10 things that drive me (probably irrationally)nuts …

I’m not an angry person , I very very rarely lose my temper.

I get angry about the big stuff.

Misogyny , poverty , people unnecessarily suffering. Bigotry and stupidity and hatred. Yes I can get worked up into a frenzy about those things , you guys know you’ve read the rants.

There are things though , daft little things , seemingly nothing things that really get to me because …well I’m a bit odd.

People yelling across the house at one another

Aaarrgghh , on this one I have turned into my mother . I use the line “if you want to talk to someone go into the same room as them” way more than I should , but obviously noone can hear me saying that because they’re yelling at each other from separate rooms of the house . Therefore I have to yell to tell everyone to stop yelling and move …..total headache.

That they’ve changed the HP sauce recipe

My comfort food when my world is a bit tough is (please don’t judge me I’m sure you’ve all got your own little food quirks) boiled rice with HP sauce. Its a combo I discovered accidentally as a kid but it’s delicious. It makes me feel better. It gives me comfort. Except they’ve changed the bloody recipe , it’s only a little tweak but I can tell the difference. My comfort food is spoilt and to make it worse I always forget so make it anyway and end up disappointed!!

Facebook pass it on and you’ll be a millionaire and live forever posts

I’m not going to am I ?? I’m 38 , bloody hell I was always the person who put at end to chain letters as a kid I’m not going to go back now.

Train company logic

We get to the train to school and back. During rush hour Northern Rail think 2 carriages will suffice. It will not , if I wanted to spend 10 minutes with my nose stuck in some guys armpit I’d seek it out as a pastime. Come 2pm though when only 3 people are on the train there are more carriages than The Hogwarts Express. No sense .

People who say Asdas , Primart or Mataland.

Please just don’t go to these shops and double please don’t talk about them unless you can manage to get the name right.

Boob tax

Ok so there may not be an official boob tax , but can you get a decent , pretty bra if you have big boobs without having to sell a kidney?You can not . The boobs came with the kids for goodness sakes and they cost enough to run! Give the boobs a break or I’ll stop wearing bra’s altogether and THEN you’ll all be sorry!!!

Getting my order wrong in restaurants

Eating out is a big treat for me . Food is my friend . However I have a few little quirks , and so when I ask for this dish but without mushrooms ,that’s what I want . When you’ve taken my order , written it down AND read it back to me then still fetch it with all the slimy little fungus mushrooms I’d previously expressed I most certainly didn’t want ….it actually makes me want to cry!!

Family tickets

Specifically 2 adults 2 children family tickets . Or even the more progressive 1 adult 3 children family tickets. Its still only 4 people. We have 5 . Just give us single parents with the tribe of kids a thought otherwise I have to stress myself with mental maths working out which combo of tickets will be the cheapest. The only other solution would be to choose which child had annoyed me the most that day and leave them peering through the theme park gates ,giving them a little wave from the top of the log flume and pushing an overpriced hot dog to them through the gates like those mums who protested Jamie Olivers school dinners.

Chatty call centre folk

I hate hate hate phone calls as it is . When they’re necessary though and I mean seriously necessary like the internet not working on my phone and I can’t get on social media serious. I bite the bullet and do it. All I want is my problem fixed . I don’t really care Wayne from O2 that it’s your birthday today or wanna fill you in on how my weekend is going. Just please fix my problem and say bye . Please , I’m sure you’re a great guy and just being friendly but I don’t use my phone for talking.

Misuse of :




I know I know I know , people dont like a grammar pedant. It just bothers me . Partly because it really bloody irritates me but also because it makes me judgy girl and she’s rubbish. Communication with my daughter’s father are tough enough as it is but one little “I won’t bring her home TO late ” has me cursing my vagina ever had that kind of person near it!

Disclaimer – any similar crime committed by me is a typo. Almost certainly. Probably.

So there we are the little things that drive me super nuts . Can’t tell you how therapeutic it was to write that!

Sooooo over to you , what daft little things get under your skin??

My Facebook page is here a like would be amazing!!

Burnished Chaos
One Messy Mama

5 tips for dating someone with anxiety

When I’m anxious , it’s horrible for me . Noone wants to feel like their breathing is so uncontrollable they might just pass out . Noone enjoys that horrible feeling of a thousand thoughts , most of them negative whizzing around their brain at a dizzying pace. It’s a horrible debilitating condition .

Not just for me going through it either . When anxious the kids get irritable mum , the one who is so sensitive to noise sssshhh is out of her mouth way more often that it should be. Friends and people around me get distracted me , the one who is going to need telling again when she is feeling better exactly what you told me just now because I’m nodding and trying so hard to listen but I just can’t take it on board.

So then imagine dating me ?

Obviously when anxiety is nowhere to be found I am a delight!!All sparkling conversation and wit and charm……or something….

During an anxious period , not so much! I can’t be the only one , so if you’re dating someone who suffers with anxiety there might be some tips here for you. Obviously everyone is different and I can only speak for myself but here goes .

I will cancel on you

This is likely nothing to do with you.

When anxiety strikes people are tricky. Even people I really,really like are a struggle. Now if I’m dating you I really really really like you as not many get that far. So I’ll try really hard to just push through. Only added to the people phobia is that voice. The anxiety voice telling me he doesn’t want to go out with me anyway , why would he ? I’m dull I’m boring I’m just an anxious drain , in fact he’s probably only involved with me because he feels sorry for me.

Regular me knows all that to be anxiety fuelled nonsense. Anxiety ridden me knows FOR SURE that this is the truth.

So I’ll probably cancel. Get under my duvet and spend a few hours worrying about if you’ll ever want to see me again with me being such a pathetic flake.

Anxiety is exhausting.

Prepare yourself for contradiction

Again can only tell my story , but during an anxious bout I want to be left alone . I don’t want chat or touching or made to talk about how I feel. Except….ALL I want is company of someone I trust and touching and holding and reassuring words.

Goodness knows what chances another person has of getting it right when I have no clue myself.

Sometimes silence is key

When anxious I become so oversensitive to noise . People talking normally will really get to me as it feels too overwhelming. I’m already exhausted because as detailed above having 3 million thoughts a minute wears you out . So sometimes I’m going to just need to lay under a blanket with you , no words, no small talk just silence and knowing you’re there will calm me.

You may get dumped

In my case you’ll certainly get dumped. I’ll decide that there’s no point continuing with this . Tell you to go find someone ‘normal’. Even if I really like you , especially if I really like you . How on earth could I expect anyone to put up with this anxious mess on a regular basis?

Truth is , I’m just giving you an out . I know I can be hard work when anxiety strikes . Especially if I’ve not mentioned I’m feeling anxious and you just think I’m going off on one because I’ve gone off you. So I’d understand if you can’t deal. I’m really hoping you won’t take that out though , I’m hoping you’re going to ride this out with me . It takes a special kind of a person to do that though so if that’s not you best you do run for the hills.

Once you learn the cheat codes it’s so much easier

You know the old fashioned games consoles where if you knew the cheat codes you could get never ending lives or some bonus. Well it’s kind of the same with people.

My anxiety is pretty predictable , it creeps up gently , gives me a rough couple of days then fades again. My reaction to it is equally predictable. I get a bit needy , I look for constant reassurance . If you can recognise the signs that I’m having an anxious day and even better then know how to comfort me then we’ll be just fine. I was once having a particularly bad anxious day ,all self loathing and horrid so employing the ‘lets just finish this’ technique detailed above. The (correct) response from the (lucky?!) guy in question was to suggest a duvet and a nap , and if I still wanted to dump him later that’d be fine!! Mr Smarty Pants was obviously right to my surprise and when questioned how he knew I was just anxious answered “I just know your anxiety cheat codes by now”

Caring about someone with anxiety can be tough , as I for one struggle to verbalise my feelings and so therefore my behaviour can seem odd. Anxiety makes me irritable and full of doubt and self loathing . It makes me exhausted and lethargic and drains me of energy. It can make huge changes to my personality ,it makes me needy and I bloody hate feeling like that. I’m a strong independent woman not that one under a duvet asking for her hair played with.That must be a lot to deal with.

It takes someone special to be the reassuring voice without getting frustrated by the need for it .

Someone special to invest in knowing me well enough to know that stroking my hair and shhhhh ing me like a baby can help when an anxiety attack strikes.

To be patient and to care about me when I don’t much care about myself.

Anxiety is not a constant in my life though , I’m lucky these days it’s just a rare visitor. So if you can put up with the occasional rough day it’s so worth it for all the sparkling conversation and wit and charm I told you about at the beginning….and I make an awesome pie !!I’m a catch , honestly!!

Mission Mindfulness

The Pramshed

Affection withdrawal as an abuse tactic… conquered

I’ve waffled and whinged and whined in this blog a lot about my aversion to hugs and tactility. I’ve bored you all with my 2017 Eureka moment where finally the Ice Queen thawed and being touched no longer makes me wants to recoil in horror and turn into a statue.

What I’ve not really dealt with though is why I’m like I am .

It’s odd; life after abuse. You have so many lingering behaviours once you’ve left , even years on some habits stick (one of these days I’ll take my phone off silent mode) Some ideas still float about your head unquestioned ,until you realise that actually those ideas are not your own ideas ,they were a seed another person planted in your head so gently that you took them and everything that grew from them on as your own but they never ever were yours. Sometimes one day , everything clicks into place and you realise that your behaviour still mirrors that of that abused woman ,and then…well then you have the power to get rid of it .

I had a bit of a Eureka moment like that over this week. I know where my hatred of affection came from , I know why I’m like I am and now I do I can banish it for good.

When I met the man who abused me I was going through a tough time , I was vulnerable . I must have been a gift to him! Now I’ve never really been a hugger ,that I can’t say is down to anything other than I’m not naturally a tactile person. He came along though and showered me with affection. At that low point in my life I soaked it up. Cuddling , touching, all the affection and compliments and kind words and gestures wrapped me up completely. I liked it , I liked being the focus of all this love and I was flattered .

Over time emotional abuse became the norm . I was manipulated and coerced into behaving a certain way. He was charming and I am a people pleaser so it probably wasn’t that much hard work to get me to do as he wished. However on one occasion I resisted . I didn’t play along with his games . I stood my ground and didn’t give in . I can’t even remember what it was that was the issue now but that day he withdrew affection and kindness and compliments and they never returned. Those strokes of the arms as he passed me , the hand squeezes that I’d relied on ,am arm around me or a peck on the cheek all disappeared immediately along with compliments and encouraging words (even only now as I write this do I realise why I hate compliments too)

As I mentioned above I am a people pleaser by nature and I’d grown to like the affection he had lavished me with. He had already done enough ground work on my head to ensure that the affection withdrawal would have the desired affect. It did. Then you see I was always striving to get that back. I was doing anything he wanted to try and pull back the affection , only now I was so very grateful for the tiniest scrap of approval he only need offer the occasional hand on the shoulder or feeble words of praise to make me feel better. I was altering my behaviour and character to get this guy to go back to his love bombing of the beginning . I was absolute putty in his hand , easily moulded to be exactly what he wanted at any given time.

I think we’re joining dots now to find out why I then became the girl that hated hugs and affection and touching. I always knew it had to be a defensive thing and it absolutely was. In my mind I could never again give anyone that kind of power ,that hold over me . I couldn’t settle in to enjoy affection because I knew how horrific it was to have it removed.

Years away from toxic relationships , therapy and this blog though have been my trio of weaponry against the damage done mentally. They’re pretty solid too these days. I talked here last week about my need for patience and yes I do absolutely need that understanding and trust if I’m going to be close to people , physically and emotionally.

You know what though ? I’m going to have to disagree with the Doctor on this one now . You can trust a hug , I like hugs . I like hand holding and little kisses to the face and my hair stroked. Physical contact is a primal human need and I’d deprived myself of that for way too long .

Mission Mindfulness

BlogOnX Introduce Yourself 

I’m looking forward to attending BlogOn this year for the second time. I like the introduce yourself linky and I like random questions so without further ado!!!

Share a recent photo of yourself

I should comment I was on my way out an 80s/90’s night and going for the 90s grunge look!!!

What’s your favourite pizza topping?

Hot shot!!You know ?pepperoni , peppers , jalapeños …yum!!!

You can have dinner with any three guests dead or alive- who do you choose and why?

Kylie ….this year marks my 30th year of being in love with her !!

Beyonce…just….no words necessary other than goddess

David Tennant because I am in love with him also and I’m sure he’d have fun dancing the night away with me and the girls!!

Up to now what would you consider being your biggest life achievement?

This is a tricky one , the children being older now I could say them but I am scared I’ll jinx it….so if it’s ok to get a but deep and meaningful , I’d say leaving a horrible relationship and running away to a whole new place and starting again.

If you woke up tomorrow as a character from any Disney film or book who would you be and why?

Elsa from Frozen. My ice queen tendencies are thawing , but c’mon Let it Go is one the best songs of all time !!

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Check my phone social media etc *blushes ashamedly*

If you won the lottery what would be the very first thing you would buy and why?

I’d arrange one massive holiday for all my favourite people!!!

What is your favourite quote from a movie?

“I like you very much , just as you are ”

From Bridget Jones . Sssshhh dont tell anyone though cos as mentioned above I’m meant to be an ice queen not a soft old romantic type!!

If you were a superhero what would your super power be?

Mind reading , without a doubt.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Nothing is ever made worse by talking about it.

I’m not great at talking about big important things and I struggle to verbally express myself and this is helpful.

Which emoji do you use the most?


If you could go back in time and tell yourself anything what would it be?

Your life is going to be nowhere near as you’d planned ,but it’s ok. You’re way stronger than you ever could have thought. ….also you’re not fat.

What do you currently have set as the wallpaper on your phone?

My girlies!!!Twinning by choice!

If you could do anything in the world as a legitimate job what would you do?

Leading lady in a West End musical , obviously!

Where is your favourite place in the world?

York . The most beautiful, most romantic gorgeous gorgeous place

Can’t wait to see you all at BlogOn!!!

Small girl – we need you!

This Easter weekend has been a little different this year. Often the teens are away at grandparents that weekend and it’s often just small girl and I home.

This year was the opposite , 3 teens and I were home and NO small girl , who was chocolate egg -ing it up with daddy.

I’ve got to admit , I realised then we need her around to keep us on track. Without her to entertain and have fun with we all go a bit feral and very lazy. 

Good Friday usually marks the beginning of the Easter holidays. With small girl around we generally put Hop on (that film is so underrated ,we bloody love it !) grab the popcorn and begin the holidays!!!

This year , without small girl to oversee proceedings we went off plan. 

You know I’m from Hull??(what?no I don’t go on about it ALL the time!!!) Well Good Friday in Hull means one thing – rugby ! Specifically the Hull rugby derby. Hull v Hull!!!! Now to do this properly you really have to be there , but as we live near Manchester now heading to the pub to watch was the next best option , so off glorious first born and I went 

We had great fun watching the rugby (we won we won we won!!!)  Came home ate a ton of snacks none of which nutritious then watch a whole heap of trash TV. It was fab!!

Easter Saturday with small girl would usually involve a bake athon. She loves her baking and cooking and usually weeks before special Easter cupcake toppers are bought , bunny cookie cutters are sourced and baking happens !!

Now this year without her , no sweet treats were made . Eldest went out so it was just the 15 and 16 year old and I . Now I don’t want you to think that all I ever do is take my children to the pub….BUT there happened to be another sporting event and THE only activity teen boy the younger had expressed an interest in doing. He currently has a broken wrist so somewhat limited . Hull City were on Sky !! Excitedly we went off to watch our match. Until we got there. There was another match on at the same time and this one had a Manchester team playing! We didn’t stand a chance of getting to see our match. Ever the adaptable ones we decided to stay and have dinner . I am winning no Instagram awards for perfect Easter parenting here.

So we get to Easter Sunday. Small girl is our little Masterchef. Her roast dinners are just lovely and I am very envious this 10 year old Manc girl can make better Yorkshire puddings than her actual Yorkshire mother!!!

She’s not here though – anyone fancy roast dinner? i could make a pie? Casserole maybe ? Lamb?

A request for sausages goes up and is emphatically agreed all round . Sigh….

Small girl is back today . We need her . We just get way too slothlike while she’s away. I am looking forward to making our own chocolate eggs (although she did tell me my Hobbycraft moulds are unlikely to work as it means tempering?!?! chocolate which is tricky!) I am looking forward to crafts and watching Hop and sharing chocolate and she has even mentioned she quite fancies making roast beef!!!

Ah hurry home small girl, your family need you !!!

I am healed ,but I still need patience

I am many years free of abuse and toxic relationships. I am stronger mentally than I’ve been for a very long time. So many of the parts of me that had been dismantled and fractured have been put back together.

It took way , way longer than I ever would have expected. Years longer.

I’m here though , I am healed and I am strong.

I am healed but I’m battle scarred .

I’m healthy and I’m strong but there are very faded residual marks that I suspect will stick around a little while longer.

Like when stretchmarks that were purple and raw and red and angry fade to silvery faded lines. A memory of what a huge deal you have been through.

I still have a few remaining ,faded mental scars. Like those silver stretch marks they’re part of me , a record of a journey. Not that happy one of motherhood , but a journey none the less and one I finished a free woman. I’m sure those mental scars will one day fade even further , possibly disappear completely like so many of the other hang ups and baggage toxic relationships left me with. I got rid of them eventually. I’m not angry or resentful of the remaining scars ,they are me now.

The main one is a need for patience from people around me.

Super patience.

Patience in ultimate 4D.

Patience with a cherry on the top ,tied with a bow.

You see all those parts of me that are healed yet fragile , they can all be fixed with patience.

I don’t have loads of friends or a massive really close family. I have a tiny inner circle of people who I trust and care about and whom I am certain care about me.

That’s really all I need , the inner circle rocks you know? Full of amazing humans! I think they get it those people. They understand my need for patience,but I think it probably takes a while to get to grips with the nutty girl who behaves oddly sometimes!

I need patience that sometimes I cancel plans because the horrid voice in my head is telling me I’m rubbish.

I need patience with my indecisiveness . It comes from a place where when questions were asked there is a right or wrong answer and it is essential to get it right (despite the fact you never will) questions still sometimes transport me back to that mindset and it’s as irritating for me as it is those around me.

I need patience at my ( what must be bloody infuriating) absent minded ,head in the clouds behaviour. It comes from a place where once I had to be hyper vigilant every second of every day. I had to think 3 , 7 , 12 steps of another person all the time in order to second guess how I should be behaving to avoid a blow up. From having to be so aware of a tapping foot ,or a certain type of sigh or a look so as I could attempt to diffuse a situation before it happened. Now I’ve always been naturally dozy I confess but I also worked out with the help of my therapist that actually ,now away from that situation I’ve learned to relax , no need for hypervigalence . I’m comfy and have gradually relaxed …. I’ve relaxed …a lot , possibly too much!

I need patience when I over think and am mentally already dealing with a situation that hasn’t even happened.

I need patience when my brain melts at emotional intimacy. That the L word is not in my vocab. That I’m getting better at hugs , but ON MY TERMS!

I need the patience and constantly. I’ve been around people who’ve understood for a short while but then become frustrated and irritated and then that’s me done really. Shut down. Closed for business. Emotional attachment done with. I know it’s irrational but this is why the inner circle is so small I guess.

It once took me knowing someone 2 years to go on a first date. 2 years!!! I didn’t fully realise back then but I absolutely needed that time of consistent words and actions. I needed to know this wasn’t someone who would change goalposts or be a different person from one day to the next. I know it must seem nuts to most but it was necessary for me. Bloody hell dating me you have to work at Kelly pace , kind of like snails pace but a thousand times slower.

I’m healed , I’m strong but I still need that element of patience in people I am close to.

I do so appreciate how my amazing family and lovely friends ARE patient with my flakey , indecisive tendencies I really do! I’ve so much adoration for people who stayed the distance. Honestly , if I used the L word I’d declare it now but small steps eh??

My Facebook page is here if you fancy clicking like!

Not Just the 3 of Us
Mission Mindfulness

The Pramshed

3 Little Buttons

Mummy in a Tutu

Mummy in a Tutu

Mummy in a Tutu

Calling 2017 me ??? Please come back! 

If you read my blog from time to time you’ll have read me going on ….and on …and on… about how 2017 was a great year for me ,on a personal level . I ended the year on a high. I felt I was getting to know myself a bit better and more importantly I was finally at ease with who I was as a person. The voices that have echoed in my brain for so long after toxic relationships that told me I was stupid , and unloveable and ugly and boring? I was able to quieten them easily as I’d finally  gotten to a stage where I genuinely didn’t believe them to be true. 

I’d dismantled the KEEP OUT tower I’d built around myself in order to keep people away (I wrote about that here ) and realised that actually I do like people , I do like socialising . I still value my own space and company and my solo dates but I like being around other people too.

So all these big progressions were made last year , the Eureka moment of spending some time alone at Edinburgh Fringe Festival was a huge highlight in overcoming my negative demons and all in all I finally felt like I was getting to grips with ‘me’ . Not mummy , not mum but Kelly . My children are getting older now and sometimes I feel not quite as necessary as once I was and had begun to wonder who I am when I’m not mum. I started to find her last year.

2018 what have you done with Miss motivated??? Is she on holiday? Ran away to the circus? Took this finding herself stuff too far and at a silent retreat somewhere? Mmmmm……silence…..

I don’t know why but that woman who was gonna smash the life out of life seems to have retreated. 2018 has been on the whole a little flat , unmotivated and the discovering and working on myself thing that was so important to a positive year last year has gone.

Well this is the call to arms. I want her back. I want her to continue this journey. You know what we need for that? A list!

So last year to begin all the ‘finding myself’ ( am rolling my eyes as I type this feeling like a self indulgent loser – but I promise I’m not ignoring the kids ) Bloody hell I’m a mum , discovering yourself is a thing you can only fit in when they’ve ditched you for grandma’s house! I came up with a list of things I wanted to do before the year was up. I don’t have one this year , and I’m motivated by lists ,they’re my thing. So here’s this year’s to provide a kick up the arse.

Keep writing the book.

Again mum guilt makes me feel bad here . How dare I spend time doing something I want to do? You know what though , it’s that or Celebs go Dating so this is probably less harmful. The Book is something that’s been on the go a while but with 4 kids will be a slow process. I just need to keep at it and not let it slide.

Go to Edinburgh festival again

Revisit the spot of my victory!!! In a total out of comfort zone thing though not alone , not semi alone , not alone at all! (Sssshhh with a  man!!!eeeeekkkk) Scary and intriguing and exciting. Most of all very very exciting.

Stand up for what I believe in

I’ve spoken here on this blog about my respect and awe for our young people right now . That they are trying to make changes and get stuff done. Well that’s well and good but what am I doing to make a difference? Sitting on a sofa and applauding them? Nowhere near good enough. On the centenary of some women getting the vote I think the phrase “deeds not words” is very appropriate . 

Give my blog some love

My blog is no big hitter in the world of blogs , but it has grown lately and is growing. I had vowed to myself that I’d go self hosted before LAST years BlogOn but I’m such a coward I’ve not yet managed it . This year though….for definite.

Go to a dance class

I’d been toying with the idea as a bit of exercise and after doing some research there are loads of options for a total beginner with 2 left feet like me – watch out Strictly. 

So there we are ,the 2018 list. 

I actually feel more motivated just for writing it down you know , told you lists rock!!
I’ll (like it or not ) let you know how I get on!!

My Facebook page is here



         Mummy in a Tutu

The Pramshed

Not Just the 3 of Us

It’s not just ‘the school run ‘….

I moan about the school run , quite a lot.

I moan we live so far from school when there’s a lovely one virtually in our back yard . When we first came here I started the big ones there and everyone settled so well I couldn’t stand to move them when we began to live further away. So for 10 years almost we’ve been getting the train , then doing the 20 minute walk to school. In the winter I really moan. When the train is crowded or late or cancelled I grumble .

The last few weeks though ,there’s been a realisation that time is ticking on our school run together. One day it’ll no longer be part of our routine .

You see I realise that the school run isn’t ‘just ‘ the school run.

It’s the only time of day that it’s just me and small girl and she has my total undivided attention.A rarity with 3 siblings.

It’s the time of day she leaps and twirls ands bounds with total abandonment , a freedom she has that she is oblivion what anyone else around her may think of the girl dancing her way to school.

It’s the time she practices being other animals ‘just in case ‘ We read AniMalcolm recently , I blame that.

It’s the time we make plans for the next day , or week or school holidays.

It’s the time she invents recipes to make when she gets home.

It’s the time she fills me in on what she’s been up to at daddy’s when she’s away from me .

It’s the time she tells me if she’s fallen out with friends and is feeling lonely or upset.

It’s the time I tell her stories about when I was at primary school.

It’s the time we sometimes hold hands ,something which has become less and less something we do.
It’s the time she loves her current book so much she’s reading on the train , stood up on the train platform she’s so engrossed and I giggle at my cute little bookworm

It’s the time we discuss our disagreements when mummy has been snappy mummy during the morning chaos when she’s asked a dozen times to “please put on your tights”

It’s the time we then hug out those disagreements and I buy guilt pain au chocolates …..what a sucker !

It’s the time that not only does she have my full attention but I have hers and that’s such a precious gift.

I’m going to stop whining about the school (or try certainly) and be grateful for those moments that start and end her school day. That we enjoy one another company and have conversations that I am certain I would not have with any other person in the world.

The clock is ticking .

1 year and 1 term and counting…

Then there’ll be no school run , no sneaky hugs and random school run chats .

I’m going to miss them.


One Messy Mama

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Mission Mindfulness


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My Facebook page is here

Dear unsolicited advice givers ….you were wrong!

Once upon a time in the distant past that feels a million years ago but also almost like yesterday I was the mum of 3 children under 3 (3 under 2 and a half if I want to sound extra crazy)

The problem with having babies out in public is people feel obliged to hand out advice . To give their opinion on child rearing , specifically on how you should bring up your child . These are strangers I must stress who have no more emotional ties than happening to plonk their arse down next to you on the bus that day or sit on the next table to you in a cafe. 

Not only was I there with ALL the babies , I was young when I had the big three and that made folk think their advice was even more necessary. 

Advice when asked for is a wonderful thing because you can choose who you ask. You can decide who in your life may be wise , experienced and non judgemental enough to help you out. 

Unsolicited advice though , especially to me rocking about like the Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe never went down well. So I just thought I’d update some of those pearls of wisdom that were given to me and maybe even reassure a few of you that it’ll all be ok (without giving unsolicited,preachy advice of course)

“he /she will NEVER give that dummy up” 

Glorious first born never had a dummy. Back then I had more idealism that experience and thought them the work of the devil. 

Then came child two , the hungriest baby that ever did live . A Velcro baby who just loved comfy cosy sooooo much. He bloody loved his dummy , more than he loved his family , life itself but probably not more than he loved porridge!!!

However advice givers , of which there were many , he is now 16 and oddly doesn’t have a dummy now . Nor do his younger siblings . They gave them up way before school without really too much heartache!!!

” You’ll have to potty train early with 3 little ones or you’ll be nappy changing forever” 

I can see the thought behind the particular gem. 3 babies means lots of nappies and who wants to be dealing with other people’s bodily fluids for the rest of their lives ??? However potty training is a total pain in the arse. It took a few false attempts with glorious first born and I decided balls to early potty training , it’d be best waiting till they could talk and tell me they need to go !!! When I say talk I don’t mean “oh dearest mummy , be a lamb and get me to the lavatory would you , and fetch a wipe and none of those cheap ones , they make one’s bottom awfully sore” 

I mean more grunting and pointing. So late potty training was our thing ….BUT at 17,16,15 and 10 everyone can toilet independently , and could before school. (The unsolicited advice givers are obsessed with how all kids ‘these days ‘ turn up to school with nappies and dummies )

“Don’t cuddle them to sleep. They’ll NEVER learn to self settle” 

I loved the fact the babies fell asleep snuggled up with me . It was lovely and sweet . Well except eldest girl who didn’t really care for human interaction and much preferred independent life from being virtually new born. 

These children were going to grow up damaged adults what with letting them fall asleep on me WHAT ABOUT WHEN THEY ARE MARRIED!!!! The people worrying about a six month old nodding off on his mummy would cry. Now I’m sure you are a childcare expert oh wise stranger , however I reckon if he still needs his mum to settle him to sleep when he’s 30 there’s gonna be no one wanting to marry him!!

No-one needs to fall asleep on my lap these days ,it’s all fine. Small girl does when I’m turning out her bedroom light occasionally ask “fancy a cuddle” which I’ll never resist but am always chucked out of her bed for being too big after roughly 2.5 seconds so I dont think she’s traumatised.

“Don’t over praise them”

This one is not so much random strangers giving unsolicited advice , but newspaper articles and magazines. We’re bringing up a generation of children who expect a well done for carrying out the simplest of tasks …so spoilt with parental praise they’ll never be fit for the work place…or adult life !

This in my opinion is utter balls!! 

I’ll never not praise the kids. They know I think they are the best humans on the planet , but they’re not expecting the rest of the world to get on their knees and sing songs filled with praise to them and be memorised by their awesomeness. I however , always will (except the singing bit -the teens don’t like that)

“People shouldn’t bring children into this terrible world”

THIS comment was THE one , the one that I as a relatively placid person could easily lose my shit about. That a hormonal ,sleep deprived woman with a double buggy and a baby strapped to her chest could have a full blown breakdown about. 

It still makes me angry now to think of it.

Yes the world is undoubtedly not in great shape right now . I’m not sure what kinda state it was in in the early 2000s when these guys were born because I wasn’t sleeping!!! 

The world now is a negative scary place at the minute but I would never think to tell anyone not to bring babies into it ! The future has to be hope , or what ? We just shut up the planet and label it a bad job . I wrote just last week about how the teenagers and young people of the world fill me full of hope ,just here . 

So I’ll stick with what was always my response to the old ladies telling me I shouldn’t have brought children into this awful world.

Maybe we need them to make it better.

So parents of the world who worry about dummies and picky eaters and toilet training and hitting milestones late and co sleeping and velcro babies . Who are bombarded with advice without asking for it ? Well….. I’m not going to give unsolicited advice here, not me , no way…..all I’ll say is this …

There are 4 older kids in this house and not a dummy , nappy or bottle to be seen!!

          Reflections from Me

One Messy Mama

DIY Daddy


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If Mother’s Day makes you miserable…

Mother’s Day for me is as much as a downer as Valentines Day , and that is saying something.



I don’t have a mum. She died almost 19 years ago. Before I was really a grown up , before I was a mum myself . I haven’t had a mum for a long time and I’m no longer grief stricken in that all encompassing , consuming way that fresh bereavement brings with it. I don’t have parents , that’s been part of my life for a very long time. I don’t weep everytime I think of it or flinch from talking about them.



Mother’s Day though that always feel like a bit of a stomach punch for me . It hits hard and it hurts and it lingers . I think it’s because it is everywhere. I have had emails everyday for about 3 weeks telling me to treat mum , buy her something special. TV ads are there too telling me to spoil my mum , get her a cute personalised card , take her out for dinner. Well you know what advertisers ? I’d love to. I’d be delighted to be able to take my mam out for dinner somewhere fancy , I never ever got to do that you see. I’d only just finished my A levels when my mum died . I wish with all my might that tomorrow we could do a lovely Sunday lunch , my mam and my children , my sister and hers . I wish we could have one of those days the advertisers are shoving down our throats. I wish I could spoil her – only present I can remember getting her was a pack of dusters when I was about 7 because she’d been saying she needed new ones ( I’d like to think that my gift giving skills have improved since then)



Mother’s Day without a mum sucks , I’ve seen a few other people mention they feel the same over the past week or so on social media . I suppose it’s just because we are bombarded with what we are missing . Highlights the hole in your life.




It’s not just the lack of a mum that gives me the Mothers Day angst.



I’m a single mum too , again I have been for a long while . There is no other adult here to give me a well done or make me feel special and that’s a bit of a niggle too. The kids will ( I hope ) have made cards and small girl’s daddy will have gotten a gift for them to give me and we’ll have a lovely tea and possibly a Mothers Day disco if we’re feeling that way inclined . It just all leaves me really flat and exhausted. A total fake of a day. That in itself makes me feel guilty , surely Mother’s Day should be spent dwelling on how bloody lucky I am to have these 4 amazing nutcases in my life. Instead I’ll be feigning happiness and joy that simply is stripped away from me on Mothers Day. I know that feeling this way stems from the toxic relationship I was in when I was first a mum and for the years after. Some of you may unfortunately know that big days and events that aren’t focussed on the perpetrator in those kind of relationships can be horrific. Kids birthdays , Christmasses well they were volatile enough but Mother’s Day ???Whole other level. You may be showered with expensive gifts in front of people to have them smashed to bits when you’re alone or you could be told that you’re too much of a shit mum to get a card on Mother’s Day . You don’t deserve it .

I think this is one of my few remaining hang ups left over from those times . Maybe I’d have conquered it with setting our own traditions and taking back Mothers Day like I have so much other stuff but the thing with it is I already feel like the wind has been taken out of my sails with not having a mum and I don’t really have the energy to fight THIS added problem that kills Mother’s Day stone dead for me .



I didn’t intend to make all this about me honestly. As I say often my blog is therapeutic and getting thoughts out of my head into words on a page really helps me understand myself and my thinking better. I don’t resent other people having the worlds best day I feel obliged to say . I love seeing the happy pics on social media of mums with their feet up , having breakfast in bed . I love to see amazing mums thanked and celebrated , they bloody deserve it ! Tell me stories of your mums and how they are absolute rocks ! I don’t scroll through social media cursing those celebrating the day I promise ( possibly DO do that on Valentine’s Day)





There are many of us though, for whom Mother’s Day is painful .

There are a multitude of reasons why .

It could be that you’re not a mum when that’s all you want in the world , that must be almost unbearably hard.

Maybe you’ve lost a child , that would be a traumatic thing to deal with on a day celebrating mothers. I can offer no words of comfort there because I’m almost sure there are none.

Maybe you have an ill child , are ill yourself , have an ill mum and are dealing with just try to get through a day.

Maybe Mother’s Day triggers poor mental health , I’ve certainly been feeling as though an anxiety flare up could be on the horizon.

Maybe you are in an abusive relationship. Forcedly estranged from your mum and other family , feeling so alone and trapped . Told what a terrible mother and person you are , that you’re pathetic and useless , that your kids would be better off in care than with you. To you women let me just say this , you are outstanding , you are doing an amazing job in intolerable circumstances and you deserve to be free. You are worthy of love and of kindness , you are worthy of being supported and empowered not kept down and silenced . When the day comes that you are able to leave , all these things will find their way to you because it’s no less than you deserve.


Maybe you don’t have your children with you this mother’s day for one reason or another and there is a painful void .



I don’t have the answers on how to make this day more tolerable , bloody hell I’m here writing a blog post that is basically one long whinge.



All I can offer is that Mother’s Day is just one day . That’s my mantra . Just one day . The next day will be better , less pressured . Surround yourself with people who lessen your pain if you at all possibly can. Fill your own little world with people who make you feel better , even if that just means spending time alone. Me ? I will be having a day with these awesome individuals that make me realise that even the shittiest days can be tolerated. I’ll also be tossing about on social media as per usual so if anyone wants to chat I’ll be around . Whether that’s because you are struggling or you just want a distraction and fancy chatting about trash tv I am your girl ( The seven year switch eh??….looks to be a cracker!! How about Richard from married at first sight??….sorry I digress…)


See you on the other side!!





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