GIFTMATCH ROUNDUP

A month ago, I officially launched #GIFTMATCH. It’s been a real passion project and once that I’m so so proud of. In one month alone we’ve made so many wonderful #GIFTMATCHES that I wanted to update you so that you know exactly what’s going on. The great GREAT thing about #GIFTMATCH is that it takes such a small gesture on everyone’s part to make a huge difference. In this campaign, everyone’s a winner and I can’t wait to see it grow.  Continue reading

LEAVING MY KIDS IN THE CAR AND OTHER BAD PARENTING CHOICES…

You may or may not have noticed that I came under fire this week for leaving my 2 year old and 4 year old in the car for 5 minutes while I ran into the supermarket to pick up some water. It would have been 4 minutes and 15 seconds if I hadn’t stopped to eat a bag of Malteser’s first. I was hungry and frankly, I didn’t want to share them. It was only a small bag after all.  The majority of responses were supportive and took it in the manner in which it was intended: humorously. On the flip side, there were a number of people who thought I was ‘abhorrent’, a ‘bitch of a mother’ and one even reported my post and said she’d called social services.  Continue reading

WHEN SWIMMING ISN’T WINNING…

There are few ideas I’ve had that are worse than deciding to take both kids swimming by myself. Choosing to neck a jar of pickled onions during a serious case of the midnight munchies and proceeding to puke them up all night comes in a close second, along with convincing two mates to do three tequila shots before our first spin class, but swimming with the kids is definitely, definitely, the worst. Continue reading

A DAY IN THE MUM LIFE…

4.13am
Wake up to the dulcet sounds of the youngest one screaming  for ‘milky’. I have two options:
a) get up, get milk, heat milk, give milk and resume sleep
b) ignore her and hope she’s tired enough to give in before she wakes her sister up
There is of course secret option C: kick Jimmy and tell him it’s his turn because I’ve already been up with her twice. That’s not true but he sleeps so deeply he’ll never know.
I go with option A. Path of least resistance and all that… Continue reading

WHY ISOLATING YOURSELF MIGHT BE JUST WHAT YOU NEED…

After a month of Jimmy touring almost constantly, I was ready for a break. Four weeks of running the show had left me emotionally and physically drained. That’s just how I am. I’m fiercely protective of my emotional needs not because I’m selfish but because it doesn’t end well if I just keep going. I needed some space and some time alone. I need quiet (as opposed to my constant life soundtrack of ‘Mamaaaa’ plus screaming plus Paw Patrol), I needed to not be touched almost every minute of the day and I needed to know that I could sleep through the night with zero chance of being required to whip up midnight milk snacks or share my bed with a small but illogically sharp and pointy 4 year old.  Continue reading

WHY THERE ARE NO SCHOOL STARTING TEARS HERE…

This week my daughter started school. She’s the eldest so it’s been a case of popping my cherry when it comes to this particular milestone and you never really know how you’re going to feel about it until it happens. I thought there might be tears – me not her – but when it came to it, I was dry eyed. The absence of tears wasn’t because I wasn’t emotional, or because I was doing a happy dance at my freedom every weekday between the hours of 9am and 3pm, but because I was excited.  Continue reading

WHY I’M LEARNING TO LET GO…

I’ve spoken honestly and openly about my struggles with mental health. Neither my depression nor my anxiety are severe, but they have been ‘bad’ enough to severely impact on my life at certain points. It’s hard to know why I feel the pressure of life so keenly – I’m highly competitive, ambitious and was encouraged to be a high-achiever my whole life (second was first loser in my childhood home) – but most days I get to the end feeling like I’ve fallen short.  Continue reading

WHY PARENTING IS THE GREATEST SHOW…

Thanks to my eldest daughter, I’ve become very acquainted with The Greatest Showman. It’s a great film – it shits all over Frozen – but after 1,438 times of seeing it, it could be declared the best film of all time in any universe by the film gods and you’d still spoon your eyeballs out to stop yourself having to sit through it one more time. The fact that my daughter has ruined it for me aside, it did make me realise one important thing. Continue reading

WHY I’M NESTING AGAIN…

Anyone else struggling with the childcare/work juggle? Anyone? Anyone? Of course you are. Whether you run a corporation, a blog, a small business or a household, getting time to yourself to manage the admin is not easy. Building a business from your kitchen table sounds idyllic but in reality, by the time you’ve cleared away the breakfast plates, scraped the Weetabix of the table with a pneumatic drill and tried to create a space conducive to getting shit done…you’re exhausted. Continue reading

WHY GIFTING CAN BE THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING…

It’s been a rough couple of weeks but as I promised, I am using that experience to really think about how I can be more socially conscious and how I can help. I’ve got a platform, it’s not a massive one but it’s there and it has the power to do some good. I know there’s a lot of debate around the role of ‘influencers’ and the service they offer brands and their followers and this is not a blog that’s about to unpick THAT particular bees nest but I think there’s a fairly easy way for influencers to do some good.

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DOES MOTHERHOOD REALLY NEED REBRANDING?

Recently, in the New York Times, Diksha Basu, commented that motherhood was in need of a rebrand saying that the trend, led by social media, was to sell motherhood to the masses as the ultimate sacrifice. “It’s no wonder that most of my friends have chosen not to have children and women are embracing the term “child-free” as if they are free of an illness,” Basu writes. “We already don’t get paid maternity leave, and child care and health care are expensive, there’s little state help, and now we’re telling each other that motherhood is pretty awful anyway?” Continue reading

WHY I’M SORRY ABOUT THAT POST…

What’s that overused, cliched saying? Sorry seems to be the hardest word? Well, the thing about cliches, is that they happen to be true. A couple of weeks ago, I posted THAT image on my squares equating camping to homelessness and, here I am to say, publicly and permanently, what a dick move that was on my part. Continue reading

WHY MY PND STILL HAUNTS ME FIVE YEARS LATER…

As much as I try not to think about it and as much as I try to dismiss it, I have to face up to a cold, hard truth. My post-natal depression following the birth of my eldest has affected my relationship with her and, almost five years on, it still does. Just writing that makes me want to weep but it’s true.

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WHAT MY DEPRESSION LOOKS LIKE…

If there’s one thing I know about depression, I know that it’s different for everyone. Those who suffer can certainly empathise and many of them will share symptoms but we all deal with depression differently and we respond differently to treatments. My depression is all my own, so what follows here is simply an account of my experience. I hope that in writing about it, it helps other people feel less ashamed, or less alone with their experiences. Continue reading

WHY I’M GETTING HOT AND BOTHERED OVER NUROFEN’S NEW GADGET…

Let’s be honest, kids are enough hard work when they are healthy, happy and not destroying your house from the inside out. When they’re sick, it’s even worse. Your life descends into the twilight zone – day and night are no longer defined by the rising and setting sun but instead by those snatches of sleep you grab somewhere between giving them medicine and them vomiting from fever. Your darkened days are luminated only by the painful tones of the Teletubbies at 4am while your kid is covered in snot and literally, days can pass before you realise you haven’t showered or brushed your teeth.

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BLOGGER/FLOGGER? MY VERSION OF EVENTS….

I’m starting to make some money from my instagram account and this here blog. It’s much needed income. Jimmy and I are both freelancers and our cash flow is the biggest headache everyday of our lives so, when another income stream makes itself available, I’m going to take it. That being said, it’s tricky times over on the squares with all this ‘selling’ stuff so, in the interests of transparency, here’s what you can expect from me…in list form (because I’m too damn hot to make ordered sense out of my brain). Continue reading

LETTER TO MY TEENAGE SELF

I’ve recently done some work with Universal Pictures as part of their campaign to celebrate the release of the Lady Bird DVD starring Saoirse Ronan  (which is out today!) and one of the things they asked me to do was write a letter to my teenage self. I thought I’d share it in full here – you can also watch me reading it over on IGTV! Continue reading

THE PMT MYTH?

PMT and PMS has long been the subject of debate amongst women, medical professionals and certain brave men. There has been a lot of research into PMT/PMS (the terms are interchangeable) with little solid evidence to provide an acceptable conclusion. What is clear is that many women, every month, are struggling seriously with their mental states in the lead up to their period. Continue reading

THE SKINNY ON SKIN-TAGS

I know skin tags aren’t the sexiest of topics for a blog, but this is a parenting blog after all; we lost sexy somewhere between battered vaginas and poo stains. Let’s face it: pregnancy has been fetishised since the dawn of time, but if you’ve actually done it you’ll know it’s about as sexy as Boris Johnson in a pair of edible panties.  The varicose veins, the heavy labia, the dripping pelvic floor, the burgeoning, leaking boobs straining translucently through a knackered old feeding bra and branded with a road map of blue veins are not sexy. Growing a human may be bad-ass, but it’s rarely sexy. Continue reading

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 difference. 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