WHAT WE CAN TEACH OUR KIDS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH…

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but next week I’m doing five hot yoga sessions in one day to raise awareness around maternal mental health. I decided to do it because I suffered post-natal depression after the birth of my first baby and it’s so important to me that we do everything we can’t to normalise this stuff so that people feel they can ask for help. What I didn’t bank on was being faced, once again, with my own mental health issues. I thought I had it under control, I thought I was fine. Continue reading

WHY SOME MOTHERS REGRET HAVING KIDS (AND THAT’S OK)…

Today I was asked whether I was a regretful mother. I can understand why people would think that. I do spend a lot of time banging on about how shit motherhood can be but that’s the different. I don’t regret becoming a mother – I don’t regret having kids – but I do resent the job of motherhood at times and yes, I regret that this is the situation I find myself in. I regret that I’ve made a choice that society doesn’t support me in.  Continue reading

WHY MAMA SAYS STOP…

For the last week, I have been paralysed with illness. If I’m honest, I haven’t been well for a few weeks but like every other mother, I just kept going. I’d feel run down and tired and in response, I might cancel a night out then, the next day, I’d get up and keep going at a million miles an hour. In between I’d pop a few Paracetamol and Ibruprofen to keep the headaches at bay. I drank my body-weight in water, did yoga when I could and ate my vegetables. I figured that would be enough to keep me going. It wasn’t. Continue reading

THE BODY BLOG I’VE BEEN WORRIED ABOUT POSTING…

I’ve been writing this blog for three months. At least. It’s not that the words have been hard to find; it’s more that the message is a tricky, complex one. Communicating it leaves me open to criticism (which I’m totally fine with) but it also leaves me open to upsetting people I know and love (which I’m totally NOT fine with). Continue reading

WHY ‘M’ IS NOT JUST FOR MOTHER…

Happy Mother’s Day people. Hope you’re all being spoiled silly and left to languish in bed for as long as you damn well please. I hope that you’ll have a chance to read a newspaper from front to back and drink a whole cup of tea while it’s still hot. I hope the house is spotless, the beds are made and the loo seats are all clean and down. I hope you can do whatever you like but (and this may seem a little ironic) I really hope that you can spend some time on Mothers Day not being a mum; I hope you can spend some time just being you because when it comes down to it, being a mum is what you are, not who you are.  Continue reading

WHY NOT-DRINKING IS THE BIGGER PROBLEM…

Today I was asked to be part of a discussion on BBC 5 Live about the #wineoclock phenomenon and motherhood and drinking. The lovely Amy from Surviving Motherhood asked me to fill in for her because she was sick. The question posed at the top of the show was, “Is #wineoclock damaging or just a bit of fun?” Sorry BBC, but you’re missing the point. Continue reading

WHY IT’S TIME TO TALK…

When I was 27 years old I experience my first episode of depression. It floored me. It was a mental whirlwind that left me disoriented in its wake. No one in my family had suffered from any mental health issues, at least openly, and while I navigated the journey, I felt exposed, isolated, lost and frankly, a little disgusted with myself. Why couldn’t I cope? What the hell did I have to feel so down about? Wasn’t everything pretty damn sweet in my life? Continue reading

GETTING HOT FOR MENTAL HEALTH…

I’ve previously written about my experiences with depression and post-natal depression. I don’t seem to have that filter that makes me embarrassed or ashamed to admit that, occasionally, I lose my mental shit and need help to pick up the pieces. I’m not boasting – it’s not always a good thing. Trust me, dropping the old ‘depression-admission’ thing can be a bit of a conversation killer but it’s important that we change that. It’s important that we can talk about our own mental health struggles without people backing away slowly and/or making an abrupt and awkward u-turn in the conversation. Continue reading

DON’T YUCK MY YUM…

I love my husband but it’s not very often that he says something that inspires a whole blog…until recently. While we were busy preparing for Christmas last month, he was busy in the kitchen making his own butter. I shit you not. He’d ‘homemade’ mince pies, but wanted to see just how ‘homemade’ he could get them so, he made his own butter.  Continue reading

WHY WE SHOULDN’T LOSE OUR SHIT OVER SCHOOLS…

So, it’s done. If your offspring was born between September 1 2013 and August 31 2013 you’ll have just submitted your school applications at the beginning of this week. Most of you, I’m sure will have been a shit tonne more organised that Team Sims were and perhaps have got your applications in a lot earlier. Whatever your approach to getting your kid into an establishment of education…it’s now signed, sealed and soon to be delivered. Continue reading

THE BODY BLOG I’VE BEEN WORRIED ABOUT POSTING…

I’ve been writing this blog for three months. At least. It’s not that the words have been hard to find; it’s more that the message is a tricky, complex one. Communicating it leaves me open to criticism (which I’m totally fine with) but it also leaves me open to upsetting people I know and love (which I’m totally NOT fine with). Continue reading

HOW I’M GETTING MORE SHIT DONE THIS YEAR…

I have one resolution for 2018 – be more productive. I want to waste less time, spend more time doing healthy stuff with my brain and body, read more books, write more blogs, do more yoga and be a better mother. Ok, ok…I know that sounds like a lot but actually, if I’ve narrowed down a few easy tips and tricks to help me be more productive and ultimately make more time for that shit I listed above.  Continue reading

DON’T CALL THE MIDWIFE, WRITE TO HER…

It’s that post-Christmas pit stop; that bit between going back to work and actually feeling like you’ve recovered. The last cracker may have been pulled, the last Bailey’s necked and the last of that damn turkey curry is gone (finally) but there’s still some Christmas housekeeping that needs to be done. Continue reading

WHAT MUMS NEED FROM LOVE…

Love is a tricky thing. It has so many faces – sure it’s spiky and fizzy at first and then it becomes exclusive, deep, powerful. After a while, it becomes more homely, more casual – more like a favourite pair of joggers than a pair of erection-inducing heels. Of course, there are still erections…just not as many of them. The point is, what love feels like changes all the time but how you show love should remain the same, all the time. Continue reading

HOW I’M DEALING WITH THE CHRISTMAS COME DOWN…

Not so sound too bah humbug about the whole thing, but thank FUCK that’s over for another year. I love the idea of Christmas. As it approaches, I’m overcome with a yearning to wear oversized knitwear, hunker down in front of open fires, clutch a glass of Malbec and snuggle with my perfect looking family, perhaps in matching pyjamas (underneath the aforementioned chunky knit). Continue reading

WHY WE ALL NEED TO PLAY THE GAME…

As many of you who follow me on Instagram will know, last weekend I encountered some of the basest, most disgusting behaviour from another human being. A trip to Billie’s Saturday morning football class is one that will go down in the annals of Sims’ history for all the wrong reasons. But, almost a week on, I’m starting to realise there’s something good, no great, to come out of it too. Continue reading

WHAT THE CHRISTMAS CRAZY LOOKS LIKE…

I’m not sure when it happened but I know that at some point, many years ago, Christmas was about nothing else other than love, lights, laughter and lots and lots of presents. Somewhere a long the line, the shiny, sparkly stuff has faded and it’s more about sky-high anxiety levels, constant cleaning and an ever-present feeling of well, disappointment. Continue reading

WHY I’M FOCUSSING ON BODY POSITI’FIT’Y

Ok – that headline sounded way better in my head and now that I’ve seen it written down, it makes me cringe but I’m running with it because you know I love a pun, even a bad one. So, yes, the #bodypositivity movement has been wonderful and I’m so inspired by the likes of Nat over on Style Me Sunday and the Body Posi Panda for everything they are doing to encourage us all to embrace our bodies. That being said, I don’t want to forget about fitness and health in all this. Continue reading

WHY THE SWEDISH MADE ME CRY…

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to Stockholm by Baby Bjorn. They invited myself and my family out for a few days to be part of their upcoming campaign, but also to investigate parenting the Swedish way. The Swedes, and much of Scandinavia, have long been held aloft as parental paradigms to be emulated and I was interested to get the skinny on the Scandi way of parenting. Continue reading

WHY MY DAUGHTER IS A DICK…SOMETIMES

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know two things:

  1. I’m shit at writing regularly. I’m in the process of rectifying this.
  2. My approach to life, every day and every way is this: just don’t be a dick…

…which is why what my daughter is doing at the moment is just not ok.

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MY DAUGHTER’S A RAGE MONSTER AND ITS ALL MY FAULT…

There’s nothing more terrifying that having your own worst traits staring back at you through the words, actions, facial expressions of your children. It’s inevitable, but that doesn’t make the punch in the emotional gut any less painful. It’s even harder to take when someone else has to point out that maybe, just maybe, your daughter’s behaviour is a reaction to your own crappy ways of dealing with things. Ouch.  Continue reading

WHY I’M STARTING TO KICK MY OWN ASS…

It is a fact universally acknowledged that, as mums, we have the perfect excuse to avoid exercise and getting healthy. I mean, no one is busier than a mum, right? No one is more tired than a mum and anyway, don’t we spend all day running around after the kids? I mean, if that’s not cardio then I don’t know what is. And OK, I may eat oven chips and fish fingers for dinner but it’s only half a fish finger because, you know, I only ate the left overs so it doesn’t count, right?  Continue reading

I DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT MARRIAGE BUT…

Remember those fairy tale movies we all saw which ended with a beautiful princess-to-be walking down the aisle to marry her prince? Remember how, despite our niggling voice of realism, we all kind of looked forward to the day when we would get our own fairytale? I mean however your vision of your fairytale looked, the end result was still the same. We all (more or less) thought we’d end up marrying the love of our life and, as the old saying goes, live happily ever after. Continue reading

CAMP BESTIVAL: THE BEST OF TIMES AND THE WORST OF TIMES

Camp Bestival is, hands down, the best festival you can go to if you want to take kids. As someone who use to tour with bands married to someone who still tours with bands, we generally avoid festivals for ‘fun’ like the plague. It’s the ultimate bus man’s holiday but this year we decided to take the plunge and give it a shot. It didn’t all go to plan but, much like childbirth, I’m already forgetting the pain and remember nothing but an amazing experience that I’m already looking forward to doing again next year. Continue reading

WHY I GOT NAKED AND TOOK PICTURES (AND YOU SHOULD TOO)…

A few weeks ago I was invited to Nat Lee’s (Style Me Sunday) Warrior Woman event. Apart from the fact that Nat is a good friend and I would pretty much walk over hot coals wearing a catsuit of rusty nails for her if she asked me too (now THAT would be an instagram shot if I ever saw one), the point of Warrior Woman is so vitally important that I would have done it even if I though she was a total wankpuffin. The fact that she isn’t just makes it all that more delicious. Continue reading

WHY I NEED SHIT TV IN MY LIFE

I’m a recent convert to Love Island. In fact, it would be more accurate to say I have become obsessed. I’m not going to defend it in any way. I’ve read an article trying to convince us that it’s an interesting dissection of society today and another article that even tried to call it the most feminist show in recent years. That’s all bollocks. It’s mind-numbingly, soul-achingly bad; it’s worse than The Real Housewives and it’s worse than Keeping Up With The Kardashians but it’s become as necessary to me and my mental wellbeing as the the tiny little pill I take each day to stave off depression. That’s a pretty big claim, right? I know. I’ve told myself a million times not to exaggerate but bear with me because if you’re a mum, you’ll understand why I NEED shit TV in my life.  Continue reading

NEW MUMS JUST NEED YOU TO DO ONE THING…

It’s no secret that I found the transition to motherhood hard. I’ve banged on and on about it in the hope that honestly recounting my experience may chime with other mothers struggling and perhaps offer them a virtual life raft to hold on to. After all that’s why I started the blog and why I still write it because it’s still necessary. Despite all our efforts to dispel the myths surrounding motherhood, they still exist. New mothers (and old mothers) are still finding themselves lost in a haze of breast pumps, maternity pads and wailing babies.  Continue reading

MY RELATIONSHIP WITH BOOZE…WHAT’S NEW

Over two months ago I posted the most personal blog yet detailing my relationship with booze and the negative impact it was having on my life, my relationship, my children, my bank balance. The response to the blog was overwhelming. I received hundreds of emails, literally (I stopped counting after 230) from other women (and a few men). All of them called me brave (or ‘brace’ thanks to auto-correct), some thanked me for writing their story, some were grateful that I’d held a mirror up to their own drinking habits, some just wanted to say, “Me too. I’m here.” None, zero, absolutely not one of the emails was negative.  Continue reading

WHY FAMILY HOLIDAYS DON’T HAVE TO BE ABOUT THE KIDS…

Think about this: instead of looking for ‘family friendly’ holidays, why aren’t we searching for ‘parent friendly’ holidays? I mean, when you think about it, that’s what we’re all looking for but because we’re all so used to putting the small people first, we forget all about that. Kids Clubs are great – essential even – but where, in those ‘family friendly’ holiday packages – is the focus on the parents?  Continue reading

THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT SOLO PARENTING…

I don’t know if you know or not, but my husband is away a lot. I try not to shout about it too much….yeah right. I’m always banging on about being a bloody ‘tour widow’ and left alone with two small children and a job and blah blah blah. I’m not one for keeping my whingeing to myself. A misery shared on social media is a misery made bearable in my book. Right or wrong, oftentimes Instagram saves my sanity. Continue reading

WHY EVERYTHING CHANGES IN YOUR THIRTIES…

It’s easy to fall into the icky-sticky trap of believing that you’ve got your shit together once you get to your thirties. It’s true that you may feel more comfortable in your own skin (hopefully), you may give less fucks about what other people think of you and hopefully you’ll be earning decent enough money to afford you some of the finer things in life  – that’s all good stuff. But, it’s also possible that your thirties will also throw you some curve-balls. Continue reading

WHAT I’VE LEARNT SINCE I BROKE UP WITH BOOZE…

It’s been four weeks (a little over actually) since I gave up booze. For a whole month plus two days I haven’t touched a drop and, in all honesty, I haven’t found it too hard. This probably has something to do with the fact that I scared myself shitless and keeping the memory of that feeling close to me means that turning a drink down is easy peasy. But, there are times when it’s more difficult and after a month without booze – the longest I have ever gone since I tasted my first drink – there are a few things I’ve learned… Continue reading

WHY I’M PUKKARING UP TOMORROW…

You may or may not know my history, my story, my journey to the place I find myself in today. It’s not straightforward and its littered with questionable choices, terrible outfits and a frequent lack of direction. One thing that has always remained though was my propensity for hard bloody work. I’m a Yorkshire lass and, quite simply, you’re not allowed to be a Yorkshire lass unless you’re a grafter. From my first job at 13 right up until the job I do today, I’ve always given it my all and I’ve always worked. I took it for granted that I would always be able to do that, if I wanted to…not anymore. Continue reading

WHY I’M 35 BUT LOOK 45 AND FEEL 105

I hope you don’t mind but I’m calling bullshit on adulting. When I was small, I couldn’t wait to do all the adult stuff. Driving, drinking, using a credit card, decorating a house, having dinner out with friends, get married, have kids…I wanted it all and I wanted it now. I was about seven. Continue reading

A SOBERING READ

I’ve thought long and hard about whether to write this. Once I decided to write it, I struggled to figure out how. Why didn’t I want to write it? Because doing so makes it true and it makes me accountable. It makes me publicly responsible for something that honestly, I’m probably 50% in denial about and the other 50%? Well, I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about that. Continue reading

WHY YOU SNUZ YOU AND DON’T LOSE….

OK – so I’m all for falling for the latest fad but when it came to my second baby I was determined to keep things real. Apart from anything else, our house was already bursting at the seams with plastic shit that my eldest never used. I couldn’t afford to lose more space for shit that the newest small was never going to use. So, I kept it strict: she needed stuff to wear, something to sleep in, something to be pushed around in and something to go in a car in. Everything else was gravy. Continue reading

CIGARETTES & FORMULA: THE SECRET CONSPIRACY

There’s only one way to start this blog and it’s like this: I don’t give a shit how you feed your kids. I don’t care what decision you make and why you make it. Whatever your decision, as long as your babies are fed, I don’t care whether it’s fresh from source or formula, whether it’s boob or bottle. This is not a blog designed to incite bitching and moaning about breastfeeding vs bottle feeding. It’s an argument that’s sooo 2013 and frankly we’re all bored. I’m starting from the premise that, as mothers and women we are all on the same team and therefore passionate about supporting each other in the decisions we make.

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A NIGHT IN THE LIFE…

12.01am
Drag way back to reality after lovely dream about one of the Ryans. Can’t remember which one. Not 100% sure I could tell them apart. Either way, it doesn’t matter. It was lovely. Remember why I’m not dreaming anymore – smallest child mewling. Boobs leaking. Check clock. I’ve had 32 minutes sleep.

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WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO AFTERWARDS?

It’s an understatement to say that Christmas is not what it used to be. As a parent, it’s a financial nightmare. As a mother, it’s a logistical nightmare. As a family, it’s a hotbed of flash points some of which, inevitably, will lead to a Hunger-Games style fight with only one left standing victorious and sober. As a kid however, it’s without doubt the most exciting time of the year. It’s the time during which everything seems to stand a bit more still – mum and dad aren’t rushing off to work, Christmas lights are twinkling in the corner of every eye and chocolate is everywhere. Continue reading

WHY WE SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN THIS…

In this day and age, and by that I mean, this day and our age, we should know how to treat people properly. We should know better than to bully people. You would think that once the knee high socks and bunches are gone, once the playground politics are behind us and the Mean Girls membership cards are well and truly burned, that we would, as grown women, understand that being a bitch gets you nowhere. Continue reading

WHY THE SECOND TIME AROUND IS BETTER…BUT ALSO WORSE

I’m asked all the time…what’s it like the second time around? I’m sure all of you with more than one Small have been asked the same question. I asked every parent I met who had two children when I was pregnant with my second and the answers fell clearly into two camps. Some responded by saying, “It’s really hard. Having two is three times harder than having one.” That wasn’t really what I wanted to hear. The other response was more optimistic, “It’s so much easier the second time around.” Now, that’s more like it. Continue reading

WHO IS // SHANAEL

Elodie Malek is the founder of Shanael  – an online boutique with a host of gorgeous stuff for babies, kids and bedrooms. I’ll admit, it was a shop I hadn’t used or heard of before the lovely Elodie approached me and it was so refreshing to come across someone who was quietly doing their own thing and doing it beautifully. Here at Not So Smug Now we like to introduce as many new mamas building their empires as possible and Shanael has a whole host of products that you’ll never have seen or heard of before. Of course, you’ll want a bit of everything. Sorry about that.

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