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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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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

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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