The truth about being a mother

The truth about being a mother

The truth is . . .  the truth is . . .  well, the truth is it sucks being a mother much of the time.
You spend a lot of time bemoaning the drudge, the hardships, the lack of SLEEP.
So yeah, the truth about being a mother is it kinda sucks.
Would you change it? Well maybe little bits. Maybe the bit where you lose so much sleep you fear your eye bags will never ever reduce. Or the bit where you keep getting calls from school with the opening ‘we need to discuss some behaviour issues’. Or the bit where you sat on the loo and sobbed because your beautiful baby keeps hitting you and now they’ve moved onto the biting stage.

OK, so it doesn’t SUCK as such, it’s just tough and quite frankly we all want a bit of recognition and, you know, maybe a medal or two . . . Because we’re all just doing the best we can. And sometimes it feels like an endless, backbreaking uphill trudge.
I take heart in what novelist Jill Churchill said: “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”

Still. Those home truths for anyone who needs them:

The Shower
I no longer have a shower to relax and unwind.
Gone are the days of fancy body washes and intensive hair conditioners that need to be left in for 10 minutes.
These days a shower now serves a basic clean. Hair and body. Shave under the arms if I’ve got time. Both arms if I’m lucky. AND on top of that, I double up with cleaning the actual shower. Because it saves time and you may as well kill two birds with one stone.
I sometimes use a nice body scrub to zing myself awake but to be honest, the cleaning it requires to get the stuff off the shower doors is arduous so I have to REALLY need zinging awake.

The Toilet
Speaking of the bathroom you can kiss goodbye to ever going to the toilet on your own again. That private time is no longer yours to own. You will not pee alone again for a Very Long Time.
Somewhere in their DNA kids believe that it’s OK to have a conversation with you while you’re on the loo. If you shut the door, they will simply stroll in. “Err, hello? I’m on the loo” doesn’t work. If you lock it they will whine at you from the other side of the door.
The trick is to go to the loo with the door slightly ajar and not turn the light on. That one worked for me for months. My kids have sussed me out now, but I’m gifting this one to you.

The Supermarket
Ever since having children, a trip to the supermarket is a treat. It’s my ‘me’ time.
The bloody supermarket!
Sometimes the husband offers to come along or, heaven forbid, do the shopping for me! NO, that’s the only bit of sanity I get. My headspace. Where I can make decisions by myself and not by committee.

Clothes Shopping
I can spend hours in town and not come home with a single solitary stitch for me. Because when we’re in a shop all I get is sighs and arm folding and exaggerated eye rolling. Before that it was a toddler vomiting in the underwear aisle or grabbing at clothes and pulling them off the hangers for sport. Strips all the joy out of it.
If I go out shopping for me, on my own, with actually cash to spend, I still come back with bagfuls of stuff for them. Because, you know, mothers.

Being Shouted At
Not in a mean way but get used to everyone yelling ‘MUM!’ from some room in the house – usually the furthest one from where you currently are.

All The Guilt
I feel guilty about working and not being around to invite their friends back for tea after school.
I feel guilty about spending too much time with one of them.
I feel guilty about not spending enough time with each of them.
I feel guilty for not feeding them the right food, for not teaching them the right manners, for not being able to afford everything, for not being around, for being around too much and not giving them their independence, for nagging, for not nagging enough.
You get the picture?

Nits
They will invade your home. You will spend literally hours of your life combing through hair. Theirs, your own, your husband’s. Get used to it.

It’s Bloody Tough
It’s much much harder than you ever think it’s going to be. Times 100.
The baby years are tough; all that teething and crying and nappy changing and chronic lack of sleep and fretting over reaching their milestones.
The toddler years are basically a fug of coping with tantrums, a mobile child who wants to touch/lick/eat everything and the hell that is potty training.
The school years are a nightmare of homework, friendship issues, more tantrums and burgeoning independence.
Phew.
But let me tell you, those were the easy years. The teenage years you are not prepared for.
Basically you need to know that you will feel dizzy for years and years with the sheer chaos of your life.

One Day You Will Have To Let Go
That child you have spent all that time worrying about, loving, nagging, hugging, nurturing, protecting will say these words “can I go on the train to town with my mate? On our own?”
You know it’s the right thing to do and that they will love you all the more for it and it will help with their independence, their self esteem and their self confidence.
But TOWN. On their OWN.
You will sit at home and fret the whole time. Just suck it up.

You Will Never Ever Be The Same Again
Total, all-encompassing, heart swelling, unconditional love does that to you.

truth about being a mother

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6 reasons why every family should have a dog

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All you need is love. 
And a dog.

Just over four years ago this gorgeous creature came into our lives.
He nudged his wet nose into our laps and that was it, he well and truly in our hearts too.

We agonised over whether to bring a dog into our busy lives. Were the kids old enough? Would Mia literally love it to death? Would I get fed up of having another ‘child’ to look after? Would I resent having to look after it once the honeymoon period was over and no one wanted to walk the damn thing?

But he came and he changed our lives.
Now I’m a big big believer that kids growing up with a dog in the house can be happier, healthier and less stressed.
Why? Because they have a best friend at all times who listens to their every problem (even the boring ones), who will encourage them to be outdoors and who will just sit with them for hours on end when everyone else has given up and gone to watch paint dry.

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Our dog is awesome.
Here’s why (and no he’s not supposed to be on that bloody sofa!):

  1. I can talk to him like a baby now my kids don’t allow it any more. Even the husband does it and he didn’t even do it with the kids!
  2. When I walk in the door from a shitty day at work he is utterly delighted to see me and I feel like the most important person the world. When I walk in the door after emptying the bins he is utterly delighted to see me. What can I tell you, he has no sense of time; I didn’t say he was clever!
  3. He saves me the effort of getting the vacuum cleaner out when I’ve had a little accident in the kitchen. He also eats the ends I cut off the red pepper, carrots and broccoli. It feels like our little secret.
  4. He’s complicit when I’m eating a sneaky bar of chocolate in the pantry. Doesn’t tell a soul.
  5. We share beautiful things. Sunrises, nature at her finest, frozen canals, the early bird, the changing seasons. Now my kids won’t allow me to photograph them so much I take a million photographs of said moments. He never ever complains.
  6. He taught us how to love life. He sits in the back of the car with the window down with a look of pure joy on his face as his chops flap in the wind. He runs with gay abandon. He is beyond excited when you put your shoes on. You say his name and joy lights up his face.

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IMG_1612I’m sharing my love of our gorgeous boy over on the Monster Pet Supplies website as their guest blogger this month.

Take a look and then tell me your doggie story!

Posted in Dog | Tagged | 4 Comments

Lenco USB Direct Recording Turntable review. Or, that’s Christmas sorted then

record-players

As a child of the eighties, my musical background lies in vinyl.
And that vinyl now sits in a cupboard, gathering dust and quietly whispering to me to stop ignoring it and pandering to the ‘modern’ outrage that is downloads.

Now I have a teenager of my own, the majority of the music I listen to is his music. It comes via a radio station I feel way too old to listen to or understand and various downloads sites I daren’t ask about.

But my heart lies in vinyl. Those days of saving up my pocket money to go into town, to the big HMV and buy the latest chart single. 12 inch if I’d saved up enough.
My first album was Human League’s Dare and I felt SO COOL coming home with that in my plastic bag.

I have my old record player still, which I treated with kid gloves and gave The Look to anyone who dared mistreat the needle. But it too is now gathering dust because, to be honest, it’s such a faff to set up with the whole pre-amplifier thing.

Then I had an email asking if I’d like to try this Lenco USB turntable. Would I like to bring my vinyl back to life, they were asking? Hell YES I would.
And here is said record player straight out of the box.

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It literally requires you to plug it into any speakers (we’ve plugged ours into the TV surround speakers so it’s right there front and centre in the living room, ready for a Christmas par-tay).

It looks the absolute business, has all the features of my ‘old’ record player – eject button, 33/45 RPM button, lever to lift the arm, auto return, centre replacement disc for vinyl without a centre to fit. I absolutely love it.

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Since receiving it, I’ve embarrassed the kids by playing Duran Duran full blast and dancing a la Baptist Church Disco circa 1985.
I’ve done the ‘oh my lordy, do you remember THIS one?’ as I rifle through my alphabetically-ordered collection, to anyone who will listen. Finally, finally my vinyl collection is getting a new lease of life.

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The technical bit

The Lenco L-85 comes in a choice of 6 colours and costs £119.99.
Direct MP3 encoding means you can record your vinyl collection to a digital format via the USB and the built-in pre-amplifier means you simply connect to any speakers, plug in and go.
Many, many thanks to Lenco for sending me this; it’s an absolutely perfect early Christmas present.

Posted in Reviews, Tech Review | Tagged , | 3 Comments