Monthly Archives: February 2017

Daughter , I talk much nonsense but please listen to me on this one thing….

Today my eldest daughter turns 14

 

She has a fight and a zeal and a drive that terrifies me and makes me envious of her in equal parts.

 

She is fierce and strongminded and passionate as well as kind and compassionate- all I ever wanted my daughters to be .

 

I’m proud and in awe of her absolutely , I just wish I could get her to listen to me on just one tiny piece of advice.

 

 

Dear S ,

 

I know that I give you ‘mums little life tips’ very often. Possibly too often , but the thing about being an old lady such as me is that you’ve made lots of mistakes and learnt lots of ways in which you could have improved a situation or avoided a mess and I just want to help you maybe navigate some of those pitfalls without having to actually go through them.

 

Mum messed up so you don’t have to!

 

So if you listen to nothing else , just maybe listen to this one :

(Disclaimer – the sex , drugs , boys and rock and roll stuff ALL still counts , you know the basics of mum lecturing. This is an added extra NOT a replacement for the big ones)

 

This is my one pearl of wisdom for you though :

Choose your battles.

That’s it . Simple eh?

 

I admire your spirit S I do. I wish I could be like you in so many ways . There is such a raw determination in you and I know that eventually it’ll serve you well. It will aid the success I am certain awaits you.

 

There are times though that holding your tongue , taking a breath and thinking is the wiser choice than opening your mouth. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking I’m giving out mixed signals here. Don’t I always tell you never to let injustice pass you by?  Never be a quiet bystander when you see something happening you know is inherently wrong .

 

I mean that too , honestly, don’t be the person who joins in with bullying. Don’t be the one who doesn’t challenge friends who use racist or sexist or homophobic language. Be the woman who builds other women up , not someone who gains enjoyment from pulling your fellow women down. Be a good human. Those there are the basics.

 

The bits that can be let go though , your brothers not bringing their pots out of their rooms or leaving the toilet seat up? You can leave those rows for me to have. Honestly I’m an old hand at this , don’t waste your precious energies on them. When you’re told off by your teacher but it wasn’t you talking. Don’t get into dialogue about it in front of the whole class , that won’t end well for you ! Hold your tongue and maybe talk to that teacher calmly afterwards. Don’t waste your clever comments under your breath on me when we’re disagreeing. All that gets you is your phone taken off you , you know this !

 

 

As a woman you will have big battles to fight.

You’ll likely have to fight to be heard.

Fight for your right to take up space.

Fight to be taken seriously as an intelligent woman.

Fight for your fellow women who don’t have their own voice.

 

 

These things are worth your fury and your rage and your fight. Unleashed and uninhibited. The full force of you S at an injustice , it doesn’t stand a chance.

 

Save yourself for the big things. Let me say here though I am in no way belittling your sense of what is big and what is insignificant. I can’t do that. Should I ever not take your concerns as seriously as you want , please do pull me up on it.Calmly . I hope I am never dismissive of your opinions but I know sometimes as a single mum of 4 children sometimes I’m not listening as intently as I should or I miss things and that must be frustrating. You know how we have our time just you and I every night though ? When small girl is in bed and the boys are playing the Stupid Football Game in their rooms. That’s my listening time , if I’ve annoyed or frustrated you by being distracted come to me then , let me know. Talk things through.

 

I have no doubt S that you have it in you to change the world. I’ve known it since you were a matter of months old. Changing the world takes energy though , lets ensure that we have enough in the bank . The boys smelly socks or an irritating person at school aren’t worth that precious spirit of yours.

 

Know this though, when you do have a battle to fight or an injustice to highlight. When you feel your voice needs to be heard and you need to stand up and be counted. When you’ve considered that actually this is a battle you’ve chosen needs fighting ,  I’ll be right there beside you, female solidarity at it’s finest. If that ends up being about the boys bathroom habits or you approaching school about the lack of girls sport  or if it’s you’re standing up for someone not being treated how they should or you needing to take on Theresa May ? Well if you’ve thought about it and find it worthy of your energy then S I am with you , without question.

 

Love Mum

xxxxx
 

Here’s my Facebook page 

Rhyming with Wine

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Packing up the emotional baggage that was never even mine

I’ve been telling you for ages now about how healed I finally feel years after I left the abusive relationship. Therapy, this blog and time were a really helpful trio is aiding this and I feel mentally more healthy in so many ways.

I’ve accepted as fact though that I’ll always have my little ‘issues’ left over from that relationship. I accepted I’d been damaged and some of that was irreparable, but that’s life I just had to get on with it.

That’s bullshit.

You see I’ve come to realise many of my ‘little issues’ are in fact not mine at all and there’s no chance I’m carrying around someone else’s baggage around with me forever.

Let me try to explain…

My lack of confidence in my parenting ‘issue’

Yep that was never mine.

I think I’m doing an OK job. Some days I’m supermum, some days I’m locking  myself in the bathroom and wondering what on earth I’m meant to be doing. I’ve come to realise this is how many (dare I say most) parents find parenting. A roller coaster of joy and worry?

The issue here belongs to the person so aware of his own crap parenting that he needed to make someone else doubt themselves at every turn to make himself feel better and essential to my existence.

He can have that one back.

My emotional ‘issues’
Yeah I’m cold and unfeeling. I struggle to express my emotions and in fact emotions as a whole terrify me…

More bullshit…

Here I am, in this very blog expressing my feelings and emotions. To other people. Often over sharing in fact (sorry about that! )
It turns out I feel a whole myriad of emotions which from time to time I even manage to express quite articulately (ssshhh don’t tell about the rogue grammar and excessive exclamation marks!)

The issue here was with the person who stifled my emotions in the first place, who belittled me expressing my feelings. The person so threatened by a chatty, intelligent, ambitious woman he had to squish all that out of her by one way or another.

He can certainly have that one back.
The icy ‘keep away’ wall that lingered around me long after he did should have only ever have been built around him… . Preferably with no door. .. and a with a lid… and then buried. …. Anyway I digress… but yes, not my issue.

My intimacy ‘issues’
This was quite a clever one to make me believe was mine. It allowed him to retain a bit of power long after he’d gone.

I hate touching and affection – well seems when I’m relaxed and comfy in another persons company I’m actually quite the fan!

If I let another person see me naked what with me being so grotesque his eyes would dissolve at the sight.  – trickier to get over this one, I grant you. We suffer enough with body confidence as women as it is, particularly when you’re a mum.

After an abusive relationship though when that’s been a huge weapon in his armour you’re going to disregard anything positive a new person will tell you, ignore compliments. The ‘fat and ugly’  voice in your head is louder. 
Not forever though.  When a positive, complimentary voice  is consistent and you choose to allow THAT voice to be louder… Well it turns out the ‘fat and ugly’ voice shuts up eventually.
A multitude of sex ‘issues’. I was probably best celibate forever –
Again, tricky. I decided to own this one though. Warn anyone I got involved with how awful at sex I am. I may have used the line “honestly if I was reviewed like on TripAdvisor I’d get 1 star” (a REAL issue I have is thinking I’m funny-it’s a family thing)
Turns out (and I detect a recurring theme here. .. Comfortable… Relaxed. . ) not my issue either!
They were the issues of a man who needed me to totally believe the only person who would ever be interested in me was him.
These are getting so much easier to return to sender.
After all the big stuff this is going to sound daft. The ‘issue’ I got worked up over the most though was that I knew, definitely I’d never ever be able to sleep in a bed with a man.

How would I explain this to a new boyfriend I was trying to enthrall and interest? Where in all the flirting do you slip in “can you sleep on the sofa please a man in my bed  freaks me out”

Come on , you can’t do that I’d think to myself . It’s OK I’d just lay in bed and pretend to sleep. Keep up the illusion of being a normal human.

That’s genius…Oh except ..I can only even fake sleep if I’m at the side of the bed nearest the door. I can’t possibly even breath if there’s a person laid between the door and I , he’s going to spot the crazy there immediately.

I was a lost cause, how sexy is a panic attack at 2am because you’re at the ‘wrong’ side of the bed?

This turned out to be the most insignificant worry ever. Again – relaxed and comfy around the right person  I can sleep soundly, even more amazing I didn’t even realise I’d slept the whole night at the wrong side, away from the door, until much later.
This one had been my issue. Caused by another persons behaviour then magnified ridiculously by my own brain.
So if I could overcome issues that were partly mine. Well the ones that belonged to other people, mislabelled as mine? Certainly time they were packed into the suitcase marked ‘Someone Else’s Baggage’ and said goodbye to for good!



Here’s my Facebook page 

 




Yay my sister is getting old too… 

Baby sister’s birthday was last week and though her being thirty bloody four does cheer me up at my advancing age, I’ll not be investing in the botox just yet. I just thought I could share 34 things I’ve learnt in 34 years of having her about! ! 

1) My sister is my music guru. “you must listen to this song, LISTEN to the words” is my fave thing. 

2) Her texts make me literally lol

3)Some intelligent humans do have dinosaur ‘issues’ 

4)I’ll  never be a  cool auntie. That’s LaLa. Josh still OK to fetch his mate for an Auntie La sleepover when he fetches him to fair? 

5)Some grown ups have tantrums.. AND they work. 

6)Some people you will never run out of things to talk about with. We surely should have by now? 

7) Telepathy exists. 

8)Around the right (wrong ?) people I’m a terrible bitch ! 

9)When I finally meet the guy who likes little sister. HE is THE one (unless she hates him) 

10) Genes are odd. 

My niece is more similar to me than my children and as for the LaLa /Shan thing. .

11) Not ALL beautiful people are knobs. 

12) A person who wakes you at 5am the morning after the night before with painkillers is worth their weight in their gold. 

13) Being round people who suggest a nap in the day rocks! 

14) Buying extra wine saying what you don’t drink tonight will keep is only fooling yourself. 

15) You can get homesick for a person not just a place. 

16) I should never be allowed smashable glasses…

17) Or near wheely chairs… 

18) or to be allowed to do dance moves with the brother in law. .. 

19) Frozen sprouts stop your eye falling out – bit niche that one

20) Notes 16-19 actually teaches me that alcohol is not my friend. 

21) There are people you can gossip with  without even knowing  the people involved and still bloody love it. 

22) Sometimes ‘home’ isn’t always your house. 

23) Aunties buy weird gifts. ..a bouncy castle for goodness sakes?! !

 

24) You can offer some people anything including your soul and they STILL won’t come and see Wicked with you. 

25) You’ll never feel more shocked than when you see your baby sister with her own newborn 

26) Our family has issues with heartfelt sentiment. My response to her having a health scare should not have been “I’m glad you’re OK, I’d be really bored if you died” 

27) Daily discussions about what you’re having/had for tea are not limited to The Royle Family. 

28) Johnny Vegas impressions are hilarious. 

29) Talking shite on the phone to my sis staves off anxiety attacks – handy! 

30)Shared childhood memories are the most precious thing. 

31) It’s family trait that a bottle of wine enables us to sing like angels. 

32) You can beg your sister to watch Frozen-for sentimental reasons. . . Doesn’t mean she will. 

33) Having a sister who buys clothes online but doesn’t send rejects back means a visit is like Christmas. 

34) Sometimes, and probably only if you are really, really lucky your little sister will grow to be not only an incredible human being who has your back always without question. They’ll also grow up to be your best friend in the whole entire universe. 

Love you Lou Lou – I’m so glad we didn’t get a dog instead of a baby xxxxx

My Facebook page is here
 

Dear L, (slushy mum warning) 

Dear L, 

So you’re 15!! 15 years you’ve been around – that just seems unbelievable yet similarly I just can’t remember a time you weren’t there to make me giggle. 

Your birth was traumatic for a multitude of reasons but we got through it. Your earlyish baby days were exhausting with you being the world’s most hungry baby. Toddlerhood with everyone giving me grief about getting you to a speech therapist was a testing time. Ah me and La La could understand you easily, how dare anyone suggest you were anything other than perfect?! 

We sailed through the testing times though you and I with big brother as an assist! In fact about the hungry baby thing – you told me the other day you’d learnt in psychology that some traits from babyhood stay with you. That has to be one. That baby who woke on the hour, every hour to be fed has grown to be the teenager that wakes up some mornings almost transparent as he’s had to go his whole sleeping night without eating? ? 

More than anything L you are the one out of all 4 of you who I see myself in. Your mannerisms, your temperament. It’s a strange thing to see your characteristics (and not just the good ones) reflected back at you in another person. 

Our similarities can work for and against us I guess. It’s so lovely to sit and chat with you and listen to your opinion on issues that really matter to you. You’re a deep thinker and I love that. You’re thoughtful and creative and when these attributes are on display I get to feel a little bit honoured that maybe some of that came from me. 

When we disagree though, about something we feel passionate yet opposed about. When we both dig our heels in and refuse to budge an inch.. .. Yeah let’s gloss over that. 

L it is an absolute delight to be your mum. Truly it is. You’re  such an incredible young man and that I get to be the one you call mum is a privilege (sorry did warn about mum slush) 

That’s not entirely mum bias either, you heard the amazing things your teachers said about you at parents evening last week. 

I’m so excited for you to see what the next 15 years and beyond have in store for you . Though maybe slow down a bit with the rate at which these years are rolling by.

 

Happy Birthday to the boy who makes me laugh like no other, with the driest humour and exquisite comic timing. 

The boy who’s an amazing big brother to small girl and will spend  time with her when she asks even when you’d rather be on the XBox. 

The best Garth Crooks impersonator, best final score buddy and football statistics extraordinaire. The most optimistic Hull City fan I know. 

The person who’s the most talented writer in this family – that’s annoying. 

Let’s just work on the grumpy old man thing now eh? ? I do believe the term hangry was coined for you. 

Looking forward to a weekend of pizza, How I Met your Mother and football. 

Aaaw and let’s just have a gratuitous little L shot, you were incredibly cute! 

Lots of love, mum xxxxxx 



My Facebook page is here

An unusual idol for an 8 year old. . 

My youngest’s absolute idol currently is Marcus Wareing the chef. She asked me to tweet him a picture of the meal she made earlier in the week but come on, I’m a blogger, I can do better than that surely. 

Dear Mr Wareing, 

You are my 8 year old daughter’s idol. You are the example in her mind of everything she wants to achieve and I just wanted you to know how happy that makes me a her mum. Also I’m a mum blogger.. . and if a blogger feels something but doesn’t blog about it? Well did she ever really feel it? ?

I must confess here and now Mr Wareing that this ignorant mum didn’t know who you were when she began to mention you. Masterchef :The professionals is one she watches on the days she’s at her daddy’s house. My little girl is a cooking show fanatic. From Bake-off to Masterchef Australia, from Delia to Jamie to the Great British Menu. She just loves them. She graduated from cbeebies to cooking shows around aged 5 and has been an avid viewer ever since. 

Of all the chefs though, you are the one she wants to be like when she grows up (it’s all about the 2 Michelin stars she tells me) That her aim in life is to be a Michelin starred chef and own her own restaurant to me is a great goal. We have a ‘dream huge’ policy in our house and she’s certainly taken that and ran with it! 

She just loves cooking. She has in recent weeks mastered the roast dinner, making this Yorkshire girl green with envy at how brilliantly her yorkshire puddings turned out. This week she cooked us steak and veg with yummy home made onion rings (which always fall apart in the pan when I try it) She invented a garlicky peppercorn sauce to go with it and asked me to tweet you the pictures as she was so happy with her presentation! ! I didn’t think I could do her enthusiasm justice over 140 characters so here we are

I’m grateful that you are her idol. I’m grateful that she recognises a skill as something to look up to. That she recognises hard work and lots of practice will be how she’ll achieve her goals. There are so many questionable role models for young girls out there I’m more than happy that when she grows up she wants to be like Marcus Wareing rather than someone prancing about half naked with a microphone or a reality TV show star with half a brain. 

Cooking is great for her to explore her creativity, it teaches her patience (which she certainly needs) and that practice is the way to get better at something. I thank you for giving a cooking crazy girl something to aim towards
Love from her, slightly redundant in the kitchen these days, mummy


My Facebook page is here

The Pramshed

The once a month boyfriend plan…

A while back now I decided maybe I’d had enough of the single life. That maybe after getting on for a decade single I was ready to dip the teeniest tiniest toe into the dating water. 

Big decision for me. 

I’ve spoken on this blog about how I’m feeling healed from the abusive relationship. That I’m finally feeling stronger and more content and happier in myself. I also know as well though that letting someone in, lowering the barriers even a little, makes me vulnerable. 
For me that’s really quite scary. 

There’s also the time factor, I’ve 4 children for goodness sake. Date night windows are few and far between other than during school hols when the kids generally abandon me for grandma. Whilst I’m mentioning the kids that’s another thing. We don’t need a dad here, we don’t need a positive male role model. We are a cosy comfy family of 5 and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. 

Ever adaptable though I came up with a plan. I could, if I could find anyone willing, date on my terms. Tiptoe into the world of relationships rather than take a big huge running leap. 

Surely there had to be a man who fancied the same. The fun of a great date without the pressures of a serious relationship. Maybe a guy with a busy life of his own, not looking to be married off within the year. It’s a long shot but the plan was formed. 

I’m not saying it’d be a very strict 4th weekend every month between the hours of 7pm Friday and 7pm Sunday. Pencilled in for strict romance, bedroom action and good conversation I’m nuts but not that nuts. 

 Just what would be great would be to meet someone who would be happy to see each other when the opportunity presented itself. 
Someone who understands I’ve 4 children and don’t really want a guy around them. Come on I selfishly want something that’s JUST mine. 
Someone who’s just looking for the occasional great weekend, time out from being parent. To find non family activities, to explore the most un child friendly restaurants we can. 
Unfortunately trying to articulate what I want is hard. 

“I don’t want anything too serious ”

Well that seems to translate as I just want casual sex. 

” I just want someone who’s company I enjoy”

Yeah get some friends lady. 

A combo of the two is the vomit inducing ‘friends with benefits’ and that’s certainly not it! 
Dating and all it entails, emotion and intimacy and friendship, only slowed right down that’s what I want . You know when you fast forward the adverts if you’ve recorded a movie and you speed it up to x 32?. . . Well I’m looking at keeping at x 2,moving onto x 4 if you don’t scare me off! 

The thing is this. I’m healed from the abuse, or as much as I ever will be. My mind and emotions are clearer and healthier than they have been in years. However I have very little faith in my own judgement. So it all has to be done at a snails pace, or a Kelly’s pace-it’s really the same thing. 

Tiptoe Tiptoe Tiptoe. 

No grand gestures. 

No declarations of love. 

No pushing. 

Just relaxed, good company and a bit of romance until I get the hang of being someone’s girlfriend again. 

It’s a big ask, I know, to find this person. I’ve said for a long time my next boyfriend will have to be the world’s most patient man. 

I’m not really willing to settle for anything less though. 


My Facebook page is here

Totally conned by mum guilt… 

Last week we had one of ‘those’ mornings. You know the ones?

Whatever breakfast you offer is rejected. School uniforms take approximately 5 months to put on. The small one remembers she needed to hand in work today. The teens meanwhile are showing zero signs of life despite needing to leave in 30 minutes. Then JUST as you’re about to walk out of the door the teens start shoving letters in your face than need signing RIGHT NOW!

THAT kind of a morning.

Unfortunately THAT kind of a morning brings out the worst version of mum me that there is.

I’m snappy mum, I’m horrible tone of voice mum, I’m tuts and sighs and rolls her eyes mum. Impatient and grumpy and irritable and I don’t like her much at all.

So here’s where the mum guilt con is strong. This monstrous morning led to,  having finally left the house to take small girl to school, sitting at the bus stop cuddling her tight and me apologising to her for being snappy. Explaining I just needed to hurry her along a bit as we’d have been late for school otherwise but I shouldn’t have used my irritated tone of voice. Mum guilt also bought her pacifying warm pain au chocolate en route to school to sweeten her up so she didn’t go into school upset with me.

Now here’s where the mum guilt con hits it’s target perfectly.

You see. .. .

It wasn’t me who rejected  a selection of breakfast items because the obscure item I’d decided I must have wasn’t available.

It wasn’t me who refused to open her eyes because it was still dark outside.

It wasn’t me crying because my bed was too cosy to leave.

It wasn’t me who, despite having some sucker willing to help get her dressed, chose to lie without moving in a one girl protest about the ‘wrong’ tights.

It wasn’t me who used the time set aside for washing and teeth brushing to instead draw getting felt tip covered fingers.

It certainly wasn’t me who screamed the word torture as I had my hair brushed!

Me? I’d been pretty reasonable. Got up, made breakfast, didn’t ask for any assistance getting dressed or brushing my  teeth. Woke small girl with a kiss then attempted to gently cajole her out of bed.

Yet here I was apologising and feeling terrible and guilty about my lack of patience. Promising myself I’d do better in the future. Annoyed with myself I’d been grumpy.
I’m telling you. Mum guilt. It’s one big con.

 

 

My Facebook page is here 

Burnished Chaos

 
   

 

                                                                           

Burnished Chaos


 

 

My favourite book of January… 

I thought maybe I could add to my blog a little bit about my favourite book of each month. We all know what a bookworm I am and I do spend a lot of time boring those around me with book recommendations so why not do it here ? 
Since the teens discovered  the art of the weekend lie in I’ve found my book consumption has had chance to get back to binge levels so maybe I can share my favourite finds! ! 

My favourite book of January is The Singalong Society for Singletons by Katey Lovell 

I should declare here my absolute love and adoration for all things musical. I am often to be found prancing around the living room performing to my fave West End showstoppers in my pj’s. Drives the kids nuts but let’s not let worry about that too much . So that someone has written a book about friendship and romance and musicals means it had my name written all over it from the start. 

The story follows two friends Issy and Monique , teachers who set up the Singalong Society for Singletons after Monique’s boyfriend leaves for America for a year. 

Soon Friday nights become all about wine, snacks and singing along to their favourite musicals. As the group expands to include Monique’s sister who has romantic woes of her own and two handsome male actors the groups views on singledom are changed for once and for all. 

This book is a really heartwarming novel about friendship and romance and was, for me, the perfect antidote to cold, miserable January. The characters are likeable and the different relationship dynamics are all genuine and easy to invest in. 

So whilst the weather is rubbish and the days are a bit grey I’d highly recommend this book to lift your spirits and give you a shot of romance and humour. 

Also if there’s anyone fancies evenings filled with singalong musical watching, wine and pizza give me a shout – it sounds like the best idea ever! ! 



My Facebook page is here