Category Archives: parenting

Me too

Let me start by saying that so much has been written on this by people with way more depth of knowledge , by better ,more articulate writers but holding my thoughts on this in are starting to drive me nuts . So this is merely the 2 pence worth of a blogger with an opinion.

Everyone has seen the #metoo hashtag over social media the past couple of days. In the wake of the Weinstein allegations and Rose Macgowan’s subsequent suspension from Twitter over a tweet she sent about another actor a call for women to boycott Twitter in protest went up.

The point was raised and I agreed wholeheartedly that by reacting to women being silenced by voluntarily silencing ourselves was not quite right . That instead let’s speak out, let’s shout,lets flood Twitter with our voices telling our stories.

#metoo is women telling their stories of sexual harassment and sexual abuse in a bid to show exactly how widespread it is.

It’s also women not wanting to , some not able to talk about their experience. Not wanting to give light to their trauma but using #metoo just to stand in solidarity and say yes this has happened to me too.

I truly believe that there are very few women who have never been subject to harassment and abuse of this kind. Most of us have numerous occasions we could talk about. When I first heard about me too I immediately off the top of my head recalled half a dozen occasions. That was without even sitting down and thinking about it. Most women I know would say the same I think.

We’ve been yelled at out of cars and vans , felt shame at the “nice tits” comments and immediately yanked up our tops.

We’ve been rubbed up against on public transport , our space encroached on ,our bodies forced to make contact with an unwanted crotch.

We’ve been touched inappropriately yet felt too ashamed to cause a fuss!

We’ve been in one on one situations with creepy guys and felt so intimidated we’ve nervously laughed off inappropriate comments and behaviour, worried what the consequences of not would be.

We’ve been pushed further than we want to go sexually , pressurised , bullied to get us to do things we’re not comfortable with.

We’ve been raped.

Out in the street we should be safe walking down.

In our own bed , a place that should be full of comfort, by a man who we’re married to , who says he loves us as he abuses us.

By relatives , by friends , by co-workers.

These things , all these things have often happened repeatedly , they’ve been happening since we were teenagers.

We’ve often never spoken about them .

We feel ashamed , and embarrassed.
We blame ourselves , we know others will blame us too.

We can’t articulate what’s happened or we downplay it.

So if just by saying me too that makes other women feel less alone , or shows how many of us have suffered then just those words can be strong.

I hate leaving a post on a depressing note but on this one I can’t do any other. 

The thing is , I think in ten years time nothing much will have changed. 

I don’t have all the answers , I wish I did.

I fear though that our daughters , our friends , our neighbours in a decade’s time will still be saying #metoo



Bringing up Georgia


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#Blogtober17 – Day 6 – Flowers…….Daisychains like Diamonds

I struggled with today’s theme of flowers. I know nothing about flowers! I’m not a fan of flowers as gifts and I’m certainly not a gardener.

Then I remembered a moment . The one in the picture above. The day I taught small girl how to make a daisychain. 

We have spent a lot of time at the park small girl and I . As every parent knows the park is the best activity for a sunny (or indeed a cold/rainy/snowy) day . You can take a sandwich there and call it a picnic , they can run around till they’re exhausted and sometimes they even have ducks! Best of all they are free!!

We’ve had many a special moment at the park small girl and I. She teaches me her gym routines , she runs an exercise class to keep me fit,she puts on a dance show. I mean who wouldn’t want to hang out with this cool one 

Anyway , I digress as per! One day we’d sat on the park , eating our picnic chatting away and she started picking daisies and trying to ‘magic’ them into daisychains and getting frustrated it wouldn’t work. I offered to do the magic bit for her and put together her flowers into magical jewellery! She was astounded! She spent the day wearing her daisychains as though they were diamonds and I felt like I really was magic so happy did a tiny thing make her! 
It really is the little moments that count!!

 My Facebook page is here

#Blogtober17

A little bit in awe of teen girl , an instinctive feminist…

My teenage daughter , she won’t mind me saying , has previous for being a bit of a pain in the arse. I wrote this a while back about why , although it can be frustrating I don’t necessarily see it as being a solely bad thing.

I suffer great mum bias of course but as well as being kind and funny and beautiful and ridiculously cool in a way I certainly was not at 14 she just seems to ‘get it’. 

I would certainly label myself as feminist and maybe some of my preaching that I often feel is falling on deaf ears to all 4 of them is filtering down after all but she’s an instinctive feminist. I think I learnt feminism. I think I saw things happening in the world I didn’t like and then looked to people more knowledgeable than myself to ask questions to and to ask what I should be reading and what I could do as an individual to help.

Eldest girl though , she just seems to know it , she feels it . I’m in awe of that.

The other day we were walking back from the shop. Chatting about the new bank notes. She mentioned there hadn’t been as much as a fanfare about the new £10 note as there had been the £5. I , said ah that’ll be because there are no men on it! We then spoke about what a struggle it had been to get Jane Austen on the note. I told her about all the vile abuse and threats that campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez had received throughout the campaign to get a woman on the note. 
My daughter’s response came immediately.

 “Well you know why that is don’t you?”

“Because those men took offence to being excluded” I offered.

“Well yes , but especially excluded from being on money . Those kind of men who behave that way see money as power and certainly don’t want replacing by women.” 

This had never occurred to me . Yes I’d concluded that the men threatening to rape and kill Caroline Criado-Perez for daring to campaign for a female face to join the Queen on our currency were suffering from such fragile masculinity that they couldn’t stand to see men removed from on a bank note. To equate that with money and power being synonymous had passed me by. Not her though.

Her feminism gives me hope. 
Her feminism means she rolls her eyes when comment is passed about why she can’t dress more ‘like a girl’ (” I’m a girl , I’m wearing clothes I AM dressed like a girl)
Her feminism means when the boys at primary school refused to pass to her on the football team as she was a girl her reaction was to win player of the match rather than have a row.
Her feminism means pulling up girls at school who are telling her friends they should be on one ridiculous diet or another. Telling them they’re spreading dangerous nonsense . I’m super proud she told me she did this whist munching on a chip butty but that’s just me.
Her feminism means pink and blue kinder eggs anger her , that nothing irritates her more than being told she’s ‘ too pretty ‘ to play rugby and should be looking after that face , that has rejected gender stereotyping from being a little , little girl.

Yes she likes the last word , yes she drives her brothers mad winding them up just for fun , yes she’s overly argumentative and yes she has a temper and can strop like a toddler at times. 

I’ve always thought and always said though that this girl can and will change the world one day. 
I think maybe she already is. 

When did you stop holding my hand?

On our walk to school last week small girl slipped her hand into mine as she was enthusiastically chattering about Masterchef and skipping along.

At that moment I realised that she’d stopped doing that. That what used to be an automatic response to put her hand out to hold mine had stopped.

I don’t know when it stopped, I don’t remember it happening but it had.

It made me a little sad to think that all these little habits of a younger girl were now lost , grown out of by an increasingly older girl . I can’t remember when she stopped asking for comics or when she stopped asking me to tuck her in ‘super super tight ‘ but she has. 

I wrote a while back about I’d miss all her little behaviours. It’s just here . Now one by one they’re disappearing.

On that same walk to school small girl told me in articulate , expressive detail all about how the Northern Lights were causing whales to beech themselves. I didn’t know anything about this (thank you Newsround for filling her little brain with so much knowledge) It really made me smile that she’d heard all about that and was interested and wanted to share it with me.

In the same way I’ve finally stopped whining , most of the time , about the teens growing up I think I need to the same here.

This little girl who is so interested in the world around her is developing interests and passions that the younger her wouldn’t have on the same way. I think I may have an eco warrior on my hands.

Her absolute passion for cookery means what was once rice crispy cakes has become her ability to make a roast dinner with the minimum of help from me. Her Yorkshire puddings are honestly the yummiest and put to shame her Yorkshire girl mums pathetic efforts.

Her insistence on plating up as a work of art leaves us all with teeny portions (she’s watched too many Michelin starred chefs programmes) 

It’s slightly concerning that rather than call out that dinner is on the table she shouts “service ” but we like quirky here!!

She’s begun to draw a lot , she’s always been creative but her art has brand new qualities to it . A little different to the cute little cat pictures she used to draw a few years ago.

Her book choice has changed , ever the bookworm I unfortunately can’t remember the last time Hugless Douglas got a read but we’ve been reading Little Women together of late , one of my all time favourites .

So I’ll not moan too much about my littlest girl growing into a lovely 9 year old. She’s taking me along with her on her new adventures and I couldn’t feel luckier about that 

Just hold my hand from time to time small girl….



My Facebook blog page is here

Bringing up Georgia

3 Little Buttons

#Blogtober17 – Day 8 – Holidays….I found myself !!(in a theatre in Edinburgh)

Ok , I’ll level with you here. This is going to be a bit of an egocentric post. It’s probably going to also read like an X Factor sob story! Talk of a journey and everything!! Flying Without Wings should really be playing in the background!!….. I’ll keep it short??Deal???

A while ago I wrote about how after the abusive relationship I’d harboured an unrealistic expectation that I’d return to be the girl I was before I met him ( it’s here if you want a read

It took me years to realise this would never be the case : abuse changed me. 

That 18 year old pre-him.

She was gone.

Over the years I’ve ploughed my time into the obvious child rearing. I’d dragged them up here , least I could do is to ensure they are happy and settled (turns out children are very adaptable )

Then I had a little wobble about how the kids were getting older and didn’t need me anymore and who am I? if they don’t need me?

I wrote an identity crisis bucket list , things I wanted to do because I loved them. To try to ‘find myself’ (urgh I know, so sorry did warn you of x factor speak …though I did also say I’d keep it short I guess!)
On the list was Edinburgh Festival. Something I’d always fancied. A whole weekend of theatre ….sign me up!!
When I was alone on my trip was when I realised. I needed to prove myself to myself of all people.

I’ve shaken off how I was called fat,ugly and stupid on a daily basis during the abusive relationship. I no longer believe any of this to be true. I also no longer believe I am worthless and the worst mum. I don’t believe people cringe when I speak and I bore everyone.

I’m not bluffing either. I don’t believe those things about myself anymore. 

Yet here’s the thing. Up until this weekend I did expect that was how I was seen by others. I did worry my chat bored people silly and they found me dull and boring.That I was just that mum with a load of kids in other people’s eyes.

I spoke to so many different people last weekend though , men ,women all different ages and that worry that I was dull and had nothing to contribute never crossed my mind once. 

Then I realised, THIS is me. That real me I’d been searching for. I’m sociable and chatty and friendly. I’m not anxious about chatting to strangers ,I like it. I’m the woman absolutely in her element in a gorgeous city with lovely people with wall to wall to theatre.

That’s me

I quite like her


My Facebook page is here

#Blogtober17











New (School) year resolutions…

So brand new school year….brand new mum!!! 

ARE YOU WITH ME???

CAN I GET A HELL YEAH??!!

Super efficient, highly organised and all that.

I will not forget a pe kit , a bake sale , a school trip.
I will be super mum!!!

Ok , ok , ok if you believe that you’ll believe owt! This is me we are talking about.
Of course that’s not going to happen and you know what ; I’m not even going to make those kind of promises this year. Not even to myself. It’d simply be setting myself up to fail and who wants that?

I do want to make a few little changes though. I want to improve a few things that will make this house run a little soother during term time.

Here they are:

1) My diary shall be utilised
I’m a stationery freak. Never happier then buying notebooks,pens and the like.

Come September I’ll always purchase a diary (or 4) I often use them until half term then get bored.

I do,however, think this is a resolution I can keep. I’m always scribbling away I may as well make it useful!
It may even help the co-parenting conundrum too if I know exactly what is going on and where anyone should be on any given day.

2) Meal Planning
I’ve resisted meal planning because I’m a contrary idiot. I think ‘ooo but what if chilli is down for Wednesday then I don’t fancy it that day!!’ 

See eating makes me happy. I’m worried about my dinner not being the joyous occasion it should be because I’ve been over organised.

However it’s got to be worth a try! 
Guaranteed to save time and money and ridding myself of the  ‘what shall we have for tea?’ dilemma everyday.

3) Utilise the laundry room
There are 5 of us in this family. The washing machine rarely gets a rest. Unfortunately I am a total pain in the arse for cluttering up the laundry room with stuff that isn’t laundry (recycling,shoes that no longer fit, stuff I’ll get around to giving to the charity shop eventually) 

A highly efficient laundry room can be nothing short of a blessing and that’s precisely what I plan to make it!Lick of paint , bit of storage and it shall be a hive of efficiency!

See so it’s just little resolutions I have in place. I know my limitations.
They might just help this house run a little more smoothly.
I’ll let you know by Christmas!!

Fab First born…as you turn 17

Dear J,
So you’re turning 17 and I’m not going to whinge at all that you are getting older. Simply because next year means you’ll be…oh I can’t even go there.

I think and hope you know I’m your biggest fan. So here’s 17 ways you rock at 17.

1) You’re meme king!

I like you send me funny meme’s throughout the day. Makes me feel like I’m oe of the cool kids ,even though I know I’m not.

2) You’re my Doctor Who buddy

The others may question why we watch certain episodes over and over. Not you , even better you can choose the perfect episode to suit the mood!

3) You rock dad jokes

Honestly,they are BAD!! That you find them hilarious though is endearing in itself so we’ll forgive you!

4) Our Sporting Bucket list!

I know I know….you’ve done Wembley with Hull City…hey J tell us that story again in case we missed it the first 678 times??

We’ve a few left though eh? Wimbledon, London Marathon , more Olympics??wait for me!!

5) You’ve lovely manners

Everyone comments on it ….

Actually I’m taking that one , brought up right you see!

6) You’re the best big brother ever

I know you think the dream would be to be an only child,but that’d have been such a waste. You’re great to them all (even S though she drives you nuts!)  You’re a fab role model – though you know that has to be kept up forever now right? Like me and Auntie La? No going off the rails!

7) Additionally you are small girl whisperer

No-one can talk her down from a tantrum like you. Teach me your ways….

8) When you love , you love hard

Harry Potter , snooker, The National Train Museum. Some may say obsessive. I say passionate.

9) You’re interested in the world around you

Not just physically around you either. You’ve an interest and compassion for suffering and people going through hardship and turmoil even if they’re on the other side of the world. Even if you don’t know them. You’ve empathy , a character trait many others could benefit from.

10) You’re a food weirdo (like me)

I still don’t get the lasagne thing. You love bolognaise ,yet won’t touch lasagne even without cheese sauce…which just makes it bolognaise in a different shape surely! Not that I can talk!

11) Your kids TV nostalgia is mine too!

Whatever DID happen to Milo ,Jake ,Bella and Fizz eh? 

Did the Rubberdubba’s EVER get a peaceful bath?

What the hell was The Shiny Show all about??

And yes ,the guy from Raven scared the life out of me too!

12) You’re easy bribed

Entertain small girl , go to the shops , most jobs are do able for the fee of a packet of fizzy fangs!!!

13) Watching you round others makes me proud

You’re chatty and friendly and warm and can usually find common ground with most people. This could turn out to be your most valuable life skill! I like how warm and caring you are with your friends and how you seem to just be a natural with people! I wasn’t when I was your age and really aren’t that much better now.

14) Your opinions give me hope

You’re open-minded , you’re tolerant and you actively want to change things for the better. As do your friends. When the world is an unstable as it is knowing you all are active in your plans to make a difference well it makes me despair that bit less.

15) You don’t think you’re too old or cool to play showtune karaoke with us.


FYI You will NEVER be too old or cool to play showtune karaoke!

16) You’re thoughtful

You have small girl and I’s PJs on the radiator after a rainy school run. You pick out movies or documentaries you think I might like. You take your brother to football matches if his mates arent going. It’s nice to see!

17) You make parenting easy.

Other than that wretched colic at the start ,which drove the pair of us into thinking I wasn’t cut out for this job. You’ve made being a mum pretty painless.

No drama , no trouble,no horrid teenagey strops or awful behaviour (don’t worry I know you’ve still a few teen years left yet and could turn at any minute, I’m not complacent I promise)

I say this often but that’s because it’s true. Being your mum is an absolute delight. I’ve no idea where it all went right with my haphazard parenting style and you being my guinea pig in the world of mum- hood,but it seems to have and I could not be prouder to have you call me mum.
PS….You sure you’re insistent on going AWAY to uni??? …

Love mum xxx 

<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

<a href=”http://www.motherofteenagers.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://www.motherofteenagers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Tweens-teens-beyonf-logo.png&#8221; alt=”Mother of Teenagers” /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

         



Rhyming with Wine


Shared parenting turns me into a complete cow….

It really does.

Honestly I try to be a good human. I try to do the right thing. 

I try my upmost to be kind and compassionate.

However…

It would seem if you want to bring out the worst in me , co-parent with me.

I just can’t bite my tongue.

I can’t always be reasonable

I can’t turn the other cheek.

I’m a jealous,insecure nutcase.

I’m a spoilt petulant toddler.

I’ll say here as I always do ,small girl’s daddy is a fab daddy. This isn’t about him as such but just the situation.

Here I am not married to the guy , not dating the guy , not even particularly friends with the guy and yet I still have to factor his feelings into any decisions I make regarding small girl. That’s the right thing to do,that’s what’s best for her. I know that.

Small girl has split her time between the two of us since she was tiny. Having two homes is her normal and she’s the most happy and content little girl .Me however…..

It’s such bloody hard work,emotionally draining (I know that’s a bit of a knob phrase but I can’t think of a better way to describe it) It’s the never ending compromise and discussion and always having to take other people’s views into account and basically being a reasonable adult always that takes it out of me!!!

Every summer holidays small girl and daddy head off on their annual roadtrip on their hols.She absolutely loves it and they have great fun and she’s always full of talk of her adventures when she  gets back. She’s done that for years so that’s her normal during the summer.

It’s not my normal though. I miss her. I want to be the one experiencing new things with her, I want to be the one to take her to boring castles ( see excerpt from last year’s holiday diary)

I wanted to take her camping the first time , I wanted to do everything first actually…and second…and forever…

You see I know I’m being ridiculous and unreasonable so that’s a relief. I know the bitchy passive aggressive texts I sometimes don’t stop myself sending in time are juvenile. I know muttering F off under my breath when something has been said that I don’t like is unnecessary but just sometimes plastering on a smile and reverting to my default as the people pleaser you can read about here just isn’t possible!!

I don’t want to take her camping,I bloody hate camping .I share her thoughts on castles for that matter!!! We’re lucky to have daddy to step into the breach for all those outdoorsy pursuits.

I’m the craft parent who doesn’t mind paint making a mess , I’m cooking mummy and ‘making stuff’ person. I’m Disney karaoke mummy.

She has the best of both worlds and is so happy with it.

It’s just for me sometimes I feel as though I only get to be part of half her world and that sucks a bit.


My Facebook page is here

Me, Being Mummy

The evolution of the Summer Holidays…

I’m noticing a marked change these summer holidays. I’ve barely seen the teens so far. They’ve all developed these weird social life things (must look at getting myself one of those) It’s gotten me to thinking about how the summer holidays have changed.

As a kid summer holidays are the Best.Thing.Ever!!!!!They last forever and you just get to hang out with your friends all day.

Going back to school was always weird though wasn’t it? Did anyone else used to get really nervous first day back to school because you’d not seen a lot of your class mates in so long??

As an adult pre kids , school hols? Whatevs ! Has no impact on my carefree life. I’m just going about my business going to work and such like. Spending my glorious days off mooching around the shops spending money on myself …. except what the hell??? Why are all the shops full of kids?? The little buggers are everywhere running feral round the shops touching everything. They’ve invaded Costa too?? With their sticky fingers and their snotty noses.When I have kids they’re going to be always perfectly turned out and impeccably behaved…. bloody school holidays!

With pre school children well summer holidays matter not one jot. 

Every single day is basically dealing with other people’s bodily fluids on no sleep. Days , weeks , months merge into one long  sleep deprived hallucination. The only reason you know it’s school holidays time is because you can’t go to soft play for a sit down and a crap cup of tea. It’s full of boisterous ‘big kids’ running around like total maniacs!

When you have primary school aged children the holidays are hard work.

Really , really hard work.

Small people expect to be entertained constantly. 

You use up all your good ideas the first week. You’ve done ,cinema , trampolines, fairs ,bowling already. You have to rely on your free stuff for week 2 . The park ,free museums and movie days. You very soon discover there’s no such thing as a free activity where kids are concerned. The park involves ice creams and that bloody bouncy castle ,museums mean souvenirs and even the brilliant movie day plan means snacks aplenty.

By the end of the holidays you are a shell of your former self. Your brain is frazzled by thinking of fun activities. You can see on social media that everyone else went to much more exciting places than the park to chuck stale bread to ducks . Yes you know you’re meant to feed them peas now Ms Concerned of Facebook. Thanks.

Then come the teen years. 

Where we are now.

I kid ye not my eldest texted me a list of dates he and his brother were available for ‘family stuff’ . What with holidays with grandparents , their dad getting married and the very important football fixtures it seems I have a few days beginning of September.
I mean on days when small girl is at daddy’s and it’s just the teens and I the lie ins are awesome! I mean I don’t actually sleep in ,the internal mum alarm clock sees to that. I can though lay on my bed and read undisturbed for an hour. Living the dream right? No one bugs me to go to the park or do painting or play trains anymore. They entertain themselves quite happily.

The downside of course being they’re not really into mums craft ideas or going out skipping. Activities tend to actually cost and contemplating selling a kidney to pay for a theme park become the norm.

I kinda miss them too ( don’t hate me I know some of you would walk over broken glass for an hours peace in the hols)

So yes summer holidays change , not necessarily for the worse or even the better ,just different.

It’ll change again next summer , we’ll be gearing up for the eldest going away to university…..but let’s not talk about that just yet… I’m not ready!!!

Naptime Natter


I’m resentful…and it’s strange

The man who abused me is getting married in a few weeks.

It’s provoking a few strange emotions in me.

Ordinarily these days I rarely think of him. He took up so much space in my mind for so long. I simply don’t allow him any more. Having to organise the summer holidays though and work things out with the children ‘The Wedding’ comes up a lot and I’ve had to communicate with him way more than I usually do. So hand in hand with that I have been feeling a little unsettled .

It would maybe be expected to maybe go through a train of thought of wondering why he could behave normally and decently with someone else. It’d maybe be expected for me to wonder what it was I did to make him behave that way.

I don’t though. 

Not one bit.

Mainly thanks to therapy and The Freedom Programme I know that there was nothing at all I did that caused him to behave that way.
Nothing.
That is all on him.
He chose to be abusive.

A secondary reason I’m not having those kind of thoughts though is because I don’t believe he has changed. To have changed would mean taking responsibility,seeking help to alter your behaviour. However he still gaslights my experiences by never ever having admitted how he behaved.

So with not believing he has changed ,that brings with it a sense of responsibility towards his wife to be. I wrote a note to her here detailing how futile I know it is for me to tell my story ,to attempt to warn her off.

I wish there was a way I could keep her safe but it’s frustrating as hell that there is nothing I can do.

Mainly though the strongest feeling I have in regards to this situation is a whole heap of resentment. 

I’ve spoken about how that relationship left me numb for a very long while. There are many negative feelings about what happened to me that I have dealt with and then tucked away , anger being the main one.

Resentment though that’s been niggling a while.

I’m resentful that he gets to get on with his life ,having the normal grown up relationships whilst I was left so broken only now almost a decade on can I even ever so gently begin to date.

I’m resentful that I still and probably always will carry mental scars and struggle in certain situations whilst he gets to carry on without a care in the world.

I’m resentful that my children are being dressed up and shown off at this wedding and he will take credit for what amazing people they are despite not being in their lives for years.
I know it sounds like the whining of a bitter ex ,and this post is a bit of a whinge fest I’ll grant you. 
I document every huge stride I take in recovering from abuse though that it only seems honest to cover the tricky times.
I’m not sat here rocking in a corner or conjuring up complex revenge plans. I’m too healed for that.
I truly hope the kids have a fun day and enjoy themselves.

I just had to write this though.

I needed to document my feelings because amidst the champagne and the smiles and the happy ever afters….

I see him.
I know.

I remember.

So does he.