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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Mostly, I work out of central London. This is pretty cool – it’s a great city, I’m lucky to live here and working out of The Hospital Club in Covent Garden beats any office hands down. There is a downside: it’s a shit place to drag a buggy around. Continue reading
Yesterday morning I was driving in the car with both my children in the back seat. We were going to a playgroup where both my children would be stimulated and I would have a chance to drink a cup of coffee and have at least half a conversation with an adult before one of us would have to run off to prevent our children from causing irreparable damage to either themselves or someone else. Continue reading
It’s been a little rough for you recently. You think I haven’t noticed but I have. You don’t yet have the words to full explain why you feel immensely pissed off a lot of the time, but don’t worry babe. I understand and I’m sorry. Continue reading
So you’re pregnant for the first time and amongst many of the decisions you have to make, the buggy decision is probably one of the biggest. And the most fun. I mean, show me a mama-to-be who doesn’t spend most of her time googling buggies, asking friends with kids for their advice, assessing every buggy they walk past in the street. Oh yes, us mamas love us a good buggy. Continue reading
OK, so I’m at that point in pregnancy where I’m done. I’m over it. I’m hating almost every moment I have to spend being pregnant. My husband isn’t just sick of hearing me whinge, moan, groan and creak with every movement, he’s also questioning my desire for another baby. Apart from the fact that it’s a bit bloody late to be asking those questions, I’m not whingeing about the baby. I’m whingeing about the pregnancy. I’m like a four year old staring into the oven waiting (not so) patiently for the cake to be cooked. I can’t bloody WAIT for the baby to come but the cooking bit? Stick a motherfunking fork in me; I’m done. Continue reading
Dads, you have it easy. Oh I know it’s kind of annoying when people refer to you as babysitting when, in fact, you’re just looking after your own child and my heart really does go out to you for that but, in general, it’s pretty easy to be an amazing dad. Which is nice for you. Continue reading
Whenever I meet up with friends they always ask me how the blog is going, which is nice of them. And then, just like clockwork, the second question out of their mouth is, ‘Do you make any money from it?’ Once I’ve picked myself up off the floor and stopped laughing deliriously, I explain that no, I simply do it because, well, I like it. It’s probably 45% because I love writing, 45% because I’m a total narcissist and the last 10% is all about the vain hope that someone reading it, somewhere, feels a little better about themselves and this parenting lark because something I said resonated with them. Continue reading
I gave up worrying about whether I was beach-body ready a long time ago. It’s not that I don’t care about how I look in a bikini; fear not, I’m riddled with all the usual insecurities about flabby bits, cellulite, stretch marks, varicose veins and rogue hairs. It’s just that somehow time runs away from me and before I know it I’m on the plane home and I still haven’t tackled any of the above. So, beach body? Whatever….I’ve got more important shit on my plate (like carbs, and chocolate). But, when it comes to my birth-body? Well, that’s a different story. Continue reading
Don’t worry; I’m keeping this one short and sweet but I did feel compelled to write something just in case I can help any fellow pregnant women out there who have to brave the zoo that is public transport. It can be a veritable war zone out there battling through harried commuters who are plugged into electronic devices striding determinedly down narrow walkways without a care in the world. This total disregard for the small human that you’re busily growing inside you can wind even the most placid of mamas-to-be up into a frenzied puddle of angry hormones but, here’s the thing: your pregnancy isn’t everyone’s first priority and how much can we really blame perfect strangers for not holding your impending bundle of joy in the forefronts of their mind? Continue reading
In good news, parenting is a rapidly changing landscape. Generally speaking, over the last two years there’s been a revolution amongst mothers in particular that has seen them embrace the sisterhood over the motherhood. We’re not lending our support to women because they’re mothers as much as we’re lending our support to women because they are women. That means we’re spending less time defining them by the kind of mother they are and the way they choose to parent and more time celebrating the fact that, as women, we are all in this together and frankly, we need all the love, support, good vibes and fanny power we can get. Continue reading
Yesterday, I was dumped by my cleaner. By text. The shame. I wouldn’t mind except that she was the only cleaner I’ve ever had that cleaned my house like I would. Yes, she was completely unreliable and, despite the fact that she only came once a fortnight (which was more like once a month by the time she cancelled and rescheduled), I held on to her because, well, cleaning my house just once a month is probably more than I would do left to my own devices. Anyway, it’s all moot now – she’s dumped me. I’m 34 weeks pregnant and cleanerless. As far as middle class problems go, it’s definitely up there. Continue reading
It seems obvious to me but sometimes I look around and I wonder whether I’m weird. I’ll be honest, my husband thought I was weird at first too but this is what I believe: my marriage is more important than my kids. I’m not suggesting I love my kids less than I love my husband. I’m not sure any love for a human that you didn’t heave out of your fanny can come even close to that instinctive, overwhelming, unconditional love you feel for your kids but that’s kind of the point. Right? Continue reading
I’m 33 weeks pregnant. I think. It might be 32. To be honest, it’s the second child so I’m not 100% sure how pregnant I am. I could sit down and work out the dates, but I tend to gauge how pregnant I am by the efficiency of my pelvic floor. By those standards, I’m pretty frickin’ pregnant. Needless to say, I’m also pretty large and, while I know that my body is an amazing thing (I mean, it’s building a human atom by atom), I’m also developing a fairly complicated relationship with it as it changes…changes that are happening beyond my control. Continue reading
I can’t be the only mama that hates craft. The thought of painting, cooking, baking, sticking and gluing with a toddler is usually enough to drive me to a strong drink and lie down. It’s all tied up with my issues around control and largely it comes down to one thing: the mess. I just can’t enjoy watching glitter go everywhere. Or glue go in hair. Or paint on the walls. I wish I could. I really wish I could relax and enjoy the crazy chaos but it’s like listening to nails scratching down a blackboard. Thank god for Nanny – she does all the crafty stuff and for that I shall always be grateful. Continue reading
If the people who know me well were surprised I was going for a home birth, it was nothing compared to the shock they hid (with varying degrees of success) when I told them I was also going to do hypnobirthing. I was met with many slightly cocked heads, covered in polite smiles and quizzical eyes. You see, I guess they don’t see me as the ‘hypnobirthing type’. I can’t blame them…if you don’t know anything about hypnobirthing you could be forgiven for assuming it’s a bit vagina-whispery and a lot of bollocks. Continue reading
I’ve come to realise that this parenting thing is a steep and oh, so constant learning curve. We never have it nailed. Just as we get them sleeping, we need to get them eating. Then they need to walk and talk and before you know it you’re trying to convince them to use a toilet rather than curling down a turd in the middle of the local library (true story). None of this is easy; it keeps you on your toes and, in moments of quiet reflection (read: rocking back and forth in the corner asking, “When will this be over?) you’ll wonder if you’ll ever be able to rest easy again. Continue reading
Three years ago I would have sold my bodily organs before I considered giving birth at home. I thought it was a bonkers idea – something that women who ate hemp and tofu off well-polished rose quartz crystals did in between Oms and tantric sex. Yes, I was obnoxious, judgemental and oh, so very wrong. This time around, I’m avoiding hospitals like Zika-infested mozzies. Why? Not because hospital births are wrong or less good; not because I know ‘better’, but because I’m changing what didn’t work FOR ME the first time around. Continue reading
We’ve only gone and done it. You know those hotels? The ones we’ve spent our entire adult life avoiding? The hotels packaged up with charter flights and transfer coaches all wrapped up in a kids club bow with nightly entertainment (God help us)? Yep, well we’ve just thrown our hard earned cash at one of those happy, jolly, Butlins-in-the-sun, type places and, you know what, I couldn’t be more excited. Continue reading
Girls…we’re a tricky breed. Put a bunch of us in a room together and it will either be the best, most inspiring and heartwarming night of your life, or it’ll be a Hunger-Games-style, fight to the death, bitch-fest. It’s a sad but true fact that, for some reason, the female of the species have been socially programmed to be, at best, wary of each other and, at worst, downright suspicious and mistrustful. Continue reading
When the lovely Polly Hayward of Just Polly (have you seen our WHO IS // interview?) offered to send me some clothes in an effort to yank me out of my fashion-induced grump, I couldn’t resist. There are some SUPER beautiful pieces on her website but, for the sake of practicality (and for what I could get the MOST wear out of) I went for the ace Michèle Culottes (£55.00), the Kimmy Skirt (£32.00 // currently on sale), and the Fran Striped tee (£40.00).
You may, or may not, have heard that the French have got their pantalons in a bunch over the whole ‘posting images of your kids online’ thing as they pass a law allowing kids to sue their parents for posting pics of them online. This week, the ever brilliant Mother Pukka expressed her feelings on the matter eloquently: Instagram is the modern day photo album and as long as we can make the assumption that (most) parents are making choices based on love for their kids, we can let them make their own decisions about whether to post or not. Non?
I’ve said it a million times: mamas are superheroes. What I appear to have forgotten is that this is more of a metaphor than a statement of fact to be taken literally. The last 24 hours have proved to me that while my mental strength, emotional capacity and physical stamina are pretty damn awesome, they are not in fact, infallible. There is such a thing as ‘too much’ and, as I sit on my sofa feeling like a 300-year old woman with concrete blocks for legs and a stomach full of drawing pins, I’m feeling a little foolish. Continue reading
Summer in London is by far my favourite day of the year. There is no doubt that it elevates the spirits of all Londoners by at least 45% meaning that they go from sociopathically unfriendly to merely indifferent. Which is always nice. Of course, this doesn’t apply to Londoners on the tube when it’s hot. They get worse – they turn feral. And they smell even worse. Continue reading
It seems that today, every time I’ve spoken to my toddler a lie has popped out. I’ve told an unprecedented amount of fibs. I’ve told so many, I keep checking the mirror to examine the length of my nose. My toddler has been (mis)guided through today by a parent who will literally say ANYTHING to avoid a tantrum. So, just to make you all feel a little bit better about yourselves, here are the lies I’ve told. Continue reading
I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about pregnancy. I mean really…who the chuff designed this thing? Humans are, without doubt, the most inefficient breeders. Not only is pregnancy riddled with some serious malfunctioning shit, at the end of it you only have two pretty terrifying options: heave the new human out of your woman funnel or have someone cut you open and pull it out. After all these years, surely we could have evolved a more appealing method?