Birthday Parties, They Are Not How I Imagined.

I’m just throwing it out there. Children’s birthday parties are stressful. Pre-child in my oblivious haze it was one of the aspects of parenthood that I’d imagined I would thoroughly enjoy. My fantasies stretched to colour co-ordinated table ware and decorations. There would be a theme and organised games.  The children would play in perfect harmony while the mothers sipped on tea and nibbled on crust free sandwiches. My pre-child day dreams are a great source of amusement to me now.  It’s nothing like I’ve described.

The table ware that I dreamed of is expensive and it’s all disposable. The table cloths don’t cover the tables at your chosen venue so you need 15 of them. I think they cover them in some sort of varnish to take the cheap look off them and this means they don’t stay on the table.  6 year old Billy will go through cups like he’s going to get a medal at the end. Calm down Billy I need some of them for the next party. Continue reading “Birthday Parties, They Are Not How I Imagined.”

I Don’t Know How To Deal With My Physical Boys

Most of my life I’ve been drowning in female company. A young life filled with aunts, female cousins and my only sibling who was also a girl. My complete education took place in an all female environment.  This upbringing showed me that women were bloody awesome. They ruled the world.

Let’s fast forward to my first pregnancy. What would I do if I had a boy? Well I was about to find out! My eldest was pushed from his comfy home in October 2009. He presented at 8 pounds 6 ounces and well at least half of that weight was his balls. I looked at his Dad horrified. ‘Did you see his balls? What the hell is that about?’  The midwife assured us that it was all perfectly normally while I silently panicked about how I was going to rear a male of the species. Continue reading “I Don’t Know How To Deal With My Physical Boys”

I Worry I’ve Passed My Food Issues Onto My Children

I’ve always thought I was overweight. Smaller in stature than most of my peers paired with a round face I always felt fat even as a young child. Truth being told I didn’t start holding weight until I was in my teens. When my breasts arrived it was game over. It was like the rest of me enlarged to keep up with my sizeable assets.

I’m not at the point where vanity is the last thing on my mind. It’s very much a health issue. Every Monday I begin a new lifestyle and by lunchtime on the very same Monday I have failed in one way or another. Food is my addiction and I’ve never been able to overcome it. I would probably give off the impression that it doesn’t bother me.

It does yet I lack the ability to change.

When my first son arrived it was very much do the right thing food wise even though I wasn’t leading my example. I fed him home cooked everything while I munched on take away while he napped. I was determined to start him off on the right foot so he wouldn’t have to suffer with the issues I have. Continue reading “I Worry I’ve Passed My Food Issues Onto My Children”

Would You Let Another Woman Breastfeed Your Child?

I wasn’t the world’s most successful breast feeder. I fed all three myself for a while but nowhere near as long as I longed to. I was so adamant that I was breast feeding my first that I didn’t even buy bottles. Bad luck meant that my precious son became ill at four days old and this hampered any and all efforts. I fed number two the longest for a sum total of 6 weeks. The princess got a fortnight bless her. I think if my experience with breastfeeding had have been more positive the first time around I would have lasted longer.  However long I did it for I am very glad that I did.

I am an advocate for breastfeeding. I think it’s an amazing privilege to feed your offspring. Continue reading “Would You Let Another Woman Breastfeed Your Child?”

Sharing at Christmas

Parenting when you are no longer in a relationship together is difficult. This is especially the case at Christmas time. Along with the presents and the grub Christmas is about family. It brings people home from foreign lands and you visit and talk to people you might not have done for the whole year. We all have that one Grandaunt somewhere. So when your family is not the traditional model you have to change the way you approach things. This will by my fourth Christmas as a single Mammy so I’ve learned a few things over the years.

The first Christmas I was on my own I spent the day crying. Continue reading “Sharing at Christmas”

Snapshot

There are many minutes of many days where I’m so frustrated I feel as though my brain might explode.

Sometimes this is because of my own inaction. I don’t have the clothes ready or I’ve to stop at the shop for a snack that should have been in my cupboard.

Othertimes it’s the behaviour of the children. Their laughs just a little loud. Their needs just a little too much. Three can be too much child.

Then all of a sudden there’s a fleeting moment. A moment where it all comes together. Their clothes fit. There’s no wax crawling out of their lobes heading for the face. Continue reading “Snapshot”

Tales From My Throne

I’m going to write a children’s book. It’s going to be a collection of short stories called ‘Tales from the Toilet Seat’.

What ever it seems to be about children. And I know it’s not only mine. The most urgent of requests. The story that just can’t wait a minute to be told. That drawing that I need to see right now. All coincide with my trips to the loo.

When my mother comes over the first thing I do is run up to use the loo for the sheer luxury of doing it alone. No matter how many times I ask for privacy it falls on deaf ears.

So now it’s become the norm. I check homework. I button up clothes. I brush hairs and I snap chat all from my throne on a daily basis. It’s not pretty but it’s the way it is.

I remember the luxury of the days sitting on the loo reading magazines until my legs went numb. Praying they wouldn’t go from under me as I used the bath to prop me as I regained some sort of feeling.

Now it’s in quickly, pleading for privacy and exit with the niggling feeling that you are not quite finished. So from my throne to yours ( if you are reading this on the loo that is ) Have a great weekend.

Why is the bad stuff easier to remember?

I’m doing my best to instill confidence in my children. I don’t want to rear cocky know it alls that think they are better than anyone else. I want them to be quietly confident in who they are. I point out their good attributes and reinforce the notion that it’s what you know…. not what other people say. I want them to have a strong sense of who they are.

I want them to know that their value is not found in the opinions of others.

All very noble idea’s I’m sure you’ll agree. The problem is the bad stuff seems to stick better than the good stuff. We are living in a critical age. Everything seems to be open to the opinions of others. Nobody seems to realise that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Continue reading “Why is the bad stuff easier to remember?”

When the house falls silent because it’s child free,
All manner of noises crawl out to haunt me.
There’s a beep that pipes up every 30 seconds or so,
I lay flat eyes opened counting that’s how I know.
The radiator is clicking as the temperature cools, 
Replacing deep child breathe and avoidance of drool.
What I hear so clear and loudest over them all,
Is the silence in each room bathroom,bedrooms and hall.
No crying for mammy to come fix my bed,
Or can I sleep in your room I was good like you said.
Luckily tomorrow the mayhem returns times three,
Then I’ll long for the silence and the noises that haunt me.

My kids saw me argue….so what?

We all know the idealism that comes when you are expecting your first child is inspiring. With subsequent children these standards slip considerably. Baby one has matching socks and vests and baby three is lucky to have socks at all. It doesn’t mean you love the last one any less. It’s just the more life piles on something has to give.

Our minds are so saturated with rules and regulations in order to excel at life. It’s overwhelming. I f I were to do everything ‘right’ in a day I reckon I’d get about two hours sleep if I was lucky. So every day we prioritise what we can do that day and the cycle continues day in and day out.

Years ago there weren’t as many rules. As long as your children were fed and clean from time to time you were doing a good job. Now you need a degree in child psychology to rear children. Last week I read that saying good boy to your child could have damaging side effects.

I sometimes find myself at a loss.

With that in mind I try my best to rear my children through the gauntlet of do’s and do not’s and I haven’t managed to kill one yet.  There are a few rules that I would surmise most parents try to stick to.

Try and not curse around the children. It’s not the best use of our language skills and funny and all as it is to hear your two and a half year old repeat the word bitch most people discourage it, once they have finished laughing.

Make an attempt at feeding them healthy food. It’s difficult but strawberries and banana’s dipped in chocolate still counts doesn’t it?

The reason I’m writing this is because I broke one of the cardinal rules of child rearing in this day and age.

I had an argument in front of the children.

A discussion between two adults became heated and escalated quickly. My voice rose as it does when I’m angry and my sparring partner asked me to keep my voice down and not in front of the children.

When the exchange was over and both parties had cooled down we both expressed regret about the fact that our children witnessed the row. Then I had time to reflect and I thought, do you know what? What bloody harm did it do?

Now I’d like to make clear that I’m not talking about abusive relationships or households that live in terror all the time. I’m just talking about an odd row once in a blue moon where grown up’s fail to agree and lose control.

What they actually witnessed was two adults having a disagreement. There were raised voices and red faces and then it was resolved. The two adults reconciled and life went on. This is what happens in life. To shield children from it completely is not doing them any favours.

Many children have no coping mechanisms at all. This notion that the children would be traumatised irked me.

The world is a tough place and if we over protect our children we are failing to prepare them for real life. Surely that’s worse parenting than having them witness the odd row?