trip to the lights though is it?

When you come to Blackpool you can’t get away without a visit to the arcade. Do you remember when it was all about the ‘two p’ machines and getting a few coins back like on Tipping Point? Well not anymore, it’s all about the ones that pump out the tokens…where you spend about a tenner trying to collect 500 little paper tickets that you then exchange for 2 lollies and a pot of slime. Money well spent eh!

When we finally got to the main event…the lights, my little boy was fast asleep and my little girl transfixed to the £10 slime and nothing else. So, like the sensible parents that we are, we fought over who had the last hot donut and in doing so we missed the goddamn tram we’d waited an hour for that’s shaped like a boat and has enough wattage to power up Manchester.

Blackpool Illuminations, don’t you just love them?

You know though, just like childbirth, we will all forget how much pain it puts us through and be tempted to do it all over again next year.

See you at Central Pier!

 

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