Tag Archives: parenting

A change is as good as a holiday

Or so they say…..

I could really quite fancy a holiday….blue seas…sun…sand….

ANYWAY there are no holidays on the cards here but I think we can do the change bit or try and see how we get on at least.

Dear funny, talented , witty, gorgeous readers of my blog,

I spoke a few weeks ago about how a break from blogging taught me a thing or two and since then I’ve written a little bit here and there but nothing that felt very *twatty phrase alert* authentic to this blog. It’s been safe and guarded and I just don’t think that’s what people are looking for when they read my blog.

Someone once commented that they felt like reading my blog was like having a cup of tea with an old friend. I really liked the thought of that. My blog has always been somewhere I’ve come and just opened the floodgates between what’s in my mind and what comes out in words on the page. I write how I speak , I like the chatty (waffly) vibe this blog has. I was challenged on Twitter this week to do an exercise where I had to write and edit a post in 20 minutes, it’s here if you fancy a read. What I got from that exercise was a reminder of how much I like just opening my mind and seeing what comes out.

When people ask me what I blog about I kind of ummmm and ahhh and talk of how it started life as a blog about life after abuse but evolved. It’s a mum blog…maybe with a twist .

Over the past year , or more likely two actually, it’s evolved yet again. It’s more about me (bloody egotist!) The kids are that much older than they were when I began to write and I think I’ve covered most all I could say about parenting. Tales and posts about the kids have become less and posts about me , about feminism, about mental health and discovering who you are when your children get older are my mainstay now I think.

Added to this I had some Twitter nastiness of late. My blog was discovered by someone who took against me telling my story and took to my Twitter to express this. Unfortunately this compromised our anonymity somewhat. This blog isn’t absolutely anonymous of course as it once was but I keep away from surnames , I rarely use the kids names as I’m mindful they may not want their pals to come across a sloppy love letter written to them by their mum.

I’m feeling lately with all this happening I’ve been self censoring a lot , I’ve not been expressing myself and really if I’m going to do that I may as well delete the blog and start up a generic one that isn’t full of my waffle and too many exclamation marks. Except the reason I blog is because it’s therapeutic to me . Telling my stories , giving my opinions , occupying this little spot on the internet have become really quite important to me silly as that may sound.

So I’ve reached the conclusion that writing about the kids should probably take a bit of a back seat and my blog maybe should just continue to be what it has organically evolved to be over the past couple of years. To be the wafflings of a woman hurtling towards 40 at breakneck speed . A mum whose children are much older now and she’s trying to work out where she fits in the world. The feminist , the abuse survivor , the woman with mental health struggles , who loves a solo date ( can even handle an accompanied one these days – who saw that coming ?) Just really a woman who no longer has little kids , who is trying to figure out who she is when she’s not being mum.

Would that be ok ?*

*Please don’t desert me I loooovvvee you all too much!!!!

* and this from the woman who a few years ago couldn’t even say the L word

*I’ve gotten softer yet more needy as the years have gone by

JakiJellz

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
Mission Mindfulness
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It’s not just ‘the school run ‘….

I moan about the school run , quite a lot.

I moan we live so far from school when there’s a lovely one virtually in our back yard . When we first came here I started the big ones there and everyone settled so well I couldn’t stand to move them when we began to live further away. So for 10 years almost we’ve been getting the train , then doing the 20 minute walk to school. In the winter I really moan. When the train is crowded or late or cancelled I grumble .

The last few weeks though ,there’s been a realisation that time is ticking on our school run together. One day it’ll no longer be part of our routine .

You see I realise that the school run isn’t ‘just ‘ the school run.

It’s the only time of day that it’s just me and small girl and she has my total undivided attention.A rarity with 3 siblings.

It’s the time of day she leaps and twirls ands bounds with total abandonment , a freedom she has that she is oblivion what anyone else around her may think of the girl dancing her way to school.

It’s the time she practices being other animals ‘just in case ‘ We read AniMalcolm recently , I blame that.

It’s the time we make plans for the next day , or week or school holidays.

It’s the time she invents recipes to make when she gets home.

It’s the time she fills me in on what she’s been up to at daddy’s when she’s away from me .

It’s the time she tells me if she’s fallen out with friends and is feeling lonely or upset.

It’s the time I tell her stories about when I was at primary school.

It’s the time we sometimes hold hands ,something which has become less and less something we do.
It’s the time she loves her current book so much she’s reading on the train , stood up on the train platform she’s so engrossed and I giggle at my cute little bookworm

It’s the time we discuss our disagreements when mummy has been snappy mummy during the morning chaos when she’s asked a dozen times to “please put on your tights”

It’s the time we then hug out those disagreements and I buy guilt pain au chocolates …..what a sucker !

It’s the time that not only does she have my full attention but I have hers and that’s such a precious gift.

I’m going to stop whining about the school (or try certainly) and be grateful for those moments that start and end her school day. That we enjoy one another company and have conversations that I am certain I would not have with any other person in the world.

The clock is ticking .

1 year and  and counting…

Then there’ll be no school run , no sneaky hugs and random school run chats .

I’m going to miss them.

 

I’m taking part in the Mummy Monday linky with Becca from Becca Blogs It Out

3 Little Buttons
JakiJellz

One Messy Mama

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Mission Mindfulness

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If Mother’s Day makes you miserable…

Mother’s Day for me is as much as a downer as Valentines Day , and that is saying something.

 

 

I don’t have a mum. She died almost 19 years ago. Before I was really a grown up , before I was a mum myself . I haven’t had a mum for a long time and I’m no longer grief stricken in that all encompassing , consuming way that fresh bereavement brings with it. I don’t have parents , that’s been part of my life for a very long time. I don’t weep everytime I think of it or flinch from talking about them.

 

 

Mother’s Day though that always feel like a bit of a stomach punch for me . It hits hard and it hurts and it lingers . I think it’s because it is everywhere. I have had emails everyday for about 3 weeks telling me to treat mum , buy her something special. TV ads are there too telling me to spoil my mum , get her a cute personalised card , take her out for dinner. Well you know what advertisers ? I’d love to. I’d be delighted to be able to take my mam out for dinner somewhere fancy , I never ever got to do that you see. I’d only just finished my A levels when my mum died . I wish with all my might that tomorrow we could do a lovely Sunday lunch , my mam and my children , my sister and hers . I wish we could have one of those days the advertisers are shoving down our throats. I wish I could spoil her – only present I can remember getting her was a pack of dusters when I was about 7 because she’d been saying she needed new ones ( I’d like to think that my gift giving skills have improved since then)

 

 

Mother’s Day without a mum sucks , I’ve seen a few other people mention they feel the same over the past week or so on social media . I suppose it’s just because we are bombarded with what we are missing . Highlights the hole in your life.

 

 

 

It’s not just the lack of a mum that gives me the Mothers Day angst.

 

 

I’m a single mum too , again I have been for a long while . There is no other adult here to give me a well done or make me feel special and that’s a bit of a niggle too. The kids will ( I hope ) have made cards and small girl’s daddy will have gotten a gift for them to give me and we’ll have a lovely tea and possibly a Mothers Day disco if we’re feeling that way inclined . It just all leaves me really flat and exhausted. A total fake of a day. That in itself makes me feel guilty , surely Mother’s Day should be spent dwelling on how bloody lucky I am to have these 4 amazing nutcases in my life. Instead I’ll be feigning happiness and joy that simply is stripped away from me on Mothers Day. I know that feeling this way stems from the toxic relationship I was in when I was first a mum and for the years after. Some of you may unfortunately know that big days and events that aren’t focussed on the perpetrator in those kind of relationships can be horrific. Kids birthdays , Christmasses well they were volatile enough but Mother’s Day ???Whole other level. You may be showered with expensive gifts in front of people to have them smashed to bits when you’re alone or you could be told that you’re too much of a shit mum to get a card on Mother’s Day . You don’t deserve it .

I think this is one of my few remaining hang ups left over from those times . Maybe I’d have conquered it with setting our own traditions and taking back Mothers Day like I have so much other stuff but the thing with it is I already feel like the wind has been taken out of my sails with not having a mum and I don’t really have the energy to fight THIS added problem that kills Mother’s Day stone dead for me .

 

 

I didn’t intend to make all this about me honestly. As I say often my blog is therapeutic and getting thoughts out of my head into words on a page really helps me understand myself and my thinking better. I don’t resent other people having the worlds best day I feel obliged to say . I love seeing the happy pics on social media of mums with their feet up , having breakfast in bed . I love to see amazing mums thanked and celebrated , they bloody deserve it ! Tell me stories of your mums and how they are absolute rocks ! I don’t scroll through social media cursing those celebrating the day I promise ( possibly DO do that on Valentine’s Day)

 

 

 

 

There are many of us though, for whom Mother’s Day is painful .

There are a multitude of reasons why .

It could be that you’re not a mum when that’s all you want in the world , that must be almost unbearably hard.

Maybe you’ve lost a child , that would be a traumatic thing to deal with on a day celebrating mothers. I can offer no words of comfort there because I’m almost sure there are none.

Maybe you have an ill child , are ill yourself , have an ill mum and are dealing with just try to get through a day.

Maybe Mother’s Day triggers poor mental health , I’ve certainly been feeling as though an anxiety flare up could be on the horizon.

Maybe you are in an abusive relationship. Forcedly estranged from your mum and other family , feeling so alone and trapped . Told what a terrible mother and person you are , that you’re pathetic and useless , that your kids would be better off in care than with you. To you women let me just say this , you are outstanding , you are doing an amazing job in intolerable circumstances and you deserve to be free. You are worthy of love and of kindness , you are worthy of being supported and empowered not kept down and silenced . When the day comes that you are able to leave , all these things will find their way to you because it’s no less than you deserve.

 

Maybe you don’t have your children with you this mother’s day for one reason or another and there is a painful void .

 

 

I don’t have the answers on how to make this day more tolerable , bloody hell I’m here writing a blog post that is basically one long whinge.

 

 

All I can offer is that Mother’s Day is just one day . That’s my mantra . Just one day . The next day will be better , less pressured . Surround yourself with people who lessen your pain if you at all possibly can. Fill your own little world with people who make you feel better , even if that just means spending time alone. Me ? I will be having a day with these awesome individuals that make me realise that even the shittiest days can be tolerated. I’ll also be tossing about on social media as per usual so if anyone wants to chat I’ll be around . Whether that’s because you are struggling or you just want a distraction and fancy chatting about trash tv I am your girl ( The seven year switch eh??….looks to be a cracker!! How about Richard from married at first sight??….sorry I digress…)

 

See you on the other side!!

 

 

 

 

My Facebook page is here

The sweetest sixteen…

Once upon a time there was a baby. 

He was ever so beautiful , ever so cuddly and ever so hungry. His favourite hobbies were waking up every hour to be fed , cuddles , soft fleecy blankets ,being held and the occasional nap between meals. He had a big brother who loved to slobber all over him (kiss him he would say) and show him off like he was the crown jewels.The baby had little choice in this whole ‘brother’ thing bit he never seemed to mind too much .

The baby grew bigger , unsurprisingly given his milk intake and discovered food was a thing. It was a revelation !! It got better than milk!!! I mean porridge – whoever invented that bad boy was a genius according to our baby!

He carried on growing,much like the story of the Very Hungry Caterpillar only instead of becoming a beautiful butterfly he became the world’s cutest toddler ! Seriously I only have to think of his blonde hair and huge eyes and my womb starts having funny ideas. He was a bit clumsy and fell over his own feet a lot . His mummy just assumed that was genetic as she did too….turned out years and years of doctors and A and E trips and podiatrist appointments down the line he had a bend in a bone in his leg that noone picked up on and that’s why he fell. His mummy felt pretty bad about that but wondered if she could get in on some of this bent leg action to account for her clumsiness. 

Our world’s cutest toddler also struggled with his speech a bit. Again his mummy would insist to anyone who dare mention this that she could understand him as could his auntie and grandma so if you couldn’t that’s your problem. Much to mummy’s dismay a speech therapist fixed our hero and ‘doos’ became shoes and ‘nunny’ became dummy and mummy cursed that speech therapist as his mispronunciation was just adorable .

Pre schooler boy loved collecting. Really loved collecting. Wooden Thomas trains , Bob the Builder toys , Engie Benjy vehicles! What do you mean what’s Engie Benjy??It was kind of a Bob rival but voiced by Ant and Dec , it was pretty cool!! He’d spend hours racing these toys all separated into teams and leagues . He’d never grow out of liking a good league . 

Seriously I could just squish that little face !!!




He also loved setting ridiculous challenges for the adults in his life requesting green dummies and elephant shaped biscuits and other bizarre items. The grown ups in his life of course would take on these challenges because if you succeeded you’d be his hero!!

Through primary school at some point our boy discovered football . His elder brother had always been a sports nut but younger boy wasn’t keen. Until he was obsessed ….a character trait from his mum being he is either obsessed by something or has zero interest. We don’t really do in between. The boy breathes football. He has his precious Hull City and beloved Stockport County but it goes deeper than that. One night he and I sat and he was looking at obscure Greek football tables and results for hours .

He also became an author ! His Dusty Rusty series were a triumph! Well we all thought so anyway, I can still imagine they’ll be published one day!

The dreaded teen years came …. but they were …well great actually!!! When you’ve had 3 babies under 3 – teenagers who can feed themselves and toilet alone bring not a lot to fear really. 

He also bloody loves an evening with a rom com

So today that hungry ,cute,  cuddly baby is now – well a hungry, cute ,  cuddly 16 year old actually. An amazing young man who thinks a lot and questions a lot. Who is creative and thoughtful and kind and caring. Who would still wake to eat hourly if he could get away with it . Who does the best Garth Crooks impression and who is going to go on Pointless with me as his knowledge is pretty widespread and impressive. Whose personality I can see reflecting back at me like a mirror which is weird . …and frustrating as hell should we disagree and both dig our heels in as far as they can possibly go!!

Happy Birthday gorgeous one ! I’m so lucky to get to be the one you call mum , you’re a delight and I am so proud of the person you are . I can’t wait to watch you change the world in your own thoughtful , considered way . The universe is made infinitely better by having you in it!
Xxxxx

JakiJellz

After The Playground

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Burnished Chaos

         



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Reasons little sisters are awesome (mine specifically)

It’s something that will be held against me all of my life , but an anecdote told over and over by my mam. When they brought home my little baby sister from the hospital she was squarking away whilst I was trying to watch Rainbow (and just remember you only got one shot at kids TV back then , no iPlayer or all day kids channel) I turned to my parents and said “Why couldn’t we just have got a dog instead of a baby” which given the circumstances highlighted above I’m sure you can completely understand!!

She’s grown on me through the years though and now I’m a big fan of my little sister . Here’s why she’s awesome :

1) She makes me laugh like noone else in the world does , has or will.

At least once everytime I talk to her on the phone I laugh , at her house I spend half the time guffawing ,or honking as my nephew once referred to it.

She’s just a naturally funny human , we were going to turn her into a stand up comedian once but we only really had 2 jokes!! I don’t know if this is a universal younger sibling thing or not !

She is my personal shopper

She sends stuff like this. I appreciate it.

She produces fabulously quirky humans

Eldest nephew has the same hilarious traits as his mother , he is so funny I am going to have to step up my campaign to get him to write me a guest blog. My niece is so like me I think she’s amazing , goody two shoes with a slightly clumsy side , how is that not just adorable. WE ARE ADORABLE NOT ANNOYING!! Youngest nephew is the quirkiest of all…. I’ll just leave this here….

Yep….just casually reading the Bible in the Drs surgery…

She’s down with the kids

Literally on the floor ,taken down by the kids after challenging this one to a wrestling match……fool

She makes me feel really wise….

Especially about cooking!!!

Once years ago she did ask me how you should cook lettuce so we’ve certainly moved on…

Unfortunately I think I have just been an extraordinary advice giver as her dinner pics these days are delicious, bit hey this is meant to be about her not me!

In jokes are the funniest thing!

This is the case for most people, there is nothing funnier than having someone around you can just say a word or two and they know exactly what you mean….also since gifs I can take it to a new level….

Tee hee hee stupid monpole !

She’s a hangover fairy godmother

Wine gets consumed when I make it home for a visit. A lot of wine.

Yet you always wake up amazingly hangover free in the morning…..you can’t understand it ,you think you’ve managed to get back to your pre child self who didn’t get hangovers.

Until she tells you she woke you with painkillers and water at the crack of dawn in a preemptive strike!! Magic!

She is a one off….

Absolutely broke the mould after her. Her opinions on dinosaurs and space are as funny as they are frustrating……the questions she thinks of are as though someone has made a new brain prototype as I honestly don’t think the things she ponders have ever crossed another person’s mind!!! I’ve got to get her into vlogging her little ideas as I really have to share this with the world!!
Along with all her quirks though and her funniness and basic all round entertainment value there is so much more to her .

She’s great to rant at , she’ll listen and then do anything she can to help

She’s the fun auntie everyone has funny stories about.

She’s an amazing mum.

A really amazing mum.

They’ve had a really rough time over there recently and I hate not being close enough to help out. She’s there though , getting on with it . Parenting the shit out of life and managing to be in 10 places at once (obviously not literally I’ve not managed to clone her yet – I’ll share her when I do!) I couldn’t be prouder of her ability to deal with 10 tonnes of crap and still finding time to tag me in FB memes !!

Happy Birthday LouLou , I love you!…… now PLEASE come to see Wicked with me???

Xxxxx

What’s your favourite thing about your siblings??

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
Mission Mindfulness
Burnished Chaos

How to survive Christmas when it’s not ‘your turn’ with the kids

I like being a single parent.

I like that all the decisions are mine.

I like that we’re a solid little unit of 5.

I like that our family dynamic is so lovely an we all just fit.

I do not like sharing the kids time.

I especially do not like sharing the kids time over Christmas. There’s no two ways about it , it sucks. Hard.

It’s bad enough that most of the big retailers Christmas ads are full of images of that perfect family unit , I even as a content single parent feel put out that I and the kids don’t have that it’s sold to us so intensely.

Some parents Christmas’ don’t look like that. It’s not mummy and daddy looking over the children rushing downstairs to see if Santa has been before tucking in a huge dinner all together with extended family gathered for extra cheer.For some parents Christmas comes with a gut wrenching incompleteness. Some years it’s simply not your turn.

I’ve done ‘not my turn ‘ with small girl a couple of times now and I thought maybe I could share how you can possibly ease the awfulness even just a tiny bit.

1) Don’t feel obliged to join other people

When people find out you’ll be alone at Christmas they’ll likely invite you to join theirs (nice humans will anyway!) If you know being in someone elses Christmas will make you feel worse though , don’t do it. It’s hard to know how you’ll feel if it’s your first time.People you are close to though I am sure if you change your mind and cannot stand sitting home alone later in the day will greet you over .
Also though

2) Don’t be a misery martyr

If you do want to take up a lovely invitation from friends and family don’t say no for daft reasons such as – they’re only asking out of politeness or that you feel that you’re betraying your children in some way if you dare crack a smile without them. You sat crying into the Quality Street will benefit no one if your wishing you’d have just gone to your friends rather than take up emotional self flagellation as your new hobby.

3) Have an early (or late) Christmas Day

So Santa is a tricky one if you don’t have the kids the actual day the big guy comes but I’ve found the elves are pretty open to an email explaining the situation . They’re usually good to drop a little gift off on an alternative day , nothing so huge as to upstage Mr Claus but just something to open.

Then get your Delia on ,do your turkey ,pop on a silly paper hat and have your Christmas! I’m a silver linings kind of a girl so I’ll just say if you have ‘your’ Christmas after the 25th – half price turkeys!

4 ) Remember it’s just one day

I know this is hard. Almost impossible hard. It’s THE day ,the one everyone has been banging on about for months . Tomorrow is a new one though , as is next week and you can fill the little people’s festive period with so much fun stuff. Pantos generally go in into the New Year , festive events like Winterwonderland too go on after Christmas day itself.

5) Seek out #joinin on Twitter

Ok now this one has cheered me up out of my misery on a few festive occasions. Even on years all four children are around,once they’ve gone to bed on Christmas Day I can feel a little lonely. I’m someone who enjoys my own company all year round ,but I don’t know Christmas just seems to highlight my solo-ness. It’s probably the one time I lament the absence of another adult person on my sofa.

The amazing Sarah Millican began #joinin for anyone alone on Christmas who doesn’t want to be. She explains it better here , have a read. I can vouch for it as a perker upper though. I’ll be there on and off throughout the day as really I’m often surplus to requirements once presents are done and dinner is eaten!!!

I’m @daydreamer_mum on Twitter so should you fancy slating annoying relatives , chatting about eating your own body weight in chocolate , discussing the Christmas TV or just fancy a chat over Christmas if you’re lonely tweet me . Social media has its low points but surely over Christmas we can make it a force for good.

Nothing I can say can make Christmas without the kids any less shit. I so wish it could. Take very good care of yourself if it’s not your turn this year. Remember it’s just a few days and there’ll be a gang of cool kids on Twitter around for chat!!

Xxxxx

My Facebook page is here if you fancy

My Random Musings

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
Mission Mindfulness

Rhyming with Wine

JakiJellz

Not Just the 3 of Us

When 4 become 1…

You’re thinking of the Spice Girls now aren’t you?? ….yeah me too,  but this post is kid related not a 90s throwback. Although I might start giving them Spice-esque nicknames : Grumpy kid , Stroppy kid , gob almighty kid , perma-hungry kid ??Might catch on!! 

Anyway , I digress….(that’s going to be the title of my autobiography by the way)

When you have a whole tribe of kids and only 1 of you the all important one on one time can be tricky. Well when I say tricky , 1 into 4 simply does not go. It can be impossible.

Now the children are older it has become easier. I’m now able to do something with one child without everyone else wanting in! In fact these days they generally like being left alone to rot in front of a screen.

Recently there have been a few occasions though where indulging the individual children’s interests and passions has made me appreciate even more just how good it is to have those one on one times. 

My children all have very different interests. The one thing they have in common though is that when they love , they love hard. Much like their mother when they have a passion they are very enthusiastic about it!

This is how I found myself joining hundreds of people in a queue at 9 am in a Waterstones in Manchester. 

Eldest child has been into F1 since he could point and make zoomy noises on the TV whilst men in cars drove super fast (look I’m not the expert here!)

As with many things (Doctor Who , Hull City…) I got sucked in by my children’s enthusiasm and ended up being way more interested in it than I would have been. So I have found myself getting up at stupid o clock to watch races with him , I was happy to see Lewis Hamilton win the world title again and I do have a basic understanding of the rules (well except they seem to change every season!)

Anyway eager to please mum here saw Jenson Button was doing a book signing in Manchester so I told him about it. I’ve been to a few book events and signings here myself. Always very civilised affairs you buy your ticket, arrive 10 mins before the event and have a lovely time. 

This was different. I didn’t realise this was different until I had passed on the info and accepted his invitation to go with him (I’m a bit needy and they rarely want to hang out with me these days) 

This event though , involved queuing. 

Lots of queuing.

4 hours of queuing.

We were total amateurs though, the guy in front of us had travelled all the way from Northern Ireland and the man at the front of the queue had been camped outside all night! Our 15 min train ride and 4 HOURS OF QUEUING was pretty minor relatively speaking.

Despite the queuing. It really was a lovely thing to do together. I learnt a few things about my son that morning. Mainly that his F1 knowledge is almost encyclopaedic. Also though that he is a lovely ,polite , funny , chatty ,  young man (of course I knew this already but it’s quite a special insight into the kind of human he is and I just felt proud )

So the boy met one of his heroes , I know they say not to do that but Jenson was lovely and chatty and unrushed and just look at the boys face? He may be 17 but that is a look of joy … they’re rarer those moments as they get older , you’ve got to work harder for them. So what’s 4 hours between friends!!!



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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!!

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#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. 




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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….



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