Pinch punch, Mum what’s for lunch?

All is quiet in the ‘Big Burr House’. Joshua started the day early this morning wearing nothing but his sunglasses saying ‘morning dude’ in his best ‘cool’ voice. Fast forward a few hours, we’re watching the Flintstones, i’m tirelessly scrolling through Facebook and the weather outside is drowsy.

Joshua’s already reminded me at least 6 times that he’s “very proud and excited” that he won a patrick teddy by getting two ducks “all by myself” (no skill involved might I add, it was purely a ‘hook a duck, choose a prize’ situation.

I’ve had a mars ice-cream for breakfast, my house is semi messy (its clean, but is seems there’s a miniature Disney gathering occurring on my rug right now) and were both still in our pyjamas.

I’ve not stopped stressing and thinking ‘what can we do with our day, how can I make it exciting’ – I considered a muddy puddle day and realised that I basically could not be bothered with the aftermath. I considered painting, but today is just not a day for painting.

We’ve built the same 2 jigsaw puzzles at least 12 times and i’ve already drawn spongebob and the gang (I used to enjoy drawing them but its taking its toll now being asked to draw Sandy, Pearl, Mrs Puff, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy along with the main ones. I spend an hour perfecting them and realise Joshua’s off doing his jigsaw again.

We’ve coloured in dory, watched Scooby-doo and Peppa pig (although I was still half asleep for them to be fair), Joshua’s had 2 bowls of cereal and he’s already had 3 meltdowns this morning (one of them because he’s ‘very starving’)

We’ve argued because Joshua’s adamant that the sun isn’t sunny and that the number six is actually a number one. We’ve debated whether a telephone and microphone are the same thing and he’s protested that his vest is red (it’s white)

He’s phoned dad just to tell him ‘Your a dirty wolf and I’m a super-hero’ which led to a 10 minute discussion about how I’m the princess and Joshua’s going to save me, and a long debate of who smells the worst, who has a bum face and who’s a turd worm (Joshua’s favourite word ATM)

We’ve had underpants on our head and we’ve jumped on the bed and played hide and seek (also know as 5 minutes peace whilst he sits in the playhouse that he asked me to put the roof on so i wouldn’t be able to find him) YOU CANT MAKE THIS STUFF UP!

The mum guilt soon crept in and I realised that he must be having as much a tedious day as I am, the poor bugger probably just wants a bit of fun or a bit of fresh air. This poor boy has been stuck in the house today and he’s having to find entertainment within the realm of the living room (AKA playroom with a sofa in it)

Im not doing enough, I need to get him to the park for an hour, I better get up and get dressed I feel awful sitting around doing nothing all day. Better turn the TV off, too much TV time isn’t good. He’s told me he’s hungry 30 times in the last 15 seconds maybe I should make him something else to eat. 

And after all of the chaos and the stress and the worry of not doing enough with our day, that Joshua might be bored and that Ive only done one wash (when theres room on the radiators for two), the drama of still being in pyjamas and the blinds still being shut, I stopped, taken a second to breathe and I realised after dealing with all of the stress of wasting the entire day doing nothing, it was actually still only 09:30am in the morning…..

So sod it,

Ive spent my whole morning stressing about being slobby and doing nothing with my day, I may as well follow through with it and do exactly that, so – Moana and a hot chocolate it is.

We’ll probably have a walk to the park at some point depending on whether I we can be bothered putting pants on, but for now – sod it, Square eyes for the win!

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Brutally honest and innocently rude

Let me set the scene. Its lunch time. Im hungry, Joshua’s hungry, and anytime I cook anything in the oven Joshua goes into a meltdown because he knows he’ll have to wait anything more than 2 minutes.

Ham sandwiches’ll do.

Im in the kitchen, singing away to The Smiths – This Charming Man, when I hear my little cherub chatting away in the living room. ‘aw how cute’ I thought, ‘i’ll turn down the music and have a listen’ –

“But Its not fair I don’t even like butties. I don’t like ham and I hate lettuce. Im not eating it all. oh but then I won’t be able to have any treats, but I do like treats so I might eat a bit ok captain hook? just a bit. Then the treats will be mine *evil laugh* (I’m not being dramatic here, these are his actual words!!)

And that wasn’t all. As I returned to the living room, plates in hand, Joshua says “ooo thank you mum I’m so excited I love ham sandwiches specially with lettuce” and then proceeds to eat half before saying “can I have a treat now i’ve eaten lots”

HA HA NOT A CHANCE YOU DEVIOUS LITTLE SOD GET IT ATE. He refused. No treats were given.

AT WHAT POINT DO WE LEARN TO BE CHEEKY, MISCHIEVOUS LITTLE BUGGERS BECAUSE I CANT QUITE PUT MY FINGER ON WHEN THIS BEGUN.

But it got me thinking, kids are so adorable and so innocent but sometimes they come out with the funniest things – and they have no clue they’re doing so.

Joshua constantly says funny things like ‘I WANT A CHOCOLATE ARSE CREAM’ and “I DONT LIKE YOU, YOU STINK OF A MONKEYS BUM’ and thats all well and cute, but its the ‘adult phrases’ that they pick up and use against us that really makes me laugh.

As a parent, the first thing to come to mind is to say ‘don’t be cheeky’ but in reality, they’re not being cheeky at all they’re just doing what they thinks right and acting how they’ve been taught. For example, every tea time without fail Joshua will say ‘Daddy what do you say to mummy, say thank you for your lovely dinner”. And it isn’t cheeky at all in fact he’s remembered that he must use his manners and he’s reminding daddy to do the same. How adorable is that?

He’s also picked up on my new answer to questions after being asked for the 27th time so now he says “Mum why are we going to the shop, is it because you said so?” ha ha yes Joshua thats exactly why, 10 points to Gryffindor. And so every now and again ill say something like “Joshua come and clean up these books from allover the floor and he’ll say something like “Excuse me, wait a minute I’m busy!” HOW DO I RESPOND. WHAT DO I DO. FAIRY GODMOTHER I NEED YOUR HELP…

His usual ‘why does that person stink”, “why is that girls looking at me” and “look at that silly man dancing mum” as well as “whats his name” and “why is she wearing that silly hat”. All questions that they genuinely want to know the answer to and phrases they’ve picked up on and they have no idea how they might be perceived to other people.

Children are so innocently rude and brutally honesty.

Want to know if you look fat in your new dress? Don’t ask your boyfriend, ask your child! 

 

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Our 6 month bucket list

So, I finally did it.

I booked up my ideas *with the help of Joshua* and we’ve decided exactly what we would like to achieve from our year. We have created our 2017 BUCKET LIST! (shut up, I know its July, I got sidetracked) and I thought I would share our ideas with all of my mum friends that might get a little bit stuck for something new sometimes like us:

2017 BUCKET LIST

Have a Picnic

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Have a water fight

Visit a pumpkin patch

Visit a museum

Have a walk around a lake

Go hiking

Plant a flower/tree

Visit a fair

Go to an amusement park

Have a movie night

Visit a firework display

Build a pillow fort

Go swimming

Visit a new park

Visit a farm

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Have a family game night

Have a sleep over

Help wash daddys car

Play out in the rain

Go camping

Visit the library

Visit a farmers market

Go gymnastics

Visit a beach

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Go to the cinemas

Look for stars (probs when camping?)

Play golf

Paint a picture

Go to a trampoline park

Make our own music instruments

Build a snowman

Bake a cake

Go to the zoo

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Feed the ducks

Visit santa

Ride on a train

Go see the illuminations

Have a family pyjama day

Try a new restaurant

Buy a gift to donate

Go to a local fun day

Play football

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Start a long book to read together at bedtimes

Have a treasure hunt

Play outside to find bugs and insects

Try a new hobby/class

Play hide and seek

Visit the christmas markets

Go on a boat

Make our own smoothies

 

Better get started, were nearly in our 7th Month!

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Warning: Milestone ahead (Joshua’s off to school!)

Last week Joshua had his welcome day at his school nursery. It’s a milestone that I never thought would arrive. One minute they’re only content when cuddling you and with a blink of an eye they respond to asking for a cuddle with “no your breath stinks of cabbage”.

I never considered myself to be the kind of mum that would be worried about him going to school but as much as we often joke “another 15 years and well be free” its absolutely terrifying that 3 years have gone so quickly and that ‘freedom’ will be here much sooner than we thought. *hears glasses clinking on an exotic beach in the distance*

When I decided to spend 9 months out of work with Joshua, other than the guilt I felt for leaving Ryan to be the sole provider, I was super excited and grateful to spend that time making memories together.

“We’ll go on picnics every day, have play dates and venture out to explore the world together”. “I’ll conquer motherhood and then go back to building a career and just smash life in general, easy peasy”.

“ha ha ha you are wrong” said the fat controller.

We’ve obviously had a lot of fun times, but nobody told me just how tedious it would be at other times! Nobody told me how a three year old likes to complete a jigsaw, take it apart and re-build it. 16 TIMES. Nobody told me that my child would approach me with a toy and say ‘lets play’ and then each time I try he would debate “No mum! He doesn’t say that, he says …”

Nobody told me that an ice lolly is NEVER a good idea if you’re not within toddler-carrying distance of a shower, and that no matter how many times you say ‘yeah just give me a second’ .. they will take it literally and ask you the exact same thing a second later.

Nobody told me that I would turn into a middle aged mother saying things like “BECAUSE I SAID SO” and “If you don’t eat your tea you won’t be having any pudding” and “If you pick your nose your brain will fall out”

Nobody told me that I would hear the phrase “I want…” twelve times an hour and “well thats not fair, I’m going to my room” at least twice a day.

As much as I sit here and worry about how hard its going to be finding a job that works around our family schedule and settling in to something new the same time as Joshua, I can’t pretend I’m not super excited to have a conversation that doesn’t include a Disney character.

Im excited for the next milestone to begin – For Joshua to tell me all about his day at school and about what games he’s been playing with his friends. Im excited for him to make friends that he’ll know for the next 13 years or so and have those friends over for sleepovers. Im excited to take him to football matches and his friends parties and world book day and attend assemblies and school fares and the class nativity (Joshua’s teacher said she already wants Joshua as Joseph haha!)

And I can’t wait for a new start for myself either. Adult conversation, organisation, routine and generally just feeling like I’m doing my part. Im excited to feel less of a failure and of course to have that extra income that I spent a year working for just to pay our on nursery fees.

Its always nice to have a fresh start and to reach a new milestone.

Im excited to watch my son become a young man, but I guarantee a month into school/working i’ll be wanting to come home and do that gruffalo jigsaw 16 times in a row.

 

 

 

For answers, turn to page 64

How unfortunate is it that you cannot google ‘how do I respond to my shithead of a son refusing to eat his broccoli?’ – I mean, you can google it, but the best answer you’ll get is from Julie on Mumsnet telling you how you should give him a good wallop like they did in the old’en days.

I hope it’s not just me, but I’m constantly questioning whether Im doing enough. If I let him play fight with his dad is he going to crack little Jimmy at school across the face. If I ignore and laugh at his cheeky (and really cute) little comments (like “i’m getting sick and tired of you”) is he going to end up being really cheeky and naughty? But if I don’t let him say the little remarks how will he ever bring out his personality properly, he’s not exactly saying it in a vicious way?

What do I teach him about death? He thinks that when you die you turn into a star in the sky but once he goes to school what if his friends teach him that you don’t, you’re either burned to a crisp or buried underground.

How do I approach the fact that some of his friends might not get as many christmas presents as him. How do I explain that father christmas doesn’t have favourites, its just that some people are luckier than others.

If I show him a baby bump and explain there’s a baby inside, is he going to point at the stomach of every woman and say ‘look mum theres a baby in there!’

When he throws his Moana boat across the room in a strop you can’t skip to page 64 to find the answer. Its on you.

If he doesn’t want to go out for the day and even when we get to the park he doesn’t fancy going on anything, do I force him because its fun and its good to get fresh air, or do I bring him home and hope that he doesn’t turn into one of them kids that never wants to leave the house.

Do I continue to buy him the toy figures of every disney programme ever created because he absolutely loves them, or will he end up spoiled and expect it from is?

You get the point. There is no manual.

For all I know I could be doing absolutely everything wrong and it terrifies me. I could wake up one morning in the future to find my son has turned into a cheeky little so and so that never leaves the house, never cleans up after himself and refuses to eat anything green. Maybe one day ill look back and think Julie from Mumsnet knew exactly what she was talking about – she realised her mistakes and beat the shit out of her fuckery of a teenager and now she’s out in force trying to stop other mums from making the same mistakes.

Maybe one day i’ll be the new Mumsnet loser trying to give out my words of wisdom because I don’t want anybody to bugger it up the way I ended up doing so.

But I think if Joshua came anything close to being naughty Id like to think we would nip in in the bud there and then. He is a good lad, we are actually very lucky, but I do question that he might wake up one day and it’ll all change forever.

Chances are Julie doesn’t know what she’s talking about, she probably doesn’t even have kids. I reckon she’s one of those grumpy old women that frown on the bus when a baby makes a slight noise. She probably has 8 cats, her family never visits and she spends her days hid away in her bedroom commenting on youtube videos and making complaints about a tin of beans thats slightly bent to try and get a coupon for 20p off the next tin she buys.

Thinking about it, Id rather end up with a quick-whitted little bugger of a son than a Julie anyway.

 

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Why play tug of war when you can cut the rope in half?

I have always been an open book. I tell people way too much about my life and the older I’ve got, the more I’ve always regretted it. I told people plans that I didn’t follow through with, I told people about struggles I’ve faced for it to be used against me. Ive shared my experiences, good and bad, in order to help other people and sometimes, myself.

But as I said, as I’ve gotten older, and especially over the last few months, I wish I’d never have discussed my life with others so much. Especially temporary people. I had a job that I quite liked when I was just 17 and after being a complete open book to them as to why I was late once (I was currently homeless, I only had enough bus fair to get me to work and not home and I literally carried a bag of my clothes around with me) I think they decided that It would be easier to find somebody with less baggage. But young and naive Lauren just wanted to let them know that I am doing everything I can but its just a little hard at the moment. Its something I have always regretted and think about often, and only the other day did I pass the manager that fired me. God I was close to walloping her across her saggy, judgemental mush. (not sure if I realise that this isn’t a personal diary and the world will be able to see it, but hey – I said i’d still be an open book about some things I suppose)

I wish I never told anybody anything when I was younger. Colleagues, Distant relatives, anybody that isn’t Ryan I suppose. I think I will always be openly honest about a lot of things, but now I think I would love to take everything back and be a complete closed book. I am at a stage in my life where I wish nobody knew anything about me that I don’t want them to know. Nobody has the right to discuss or judge or even question the person I am and used to be (who I would go as far to say are two different people).

I find that in the past I sometimes painted a picture of myself who I thought each person wanted me to be, rather than actually being myself, but over the past few months I would say I have learned a lot about myself. It’s like all of a sudden I’ve had this epiphany and I know exactly who I am after my dramatic quarter-life crisis late last year.

But one thing I have definitely learned this year is that I cannot be dealing with drama. I cannot cope with the constant need to fulfil the happiness of other people when it actually makes me feel a little bit shitty in doing so. I cannot paint on a face and pretend to be happy with a situation when I am not.

I’ve cut off a lot of people off over the past few months (A LOT) and I honestly have never felt so relieved. Having to constantly stick to arrangements that I’m not happy with, sitting in somebody’s company that I cannot bare to spend another moment fake laughing at, listening to somebody tell a story whilst thinking ‘that’s bullshit’ the whole way through. Well it honestly started to grind me down. Pretending to be somebody I’m not in order to please others.

So instead of pulling and pulling at the rope, fighting to stay happy and trying to please everybody and keep the peace… I just let go.

The relief was instant. I have never felt better. I stopped giving respect to those that didn’t give it back. I think the few people I have around me might sometimes worry that I might regret it one day (and who knows, maybe I will) but I decided that I have to do whats best for me. I will not have a single person in my life that puts me down, makes me feel less of a person, or particularly tell me that I won’t amount to anything when they have a big big lesson to learn in life considering they know nothing about ‘adult life’ at this point. (if any of you are reading this, ill let you decide which one relates to you)

I think my biggest worry was that cutting myself off from the world might affect Joshua, but if somebody is having a negative impact on my life, surely this would inadvertently affect him? Besides, the people that truly love him and want to see him (and its definitely clear who those people are) would not cut him off due to our differences. The ones that have cut him off as though we’re a package are the ones I feel sorry for. It is most definitely not his loss, its theirs. And I think I will continue to follow this motto.

“Never wrestle with pigs, you both get dirty, and the pig likes it”

For a while I felt lonely and wondered why I felt so distant to the world. I wondered why nobody liked me and why I was never good enough, and why everybody around me seemed to have a problem, but the truth is, it was my time being wasted, not theirs. It was me cutting them out of my life, not the other way around. Its me walking away and leaving the tug of war. So its not that I’m lonely, I’m just choosing not to play a game that I have no interest in winning.

I have my amazing fiance, my gorgeous little boy, a few very close family members, a few good friends and I’m pretty sure they all know who they are. I have very few people around me these days and yet I’ve never been more happy.

Now the only games I have to worry about playing are ‘I spy (it usually begins with ‘N’ and the answer is usually dog) and football. And thats how I hope it stays…

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We already know how to be parents thanks hun x

I WONT TELL YOU AGAIN, UN-GLUE YOUR EYES FROM SCOOBY-DOO FOR 3 FUCKING SECONDS AND GET YOUR SHOES ON- is what I say in my head as I pleasantly ask “Joshua put your shoes on please, and if you don’t listen to me, you won’t have a DVD on in bed tonight”.

There’s so many parenting manuals flying about WHS and Waterstone’s recently and its usually written by a woman living on 150k a year who has a well behaved child called Jasper.

They usually share their bedtime routine (I bet it doesn’t contain frogs behind radiators) and the fact that their child is excelling at life and its due to how much of a brilliant routine they have. Their babies usually start walking at 12 weeks old and know how to wipe their own arse at 9 months. Piss off Karen we all know how to give them a bottle at 7pm and pop them in bed to get them into a routine. What we really need is to share our wisdom with each other of ways to win against our little smart arse kiddiwinks that sometimes have an answer for everything…SO IF YOU’RE A NORMAL MUM (or dad) AND YOUR CHILD CAN SOMETIMES BE A LITTLE SHIT, IGNORE PARENTING MANUALS AND SUPER-NANNY, I’VE GOT YOU COVERED.

This is my ‘how to deal with children that aren’t as well behaved as Jasper’ top ten tips!

1: Bribe them – “If you don’t eat your broccoli, you won’t get big muscles like daddy” My all-time favourite, works every time!

2: Ignore them – Oh you want to plank in the middle of the aisle in Tesco because I won’t let you buy the book that you already have? Cya! *wanders off down the aisle, hears tiny pitter pattering behind seconds later* *hopes that pitter pattering isn’t in other direction, if it is, you better get your running shoes on*

3: You are superior, don’t forget that – I don’t know one single mum that hasn’t ever said “BECAUSE I SAID SO”. It works, what we say goes! and if not ill send you my youtube tutorial of how to build a toddler dungeon.

4: Blag it – “Joshua I know I said we would watch Horrid Henry this morning but Henrys had to go to school, he’ll be back later though” – HA I WIN YOU GULLIBLE LITTLE SHIT!

or

“Im sorry baby I know I said you can have the last cookie but daddy ate it, don’t worry, mummy will buy you some special ones just for you” *wipes crumbs from around mouth subtly* hahaha

5: Wing it – This is something we are ALL familiar with. We all wing it on a daily basis. Thats what parenting is isn’t it? “Of course I know what temperature my child should be, it should be 37.5 Silly, I DID NOT JUST GOOGLE IT OK!

6: Sod it – Did I say Joshua couldn’t have had a cake after his tea because he punched his dad in the face? yes. But if I go back on my word and tell him he can have his cake will he eat all of his tea? yes. *discreetly slides cake across the table and gives the ‘don’t tell dad’ evil stare*

7: Deny it – I KNOW FOR A FACT WE’RE ALL GUILTY OF THIS. “He said what? Fuck off? Oh I don’t know where he got that from, its not like I was watching Love Island whilst he was playing in the hope that he wouldn’t be listening, it must have been grandad’s fault” hahahahah

8: Play on it – “Are you not going to listen to me today? Oh okay, well wait until I tell daddy when he gets home, wait until I tell nana and father christmas” oh that doesn’t bother you? WAIT UNTIL I TELL BLAZE AND THE MONSTER MACHINE THEN” yeah 1-0 to me kid!

9: forget it – Don’t create a battle the next morning. If one night your child happened to ignore absolutely everything you asked them to do because being a dinosaur was more fun, and you threatened them with something along the lines of “RIGHT YOU LITTLE FUCKER GET TO BED AND WHEN YOU GET UP IN THE MORNING YOURE NOT HAVING YOUR TOYS AND YOURE NOT GOING TO THE PARK” but you actually do want to get them to the park, do not threat. Im pretty certain they would have forgotten anyway. U will not go to hell for going back on your word.

10: DO NOT FOLLOW MANUALS – happily exchange free advice with any other ‘normal’ parents but do not pay for a manual because they do not know anything more than you do. They did not crack any codes and do not have access to any more information than you do.

Fuck Jasper and his bedtime routine.

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Its not all plain snail-ing

Being a mum is the hardest thing I have ever done.

12068969_10207614407935420_1296235816628631468_oIt’s true. I’ve worked in various job roles since leaving school and none of them ever came close!

Most people think stay at home mums are lazy. “Get a real job, lying on the couch all day isn’t hard work” – FYI if you’ve ever tried to lie on the couch and relax all day with a three year old, you’ll know that it is in fact, very hard work! 

I never ever planned to be a stay at home mum. It’s never been my cup of tea. I sometimes hate the fact that I hardly entertain an adult conversation and my day revolves around playing the same game for 3 hours, or a trip to the park, and lets face it it just isn’t the same once you’re too big to play on the slide and roundabout yourself. I wouldn’t say looking at snails and spiders is the most interesting way to spend my days either. Painting is all fun and games until you’ve got a toddler covered in paint who refuses to stand still as you rummage to find the wipes before destruction begins and the white walls are covered in splodges of brown and grey – the two colours you always seem to end up with once all of the paint has been aggressively mixed together by the little Taz-manian devil.

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‘The taz-manian devil in action’

I envisioned my days to be so different as a working mum. I’d wake up, get ready into my sassy work outfit, stroll in the sun to work as I drink my Starbucks and spend my day laughing and having mature conversations. I’d pick up my little cherub (who always gets star of the week) and we would come home, have a lovely meal as a family and start the bedtime routine, before relaxing on the couch with Ryan having a cocktail and a chat about our days.

Being a mum is hard – full stop – I don’t care who disagrees. When I was a working mum it was entirely different to the dream scenario I expected. I would wake up at a ridiculous time in the morning to get ready, endure the ‘planking’ of the toddler that doesn’t want to get ready, i’d have to feed Joshua porridge or toast on the bus because we didn’t have time beforehand, read books on the bus to keep him entertained (when I should have been processing my brain for the day ahead and thinking about the customers I need to contact and the emails I need to reply to) and then with a quick rush to nursery and saying goodbye, a rush to work, that meant I usually arrived at work at 08:59am all flustered and sweating like a 40 year old starting her menopause.

I would spend my day juggling work and panicking about doctors appointments, trying to work out when I’m going to fit in the weekly shop that I never had time for or when I’m going to get chance to hoover behind the couch, and when I’m going to actually take that wash out of the machine that I keep re-washing and forgetting about (sometimes I don’t forget, I just can’t be bothered). After work I would rush back to nursery get Joshua, hoisting my bag full of snacks and entertainment for the Journey home and spend the next two hours waiting for/travelling home on the bus. We would get home, Joshua would be cranky so i’d usually have to whip him up something quick for tea, rush the bedtime routine, come downstairs, cook something for Ryan and I, wash the pots and put in a wash that i’ll later ‘forget’ to take out of the machine. We’d lay lifeless and full on the couch for an hour watching something tedious on TV, shower and bed. Repeating daily. I hated it. It was so hard trying to juggle everything without a car, part time hours or even a second to breathe and think about anything other than the above routine.

I had to suddenly come out of work at the beginning of this year when I got way too stressed to deal with all of it, along with the many complications of childcare fees (WHO WANTS TO WORK FULL-TIME AND FOR EVERY £100 THEY EARN £70 GOES ON NURSERY FEES!?) For a while, I felt so guilty that I had left behind being a working mum and doing a proper job like most people. I felt like without working and paying tax I was giving nothing to the world – and poor Ryan had to continue working and missing out on the wondrous things that I would go on to experience as Joshua grows, without thinking about how stressed he might sometimes be being the breadwinner.

After a few weeks of getting through the mum guilt, I must say I’ve had the best few months with Joshua, and a lot of it was because I ignored the ideology that I was a failure for doing so. We took trips to the cinemas together, museums, play areas and parks (usually I take picnic to the park to cure the boredom of watching without being able to join in). Ive watched him grow and his personality alter each day as he slowly turns into the mature little boy that he’s growing up to be. I won’t pretend I haven’t had days when I’ve hated it. Days that it’s been raining, and Joshua doesn’t want to draw a picture or play a game and Peppa fucking pig is on Nick Jr all day (WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO US NICK JR). Its a struggle. Constantly trying to find something new and exciting to keep them entertained, whilst trying to stick to the budget of a sole income also! Constantly wondering if you’re doing the right thing. Wondering if they should know what a hexagon is by now or be able to count to 20. Wondering if he should be able to write his name. (he can’t do either of those yet by the way).

Its hard to find an in-between. When i was working I didnt have a single second to think, and being a stay at home mum i’ve had time to think about EVERYTHING. I even panic about Joshua being okay at high school?!!!!

I’ve loved having a few months to think everything through. After years of questioning who I want to be and what I want out of life, I’m finally in a place where I am comfortable with who I am as a mother, a fiancee, and a 21 year old woman (woman? girl? lady? none of those words sound appropriate!) – I finally have a life plan in place, and I’m excited to spend the next 3 months enjoying and organising everything before I start a new adventure as Joshua starts school. I CANT BELIEVE HE’S GOING TO SCHOOL!

I’m so ready to do something with my life again. I’m ready to get back working and endure the balance of the morning rush and menopause disasters in order to get to work and have those mature conversations that I sometimes crave.

If you’re a stay at home mum I SALUTE YOU – do what is best for you!  Get rid of the guilt and the feeling of failure (if you feel that way) and appreciate the time with your babies. Laugh and worry about the paint splodges on the walls later, because there will come a time in life that you’ll treasure them. And if you have a day on the sofa doing nothing – DO NOT FEEL RUBBISH ABOUT IT, ITS NOT A CRIME AND IF ANYTHING, PEOPLE ARE JUST JEALOUS THAT THEY CANT DO THE SAME THING! Keep your head up, and do not feel bad for any choices you make – you’re a parent, but you’re also human!

If you’re a working mum I SALUTE YOU, I know its hard juggling everything but it’ll be worth it for your babies. Do not ever feel guilty for leaving them to go to nursery/school because I promise you once the tears stop, they love it (I used to work in a nursery, i’ve witnessed it first hand) I know it gets crazy busy, but as hard as it is to keep everything going and not having a second to think, its not all sunshine and rainbows giving up either! 

Like I said, I love being a mum and its my favourite thing in the entire world, but it’s the hardest thing I have ever done.

PS – I know I always end up getting a little bit preachy towards the end of my posts, sorry! I don’t know what comes over me. One minute I’m watching peppa pig and the next I think I’m at a motivational speaker conference

 

PPS – I do hope my posts might interest/help dads too – I just don’t refer to them much because I tend to talk about personal experience and I do not have that of a dad.

much love xo

Dear Stranger..

Dear fellow bus passengers, i’m sorry that my child will not stop howling on our way home this evening. I know its rush hour, you’re all tired from work and the last thing you wanted to hear was a screaming baby – I’m tired too, and so is my son. We had to wait half an hour longer for the bus, he’s had a long and tiring day too, and he’s just as warm as you are as we all pile onto the bus like sardines. I promise you, throwing dirty looks and tutting at me will not make this bus ride any easier or faster for any of us.

To the woman passing me on the street, throwing out dirty looks because my son has decided to have a mini-meltdown in the middle of the pavement. Its very clear to see that you don’t have kids! They all do it, it happens. Good luck to you on the future birth of perfect Peter.

To the man in Tesco growling at me because my toddler run out in front of your trolley, Im very sorry! he’s just so excited to help me shop and once he found the peppers that I asked for, he couldn’t wait to collect them for me and pop them into the trolley.

To the cashier that pulls her face because I told my son he could pay for his own toy today. I apologise that this might be a little inconvenient for you. The shop seems relatively quiet and there’s nobody waiting behind me so I didn’t think it would be an issue. I’m just trying to teach my child to count, the importance of exchanging money to buy something and how the world works.

To the person driving behind us beeping and getting agitated because we drive to the speed limit. You can clearly see the ‘baby on board’ sign. We’re not doing it for fun – speed limits are there for a reason.

To the other mum in the Disney shop pulling her face as Joshua buys a big PINK bing bong teddy and giving him the ‘spoilt little brat’ look. You don’t know me or my son. If I want to buy my child a bright pink elephant teddy, because thats what he likes, then I bloody well will!

To the other families in the restaurant saying ‘great, we’re surrounded by kids, this doesn’t seem very promising’ – what’s the issue? Just because my sons only 3 doesn’t mean he’s going to be running around shitting into his hands and throwing it around the restaurant. He probably has better table manners than you.

To the world, full of judgmental people – feel free to judge me. I’m rubbish at drawing on my eyebrows, I usually forget to carry baby wipes and I wear sandals whatever the weather because they’re comfy. Judge away.

But why, oh why do people find it acceptable to pull their face at children. They are our next generation. They cry because they don’t yet understand how to express their feelings properly. They get excited at shopping because they’re learning about money and food and exploring new things to cook with mummy later. They might throw a strop (and admittedly, sometimes for no reason at all) but how is that YOUR business? How is frowning at ME going to help the situation? How dare you frown because my son is sat at a table relatively close to you? What has he ever done to you to deserve that? There are so many people that don’t like children, and thats fine, but please do not throw your awful mood or shade towards me or my son because i’ll only return with my son, my niece, my friend and her daughter, and we will proceed to do whatever it is that you’re so damn angry with 10 times more.

Dear rude, ignorant, judgemental people – children are humans too for goodness sake. Stop being so bloody up-tight. Let them enjoy all of the wonders of the world that you forgotten to appreciate. Let them learn new things and express their feelings. If a child waves at you, WAVE BACK! If they say sorry for bumping into you as you pass in the street, ACCEPT THEIR APOLOGY OR APOLOGIZE BACK!

Just because your life didn’t turn out to be all sunshine and rainbows, doesn’t mean that theirs can’t be!

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One of those days

“Urghhhhh i’m knackered” said the little voice from the back of the car. Ryan and I smirk and glance at each other in shock. WHERE THE BUGGER DID THAT COME FROM?!

Its one of them things isn’t it. One day you’re trying so desperately to get them to say “mama” “baba” “dada” and the next thing they’re shouting “MUUUUM COME AND WIPE MY BUM QUICK, I’VE DONE A MASSIVE POO AND IT STINKS!”

I love being a mum. Its my favourite thing in the entire world, but when I’m having ‘one of those days‘ I just want to run away with the circus. One of those days where you wake up and as you climb out of bed you kick over a Mickey mouse cup full of water. You come downstairs and trip over the Paw Patrol scooter on the way to the kitchen to accidentally burn some toast.

The kinda day where you get dressed to leave the house and as you walk past a neighbouring window you notice that you’ve forgotten to bronzer your neck before missing the hourly bus.

The kinda day that you don’t wear make up and end up bumping in to Sassy Sally (your boyfriends ex) in Tesco dressed to the nines, showing off her brill MUA skills and then you get to the checkout and realise you’ve forgotten your bank card.

The days when you have a bit of extra money coming up and think ‘ooo it’ll be nice to do this or it’d be nice to book that’ and then before you know it its gone before it even reaches the bank.

Well, yesterday was one of those days. In fact, this entire week so far has consisted of those kind of bloody days. I’ve spent the past few days unwell – meaning 3 days in hospital (nothing major, long story), leaving 0 time for Joshua (another praise the lord for grandparents moment). We’ve spent an absolute FORTUNE of our ‘spare money’ on parking and food (I’D LOVE TO MEET THE TWATBAG THAT THINKS £15 A DAY FOR PARKING IS A GOOD IDEA) and generally spent yesterday with all three of us drained and wishing for the week to end…

But I personally find that after having ‘one of those days‘ that things usually get a little better. This morning, after trying to convince Joshua that it isn’t morning yet and we should have family snuggles for another half an hour, we lumped ourselves out of bed, quickly got ready, I slapped on a bit of BB cream and we packed a bag. The weather was grumpy, the boy was being a bugger and the fiance was in his usual ‘do we have to bring so much stuff in your bag i’ll only end up having to carry it’ mood – I mean he’s right, but how dare he say it’s unlikely i’ll need my whole make up bag containing at least 7 different shades of lipstick what does he know about being a female?!

Anyway, we got in the car, Joshua asked to listen to ‘Weight Watchers’ – he actually means the acoustic version of ‘What you waiting for’ by Keane, but his version is much more fun, and we all had a little boogie. We proceeded to the park, where they wanted £1.50 for parking (bloody parking again!) so with a purse containing only a bank card and my Thomas Sabo loyalty card we turned back and parked on a nearby street. In the process of 0.3 seconds we all climb out of the car, Joshua pops on his wellies ready to conquer the mud mountains and falls flat on his face busting his bottom lip. Blood everywhere, the boys screaming, the fiance’s panicking and I can’t find the bloody baby wipes!

Fast forward a good 45 minutes, the swollen lip is forgotten about, the tears have stopped and we’ve walked past the parking attendant giving him the biggest smug grin and the middle finger (well, in my head, but same thing). We’ve had a big wonder around the park and the farm, a bit of fresh air, the boys STILL hungry, and he’s grumpy because he’s not allowed on the giant slide until he’s a bit bigger. (I am completely downplaying the walk and the farm to be fair though, we really enjoyed that bit)

After a good few hours, we all got tired, and decided to head home, and that my friends is when the magic happened (no not like MTV Cribs, soz). Joshua wanted to ride his bike for the 12th time today and to be fair I was so close to saying “No, you get on for 2 minutes and you’ll be off again, lets just get back to the car now!” but i’m so so glad I didn’t because this time was different. He popped on his little helmet and clambered aboard, and with a bit of help from dad off he went. Cycling through the park, steering himself (most of the time) and already being so close to peddling on his own.

All of a sudden the rest of the week didn’t matter. The time I was in hospital, the money we spent, the rubbish weather, the fact that Joshua was still asking for food when he’d eaten enough to feed a gang of elephants, and the inconvenience when you can never find the bloody baby wipes.

I couldn’t have been more proud. My baby is growing up. He’s a little boy. The most intelligent, handsome and downright perfect little boy – and he makes everything okay. How crazy is that. Surely it’s something we’re supposed to do for them, but all along they’re the ones holding us together too.

And after everything thats happened this week, I’ll only ever remember it for one thing: This week, my baby learned to ride a bike!

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