Monday, 24 October 2016

The difference between the impossible and possible...

My Daughter is an example of this beautiful quote. Here is a picture of her almost two weeks ago. 
She looks like she's just stood on a hill.  Well okay, she is just stood on a hill but she's been determined to climb this hill since she first set eyes on it almost a year ago. She couldn't do it without me alongside her. We would head to the top together and then I would look like a right tit going down the slide multiple times. Eva has very mild cerebal palsy and right sided hemiplegia which affects the movement on the right side of her body. People are surprised to find this out as she doesn't look like she has a disability (be it a very mild one.) She received her orthopaedic boots 2 weeks ago. Bright pink ones, she chose them herself. I wanted her to choose navy as it goes with everything (I sound like my Mother) but what Diva wants Diva gets (except for milkyway magic stars at 6 in the morning) and on the first day of wearing them, she accomplished climbing that hill!
There's no stopping her now she's armed with her bright pink boots! Perhaps she'll choose navy next time?

The Kitschy Mumma

Absolutely Prabulous
Cuddle Fairy

Friday, 21 October 2016

Oh Hello Mum-guilt, we meet again...

"Piss off Michelangelo"

It's safe to say the past few days in our household has been draining. My Daughter has a cough. If you're not a parent you'll probably think "oh right, just a cough?" If you are a parent, you will know that a child with a cough is like a man with 'man-flu'. It's constant whinging, getting up and down in the night more than the Grand Old Duke of pissing York. Cough medicine is as much use as a waterproof teabag. Of course you have to have the patience of a Saint (SaintyMcFuckOffCough) as it's not their fault but mentally, I'm done. I slept on a toddler mattress on her bedroom floor last night with a Ninja Turtle pillow under my head. I need a week of sleep to recover from this. To top it off the anxiety and 'Mum-guilt' has been in full force over the past 2 days. 
I'd been volunteering in a Primary School for a few weeks in the hopes of eventually getting a job there in a few years (not having to find childcare in the school holidays being a tiny incentive.)  My Mum was looking after my Daughter for one morning a week so that I could go on my latest venture. The kids took to me like a duck to water (I always seem really fun to any child that isn't my own.) I got a bit put off when I realised I'd forgotten everything in the national curriculum. We're talking "what the hell is a pro-noun?" and "what is the correct lingo when it comes to bloody times tables?" I would have persevered I'm sure but my Mum had to return to work so I couldn't continue it. I was sad but these things happen. Then I had a phone-call from the school basically offering me the chance of a full-time position in January working one-to-one with students. I was flattered and confused. I've been in the same job for over five years and I'm pretty good at it. I was weighing it up in my head but the final decision maker was that cranky old bitch I call 'Mum-guilt'. She's the mental equivalent of thrush. She pops up to say "Hi, this decision you're about to make will have a serious negative impact emotionally and psychologically on your kid. Best you forget about it or I ain't leaving you alone.Ever." I would have had to move my Daughter to a different nursery. She's been at her current nursery for 3 years and the thought of her leaving her friends and the caregivers she is used to made my heart wither and feel really sad. She starts school next September and I've convinced myself that two upheavals in one year will mentally scar her. Plus I can't bear the thought of her in nursery for five days a week even though I know she would be fine. I had visions of me leaving her in the new would-be nursery, a completely different setting, baffled and sad. Having to adjust to new people and surroundings only to be shipped off to school eight months later and re-adjust again. That was my mind made up. I phoned the school back a couple hours later and thanked them for thinking of me but I couldn't accept. I feel I've made the right decision but I know 'Mum-guilt' has been a massive factor in it.

Today, the Diva has returned to nursery. Financially I can't afford to take a day off and it's got to the stage where she's starting to milk her cough a tad as opposed to suffering from it. She was adamant she wasn't going. I said she could take her new toy dog with her and that seemed to sway it. We arrived at nursery and I was full of hope that it would be a smooth process of leaving her without a tantrum. Cue the hysterical crying and reaching out of the arms and the "Mummmmmmmy" like I was leaving her with a bunch of rabid dogs. I was running late for work, I had to leave. 

Hi Mum-guilt, we meet again.

The Kitschy Mumma

*Five minutes after writing this post I had a phone-call from the Nursery to say she is not really eating and is quite teary.

Hello again Mum-guilt! Fuck off now please.

Diary of An Imperfect Mum
The Pramshed

Monday, 17 October 2016

What does her future hold?

I fear for my Daughter's future. It's something that pops into my head on a regular basis. What will become of her? Will she be happy? Will she be successful? Will she go to university? Will she travel the world and experience different cultures? The world is a scary place and it seems to be getting scarier and scarier. It seems we are at risk of everything and anything that you could deem 'your worst nightmare.' I fear mostly for her generation. I look at teenagers today. You know the girls who walk around in crop-tops with surly, pouting looks on their faces whilst glued to their iPhones. Many of them are experts in applying a full face of MAC makeup and looking about five years older than their age. When I was twelve/thirteen I had my Mum's leftover dream matte mousse which was about three shades too oompa-loompa for my face and some eyeliner that was placed strategically on my bottom lid. I finished it off with some cheap mascara and a lip gloss I got free in Mizz magazine. Oh and I used to write in a diary. At the time I thought I was grown-up, but I wasn't.
 Extract of said diary. It's pretty tragic.
The world seems a million miles away now from what it was back then thanks to the introduction of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you'd be hard-pushed to find a teenager who isn't on at least one of the three. The influence celebrities have on their young, naive minds is incredible. Kylie Jenner is a role model. People are fighting tooth-and-nail to get their hands on her range of lip-glosses. Young girls are watching her snapchat videos where she is flaunting her surgically-enhanced body, large house, flashy cars, ridiculously expensive clothes and shoes and think it's exactly the life they should be living. Kim K posts giant ass selfies like it's the norm. Chrissy Teigen poses naked on an armchair with her Husband's face protecting (some of) her modesty and posts it to her Instagram and we seem so baffled that kids as young as twelve think it's acceptable to be sending nude pictures to others. Little Mix are becoming more and more sexualised as their careers go on. Their latest song "Shoutout to my Ex" includes lyrics such as "I hope she gettin' better sex. Hope she aint faking it like I did Babe." All they sing about is men and shitty sex. I'm not a prude in the slightest but fucking hell no wonder teens place a hell of alot of emphasis on their relationships nowadays! I get it SEX SELLS, but what impact is this having on the younger generation who are so heavily influenced by media presence?

It's de-sensitising them. They are exposed to what I would label 'adult-material' on a regular basis through social media and Youtube. Half naked females on music videos, violent computer games, sexualised lyrics in songs. They have become so exposed that it becomes 'normal.' Facebook is the land of 'validate me, validate me.' Young boys and girls post selfies with really annoying 'deep and meaningful' captions like they've lived a thousand fucking years. They tag their friends in all sorts of shit. They are encouraged to 'fuck the haters' and believe that they're the best thing since sliced bread. I'm all for building children up with confidence. I love the saying "Parents need to fill a child's bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can't poke enough holes to drain it dry." In fact, this is one of a few sayings I live by as I raise my Daughter but there is a massive difference between having a high self-esteem and just being an egotistical narcissist and I truly believe that this young generation are heading this way.

This is highlighted by a story that came out a few years ago. The teenage girl who posted a picture of herself posing next to her dead Grandma in a hospital bed, lips pouted, captioned with something like "You're the best Grandma ever, so sad that you're gone." There was outrage, people were saying "oh she's not actually dead she obviously took the picture when she was alive and posted it after she's died" like it justifies it. Since when did it become normal to:
 A) Take selfies with people as they are dying when they are at their most vulnerable and deserve some dignity.
B)Post the picture on social media when you should be mourning because you are craving empty vessel comments like "so sorry" and "she would have been so proud."

Let me be clear. I am not for one second pigeon-holing all teenagers into this 'celebrity-obsessed, Facebook addicted, crop-top wearing, narcissistic little twerp' category. I'm also not saying that those who slot into this category are completely to blame. The pressures society and the media force on these young impressionable beings is enormous! Do I believe parents should do more to monitor and try to prevent the exposure? Yes! Do I think the media have more of an influence over children than their parents do? Absolutely!

Technology is only going to advance, media influence is only going to greaten, so what will become of our children?We can't predict the future, all we can do is protect. I want my Daughter to hold on to her childhood for as long as she can. Hold on to her ever-blossoming imagination, her innocence, her wonderful sense of humour and her curious nature. I also want her to be fiercely independent and street-smart and above all, kind-hearted and empathetic.
and happy.

The Kitschy Mumma

Diary of an imperfect mum
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My Random Musings

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Cut the crap...

If someone were to ask me what my pet-hate is, I would say that aside from people that walk really slowly, it's people that 'air their dirty laundry' on social media. Don't get me wrong, I understand that it's there for people to share certain parts of their lives, I'm talking about the people who literally put the ins and outs of their lives for all to see when certain things, in my opinion, should remain private.

It's not so much the 'if your relationship is shit' part that bothers me. I understand and sympathise with people that are going through a hard time. There are those that do not have people they can turn to so they use social media to vent their sadness/frustrations. There are people that I really like and respect that have fallen prey to over-sharing their business on the likes of Facebook because they want people telling them that they hope they're okay and that everything will be fine. It offers some sort of solace. When the emotional-hangover wears off I'm sure alot of them who have shared a very personal issue on Facebook regret doing so but in the heat of the moment you can lose that sense of reality. I can't say I've ever done this myself. When I was 18 and I discovered my boyfriend at the time was actually engaged to somebody else, I straightened my hat, put my bitch face on and never let anyone know how heartbroken I was (not on Facebook anyway. My Mum and my friends were the ones getting the tearful phonecalls and drunken heart-to-hearts about how much of a wanker he is and I can't believe this has happened blah blah blah.) That was years ago now, and I am still very much the same. Not everyone can 'shut down' like I can, it certainly doesn't make me a better person than those who over-express themselves. I just think that sometimes, just sometimes, you have to get your bitch-face out, put your strait-jacket on (not actually physically possible but you catch my drift) and refrain from typing.

I do however, get really pissed off by people who portray their lives as something it's not. Let me get this straight, I love seeing people happy. Social media should be used in a positive way. Achievements, announcements, your child hitting milestones, people getting married, people passing their driving tests, I love seeing stuff like that. It's when Kelly writes 'Love you' on Bartholomew's Facebook wall and about 10 people 'like' it and Bartholomew writes back something like 'love you too babes' and about 4 more people like it. Call me old-fashioned but I'm thinking Kelly and Bartholomew could have just said it to each other you know, in person. Or when Sharon writes a long-ass status about how lucky she is to have Jerry and you know full well that Sharon and Jerry fucking hate each others guts most of the time because Sharon gets royally pissed off when Jerry comes back from work and goes straight to the pub. OR when Shabooboo and Brody post that their going on a 'date night' and subsequently post 50 selfies of said date night when in actual fact if Shabooboo and Brody were enjoying each other's company, they wouldn't feel the need to take photos and post them on social media for some sort of 'relationship validation.'  Life is a battle enough without people using social media as a platform to pretend that they're leading fucking fantastic lives that everybody should envy. People who feel the need to constantly post how fucking fantastic their lives are, probably aren't leading very fucking fantastic lives.

I may seem like I'm contradicting myself because in one breath I'm saying that you shouldn't post how crap things are but then in another I'm also saying you shouldn't post how bloody brilliant things are. What I'm saying is, stop with the bullshit. Plain and simple. If your life is genuinely, at that moment in time, brilliant and you are experiencing wonderful things and your child just rolled over for the first time or you've just been proposed to on the Eiffel Tower then by all means share it with the world. If things currently aren't too peachy, don't pretend it is to everybody on Facebook. You're not achieving anything.

On reading what I've just written back, I've realised I sound like a right moaning minge! I'm not really that much of a judgemental cow, I just detest those who impose their artificial bull-crap on others but I also live by the saying "each to their own" so I'll shut up now.

*Note: Characters and events in this blog post are entirely fictional and only loosely based on bullshit I have witnessed with my own eyes on social media. I do not currently have a Facebook friend called Bartholomew. Or Shabooboo.

The Kitschy Mumma 

Absolutely Prabulous
Diary of an imperfect mum

Friday, 7 October 2016

Poem for my (nearly) 4 year old...

I think you always feel more gushy and sentimental when your child approaches their next birthday. As my little lady hits 4, I've reflected on our lives together and summed it up in this poem. Not that I can read it to her as it's a bit sweary but maybe one day, when she's 35, I might let her have a peek. Or maybe not as she will still be a little angel at that point and definitely will not know what the word 'shit' means. (p.s I never did make it into the school poetry anthology in case you were wondering. Read on and you will probably see why.)

When I saw those 2 lines,
on that little white stick,
to be completely honest,
I was shitting a brick.

We hadn't known each other long,
your Dad and I.
We weren't meant to be,
I'm not going to lie.

I used to go out every weekend,
getting absolutely pissed.
The vodka, shots and kebabs
would be terribly missed.

Pregnancy was hard,
all I did was suffer.
Little did I know,
parenting would be tougher.

It was 8 weeks before your due date
I awoke soaking wet.
I turned to your Dad fuming,
"You dirty bastard you've pissed the fucking bed!"

But no such thing had happened,
you were on your way,
4 days later you arrived
and my life changed that day.

After 3 weeks in hospital,
you were ready to come home,
I felt so very lucky to have you
so I tried not to moan.

Because a home wasn't there,
so we stayed with a friend,
until a house came along,
to fix our loose end.

Being your Mum was lonely,
I always felt crap.
The nightfeeds were exhausting,
I just wanted to nap.

Friends and family would visit,
you were so dearly cherished,
but I felt like my freedom,
had suddenly perished.

I sort of missed my old life,
not necessarily the clubs
just having the option
to pop down the pub.

The anxiety of parenting,
drove me so mad.
Though you completed my life,
I just felt really sad.

We couldn't make it work,
your Dad and I.
So it was just me and you,
to get on by.

Though you made me so proud
and my love for you was undying,
I never knew parenting
Would be quite this trying.

That first year of your life
feels like a blur.
I did my absolute best,
of that I am sure.

As you grew and you flourished
and were no longer a baby.
With a captivating personality,
you were my little lady.

You were walking and talking
and joking about poo.
and within the blink of an eye,
you suddenly turned two.

Two soon passed,
and we were hitting three.
and boy did we know,
you were a little Queen Bee.

With your crazy curly hair
and your smile so special
and your frown that could definitely
disintegrate metal.

As your fourth birthday approaches,
I am full of reflection
and for you my darling,
I am full of affection.

Although you are tricky,
and I sometimes lose my shit.
My life would be worthless,
if you were not in it.

You come with your tantrums
but my life is full of laughter
you truly are my everything,
my happily ever after.

My Random Musings
Diary of An Imperfect Mum
Diary of an imperfect mum

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

How did my Mother do it?..

If you've read any of my blog, you will kind of have got the message by now that I only intend on having one child because, well, I find being a Mum to a crying, sicky, milk-guzzling human-being really fucking hard work. My Mum understood how I felt. "She'll soon be three and once they turn three everything changes because they can communicate. You don't have the nappies and bottles and trying to decipher what your baby wants because they talk to you" she said. Three soon passed and in a few days we will be hitting FOUR. Although things have become easier communication-wise, I still struggle with the tantrums and the daily pressures of trying to be the best you can be. The anxiety, the over-whelming guilt that my Daughter doesn't eat fruit (oh but she does eat it at Nursery). The other day we were crossing the road and the green man flashed up. I could hear the siren of a police car in the distance but I just didn't look. I started crossing. As soon as we reached the other side of the pavement the police car zoomed past behind me. We didn't get run over, not really remotely close but do you know what? That ate me up for days! I bought my Daughter a bike for her upcoming birthday but it's not the exact one she wanted. The one she wanted was double the price of the one I purchased and Halfords were being dickheads when I asked them why it was in the sale but the price hadn't changed and me being a stubborn cow thought "they're not having my fucking money!" I was asking my nearest and dearest if I was an awful Mother because I didn't buy the one with a bumblebee on and I bought her one with cupcakes on instead (and pretty tassles- I'm really hoping the tassles will be enough to distract her from the fact it's not the one that she wanted.) Everybody said the same thing "No, you're not an awful Mother, she'll love it." Every damn day is something I guilt-trip myself about. I don't strive to be the 'perfect' Mother but I still feel the pressure of it just having one child. So why on EARTH my Mum had five children is absolutely beyond me.
 Our house was hectic growing up. I have four brothers (I'm the fourth child.) When my Mum was pregnant, I'd been praying it would be a girl. So when it was another boy I naturally had a tantrum and lay on my bed facing the wall not talking to anyone. I regularly had wrestling moves performed on me (FYI 'the walls of Jericho' really fucking hurts), there were full-blown scraps. I would put toothpaste and shampoo in my Brother's beds when they fucked me off. I used to place the toothpaste inbetween their two pillows not realising that the only person who suffered from this treatment was my poor Mum who would go to wash them and find the minty-fresh residue awaiting her. We had one computer (oh the horror of it) where we would each have our own accounts. We were limited to half an hour each (15 minutes of it spent waiting for the AOL to connect. I can still hear the sound of the dial-up now if I close my eyes.) We had two controllers for the N64 which meant alot of arguing over who was going to play 'Goldeneye' next. My Mum had the strenuous job of separating us when the fighting turned into punching, eye-gouging and trying to pull hair out. There were no mobile phones, no Facebook, no Instagram. We all lived in the moment. Like most families we had a regular camera that you put film in. There was none of this repeatedly taking the picture until you get it right nonsense, you just took it and hoped for the best. My Mum has hundreds of pictures of years of memories dotted about everywhere in photo albums and a big basket under the stairs. Most of my pictures are stuck on my phone for me to sit and look at when I have no internet data and I'm stood awkwardly waiting for someone unable to browse Facebook or Twitter or when I'm not with my Daughter and start feeling soppy and sentimental and want to reflect on how much she's grown up (mental note: print more pictures!)

Summer was filled with caravan holidays, obstacle courses, pogo-stick competitions and water slides in the back garden. I used to take great delight in going on the slide and taking a wee in the dip at the bottom that people would land in (it's the little things *smug smile*) For a few years we would hire out a bouncy castle for the day and invite everybody over. A breakdancing competition would ensue to Run DMC vs Jason Nevins "it's like that" until the bouncy castle imploded on itself. We were banned from one holiday site due to my brother and cousin mooning the site owner. Dens were built behind the giant fir-tree in the back garden. The ice-cream van would come chortling along everyday and we would be told "there's choc-ices in the freezer" because buying five children screwballs and nobbly-bobblys every day wasn't really financially viable. My cousins all lived on the same estate so it was constant exploring of the fields and back lanes and shitting on neighbour's doorsteps and ripping up vegetable patches ( I never partook in any of this; My Mum was very protective of me and tied tights around the gate so I couldn't escape or I most definitely would have been     shitting on doorsteps if I'd been told to)

 Christmas was (and still is) my favourite time of year. Although I knew Santa wasn't real from the age of 7 (and then proceded to tell my whole class at school- cue crying children with their hearts ripped out.) the magic was never ruined.  Home Alone and Home Alone 2 were always on the TV
(never Home Alone 3-who the fuck thought it was a good idea to make Home Alone 3?!) Me and Carl would attempt to stay up all night on the 23rd so that we were tired for Christmas Eve. It never worked but we loved eating crap and rolling ourselves up in quilts, trying to knock each other down by smashing into each other. Christmas morning we would all wake up eagerly with our sack of presents at the end of the bed. Our 'main' presents waiting for us downstairs. We all sat in the exact same place every year. There was always somebody that accidentally had more presents than the others. Everybody would act delighted when they had the obligatory selection box and socks. There were never any fights on Christmas. To be honest, when I wake up with my Daughter on Christmas morning and it's just her sat opening her presents, I feel sad. I can't quite put my finger on why but Christmas never feels quite 'hectic' enough for me.
That's when I understand why my Mum had more than one child. Not just because she was hoping at least one of us would be successful enough for her to retire on (I jest Mother, I jest) but because despite the brutal fights, constant washing and buying of toilet paper, the memories I (and my brothers) have of growing up in this big, bloody mental family unit are incredible. I look back on my childhood with fond memories. It still doesn't make me want more children but it encourages me to try and make my Daughter's childhood as fun as I can (I am permitted to lose my shit sometimes though.) When she wants to go to the park or go puddle-jumping, conker hunting or on her scooter, no matter how much I want to scream "NO I'M GOING TO PUT MR MAKER ON AND YOU WILL WATCH IT BECAUSE I'M BLOODY KNACKERED AND CAN'T BE ARSED" I do it (most of the time) and I don't sit on my phone or take constant pictures to post to Facebook because I want us to live in that moment, creating memories that are technology-free just as I had the privilege of experiencing.

The Kitschy Mumma