Monthly Archives: April 2016

I glanced at you this morning…

It was just a quick glance as you were counting down days to your 8th birthday and I was concentrating on making sure you had all you needed for school. Our usual everyday school run routine.

In that minute though, that split second I glanced at you and there were no hints of baby any longer, no remnants of toddlerhood. You were all little girl. A beautiful, chatty, funny little girl who is almost 8.

It shocked me. I know how daft that sounds. I know you’re nearly 8. After all I’ve been around for the bits between birth and now, joining the adventure that is your life. When I looked at you this morning though it felt as if birth to 8 had whizzed by all in that exact second.

Your stunningly beautiful little face has none of the chubby cheeked squishiness that the toddler you had. There’s not a flash of the gummy toothless smile that used to greet me every morning as I went to lift you out of your cot.

Whilst you’re chatting away to me about birthdays and school and Romans and penguins in the chirpy enthusiastic way you have I struggle to equate it with the preschooler I worried so badly would never talk. I know! How nuts is that? My Little Miss Chatterbox wouldn’t talk. I panicked and stressed and worried for so long, half believing you’d be forever silent. As it turned out you were just holding on until you had something articulate to say. I know MANY grown ups who could learn from that!

Those strong legs of yours that are never still that never walk when a hop, skip or leap will do. We laugh, don’t we? About how we know when you’re feeling poorly as it’s the only time you actually walk from A to B rather than skip or dance. So very different from those gorgeously wobbly baby thighs I just wanted to gobble up. The legs that would kick and wiggle as I attempted to dress you or change your nappy. Those sturdy little legs I kept standing you up on every time you wobbled as you were learning to walk. They’re gone. Replaced by your athletic gymnasts legs.

When I stop and think like this, I can recall the moments between the tiny baby who was placed on my chest as she was born and this amazing little girl I hold hands with and school run everyday. When I stop and take a breath there are a whole catalogue of such very special moments we’ve shared. I feel as though I could bring to mind every day, every occasion, every milestone.

Just for a second though this morning, when I glimpsed at the pretty chatty girl in front of me it felt as though 8 whole years had whizzed by in a heartbeat.

In another 8 years you’ll be turning 16. That’s a scary thought. Though I’m grateful for the reminder of how time really does fly. I’ll do all I can to ensure when I feel like time is rushing too fast to stop and remember the moments because it’s the moments that make up a lifetime isn’t it? I don’t want to forget a single one.


What happens when you step out of your comfort zone

When I decided to make this blog ‘public’ and share it with people who actually know me rather than just let very kind total strangers (hi Twitter people ! you’re obviously not total strangers now!!) read it it took me months to build up the courage.

My blog’s Facebook page was sat there idle with no posts on for weeks. Gradually I started to transfer posts over , waiting for the day I’d be brave enough to press publish.

It doesn’t sound very brave I know , sharing a few hundred words of my thoughts to a few people online. The thing is sharing my feelings doesn’t come very easily to me. In fact that last sentence was THE biggest understatement ever. My personal comfort zone is a one woman closed book emotionally. I find it nigh on impossible to talk about my feelings*shudder*. …even typing that is bringing me out in a rash. My cosy happy place is just drifting through life with no one ever asking me a personal question or asking me how I’m feeling. I’m emotionally uptight and really struggle to express myself about anything meaningful verbally. Writing is a bit different though, always has been. I still write letters for goodness sakes, with handwriting and stamps and everything for exactly that reason.

Whilst I was sharing my stories and thoughts and opinions with strangers it was relatively easy. They didn’t know me and I wasn’t going to bump into them at the shops just after I’d bared my soul so it felt safe. Comfort zone remained mainly in tact. These strangers though were so kind with their words , they told me their stories and I felt like I was maybe even helping a tiny bit in a tiny way.

I was really worried that when I shared my ramblings people would tell me to go away with my egocentric waffling and off the wall punctuation. No one has yet though. Everyone has been so supportive and I’m so grateful.

Since I took the step though. Since I tiptoed out of my comfort zone so many positives have come from it.

My little blog has had way more views than ever before.

This post was on the Mumsnet front page! My writing , that I actually did was up there amongst the proper bloggers.

So I suppose what I’m trying to say is that on this occasion doing something that made me feel a bit uncomfortable and a bit scared turned into a positive thing. Leaving my comfort zone was actually quite empowering!

I’m going to step out of my cosy place more often.

I’m going to force myself to do scary things.

I’m going to dream a bit bigger.

Have a bit more belief in myself.

Of course safe to say I’ll document it all here .After all,the emotionally stifled woman riddled with self doubt and self criticism seems to have been replaced with someone who overshares with the whole internet!



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Reasons being an Auntie rocks!!

It’s my eldest nephew’s birthday today. I remember clearly the day he was born 15 (how the hell did that happen) years ago. I remember walking into the hospital room and seeing my baby sister sat holding her own baby. It was a shock to the system, but the beginning of an adventure which is so different from being a parent it’s really quite wonderful.

Not living in the same city as my nephews and niece is tricky. I miss them all so much. I miss not being able to go to class assemblies and good work presentations. I think if we all lived in the same city all my sister and my children would be a mix and match of who was staying at either of our houses on any given day. Though I miss not seeing them all the time it’s always so bloody lovely to see them. They make me laugh and smile and feel just right.

Being an Auntie is fantastic. Here’s why:

1) You get to feel all the love, with none of the responsibility
You get to adore your niece and nephews like you do your own children but the pressure is absolutely off. There’s no worry or sleepless nights stressing because you know that their parents have all that covered.

2) You get to be the ‘fun’ parent you’d like to be if there were no consequences.
Sweets for breakfast? No problem
Want a comic? Here have two!
Want to share my chips? You are the ONLY people who I’m willing to do that with. That’s how special you are!!

3)They listen to you more than your actual children.
As long as I’ve not annoyed her my niece thinks I’m pretty cool. She used to love I bought her books and so when she got a Kindle for her birthday I did get a smug kick out of being able to think “aaaww she’s her Auntie’s genes” She listens like I talk sense which is great. No one else does! She was happy to be a sponge for my feminism chat last time I was round. I’ve high hopes.

4)They’re actually happy to see you.
Because I don’t get to see them very often they’re pleased to see me, in my head I pretend like they’re my very own fan club! Nothing more lovely than opening your sisters garden gate to see your baby nephew (oh so he’s nearly 5, he’s the last child in our family he’ll be the baby until he’s 23!)looking out of the window for you. I get giddy when they argue about who gets to sit next to me on the sofa and offering to share their beds I never feel as loved as when I’m at their house!

5) You can stitch up your siblings
You can make up any story you like about their parents and what they got up to when they were little. Your nieces and nephews will believe you. Especially if, like me, you’ve put work into being the sensible, truthful Auntie.
It’s great fun.

So B, C and O.
You are just so special to me. I’m sorry I can’t see you everyday. I miss you all like crazy but just chatting to you on the phone makes me happy. Your mum telling me what you’ve all been up to makes me smile. You’re all growing up so quickly and I’m so proud to be your Auntie.
Oh, and next time I’m over let’s chat about this nonsense that your mum spouts about how she never got into trouble at school….

A note from a needy mum to my terrific teenagers..

Dear teens,

These have been the first school holidays where it’s been apparent that you’ve all got your own social lives and I’m not really necessary.

Just a couple of years ago the first words spoken on a school holiday morning would be you asking “What are we doing today?”
You all had absolute faith that mum would have a great day of fun planned and I was more than happy to oblige.
(Disclosure: When I say a day of fun I don’t mean a big day out at the beach or a theme park. I mean that one of the mum talents I’ve collected is the ability to make a big deal out of nothing. I can spin an afternoon feeding the ducks and a bag of chips and make the kids believe even Eurodisney wouldn’t be THIS much fun!!)

As you’ve gotten older though you’re certainly not as enthralled by a treasure hunt in the park or going on a bug hunt. You’re no longer fooled by me turning off the lights and making popcorn that it’s exactly like the cinema. Your eyes don’t fill with excitement at the prospect of visiting the science museum for the millionth time anymore. Well except you eldest boy, but I assume that’s just a case of science geeks attracting science geeks like magnets or some more complex physics theory I don’t get!

I do appreciate that you all get involved in the slightly too young for you activities with your little sister. Watching you sit and craft with her or read with her makes me really proud. Mind you, that fairy tea party we had yesterday rocked didn’t It?? (promise the pics will never find social media!)

I see that you have your own things to do with your spare time now. I understand hanging out with mum holds little appeal when your friends are free.

A tiny part of me does of course miss those gorgeously cute little ones you once were. The children who thought mum throwing an indoor picnic was the coolest thing ever. I miss that my making a ‘bear hunt’ trail through the house complete with squelchy mud and swirling winds will likely never be necessary again.

Do you know what I’ve realised though? It makes the time you choose to spend with me really quite special. When you were babies you were stuck with me through no choice of your own. As increasingly independent teenagers that’s not the case.

Eldest boy, when on a rainy Sunday you load up all my favourite Doctor Who episodes to sit and watch with me, I love that. It’s thoughtful and sweet. Even when you roll your eyes and throw me the tissues at the “I don’t want to go” bit. It’s nice at 18 you’ll pander to needy mum.

Youngest boy I love that on a Saturday, your only free for all games console day, you choose to turn off at 2:30 and come sit with me. That you bring your notepad and pen and we have a very competitive game of ‘predict all the football scores’. If I’m really lucky you’ll do your Garth Crooks impression that makes me grateful I did my pelvic floor exercises you make me laugh so much!

Eldest girl, I love that being so into your music as you are you’ll come sit and share your favourite songs with me. Even though I’m old and uncool and return the favour with STEPS and b*Witched vids.

So I’ll try to give needy mum a bit of a rest. You’re all fantastic company. You’re funny and bright and chatty and I love you all to teeny tiny bits so when you choose to spend your free time with me I’m honoured.

So off you go with your hectic social lives.
Never forget though needy mum is always available for Who marathons, footie chat and to be musically educated!


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The 7 stages of being a parent home alone

When you have children the house without them in it is a really odd feeling. I know that some people never get the chance at this and I do know how lucky I am that I do,I promise.

When the planets align though and you end up home alone for a few hours or even a whole day or even a few days as I am this week there are a few stages this weird phenomenon goes through.

Stage One : Giddy
There’s no one in this house!! What shall I do first? Catch up on crap TV, read a book, eat all the sweets?
I know, a bath! In the daytime, with no one needing the loo midway through. This is going to be awesome. I’m having it super hot too as I know small girl won’t be hopping in. I’m going to use my best Lush stuff, take a book in even a cup of tea. In fact balls to tea, I’m taking a glass of wine – so excited!

Stage Two : Embracing Peace And Quiet
Out of the bath, cosy, tranquil. So very relaxed. I’m just going to lay here on the sofa with a trashy mag.
Ahhhh this is the life… Just close my eyes and listen to the silence…
What day is it?
What time is it?
Where the hell are the kids?
How long have I been asleep?
OK, look at the time to discover what what you thought was a Sleeping Beauty type 100 year sleep was actually just a ten minute power nap.

Stage Three : Rebellion
OK, what to have for dinner?
Remember that you don’t have to be a role model. No one can see you, no one will ever know!
Twirl and a bag of hula hoops it is.

Stage Four : Wondering how the kids are.
Aaaww hope they’re OK.
Might just give them a quick ring.. no that’d be a bit needy. Maybe a text would be OK. Send a ‘hope you’re having fun’ text, breezy and casual.
Wonder when they’ll answer….
leading to…

Stage Five : Twitchiness
No one’s still responding to my text, hope everyone is OK.
Done relaxing now, I’ll have a tidy up. Hmm that didn’t take long with no children. I’ll tidy the kitchen drawers, been meaning to do that for ages. I’ll do some baking for when the kids get back..
What next? and why has no one yet answered my text? maybe I should ring.

Stage Six : The Return
Yay! The kids are back!!
So great to see them. Let’s play some board games, watch a movie??
Aaww I love all my family all home together….

Stage Seven : Yearning
Bicker bicker bicker
Argue argue argue
“mum she’s breathing in my ear”
“mum he just sat on my foot on purpose ”
” It’s MY turn”
“mum tell him”
“what’s for tea? ”
” you always take her side”

Oh…what I wouldn’t do for 5 mins peace and quiet….

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