Pumpkin Patch Visit

We have never been to a pumpkin patch before.  It wasn’t something I ever thought the girls would enjoy.  Now Pinky is older and she has been getting excited about halloween because they have been doing loads of preparation for it at nursery, I thought it might be time to go.

What fun we had!  The girls were excited from the moment we got out of the car.  Pinky was off!

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‘Look Mummy!’ ‘Lets go this way!’

I couldn’t stop them, they were picking up pumpkins left right and center.  They loved the witch statue, the witches hats, even the spiders in the webs.

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Eventually we found a little pumpkin that Pinky could carry and we went and bought that one to take home.  She held her chosen pumpkin all the way home as if her life depended on it.

If we have time, we will go back again this year, if not we will definitely be back next halloween.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Single Mum Speaks

What I want my Daughters to know

As days pass by and I see my daughters develop into their own independent little ladies, I often wonder what sort of women they will become. This isn’t something I particularly worry about. Perhaps I should. I don’t mind what jobs they have, I don’t mind if they go to university or not. Their happiness is the most important thing. Along the way I hope they learn, or I can teach these few things….

Be strong minded but not hard hearted. It is important to know what you want and to have the courage to go and get it for yourself. Accompany this with a warm heart and an ability to empathise with others and you will go far and be loved.

Have an opinion. Base this opinion on facts not hear say. Not everything you read or hear will be true. Don’t jump to conclusions. Be prepared to debate. Be prepared to have your opinion changed. Remain open minded. You won’t always be right, be gracious in defeat and always admit when you were wrong.

If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. If asked for an opinion then yes, voice it. Sometimes, however, a question wasn’t asked, a debate wasn’t started. In this instance, if it is too hard to find something nice to say then just don’t say anything.

Ambition is important. What the ambition is isn’t overly relevant. Having ambition itself is what matters as it gives you drive and focus. You can do anything you set your minds to it. Hard work goes a long way.

Be organised. This can be hard to do at times. It is important to stay organised in both thoughts and process. Sometimes things happen in life that knock your confidence, don’t let these things get in the way.

Trust your own instincts. We are all individuals and because of this we will each take different paths in life. We will all enjoy and dislike different things. As they say ‘it takes all sorts to make the world go round’. Only you will know what is right for you. Trust you know the answer.

Stand up for what you believe in. Trust me no one else will.

Stand up for others. Not everyone is strong, and sometimes even strong people have their strength taken away from them. Don’t stand and watch people be bullied or have their confidence sucked from them. Stand up for what you know is right and give others a voice when they have lost theirs. Someday you may need them to return the favour.

Value yourself. There will be a lot of people that come and go throughout life, sadly many of them will try to take advantage of you. If you let them they will keep doing it. Know your worth and value it! Don’t let anyone walk all over you.

Be decisive and be determined. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but learn from them.

Learn from other people’s mistakes and not just your own. This is hard to do but pay attention. There is no need to replicate someone else’s mistake.

Believe in karma. Trust me… What goes around come around.

Love freely. Those who love the most are loved the most.

Most importantly…

Be happy! Do what brings you joy. Be with people that make you happy, surround yourself with the good in the world. Happiness comes from within.

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This Mum's Life
Cuddle Fairy
Dear Bear and Beany
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Diary of An Imperfect Mum

Disappointing Weekends

Truth be told I look forward to the weekend from about 10am Monday morning. I long for the adult company and conversation of Hubby, I relish the idea of being able to split the parenting duties, not being the only one saying ‘no’. It is very common for me to post something on my Instagram with some sort of Friday or weekend reference, ‘Happy FriYAY’, ‘Have a great weekend’, ‘Can’t wait for Friday wine o’clock’. Etc etc….. I like these posts by other people but when I do it all I manage to do is to piss myself off. It doesn’t matter what we have planned for those glorious two days of double parenting the weekend will always be a disappointment.

As a stay at home mum I am naturally on hand 24/7 for all the needs of the girls. Other than 15 hours a week that Pinky is at preschool I am the go to girl! We are never apart. So I understand that it becomes very normal to ask me for something when they need it, from food to cuddles. I truly get it. HOWEVER, it would be nice if they could learn that their father is equally capable of providing for them. When they are physically sat on his lap having cuddles, or playing a game with him it would be nice if they didn’t leave his company to hunt me down and ask me for a snack, or to take Pinky to the toilet. Call me melodramatic but they really do hunt me down, in my own home and pull me out of whatever corner I am hiding in trying to get 5 minutes peace whilst I can. Ok,y it’s their home too but I swear they have infiltrated every single part of it. Even my makeup bag has their hair bands in it!

Believe me Hubby does try. He genuinely tries to get the girls to understand that he is more than capable of getting their preferred snack out of a cupboard for them. He tries to inform Pinky that he too knows where the toilet is in the house and could be equally as capable as Mummy in the art of arse wiping! But no, only mummy could possibly do it right!

In some ways I know I should be flattered, happy even, and definitely enjoying these days whilst they still very much need me. And I am under no illusion, I know full well I will long for these days back when they are gone. Living through them is a different story though.

Things have changed in our household recently. Hubby is working longer hours and is traveling more than he has ever done before. One week the girls saw him Monday morning then not again until Friday evening. They missed him loads and wouldn’t leave him alone. I think they would have cuddled him for hours if it wasn’t nearly bedtime. It was really cute, they are actually showing huge signs of being ‘Daddy’s girls’ where for years they have been ‘Mummy’s girls’. I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, I thought to myself that as much as I miss Hubby when he is away if it means the girls get to enjoy the time they spend with their Daddy more and maybe appreciate his presence I may get a chance to deal with one less toddler request over the weekend.

Alas no!

It doesn’t matter how much they miss him only Mummy could possibly complete their request properly. Only Mummy deserves to be screamed and shouted at, tantrumed at, because only Mummy could possibly understand the reason and all consuming need for a catastrophic meltdown over a fleck of dust on Dolly.

So with another weekend over, another Monday morning looming, have I been on call all weekend?

Oh yes!

Will I still sit and long for next weekend most of the week?

Oh yes!

I will always remain hopeful that next weekend will somehow be different because without hope there is only despair. And that is not a healthy place to parent from on a regular basis.

Of course Wednesday’s wine o’clock helps, or is it Tuesday’s? Or Thursday’s? Meh! They all help….

Cuddle Fairy

 

Dear Bear and Beany

My Mummy CV

Recently I’ve been feeling a little lost and confused about my daily life. I have no desire to go back to work at all, which is not like me, I have always had a strong work ethic. After Pinky was born my priorities changed and now two children down the line I actually quite like being a stay at home mum and because I don’t get the nursery drop off tears from the girls anymore I get a little less mum guilt, which is always a plus! Despite this I just feel a little bit worthless. I know this is silly but I thought it would be good to remind myself of just exactly what I do as a SAHM, so I thought I would write my ‘Mummy CV’.

Name: Mummy Winnette

Personal Profile: As a mother I am expert at functioning on a higher conscious level even after a torturous amount of sleep deprivation. I am a very patient person, I remain calm in stressful situations and yet when the appropriate occasion arises I can go so bat shit crazy that even the least judgemental person would give me a side glance. A talent which is enhanced by the sleep deprivation. This is an incredibly useful skill to ensure the health and safety of an overly curious toddler. I have eyes in the back of my head and a sixth sense for misbehaviour. My hearing is freakishly good. So much so that sometimes I pretend I haven’t heard something, even when I did, just so people don’t think I’m strange. My main hobby is baking and I love to teach this to my little girls. I know all the words to the opening song of Sophia the First, Doc Mcstuffins and Sheriff Callie as well as few CBeebies programmes. Plus the words to approximately 80% of the Disney songs from their animated films. This was the result of intensive self directed study from a very young age. I greatly enjoy watching pretty much anything on Netflix when time allows.

Education: Genuinely irrelevant at this point.

Training: No previous training in Motherhood. A total novice.

Additional skills:
Laundry Guru specialising in the removal of tomato sauce stains
Gourmet Cook (don’t try and tell me otherwise)
Nutritionist
White lie inventor
Language interpreter with a keen interest in toddler talk
Sibling Wars referee
Events coordinator
Health and safety executive
Cleaner
Snotty sleeve collector
Waitress
Nurse
Toy locator
Expert Negotiator
Miss Manners enforcer
Kindness and Sharing monitor
Teacher
Guidance councillor
Expert in Anger Management
Provider of emotional support
Cuddle giver
Bum wiper
Bathroom sharer and conversationalist
Librarian

References:

Pinky Winnette
Daughter 1
Aged 3 1/2

Perky Winnette
Daughter 2
Aged 1 1/2

I think this is a fairly accurate CV. It’s hard to explain to anyone without children exactly what being a parent is and this only gives a tongue in cheek insight. I love it and wouldn’t change it but sometimes it’s ok to need reminding of that.

If anyone thinks of any skills I have missed please let me know…

I wanted girls….

It’s not something you are suppose to admit out loud, that you have a gender preference for your unborn baby.  But I had a preference, with both pregnancies and I never had the courage to admit to myself or anyone else.

Even before I fell pregnant with Pinky I thought I wanted a girl then a boy.  Truth be told I wasn’t that fussed at the boy at that point but I absolutely wanted a girl first.  Hubby and I always knew we have more than one child, so as far as I was concerned all I really wanted was a girl first.  I was the oldest sibling and only girl and I liked the idea of having a daughter as the eldest.  I can’t really explain it anymore than that.  Although Hubby is also the oldest of his siblings he always says his little sister is like his big sister really, they just got their birthdays the wrong way around.

I was 6 weeks along when I found out I was pregnant with Pinky.  I never really voiced my preference for a girl with her pregnancy because I just knew she was a girl.  I didn’t doubt this fact for a moment so when we had the sonographer do a gender check at the 20 week scan it came as no surprise she was indeed a girl.

The second pregnancy was a little different from the beginning.  I suffered less with morning sickness (or ‘all fucking day sickness’ as it actually was with Pinky), but I was more nervous about this pregnancy.   There were various factors that made me nervous but one of those things was the fact that I had convinced myself I was having a boy, although I believed this with much less conviction this time.  It was what I always thought I wanted.  It is what everyone else tells you you want, as if it is some superior combination of children, “one of each and then you can be done.” (an actual quote from a colleague).  I tried to look at new baby stuff, things I knew we would need that had been over used with Pinky.  Plus various double pushchairs.  But I just couldn’t look at any of it for more than a couple of minutes without getting fed up and frustrated for no apparent reason.

Maybe it was just intuition, maybe I always knew she was a girl really.  Once we had a gender scan at 20 weeks and it turned out we were having another little girl I really relaxed.  Now I know there is a chance those scans are wrong but on this particular occasion that little girl had her legs spread and out the way!  There was absolutely no chance of a boy coming out as far as I was concerned.

On the way home from that scan was the first time we discussed names properly, by which I mean I got involved in the conversation rather than just responding to Hubby’s suggestions with ‘No I don’t like that name.’ or ‘Literally never going to happen! Don’t mention that name again.’  (I know, bitch right?) Now I was relaxed, calm and open to suggestions.  I was full of excitement, another little girl for us.  A little sister for Pinky.

I started looking at baby products for hours at a time and constructed a list of things I thought we needed and where we could get it from for the best value of money.

Maybe this was never a true ‘preference’ but just a mothers instinct that I was ignoring, but, truth be told, I never wanted to have a boy as much as I thought I did.  I used to hide this fact from everyone because I know it’s not something you are supposed to admit.  That is not to say that if I had had a little boy I would have loved him any less than Pinky or Perky.  I would have loved him with all my heart, I really would have.  I really can’t explain it anymore than I just wanted girls.  But this in itself was not something I would admit.  My own mother can tell you that I had a conversation with her once in which I stated I very much would not want two girls.  This phone call took place in the early stages of pregnancy number two when I still thought I was having a boy.  I think I said it mostly to try and convince myself.  If I felt if I said it enough I would believe it.

Sometimes I understand why people get a little uncomfortable if you claim to want a particular gender.  It’s not anything we have control over, and even though science is developing methods to give us control over these things I don’t think we should get to choose.  I don’t believe for a moment that mothers or fathers love their children any less because they ended up with all boys or all girls.  Nor do I think parents with the gold dust ‘one of each’ have been dealt a better hand than other parents.  You get what you get and the parenthood journey will be just as challenging whatever that is.  Having said that I think it should be ok to give an honest opinion when asked.  People love to ask expectant mothers if they mind what they are having, and every expectant mother will always respond that they don’t.  How often is this actually true? Are those expectant mothers simply trying to protect themselves and the question asker from an awkward conversation?

Would I have been disappointed if I had had a boy? NO! I simply wish it had been ok for me to talk about this whilst I was pregnant, I may have found someone who was able to put my nerves at ease, perhaps help me get my mind to a place where I genuinely didn’t mind.

Is this just me? Am I the only person who had a gender preference?

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Siblings

It was never in question that we would have more than one child.  Both Hubby and I have siblings. We are, in fact, both the eldest of our siblings.  So when Pinky came along we knew we would one day have a brother or sister for her, and for us.  Naively there was a lot I had forgotten about having siblings when I was young, nothing dramatic but things that no doubt drove my mother mad and are now driving me mad.

People often pass comment to me that the relationship of sisters, whilst precious, can be volatile. I can’t truly comment, I only have brothers, but to be honest I think they are talking utter rubbish.  It’s possible these comments come as a well meaning nugget of sympathy that its normal for them to argue occasionally, or it’s an insight into the relationship they had with their sisters.  In my opinion all siblings are likely to fight, argue and sulk with each other whatever the combination of gender.  Sadly, this doesn’t stop it driving me to despair some days.

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I am going to update my ‘Mummy Job Description’ to now include ‘Referee’. I understand that the toy that hasn’t been played with for 2 months suddenly looks like the best toy ever now your sister is playing with it, but your sister is playing with it so leave her alone or wait your turn.  I had forgotten sharing doesn’t apply to siblings.  I understand that because your older sister can go upstairs by herself you want to too.  But you are only 17 months old and if you don’t want me following you, or carrying you, then you should stop prating around on the stairs.  I understand if your sister has a snack/drink you want one too, but I haven’t given you the same one because you don’t like what she is having, and I will only have to pick up said snack/drink from the floor when you spit it out remembering you don’t like said snack/drink, then promptly demanding something else.

These are daily scenarios. My method for dealing with the bickering varies. Sometimes I let them fight it out between themselves (I like this method as I know it teaches them to resolve things without always needing an adult), sometimes I intervene and do the resolving for them.  What I chose to do can vary from minute to minute rather than day to day as there is only so much whinging and crying I can listen to before my last nerve is hit.

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Of course it’s not all bad.  There was a reason we wanted a sibling for Pinky and along with the soul destroying daily fighting there are times throughout every day when they remind me why we chose what we chose and prove we made a very good decision.

In the mornings Perkys biggest, brightest smile is reserved for her big sister.  When we pick Pinky up from a morning at nursery it is Perky she cuddles the hardest.  If we are planning a fun day out Pinky always makes sure we are taking Perky too.  She doesn’t even like going to her Grandparents on her own, not because she doesn’t love the undivided attention they give her but because she loves sharing experiences with her sister more.  They love each other the most.  They are already best friends as well as sisters.  On holiday a little girl of similar age to Perky came over and picked up Perky’s dog toy.  Pinky came straight over, sat down next to Perky, put her arm around her and took the toy back off the little girl (who really wasn’t causing any harm) and said “No, that’s ‘Perky’s’”. They look out for each other and I suspect they always will.

I hope when they are older their love and friendship continues.  I hope they are each the first one they turn to for help, comfort and support.  I hope that they don’t fight too much over clothes and shoes.  I hope when they suffer their first heart break the other goes and buys the ice cream.  I hope when one has exciting news the other celebrates the hardest.

All these things I hope but really I know I don’t need to. I know they will do all these things and more.

Having a baby was the best decision we ever made until we chose to have two.

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Operation Tear Prevention – Daddy

Children all have their soothers. Some have dummies, teddy bears, blankets. Pinky and Perky have Mr Rabbit and a Muzzy. Mr Rabbit, is a small rabbit holding onto a small blanket and at all costs is never on his own. Muzzy is a stuffed teddy dog head stitched into a small blanket, again, never ever seen without it. A familiar tale to you all I am sure.

I roll to day 4 of our holiday. The big one was being a touch high maintenance. We had great plans for a long(ish) evening eating food and drinking beer so I took her for a tactical walk in the little one’s pushchair. First off, she wasn’t impressed, luckily we managed to get her in, belted up and we were away. 10 minutes later in 30 degree heat and dodgy Spanish footpaths the shouting for mummy finally stopped. BOOM, she was asleep. Phase one complete, now just to keep her asleep. Easy – Keep walking. The heat had got the better of me, I had lost the will to keep walking so stopped by a local watering hole. ‘Juan’ (No idea what his name was but he responded to it.) kindly came to my rescue with a large, cold beer. 2 mouthfuls later I decide to take a peak beneath the sun shade of the pushchair. I said something along the lines of “OF F**K, WHERE IS MR F***ING RABBIT”Blood pressure up, ring the wife… “Please tell me you have Mr Rabbit?” “No, she had him when she left”.  I throw an entire beer down my neck, (I was brought up NEVER to leave beer.) Throw 3 Euros on the table (A rip-off, the beer is nasty and I am sure watered down due to the low levels of bubbles rising up the glass) and start to retrace my steps at a similar pass to Usian Bolt whilst surveying the horizon like a sniper. Minutes later I found him. Phew!

Lying next to the supermarket, enjoying the sun. The little fucker nearly gave me a heart attack.

All through this mayhem, the big one is fast asleep, non-the-wiser we had lost and found the most precious thing she has in her life. Well, nearly but it helps her sleep.

What did I learn? Nothing… nothing that I wasn’t aware of already and just by luck all was well. I feel for every parent that has been in this situation and not had the luck to recover the comforter. If I would have my time again, I woudl go out of my way to stop a child having a ‘soother’ at the very beginning. At some point we will lose Mr Rabbit, and that will be a sad day in our house.

Until next time, buenas noches.

Daddy
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It’s one of those days..

It’s just one of those days. One of those ‘pull your hair out’ kinda days. Nothing really extreme is happening, no major unexpected tantrums (just the usual), I have a slight headache but its easing, Perky has a cold, lots of snot but I think we’re coming to the end of it. But I just can’t get into a rhythm. Things are frustrating me for no reason. It’s just one of those days.

I find these days the hardest. The sun is shining but it just doesn’t help. I have no real reason for being irritable so my mum guilt goes into overdrive (that helps no end). Don’t get me wrong I am truly thankful for everything I have, a supportive husband, too beautiful daughters who are growing into a pair of lovely little ladies. But if I have to listen to Pinky shout ‘Mummy’ in her whining tone one more time I think I will lock myself in a cupboard somewhere. Just speak to me nicely!

Hubby pointed out to me the other day that she was brilliant with him until I walked into the room. It was a brave comment on his part that was not met kindly by me! I am well aware that children play up for their mothers, or main care giver. Mine are no different. However I think Hubby sometimes thinks that Pinky exacerbates it because he is providing her with an audience.

Nope.

She is just that shitty with me normally.

Sometimes it doesn’t bother me. Pinky is simply a mini me. We are so alike. Its like a daily dose of self reflection that I didn’t ask for. Sometimes I can use this alikeness to my advantage and other times we just clash. Badly! I picked her up from preschool the other day and her key worker was amazed at how well she could draw people for her age. I looked shocked and said I didn’t think she could draw anything other than squiggles. But sure enough she made some very distinctive stickmen. I felt really guilty that this ability had gone totally unnoticed by me, her mother! We just cant draw together, to date it has always ended in tears…. usually mine. I guess it all swings and roundabouts because we can do puzzles together all day long without it resulting in us getting frustrated with each other. I may be so bored I could pull my own eyes out but there isn’t a tantrum or tear in sight.

I do hope that Perky is a little different, if there are three women in this household with personalities that are too similar its going to be a long few years ahead.

Fortunately this evening I have a ‘mummy date’ meeting a friend for a child free catch up, so I can go out and refresh before starting all over again tomorrow morning.