10 stages of going ‘out out’ Mum style

1. Arrange it at least 4 months in advance

2. Lock it into Famcal and the wall calendar so husband can’t claim he was unaware and moan about staying in with kids. Continuously remind husband when it is happening as he will continually forget

3. Start discussing on the WhatsApp group what you’re all wearing and after much back and forth, all settle on ‘jeans and a nice top’

4. Recoil in horror when you discover the Spice Girls tribute you’re quite unreasonably excited about is not due to come on till 10pm and that is the time you’d ideally be calling an Uber to go home (seriously, the demographic here is surely other mums in their 30s who wanna get home at a reasonable time so they’re not looking after kids half dead the next day, just start the entertainment at 7:30 FFS!)

5. Spend the day feeling worryingly knackered and slightly tempted to stay in and vegetate on the sofa like you do 99% of the other Saturday nights. Tell yourself to man up.

6. Attempt to do your hair and make-up with a toddler hanging off you demanding her share of your make up and whilst tending to a teething baby

(accompanied by some classic 90s dance hits on Alexa, obvs)

7. Stress about which of your shoes will be both stylish and comfortable enough to dance in whilst pissed up on Becks and Prosecco later. Realise no such shoes exist and quietly cry inside for the inevitable pain and misery about to descend upon your poor battle scarred feet which these days are only used to slippers and Sketchers Go Walks

8. Arrive at venue. Remark to your mum friends that it’s ‘a bit loud’ and that ‘you’re going for a wee and then to the bar’. Look in the toilet mirror and realise that, yes, you definitely do look like a Mum that’s ‘out out’ rather than that 24 year old vixen of your halcyon days

9. Proceed to get extraordinarily drunk and dance like a twat until you realise that last beer really was an unnecessary mistake and you’ll be paying for it tomorrow when you’re trying to get through Auntie Margaret’s 80th birthday lunch at the Harvester.

1O. Go home and talk on WhatsApp about what a fab evening was had but how you’re never drinking again. Start planning the next one.

Stages of accessing a public toilet with your 3 year old

Stages of accessing a public toilet with your 3 year old…

1. Get in. GET IN! Mummy’s gonna wet herself!! Her bladder is destroyed and that is not just a little bit thanks to YOU

2. OMG now you’re saying you need to go first?! Just as I’m frantically dropping my kegs and moments after you were adamant you didn’t need to go??

3. Fine, get on then. Quickly. QUICKLY! It’s not ideal but somewhat more acceptable for you to have pissed yourself in public than it is for me.

4. Seriously have you finished yet?! I am seconds away from an unfortunate accident, and you do not seem to give a shit.

5. OMG are you doing a shit??!!

6. Quick get off and let me wipe your bum cuz if I don’t get on that toilet soon I will be using you as a wet patch shield as I shuffle back to the car, avoiding eye contact with all other humans and wondering why they don’t make ‘Mum nappies’ for situations like these

7. Aaaaaaah, relief at last. Never mind why my bum isn’t touching the toilet seat. I have a thing.

8. Stop messing with the sanitary bin! STOP TOUCHING IT. Omg can you use Zoflora on your kid??

9. No darling, don’t open the door. Mummy isn’t finished. No, no, stop opening the door. DON’T OPEN THE ….

“Oh, hi random stranger. Yes, yes, nothing to see here. Just my last shred of dignity leaving the building, chasing after my pelvic floor control…”

10. Right lets wash our hands. No, not that much soap. YOU DONT NEED THAT MUCH SOAP. RIGHT, THAT’S TOO MUCH SOAP NOW. FFS. No, I guess we don’t need to use the hand dryer. I know you’re still shit scared of it. Yes, you can wipe your hands on me instead.

How have we been in here 20 minutes?!

THE END

10 things I said I’d never do as a parent…

#1 *Use a screen as a babysitter*

I was never going to let my kid vegetate in front of the TV/tablet when there was all sorts of educational activities we could joyfully be doing together, oh no. Instead our days would be filled with baking, crafts and inspirational chats! No need to use the telly box as a substitute babysitter when you’ve got this parenting shit down….

Well let me tell you right now that I very quickly discovered that a screen is at times, lots of times, a mother’s best friend and I live in fear of a power cut/flat phone or Ipad battery taking my best friend away from me when I really need it.

Lets just say my three year old is more likely to be found watching episodes of Mr Maker crafting some bollocks out of a toilet roll and pipe cleaners (he doesn’t actually craft bollocks, that potentially could be considered inappropriate) than crafting at the kitchen table. She can throw paint and glue crap around at Playgroup, that’s what I pay ’em for. Well, that and three hours peace and quiet.

I have swiftly learnt that Youtube can be an absolute life saver when you’re sensing an imminent shit fit at a family pub lunch; that Bing, although he is a whiny little twat most of the time, is actually quite educational; and that Peppa Pig may be a bossy little arsehole but she sure as hell knows how to keep my toddler entertained whilst I eat/shit/shower and that makes her alright with me.

Just remember it’s all about balance, however. It’s important to have balance, and I’ve found that an empty pint glass does the job when you’re trying to get your phone to stay standing up so your kid can watch other kids opening crap on Youtube whilst you finish your ‘Spoons Scampi and Chips in peace 👍

#2 *Take my kid to Macdonald’s*

Oh no, I was never gonna take my kid to that overcrowded, processed crap churning, teenager and Weekend Dad hosting fast food chain. Nope. She would never find out about it’s strangely hypnotic powers and so would never ask to go there. Simples.

Nowadays, Midge Bean seems to be aware of where every branch of Maccies within a 5 mile radius of our house is located, and gleefully yells ‘Donalds’s! Lets go to Donald’s for chips and red sauce!” every time we pass in the car.

I think one of mine and Welshy’s most spectacular parenting communication fails so far has to be the day we inadvertently took Midge Bean to Macdonalds TWICE, as we’d each been looking after her separately over different meal times and so both her Mum and Dad managed to feed her greasy fries and ketchup for lunch and dinner, and only discovered this fact whilst debriefing the day some time later. Of course the child didn’t let slip to either of us about her multiple visits to the Golden Arches, she was too busy living her best life.

#3 *Feed my kids crap food*

Oh yes, as well as avoiding ‘ol Maccy D’s, I was going to ensure that the food I served was always nutritional and full of goodness.

Well, that was before I realised that when your kid is going through a ‘fussy eating’ phase and seemingly trying to starve themselves for the hell of it, you will literally cave into any food related demand in order to not see them waste away, or worse, get you up in the night cuz they’re hungry.

Gone are the smug days of watching your newly weaned little cherub happily gnawing on some broccoli whilst you exclaim to anyone in ear shot “Yes, she’s such a good eater!”

Instead, I find myself yelling to Midge Bean to get herself a slice of plastic cheese out the fridge to tide her over whilst I’m feeding her baby brother and she’s hungry for her lunch, broccoli is nothing but a distant memory and chocolate before breakfast is sometimes an absolute necessity to get through the day.

#4 *Swear in front of the kids*

I was never going to let my impressionable offspring overhear my bad language, and I fucking try not to, I swear.

But sometimes the old road rage gets the better of you and you just have to call the chav in the Honda Civic who just cut you up at the island the twat that he is, at which point the angel in the car seat behind you makes a mental note to repeat what you said and maybe the accompanying hand gesture if you’re really lucky, when chatting with Brenda from next door later that day.

I overheard Midge Bean instructing one of her Teletubby dolls to “Get over there, you little bugger” the other day. I chuckled and noted that it could have been a lot worse. It did get worse the following week when she shouted it across the pub. She was talking to the dog, not a member of public. Cuz that makes it better, obvs.

#5 *Use bribery to get them to do something/not do something*

I mean, there’s surely no need to resort to these tactics to get your kid to do something you need to do, right? Surely getting down on their level and having a calm and reasonable conversation will do the trick? WRONG. Sometimes there’s nothing else for it but to hiss in their tiny little ear “Look, if you just stay quiet for 5 minutes and let Mummy discuss her stress incontinence with the nice doctor, I’ll buy you some Playdoh and a bloody Kinder Egg!” and hope for the best. You can also flip it on it’s head and threaten ‘no Playdoh’ and ‘no Kinder Egg’, if friendly blackmail is more your thing. No judgement here.

#6 *Let them stay up until they pass out because I can’t be arsed to fight them about bed time*

I was certain I would firmly master and employ the art of a strict bedtime routine, and naturally that went to shit fairly early on. Sometimes, when you just know that the ensuing meltdown at the suggestion of bedtime or numerous trips up and down the stairs for apparently much needed cuddles, stories, drinks of water or fetching of multiple bastard cuddly toys is absolutely not worth missing Strictly for, it’s quite frankly easier to let them eventually fall asleep on the sofa at 9pm and get Daddy to carry them upstairs to their bed when they are unconsious enough to not resist. The phrase “pick your battles” is never more relevant than times like these. Yes, they may have beaten you this time, and yes, you may have made a rod for your own back blah blah blah, but at least you are currently drinking your wine and demolishing your Vienetta in relative peace, albeit with a knackered but hopefully subdued little person taking up a weirdly disproportionate amount of your sofa space.

#7 *Allow my kid to have a tantrum in public*

“Allow!” Pahahahahaha.

I will admit that years ago, when I used to swan around Tesco footloose and child free (which I now realise is basically a holiday), I’d hear/see a kid having an epic meltdown in the aisles whilst their parent stood helplessly by, and think “But is there REALLY nothing you can do about it though? You REALLY can’t solve this by implementing some calm and effective parenting techniques?” Then I’d skip along to the underwear aisle to buy myself some perfectly fitting Judgey Pants and get on with my naive little life.

Nowadays, I’m more likely to be seen giving a solemn nod of solidarity to that helpless parent as I scuttle by with my kids, thinking nothing other than “Thank fuck its not mine, right now” and practically jogging round the rest of the supermarket to get the shopping done before the situation drastically changes.

Basically, if they’re gonna blow, they’re gonna blow, and there’s not a fat lot that can be done about it, apart from maybe to employ tactics similar to those mentioned in #5

#8 *Lose my shit*

With every good intention, reality tends to pop up to give you a slap in the chops, and believing that you will be able to stay completely in control 100% of the time will do nothing but ensure that slap comes a little bit quicker and stings a little bit more.

Now let me be clear for any muppets in the back with their finger hovering over the Social Services referral button, when I talk about losing your shit, I do not refer to physically or otherwise harming your child in any way, and if you are finding yourself dangerously close to doing so, please seek help as soon as possible.

However, lets get real and admit that even the most Buddha-like of parenting angels will sometimes feel like they are about to lose their shit when they’re faced with a toddler who can sense their weakness after a night of being kept up with a new born whose sole purpose seems to be based around trying to destroy you through lack of sleep and bleeding nipples. At this point I would advise that you do try your best not to leave the cat to supervise them whilst you emigrate, at least wait till Daddy gets home.

Failing that, crack open the wine. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

#9 *Get overly sentimental about my kids*

I used to be incredulous about those parents who spoke of crying at the school gates or university dorms as they waved their crotch spawn off into the big wide world. I used to think I’d be the one who yelled gleefully “SEE YA!” whilst running off to my Spa day or to convert their room into a yoga studio or some other frivolous nonsense. Now, I am relatively certain that I will be the first in line to acquire a completely invasive but immeasurably reassuring micro chip tracking system to enable me to know where they are and what they are doing at all times. They shall live with me forever, or at least within a 5 mile radius. If they don’t, I shall up and move to follow them wherever they go like an annoying mum-shaped fart.

The Welshy and I both blarted at Midge Bean’s first ballet show recently. It was fucking awesome.

#10 *Breastfeed whilst on the loo*

Enough said…

*What are the things you said you’d never do as a parent but now most DEFINITELY do?*

Post Birth Photos

I used to imagine that my post birth photos would be a vision of serenity. A perfect memento of the moment my children had emerged peacefully into the birthing pool, caught by their father and handed to me to go straight onto my chest for skin to skin time. The midwife would then offer to take a picture of our new family, and we would beam proudly at our baby as the candles flickered and my carefully chosen birthing playlist provided a gentle audio backdrop to the magical moment we’d just experienced.
Turns out there’s not much time to grab the camera when prepping for an emergency c-section, and not much point in bringing one anyway when the mother can’t hold their baby until half an hour or so after birth as they are shaking uncontrollably and vomiting whilst still opened up on the operating table.
After suffering pregnancy losses and the fear my dream of being a parent would never become a reality, I guess I thought birth might go a bit easier on me, not to ‘make up for it’, but maybe to at least cast a more positive glow on what had been quite a traumatic road to motherhood.

I have a problem with that saying “All’s well that ends well”. All is not necessarily well, even if it has ended well. I also have a problem with the saying “A healthy baby is all that matters”. It’s THE most important thing, but not the ONLY important thing. I’ll talk more about my experiences with traumatic birth and pregnancy loss soon, but for now I’ll just say that I did eventually come home with two healthy babies, and I am so thankful for that. I know many others haven’t.

So these are my first post birth photos with my beautiful babies. Both taken in recovery by my husband, as the midwives were too busy monitoring my vitals after surgery and writing up copious amounts of notes from the days of labour preceding it.
In the first I am giving Welshy a bollocking for nearly blinding the one hour old Midge Bean by not switching the flash off before taking the picture, and in the second, three years later, he’d remembered the flash thing and so I was just trying to focus on feeding T Bean as the poor thing had been crying after being kept waiting too long to eat whilst his Mummy was being sewn up and then monitored for Tachycardia so wasn’t allowed to hold him. “Just hand my baby to me for God’s sake then maybe my heart rate will go back to bloody normal!” It did.

I never wanted to publicise these photos as they didn’t depict that perfect post birth scene that was ‘supposed’ to happen. Now I realise that I am and should be as proud of these images as any mother who did have a textbook birth. They aren’t how I’d imagined, but I’m incredibly grateful they exist.

I’d love to see your post birth photos too! ❤

Post Partum Bodies

First blog post, coming at ya…

In October 2018, a few weeks after having my second baby and whilst still feeling emotionally and physically like I’d been run over by a truck, I left him with his Dad for an hour so I could spend a bit of one on one time with my daughter who had just turned three and had had to adjust to a new house and a new little brother all in a matter of weeks.
We decided to go to the library, an apparently innocuous place to visit whilst feeling like you might break if someone accidentally brushed past you in a corridor. It would be fine.
I began a pleasant chat with the friendly library assistant whilst she was looking for a book Midge Bean wanted, and she asked me how old she was. It was all going so well until she looked down at my belly and announced “And I see you have another one due any time now!”
For fucks sake.
“Er, no” I explained, “I had him three weeks ago…”
She went red, I went red, the other Mums who were with their kids nearby went red and busied themselves pretending they hadn’t heard. “Oh, I’m so sorry” the librarian said. Then “Well where is he today then?!” in an almost accusatory tone, as if I should have spared her the embarrassment of her faux pas by making sure to bring said baby in order to clarify that my bulk in the belly area was for that reason.
I resolved to always make sure I had him with me in future; “Look, I just had a baby! That’s why my belly is huge!”

Well we’re three months on now and the belly is still pretty fucking huge, unfortunately. I wear the high waisted ‘control underwear’ knickers every day, then mostly baggy tops to try and hide it but I’m still really self conscious about it and literally have about four items in my wardrobe that fit me. I must own 10 different pairs of different coloured skinny jeans and at the moment I can only fit it into one maternity pair that, alas, seem to be going in the crotch.

I grow decent sized babies (8lb 12 and 9lb respectively) and during pregnancy all bets are off and I follow the ‘See Food’ diet. You know the one.
I continually had people comment that I must be a lot further along than I actually was as I was so massive (cheers), and the usual jokes of “You sure there’s just one in there? Ha ha ha ha!”
“Yes, definitely just the one!” I’d reply through gritted teeth whilst resisting the urge to blame hormones after giving them a back hander for being cheeky fuckwits.
I also did very little exercise as the first trimester was spent vomming or fighting off the urge to vom and the rest was spent incapacitated with Pelvic Girdle Pain, which as some of you may know is an absolute bastard.
Both babies did not wanna come out and both ended up arriving via emergency c section after fucking horrendous labours, and no unfortunately the surgeons did not agree to my suggestion of a quick ‘nip and tuck’ whilst they were still rummaging in my guts after hauling the cosy little buggers out through the sunroof into this giant shit show called life.

So now I also have the famous c-section ‘shelf’ which is as awesome as it sounds and basically means my belly hangs over the tightened bit where they sewed me up, twice. I’ve read that there’s not an awful lot to be done about it unless you already had a completely flat stomach to begin with, which, sadly I did not. So, that and a bladder that’s as weak as my willpower when presented with a Custard Crème are what I’m contending with right now. Oh and trying to keep two kids alive, etc etc.

I have absolutely no issue with people who’s bodies are larger or smaller than what society/the media deems acceptable if they are healthy and happy. You should be accepted and celebrated without having to conform to anyone else’s ridiculous ideal.

However, I am not healthy nor happy with my body. Apart from how I feel in my clothes/when I look in the mirror, I have also noticed my knees hurt when I’m going up the stairs and I’m knackered most of the time. I want energy to play with my kids who are default set to operate at Duracell Bunny level, and I want to be able to wear my skinny jeans again as I’m pretty sure my maternity ones are gonna split down the crotch any moment now, probably just as a herd of size 8 Spandex Susies jog past me in the street whilst I’m sweating my tits off trying to get the pram up the hill, or whilst bending down to pick my bread and dignity up off the supermarket floor after once again trying and failing to keep up with the quite frankly pissing ridiculous speed at which your items are thrown at you by the Aldi checkout assistants.

Something has to change. I’ve done jack shit so far as I had my baby in September and felt like shit for ages, then it was Christmas so I ate the world and it’s Terry’s Chocolate Orange, then New Year’s fell on a Tuesday and I was far too hungover from Lidl Prosecco to do anything other than vegetate (unfortunate word to describe something which definitely does not have much to do with vegetables), and then it was Wednesday and, well, you can’t start a diet and exercise regime mid-week, can you? Everyone knows it has to be a Monday.
So after spending the week frantically eating and drinking all the crap in the house to ‘get rid of it’, another well known pre-diet ritual, I am officially starting tomorrow. Yes, biznitches.
I have no master plan except to use the My Fitness Pal app and also the last of this Skinny Coffee malarkey that I’ve had in the cupboard since before I was pregnant. I’m also gonna commit to 40 minutes of walking with the pram each day (no mean feat with my chunky 14lb er in it and my two stone toddler standing on the back) and yoga three times a week.

Follow my stories for updates on weigh ins, how much I was ‘hanging out of my arse’ (one of my husband’s delightful phrases) during my workout, and whether or not I manage to resist eating the entire garlic bread my husband presents me with my lasagne…..this actually happened the other night, he had said “Just leave what you don’t want” and I was like “ Have you just MET me?! If it’s in front of me, I fucking eat it!”

A note about these photos. It has taken some big bollocks to post these when I’m at the unhealthiest I’ve ever been, but I promised when starting this blog I was gonna get uncomfortable in order to get comfortable, and the honesty starts here.
This is a real, postpartum body of a woman who’s grown two chunky babbas and who likes beer and cheese maybe a little too much.
(Incidentally the dog and child featured in the background don’t give a shit about how I look, which is nice)

Hopefully I’ll be a little more motivated if I have a few people following my journey (oh god ‘journey’ is so cringe), and please feel free to send any hints and tips my way, or let me know about your own experiences with trying to get healthy after birthing sprogs 👍