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We did it! Bad Mums’ Club Launch Night

And breathe!..

Something I’ve not been doing for the past few months thinking about setting up Bad Mums’ Club. Can I do it? Am I mad? Will people really want to come? After all, this was an idea born out of a night in with a bottle of wine to myself ‘a la Bridget Jones’…should it have been buried with the hangover that followed?

No!

This year I made a pact to myself – it’s time to get scared again. You may have heard countless life coaches and ‘gurus’ spouting about ‘do one thing a week that scares you’, well I picked the mother of all scary tasks and now I’m glad I did.

On March 23rd 2017 over 50 women turned out for the launch of Bad Mums’ Club, none of them really knowing what to expect. I admit I was overwhelmed and moved at the turnout (in my head I expected about 10 people to show and that would have been made up of my relatives and close friends) but these were REAL people, most of which didn’t know me from Adam. To see them all together made me think – this really IS what Mums want – a place where you can go and be bloody honest for once, have a bit of fun and enjoy being YOU again.

And so the night began…

Mums who arrived on their own felt their nerves ease as they enjoyed the complimentary glass of prosecco, those who arrived with friends in tow chatted eagerly, all were excited to find out what lay ahead.

I’ll admit I have never been as nervous as I was making my welcome speech to all the ladies. For me this is really personal. I can’t tell you how passionate I am about Bad Mums’ Club and when you feel so strongly about something you really want other people to feel it too. Standing up there and telling a room full of wonderful women why I wanted to do this was daunting, but they smiled, hell they even laughed along with me.

That’s when I knew I had done the right thing.

What followed was far better than my words – BBC Radio 5 live’s Sam Walker, our first ever guest speaker, was fantastic (although I knew she would be). Sam is a mum of two who juggles her career with being ‘mummy’. She overwhelmed me last year when she decided to live her dream, took a break from work and went off with her family to live in New York and Australia for a number of months so they could have the experience of a lifetime. That takes balls and it’s something I think as mums we often think we can’t do anymore – yet here she was doing it. Inspiring, funny and not sugar coating the hard times either…Sam was bloody brilliant!

More prosecco flowed, and why not, we are supposed to be ‘Bad Mums’ after all ; )

Then it was time for the ladies to mingle. They had all been given a coloured sticker when they arrived and now they had to get into groups depending on which colour they were. Some got to try out cocktail flaring first, others reflexology, face mapping and some ate cake – yes really! Local businesses had come along to give the mums a treat and unite the community – something I was keen for Bad Mums’ Club to do. After two hours of ‘me’ time it was hard to get anyone to leave. I was inundated with ‘when is the next one?’, ‘can we have a go at this next time?’ and above all it was just heartwarming to stand and watch women who didn’t know each other at the start of the night, forming new friendships.

So thank you ladies, this couldn’t continue without you. This is for you. This is for me. This is for everyone who has ever had a moment where they feel like they are not good enough. Raise your glass…to Bad Mums’ Club. We are launched and we are proud!

 

 

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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!

 

Normal Service Resumed!

In honour of the parents who have survived the school holidays…(just) I thought I’d share a few things that you will never hear come out of a parents mouth at this time of the year. And if you do hear them, I promise to run naked around Manchester in disbelief…although trust me, after all the sweets and kids’ leftovers I’ve succumbed to over Summer that wouldn’t be a pretty sight!

Quotes you’ll never hear come out of a parents mouth:

  • “I wish the kids were off for another week.”
  • “It was so easy getting the school uniform this year. I loved the words ‘out of stock’ coming up when I went to order it online.”
  • “It’s ok darling I’ve just shouted so loud for you to wake up that the neighbours have come round. You stay in bed, we’ve still got 5 minutes to make it to school on time.”
  • “You’ve lost your new coat on your first day back, that’s amazing we expected it in the first week but not day one…what an achievement!”
  • “Yes of course you can sign up for swimming, gymnastics, football club and drama classes, me and Daddy don’t have a life and we have an endless pot of money.”
  • “I can’t wait till you get your first project to bring home so we can spend every night getting involved making things out of loo roll and cereal boxes.”
  • “You want Lelli Kelly school shoes like Amy?  Why don’t we buy you 5 pairs, one for each school day…they are so cheap compared to your George from Asda ones.”
  • “No gin for me tonight, I’m going tee total!”

So here’s to normal service resuming, at least until the October half term…

 

 

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