Best of the Rest feat. Mummy Rules

This weeks #BestoftheRest features a very special lady. Tilly and I met at a bloggers shindig last summer. I was a total loner and had no one to talk to until Tilly saved me and introduced me to her gorgeous Bloggy friends. My Lunch-for-1 fears vanished! Besides saving lost souls, it turns out that Tilly writes a fantastic blog: Mummy Rules . Go and check it out, there are a whole lot of funnies in there.

I’m so touched that Tilly has let me feature the first post she ever wrote. It’s full of feels, it’s funny and so bloody true- every line! I still refer to my children as Aliens. I don’t think that feeling is exclusive to new Mumas…

mummy-rules

Landing on another planet

Imagine walking through a door and immediately finding yourself on another planet. With an alien species, different customs, a whole new language. This is exactly how I felt about becoming a mother.

1. Naive newbie

The experience didn’t occur after I gave birth; or a few weeks after: whilst feeding bleary eyed in front of Homes Under the Hammer; or even at my first mum and baby group (an alien experience for any first timer). It began whilst waiting for my first antenatal appointment at our local children’s centre.

As I sat there in my tidy office clothes and heeled shoes, with my coat pulled neatly around me, I was suddenly overcome with a huge surge of emotion. This is happening. You are going to have a child. Sat on a waiting room chair, I studied the photos on the walls: documenting toddlers painting and babies lying on their tummies, next to laughing mums. I couldn’t identify with them yet. A kind worker at the centre passed by and introduced herself; she sat next to me and asked how I was and I was shocked by the wobble in my voice: “err a bit emotional actually, probably the hormones, hahaha!” The fact is, the reality had hit me that I was entering this new world without any experience or anyone else doing it with me. I was starting a new job in a strange culture: parenting.

2. Smug & silly 

Rather than explore these feelings, I decided to ignore them and focus on the things that made me feel excited.  I followed the babycentre updates and suggestions: “get a stylish new haircut”, “embrace the nesting instinct” “plan a baby moon”…I could relate to all of these! Soon I was ticking through these wonderful boxes on my journey through pregnancy: trips to the hairdresser, online shopping for sweet nursery bits and booking a romantic weekend in Cornwall. I even dressed as chic as maternity clothes allowed me to. “Pregnancy suits you!” people said; and as I rubbed my belly and imagined pushing my newborn around in yummy mummy atire, I felt happy and excited. I couldn’t wait for the birth when after a few intense period pains my baby would be presented to me in Cath Kidson pyjamas, perhaps on a fluffy white cloud…and I would be surrounded by adoring woodland baby animals and blue birds fluttering above, like in Disney’s Snow White. Then days would follow of cuddles, sling wearing and picnics in the sun…

3. When in doubt, refer to ’90s Japanese toys…

I have always had quite a vivid imagination and on this occasion I don’t think it served me very well.

When the baby appeared after what seemed like half my life gone, my partner declared that we had a boy: this was very confusing, because she was in fact female. He must have been as delirious as I. Then I realised she didn’t even look like us, she just looked like an alien. Not surprising if you have been stuck down a narrow tunnel for hours and pulled out through a key hole: yet straight away we were being hit by the unexpected…

“…the babycentre update for Day 1 doesn’t say this! It just says something about black poo”.

Of course time went on and after a few hours of being out of the womb, the familiar features of this sweet little soul did become apparent.

After my partner had left the hospital, I fell asleep for hours…and so did the baby, miraculously. When I awoke I panicked – I shouldn’t have slept that long! Straight away this situation reminded me of when my brother had bought a Tamogotchi as a child and I had looked after it overnight: by the morning it was covered in poo and skull symbols from my neglect. As I peered into the crib, I was relieved to see baby was still alive and not covered in poo. Then it struck me: just like a Tamagotchi, it would need a feed. The feeding button was located on me. Cautiously I picked my baby out of the cot, lifted up my top and kind of put her head near my boobs. I didn’t really want to do this, it felt weird. I was holding an unfamiliar and unpredictable creature to my bare breasts waiting for it to start drinking from them. A clamping feeling followed and after I had stopped cringing at the weird sensation, I watched with wide eyed amazement as the baby fed from me.

4. Beware the Breastfeeding Mafia

Over the next few days and weeks, I experienced more oddities on this planet. The baby didn’t sleep after that first night, in fact I don’t know how she found the energy to cry so loudly because she slept so little.

I was envious of people who went to bed or did any normal everyday activity: making a cup of tea, showering, chatting on the phone, going to work, watching TV. My vivid imagination had been sacked: I couldn’t imagine doing these daily things ever again.

Breastfeeding was excruciating. Health visitors seem younger than the legal age and sat on the floor looking up at me, instead of on the sofa or a chair like human beings do. They suggested breastfeeding groups with unappealing names such as “Latch on” and “Bosom Buddies”, but always seemed to turn up at my house on the days these groups ran. One day I clicked on websites to research formula. Big Brother was watching me, monitoring the newest inhabitant of the parenting planet. A pop up box appeared on my screen saying that “breast is best” and implying that if I proceed any further with my research then I would be committing a crime. I snapped the lap top shut, nervously glancing out the window at whoever was looking in on me.

NO ONE TOLD ME IT WOULD BE LIKE THIS.

Antenatal classes talked about the sweet shop of options of painkillers we could choose in labour. They taught us how to attach a dolly to a knitted woollen boob. They said to make the most of visitors. But… I wasn’t given my chosen pain relief; the baby wasn’t a dolly and my boob wasn’t knitted, it was packed with flesh and nerves endings and attached to me. Every time visitors turned up, baby would be asleep and I wanted to be too. Mum and baby groups were attended: I chose a baby massage class. It wasn’t relaxing for either of us, although I did make a lovely mummy friend that day.

 5. And this time it will be different

Not because any of the above will not happen, but because I will not have the crazy expectations that I did, having absorbed every bit of media and information given to me and taken it as the gospel; all I need to know. I am now a native of this planet. I know the secret to survival. To quote Sylvia Plath: “if you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed”. This includes yourself and your baby and everything that happens from that first antenatal visit.

6. Becoming a real parent

I have a pair of Cath Kidson style pyjamas ready for new baby*, but I have recently swapped them in the hospital bag for the little white outfit worn by my first; complete with milk stain around the neckline. It is more realistic and means so much more to me.

*I am 36 weeks pregnant with baby number 2 at the time of writing.

Further Notes:

  • I still love the babycentre website; it is genuinely useful. The pregnancy app just makes me laugh a lot more than it used to. 
  • Breast or bottle, who cares, whichever one works for you and your baby’s happiness. 
  • Whatever planet you are on, your body is yours.
  • It’s your baby. Scary thought I know!

 

Thank you so much for sharing this beautifully honest piece with #BestoftheRest this week gorgeous Tilly xx

 

Best of the Rest featuring This Mums Life

Being Scouted

It’s not every day you are outside your house, gathering the power of Superman to try and negotiate your toddler duo plus buggy, up the steps to your house, only to have a slightly crazed looking woman come running towards you brandishing a leaflet, shouting something about you ‘being perfect’ for what she’s looking for. I was a little confused, because I was busy mustering the energy to get everything up the steps, which really does require a Buddhist style meditation, and prayer to the Gods of Get Us Up There In One Piece. I was concentrating on visualising the safe Nirvana of the porch. Being yanked from this meditation was flustering, and did nothing to ease the paranoia that she was actually a crazy woman trying to distract me with something I was Perfect For, before trying to steal my children.

Once given the once over, I decided the immediate threat was low, and my interest piqued. What could it possibly be? Was she scouting for adorable children to pay shed loads of money to star in television commercials for useless items, thus securing them abundant future financial security? Did she want me to be the poster girl for Tena Lady? No, wait for it, drum roll please…. She was scouting me for the local fat fighting group…. (please insert shocked/laughing/chin scratching emoji here as necessary.) Oh yes, the thing she rushed at me for, was to tell me I was the perfect fatty. I was being fatty head hunted. Now, my eldest child tells me on a regular basis, things like ‘mummy, your bum is massive and squidgy,’ and ‘mummy, can I wobble your tummy like a jelly?’ I let him off because he’s 3, but having the dubious accolade of being fat hunted by an actual adult floored my remaining confidence.

Seeing my friendly smile dissipate, and backing slightly away from me when I said ‘so, you meant to give this to me? Personally? I look like I need to attend??’ Which was met with slightly stilted reply of ‘oh, well, you, or you could give it to any friends you know…. I’m just generally leafleting in this area…’ The last bit was said in the smallest voice ever, probably because my resting bitch face had become my actual bitch face, and she now realised her marketing strategy was worse than the U2/Apple collaboration, where millions were forced to endure an unwanted album and Bono’s smugness on their iPhone. I snatched the leaflet, turned on my heel, and hoped she’d sod off while I began mission-almost-impossible, getting to porch nirvana. I did what any other person would do, and went straight to the window to see where she went next. I noted that she seemed to run at me from the top of the road, she didn’t seem to come from any of the neighbour’s houses. She didn’t go on to drop one of her leaflets to our immediate neighbour either. There was only thing for it-she wasn’t going to put leaflets where they could potentially be wasted on unknown skinny occupants on the other side-she was hunting down and rounding up fatties.

My wild imagination decided it was some sort of cult. I imagined turning up to a ‘meeting’ only to be tortured into confessing that I ate my children’s leftovers, then being forced to watch videos of people eating leftovers, and being given electric shocks of varying intensity, until I had been conditioned never to eat children’s leftovers ever again. She was going to go Pavlov’s Dog on my cellulitic ass.

I might be forced into exercising until I dropped, until I could successfully grapevine across a room without leaving my stomach trailing at the other end of it, or at the very least only produce a shock measuring 2-2.9 on the richter scale during said grapevine.

They could be building an army. An army of mummy shaming, confidence destroying babyweight Nazis, marching the streets, scouting for tired, hungry, slightly (well, admittedly ‘slightly’ is questionable in my case,) overweight mummies to join them in their mission to rid the world of people who obviously didn’t realise they needed to fight the fat, and to brainwash them into joining their schemes.

They could have a Dr Strange in the basement, building robomummies, who have been surgically altered with blunt instruments, fitted with false stomachs which rejected cake and chocolate.

Worst of all, they might tell me I can never eat cheese again, at which point, life as I knew it would be over. It was decided, I was in no way going to one of these meetings, I was having no part in this revolution. I need all the carbs, and all of  most of the wine, to get me through my child rearing years. I will wear my cellulitic bum and saggy tummy, covered in the best spanx money can buy, with as much pride as I can muster. One day I might actually get scouted for something exciting, but that day was not it… You can take your leaflet and your cult, lady, and scout your people elsewhere! At this moment in toddler rearing time, I don’t need desperately poor training and recruitment skills on the part of the fatty fighters management and staff training cult intervention.

***

Can you even Imagine!! Thanks Lucy for letting us have all the lols over this outrageous situation. God help miss Fatty Fighter if your paths should ever cross again!

Life Love and Dirty Dishes

Best of the Rest No.1

#BestoftheRest

Well hello and welcome to yet another new weekly feature for 2017 on the blog!

As most of you are probably well aware by now I lurrrrve blogging; As time has gone on I have found that one of the best things about writing my blog is something I least expected: meeting incredible bloggers writing hilarious, poignant and frankly kick arse content for the world to read.

So I thought it was about time I shared my favourite nuggets of blog gold with you!

We are kicking off the totally fabulous and actual genius, Dawn from Rhyming with Wine . Somehow Dawn has surpassed the Rosies are Red, Violets are Blue style of rhyme and turned it into addictive hilarity! – Most of which have been known to make me snort out loud. Dawn’s unique dry wit is basically right up my street!

This particular post sees Dawn as a total Muma on the Edge, it had my husband and I howling with laughter. I’m so glad that Dawn has let me feature this classic in the debut #BestoftheRest series.

Mumas, I give you, CODE BROWN! 

rhyming-with-wine

Code Brown!

…What are you up to? I cautiously shout.
Whilst wrestling my battered old make up bag out.

The boy hears this rustle and comes bounding in,
Climbs onto the duvet to rummage within.

But hang on a moment… I pause, squint and frown.

What the hell is that?

… and why is it brown?

A few possibilities swim round my head,
The last of them being: He’s shat on my bed!

I freeze for a minute and blink once or twice,
Wracking my brain for some form of advice.

Then hoist the young poop machine into the air,
Whilst trying to avoid getting turd everywhere.

He’s plonked in the bath. Right.
Okay then.
What now?
I use my right elbow to sweep hair from brow.

The boy is disgruntled,  his patience worn thin.
With no one to help me.
I just get stuck in.

Down come the trousers and up goes his top.
The tot disapproves with a huge screeching strop.

Despite being careful it’s now in his hair,
And all down his legs with great artistic flair.

“OK to the shower!” I hysterically laugh,
Whilst leaving both PJs and poo in the bath.

I shout for some wipes to help tame all the sh1t.
… Miss Tot wanders in with a nail grooming kit?

Lord Poo Pants protests as I shower him down,
Hosing away any traces of brown.

Then he’s wrapped in a towel as my blood pressure calms.
Despite all the screaming and flailing of arms.

“I’ll just get a wipe!” I can hear Miss Tot cry.
“DON’T TOUCH IT! I’ll sort it as soon as he’s dry!”

“But Mummy he’s done some on Mummy’s bed too!”

*pause while this sinks in*

“I know it’s on my bed.
…Why did you say TOO!?”

I regain composure and put the boy down.
Then nervously seek out Miss Tot with a frown.

“WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS THIS CRAP-SCENE FROM HELL?”
There’s poo on her bed and 3 teddies as well.

So just to be sure and prevent any doubt,
I check The Boy’s bedroom.
Then try not to shout.

“THERE’S POO ON THE CARPET!” I frantically howl.
We have sh1t on 3 duvets, the bath and a towel.

The shower’s a grizzly chaotic scene,
3 teddies have seen things they shouldn’t have seen!

I’m somewhat perturbed and I find it quite strange,
That an infant of 2 has such impressive range!?

He grins with great pride. He was really on form,
To rustle up such a fantastic sh1t storm!

And just if this wasn’t enough of a state.
It’s nursery day – and we’re now running late.

I still have two offspring that need to be fed,
So down to the kitchen they’re hustled and led.

Two cereal bowls are haphazardly served,
While I dash back to clean… leaving both unobserved.

*face palm*

My hand hasn’t quite reached the shower room door,
When the big one shouts up “All his food’s on the floor!”

I race back downstairs – What the bugger is this?
You have got to be kidding or taking the p1ss!?

Not quite yet fulfilled, bless his cute sh1tty pants.
He’s krispied my kitchen.
You know – just for bants’.

…I do not have favourites, as none of us do.
But today little sunshine – today – it’s not you!

I’ve written today off as traumatic farce ,
The incredible antics of Lord sh1tty arse.

But we each shall have days where the sh1t hits the fan,
So we just have to wipe it the best that we can!

Go and visit Dawn’s blog for more brilliantly funny rhymes!

Mummuddlingthrough