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My blog has moved to www.muminthesouth.co.uk

Friday, 23 November 2012

Isn't it enough to 'just' be a mum?

So I got invited onto the Lorraine show on ITV this week to talk about being a stay at home mum. A woman had written an article warning mums to get back to work as soon as they could, so they did not end up sad and unfulfilled as she has...

As you can imagine, I had plenty to say about this. Sadly, I hardly managed to get a word in edgeways. You can read all about this and see the interview on the blog I wrote for Babycentre - Isn't it enough to "just" be a mum

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The importance of being dirty

We lost a dear friend this week. It was sudden, it was shocking. It's turned our world on its head. All the things I thought were important suddenly seem so trivial.

The husband had a £20 bottle of wine in the fridge for almost a year. Deemed too good to drink any old time. It was being saved for an occasion that was worthy. We finally drank it in front of "Take Me Out". That suddenly seemed special enough.

I have a blue cardigan. I love it so much I never wear it. I thought it was too good to get ruined by kid's snot and yoghurt stains. I've had it on all week. My life is kid's snot and yoghurt stains. There may never be a day for me when it isn't so.

I didn't do my midweek hoovering this week, but I did let the kids do chalk drawings all morning. Even after they were dressed for the day. Because really, how bad does a grinning child covered in chalk look?

I had a bath with the dusty, luxurious bubbles that the husband bought me last Christmas. It lives on the shelf next to the one he bought me the year before that. I'm going to use it again tonight. I might even use my posh skin serum afterwards. What am I saving it for?

I've made a promise to myself that whenever one of my Things wants a cuddle I will stop, or drop whatever I am doing (so long it isn't one of the other Things) and I will cuddle them, for a long time. Till they have to prize themselves off me. I will sniff their hair and marvel at their small star-shaped hands. If their hair is dirty I won't care.

It wasn't dirt that killed our friend. It was stress, and pressure and no time to relax. To stop. To drink £20 wine in a luxurious bath with chalk-covered children before watching shite telly with the one you love most all evening.

I must learn from this tragic loss. I must keep seeing the hole it has left, and use it as a reminder of what is important. It's not setting up the wooden cake-stand in the right order each night, or worrying about the sour-milk smell coming from the car.

I'd drive round with that smell forever if I could just have one more conversation with my friend. To tell him how great he was. How much I appreciate the faith he had in me and my writing. How I love how much he loved my children.

But I can't do that. All I can do is honour him by looking after myself and my family a little bit better.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Oh to be a toddler


Oh to be a toddler

And find wonder in the plastic tie of a bread bag
Or your own foot
To be able to talk to yourself whilst dressed as a wizard
Without judgement

Oh to be a toddler
And strip off with gay abandon in a room full of people
For wellies to go with any outfit
And a party bag to hold more value than Prada

Oh to be a toddler
And think play-doh is haute-cuisine
For raisins to be your raisin d’etre
And full fat cheese an essential part of your diet

Oh to be a toddler
Who’s on a swing, holding a balloon, in the rain
For time to be measured in “sleeps”
The hoover to be spaceship to ride upon
And rubber gloves a “chickens hat”

Oh to be a toddler
And truly believe everything you say is fascinating
And worthy of repeating
For snow to be so exciting you wet yourself
And that’s ok

Oh to be a toddler
And refuse to believe the word no
Or that there are not really small people living in the TV
For poo-poo-head to ALWAYS be hilarious
And appropriate to use in any conversation

Oh to be my little toddler
Who just wants to grow up and be “big”
I just want you to stay small
And brighten my day with your nonsense
And repetitive noises
And constant requests for drinks and stories and cheese and raisins and…

Oh to be a toddler

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Top ten things I never thought I would say to my husband…

Ten years ago, on a giggly, hormone-filled first-date, if you had told my husband that a decade down the line I would one day say the following to him... would he have suddenly remembered somewhere he needed to be in a hurry?

1: Can you see the blue crayon Thing-two ate in that nappy? Well look closer! It must be in the poo somewhere. 

2: How big are my piles? As big as actual grapes, or just raisins?

3: But WHY won’t you try my breast-milk? 

4: I know they don’t look nice, but wearing tights up to my armpits makes me feel slimmer.

5: What do you mean, you don’t want Weetabix for dinner, again? 

6: I did warn you that if you kept tickling me, or I would wee on you. 

7: No, I do not fancy Mr. Tumble, I just think he’s really funny.

8: I don’t know why I ever wore thongs. These big pants are so much comfier.

9:  Daddy will dress up as a princess with you lovey…won’t you daddy?

10: Or... we could just cuddle?