Monthly Archives: March 2016

To my body…I’m really sorry for all the bad press I’ve given you….

I’d not enjoyed how I’ve looked for years.

After 4 pregnancies , 4 births , 4 babies I just don’t look the same as I did as a size 8 , 19 year old. That’s how it works isn’t it? I’ve resented it though , for ages.

Being in the abusive relationship didn’t help matters. My abuser verbalised all my thoughts. He told me I was fat and ugly. That my breasts were too big , that the stretchmarks on my tummy made him feel sick.  When other people have verbalised my own thoughts about my body , in my head it made them true. I looked disgusting. Nobody would ever want to look at me. I was vile.

I’m not saying I hit 35 and had a breakthrough , but a switch has been flicked. I quite like how I look most of the time. I’ve relaxed. I may not be ready to walk around Asda naked but for a pair of heels but I’m happier. I’ve even rescued the big mirror I’d hidden away in the loft. This body of mine will never be 19 and a size 8 , but thank goodness for that. It grew and delivered safely 4 children , how dare I treat it with such contempt. I owe my body an apology.

So I’m so sorry you wonderful , human being producing masterpiece.

My face well , you deserve a bit of a telling off actually. Remember my teen skin? Low blow that was! But when you get all puffy at the dodgy times of the month and I curse your…erm…roundness. I shouldn’t. After the teen skin crisis , we grew up together and I think we grew in to one another.I promise to get you a monthly facial in way of an apology.

My boobs…you’ve not been able to do right for doing wrong have you?? I disliked you when you were too small. Later , after all the babies I have slated you something  rotten.It’s your fault I can’t wear strappy summer dresses without looking as though I am exposing myself. It’s your fault you make me look all frumpy and mumsy. However a good bra and a flattering top and we’re the best of pals!

To my legs , you’ve always been my favourite.You’ve stood the test of time. So the little mean comments I may have directed toward the thigh area. They were driven by the comments of another person , I lost faith in you.It’s back now , with a vengeance and I’ve loads of our fave pairs of opaque black tights to see us through the winter.

Lastly , my tummy.I owe you the biggest of apologies. I’ve been really ungrateful and horrid to you.You kept 4 precious babies safe and warm and cosy.Of course you had to grow a little to accommodate them (especially youngest boy , he was huge). So you are battled scarred with stretchmarks , and you’ll never be totally flat again , but you did the most amazing job. I’m so sorry I’ve spent so long squeezing you into uncomfy spanx and talking about how disgusting you are. That was my issue , not yours. I promise to be kinder in the future.

I don’t suppose this is the end of my hang ups. I’m single so don’t have to worry about anyone else seeing me out of clothes and therein could lay the test. I’m content though , I’m comfy with my body and it’s a nice surprising feeling.

I like it a lot

Refining my Mr Right Criteria (and realising it’s ridiculously simple)

Having been single since the dawn of time (almost 8 years). I’ve had a long time to think about what I’d want from a boyfriend, should I ever decide to actively search for it. It’s mostly daydreaming as in all this time I’ve never really felt the urge to act on it. I presume (possibly wrongly) that most single women have similar wishlists of what we would look for in a man. I’d love intelligent, witty and funny, combined with kind,  thoughtful and chatty. Good with the kids of course. As years go by,  things are added and taken away from the list. Though the core elements stay the same. When the time comes to jump in two footed to the world of dating in your 30’s (eeww even typing that almost provokes an anxiety attack!!) When it does though, It’s going to be really quite easy. I find the guy who ticks my boxes… And miraculously his tick list is a squidgy round the edges woman,who is fantastic at making humans ,has a list of  hang ups as long as long as his arm and an intermittent anxiety disorder (hmmmmm… Well my daydream, my rules!!)

My couple of days home with my sister this week though has given me food for thought. Enough to rip up my mental checklist of attributes that the potential boyfriend should have, because actually it’s really really simple.

I’ve spoken lots about my love for Hull and my adoration of my sister. So when the two combine I’m an exceptionally happy girl!When I step off the train I smile (they’ve worked hard on the station but it’s not because I’m impressed with the decoration). By the time I walk down my sisters garden path I’m giddy. Partly because I look forward to seeing everyone, but I realised this weekend it’s also because  there,  in that house,  around these people I can be me… totally uncensored me. I didn’t realise how much I reign bits of myself in on a day to day basis. Pull back bits of me I think other people will be irritated by. Round these guys at home though I can be a big clumsy idiot, I can talk too much,  I can be opinionated, I can think I am hilariously funny and giggle so much I thank the universe I did my pelvic flaw exercises.I can drink too much wine and decide we should have a sing song .No one bats an eyelid , cos that’s just me. The me I was before the horrid relationship and anxiety that followed. I can’t tell you how freeing that is.

So there we were on Sunday, my sister, her boyfriend and I. We’d shouted and screamed and jumped up and down through the football, we’d eaten a huge take away, we’d played some cards and drank shedloads of wine. We were at the drunken point of the night, sat round the kitchen table, where my bro in law and I were chatting 9 karat shit and I realised what the perfect boyfriend would be. Forget the list,  he’d be the guy that filled that empty chair at the table. Someone who wanted the uncensored, daft me. Who would come and have that fun night with me and have just as much fun as we did. That would be The One.
Though, if we are getting picky he’d also wake me the next morning with painkillers and a glass of water.

The making it up as you go along parenting manual


When eldest baby was born I literally parented by the book. I had no parents and was the first person in my friendship group to have babies so I was stuck for people to ask for advice in the main. How on earth do I look after this tiny human? I did as I always do when stuck for answers – turned to books!

It worked for a while, then when baby 2 came along eighteen months later and baby 3 a year after that the books went out of the window. Time, brain cells and energy were at an all time low, and besides who do I read about how to parent first?? The toddler, the baby or the newborn? Arrggh

There it began.

Making it up as you go along parenting. I’ll share with you some of my gems.

Let me just say I don’t think myself capable to write parenting manuals- I just wanted to share some nuts ideas I thought were a good idea at the time!

CHILDBIRTH :
Panic, lots. Scream and shout and tell everyone it hurts. Giving birth with just gas and air for company and then sobbing your heart out and tantrumming when someone wants to give you a teeny tiny jab in your leg is actively encouraged.

NEWBORNS:
Cuddle the firstborn to sleep whenever he wants, every single day. He just loves being swaddled and cuddled and it makes us both soooo happy.

When babies 2 and 3 come along feel free to shed many a tear about how daft you were to do the cuddle to sleep thing as now teaching him to self settle is impossible.
Decide to be tougher with babies 2 and 3. Aaww but they’re crying because they miss me. Spend evenings playing a cuddly version of Whack a mole. Only instead of moles popping up to be bopped on the head it’s babies in different rooms crying for cuddles? Which will it be next? Play on repeat until 4am when everyone is asleep and you’re power napping on the baby’s bedroom floor.

TODDLER TANTRUMS :
Just ignore them. They’ll get bored and stop eventually. Child nods off on floor worn out? – mum win! I rock parenting. 
First public tantrum.. SHIT!! They pull this trick in public too?? Oh no! People are staring and tutting. Decide to strap child back into buggy, run home and never leave the house again. Realise a toddler mid tantrum could rival the world’s strongest man.. Work up a sweat strapping in. Phew. Now run for it. Screaming toddler now is stretching his feet to the floor to ensure you cannot run anywhere without breaking his feet! Throw the judgy crowd a dirty look, tip buggy back onto 2 back wheels and walk away, blinking back tears and promising to hand in your mum badge.

NURSERY :
Big up being away from mum as the most fun thing ever. ALL the toys, ALL the boys and girls! Children 1 and 2 fall for it hook, line and sinker! Rocking parenting again, you think smugly.

Child no. 3 is barely able to string a sentence together yet can ask what day it is, work out if it’s a nursery day and proceed to cry she doesn’t want to go from 5am.
Extra brilliant parenting plan. When said nursery hating child asks what day it is, lie. Save yourself the four hour long sobfest. 
NEVER do this. Child will hate you but nowhere near as much as you will hate yourself. Your time whilst child in nursery will be spent crying also out of sympathy /guilt.

PRIMARY SCHOOL
Make plans to be one of those organised mums. You’ll have lists, calendars and a fully functioning diary. Child shall always be immaculately turned out and school days shall be perfect.

However – when things don’t turn out that way, the ‘making it up as she goes along’ mum learns to adapt!

She becomes the mum who has to frequently nip into school with forgotten lunches/pe kits/homework projects. She polishes shoes at the bus stop with a baby wipe. She makes being late for coffee mornings (she has to stop to buy the cakes she forgot to bake or went wrong) a tradition.
Adaptability : A key parenting skill.
SECONDARY SCHOOL :
Decide you’ll not be a pushy mum. You will never pressurise your children. Good grades are not as important as happy kids don’t they say? 
Balls to that! You’re telling me my child can get an A* in maths? I download work papers for him to do.
My child is on the gifted and talented register for his acting skills you say? Interesting. *Google’s RADA*
My daughter is a talented sportswoman? *makes note to research where the 2024 Olympics are being held ready for watching gold medal performance in sport yet undecided*

Making it up as you go along parenting isn’t for most (sane, rational, responsible) people. Seems to work for us though. I don’t seem to have ruined the small people’s childhoods, there’s no evidence of emotionally scarred children.

I think I know the reason for this though. As the children have grown, I now have Google and social media and other parents to ask for advice and to learn from.

Thanks you guys, you really are rocking parenting!!


My Facebook page is here

          Naptime Natter


The defenders of Adam Johnson

Not much rattles me.
Not much makes me angry.
Not much makes me wish for the death of the Internet.

Today does all three.

I love Twitter. I do.

Some days though it makes me want to cry and shout and rant and rave.

Today is such a day and as my blog is my small part of the universe I’m going to rant and rave. Right here.

It’s the day of the Adam Johnson sentencing.

I’m reading tweets by men, normal guys who walk amongst us all.

I’m reading tweets like (and I promise I’m not making it up) :

“she was nearly 16”

“this just teaches little sluts that they can slag about and get the man done for it”

“I hope that 15 year old dies in a car crash”

” I’d understand him getting 6 years if he’d have done it to an 8 year old ”

” She knew exactly what she was doing ”

” There’s 15 and there’s 15″

I’m not going to pass judgement on the perpetrator of the crime here. The British Legal System did that. I find all children abusers abhorrent, despite whether or not they can kick a ball about.

I won’t even dwell on the football club that put staying in the Premier League before the violation of a girl.

The facts are all there to read. The victim here was a child. Her abuser knew this when he Googled the age of consent. If you make the decision to partake in sexual activity with a child you are a sexual predator and are breaking the law.

So to those who are defending him because she was almost 16 and finding a 6 year prison sentence overly harsh, please just take a minute to think about what it is that you are arguing for.

You’re arguing for the freedom to have sex with a child.

There’s really no more to it than that.

As a mum and a woman and a human being I find that terrifying.

7 reasons anxiety sucks..

I know, I know. 10 points to the lady stating the bloody obvious! Next blog to be entitled ‘Reasons pulling out your own teeth hurts a little bit’. Stay with me though . 

Obviously anxiety is a shitty, annoying , debilitating condition. If it were fun everyone would want a piece of it. I’d sit thinking aaaww I’ve not had an anxiety attack in AGES, hurry along next one.

I know how rubbish it is and I’m not trying to make light of it I promise. 
It’s just you know I always say I feel better when I write things down?! 

Maybe someone can even relate to the 7 reasons anxiety sucks ( for me)

 

It’s exhausting

Nothing like thinking of one billion reasons you’re about to die RIGHT NOW to tire you out. Fretting over different ways you could get hurt or ill or injured is shattering. It’s like your brain is on  spin cycle and then when it eventually slows to a stop you’re way too tired to enjoy it and bed is the only option.

 

The physical symptoms are often hard to explain

Someone once told me that at least I knew that my anxiety was ‘all in my head’ (shut up ignorant knob indeed! ) Thing is when you’re at the shops or stood in the school playground or have met up with someone for tea and cake and someone asks if you’re OK it’s tricky to answer in the grip of an anxious period. The answer ” No , not really my brain is telling me I’m about to choke to death on this piece of cake , my face has gone totally numb , I can’t catch my breath and I’ve a terrible tummy pain” never feels appropriate. Generally ‘I’m fine’ just pops out.

 

It makes you into a contradictory idiot

When I’m feeling anxious generally what I want to do is go to bed , pull the duvet over my head and avoid all human interaction and physical contact. Trouble is simultaneously ALL I want is human interaction and physical contact. So that keeps things nice and simple eh?

 

 

It’s like having a conversation with a drunk person

You know when you’re stone cold sober and around someone who isn’t? They generally talk nonsense and go off on tangents on an irritating loop (obviously if you’re also drunk they’re incredibly funny and witty  , as are you ). 

When I’m anxious my thoughts are like ramblings of a drunk. ” I’m so tired. I wish I could breathe like a normal person. I hope no one breaks into my house and kidnaps me. My chest hurts. I’m a terrible mum. Terrorists though?.We’re all gong to die. Did I pull the plugs out?”…on repeat.
 

I can’t read books during an anxious phase

Simply can’t concentrate . I don’t need to detail how rubbish that is for a bookworm like me.

 

My phone becomes my worst enemy

When small girl is at  her daddy’s I’ll text to ask how she is ( disguising the anxiety perfectly obviously) I’ll then be looking at my phone a million times a second waiting for the reply. Why hasn’t he answered? What if something terrible has happened to them? I’ll glance at my phone again. 6:01 pm , still no reply. Bloody hell what time did I send the text? 6:00!!

Oh

 

My appetite suffers

As much as I could do to lose a few pounds , when I’m feeling rubbishy anxious what I really want is soothing comfort. A virtual hug ( on account I don’t like real ones. Read more about my hug related nuttiness here ) Where’s the best place for me to find soothing comfort though? Bottom of a bag of chips is where! Bloody anxiety.

 

So I’m really not recommending  anxiety as a thrilling rollercoaster ride ( similar though the terror , heart palpitations and breathlessness may be) It sucks. Hard.

I’m lucky that I no longer suffer very often and I’m an old enough hand at it to know it will pass.

There’s a silver lining though…

People can make you feel better. Most people are kind when you talk to them about it. You’ll always get the people who roll their eyes at the mention of the anxiety word, but those people are not the ones to surround yourself with. This weekend I had a bit of a ‘moment’. My lovely Facebook friends came to the rescue with  advice and words so soothing they were like a cyberspace hair stroke (yes I know I don’t like my hair being touched-contradictory remember) 

In a nutshell:

Anxiety is rubbish 

The people I know are gorgeously wonderful humans.

 

5 reasons I don’t mind being an old cat lady (and one reason I do!)

I’ve been single a long time.

Last time I started a new relationship it was the 90’s.

There’s only about a handful of men (behave!) I am fond of.

Now, I’m in my mid 30’s, I’ve 4 children so my opportunities for dating are rare (me having the inclination to date even rarer) so sometimes I do get to thinking, what if I’m single forever? What if I become the stereotypical crazy cat lady? Yeah the thought of that doesn’t worry me so much… Here’s why being single forever would be fine:

1) I can continue with my uncompromising, egocentric (when the kids aren’t here) life. I watch my crap telly, eat my fave dinners, got my special places. I never have to take someone else’s wishes into consideration (again only when the small ones are away obviously!)

2) I’ll never have to pretend to like someone else’s family and friends. No matter how supremely lovely your other half is, there’ll always be one family member or friend that is an absolute pain in the arse. You have to put up with them though, because when you first met them you wanted to be all positive to your partner and told them you really liked them. I can’t feel sad I don’t have to hang about with knobs!

3) My space is my space.
My bedroom, my house, my favourite places, they’re all mine. No other grown up will be invading soon. I don’t want some ball scratching, sweaty man invading my lovely girly bedroom that smells of Lush. Certainly not.

4) I don’t have to do kid – related panic.
Will the kids like him? Will he like them? (course he will they’re amazing) When do I introduce them? When can we all do activities together? I imagine even if the much anticipated Mr Perfect were to come on the scene, the kid related anxiety would cause me great stress. Crazy cat lady doesn’t have such issues.

5) If I don’t fancy making an effort I don’t feel obliged.
When the kids are away if I want to only get changed to put on fresh pj’s post bath I can. If I want to hang about with no make up on, hair scraped into a ponytail, bra-less.. I can. No one is going to see. I expect should a boyfriend make an appearance I’m going to be obliged to get dressed… or shave my legs at the very least. Though if Mr Perfect was in fact that he’d be happy to come hang out in pj’s..he’d probably even bring Nando’s.

So I know, ending up scary cat lady should be a worry to me, I do. It really isn’t though, seems like a nice way to live!

Oh the one reason I don’t want that to be my fate though?? I really don’t like cats…. Scary book lady maybe??

Disclaimer : Should Mr Wonderful find his way into my world and all the above is forgotten. Don’t judge me! That’s merely a plan B!!

I’m being edged out of bedtime stories.. Sob sob weep weep

I always allow myself a whinge and a moan about how all the children are growing up too fast. We all do don’t we? It’s the first time in 14 years that I’ve not had a child under 5 in the house.
Most of the time I think this is quite good, they’re all growing into lovely people and are able to dress themselves, feed themselves and sleep all night,  becoming the independent little people that I’ve wanted them to become eventually. Occasionally though the big red flashing light of ‘they’re not babies anymore’ makes me feel a little bit sad. Littlest girl deciding that she wants to read her own bedtime stories is a huge example of this.

Bedtime story time has been my favourite time of day ever since I became a parent. I promise it’s not just because it signals the countdown to a glass of wine and trashy tv. Not even because it signals mummy clocking off time and peace and quiet. I love it because it’s a snuggly bit of one on one time. It’s the children knowing that they have my absolute undivided attention while we cuddle up and have a magical adventure in a made up land before they nod off for their sweet dreams. It’s the most precious time. I want to say it’s calm but then I remembered last night littlest girl and I seeing how many different kind of hugs we could do after reading Hugless Douglas. So maybe not calm,  but relaxed.

The boys are 12 and 13 and they ditched my bedtime stories years ago. They do permit me to chat books with them, and occasionally throw me out the odd recommendation (Thank you for the Hunger Games boys) I’m a mean, some have said almost victorian, mum!I still insist the half hour before lights out is spent reading, as opposed to TV or playing on various consoles. I’m not sure how much longer they’ll do this happily and without protest but it’s still working at present.

Eldest girl reads to herself too, but she does allow me to sit and listen to her! This is now what littlest girl has started to insist on too. I’m still fine to snuggle up on her bed with her (if I can squeeze on amongst her entourage of soft toys that is) She began a couple of months ago insisting we read a page each. This has progressed now to her wanting to read the whole book.

It’s lovely it really is,  seeing how well she can read and how she really really loves reading and books like her elder siblings. That little baby who’s cot I used to lean over with tales of the Gruffalo and Room on the Broom (mummy you have ginger hair in a plait. Are you a witch?) she’s now sat in the bottom bunk reading me fairy tales and progressing from picture books. The effort she puts into the voices makes me just want to squeeze her she’s so adorable! Her expression is beautiful and at times her little voice reading stories with such enthusiasm does bring a tear.

The selfish part of me though, sees another thing I’m no longer necessary for,  it’s a list that is growing longer as the months pass. I should be proud about this, and I am in the main. I do just need to allow myself a self indulgent, nostalgic trip back to the past though. Where mummy was essential for the bedtime stories and singing lullabies in order for sleep to happen. When I could stroke little foreheads and noses with my thumb until their little eyelids began to droop.

I’m incredibly happy books and reading still form part of all four children’s bedtime routine. I’m hugely grateful that I’m still occasionally allowed to read to littlest girl at bedtime.
The day no one wants me to read to them at all I may just weep!!
Until that day though I’ll continue to sneak a couple of pages of Barry the Fish with Fingers, and be satisfied with the accolade of ‘best Mr Jelly voice’…..and Hugless Douglas himself can’t cuddle like me!

But wont SOMEONE let me tell them a bedtime story!!

The world I brought my children into

When my elder three children were little. (there are only 2½ years between all three) I’d be often out and about 2 babies in a double buggy and 1 strapped to my chest. People would strike up conversation. “Are they all yours?”  was a firm favourite. Along with “how do you cope?”
The one line though that was another common one, and one that made me angry and upset in equal measure every time it was uttered was  “oh I don’t know how people can bring children into this world, it’s a horrible place!” It really irked me, though of course I’d just smile and tell them well maybe these children can grow up to change it for the better. I totally believed it too. I was naive and I was a little arrogant. I thought if I could make the children’s world a nice place, that if I could keep them in a happy,loved bubble then they’d grow up to be happy and loving and make the world a nicer place.

They’re growing up now though and on a daily basis I find myself thinking of those words muttered to me by strangers. The optimism of new parenthood overtaken by an absolute fear. What kind of world have I brought these children into?

I worry for my sons. They’re 12 and 14 now and I’m aware my influence over them is on the wane. There are so many other, more attractive influences: their friends, society, the Internet. I hear teenage boys on the bus talking in the most crude and graphic manner about what they’d like to do to the girl sitting in front of them. All I can do is hope that is never my sons, that my talk of boundaries and respect has rooted itself in their mind. I’ve always included them in conversations I have with my eldest daughter about feminism, about how we don’t have sex equality, about page 3 and about the gender pay gap. I feel as though they ‘get it’. They ask the correct questions and seem to grasp male privilege. I have to begin with them don’t I? If I raise unaware, ignorant men how can they help??

I worry for my boys. I fear for my daughters. It only takes a glance at Twitter to see the vile abuse women get if they attempt to question the status quo. If they attempt to make changes.
The campaign Count Dead Women terrifies me. It’s unbearably distressing that 100 women’s lives have been lost this year at the hands of male violence. It’s truly gut wrenching that no one sees to care. Where is the uproar?? How can 100 lives feel so insignificant?

My eldest daughter at 11 already has experience of sexism and discrimination. She’s been told she shouldn’t play football as she’s a girl, by male members of her own team. That’s how basic their belief that as boys, football is ‘theirs’ is. She has her clothing choices questioned because she won’t wear dresses. She can’t abide pink or sparkles and this seems to unsettle people. My 6 year old is the opposite, she likes glitter and pink and people seem more at ease with that. It’s almost a sense of relief at a girl wearing pink.That she’s wearing the fluffy, silly uniform of girly, she poses no threat, she knows her place as a girl??.
No one ever comments on what my sons wear.

 

My daughters will face judgements as to what they do with their own reproductive system. They’ll be judged if they have children too early, too late, not at all. My sons will never likely have to justify themselves in such a manner. If my daughters reach 40 single there’ll be talk of how they can’t keep a man. My sons in the same position will be envied as eligible bachelors yet to settle down .

I have to try to change it though don’t I? I need to feel despair, and to try to make a little bit of the world a better place.
I want my sons to be strong men, to challenge the behaviour of others that they feel is unacceptable rather than just go along with the group norm. I want them to be men who empower the women in their lives.
I want my daughters to be strong women. I want them to know that a man yelling ‘nice tits’ out of a car window is not a compliment. I want them to realise that feminism is not a dirty word.

 

I’m no longer the naive young mum who expected her children to singlehandedly change the world with a bit of love and kindness. I know now it’s a much tougher fight than that.

 

I just hope that I can empower my daughters and communicate effectively with my sons.
That’s all I can do, though love and kindness is probably a good place to start.

I need to stop whining the children are growing up…it’s really quite nice!!!

I think all parents at sometime lament the loss of the baby days. We talk of the children growing up too quickly, missing their baby and toddler days. Maybe missing the fact that ,as parents, we become less and less vital for the everyday things. Our babies learn how to walk alone and feed themselves , they dress themselves and don’t need a hand with brushing their teeth anymore.

I definitely miss having babies about the place. Baby snuggles are just the best and the whiff of that perfect newborn smell. Well it makes my brain send messages to my womb that makes it forget I have four children and we are definitely done with baby making!!I miss having toddlers and their cute inquisitive ways and their mispronunciation of words that are actually soooo sweet that you don’t correct it (that could just be me!!) I miss the pre school days and teaching them to read and do numbers and being so amazed at how fantastic they are at learning new skills.

My rose tinted view of those times of course come off the back of the luxury of having had years of uninterrupted sleep. Having not had to begin to get ready to leave the house 2 hours before you’re due to because of the sheer amount of stuff you have to lug about with you with babies. When I take time to remember the reality of having 3 children under 2 1/2 though, then it comes back. I don’t think I had a full nights sleep in 3 years. I was usually covered in sick or some kind of bodily fluid and I didn’t get 5 minutes to myself in so long. The constant relentless being in demand all the time. Yes..struggling to get nostalgic about that bit!!

The elder three are now 11,12 and 14.By no means grown up or even getting to that, but our family dynamics have changed now. I still have one little one as youngest girl is only 6.I enjoy being a mum of 4 ,I’m pleased to be doing it alone for the most part. As the children have grown they’ve all developed into their own people ,all different, all unique. They’re also now really quite good company. They’re good at conversation. Whether it’s eldest boy regaling me with tales of new scientific discoveries that I don’t quite understand or my youngest son’s football chat I just love that they like to talk with me. Eldest girl comes for a chat every evening about how her day at school has been, she’s only been at high school since September so she’s still full of enthusiasm.

We can also watch movies that don’t always include talking animals!!We now have a channels on the tv not just cbeebies! !Who’d have thought it?! We have discussions and not always about top 5 Doctor Who episodes ( though that is a firm favourite!!)We talk about the the big stuff too .I’m not a mum who doesn’t allow them to watch the news ,maybe I should have been,I want them to see that there are horrible things happen .I want them to feel the need to change that.We talk politics, about the up coming election,about what changes they think a government should make to the country.

Of course sometimes our discussions backfire.I have been pulled up by the boys for referring to Steve from Strictly as ‘hot Steve’ reminding me of my words about how women should not be objectified yet here I am doing just that to Steve.Bloody annoying when the little smart arses are right!!!

I’m really enjoying motherhood at the minute.I need to stop worrying about them all growing up , though I reckon I’ve about a year before I have 3 teenage types.I can see at that point I’ll be back craving baby days.Until then I need to stop looking back at the sweet babies I used to have and enjoy the company of 3 children who are discovering their world and themselves.

Disillusioned with single parenthood…

Most of the time , in fact almost all the time , I love that our family is just the kids and I. I like that I make the decisions. I like that I’m their ‘come to’ person. I absolutely try my best to be the best role model that I can be. As a single parent family , we work.

I’ve been a single parent for getting on towards a decade though in all honesty the elder kids dad wasn’t exactly hands on at any point so I do feel it’s been much longer.
 I’ve done every nightmare , every tummy bug , every parents evening. People sometimes ask how I ‘cope’ with four children on my own and that always baffles me. I don’t ‘cope’  it’s no hardship to look after my own children. 
I can say that now they are a bit older. When I had three children under three ,yes coping was involved , but it was always coping with no sleep , coping with not eating my dinner warm in 3 years ,coping with living in an abusive relationship.Never the kids,they were the fun bit! The smiles on even the darkest of days.

The day I left the abusive relationship,becoming a single parent and being fearful of that was something that never entered into my head.That was the positive of the whole decision.

Littlest girl is a different kettle of fish .Her daddy is hands on.He does have a say,however the fact that we aren’t in a relationship and though we live close by to one another don’t live together or any such thing ,this doesn’t impede on my little family dynamic. He has littlest girl 2/3 nights a week and would do anything she needed him to without question.

This last couple of weeks,I’m tired. Not ‘need an early night and 7 hours sleep ‘tired’ , but worn out tired.I’ve been really feeling like , for the very first time ,  it’s dawning on me that parenting is just not a one person job!! Important jobs never are ,are they? This is the most important job I have ever ever had.In the workplace no one would EVER let me make huge decisions alone or be on call all day everyday.Yet that’s what I’m expected to do here. 
I feel like I’m in one of the nuclear Armageddon movies where half a dozen people need bits of the code to be able to press The Big Red Button to stop some megalomaniac madman having the power to blow up the world. However some fool has trusted me alone with it.I have all the responsibility. I’ve the opportunity to blow up the world single-handedly or mess up 4 little peoples worlds which is crazy.Who trusted me with this?

Of course usually there are back ups  aren’t there?grandparents for example.I do not doubt if my parents were here (yep she’s pulling out the dead parents card) they’d be on hand absolutely to help. They’re not here though and so that’s one fall back plan gone.I’ve mentioned littlest girl’s daddy and yes he does help out from time to time,but I can’t rely on it. That’s what I’m missing ,someone to rely on.My sister is the one person in the universe I can rely on absolutely.If I still lived in the same city as her I have no doubts we’d be helping each other out. She’s 2 hours away though.I can’t ask her to do the school run from there unfortunately!

My elder children do have one set of grandparents though and I can’t fault their dedication.Though I’d never ask a favour from them,they are steadfast in having the children for a few days during school holidays.The kids love it and them and it’s been this way for years now.I feel incredibly guilty for how much I am looking forward to it this holidays. I feel even more guilty for hoping just one of these days will coincide with little one being at daddy’s and I can sneak a couple of hours where no one wants anything from me.

On the positive side,I rarely feel this way.I thrive on this noisy, crazy,busy house and the noisy , crazy people who fill it. I enjoy being on call at all times as in almost every instance I am needed I’m still able to help , to reassure and that won’t be the case forever.

I’m just rubbish at being tired.I am positive that a couple hours under my duvet with a book and a Twirl multipack and I’ll be fine.

It’s just not easy this parenting lark eh?
*fyi. .. .a Twirl multipack and crap TV did indeed do the trick and happy, positive mum was indeed back the very day!