School attendance is not something to be effing rewarded!! 

School attendance is not something to be effing rewarded!! 

Things that are totally annoying #452

I know it’s a total first world problem, but it really annoys my brain when school’s reward children for having 100% attendance. THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. It actually pisses me off.

Who thinks this shit up? Lets reward children for coming to school every day. However it’s not really the kids’ achievement if they go to school every day. It’s the parent or carer who gets them up, dressed and ready and takes them! Clearly the child has been lucky not to have been ill all school year, and of course well done to the mum for getting them there every day. But what message does it send to the kid that has a long term condition and has hospital appointments or a bout of illness, or the kid who caught a sick bug and had to have a day or 2 off after being sick (school’s policy to prevent illness spreading!)? I just think it is such an odd thing to reward.

Why not reward the kid who has tried and tried and tried his best to accomplish something but may not have quite got there – but has really given so much effort? What about the kid who has still managed to do all their homework despite hospital appointments for a long term condition? What about the child in care who has had a hard few years but always has a smile in school? There’s so many more things that can be rewarded! Or plain kindness! 

Some of these kids will NEVER be able to achieve 100% attendance – what can the kids do to improve on this? They can’t do anything at all….  so it’s just silly to reward it!

Also, I think because school’s now reward this ‘achievement’ it means that the kids that are unwell for whatever reason are being taken into school when they should be kept home, because parents don’t want to jeopardise their attendance record. Which means illnesses are being passed around the school, pox, virus’ and bugs are being spread more because parents are marching their kids to school when not totally recovered from their illness to make sure they get their wonderful attendance award at the end of the year. Why? To make the school look good?

The school my 2 attend have a reward system – bronze silver and gold certificates for the kid’s who have full attendance. That’s bad enough. I’ve seen various schools do stuff like theme park days out for the 100% attended kids…. yes, THEME PARKS! Also special lunches (McDonald’s lunch was one I heard of!), parties and soft play days. It really bloody boils my piss. WHY??????

Does your child’s school reward 100% attendance? What do you think about it being rewarded? 

School Reports – what the Teacher REALLY means

School Reports – what the Teacher REALLY means

For those of you with school aged kids – you may shortly be getting their end of year report!

Here’s a handy guide to help you decipher what the teacher is actually trying to say.  You’re welcome.

Confident pupil = bossy

Always participates in class discussions = can’t shut them up

Works well in a group = gazes out the window and lets others do the work

Always helps others = always takes friends to the medical room

Working towards = can’t do it

Polite and friendly = asks what I had for dinner last night

Always tries his best = shame his best is likened to a goat writing stories with a pen in it’s mouth

Needs to focus more on the task in hand = throw the kid’s fidget spinner away, for the love of God

Could try harder = doesn’t try at all

Mature beyond his years = thinks they run the place

I hope they continue to build on this years success next year = Good luck to the teacher that has them next year, I hope they have the patience of a Saint

Is very interested in science = steals blue tac

Has been made class helper = likes to take home rubber bands and paper clips

It has been a pleasure teaching them this year = mum buys the best end of term present

OR

It has been a pleasure teaching them this year =  I am so happy the year is over I could dance around a campfire wearing only a grass skirt

 

 

 

 

Peppa Pig First Cinema Experience – An Honest Review

Peppa Pig First Cinema Experience – An Honest Review

So, I took the 3 kiddos to see the Peppa Pig delightful cinema experience today and thought I’d give my view on it. Just for fun. *SPOILER warning* for those who don’t want to know the plot but I’m guessing everyone that is concerned about having it ruined for them is under 4 and not able to read this post. So we’re all good to continue!

Cons:

  1. Peppa Pig episodes back to back with annoying interludes of ‘interaction’. Need I say more?
  2. The interaction segments had two kids or midgets dressed up in really poor foam Peppa and George outfits. Their arms didn’t even move. When George Pig played a set of drums, it was hilarious and embarrassing for the poor pig. Even the 2 year old looked a bit unconvinced at this bit. Why did they not think of this? I mean lets stick someone in a really shite dress up costume with flappy uncontrolled arms and then make them play the drums. Who’s running this show? Donald Trump?
  3. ‘Daisy’ the annoying interlude girl (who is probably a lovely person, sorry Daisy actress it’s not personal) made us want to cut off our own limbs. No-one is that happy all the time. She’s possibly a relative of Topsy and Tim’s mum.
  4. Daisy is really bad at playing the hot and cold game. Like, whatever she was searching for was RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER EYES and she couldn’t see it. Maybe get an actress with better eye sight next time.
  5. One episode showed George pig using Daddy pig as a surfboard. This gives unrealistic ideas to small kids who want to then stick their dads in the nearest ocean and sail to France. Not cool.
  6. One episode showed the bunch of kids, errr I mean, animal cubs, or whatever they are, visiting The Queen at BHam Palace, just rocking up and ringing the doorbell and then The Queen only comes out and STEALS A BUS AND TAKES THEM ON A GUIDED TOUR OF LONDON. Fucking brilliant. Thanks for that Peppa Pig makers. I’ll let you explain to these impressionable kids why we can’t just pop along to the palace and ask The Queen to come out for a coffee with us. FFS.
  7. During the same Queen episode the children had to watch in horror whilst Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth 2nd then drove said stolen bus over Tower Bridge WHILST THE BRIDGE WAS LIFTED UP and then hang off the edge of the bridge without seeming mildly alarmed, only telling them all to ‘move to the front of the bus’ to tip the bus forward and back onto safety. Now WHAT THE FUCK. It was like watching the film Speed when the doomed bus jumps the road where there’s a segment missing and you watch through your hands hoping they make it.
  8. One episode showed them visiting a Zoo. Normal right? Well no, actually because all the characters are bloody animals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So what on God’s Green Earth do they lock up for ANIMALS TO LOOK AT? I half expected them to go to various ‘Human’ enclosures and see them cooing over men, women and children, all naked and living in in nature. But no, just other animals. Confusing or what?
  9. I may have got this bit wrong and looked away or fell asleep, but I’m sure on one episode they showed them flying to Australia in an open top plane. Wrong.
  10. In same Australia themed episodes, some Kangaroo character threw a Boomerang and it smashed the neighbours window. They then proceeded to smash 2 more of this guys windows, and then said ooops we better be leaving now, and left the poor neighbour with 3 broken windows. When my kid goes around smashing windows I’ll be sending the bill to the Peppa Pig director man. Not cool. The dads could have at least had a row about who was to blame and maybe a punch up, made it all the more realistic for everyone.
  11. My 7 year old halfway through, whilst watching one of the entertaining songs turned to me in a serious fashion and said “Mum, this is more like a horror”. Nuff said bro.

Pro’s:

  1. We laughed
  2. I didn’t feel bad about the toddler singing, jumping, laughing and shouting
  3. We went to a ‘Mini Morning’ showing at Vue so it cost us £10 for 4 of us rather than the usual £890.
  4. I was able to sit down, in a dark room for an hour
  5. The Toddler only trapped his knee 15 times, tried to run away twice, threw his drink over the seat in front 18 times and screamed at the wrong moment perhaps 32 times.

All in all a GREAT SUCCESS!

Ps. Yes this is written in jest, for all the whingebags who will complain 🙂

Simple or Perfect, it’s all just Love

Simple or Perfect, it’s all just Love

My 2-and-a-half year old managed to teach me something recently that I want to share with you, as it really stunned me how he managed to have a better perspective on life than I have. How it’s easy to lose sight of what’s actually going on in front of your eyes.

We were walking past a row of houses on our way to school to pick up the big kids. Toddler is very into flowers at the moment and we spend lots of time looking for them, blowing dandelions is one of his favourite things to do. I was carrying him in my arms as he was tired, and he looked across at the house we were about to pass and pointed, “Mummy look!!! Flowers… LOTS of flowers…!” I looked over and saw the house he was pointing to had a beautiful front garden full of ornate plant pots, filled with brightly coloured plants and flowers, all with perfectly neat soil. There seemed to be every variety of flower you could imagine all perfectly planted. Lot of wonderful ornaments and statues, it was one of those amazing garden’s you only dream of having.  I told him the flowers were lovely and we admired them as we walked past…  his smile was so big looking at them all.

As we approached the neighbouring house he was still keenly looking to spot more flowers. He suddenly shrieked and shouted “WOW WOW MUMMY Look MORE FLOWERS! Pretty!!!” even happier sounding than before. I looked across expecting to see another garden full of perfect flowers but instead the grass next door was patchy, a simple lawn with wild daisy’s scattered all over it. There was nothing else. It consisted of nothing but natural grass with simple wild flowers. I looked at his face and how happy and amazed he was by that garden. He wasn’t comparing it to the first at all, just admiring the daisy’s for exactly what they were. It was just another garden with flowers to him. He was completely right. The second garden was pretty. Yes it was simple, it was natural. The toddler didn’t care about comparing the two, just that a flower is a flower and that’s that. The second one was no less of a garden full of flowers, and he saw it for what it was. Beautiful, and simple and absolutely no less than the first garden.

It made me think that even if I usually feel like the mother equivalent of a patchy lawn with wild daisy’s growing in it, that it is OK to be just that, and I should stop comparing myself to the garden next door. Simple doesn’t mean any less beautiful, or any less at all. If the flowers symbolise the love we have for our children, it doesn’t matter whether you have your flowers perfectly planted, preened and arranged, or you would liken yourself to a patchy section of wild daisy’s that grow randomly through the soil, the children don’t see anything apart from what’s there: love. And that’s what matters.

Photos: the beautiful Winter Wonder toddlers. Freya, Maddi, Rhea and Danny.

Best of Worst

 

The Loneliest Place in the World

The Loneliest Place in the World

When you have young children, you’re rarely alone. You are constantly taking care of them, perhaps feeling a bit claustrophobic at times. ‘Me’ time can be rare and you are spending all your time feeding, playing, clearing, preparing, cuddling, loving another human being(s).

So how comes at this time when I am never truly alone do I feel a deep, empty loneliness that I can’t shift?

Even surrounded by friends, school runs, playdates, family, your partner, I’ve discovered that being a mum can feel like the loneliest place.

I’m very lucky to actually NOT be physically lonely. I have friends that are also at home with little ones. But the loneliness I am describing is more of a deep rooted black hole I feel like I’m trying to climb out of. An internal void.

Maybe it’s because I don’t feel like I am doing a very good job at any aspect of motherhood. I love my kids but I snap at them, I am pretty rubbish at housework and keeping on top of it all, I am a crap cook and make too many freezer dinners. The 2 year old watches too much TV and getting out with the 3 of them feels like such a moutanous task. It’s easier to stay in the safe confines of our home and then the loneliness kicks in even more. As well as all the housework jobs I have done badly… staring at me, mocking me.

In this age of social media, you can connect with everyone you’ve ever known by scrolling through a feed of highlights, making your shortcomings seem even worse. 

How did our mothers cope, without mobile phones and online support? They had to get out in the fresh air and make friends, speak to people, and wasn’t constantly comparing themselves to their friends’ highlights. It was simpler, and must have been lonely too.

Motherhood is hard, and surrounded by people and things, it can feel like you are alone in a dark room, screaming for help but no-one is listening.

To the mum’s who seem to breeze through, how do you do it? I’d love to know. Are you just good at pretending all is OK, or do you not feel this way? I’d genuinely love to know. I envy you! 

I KNOW I will look back on these times and long for the children to be young again. I know I am so very lucky.  I know all this and remind myself daily. I know the years are short. But being a mother is harder than I ever dreamed possible.

15 things I wish I’d known about childbirth…

15 things I wish I’d known about childbirth…

After having three babies… 4 pregnancies (I had a missed miscarriage too) I don’t feel qualified to be lecturing people about childbirth BUT I do think it’s only kind to pass on those little nuggets of information that I wish I had known pre-babies. Because people don’t tell you lots of stuff about giving birth.

I have experienced a range of things during childbirth, including… 3 vaginal births with gas and air, one waterbirth, one high blood loss and High Dependency Unit stay, one instance of shitting the bed post-baby, one super quick birth that happened 12 minutes after arriving at hospital, 2 retained placentas, 1 third degree tear, 2 spinal blocks and theatre trips post-baby, 1 birth with no stitches (yay) 2 overdue births and one a day early and I feel like there’s a few things I wish I had known or been told before I’d had my first. Obviously this isn’t going to apply to everyone and everyone is different but this is my list of what I wish I had known.

So… here goes.

  1. Don’t rely too heavily on your birth plan.  It’s nice to have a birth plan but you can’t assume everything will go perfectly. Childbirth can be complicated, messy, scary, easy and you will never know each time how it will go. It’s great to have a loose plan in place, but above all, you need to plan for the unexpected. I planned a hypno birth for my first and it all went out the window as soon as I was made ‘high risk’ due to being ‘small for dates’ on arrival. (Baby was 8lb!)
  2. Leave your dignity at the door. You will go to the hospital with all the best intentions to ‘keep covered up’ and keep the gore to a minimum. But think about it. A human BABY is going to come out of you. Blood, wee, shit, sometimes sick although I was lucky to not be sick during labour, amniotic fluid, sometimes baby poo, it will all be there and once things get going, you will be concentrating on getting through each contraction, a bit of vomit or wee will not faze you.
  3. You don’t get any medals. If you end up using all the pain relief, so what? If you end up with an emergency C-Section – so what? As long as you and the baby both end up safe and well, that’s all that matters once the birth is over. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
  4. It’s normal to feel like you are about to shit yourself. This is the baby’s head ‘coming down’ and basically it feels exactly the same as a giant dump. The midwives will have seen it all and this is normal.
  5. It is not uncommon to have a vaginal ‘tear’ after birth. Some women are cut (episiotomy) either way, stitches to your vag after birth is quite normal. I had a ‘third degree’ tear after my first baby, meaning the skin, flesh and muscle was torn. BEAUTIFUL! Usually a first degree tear isn’t stitched, and a second degree is stitched with local anaesthetic.  After a baby has emerged, this will be a minor incident!
  6. Weird things can happen. They are all rare and it’s not meant to scare you, but I think women should be told. Complications can arise after birth that you have never heard of. Retained placenta (I had 2 of those!), haemorrhage, etc. It’s not nice but stuff does happen that you won’t have planned for or even heard of – keep an open mind and you will probably not experience it, but if you do – it happens.  Remember the midwives and doctors know what they are doing and will be looking out for signs of anything going wrong.
  7. If you do shit yourself, you really WON’T care. Giving birth is the weirdest thing ever. Before my first baby was born I was so worried about pooing during birth. Having suffered with IBS, I’ve had many poo-induced worries before. However I can safely say I really did not give any fucks if I shat in the midwife’s face. When another human is bursting through your delicate vaginal opening, you will really NOT give any shits, about shitting.
  8. You may change your mind. When the pain starts kicking in, you may have a fleeting moment of ‘I don’t think I want a baby now’. I remember thinking it was a bad idea and wanting my birth partner to cut off my arm instead.
  9. You can do it! You are a woman and you were MADE to do this. Your body knows what it’s doing. Stay as calm and relaxed as you can – slow 20/20 breathing really does help. If not, get an epidural and relax!!
  10. Don’t be worried if you don’t get the RUSH OF LOVE. Everyone and their dog tells you about the rush of love you get when baby is born. I didn’t have it with all 3 of mine. I felt numb, and a bit detached if I’m honest. And quite relieved that it was over. The love came on slowly and gradually for me.
  11. After the birth you will be shattered, but may be unable to sleep. I remember feeling so tired and so awake all at once, the endorphins of labour stay with you and can make resting tricky. If you are lucky enough to be able to sleep then please DO IT!
  12. Another poo one. Your first poo after a vaginal birth will be scary as hell. Especially if you are fearful of ripping your stitches out. Breathe, take it slowly and make sure for the love of God you don’t get constipated after the birth.
  13. It’s normal to feel a bit traumatised. Well I did. Having your first baby is scary shit. I felt a bit numb and zombie like for a good 2 to 3 weeks after having my first. Not to mention hormonal. Embrace help, staying in, and if you want to cry or punch pillows, you do what you need to do. Use the I just had a baby card until the baby is at least 2 years old.
  14. Nothing quite prepares you for your first birth. You can read all the books, get all the advice and speak to everyone who has been there, but it really is something that everyone experiences differently.
  15. Lastly. It is one of the most magical experiences, poo and all. Take ALL the photos, even if you hate them at the time because you can see your bum hole or you think you look swollen – because you will want to look back and have these memories for yourself. Time speeds up after the baby arrives and you will wish you had more photos/videos.
Eating Out with Young Kids

Eating Out with Young Kids

Now, you might be the sort of person who loves to dine out with your small humans. The words “shall we go out to eat” literally fill me with dread. I do not enjoy going out to eat with the kids. Unless it’s going to the drive thru. Which I’m sure doesn’t count as out to eat. Here’s why:

  1. My kids are fucking loud. They want to talk to me in detail about their itchy bum holes, their hatred for the world and ask questions that I cannot answer, very loudly, always in the presence of normal people. People who are looking at me like “ARE ALL THESE KIDS YOURS????”
  2. My kids eat like rabid wolves. So this isn’t ENTIRELY true but I feel like they do. Big boy always ends up with more food around his mouth than in it. Diva daughter dips her hair into some sauce. Toddler… well you can imagine.
  3. Toddlers don’t give any fucks about manners or decorum. They just do weird things like scream, shout, bang, throw food, shout MINE SPOON 234 times, and act like total dickheads. It’s like they know they need to be semi-normal and decide to test you when eating out. Come on mum, bet you can’t keep your cool whilst I throw a bowl of peas at you one by one can you? Silly bitch.
  4. My kids are fussy as fuck. They rarely eat a proper meal out, unless it’s chicken fucknuggets and chips. Even then the big boy child can’t stand chips. So just a plate of meat then. OK great!
  5. Kids always need to poo when you are in the middle of your main course. Sometimes, they all need to poo in quick succession, so I spend a good 45 mins in the toilet, like a weird pervert type person, just lingering around. I feel like I need a big sign on my head that says MY KID IS DOING ANOTHER SHIT! so everyone is aware I’m not just lurking in the bogs.
  6. One kid always knocks a drink over. Usually into a parent’s dinner. Or over their siblings food. They’ll never eat it now!
  7. Paying the bill feels wrong – like we are paying a LOT of money to be tortured by trying to get my feral children to ACT NORMAL whilst eating in front of other people for a couple of hours.
  8. You never enjoy your food. Well I don’t anyway. Imagine eating a slice of pizza whilst being hit over the head with a block of wood, whilst being spat at by someone with bad breath at the same time as smelling someones fart. The pizza isn’t so tasty now huh?
  9. I always end up resorting to phone babysitter for help! Toddler gets bored easily and after he’s had all the fun throwing shit around, screaming, and we’ve sang songs and played hand-games, I reluctantly get YouTube up on my phone and let him watch Peppa the Poxy Pig just for 10 mins peace and quiet. I can feel the eyes of the other diners boring into me as I eat “YOU CAVED IN! need a phone to entertain your child do you???”   Well yes I clearly do, fuckers!

On the very odd occasion myself and the husband dine out alone, we spend half the meal (OK more like 80%) talking ABOUT the kids, looking at pictures of them on our phones, and generally wishing they were there. So I’m clearly a glutton for punishment who is not happy with either set up! (Although eating out is a lot cheaper just the two of us! and I come home with less food in my hair. WIN!)

Anyone else? Or just me? I’d love to hear your funny eating out with kids stories…..

What NOT to say to your kids this Christmas… 

What NOT to say to your kids this Christmas… 

Christmas Day is nearly here. Here are a few handy phrases of what NOT to say to your children on the big day. 

If in doubt, just smile and breathe and sing a Christmas song loudly.

When they wake at 4am:

“Fuck off, I was up til 2am wrapping and making stuff look magical for you”

When they ask why the wrapping paper is the same as the gifts you wrapped for relatives:

“Stop being so nosey” 

When they want to play the same board game with you for the 26th time: 

“Hell no, you suck at this game and it stopped being fun after the 5th time we played”

When they want to sleep in your bed on Christmas night:

“Like fuck, I’m mildy tipsy and might want to have special cuddles with daddy, now piss off to your own bed and don’t get up til 9am!” 

When they tell you they are bored:

“Are you shitting me? You have new toys, gadgets and games. You don’t know the meaning of the word bored!” 

When they say they are hungry:

“Hungry? Hungry? You have eaten your bodyweight in chocolate, a thousand selection boxes, a big roast dinner, cake, and 12 packets of crisps”

When they have a tantrum:

“Listen, dickhead, we are all being jolly and happy because it’s Christmas, don’t ruin it with your stroppy temper in front of Uncle Bill”

When they want to try your drink aka ‘Mum Juice’:

“OK, have a big swig of that vodka and coke. Hopefully it will help you calm the fuck down for an hour” 

When they want to play with the toys you bought for them:

“Ahhh, for fucks sake, it takes an hour to get this poxy toy out of the box because some dickhead decided to nail it into the box with 389 tiny little screw nail twisty things. Why didn’t I unbox it before wrapping?!?!” 

When they ask for you to wipe / check their bum after a poo:

“In the name of baby Jesus, can I finish my delicious turkey dinner in peace without having to wipe someone elses shit????? Just for one fucking day?” 

When the baby shits during dinner:

*see above* 

When they are tired towards the end of the festivities:

“Lie down and go to sleep for once. Mummy would very much like to do that too but as Christmas is for kids, it would make me look bad to be asleep right now! Make the most of napping whilst you can child!!!!!” 

You are welcome! 

Ps – no children were sworn at in the writing of this fictional tongue in cheek post! 

50 Shades of Grey Hair.

50 Shades of Grey Hair.

Why do people insist on telling me that I have grey hair? I have a mirror, I have eyes and I am fully aware that I have a lot of grey hair for a 30 year old. I’ve had grey hair since my late teens. I found my first grey on the school bus age 12. I’m sure the kids have added a few (thousand) to the collection, too. Do these people that tell me think I haven’t noticed that my hair looks like someone’s thrown talcum powder over it?

I have naturally dark brown hair. I colour it regularly, to cover the greys. However lately within 3 or 4 days of colouring it, the greys are already re-appearing. I can’t really do much about it. I can’t dye it every 3 or 4 days and wouldn’t want to anyway. I don’t love it, but I don’t see it as a major big deal. I have a patch of grey and a sort of ‘salt and pepper’ type grey along my parting and at the front of my hairline. I’m going to invest in some magic colour root spray that my friend told me about, so I can touch up the roots without having to dye my whole thick mane of hair.

I just don’t understand why people feel the need to comment on it. I know it doesn’t look great. I wouldn’t chose to have it. It’s a natural ageing thing that we all will have to deal with, but clearly I have had early grey. People constantly comment on it, or keep glancing at my hairline whilst talking to me. I know it’s there. There is no need to tell me I’ve got a lot of grey. I know.

So if you are that person who has a friend, colleague, family member, or someone who has a lot of grey, please don’t point it out. It’s kind of like saying someone has a lot of spots, has gained/lost weight, or has bad teeth. It’s not kind to point out someone’s flaws.

 

 

 

 

Confessions of a Stay-at-Home mum

Confessions of a Stay-at-Home mum

I miss having a job.

I miss doing something that I’m good at.

I miss adult conversation that’s not centred around the kids.

I wish I embraced working when I was a working mum.

I miss commuting into the city and having time to read a book on the train.

I feel guilty that all I ever wanted to do be at home full-time with the kids, and now that I am, I’m still not happy.

I wish I could ‘make the most’ of this time.

I wish I didn’t feel resentment towards being at home all the time.

Every day feels like groundhog day.

I’m not sure motherhood is meant to be like this.

I love my kids but being with them 24/7 is draining.

I’m worried I’m not appreciating them enough because I don’t get a break.

I think I’m doing it wrong.

I really do love them so much.

I think they hate me 90% of the time.

I thought I’d be easier.

I bloody hate cooking.

I don’t want them to grow up.

I know I’ll want to go back to this stage when they’re older.

I would love to have the perfect balance.

I don’t know what the perfect balance is.

I’m sick of the sound of my own voice.

I would like to stay in bed for a whole day.

I miss work Christmas do’s, work politics, and all the things that irritated me when I was working!

I’m a really shit housewife.

I’m not sure I’m meant to admit to any of this.

Hannah Spannah
You Baby Me Mummy