Marriage. Whose idea was that?

If you think about it, the idea of Marriage is actually quite absurd.
Meet a boy, fall in love, have adventures, lazy Sundays; Make memories. Get married, settle down, throw a Toddlermonster or 2 into the mix and before long you can barely recognise yourselves.
“I really fancy you with poo on your neck, said no spouse, ever.”

What can prepare us for spending a lifetime with one person? What if your parenting styles don’t match? There’s no way you can possibly try before you buy on that front.
What if your career aspirations take you in totally different directions? What if one of you turns out to be a miserable sod? And what about those little foibles we all have? Be it a nervous cough, or the inability to cook, or a Dad-joke back catalogue which sees you cringe into your Daquari. All of which were sweet at first, but now drive you to the edge (or the Bacardi bottle).
It sort of like this: finally getting your hands on a once in a lifetime vintage Chanel bag. It’s gorgeous, frankly it’s love at first sight. It sleeps next to you, accompanies you to the best of occasions, you are frankly inseparable. You wear it proud on your arm, but the years roll by, and although it’s still your best most prized precious, the novelty has worn off. It’s been with you as you puke up in the bar loos, realising you are not 21 anymore and cannot drink more than a few glasses of wine. It’s been there during laughs and heated debates. It’s seen your best and worst, but now you have kids and their stash of essentials no long fits into your beloved Chanel. Weep.
Clearly there is only one thing for it: time to invest in a bigger and better, but I’m still in the marriage analogy, and upgrades are not part of this deal.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that being parents, AND keeping your marriage alive and kicking is hard. Really bloody hard. Navigating our way through life, raising humans and doing it together in perfect harmony is surely an unrealistic goal.

Maybe we should all get married in our mismatched PJ’s, 3-days-post-hair-wash and a seriously sadistic case of PMT. This realistic approach would set us up for the institution of Marriage a lot better than a beautiful unstained gown, a face of professional make up, a room full of people who are being kind and complimentary, all washed down with free flowing booze and food that has not been microwaved.

***

As my husband says ‘Teamwork always pays off’. I guess if you can still raise a smile to each other after 5 years of sleep deprivation and somehow fancy each other (occasionally) despite the extra pounds and hairy legs. If you can bring yourself to still be kind even when you really just want to drop the C bomb. If you can bite your tongue rather than criticise the way they staked the dishwasher. If you can still high-five the hell out of life…
If you can, then that’s good enough. That’s Love.
That’s my marriage with kids.

3 Little Buttons
Mummuddlingthrough
Life Love and Dirty Dishes
DomesticatedMomster

 

It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes…

It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes… 



Or not.
Thanks Nelly but I think I’m good, I’ll just sit here at the park supervising the Toddler-Movement with my black skinnys on getting an increasingly sweaty crack, just in case little Gabriel’s Muma should notice my unshaven white luminous legs in the shorts I really wish I was wearing.
OR
I would come and splash in the waves at the beach kids, but Muma hasn’t got herself ‘bikini ready’ and an off guard super fun wade-about is not what this hairy, non-bronzed non-svelte, Muma wants to take part in.Soz.

But here’s the thing, and this is actually quite a liberating thought:

NO ONE ELSE CARES!

  • No one else cares that you have hairy knees, or the grey tinge of dry shampoo around your hair line.
  • No one else cares that you have a serious muffin-top situation going on with the vest / shorts combo that you HAD to wear for fear of actually melting into the playground.
  • No one else cares that you have a set of dodgy tan lines or cellulite craters which resemble the surface of the moon.
  • No one else cares if you have a spotty chin that day following a satisfying chocolate binge, or the deepest darkest bags under your eyes thanks to a week of 5am wake up calls.

We are our own worst critics; I can often be found scanning for the onset of a wispy beard, assessing the severity of my tash or god forbid NEW LINES. I’m pretty sure those people I come into contact with are not busy scanning my face for excess stragglers. That would be verging on obsessive. So it’s just me then: Tweezers out, scanning. Obsessively.

My kids don’t care if I show off a bit of veiny ghost-leg when the temperature gauge soars off the scale. But they sure as hell will care if I don’t take them to the local Zoo for fear of a death-by-denim situation, in the scorching heat.

And my kids sure as hell don’t care if I look suspiciously pregnant in my bikini and my arse wobbles like a big whitish-blue jelly…(ewwww). 

They just see their Muma splashing around with them in the wee-infested toddler pool. And I’m pretty sure that’s all they will remember.

Today is set to be one of the hottest days of the year so far. I shall don my DaisyDukes, which are inappropriately short and spend the day playing with my toddler in the sunshine, hopefully avoiding a sweaty crack moment. She won’t mind the ice cream gut I have been putting so much work into lately, or the dodgy tan lines that are all over my shoulders. I’m pretty sure the fellow Muma’s at the Zoo aren’t going to mind my get-up either. They will be too busy keeping eyes on their own charges to care about my hairy thigh situation.
Break out the bikinis and shorts, the flimsy dresses and the skirts. No one is actually looking at you the way you look at yourself in the mirror. (Picture the flab-grab, and the, suck it in-and-out, the, turn-around-and-strain-neck-to-check-butt-size-with-the-lock-jaw-look. These special ‘poses’ are fairly sacred. No one else need share in these moments, they are reserved just for us.)
Of course, I’ll have to remind my MumaSquad of this tomorrow before they raise their eyebrows at my tropical ensemble.

Loud n proud Mumas, loud n proud…
Because, you know what: No one else cares!

Mummascribbles</div

Rhyming with Wine
Writing Bubble
Cuddle Fairy
Mummuddlingthrough

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Jennifer, you legend.

At last: She has spoken.

Jennifer. Jen. Rachel has come right out and said what has been on the tip of the tongues of so many successful woman in the spotlight who just so happen to be outright awesome without *whispers* Being a Mother. Shock horror.

I love Jen’s article, it’s honest, thought provoking and kicks some serious female butt. Read it in full here.

Here are my highlights:

“…This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a woman’s value based on her marital and maternal status…Here’s where I come out on this topic: we are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child…We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves.”

It’s a crying shame that Theresa May couldn’t produce a similar response to Andrea Leasom’s ghastly attempt to get the edge over her opponent this weekend, based on her reproduction ‘achievements’.

I seem to remember a time right after school, probably through to my mid-20’s when a pregnancy was announced it was an ‘OH MY GOD THEY’RE PREGNANT’ moment. We seemed too young to have babies and it was almost a scandal that you would dare to reproduce. I’m now the other side of that (weeps), and this other side is worse. Much worse. Because this other side questions why a woman may not have borne a crying sh*tting machine yet.

Why is this? Why do we as a society, pivot a female’s success around the presence of a child? I feel lucky, not successful, to have 2 children. I certainly wouldn’t measure my success or suitability for a job based on the fact that I have children.

I wonder if Jenifer Aniston’s words will actually hit home to the Paparazzi and magazine bosses? (who might actually be fully grown women without children! IMAGINE!).

 Sadly I think her statement will fall on deaf ears. Inevitably, lining the newsagent’s shelves will continue be glossy post-lunch stomachs belonging to the A-Z listers, complete with speculation over the presence of a bambino within.

All the while we keep buying the Mags or sharing the articles and spreading the hype, they will keep dishing it.

It’s pretty sad when you think about it.

It’s a big day for Women today, a great day. Our 2nd female Prime Minister EVER will take up the reins and is set to be appointing top cabinet roles to some fabulous women. I know their gender is neither here nor there as long as they are the right people for the jobs, but I can’t help doing a little fist pump for Girl Power today.

Mummuddlingthrough

Is Facebook becoming Toxic?

This is the very question that I have had on repeat for a while, but it’s been flashing in neon since the debacle which was the EU Referendum. (*shudders* just saying that phrase again…)

I’ve known for some time that I have an addiction to social media; It’s the last thing I will check at night, and the first thing I will check when I wake up (albeit through 1 eye!). I belong to a tonne of parenting groups from all over the world, follow my favourite bloggers, and have my chosen news channels on my ‘news feed’. All ready to bring the latest from the big wide world to my social media platform of choice. Behold The Facebook.
More importantly on Facebook are my friends, friends I have made at all different stages of my life, all clumped together sharing their highs and lows via Likes, Comments and statuses. When Facebook is good, it’s very very good: think wedding photo stalking, school reunion pages, birth announcements, holiday snaps, you know the drill. But when it’s bad its damn right Toxic.
We know SO much about other people’s lives, like it or not. And I LOVE it. I’m nosey by nature, being a fly on the wall through people’s lives is a bit of a dream come true; Thank you Mark Zuckerberg!!
But there is a dark side to Facebook;

A world where opinions and statements are banded around all safely behind the shield of a computer screen. Things are said which would never be said face to face. A screen is a buffer protecting those keyboard warriors. And yes, I am one of them – but learning the hard way to hold my… fingers.
I have seen families torn apart and friendship groups divide over a snide comment here, a controversial article share there, an outright offensive status elsewhere. And let me tell you I have seen some SHOCKERS. Some proper laundry airing shizzle, and we all have a front row ticket.
Facebook can be Toxic, and we play right into its hands.
It’s the perfect vehicle for making others feel uncomfortable, not least because it’s so public. The ‘fishing’ statuses are the ones that really get me. Those statuses which are implying that someone on facebook is responsible for their plight, but they don’t have the guts to confront them so instead issue a ‘Woe is me’ status. A call to arms for those paranoid friends to comment as quickly as their iphones will allow, sending sympathy. Is it sympathy or some sort of paranoid knee jerk reaction though?
It sort of goes a bit like this:
{Infill attention-seeking DULL ‘they are all bi*ches, my life sucks’ type status here}

Cue concerned / guilty ‘friend’ (delete as appropriate)
“This status can’t be about ME…??”

*5 secs later*
“Hmmmm, maybe this is all about ME?…”
*5 secs more – scanning memory*
“I don’t remember pissing her/ him off (let’s face it, it’s almost always a her) ”
*decision time*
“I better comment to keep face and show solidarity” *mentally thumps chest and high fives The Fisher.*
Urgh.
The medal for the most toxic place I have ever come across on Facebook has to go to our town’s ‘Notice board’ page. Does any other town have these?! If you are unsure what I’m referring to, let me enlighten you: The Notice Board was originally set up for people to post about events happening in the town, or enquiries about clubs – you know the sort of thing.
But Enter at your Peril. It is so abusive that if you were to join this group prior to moving to our quiet seaside town you would almost certainly reconsider. It takes good old fashioned slagging to a whole new level. I have seen people be quite literally destroyed publicly on this page. There is always someone ready pounce putting a controversial spin on even the most boring of enquiries. The EU referendum saw it turn into a battleground of Ins V’s Outs. A daily slagging between the 2 sides, only pausing to sleep and reload on the insults that were being banded around so vindictively. *Cringe*
It’s sad that it is becoming the underbelly of our society. Seemingly bringing out the worst in people, all packaged up with a neat little blue logo. As my wonderful friend over at Bean Musing  says,
“There is freedom of speech, and then there is being a tw*t” Nail.on.head. (Go check out her blog!)
Do you know what though, despite ALL of that, I can’t bring myself to delete my account. YET. At the moment the pro’s of keeping in touch with friends, family and the world at large outweigh those cons.

But only just… I guess I’ll just have to suck it up.
I’d love to know if I’m the only one that has a love / hate relationship with Facebook?

Best of Worst

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

10 jobs I could nail thanks to my 5 years Muma experience

1) Waitress – think Wimpy, not La Gavroche.

2) Uber cab driver, USP: Providing a 3 course meal whilst in transit. Will that be the crusts off marmite on white or the mini chedder’s sir?
3) Hostage negotiator: If I can talk a Toddler in arsehole mode down from throwing a cold cup of coffee over cream carpet…
4) Cleaner: speciality tool, wet wipes. Kitchens, bathrooms, walls, arses. I got this…
5) Community police officer: you really don’t want to be leaving your dog’s shit on the pavement or park in the Toddler / Muma spaces on my watch.
6) Laundrette skive, is that Dot Cotton or me? Blurred lines.
7) Teaching assistant, I haven’t suffered at the hands of an enthusiastic 4 year old armed with a Biff n Chip book for nothing, and don’t even get me started on the ‘Pen Licence.’
8) Risk assessor: Stairs, streams, fire pits, ovens, big dogs, small yappy dogs, busy roads, quiet roads, bees, spicy food… you name it, I’ve risk assessed it.
9) Red Coat: entertainment covered 12 hrs a day, special skill: leading a dance off whilst folding washing, singing just like Adele. No lies.
10) Chef, speciality diets: no beans for one, only carrots for the other, no courgettes peppers or spice on another. No carbs, low carbs, only ‘good’ carbs. Gluten free, meat free, extra meat. Only meat. No sauce meat balls, naked pasta… with ham sprinkled on top of everything.



Have I left any out girls? Let me know…

Life Love and Dirty Dishes

Have you decided?

Have you ever taken part in a game of Tug-of-war? You know, the really rough kind, heels dug deep, desperately trying to pull the other team over to your side, at any cost… No? Me neither, rope burn isn’t my thing. However I do feel like I have complimentary front row tickets to the virtual Tug of war game to end all games: The EU Referendum.

Trying to get to grips and keep up to date with the latest scaremongering is a full time job. D-Cam’s latest has been to liken a Brexit outcome to putting a bomb under the British economy; that’s bloody scary, let’s be honest. We’ve been there done that just a few years back. I really don’t fancy seeing another P45 in our family. Turn the page and we see our floppy haired plummy friend claiming that actually a Brexit outcome would contribute an extra £2.4 billion a year to our economy… Maybe D-Cam was talking about a sparkly glitter bomb full of £50 notes going off under the economy then.

Untangling the web of words between the two camps has been harder than untangling my daughter’s hair on swimming night: Frustrating and time consuming, requiring a saint like amount of patience.

How does the girl next door make an educated decision on this? How do I, as a parent, make a decision that I can stand by; If, when my girls reach their 20’s and can’t get a job, unable to get onto the housing ladder and England has its begging bowl out, Greek style, I want to at least say I did try and foresee this shit storm. I voted for what I felt was the best option. I didn’t abstain, I didn’t glaze over when the conversation turned to the EU Referendum (chances of that in the playground are pretty slim yes I know…) I got amongst it and had my say!

I have simply decided to focus on which of the many issues raised by the big wigs would have the biggest impact on our family: and for us, that’s money. We don’t have much of it, and can’t really afford to risk shit hitting a sodding great British Isles sized fan.

So my vote will be to remain. * holds breath, hands over ears*

Risking my little girls childhoods being blighted by another recession is not an option for me– that’s the reason our first is here! We love to travel throughout Europe – well, go on a week’s holiday once a year, so not exactly throughout…but the ease of no visas, the reciprocal free healthcare and the promise of  tariff free mobile phone calls being rolled out later this year is good news for those who love a bit of Eurocamp.

Let’s be honest, do we really know enough about how those campaigning for OUT really plan to plug the drain of international businesses sodding off to one of the more attractive Single Market countries (jargon I picked up… you like?!). The pound has been at its most turbulent as the OUT campaign gathers pace, evidence this circus is already pissing on our parade.  I don’t believe that they would actually shore up the NHS with funds is desperately needs if the cool weekly sum of £350 mill was suddenly available, there would be some other need, some other trade agreement to fork out for. It’s like being a parent: at last your Toddlermonster qualifies for their 15 hours free nursery sessions after you have been paying for it for a year. Oh lovely, I think, that £120 I was paying out per month can now go towards Christmas. Christmas comes, money’s been spent on new tyres, replacing broken school shoes and a vet bill. Shit happens. Totally comparable scenarios right?!

 

Get involved, have you say, and VOTE. At least you will have earned the right to moan about the outcome if you do.

For the official IN campaign click HERE

For information from the Government’s official EU Referendum site click HERE

I couldn’t find an official BREXIT website so I have copied a few for you HERE and HERE

Zoo should take full responsibility for tragic Harambe’s death, NOT the child’s Muma.

I have been following the story of the 17 year old Gorilla, Harambe’s tragic death with horror. Harambe was shot to save the life of a 4 year old boy who fell into the Gorilla enclosure at Cincinneti Zoo this weekend.

‘What if that was MY child’ – a line which seems to run through my head whenever tragic stories involving children hit the headlines.

I have also been paying attention to the barrage of abuse that the Muma of that 4 year old child has been facing, almost with more horror than the tale itself.

The daily Mail led with the story today claiming that the parents could face prosecution for their negligence, and ‘letting’ their child slip through the railings.

Excuse me? Prosecute a mother whose child was almost killed by an animal that has been described as “very dangerous” by Sharon Redrobe who is CEO of Twycross Zoo in the Midlands.

Surely the buck stops with the Owners and management of the Cincinetti Zoo for not having effective enough barriers between visitors and their dangerous animals. Surely the safety of their visitors is paramount, surely it should be the parents of this 4 year old adventurer that are prosecuting the zoo and not the other way around.

Children are naturally inquisitive, they are quick, and they love to play hide and seek: these basic instincts are not the fault of that mother.

When you visit a zoo or theme park you expect the correct safety measures to be in place. Tweets slagging off this Muma are totally uncalled for. Yes, it’s tragic, of course it is, not least because this Gorilla is so rare and endangered. But it is the job of the Zoo to keep its visitors safe, which is why their decision to shoot the Gorilla was 100% the only choice they could have made. Many have claimed that using tranquilisers would have been a better choice, but this could have taken up to 10 minutes to become effective and in that time the Gorilla would have almost certainly become very agitated, probably ending with lights out for the little boy.

So let’s not hate on this Muma. She probably has blamed herself and relived what she could have done differently, if anything, a hundred times and more already. That’s what I do when one of my girls has an accident.

The Zoo should have prevented this truly tragic event from ever happening.

The buck stops with them.