Tag Archives: parenting

A boys first love – A guest post from my eldest

I couldn’t let the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter pass without comment. JK Rowling is a hero and inspiration of mine. Harry Potter though , well I know a guy who can talk about his love for that with way more passion than me.

My 16 year old first born. He fell in love with the books as a little little kid . They’re his go to books when he’s had a bad day or is ill or just needs a bit of comfort. I’ll let him tell you all about it,

 

 

Harry Potter. Where do I even start? Hooked at 6 finished by 11. Almost cried when I didn’t get my Hogwarts letter but it probs just got lost, it’s cool, yours did too, right?

I won’t claim to be an expert, for some it means more, and many know more. It will always have a special little scar spaced slot in my heart, from crying when I was younger, when the actor for Dumbledore died, so I was of course terrified that without Dumbledore, who would stop Voldemort? All the way to the woman sat behind us when we saw the last movie, who sobbed all the way through.

But in so many ways it’s so much more than a story. The idea that one happy memory (a patronus) can hold away an army of negativity (dementors) is an incredibly powerful one, as she says “help can always be found at Hogwarts, for those who ask for it” (or sommat like that anyway) That message is incredibly powerful.

Teaching young children about toxic environments, and encouraging imagination will have an impact for generations to come. There will never be a day that someone in the world doesn’t think a positive thought about Harry Potter, and in turn JK Rowling.

Somewhere, in a small café  in Scotland, one woman created a story and a universe that would last long in the memories of millions, some like me who hadn’t even been considered, yet alone born. She would change the lives of millions, and create strong role models for all, no matter what your age, race, gender, or sexuality namely herself, Emma Watson, or even Rupert Grint, for gingers everywhere!

I’ve read so many fan theories, from small little sad ones, like how Sirius and Harry had such a strong relationship because whenever they looked at each other, they both wished to see James.Simply insane ones too, like that Dumbledore is a time travelling Ron Weasely. Each day a new theory pops onto my facebook news feed, and that is how you know when something truly amazing has been created, when after 2 decades, people still can’t get enough, and that is the sign of a true legend.

It creates moral issues, like whether Snape is a good guy or not.I mean apparently abusing and bullying innocent school children isn’t an issue anymore, but that’s a whole different blog, possible series. But it gets young minds thinking on their own, raising their own moral issues, and allows them to gather their own opinion and voice it. In this world, there is nothing more important than standing up for what you believe is right, and that is exactly what she has started to encourage teenagers to do.

It makes us cry, laugh, and fume, sometimes all at the same time. And I could, have done, and almost definitely will reread them over and over again, because with truly beautiful, informative and intelligent writing you learn something new on every page.There is absolutely nothing bad about that, it means that generations upon generations will be passed down books from their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, and millions will be inspired by her writing, inspired to be a Harry, and do good. For that, from billions of potterheads across the globe, thank you JK Rowling

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are”. -Sirius Black, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.    JK Rowling.


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My children do not come from a broken home 

There are way too many phrases that make me want to scream. The term ‘broken home’ has to be up there at number one.
It’s a phrase usually accompanied by statistics.
“Children from broken homes 5x more likely to suffer from mental health problems” (Daily Mail)
“Children from broken homes nine times more likely to commit crime ” (Telegraph)
” 7/10 young offenders come from broken homes” (Telegraph)
I’ve read through these articles,Ive read the statistics and it seems that broken homes in these instances are those where there are not two biological parents living at home with the children. Broken home is often used to mean fatherless home,although there are of course motherless homes too.
I just think that these articles and statistics and panic inducing headlines do single parents a huge injustice.

Sure some families will struggle after splits and divorce.Sure some single parents will find it hard to cope so maybe we could look at how best to support them rather than write off their children as future thugs.
I don’t know one single parent who always envisaged this as the dream they’ve always wanted to persue from being a young child.I think most people would wish to raise their children in a marriage or long term relationship with their father.To have a calm,stable family life of mum,dad and children where the little ones can learn about healthy,respectful relationships from just observing their parents. Unfortunately though,this sometimes simply doesn’t happen. Scary headlines don’t help. I for one have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about being a single mum. That chip wasn’t put there by me through. I feel judged because I am judged,often. 

An academic,Patricia Morgan,who has written several studies on family break up says this 

“Broken families and serial fathers produce homes full of conflict and chaos and they are terrible for children”

Well Patricia, I am not as well educated as you . I’m not an academic. I am however on the front line of single parenting,everyday. This house you speak of terrible for children full of conflict? That was our life when we were living in the conventional family that you are so keen on. The fatherless ‘broken’ home we live in currently is one of relative calm , of happiness and laughter , of comfort.

As for the serial father bit that you chucked in there Patricia. We happen to be single parents we’re not animals looking for the next particularly fertile mate. 

Yes there are families where the headlines and stats and stereotypes unfortunately ring true. That’s huge shame for all involved. It’s a shame for society. 
The single parents I know though,raising our future thugs and villains?? We’re actually doing a bloody good job in really tough circumstances. We’re resilient, we’re adaptable, we’re hardworking and we’re tough. Rather than looking for the next serial father to jump we’re actually making a cosy haven for our children,making sure they feel safe and loved and secure . We’re doing a two person job single handedly often whilst working or caring for other family members or studying.
The conventional family my children lived in once was a stifling,suffocating one. It was unhealthy and dangerous. It was not the calm nurturing environment it should have been.
My children are not from a broken home. They are from a fixed one.


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          Mummy Times Two

Out of my hands 

Back when we left the abusive relationship all those years ago.

Back when my now taller than me teenagers were still little tiny things. 

Back when my now college boy was still in infant school. 

Back when my articulate chatterbox 2nd born still couldn’t talk properly (damn you speech therapy it was THE cutest) 

Back when I thought baby no. 3 treating brother baiting as if it were an Olympic sport was a phase she’d grow out of (poor deluded me) 

Back then. 
I had one priority – to keep them safe. 

It was hard at times. I was still so damaged from the abuse, I wasn’t strong mentally but still that fundamental aim remained. 

Keep them safe. 

I often felt like I was fighting the whole entire world and noone would listen to me and help me. For years through the family court nightmare with social services dragged into our lives by him every concern I had was met with ‘he’s their father, he has a right to see them’ 

I had to stand firm and unwavering at a time when I’ve never felt so fragile, but I could do it for them- to keep them safe. 
The children have seen their dad intermittently. They go to their paternal grandparents every fortnight and though he rarely took up the opportunity I was clear he was welcome to visit them there.  I didn’t want to be keeping my children from their father. Don’t get me wrong it suited me when he didn’t bother, I’m not claiming to be a saint here. 

Now though, at almost 17,15 and 14 it’s no longer my call. It’s no longer my decision but theirs. It’s out of my hands. 
This weekend they’re going to stay at his house for the weekend for the very first time. I’m really not dealing with it very well. 
The thing is it’s no longer about their safety. They want to go and stay and I can’t stand in their way. They really like his girlfriend and I actually think she could be the draw of why they want to go. 

It’s not that I believe them to be in physical danger – believe me if I thought that was even a possibility they’d be going nowhere.  
The discomfort I’m feeling is for selfish reasons.  The thought of them being there has triggered all the old feelings. Mentally I’m transported back to when I first came here – fragile and vulnerable and just feels bloody horrid. 
When we first came here my anxiety manifested itself as a ridiculous phobia of fainting in public. My physical anxiety symptoms feel very much like that second before you faint. Erratic breathing, throat tightening, light headedness and back then I was new to the anxiety game and didn’t realise that’s what it was. It used to happen daily back then but it’s not happened that badly in a good 7 years. Then yesterday it happened again. I know it’s because of this weekend and I just can’t stand to feel this way. It feels as if all my strength and mental stability has been whisked away and I’m back to that shaken girl of old. 

I know it’s only temporary though. I know when they arrive home Sunday after a lovely weekend all will be back right with my world. I do know that so I’m going to try to take a positive from this. I’m going to use it to acknowledge to myself how far I have come, how I am a totally different stronger woman now. 

I did what I set out to do. I took my children out of an unhealthy environment and I kept them safe. 
I have 3 down, happy, level headed (most of the time) teenagers and I have to allow them the space to make a relationship with their father if they choose to. 
I kept them safe. 
I just was unprepared for the time to come when it was out of my hands.  

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A love letter to mum bloggers…

 

Dear Mummy Bloggers ,

 

After the vileness of THAT ridiculous article by Anna May Mangan about how we are bringing the country to its knees with our gin soaked potato waffles ( oo wonder if that could work!) in that horrific newspaper that the devil would be proud of I felt compelled to tell you all how much I bloody love you.

 

 

As a mum blogger I love my little blog. I like having a little corner of the internet that’s mine. I’m proud of my blog too. Blogging makes me brave enough to share my thoughts in public . I’m grateful to my blog for being part of a really helpful therapy in my recovery from abuse.

 

 

Do you know what I like more though?

 

Your blogs.

 

I love reading your blogs , I love sharing them , I love finding a brand new blog then bingeing ( that spike in your views where you panic someone is reading everything you’ve ever written …that’s probably me!)

 

 

My favourites being those of you who bite the bullet and write really honestly about the realities of motherhood. Strangely I take it as a given that you all love your kids to pieces , I take it that we all know how lucky we are to have created actual humans who get to share our lives with . I don’t assume unless I see #blessed on your social media you’re just not that fond of them!

Reading your blogs full of love and joy and happiness is uplifting . Finding an idea for a new day out by reading reviews on your blog is really helpful.

When you share with us though , quite often in a raw manner , that sometimes you struggle. When you comment on how bloody hard this parenting lark can be. That some days it all feels impossible. That’s so very important too.

 

 

Parenting can be isolating . It’s terrifying. It’s so much harder having to deal with the constant feeling of being judged whether that’s by the woman tutting in the supermarket , your mother in law , your ex partner or a bloody national newspaper.

 

 

For an ordinary mum having one of those impossible days. Maybe she’s not seen another adult in a week. Maybe she’s exhausted and desperate and feels like this mummy gig is just too tough for her. Maybe she feels like a failure and is too worried to reach out in case everyone else agrees she’s a useless mother.

Well your blogs help save their sanity.

Maybe this tired mum comes across your blogs on an impossible day. Reads that other mums out there have had impossible days , that it’s normal , that she is not the only one. That she is not in fact a failure but a member of a massive club. A club full of women who have impossible days sometimes fish fingers and gin and all. That can feel like the biggest relief , the weight of the world falling from your shoulders. It’s a comfort to know that sometimes impossible days are followed by magical days. It’s a comfort that there are women out there who you can identify with and communicate with and that it’s ok to find it tough.

 

 

You’re not just a sanity saver though mum bloggers. You’re entertainment.

 

There are some supremely talented writers out there.

 

Blogging is not merely a load of self indulgent mums having a moan. So many topics are covered in this umbrella of the ‘mum blog’ Inspirational , moving writing covering heavy topics. Racism , mental health ,divorce, politics , feminism , abuse , grief all covered in various of your blogs I’ve read and written well. These are not just fluffy headed women half drunk on their 11am gin indulgently bleating about how shit it is to be a mum despite what the Daily Mail think. I’m unsure the writer of this particular piece has ever really read much of your work.

 

 

You’re funny too , so funny!! Your witty , intelligent writing can cheer up a miserable grey day!

 

 

So sneer all you want Daily Mail. You hate women as it is , of course you’ll feel threatened by a group of them who don’t behave as you think they should. Who build women up, who stand in solidarity with one another. Female empowerment was never really going to be your thing though. We’ve seen your poking fun at unflattering bikini shots and your misogynist headlines. To be frank some of the pieces I’ve been unlucky enough to come across from your ‘newspaper’ are nothing short of a hate crime .

 

Well love wins over hate.

 

Mum bloggers I bloody love you!!!

 

Kelly xxx

 

 

Shameless plug : If you like my nonsense and fancy nominating me in the #BiBs2017 you can do so just here http://www.britmums.com/nominate-for-the-bibs2017/





Naptime Natter



Hot Pink Wellingtons


Mummy in a Tutu

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The identity crisis bucket list! 

Earlier in the month I wrote about how now the children are getting older and a little less dependent I’m feeling about wobbly and unsettled about who I am as a woman, not just a mum. That particular self indulgent post is just here.

How do you find out who you are though? I’m a bit short on babysitters, time and cash to go off on some retreat of self discovery in the Himalayas for 6 months.

I thought a good place to start was think about things I like doing. The important word being I,rather than ‘we’. I know what we like doing as a family. I’ve spent the vast majority of the past 17 years finding things ‘we’ like doing and I really, really hope there are years and years of that to come.

I am lucky though in that I do generally  get a weekend a month to myself when my elder kids are with grandma and small girl is with daddy. I’ve even almost a fortnight in the summer holidays – that’s too long though I’ll be moaning about missing the kids by day 3. I’ve gotten better at utilising my child free time I did spend years just sitting home whinging about being lonely. I just need to keep doing that, maximising my free time . Try and find that woman that’s tucked away in here, rediscover the passions and interests that don’t lie solely on keeping these gorgeous human beings of mine alive and well.
I did what I always do.

Made a list.

It’s nothing earth shattering or awe inspiring but just a gentle start of remembering or discovering what makes me tick when the kids aren’t around.
Can I share them?

Go camping – on my own 

I’m a fan of doing stuff alone. I’m the advocate of the solo date, I enjoy my own company. I’m quite lucky where I live too with the Peak District almost on the doorstep so one weekend when I’m heartlessly abandoned by my children I’m just going to go walking up there. Look at beautiful scenery and collect my thoughts to the picturesque backdrop.

Go to Edinburgh fringe festival 

I’ve always wanted to do this. Wall to wall theatre and art. The children are away for over a week during the summer and I’m going to have myself a little holiday and head Northwards for some culture!

Exercise 

Stay with me here I’m not going to go all gym bunny on you. I loathe the thought of running and swimming so much so it actually puts me off doing it. This is really silly because when I do go for a proper run I do enjoy it. Working up a bit of a sweat with just my cringe worthy play list for company always makes me feel really good. Running is great for keeping my anxiety at bay too. So I’m going to stop being a lazy arse and get out there.

Write the book (or at least try) 

Everyone has a book I them don’t they say?  Mine is just struggling a bit with the getting out part. Do you know why? Because I feel daft. I worry that people would think “bloody hell we have to put up with her shockingly shite writing with her blog – who does she think she is writing a book?”

It could be true. I could invest time and effort only to produce the world’s worst book, but even if this were to be the case well it’d not have hurt anyone would it?

Let’s crack on with that.

Visit new places 

I read a short story by Jenny Colgan once called Paris For One. A woman gets stood up by her boyfriend and ends up visiting Paris alone. I’ve wanted to follow suit ever since.  I spent my younger years child rearing so have never really seen anywhere I’d have liked to yet. I might not manage Paris but I could start off with some UK cities surely?

So that’s my list so far.

I’ll bore you to death with tales of my adventures ticking them off but I feel so much happier just having written them down. I’ve showed them to you guys too so that means  I HAVE to do them right?
So here’s to making the most of child free weekends instead of moaning about abandonment.
After all the children certainly aren’t pining for me when they’re having fun at  grandma’s or having adventures with daddy!

 

 

 

Like my Facebook blog page to follow my adventures


 

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Not Just The 3 Of Us

 

A guest post from my First born

This is a guest post from my fab first born. I’ve been nagging  the kids to write for me for ages …. Parenting lesson there : nagging works.

 I’ve left it totally untouched despite itching to edit. .. Oh so I’m a pushy mother – old news! 




 
Whilst walking down the street, people cross the road in order to avoid me. They give me dodgy looks, tell their young children to avoid groups of us, we are of course, after all, extremely dangerous, each and every one of us. But which group of people am I being stereotyped and discriminated against for being a part of? I’m the worst of them all, I’m a dreaded TEENAGE

Hoodies up, we aren’t allowed to be warm you see, looking at our phones, heaven forbid the possibility that we’re keeping in contact with people, haven’t seen our parents in weeks, probably slipping each other drugs on the sly, we are really very intimidating.




I bet every single one of you has done it at one point, maybe it’s dark, you’re in an unfamiliar place, maybe walking home from a party and you see one of us, or maybe even worse, maybe we’re travelling in packs at this point, stalking the streets for pray and stabbing them with dirty needles.




What do you do? You turn the corner, you cross the road, anything to avoid having to have a confrontation with the rabble heading towards you.




How would you feel if someone close to you acted like that towards a black person? Surely you would be rightfully horrified, for all sensible people know you can’t judge someone by their appearance.




Maybe you don’t think I’m telling the truth, maybe I’m just being overdramatic, but is it a coincidence that security guards watch us like hawks, especially if we have one of those cursed hoodies on, possibly worse, if you’re really unlucky we might have had the cheek to put our hood up! (the horror!) There is no coincidence in the fact that mothers tell younger children to “come home if there are teenagers around” on their local park, I was told the same myself.




But when did it become acceptable to openly discriminate against a group of people in this manner? Even worse since when did such discrimination go unnoticed? Why should I feel pressured to not wear my hood up, to stay off my phone and not walk in groups, just to be seen as an ordinary human being and avoid such discrimination. When you talk to us you may be surprised to find out that we’re actually just people like you. Maybe we dress differently, maybe talk differently to you, but when did such minor barriers hold a cause for such a divide in society?




You know some of us have jobs, some of us play for sports teams, a couple of us even manage all of this, along with the stress and pressure of college, and the work load of that, I could go for pages and pages about the struggle of teenagers in this society we’ve built ourselves, but I’ll save you of that for now.




The one thing I hope you take away from this is to know that we notice. We notice your dodgy looks, your odd comments here and there. And as shocking as you may find this, it doesn’t make us feel too great about the older generations. It doesn’t make us feel particularly respected in the world we will soon be taking over. We were all teenagers once, so next time you send your young children to the park, don’t send them scared of the people they will one day become.

Who am I? 

*Did you just sing the Les Mis song there in your head when you read the title? I have been! *

ANYWAY… Before I even begin this blog post I really want to emphasise that I love my children with all I have. I am even loving motherhood right now, I haven’t always and I can admit that. Currently though I’m really enjoying this part of our parenting journey. 
Being a mum does define me and so it should. My eldest is almost 17.  I’ve been mum a long time. Being a mum has certainly shaped me in a whole different way than I would have been had I not had children. In fact I think being a mum has made me a better person than I would have been. 

So we’re clear on that yes? 

I’d never dismiss motherhood. 

I’m certainly in no way complaining at my life as a mum. 

I am incredibly grateful and so very lucky to have the family that I have. 

The thing is this. Behind the mum-who on earth am I as a woman? 

Before I had children I was only 19. I’d had grand plans to change the world. Nowhere in these plans was any ideas of getting married and having babies. In fact the one steadfast plan I did have was never wanting children. 

I’m so glad plans don’t always work out. Having children allowed me to discover parts of myself I never even knew existed. 

My children are getting older now. The elder 3 are teenagers, the little one is almost 9.

Well meaning people keep commenting how how now is MY time. Time to take back my life, that the children don’t need me as they once did. 

I have a few problems with this mindset. Mainly the children do need me still. Not with the intensity of younger years admittedly. Parenting teenagers is tricky though, you have to pick up on cues that mean ‘I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m worried’ because they can’t always articulate it. Much like newborns  and  their differing cries that usually only their parents can decipher. Call me needy but I’m not redundant just yet. 

The other bits though? Taking back my life? Well that’s a weird one, the little people are my life. 

It is true though that I do have more spare time these days. This first week of the Easter hols has highlighted the two sides of the coin on this. I had 5 whole child free days! I had a weekend away. I had the most glorious time just wandering about, sitting in pubs chatting undisturbed. Relaxed- none of the rushing around my everyday life has, lazy lie ins. I couldn’t have enjoyed myself more. 

When I got home to a empty house though I was at a bit of a loss. Did the house jobs I’d been putting off, cleaned, cooked. Then what? 

What do I do to make me happy and content? 

What is it I actually like to do? 

Who even am I when the children aren’t around? 

I have a bolognaise scenario that sums it up perfectly (keep with me not as nutty as it sounds) 

One thing I do like to do is take a book and go for dinner on my own. If ever I go to an Italian restaurant my initial feeling is to order bolognaise, because I love it. 

UNTRUE 

The kids love it, it bores me to tears. The kids love it so I cook it, I eat it and somehow I’ve become indoctrinated into believing I love it. 

I wonder how many other things fit the bolognaise mould. What other things do I think I like that is really no more than mum habit. 

I want to discover who I am as well as the woman with the overactive womb. I want to find out and nurture a bit the woman behind the mum. (bit tosspotty I know, I’m sorry) 
I’m quite excited by the prospect too. 
Needless to say I’ll bore you guys to death with my little adventure of self discovery.. . after all it’s highly likely when I discover this woman, she’ll be a bit of a knob! ! 


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Bringing up Georgia

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My BFF boys…

There’s just 18 months between my 2 sons. They’re the eldest of the four children and have been one another’s playmates from the off. 

The minute my eldest met his baby brother he was besotted. Brother became his new favourite and most used word. He couldn’t quite manage to pronounce Luke so Guke he became – unfortunately for  Luke this has stuck and we do all still call him Guke from time to time. 

Now at 15 and 16 they’re proper friends. They really do get along and enjoy one another’s company. I can’t tell you how giddily happy this makes me. 

What was once playing with the wooden train set together has become playing X-box together. 
What was once playing in the garden as toddlers is now going off to play tennis or a kick about in the park! 
What was once sat on the sofa with snacks watching Cars… Well actually that’s still the same they bloody love that movie!! 

When they were pre schoolers playing together in their room I’d sometimes listen in from behind the door, so curious was I to know what kind of conversations they had(I know!  I know!  needy mum much?!!)  

Now when I’m pottering about I’ll pick up snippets of conversation they’re having. 

Chatting about football or mutual friends they share.  

I’ll hear eldest giving his brother advice about his GCSE options or helping him with homework. 

I’ll hear plans being made for cinema trips or a Star Wars marathon in their room. 

They both go to the football for home matches of the local team. They don’t go together but the eldest decided he was going to go to an away match. When I asked who with his answer was “I’m going to see if Luke fancies it” 

My initial thought was aaaww that’s the loveliest… It was speedily followed up with nooooo you guys can’t catch the train to a whole other city alone. They’ll get lost and end up stranded and.. .breathe .. How nice they want to do it together. 

 I’m just so full of joy that these boys brought together by genes and circumstance get on so well. 

As someone whose sister is my best friend and favourite human in the universe I just hope their lovely friendship continues.Having a sibling as a best friend is a special thing. On top of really enjoying one another’s company there’s so much shared history. There’s someone in your life who you can rely on wholeheartedly, who has your back, who genuinely wants the best for you. I feel lucky that my relationship with sister survived teenage years when we didn’t much like one another because now I have the best friend ever. 

I’d love to think in years to come my boys will feel that in their brother they will always have a friend, a refuge, an open ear and a positive influence. 

Of course the boys argue as siblings do. The ‘Stupid Football Game’ seems to be at the root of most of their quarrels. There’s a whole etiquette regarding when you can and can’t save games that goes way over my head. 

All in all though, these young men I’m lucky enough to be raising are a close little duo. 
I think that’s just the most special thing. 



My Facebook page is here

          Mummy Times Two

Naptime Natter

Mothers day hints for single mums

I’m not a fan of Mother’s day. It’s up there with Valentines day for making you feel a bit crap.
I don’t have a mum, I haven’t had for almost 18 years now and the whole Mothers day thing being shoved in my face does sting a bit. Being a single mum also means there’s going to be no day of being spoilt so really I could do without it.

HOWEVER the kids? They bloody love it!  They love making a fuss and so for them really we have to just smile through it.

I’ve been a single mum for getting on for a decade now and I have picked up some hints along the way to share with you.

1) Buy yourself a gift

There’s only one rule here. It doesn’t matter what the gift is but it has to be something you want not that you need! (I see you there thinking about treating yourself to a new iron – No. Not allowed.)

Can be something as simple as a box of chocolates or a trashy magazine. Just have a treat. I’ve tickets to see Wicked (yes again) this year. If you’ve older kids let them wrap it, they love that, it just might take all day day to get through the whole roll of sellotape that’s been used!

Extra handy hint:If you  do go down the chocolate route buy two boxes, you’ll have to share the first one with the little people, have a box B for when they’re in bed!

2) Breakfast in Bed

The kids love the idea of breakfast in bed. Obviously as a single mum this is not going to be a full English brought on a pretty tray after a lazy lie in until 10am. That’s OK, we are adaptable.

Buy croissants and orange juice. After you’ve gotten up at ridiculous o clock and seen to the kids, put on the laundry and more than likely watched more cbeebies than is mentally healthy you can make a big deal out of going back to bed and let the small people fetch pastries and juice. If you’ve older ones you can push the boat out to tea and toast, though you’ll probably have to remake the tea when you ‘get up’ as tea made by children is rarely good. In saying that I’m a bit picky with tea as it is and there’s probably only a handful of adults I’d trust with that job!

3) Take 10 minutes

I know this is way easier said than done but it’s Mother’s day, we’ve got to try and make ten mins peace happen. Let the kids have a bit of extra screen time (do not feel guilty  about it)  take the Sunday papers and a coffee and just sit for a little while. If you’ve a whole tribe of kids like me you can suggest to elder ones that doing a jigsaw with their sibling while you flick through a magazine would be a huge mother’s day treat and sneak a cup of (well made) uninterrupted tea.

4) Speak to a non single mum.

This may sound mean but make it one with a partner who’s not great. Don’t talk to the woman whose perfect husband let her lie in until lunch before waking her with their children clean and dressed before having a great family day. That woman is really lucky and we’re happy for her but being a single mum on mother’s day can feel a bit flat. You see happy families everywhere you turn, letting a mum who does have a partner but the only mention of Mother’s day she’s heard is him asking her what she’s got HIS mum rant will make you realise you’re not alone in your Mother’s day misery.

5) Take social media with a pinch of salt

For every #soblessed perfect family picture there’s rows and bickering children and too much washing and not enough hours in the day.

As single parents we may not have someone to to share the chores or help with parenting duties or even ask how our day’s been and that can be really tough and lonely. Really though all us mums, single or not, are just trying to do our best and not mess up too badly. Don’t let social media be a stick to beat yourself with.

Have a lovely Mother’s Day
You’re doing an amazing job.
You are enough.
You are irreplaceable.
You are entitled to a hot drink and a solo loo trip today!



Here’s my Facebook page

 

 

Mummy Times Two

 

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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