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. 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. 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. 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?”

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. Continue reading “My kids saw me argue….so what?”

Happy Birthday Skin and Blister

If you were to meet my sister and me you’d be hard pushed to think we were sisters. We are polar opposites in so many ways. I’m an extrovert. She’s an introvert. I take a drink from time to time. She’s a pioneer. I couldn’t live without my makeup. She wears none. I love the opposite sex. For her they are more trouble than they are worth.

There are some things we have in common. We both love Sci-Fi movies and crafting. We both spent too much time growing up playing video games.

Most importantly we share a love for my children.

Now you might think that goes without saying that an aunt loves her niece and nephews. What I experience on a daily basis is more than that.

jack kyle finn macy

I often get people asking how I cope as a single mother of three?  I have huge supports and Jacqueline’s support is unquantifiable. She minds them when I need to attend my course. She brings them to appointments that I can’t make. She does homework with Finn every evening and cooks them their evening meal. She’ll babysit if I want to go somewhere and would never let me down.

She not only minds them, she teaches them.

She’s instilling in them manners, responsibility and accountability. All of which are forgotten the minute I arrive but I know it will stand to them as they grow older. I also know because she doesn’t buy their love or barter for it with television programmes and days out that the wonderful relationships they have will last into adult hood.

jack and sharon

It’s my sister’s birthday today and presents seem worthless in comparison to all she does for me. We are not overly affectionate with one another and when I say nice things she wonders what I’m looking for. I’m not looking for anything today. I just want to let her know how amazing she is and how much I love her.

When I had my first child I was threatened by other people’s love for my child.

I was so desperate to have him love me more than anyone else that if he showed affection for another adult I was sad.  As if it meant that he’d love me a little less. As you settle into motherhood and you are three deep you realise they will never love anyone as much as you.

One day sitting at the table with my mother.  We were going through relationships with the children. Who is Nanny’s brother? Who are Granddad’s children? I think the question that I asked was and who are my children? Finn answered ‘We are!!!’ and quickly added. ‘We are Jacqueline’s children too!!!’ I looked at my mother and I thought my heart would burst with happiness.

I answered ‘Ye sure are her children’

She may not be a mother by title but she’s as good as.

So Happy Birthday Jack… from your grateful and loving sister and our children, Kyle, Finn and Macy.

The Day Ophelia Came To Visit

Ireland was hit by a natural emergency today. This is something that I have never experienced. The weather people were almost jittery with the adrenalin reporting on the first ever severe weather warning for the whole country. Schools and crèches closed and the majority of retails outlets sent their staff home early.

Pictures surfaced of many of the country’s main thoroughfares looking like ghost towns.

I’m not the type of person to worry about events like this. I did throw my bins in the shed. Purely because I didn’t want to have to send the children out to chase down our recycling. I most certainly wouldn’t have picked it up. My Dad tied down the trampoline and I got the shopping in. Other than that I was looking forward to the day at home with the children and it didn’t hold much space in my mind.

We have two port holes, one in the hall and one in the bathroom to let light in these windowless rooms. When the wind blows hard they crack like my knees in the mornings. It’s a loud noise. It wouldn’t go unnoticed.

Once this began, my eldest was visibly shaken.

He proceeded to go to every window and draw all the curtains. He barricaded the front door with his bike and the hoover. That was the first time the hoover was touched in weeks. He went upstairs and he hid in my room. My initial reaction was amusement. Thinking this was a bit of an excitement on a Monday until I walked into my room and he was trembling.

door barricade

I pulled him over onto my bed and I asked him what was worrying him. I have to admit my knee jerk response is to just bark at him not to be silly and to just get on with things.  Then I saw the fear in his eyes. I would have given anything to take it away. He said he was afraid that something bad would happen. He looked out at our little Willow tree and was devastated to see it leaning over almost to the ground.

I reassured him we were safe. We were indoors and nothing would happen to us. As for our tree or our trampoline or our shed that is all only stuff.

As long as the people you love are safe, stuff doesn’t matter.

Listening to his fears and acknowledging how he felt worked so much better than being dismissive.

The storm came and went. There was about four minutes where we had no internet and that was harrowing but we got through it together. Seriously though, people bitch and moan daily about one thing or another.  At least three people lost their lives today. Business, education and services should never take priority over life.

All that matters at the end of the day is that your loved ones are safe. Thanks to the powers that be everyone I care about is safe tonight. All I have left to do is binge on my hurricane supplies. Surely calories don’t count in a national emergency!!!