The finest moments

I know I’m not the best mother. I’m nowhere near perfect. I don’t ever claim to be. I yell and I scream (who doesn’t?). I probably rant and rave a fair bit too. I sometimes pretend to throw tantrums back at my children too, not necessarily because I think it’s funny or I’m trying to teach them a lesson. But because I’m frustrated by the situation as well.

As parents, yes leading by example can be a good thing. But when you’re tired or your last nerve has been fried, sometimes you just respond rather than react how you should. We are only human too. Our decisions don’t always reflect the best choice but maybe just the only choice at the time. It’s so easy to judge, whether it’s others or yourself. You’ll often find me judging myself, story of my life!

I’m sick of pretending like everything is okay when it’s not. Sure, I can fake smile with the best of them but what’s the point?
I’m tired (who isn’t?), my kids are driving me nuts and at times I’m not sure how much I like them. I’m allowed to say that. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them. It doesn’t mean they aren’t important. It means I’m human and I’m going through the ups and downs of life.

So why do we have to pretend we’re all Supermums? What does that achieve other than setting a fake precedent for the next round of women looking to raise a brood?
Yeah I know, we’re not chickens either but the way kids can carry on sometimes, it’s like being stuck in the middle of a squawking mess. I could use stronger words there but I think you get the idea!

But you are allowed to have bad days. You are allowed to be unhappy and, at times, not actually like your snotty nosed pain in the bum feral children. That doesn’t ever have to mean you don’t want them or love them….well most of the time anyway. Mum Guilt will always haunt you and it will never go away, no matter how old your children are (or so I’m told).

No one is born knowing exactly how to parent, it’s a massive learning curve and I’m happy to admit I’m still winging it every day. Explains a lot really, haha! But as I’ve said many times before my girls are still alive, so I must be doing something right! At least I try to remember that when I’m having “one of those days”, which is almost every other day some weeks. I know my girls being little will be over before I know it (thanks mum) but will the attitude ever end??!!

Living the life of Mum

“Mummy you’re a bum bum face.”
“Mummy you have a big bum.”
“Mummy you’re silly.”
“Mummy I don’t like you anymore.”
“Mummy Mummy Mummy….”
“Mummy I love you.”

Out of the lot I definitely prefer the last one. Not sure I hear it as much as I’d like but I’ll take it when I can.
Kids have no filter. If they want to say something, they will.
It doesn’t matter if it hurts your feelings or not. You have to sort of pretend it doesn’t even if you want to cry big ugly tears. Or sometimes I may just say a few things back to my “lovely” daughters. Not exactly the most adult thing to do, but if you can’t beat them, join them right?!

When I became a mum, my whole world changed.
Everything I thought I knew was turned upside down.
I was catapulted into the unknown, a scary place for me, especially when I’m used to having some sort of control over things in my life.

But motherhood was a role I took on with the same strength and attitude I do with most things in my life, head on.
Did I fail?
Multiple times. Actually more times than I want to remember.
Do I still fail?
Hell all the time.
But I pick myself up and continue.
Why?
There’s two beautiful girls relying on mummy to give them the direction they need in life.
Whether it’s the right or wrong direction remains to be seen, but I’m doing the best I can.

There are days when I feel I can’t do this. And there are days where I’m winning at being a mum (there’s bribery involved of course, haha). I’ve accepted that it’s definitely not easy, take all the help you can – even if you don’t want to and try to keep smiling even when your children are being feral. It doesn’t always work.

I still yell, get annoyed and angry when they don’t listen and then I feel guilty for not being a happy mummy. As mums, we put so much pressure on ourselves to live up to this expectation of being the best mum ever. It’s unrealistic, yet we constantly beat ourselves up over silly little things. I do it all the time. And I have no doubt I will continue to do it for years to come.

My girls are beautiful bundles of endless energy. They run me off my feet. Their attitudes are a little bit at the “already killing me” stage and I know I’ve still got plenty more fun ahead of me. But I would be lost without them. As much as they drive me crazy I’m glad they chose me to be their mum (yeah I did get a tear in my eye).

On that note, I’d like to wish all the mums, mums-to-be, my beautiful and amazing mum and everyone else who fills the role in some way, a very Happy Mother’s Day for this Sunday.
Enjoy being spoilt (if you’re lucky) because if you aren’t already doing all the usual “Mum” things, you will be again the next day!

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…..

Learning the ropes

“No.”

“Not yet.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Coz Mummy.”

“I’m a big girl.”

Yep defiance is strong in my baby girl. I wonder where she gets it from?! Haha, who am I kidding?!! Miss Phoebe is one strong willed and very independent young lady and very much like her mummy already. Well, to be fair, both my girls can be a lot like me. There’s nothing wrong with that, on a good day that is! Don’t ask me on a bad day. On a bad day I’m not even sure they’re my children, hahahaha!

It’s a different experience, watching their little personalities shine through as they turn into a little person. I never thought it would go this quick. One minute they were my little babies and now they’re forging their own paths in the world. Okay, so maybe I’m jumping ahead a little bit, they are only two and four after all, but it has, so far, gone very quickly.

In saying that, I do spend a lot of time butting heads and feeling like I’m going nowhere. My girls certainly have a lot of sass. I’m not going to lie, I’m very proud of their ability to stand up for themselves. It just doesn’t work when Mummy is trying to make a point where they should be eating, or not giving me so much attitude. You really can’t win and I’m finding raising girls certainly comes with a lot of challenges. I am terrified of what lies ahead in the next 10 to 15 years, plenty of screaming matches to come, no doubt!

It begs the question, how do you teach them to channel the cheeky/defiant/whatever you want to call it really, attitude into something that isn’t going to leave you banging your head against the proverbial wall? Or am I just doomed? Karma maybe for all the “fun” I put my mum through?

I still find it funny that no matter how much trouble they get up to or get in, they always want hugs from mummy in the end. They might be cranky or sulking in the corner, but you can pull a funny face or tickle them until fits of giggles ensue and it’s game over once again (sometimes mummy does win, haha!)! I knew life with kids would never be easy, but some days are downright challenging and exhausting, especially with my two little bundles of attitude riddled never-ending energy.

I don’t ever want to wish the time away, especially when I keep saying how quickly it’s going, but there are times I can’t wait to get past some stages. Defiance I know won’t disappear overnight (or possibly ever!), attitude, well that really speaks for itself, thinking mummy is the best can only last for five minutes at a time and the rest just goes in waves. I know that despite feeling overwhelmed and quite often like I’m failing and flailing, I just have to try and learn from it all and keep smiling. Yeah yeah, I know, easier said than done! And maybe, just maybe, one day I might take some of my own advice. Yep, I can hear the laughter ringing in my own ears, haha!

Until next time….

Like mother, like daughters

My mini me’s have been at it again.

What now? Oh, just the usual for a four-year-old full of attitude and her cheeky two-year-old sister who likes to copy everything she can. I’ve been told “no” and “don’t you dare mummy” more times than I dare to count. I’ve also been huffed and grunted at, had eyes rolled at me, watched feet stomping and hands on hips in defiance and above all else ignored on a regular basis. It’s all pretty much an every day occurrence. Ahhhhh, kids. You love them because that’s just who you are as mummy and what you do. But there are times, when you don’t have to like them!

And there are plenty of things that I don’t like, but I’m pretty much just a passenger on this journey most days. It doesn’t matter what I say or do, I can be pretty much invisible. Well, until I have something they want or suggest we go do something and then I become their most favourite person on the planet. I already am anyway (haha!) but it’s always nice to be loved when they want something!

One thing I’m noticing more as the girls get older is they don’t forget, especially if they have been promised something. Once upon a time you could tell them we’d do it later and hope they would forget. Not anymore. If they have been promised a treat for being good, they’ll hold you to it. I just have to be mindful only to offer up a reward that’s definitely achievable, or maybe I should go for something out of their reach…insert evil laugh here. Nah I’m not that mean. I find a little bit of encouragement can go a long way with my two cherubs, especially if chocolate is on offer. The apple certainly didn’t fall far from the tree on that one!

One thing’s for sure, my babies are growing up fast. Sometimes it feels a little too fast. Next week my big girl starts kindy (eeeek!) and my “baby” will be off to try the world of daycare for one day a week. I’m not even worried at all. The girls are pretty excited, especially knowing they’ll be across the hallway from each other. It’s funny how they almost kill each other at home but I think being at the same centre for kindy and daycare and when the time comes, at school together, they’ll always have each other’s backs. I’ve said many times before, those two share a special bond, one only they can understand. It always makes me smile knowing they have each other, no matter what.

Even though they’re getting bigger by the day, there are also times I reminded just how little and impressionable they are. That is until one of them blows a raspberry in my face or better yet, farts. But despite all the tantrums and carry on we definitely have a lot of fun, laughter and good times. Like most people, I do enjoy a bit of “me time” but after awhile I miss my babies and their infectious giggles, it’s a sound that just melts my heart. Plus, I have to admit their cuddles are the best!

Until next time, keep smiling and remember even on a bad day, you have got this!

Good times and bad

Do you ever just look at your kids and think wow what did I do to be given such angels? Pffffft nope neither do I! If it ever happens it’s usually in the five minutes they sleep peacefully….in their own beds. Ahhhhhh bliss. I’m still waiting for that five minutes. I can dream that one day it’ll happen!

The joys of parenting are never ending. You worry if they’re too hot or too cold. You worry they’re going to axe themselves when they start running at a million miles per hour on hard ground. Soft skin on little arms and legs doesn’t take too kindly to rocks, concrete or even dry grass it seems. I’m sure it’ll toughen them up in some way right?!

The fun I’m facing right now involves the constant battle to get each other in trouble. There’s snatching of toys, hitting, ear piercing screams and tears plus many cries of “mummy, mummy, mummy” followed by accusations of things that haven’t happened just to cause more trouble. And it’s not always who you first think as the instigator either!! It’s a case of can’t you two just get along? They do for awhile and it can be cute to watch but it’s almost like an invisible hand flicks a switch and a treasured toy is taken causing the outbreak of another sibling war, it’s just awesome.

I swear I heard Miss Phoebe, who isn’t even two yet, ask me “why” when I was talking to her recently. I knew this day would come but I’m not ready for two children asking me why of everything just yet. It’s enough they’re competing to get all of mummy to themselves, I’m not sure I can handle hearing double cries of why? I think my head might explode, haha!

But kids know exactly when to push your buttons. They have a knack for working out when your defences are down and boom they pounce, usually teaming up together for an extra boost as well. And it sounds terrible but sometimes I love being able to dish out a bit of punishment in return. Confiscating toys or even reneging on a promise after they do something wrong, you almost can’t help but laugh at their reaction. I must admit I do give in occasionally. It’s the quivering lip and puppy dog eyes that get me!

I’m not always nice mummy though. It can be little things, big things and sometimes nothing at all. But it’s when they don’t listen that I get a little frustrated. I just love repeating myself, said no mother ever. Not to mention saying things in slow motion as you repeat them to the child who has said “what?” to the message you are trying to get across to them. Grrrrrrrr! If you listen the first time….we all know that will never happen!!
As I’ve said many times before (talk about repeating myself, haha) even though they drive me crazy, I would be lost without my babies, they are my world. I don’t want to scream, yell or get angry with them but sometimes you just have to do it and maybe quietly cry about it later. The things we mummas have to do are endless but I guess it’s all part of the journey or motherhood.

But there was one moment recently that definitely made me smile and it’s not the first time my girls have done it either. As I watched then playing together….nicely too…they started giggling, clearly having a great time and without hesitation they hugged. The sister bond they share is not one I will ever know but it makes me glad to know they will always have each other to lean on.

One foot in front of the other

“Mummy. Mummmmmyyyyy. “Mummmmmm. Watch this!
“MUMMY!
“Why?? Why Mummy? Why????????”

Ever feel like the walls are starting to close in on you?
My favourite saying when it comes to motherhood is “never a dull moment”.
Oh how true it really is!

My girls are forever keeping me on my toes.
Whether it’s constantly yelling for my attention even when I’m already looking at them or deciding to start an argument over a silly toy (when don’t they?!) it just goes on and on.

But no matter what is going on I just feel like there’s never enough time. We just get over one hurdle and are facing another. I spend time with both girls but then I’m faced with the one-on-one dilemma. If I could split myself in half I’d be the best mum ever!

It’s always when you feel you’re getting a handle on things that mum guilt throws you back another ten paces. And mum guilt is a bitch!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a working mum, a stay-at-home mum, a part-time or full-time mum, however you fill the role, those little monsters…..I mean darling children….know how to make you feel all the feels.

You can spend all the time in the world with them and it might never be enough in their eyes or yours. But know that no matter what you do someone will deem it not enough. But who cares what anyone else thinks?! What matters, or really what should matter, is what you think and you really should give yourself more credit as a mumma!

I know I can’t talk, I’m my own worst enemy, I always have been! And it certainly doesn’t help when Miss Izzie or Miss Phoebe turn the sad eyes on me when I say no for what feels like the millionth time. Ahhhhh it’s a vicious cycle this mum guilt and I imagine it’s not going to disappear anytime soon!

They can take you to the highest of highs and make you proud as punch with beautiful manners, big achievements and cute smiles but things can go pear shaped in the blink of an eye and you find yourself acting as umpire in an impending battle of wills.

But what really warms my heart and brings a smile to my face (other than to see them peacefully sleeping) is when they genuinely get along. It’s amazing to watch them kiss, cuddle and giggle together. I know it’s not going to last forever but I’ll take it while I can get it!

And I guess even though no matter how much time you have, it may never feel like enough and mum guilt will always haunt us, there’s still the best part….unconditional love. Mummy is always their safe place, their warm arms and their go-to spot to make everything better when their little world is turning upside down and there are tears everywhere. And above all else my favourite words are still “I love you Mummy”……

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….

Looks do(n’t) matter

I feel like I’ve gone wrong somewhere.
But I’m stumped as to where, who, what or when it began! Don’t even get me started on why!

It’s early morning on any given day in our house and it’s time to get the girls dressed.
One child done (usually the youngest Miss Phoebe of course) and one to go, simple right?! Just grab some clothes, dress her and we’re done.
Nope not even close.
I wish that was the case.

An easy pick of a shirt and shorts aren’t good enough for Miss Izzie anymore because apparently it means “I’m not pretty”. What the hell?!
I kid you not, she has thrown tantrums because of wearing shorts. It’s to the point of almost world ending, all over a small portion of material.

It would seem we (in the form of Miss Izzie) need to be wearing a skirt or dress to be deemed pretty. I don’t even know where this idea has come from.

So far the only person she mentions about wearing skirts and being pretty is a certain yellow skivvy wearing member of a children’s entertainment group, who of course she wants to be like.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with having an idol and I’m not blaming Emma, but Izzie likes to remind me all the time that Emma is a girl and she wears a skirt, not pants.

Now I’m a shorts wearing kind of girl, comfort is important to me! Plus I love having pockets for the essentials; keys, tissues and phone. I do occasionally wear the odd skirt or dress so I’m definitely not against them!!

And I’m forever telling my girls they are beautiful inside and out, no matter what anyone else tells them.
So this crazy idea about clothing being the one thing that makes Miss Izzie pretty is not coming from me.
Lucky she doesn’t know a lot about make up just yet!

But how do you explain to a three-year-old that it doesn’t matter what you wear? That no one really pays that much attention to your clothes, well at least until you hit the pre-teen years anyway.
And I’m already scared about what could happen then……clothing really is just the start!

Most days I can’t be bothered arguing and just let her wear a skirt….at least she’s wearing clothes right?! But I can’t help thinking, is this the beginning of the end? Or should I remain hopeful (haha!) that this is just another phase on the list of many when it comes to raising children?!
What’s next, maybe she…..no wait I better not jinx myself!

I guess I’ve just gotten used to the fact for the past three-plus years I’ve been able to choose what she wears with very little fuss and it’s been a-maz-ing! Let’s face it, if every child had their way, fashion for kids would have a very different take on it. Superman undies anyone?! Haha!
But my Little Miss Independent (also known as Mini Me) is growing up fast and her crazy attitude is kicking up a gear all the time, I wonder where on Earth she gets it from…

**On another note….I’d like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
Thank you so much for your support throughout the year.
Look out for more fun, excitement and interesting stories in 2017, as always I’m sure my girls will give me plenty to write about!
Until then….eat, drink, be merry and try to be nice if you can! **