Sass is the new direction

I know my parents often tell me I had extremely cheeky moments as a child and I could be quite the devil at times, but I’m starting to think that karma is screwing me over. Hell hath no fury like a child scorned, well two of them in fact and both girls as well, scored the double whammy on that one! Meanwhile, I think mum and dad are sitting back quietly laughing to themselves while I face palm at every given opportunity.

No matter what I try – silence, yelling, ignoring, bribery – the end result is often the same, I lose, I always lose. Well, technically not every single time but a lot of the time anyway and I’m always hopeful that one day I’ll get my own back. Until then, you can find me quietly rocking in the corner, haha!

Seriously, where did my children come from? Yeah I know the obvious scientific answer, but as for the rest I’m starting to think maybe they were abducted by aliens at some point and returned with different DNA. Okay, so maybe not quite that bad but some days I could crawl under a rock and just stay there!

When my girls are good, they are really really good, but when they are bad, I pretend to disown them. It’s difficult given that Miss Izzie has similarities to me (so much sass and don’t get me started on the attitude of a 5-year-old) and Miss Phoebe looks exactly like I did 30 years ago and like a mini version of me now (or so I’m told!), so I can’t really deny they are mine. Not that I really want to, just more so when they are fraying at my last nerve, so maybe every other day?! I know from talking to other parents I’m definitely not alone, which is mildly reassuring…I think! And yes mum, I know you have told me you went through all this too….but you know living in the current moment always feels worse, haha!

I think it’s always on reflection that it’s the little things you know you’re going to miss the most. The squishy cheeked hugs and kisses, the constant whiny and whinging call of “Mummy”, then asking to be picked up or to hold their hand or even when they whack you in their sleep after crawling into your bed in the middle of the night. At the time they bug you and ask so much of you but you know that one day it will stop and they won’t ask again. That one day will be the last time and you may not realise it. All this has been playing on my mind lately and even brings a tear to my eye that it may not be long until some of it stops. You can’t wait for them to finally gain independence but once they do, you miss them wanting your help. Good old mum guilt strikes again.

You never want to miss anything they do, especially if it’s a first, but sometimes they can also be too much, just another dose of mum guilt there too. Does it ever go away?! I guess that’s all part of the “fun” too. Just like being thrown up on at 1am . But I have to keep reminding myself to let them be little as long as I can stand the tantrums and tiaras (and other things being thrown at me) because it’ll be over before I know it!

Always there

There’s nothing scarier than being a mum. Okay, maybe being taken by a shark or twisty rollercoasters might be up there, but you get what I mean. It terrifies me to think I’m responsible for two little humans. That it’s up to me to help shape their future, teach them things and help them become the best person they can be. But I (try to) take it all in my stride, most days anyway. But it is a big responsibility and I have moments where I suck at it. Yep, you read that right, there are times I consider myself a pretty crappy mum.

For example, I let my girls watch TV while they’re eating breakfast, which more often than not is a Nutella wrap. Yep, I’m that parent. There are many times you’ll find them playing games on their LeapPads. That probably makes me lazy or irresponsible, so be it. I also let them eat chips, chocolate, biscuits and other junk food. Yep, I’m a bad mum. Judge me if you want to because I don’t really care! Well, a small part of me probably does, but shhhh don’t tell anyone.

But you know what?! They’re still pretty good kids, from what I can tell anyway and I’m biased so probably not the best judge. I may call them terrors or turds or whatever suits at the time but they use their manners (about 80% of the time anyway), mostly do as they’re told and play nicely with other kids. I’ve said so many times before, there is no instruction manual when it comes to raising kids, so I’m winging it! I stuff it up all the time. I swear, I yell and I make the wrong decisions. ALL THE TIME! I’m definitely not up for Mother of the Year and I don’t want to be. I’m just doing my best. If that means my kids hate me at times, there’s not much I can do to change it. But that’s all part of the process right?!

I often wonder what life would be like without kids. Where would I be? What would I be doing, still writing? Obviously about different, more adult topics, haha! But I don’t want to change it. As hard as things can be, especially after the last couple of years, I don’t think I’d change too much. I think we’re doing okay and as I’ve been saying for years, they are still alive so I must be doing something right, well I can only hope anyway!

To my girls: I’m your mum, nothing will ever change that. I may think sometimes I want to change it, but that’s likely because you have driven me crazy. I love you even when you tell me you hate me. It hurts to hear you say it, but deep down I try to remember you’re only saying it out of feeling and frustration, well I hope so anyway or I’m way off! I will always be there for you, even when I’m angry or sad because you two are the most important people in my life and always will be! Don’t ever let anyone dampen your spirit or try to stop you from shining bright because the world would be a dull place without your individual and sometimes crazy personalities. Keep being you, ALWAYS!

Smack, bang, game over

“I’m going to bed early tonight.”

Hahahaha! It’s probably the funniest thing I’ve said all day, maybe all year, perhaps in the last decade too. I rarely go to bed early these days. I look at any time after the girls go to bed as “my time”. Yes, it means I get a little less sleep. But it’s my chance to watch a grown-up television show (as in something that isn’t on ABCKids), try to read a book or even do some writing, woohoo excitement plus! That’s the joy of parenting right?! There’s some kind of silver lining there.

Your priorities definitely change as a parent. How you define them is your choice but finding some time for myself is always a big one. And if that means losing a little bit of sleep, I guess I’ll just have to wear it. But when my dearest darling children are the ones behind my loss of sleep, it’s another story!

They just know when to pounce, every time. Whether it’s super early, late, your defences are way down or they just want to push the buttons. It’s like my girls know exactly when I’ve hit my deep sleep and bam, it’s time to bring me back to wide awake again. Or they know when I’m starting to stir in the morning. You know that moment where you first open your eyes and before you know it they spot you. You can’t close your eyes again because they know you’re awake. You want just a couple more minutes but defeat is your best option.

It’s pretty much the best option especially when the odds are stacked against you. The tears. The tantrums. The whinging and whining. It all makes me want to hide in a cupboard until it’s all over. Will it ever be over?! Insert long drawn out groan right here. Haha! Ahhhhh the fun.

Lately I feel like I’ve been more of a referee than anything else.
“Izzie hit me.”
“Phoebe bit me.”
“Izzie’s not sharing.”
“Phoebe took it.”
“Mummy it’s not fair.”
I think I’ve said “life’s not fair kiddo” more times than I can count and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen so many eye rolls I’m waiting for a little head to spin around.

Miss Izzie is my drama queen. Everything is the end of the world, especially when she doesn’t get her own way.
Miss Phoebe is just hell bent on stirring up trouble whenever she can. If she can get her sister into trouble she will and she doesn’t care how she goes about it.
I then feel I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to work out which child is in trouble and who is the cause of trouble. Phoebe’s cheeky grin is often a dead giveaway of her guilt.
Honestly, I feel like bashing my head against a wall, it might be more effective seeing as they don’t listen to me anyway. I predict the future won’t be any better so I’m adjusting as best I can already, haha!

But as always, they know how to work their magic and find a way back into Mummy’s good books. I’m a bit of a softie when they come up and hug me for no reason or tell me they love me, it is kind of sweet. And they’re still at an age where you can almost safely assume they don’t want anything major. But then again, I do still have the say over when they can have chocolate…..

Looking from the outside in

You never really know what type of mum you are going to be until you’re living the role. And even then, you’ll still find yourself all over the place.
Because kids are unpredictable.
There’s no manual, no rule book and definitely no remote control! Although that would make some things a lot easier to deal with!

And while some days I wouldn’t change a thing, there are others I know I reach my limit. It’s normal to feel like you’re doing a bad job. But it’s hard when that brings you down!

This is not an easy topic to talk about but I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few years in a difficult head space and dealing with anxiety and very likely depression.
I’ve doubted myself big time as a mum and as a person, I still do in many ways, and I’ve probably missed out on enjoying a lot of life both with and without my girls.

I got lost in a world where I thought I had to do everything myself and do it perfectly or everyone would think I couldn’t handle being a mum.
I thought I was on top of things but was barely floating on the surface and I spent a lot of time with a smile plastered on my face that hid the real truth, I was struggling but never wanted to or could actually admit it to anyone.

I felt that if I admitted I needed or asked for help that I would be seen as a failure or didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Yes, it sounds silly I know but that’s where my head was at. I had to prove that I was not only capable but awesome at everything when it came to being a mum.

I think a big part of why I put so much pressure on myself was because I was also a stay at home mum. I didn’t want anyone to think that because I was able to stay at home I did nothing all day. I had to make sure it looked like I was on top of everything.

So where did it really get me?! Nowhere good that’s for sure and it’s cost me in many ways. I’ve faced many down moments and it’s been very hard to pick myself up again. Even now it can be hard to smile, especially when my mind takes over. But I’m very unashamed to admit I’m seeing a counsellor and it’s making a big difference. I’m feeling better within myself and learning different ways to deal with my thoughts.

I’m far from being fully back to my old happy self. But I’m working on ways to try to find myself again. It’s definitely not easy and I still have days where I find myself falling into old thought processes, it’s a habit that’s hard to break. But I keep telling myself I can do this and my two little girls are counting on me to be the best mum I can be for them. They are my world and the very reason I know I can and must do this!

So if I can impart any wisdom to other mums or anyone out there struggling in any way, it’s don’t be afraid to admit you’re not okay or that you need help. Don’t let things get on top of you, it’s okay to say things aren’t alright. I know firsthand that’s easier said than done but the first step is always the hardest! No one is perfect and we all make mistakes, it’s just not always easy to admit that to yourself, especially as a mum.

To sum it all up I found a quote from my favourite show Sex and the City. Carrie Bradshaw is a part of the reason I became a writer and that thought alone helps me smile again!

“Sometimes we need to stop analysing the past, stop planning the future, stop figuring out precisely how we feel, stop deciding exactly what we want and just see what happens.”

One step at a time

I want to do it. Can I do it? What are you doing? What’s that? Can I help? It’s all about helping mummy these days, which I love. Except when nine times out of ten it would be much quicker to do it myself. But it’s hard to say no to a very determined young lady, especially when she’s already moving furniture to get a better position to start helping. And who am I to say no?!

Miss Izzie is very much bustling with questions these days too. Who are those people? Where are they going? What is that? And a lot of these questions are often followed by why? I do my best to answer but it seems my answers aren’t always enough and the questions keep coming. It’s hard not to get frustrated and I feel a sense of compassion for what I must have put my mum through back in the day. Sometimes changing the subject or even mentioning food often works well in my favour (haha!), that is until the questions start firing again. Whyyyyyyyy???!!!

And the attitude has intensified ten fold. Who would have thought a three-year-old would have so much to say about everything, but especially when it doesn’t go her own way. Many would say she’s taking after her mother already, haha! We even played the fun copy exactly what mummy says “game” over dinner the other night. I did my best to keep a straight face but I must admit it was a bit hard not to laugh, especially when the giggles started because she knew it was annoying me. They always know!

And as always the fun doesn’t end with my eldest cheeky monkey. Her younger sister is growing fast and also making her feelings well known if she doesn’t get her own way, especially if her older sister is involved. There are plenty of squabbles over toys, hair pulling, screaming and of course tears, not always from the one you would expect either. There are still many more years of this fun to come.

But what I’m loving most about interacting with Miss Phoebe right now is her beautiful (although cheeky) smile, her infectious giggles, her bubbly chattering and most of all her kisses and cuddles, especially when she wraps her arms around my neck. In saying all that, I still think she may have a bit of a rebellious nature that could lead to some interesting times ahead. If you find me curled up in the corner, it might be too late, haha!

There are some days I wish we were past the awkward phases and other days I want them to stay little forever. Despite their argumentative moments, the girls get along really well and can often be quite cute. Or is that just to lull me into a false sense of security?! Hmmmmm……
But they do look out for each other, shower each other in hugs and kisses and are usually happy to see each other at the start of every day. It makes me smile watching their faces light up at the sight of each other! It’s moments like those that make the world okay again.

It’s funny how often we forget about the good things when we’re surrounded by the bad. But kids don’t know any different. As long as they have their favourite toy or clothes or food, they are thankfully pretty content. I find a chocolatey treat goes a long way too!

They may have turned my world upside down and inside out but life sure is pretty awesome with my girls. Just don’t ask me what I really think if it’s a day that isn’t going so well….

Shame on words

I’m not backward in coming forward.

Those of you who know me well would be used to hearing what I have to say.

So I couldn’t stay quiet about something which I feel needs to be said.

So here goes….

Stop the mum shaming! Enough is enough.

To all the mums out there, you rock!

You’re doing an amazing job, even if you feel like you aren’t.

You might be doing everything right and you could be getting it all wrong.

But who cares as long as you and your kids are happy! Right?!

Apparently not!

Mum shaming is out there and it’s a case of judge or be judged.

No one says you have to like what other mums do.

Why on earth do we all feel the need to bring each other down?!

You know what?? Some mums work. Some don’t and some even work from home, fancy that!

Some mums breastfeed and others don’t or even can’t so there’s nothing wrong with a bottle!

You can purée food for your little one or make use of handy pouches or packets, as long as your child is fed it’s up to you how you do it!

There are mums who co-sleep and yep you guessed it, mums who don’t.

You might choose to yell at and smack your kids or you might not.

Some mums actually choose to stay at home and others have to go to work because they don’t have a choice, that doesn’t make either role any less tiring than the other.

Some mums use daycare and others don’t.

Parenting is full of ups and downs and twists and turns. It doesn’t need to be a competition.

No one is perfect and there isn’t one set way to parent.

Yet in this crazy world we live in, it seems people feel the need to bring other parents down and tell them they pretty much suck.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, hell I’ve certainly got my fair share.
But there are times when it’s just better to keep that opinion to yourself.

So what if you don’t agree with what another mum does or doesn’t do for their child, it’s not your place to say otherwise.

If you do feel the need to open your mouth, shove a piece of chocolate into it instead, it’ll leave a better taste….

Keeping it real (ish)

I am a mum.

It is a hard job.

Yes I said “job” and yes it is something I chose to do, much like other things in my life.

But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it can be one of the worst jobs to take on.

You can be pushed to frustration beyond belief followed by pure joy in the blink of an eye.

You will, at times, wish to return to pre-children life.

It’s a normal thought process and does not necessarily mean you don’t love your kids, but maybe you might not like them a little bit at times (haha!).

Like I’ve said so many times before I love being a mum, my girls are my world.

More often than not my decisions centre around how it will affect them and yep you guessed it I usually put myself last.

“Me time” is rare but even when it happens the girls aren’t far from my mind, it’s just the way we mums are!

But in the very short time I’ve been a mum I’ve learnt many lessons and I’m still learning……

•Two against one takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to kids.
Some days are better than others but I’m surviving with the two girls….well chocolate and the occasional glass of wine might make it better!

•Multi tasking
Sure I can read a book to my toddler, interact with the baby and hold a conversation with someone else all at the same time!
But I’m not so sure the conversation makes much sense…..”that’s not my pony, it’s….aren’t you cheeky….yep that happened last week”.

•Lists
Yes I’m a bit OCD but if it’s not on the list or in my calendar it probably won’t happen!

•I’m even more creative with words!
Yes I’m well known for being the wordsmith but I’m leaning more towards the use of bad words or trying not to use them! Fudge and sugar have become more popular these days…

•Sleep ins don’t exist anymore (well 7am feels like a sleep in) and don’t even think about staying up late because the kids don’t care if mumma decided to head to bed after 10pm!

•Enjoy the simple things (or reminisce about them)
A trip to the toilet in peace doesn’t exist anymore and having a quiet shower…..hahahaha!

•Karma really can bite
I must have been a cheeky toddler back in the day, I can sense a little bit of history repeating with Miss Izzie and I bet my parents are quietly laughing!

•Don’t make promises you can’t keep! Two-year-olds remember them….they don’t listen to you telling them to pick up their toys but they know if there’s a promise of chocolate or ice cream days after it was meant to happen.

•Cheeky smiles and big hugs are really worth the effort. Lucky they’re so cute….I guess I can’t put them back (just kidding!).

•Unconditional love is real, enough said!

Whether I’ve made you laugh, brought a tear to your eye or made you shake your head, remember that we’re all in this together and there is light at the end of what feels like a very long tunnel!

To all the mums, mums-to-be and those who step up to the role, but as always especially to my beautiful mum, you really are amazing!
From one tired, frazzled, proud mumma to you all, have a very Happy Mother’s Day!
Enjoy being spoilt, pampered and showered with love (and maybe presents) from all the children big and small out there!