Thursday, 22 September 2016

Why We Love Autumn. Do YOU?

I sometimes think that autumn is the most exciting time of year. Crazy assumption, right? The fuss that we make over Christmas in winter… or even the downright pointless but nevertheless giddying hope that we have anticipating a warm, dry summer…or even a HEAT WAVE!!!! Do kids these days even know what a hosepipe ban IS?! I think in this country especially, that’s probably a big part of why we love the arrival of autumn. Summer in the UK these days is just so goddamn disappointing. Rain, rain and more rain. Dull, grey days, wind. Interspersed with a few nice days here and there. Possibly a one day heat wave bringing a big surge of hope that it’ll stick around only to wake to gale force ten battering your windows the following morning.

Of course there are (crazy) people who aren’t fussed on whether or not we have a hot summer. Fair people don’t like the sun because it means they have to cover up or stay in the shade, larger people don’t enjoy excessive sweating, unnecessary skin (flab) exposure, inner thigh chaffing and feeling faint if you stand too long in the sun. Written from my own experience by the way. The amount of times I’ve tried to discreetly wipe the top lip sweat from my face upon arrival ANYWHERE in the summer. And MOST people hate flies and wasps. City centres always reek of dried, sickly bin juice smells in the heat and ain’t nobody got time for those members of society who haven’t been introduced to deodorant. Especially on crowded public transport. So they LOVE the turn of the season.

I will say a quick note here about London. It has higher temperatures than the rest of the country. And it really does make a difference. I grew up in London and my summers of the 80s WERE always a lot warmer than the damp-fests I endure in rainy Cardiff. So while they might well have experienced a few months of fairly clement whether, the rest of us might not. The difference of 3-5 degrees is pretty significant. So whilst we’re feeling a rather cool 18-19 degrees, London will quite often be 22°, 23° or even 25°. And so then all we hear in the media is how we’ve all been “going crazy in the heat wave”, followed by some business types eating lunch with their trousers rolled up in some central park, whilst the rest of the country goes about its grey, damp day with their hoody zipped right up to their noses.

It’s like autumn gives us an excuse to stop all the false hope and expectation of glorious sunshine. It feels like a relief. We can look forward to something more real and predictable. Cool weather, darker nights, crunchy leaves, spicy autumn smells, bonfires and root vegetable stews. And it's so beautiful...all those reds, oranges, golds and browns! Autumn heralds a time where we can feel cosy and safe. We can rug up. Wear cardies, boots and scarves. Cwtch up on a sofa with a good book / Netflix and larger glass of red and not feel guilty that you should be outside enjoy this week’s ten minutes of sun.

It’s also the start of “holiday season”. Hallowe’en is rapidly becoming as big over here as it is in the States. I know lots of people get cross about the commercialisation of things like Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day. I actually don’t mind it. I love embracing seasonal things. I love celebrating what’s around now and being “present”. That has stemmed from my experience of anxiety and the need to be mindful and embrace the NOW. But it’s more than just that. I love the tradition of Hallowe’en. It’s comforting to do things in a cyclical way. So I enjoy the run up to it with carving pumpkins and swedes, then setting up the apple bobbing and donuts on strings and dressing up like scary loonies. What’s wrong with having another thing to celebrate? We don’t do trick or treating but again I love the community buzz on that night with processions of funny little monsters and witches stomping around the neighbourhood and coming to get sweets. And of course my kids get to stuff their faces with them too. It’s a lovely time of year.

Right I am off to make a hot chocolate, grab my toasty socks and stick on re-runs of the The Gilmore Girls. Who’s with me?

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Blogger Tag for #Vlogstars

Hello! I have once again joined in the #Vlogstars linky run by Aby & Amy and this month it was The Blogger Tag, questions all about blogging....hoorah! So if you want to know more about my PROCESS as a blogger (yes I am aware this makes me sound like a poncey method actor!) then click and learn! If you want to join in, I've copied the questions below and if you click the pic at the bottom it will take you to the original linky for you to join in the fun. 

In the meantime, watch, share and have fun. 

Oh and I am a bit drunk. #sorrynotsorry. 

The questions:

1. Where Do You Blog?

2. Where Do You Find Inspiration For Your Blog Posts?

3. How Long Does It Take You To Write a Blog Post?

4. Do You Plan Your Blog Posts? How?

5. What Kind of Camera Do You Use? What Editing Program?

6. Do You Use a Notebook To Track Your Ideas?

7. How Do You Take Your Pictures?

8. What’s Your Favourite Type of Blog Post to Write?

9. Who Knows About Your Blog?

10. Are You an Organised or a Messy Blogger?

11. Biggest Blogging Pet Peeve?

You Baby Me Mummy

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Nobody Needs to Know If You Want Kids.

I’m gonna sum up this post with a little pop quiz before delving into the nitty gritty.

Are you a woman? Do/did you want kids? = JUDGEMENT REGARDLESS OF ANSWER.

Are you a man? Do/did you want kids? = JUDGEMENT? Not so much.

I just watched a segment on daytime TV behemoth This Morning, about the pressures of being a childless woman which stemmed from NicolaSturgeon announcing that she’s suffered a miscarriage in 2011. Does Nicola Sturgeon suffering a miscarriage have an effect on your perception of her as a human? Does it have an effect on your opinion of her ability to do her job?

Sadly I think the answer for most is yes and yes. “Yes I feel like we see a more relatable side to her now we know she WANTED to have kids but has not been able to.” This is because it’s seen in our society as a natural, instinctive response to being a woman...the desire to have kids. Women who don’t want to are often castigated as cold-hearted career women. SELFISH even in wanting to have a career over producing sproglettes.

And perhaps something like: “yes I feel like, because she has experienced the pain of miscarriage, therefore she will have a broader perspective from which to lead from”.

This makes me very uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable.

So in this situation, if you’ve read my stuff before you’ll know that when it comes to gender issues I like to apply the “what’s the result if we swapped the woman for a man in the same situation?”. This is my default for sniffing out patriarchal bullshit. Would your opinion of say, *Sadiq Khan be affected if you knew whether or not he wanted kids? Or that lunatic opinion-divider Boris Johnson? Or even all-round good egg Justin Trudeau? I think perhaps if they DID want kids that would have a positive effect on your opinion, sure. Probably not as much as if they were women though. But if they didn’t…. I don’t think it would make much difference at all to public opinion. Because society doesn’t have some ludicrous outlook that men who want to pursue their careers single-mindedly are selfish. I don’t think it would even be a discussion.

*for the record, they all have kids. This is purely hypothetical!

I want to know, for the love of god, why in 2016 we are discussing a woman in power’s decision to have kids?! It is wholeheartedly IRRELEVANT. It actually DOESN’T have anything to do with her ability to do her job. Any job. Even being a nanny, teacher, mid-wife. She does not NEED to state her reasons for remaining kid free. EVER. Whether she can’t or whether she doesn’t want to. Irrelevant. None of our business. Please let’s stop making it a thing. Let’s stop being shocked, or intrigued, or any level of anything other than being blindly accepting when you discover a woman is kid free.

I’m going to let a little controversial opinion here slip. I once read an article (which try as I might, I just can’t find to link to) which was a series of mini interviews with women who hold really important, interesting, diverse, fulfilling roles in society. It was like a top 10 thing. All of them were asked about their greatest achievements. To my utter shock, 9 / 10 of them said their children. I have to say I was horrified! Now before you think I am a total heartless kid-hating lunatic…. I was horrified because I know, KNOW that a man would never ever have said his kids. When the article was supposed to be focusing on their career success...I just felt like their PERSONAL achievement of bringing kids into the world wasn’t relevant to the article.

Please don’t misunderstand me. My kids are my absolute number 1. They are the most important thing to me in the world. Of course they are. And of course they are for these women too. I completely understand that. But I don’t believe they should be labelled as a number one achievement when some of these women had done amazing things in their lives. Their child rearing abilities has no bearing on what they have given to society through their work. With the exception of them rearing a serial killer, obvs….

The point is, as a society I think we should steer away from mixing ability/desire to have kids and career ability. They do not co-exist. Whilst we are playing the childless off against the child-laden then we are never going to achieve a level playing field. Just stop. Nobody needs to know if you have kids and nobody needs to know if you want them. 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Term time Mornings vs School Holidays

Term time mornings vs hol

5am: Cats wake up, have mental 10 mins, run up and down the stairs, fight each other, jump on parents heads. Parents shout at cats. Go back to sleep.

6am: 6 yr old bursts into bedroom and/or makes loud “playing” noises outside bedroom door to alert parents of presence.

6.05am: Parents shout at child to keep noise down.

6.06am: Child maintains levels of noise.

6.10am: One parent gets up scares child downstairs with sleep-riddled anger and promises unfettered use of iPad for half an hour more sleep.

6.45am: Alarm goes off in parents room.

6.50am: Snooze goes off.

6.55am: Snooze goes off.

7.00am: Snooze goes off, Mummy belts Daddy with pillow to turn off and get up.

7.05am: Daddy wakes 2 yr old.

7.06am: Children & Daddy have breakfast.

7.20am: Daddy drags Mummy from bed and alerts her to her need to parent.

7.25am: Daddy goes to work, Mummy looks at social media on phone, through blurry eyes.

7.45am: Kids downstairs arguing, Mummy realises time, panics, gets in shower.

7.46am: Both kids come upstairs and into bathroom with requests for wees & drinks, arguments and throw things in shower.

8.00am: Mummy leaves bathroom with kids in tow, arguing. Attempts to get ready.

8.05am: Mummy loses shit, screams both to get downstairs.

8.06am: 6 yr has strop, 2 yr is crying. Mummy tries to get ready.

8.15am: 6 yr has reluctantly gone downstairs. 2 yr old still crying. Mummy simultaneously has guilt and anger issues. Tries to finish getting ready.

8.25am: Mummy is downstairs. Kids are fighting. Thinks about breakfast. Does hollow laugh. Runs around like a blue-arsed fly. Asks kids to put on shoes and coats. Looks for keys, phone, purse, lunch money, book bag...everything she should have organised night before.

8.35am: Mummy now screaming at kids to put shoes and coats on, whilst putting hers on, sweating and raging at her own lateness and blaming the kids.

8.38am: Mummy puts kids coats and shoes on kids.

8.42am: Leave house for school. Late. Everyone is furious and crying.

9.15am: 6 yr old in school, 2 yr old at child-minder, Mummy nursing coffee at desk in work feeling wrecked but free.


5am: Cats are bastards, parents yell at cats.

5.05am: Cats have woken 6 yr old. 6 yr old joins in with cats atrocious, attention-seeking behaviour.

5.06am: Dad threatens 6 yr old back to bed.

5.20am: 6yr old sneaks downstairs and plays on iPad. For hours.

7.25am: Daddy has got himself ready and breakfasted and off to work in relative peace.

8am: 2 yr old wakes, Mummy grabs her for cuddles in bed. 2 yr old is giggly and wriggly and bashes Mummy’s face lots of times and shatters her illusions of sleepy lie-in cuddles.

8.05am: Mummy gives up, gets up, has wee, cleans teeth all with 2 yr old commentary.

8.10am: Mummy gives 2 yr old breakfast, 6 yr old is grumpy and overtired and demanding second breakfast.

8.11am: 2yr old looks at 6 yr old. All hell breaks lose and everyone is fighting and crying.

9.00am: Kids are still fighting. Mummy on second pot of coffee.

10.00am: Kids are still fighting. Mummy tries several “activities” that won’t end in fighting.

10.01am: All activities end in fighting. Mummy goes for shower. Kids follow.

10.15am: Kids still in Pjs. Kids still fighting. Mummy wet, in towel, stares desolately out at the rain. Questions her decision to have kids.

11am: Takes kids out to argue in public. Stay out allll day to avoid cabin fever and murder.

5.29am: Mummy and kids arrive home, ravaged.

5.30am: Daddy comes home, nerve-jangled Mummy runs upstairs to hide in bedroom with lap top and draws breathe to prepare for bed time routine.

Admissions Of A Working Mother

Friday, 2 September 2016

It's shit when your mate dies.

It’s shit when your mate dies. It’s shit shit shit.
Even if you knew it was gonna happen, it’s still shit.
Like, everyone is going to die at some point yeah?
But she was gonna die sooner.
You knew she was gonna die soon.
Like, some day soon but you didn’t know exactly when.
And then she did.
And it’s shit.

It’s shit when your mate gets cancer.
Even though everyone knows someone who’s had it.
But it wasn’t her.
And now it is.
And it’s shit.

It’s shit when your mate,
who’s only a bit younger than you,
gets cancer.
And she’s like, got a brilliant happy life.
She’s got a fab job and she’s gonna go really far cos she’s so brilliant.
She’s brilliant.
She’s funny.
She’s clever.
She’s silly.
She’s crazy.
She’s talented.
She takes no shit.
She tried REALLY hard at taking no shit from cancer.

She didn’t take shit from cancer for a long time.
For 8 years she fought it like a motherfucker.
She didn’t want to be a cliché.
She wasn’t a cliché.
She was unique.
But she really was.

She had the craziest laugh you’ve ever heard.
Think crazy.
Times it by a million.
Doesn’t even come close.

Then she had a lump.
And the doctors all said it was fine.
And again.
And again.
But it wasn’t.

But when the idiots in white coats finally believed her,
She had a shit time.
But then,
she kicked cancer’s butt.

And she THREW herself into life.
She grabbed every opportunity that came her way.
With both hands.
And a manic laugh.
And she lived and lived and lived.

Then she felt shit again.
She couldn’t laugh her crazy laugh without feeling shit.
She couldn’t move her arm up without feeling shit.

And she went back to the white coat idiots.
And guess what?
They said she was fine.
And again.
And again.
But she’s wasn’t.

She was in the shit.
As in, a baked potato sized shit lump,
Wrapped around her collar bone.
Making her feel shit.

And they gave her 6 months to live.
And again, she fought like a motherfucker.
And she lived as hard as she could.

And she did live.
She lived for 2.5 more years of butt kicking brilliance.
Some of the time it was shit.
It was very shit.
It hurt in so many shit ways.
But she still laughed her crazy laugh.

And she made thousands of people fall in love with her crazy laugh.
And she made people who felt shit,
feel less shit.

But as I said.
It’s shit when your mate gets cancer.
It’s shit when you know your mate will die from cancer.
It’s shit when your mate does die from cancer.
It’s shit shit shit.

It’s shit for the stupid shit pointlessness of it.
It’s shit because she had so much more to do.
It’s shit because of how much she wanted to do that shit.
It’s shit because of how brilliant she was.
It’s shit because of how brilliant she would have been at doing that shit.
And it’s shit because she won’t do that shit.

It’s shit when your mate dies. It’s shit shit shit.

Bye Bye Row Row. You crazy faced loon. I’m sorry it was so shit.


Thursday, 1 September 2016

#Vlogstars TMI Tag

Hello Helicopter fans! Here is my #Vlogstars TMI Tag. It's looong. I tried *so hard* to not make it as long as the last one. But I failed. But there are a LOT of questions. So if you want to know ALL THE THINGS about me then this is the vlog for you! 

I also did this tag a few years ago in blog format and the link to that is here. 

There are a few more answers on that one but at least you're not listening to me drone on...

It's actually a bit late if you wanted to join in the linky because I think it's closed! But if you fancied doing it just for shits and giggles then the questions are below and tweet me a link so I can read ALL OF YOUR THINGS! 

UPDATE: I tag Shell from The Purple Pumpkin blog to do it, innit! 


You Baby Me Mummy

The TMI tag!

1: What are you wearing?
2: Ever been in love?
3: Ever had a terrible breakup?
4: How tall are you?
5: How much do you weigh?
6: Any tattoos?
7: Any piercings?
8: OTP? (One True Pairing)
9: Favourite show?
10: Favourite bands?
11: Something you miss?
12: Favourite song?
13: How old are you?
14: Zodiac sign?
15: Quality you look for in a partner?
16: Favourite quote?
17: Favourite actor?
18: Favourite colour?
19: Loud music or soft?
20: Where do you go when you’re sad?
21: How long does it take you to shower?
22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
23: Ever been in a physical fight?
24: Turn on?
25: Turn off?
26: The reason I joined Youtube?
27: Fears?
28: Last thing that made you cry?
29: Last time you said you loved someone?
30: Meaning behind your Youtube Name?
31: Last book you read?
32: The book you’re currently reading?
33: Last show you watched?

Thursday, 21 July 2016

I'm Too Lazy To Be a Mum!

I’m not being funny, but I seriously think I am too lazy to be a mum. I don’t think I ever expected it to be so…. relentless. Like, it is literally non-stop, high alert from the minute your eyes ping open til the minute they are allowed to droop back down into blissful rest. Why didn’t someone WARN me? I didn’t sign up for this!

I signed up for a few early mornings, sure! I knew the first few MONTHS might be a bit tiring….what with all that feeding through the night rubbish but then they sleep through and it’s totally fine, right? Oh yeah there might be a few nights when they’re ill….but like, how ill can a kid be? And if they’re ill….that means they sleep MORE right?

But actually it’s a bit harder than that. It’s LOADS harder. SO firstly they don’t sleep. Well, not in the way you THINK they should. Looking back at my first child, sleeping and feeding in 3 hour cycles…. I used to think I was unlucky because he wasn’t sleeping through at 6 weeks! But he kept that routine for months and I got big chunks of sleep around the 2 night feeds. Sometimes not even waking for the day until gone 9am! NINE AM!!!! Can you imagine?!

And guess what? I WAS blessed (hashtag blessed!!!) with a second baby who DID sleep through from 6 weeks…… but she screamed from 6-10pm every night without fail. For months and months. And if she was ill, she wouldn’t sleep at all. Match sticks for our eye lids and Valium were on bulk order at that time….

But less naive parents know that kids will take a while to settle into a decent sleep pattern. Possibly a good few years in. I honestly thought that at least by 2 we’d be done with the crap sleep. Early mornings, yes. Crap sleep…really? Imagine my horror upon discovering that even at 6 they can be awake almost every night! Night terrors! Hooray!!!!!

Right so that’s sleep. But even if you expect sleep to be crap for endless years…..did you expect to be not only a washing slave, but a housemaid, cook, transport system, entertainment provider, banker, nurse, and firm but fair disciplinarian? I mean, I guess on some level I had some abstract notion that I would be some or all of these things at some point, maybe…. But the reality….woah! Every flipping second…… even if you are the scummiest mum on the planet and you do no washing or cleaning or like the bare minimum to not die or be naked, all the other flipping things!

Doing food 3 times a day every day AND thinking about their nutritional needs (while guiltily piling their plates with oven chips and frozen peas)!

Thinking of somewhere to take them for the morning/afternoon so they don’t spend the WHOLE day in front of the TV. Or even more impressive….on the very rare occasion you capitulate: you get the craft stuff out and end up putting it away again 5 mins after they started playing with it cos they instantly got bored…..

Trying to prise them apart with your pants half way up your legs cos they decided to start killing each other just as you dared to sneak off for a wee….

Fetching drinks and snacks ALL THE TIME. Usually when you’ve just sat down for a slug of cold coffee/tea and a Facebook scroll. I have to say….this is the bit that gets me the most. You’ve been fannying about all day taking them places, picking them up, clothing, feeding, cleaning, SOMETIMES entertaining them….you just want FIVE MINUTES and boooooom, there it is: “Mummy!!!! Can I have drink?” *weep*

I just want some time to lie around and do nothing again! Remember those weekends when you had huge swathes of glorious nothingness that you could fill up? I’d like a smidgen of that! I’m just too laaazzy for this shit!

I’ll let you into a little secret. I sometimes do it though. I sometimes take the day off work so that while my kids are at school/child-minder….I can go back to bed for a snooze, have a lazy hot coffee’d breakfast and then do whatever the hell I like. And I don’t feel guilty about it either. I think its super important that if you are feeling wrung out by the physical full-on-ness of having kids then you need a recuperation day too! I don’t do it often because despite all my moaning here, I do very much enjoy my kids company and I love hanging out as a family.

But sometimes lazy Mummies need some lazy time to do nothing too.
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