#cherishedmemories · children · Honest mum · mum · Mum friends · Parenting

Birthday Parties

When your child starts school, you may as well cancel any weekend plans for the rest of the school year due to the 29 birthday parties you will get invited to. You want them to make friends (and secretly want to make friends yourselves) and so you go to all of them. This is great until May rolls around and you would rather put your head in the oven then see another bloody balloon.

As they got older, they’ve chosen their friends, you’ve clocked the naughty kids and discovered the parents you get on with, therefore making this party malarkey a whole lot easier.

Until then, my advice to you is: Don’t go to them all.

My little Turderoo is what we call “a sensitive soul” aka an emotional freaking wreck. Here is a list of things he doesn’t like:

Lots of people, new people, grown-ups, loud music, loud shouting, darkness, being separated from me, dancing, competitions, face painting and people dressed up.

Yeah. Happy fucking birthday to you random kid I’ve never heard of. This party better be worth it.

The party etiquette is a little confusing at this age too – do you leave them? Do you stay? How much do you spend on a present? Can you just not go because you can’t be arsed or is it more polite to make up a lie? Can you bring toddlers? Will they be fed? And fed enough that I don’t have to feed them or awkward-time feeding where it’s after lunch, not quite dinner so I still have to cook after this?!

From what I’ve learnt being a Reception mum:

Stay with them. Especially if you also wield “a sensitive soul”.

They will be fed. If not, the sugar from all the Haribo that gets doled out will sustain them until midnight.

Bring toddlers but do not expect food/goody bags for them – that would be rude.

Present buying; If it is a kid you’re child has no particular interest in, up to £5 generic craft/colouring crap is fine. If they have proclaimed their marriage to said birthday girl/boy, up to £10 with consideration to their personal interest is fair. Also use recyclable paper. People seem really into that these days.

Oh and never underestimate the power of a goody bag. A little bag containing cake, sweets and Chinese plastic tat that breaks immediately will make your little one’s bloody day. Never forget it – I learnt this the hard way after leaving it in somebody’s car – you will never hear the end of it.

It seems plastic medals, cake and bubbles and 100% winners on the goody bag front. Once got a pair of themed socks which was very much appreciated.

Did not appreciate mini jigsaw puzzles (I mean, really?!) or Maom sweets (who can actually chew these let alone enjoy them?!)

Essentially, a party is a winner if nobody cries. Once Turd, Turdette and then I all cried at a party. Not my proudest moment. He got freaked out by a dressed up pig while she whinged and moaned (for like a continuous year) and at this point instead of comforting him like a normal mother, I lost my shit and then cried with guilt. Received some judgemental looks in the process but hey-ho.

He got a plastic medal.

#winning

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children · Honest mum · mum · Parenting

Mummy Burnout

Having kids have opened me up to emotions I didn’t know I had and experiences I could never imagine. Unfortunately for me, it seems Mummy Burnout is the predominant one.

What is Mummy Burnout?

I don’t know if this is a real expression but after many nights googling “tired all the time” and “how to stop shouting”, it seems to be a thing. Symptoms include:

  1. Rolling your eyes at EVERYTHING your child does. When my son farts, I see the ceiling.
  2. Overreacting. If they spill some water on a normal day, it’s all “don’t worry sweetie, let me just a grab a tea towel.” If it’s on Mummy Burnout it’s more like “what the actual hell is wrong with you?!”
  3. Looking like crap. I looked in the mirror today and saw hair that was both greasy and frizzy (!), red rimmed eyes that were glazed from tears, pale skin and chubby cheeks. No exaggeration. If anything, that’s me being kind. I was a freaking mess.
  4. Shouting that starts off at the standard level and then transcends into a prolonged shriek.
  5. Excessive sleep. On a bad day, I need a 20 minute cat nap in the afternoon and STILL go to bed early.

Mummy Burnout is feeling like an irritable zombie all day, desperately waiting until you can have some time to yourself to recover and then being too drained to do anything you want to do.

These are my usual evening plans:

Do some work. Do some crafting. Have a well-earned drink with a healthy snack and a good book. Go to bed at 10:30 feeling happy and calm.

This is my actual evening:

Dick about on Rightmove and Indeed for an hour, resenting the fact I cannot have either a beautiful house or the job I went to university to do. Get craft stuff out, realise I’m missing a specific item and put it back angrily. Have a well-needed drink. Eat tonnes of pizza followed by inordinate amounts of chocolate. Binge Netflix. Fall into a cheese-induced coma at around 9pm.

The worst thing about all of this, I don’t know how to get out of this rut. Everyday is ruined by feelings of resent, worthlessness and avid daydreams of how I can get my life back on track to then have it ruined by thoughts of childcare, school holidays and lack of time.

I literally sat on the trampoline the other evening crying “I need help.” Lord know what my neighbours must think, it’s a bloody miracle I haven’t had any “visits” at my door.

So, my question is, am I the only one who feels like this? And how do you get out of a Mummy Burnout?



children · Honest mum · mum · Parenting

Thanks a lot Peppa Pig…

If you have children, you have seen Peppa Pig. It’s inevitable. It doesn’t matter how old your child gets, it seems there is always a soft spot for that penis-shaped-head farm animal. The colours, catchy tunes and life lessons, I get it. But as a parent having to watch the show a million times over (there’s only 6 seasons since 2004 – make some more you tight arses!) there are a few things I owe to Peppa Pig…

  1. Turdette is terrified of spiders thanks to Mr. Fucking Skinny Legs. At Halloween, she was all about the plastic spiders. She watches that damn episode and BOOM, she now cries when she sees an ant, let alone a spider.
  2. Urgh disgusting” – yeah thanks Peppa, every bloody meal time now. Cheers for that.
  3. General brattish behaviour. This entails stomping, moaning and not allowing younger sibling to play. I know that’s a lot to blame on a TV show but my son never spoke to me in such a tone before Peppa Pig!
  4. Distaste for the colour pink: George doesn’t like pink. Daddy can’t possibly wear a pink football shirt. Come on now, it’s not the eighties, let’s break down those gender stereotypes for the future generation.
  5. Fat-shaming. “Daddy Pig has a big tummy. Daddy Pig is too big for that.” Poor Daddy Pig. He was probably rocking a six pack before these bratface kids came along and now all he has to look forward to is his cherished chocolate cake to see him through the day. Daddy Pig is like a brother from another mother to me.
  6. Speaking of Daddy Pig…the poor sod has to do EVERYTHING for his family, from mowing the grass on his day off to traipsing all over the place to recover that teddy and for what?! To be continuously riddiculed for his weight and foolishness?! Disgraceful.
  7. Feeling like an inadequate parent. Regardless of annoying and whiny their little piggies are, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig keep it cool. They don’t shout. Or throw cereal. Threaten. Or bribe. Yet I do all of these before 9am every morning.

Thanks a lot Peppa Pig. As much I hate you, you bring hours of joy to my Turd and Turdette and are a definite upgrade since that illiterate and somewhat incestuous nonsense that was In The Night Garden.

#cherishedmemories · children · Honest mum · mum · Parenting

Mother’s Day – What we really want

Flowers and candles are all well and good, but if we have to do our normal duties, WTF is the point?!

Mums operate 365 days a year. Let that sink in. Every goddamn day. No sick days. No holidays. No duvet days. Mother’s Day should be an exception. I want to be selfish and not do anything for anyone else. Including my own mother and mother-in-law.

This is what I (and I’m sure other mums) really want on Mother’s Day but are too polite to say aloud:

  1. To be left alone
  2. To not wipe anything – no surfaces, no mouths, no bums (unless it is my own, may be taking it a bit too far otherwise)
  3. To lie-in without any guilt
  4. To not make breakfast, make lunch, cook dinner, obtain snacks. In fact, it even stresses me out watching the husband cook so takeaway would be great.
  5. To watch what I want on TV. Screw you Peppa Pig, this is my day.
  6. To chill. I want to play Xbox with the headset on max. I want to do some little craft projects. Probably nap. And read in bed (without any advances from the other half, thank you very much.)
  7. Chocolate. Because everyday I want chocolate. If I didn’t actually have it on a special occasion then there is clearly grounds for divorce.

Call me harsh, but the idea of going out for dinner with kids on Mother’s Day also blows. Trying to restrain a toddler while waiting for food to arrive that they refuse to eat? To then stop them from stabbing themselves with a fork and knocking the knife on the floor for the freaking umpteenth time? And then be blackmailed into buying ice-cream for them by the pity-filled waitress which again they refuse to eat?! No thanks. I’m good.

Ideally, the other half should take the kids out and leave me the hell alone. Of course you can’t actually admit that so I’ll accept the other 7 things on my list.

My Mother’s Day motto: Not my problem.

So tell me, what do you really want this Mother’s Day?

#cherishedmemories · children · Honest mum · mum · Mum friends · Parenting

Small talk survival guide

Small talk in the playground or at toddler groups is an inevitable ritual when you’re a mum. Yet the small talk is all a lie – you need to dig a little deeper to find the truth. So here is a guide I hope you find useful (and I wish somebody showed me when I first became a mum.)

Question: “What do you do?” Translation: “Stay-at-home mum? Ahhh thought so…”

Question: “What does your husband do?” Translation: “How rich are you people??

Question: “Where about do you live?” Translation: “Are you in the posh area??

Question: “That’s cute…is it from Joules?” Translation: “Please tell me it’s from the eBay Joules outlet store otherwise we are in completely different leagues.”

Question: “Any plans for the weekend?” Translation: “Don’t care – let me tell you about the fantastic family day out we have planned followed by the drinks we’re having in the evening with our huge number of friends.”

Question: “Blah blah blah, I mean the cleaner comes that day anyway, blah blah…” Translation: “Yeah that’s right bitch, we’ve got a cleaner. Jealous much?”

Question: “So are you doing anything nice for your birthday?” Translation: “Let’s see/hope/pray this person has a non-existent social life like me…

Question: “Are you thinking of having any more kids?” Translation: “Because I don’t want to be alone in this…”

Essentially, mum chit chat all comes down to comparison. We are insecure and equally jealous creatures, constantly comparing as every other person you know seems to have it better.

They may live in the posh area but pay a stonking mortgage they can barely afford. They may do nice things for their birthdays but that’s to makeup for the lack of nice things the rest of the year. They may have a cleaner, but that’s because their just lazy… (I’m joking. Kind of. I’m just jealous.)

Small talk is a polite way to validate ourselves. And to find out where the other mums live so we can look up it on Prime Location and figure out how much money they have and compare it to our own crappy house.

Come on now, let’s be honest.


#cherishedmemories · children · Honest mum · mum · Parenting

The pressure of entertaining kids over half-term

I didn’t have my first holiday until I was 17.

I can count a total of two day trips in the whole of my childhood.

I was raised by a very poor single mother who had zero interest in entertaining me and enriching my life with farm parks, welly walks and craft sessions.

Despite what all the netmums blogs would predict, I turned out OK!

Yet now I live in a lovely little town filled with lovely middle-class people who ALL seem to want to spend each and every day of the holiday doing fantastically fun things (and then bragging about them). Which is great, obviously, but the pressure is unreal. Especially for those who still have to go to work, those who don’t drive, those with tricky children or those who don’t want to spend massive amount of money. The constant guilt in a mother’s mind of “am i doing enough?” certainly heightens over the holidays.

Our half-term has been filled with play dates and park trips. One cinema excursion and one swimming morning. That’s it. I indulged in an organised, overpriced welly walk and my little turderoos did not care for it at all. Money well spent, as always. Before, I would feel massively guilty about the lack of filling their schedules with exciting things but after having a lovely half-term, I now see there is nothing wrong with it at all.

Mummy, I’m really glad I get to have a break from school. I’m so tired and I miss you,” is what my 5 year old said to me.

Bless his little superhero socks, that boy needs a break. Half-term is for chilling and restoring their tanks, not exhausting them even more.

Kids love parks. Kids love TV. Kids love food. As long as you have these three things – you’re good.

children · Honest mum · mum · Parenting

Just because I have children…

does not mean I want anymore.

I have two of the turds and have learnt the consequences of my actions. In fact, I have never been so cautious about contraception since having mine. I do not want anymore.

When I say this out loud, people look at me like I’ve just shot a puppy. It does not mean I don’t like the ones I have. It means I love the ones I do have so much, my heart/mind/body literally has nothing left to give.

To some, kids are like Pringles, once you pop, you can’t stop. But you know what, kids to me are like eating the Prawn Cocktail Pringles; half way down the tube, you start to feel a little sick and think “Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, let’s stop here before I make myself feel worse.”

When 6 o’clock rolls around every evening, I am a grouchy zombie. I’m worse than the kids. I want everybody to leave me the hell alone. I’ve done a 12 hour shift in mom life, pumped out 10,000 steps getting endless tissues/wipes/washing/food and tiredness just consumes me. But alas, that is when the next batch of work rolls in with the whole bedtime nonsense. I couldn’t possibly have anymore children. I admire those who do. But it’s not for me.

I want a career. Money. Holidays. A huge kitchen diner with bi-fold doors. Unfortunately, these things do not come easily with kids. Every time you have a baby, you put your life on hold for another few years.

I want to give them the best. And having more kids, for me at least, limits that. It limits our finances, my energy levels and our time.

So no, I’m not having anymore. And that is damn well OK.

Honest mum · mum · Mum friends · Parenting

The thing about mum friends…

Is that every conversation is about kids.

Which is nice. Sometimes. But I miss real friendship.

Friends you can just laugh with, chat about films, food music and games. Not about nap schedules, phonics books and potty training.

Of course being a mum, these conversations are inevitable but you when you pop a sprog you automatically become tied to people who you share no real common ground with. You don’t have similar hobbies, opinions or sense of humour. Kids unite you – and that can be pretty dull.

Yet you see these people so much they become your friends through definition. I could have several messages on my phone asking if I will be at said toddler group/soft play/birthday party but I think my last invitation out with people strictly over the age of 18 was about a year ago!

It’s tragic. My kids have a better social life than me. Or my social life comprises of kids. Either way you look at it, it’s depressing.

When I ask somebody, “how are you?” I genuinely want to know how they are doing. As an individual. As a person. What their highs and lows are, what they have been up to or what they are hoping to do. Not host a discussion about weaning or eczema.

I think it would be better if we could all just wear tags a little like this:

Likes: Call the midwife, crafts and when people fall over.

Dislikes: Narcissism, mushrooms and when people do not fall over.

Easy. Scan the tag, assess potential and move on.

Too much time has been wasted dillydallying in mum small talk, thinking their is a potential friend there, to then realise that this person is a big dull dud. It’s too late by this point. Too many conversations have been exchanged and by definition this person is now my friend and there is nothing I can do about it except for tiptoe about and not be myself.

Mum Tinder, here we come.


#cherishedmemories · Honest mum · mum · Parenting

Days out with kids…

Just aren’t what they’re made out to be.

  1. Travel sickness – Granted not an issue for many, but with two horrifically travel sick children (both under the age of being able to take any tablets), car rides for us are not great, to say the least. My (rather large) butt has to squeeze in between their car seats holding a bowl while singing songs, fanning and sponging two sweaty kids who will inevitably vom. Followed by me also wanting to vom.
  2. Travel time – Kids get bored. And fast. I cannot fathom how people take children abroad with flight times and transfers etc etc I can only bow down to you because I do not have the courage/patience
  3. The amount of stuff to take – We took the car for a service today. We packed a pushchair, nappies, wipes, spare clothes, snacks, sick bowl, tea towel, gloves, hats and a naked baby (toy doll, not Turdette). What the actual hell?!
  4. Novelty – “Let’s go to Slimbridge and learn all about the birds and do the Lego trail etc” The novelty wears off quick. We get there and kids are instantly terrified. Followed by bored. Then they just want to play in the park. And eat. Money well spent.
  5. Forced happiness – Day trips and Christmas is when the forced, unmovable mum smile comes into play. I am so determined to make the day happy, I will plaster this ridiculous smile on my face accompanied with helpful “suggestions” and a listening ear. As soon as we hit the front door, the lovely “Shall we share? That would be a nice idea” snaps back to the good old “Stop fighting and just let have a go for God’s sake!”

Days out with the kids are like child birth. As soon you get home, you forget all the pain and only remember the positives. Then regret it when you decide to do it again.

Honest mum · mum · Parenting · Uncategorized

Why school holidays are so difficult…

Is it just me who finds school holidays really tough? I used to look after the kiddos full time before starting school so what’s changed? Have I become worse? Granted, I am definately less energetic and cheery than I used to be but that’s not it. School children demand more stimulation than littlies do. Finding a stick is the best thing ever for toddlers but older ones need much more energy, thought and exercise. It’s exhausting!

Smug sharenters vs. the real world

Here are the reasons why I find holidays difficult:

  1. The assumption that you should be doing something awesome every day. Farm parks, soft play, bowling, pottery painting etc etc. Not helped by the abundance of photos on social media showing everybody else doing these. (Pssst by the way, those smug sharenters are not really doing this everyday, they are bumming out like the rest of us and recycling old pictures.)
  2. The expense. Linked to the aforementioned farm parks and bowling etc – the stuff costs money. And lot’s of it, especially with multiple children. Triple the cost for those lucky ducks who go away on holiday during half-term. Who can actually afford to do all of this?!
  3. How busy everywhere is. You can’t go anywhere without hordes of kids and red-faced mums. Think you can escape them in a sophisticated coffee shop? Think again. You will find a group of 10 teenagers all sharing a single frappuccino while taking selfies. (Happens to me every bloody half-term. My parents would never have given me £3 something to buy a posh drink!)
  4. The boredom. “Let’s have a lazy day at home kids, that sounds like fun…” said no parent ever. It is never fun. The novelty wears off in 2 seconds and they are running up the walls and ruining your lazy mood. In this scenario, I hide from them by doing housework thus counteracting the original proposal of a lazy day.
  5. The food. My God, the food consumption is through the roof. How do they even get by on a school day with scheduled meals? Mine are demanding lunch by 10:30 (after two bowls of cereal, banana and a rice cake).

For me, the food consumption is what I find the hardest. Constantly nagging for food they don’t even want just because they can’t think of anything else to do. This then drives me to biscuit jar/chocolate cupboard/cider in fridge, further increasing the food consumption! Never-ending battle.

School holidays = Throwing biscuits at feral children while desperately thinking of play dates to avoid having to pay an arm and leg to keep the turds entertained for an hour.

Anybody else hate them? (school holidays that is, not children. Although to be fair…)