How to Idly Amuse Your Kids This Half Term

If like me, it feels like the last holiday was only five minutes ago, and you still haven’t reclaimed your sanity or made enough money to support another week off, don’t fret, I’ve got you.

Stupidly, we aren’t going away for half term, something to do with The Hub unable to get the week off work, even though I’ve been drumming the dates into him since the start of term.

Funnily enough, he “forgot” to book half term off. If I was a more suspicious person, I’d think that he forgot on purpose, so he doesn’t have to enjoy the fun that is a full week off with BOTH of his Spratts. I keep wishfully thinking about “forgetting” half term and buggering off somewhere for the week, but as I work from home, I can’t think of a good enough excuse that would get me out of it!

There’re a number of things I CAN’T wait to experience again this week, one of them is the over zealous screaming match over who had their eyes on the Barbie that’s been left in the bathroom for two weeks untouched, the other is the unending requests for food they want but then won’t eat.

So in preparation for all this “fun”, here are some alternative ideas for activities to whittle away the holiday in no time. Because, come on, while day trips are all well and good, sometimes just knocking around at home wearing your ten-year-old purple dressing gown and bean covered PJs is all you or your sad looking bank balance want to do.

Hide and Seek

This old classic will have your kids hiding from you for hours on end, but remember to set the ground rules early. You ALWAYS count and the room that you’re counting in is strictly forbidden as a hiding place.

Send them off to hide under the pretext of ‘looking’ for them, then grab your phone and relax.

Occasionally shout “I’m still looking” to keep them in their hiding places, while you raid the cupboards for cake you can’t bear to share and coffee you can still drink warm. Bliss. You may have to bang around a bit to keep your cover going. Don’t over do it, somehow two and three-year-olds are fucking smart, and know when you’re pissing around.

Small children are particularly shit at hiding, so at no point when you’re prowling the kitchen for more supplies should you let them trick you into spotting them, or revealing you’ve heard them giggling. (Of course, this only works if your two-year-old doesn’t jump out at you every two seconds to shout “boo” then hide in the exact same place.)

When they finally appear half an hour later, enthusiastically congratulate them on their win (that’s very important, one simple lie saves an hour of tantrums over losing) and remind them just how bad you are at the game and that you need more practice to get better. Then repeat.


Let’s be honest, they’re going to go for each other anyway, so you’d may as well permit it and make it fun.

Get them to start with pillows. A bit like the Gladiators show, they’ll twat themselves round the head a few times until they chuck the cushions and go for full on tackles.

Instead of attempting to break up World War Three, go with it.

Set a timer on your phone, sit on your ass with your limbs as far away as possible and shout “go.” When the timer does off, they have to stop, move away, then repeat as many times as you can bear the noise/whining/blood.

Just for shits and giggles, why not ask a friend to bring her Spratts round too. Everything is better doubled right?

Top Tip- Don’t invite anyone with names like Tabitha or Gerald. It just ain’t worth it.

House Race

This one is so easy I’d be surprised if you aren’t doing this already.Lay in bed and play a good old game of ‘Red Light, Green Light.’ You only need minimal attention and they run themselves ragged before you even get up. Perfect for when all you can be bothered to do is sleep.


This is truly a win win for everyone involved, well, as long as you don’t mind socks not being paired and your knickers being paraded around the front room on your Spratts head of course.

Turn it into a competition. I mean, what two and three-year-old (and four, five, six or seven-year-old) doesn’t like to race?

Of course, if you’re expecting anything at all to be done RIGHT, then…well…errrr….sorry.

The winner (so both of them obviously) gets something cool, like more IPad or TV time. Score!


Get the radio or You tube up and have a Spratt dance party in the living room. To make it extra ‘cool’, shut the curtains to make it proper, kids like that.

You sit on the sofa as the ‘music director’ (win) and have them dance for you.

If they get bored (go figure), get them to dress up in whatever they can find, and parade round the living room. You may be picking your clothes up from different rooms for a week, and find your tights are now twice as long thanks to them being used a gloves, but hey, it passes half an hour.

Puppy Play

Now this is one of my favourites.

Perfect for if you want to lounge out in bed, on the sofa or if you just can’t be arsed to move.

Sit somewhere comfy and throw a ball. Get your kids to run after it and bring the ball back to you. If you really want to go the full hog, then get them to bring the ball back in their teeth or entertain you with some form of barking trick thing.

Sofa Surfing

Slide underneath the cushions and have the kids ‘surf’ on top of you (one at a time if possible.)

It’s a good idea to scoot away risky objects they could wipe themselves out on, like The Hub’s brand new TV for instance.

Best of all, it’s dark under the cushions and you can pretend the pressure of the kids’ weight and their pointy skeleton feet are really just the fine movement of a well trained masseuse. You can dream, right?

And if all else fails….

Call the grandparents and hide.

The Unsung Mum and the Terrifying Twonado  

It’s early morning and all is quiet on the western front. Which is strange, as The Spratts have been awake since 5.30am and since 5.31am have been shouting, screaming and whining as loud as humanly possible.

Knowing she will pay the price for her lack of parenting later, The Unsung Mum decides to take advantage anyway and puts her feet up, looking forward to a few alone time minutes with a certain Mr. Greg Wallace, when she was suddenly attacked by a great force.Shit.

The offending object, also known as the home phone to more civilized folk, rebounded off The Unsung Mum’s head and hit the floor.

Waiting for her war wound to appear, she silently scrutinizes her second born. Killer look in the eye. Check. Blunt object in hand. Check.

Crap. It can only mean one thing.

Babyhood has gone and toddlerhood part 2 has begun.

The Unsung Mum wonders how the hell she missed it. Had she suddenly run out of brain room and just forgot about this part or had it really been that traumatising the first time that she blanked it out.

The Unsung Mum, deciding to take the offending object, paid the ultimate price.

The Prune Face of Doom.The first time this happened, was last week when The Baby refused point blank to eat the whizzed up hidden vegetable pasta crap she liked last week and wanted cake instead. The Unsung Mum is all for cake eating, but even she knows that if her Spratt’s don’t start eating fruit or some sort of vegetable soon then they will probably turn into mutants.

“Shoe on.” The Baby screams, dragging The Unsung Mum back to the horrid present where ‘Brangelina’ no longer exists and ankle swingers are “in”.

Staring at her second born, who was currently wearing one pink wellie while demanding her blue shoe back, wondered how the hell she was going to make it out the house on time while persuading The Baby to pick just one kind of footwear.

“If she’s wearing wellies then so am I.” The Kid announced offhandedly while holding the toilet brush and wearing The Unsung Mums ten-year-old purple dressing gown.

“No one is wearing wellies today, thank you.” It was bad enough that The Kid already had to pick her own clothes now and refused anything that remotely went with anything else, choosing instead to walk around looking like a fucking rainbow gone wrong.

“Shoe now!” The Baby screamed, almost breaking the sound barrier.

Thinking it would give her another thirty seconds of peace, The Unsung Mum bent over to put the offending shoe shaped object on The Baby’s foot. Cue second Prune Face of Doom.

“Nooooooooo want it! Stoooppp!”

“Are you fucking serious?” The Unsung Mum hissed under her breath. She always thought that two-year-olds were a bit bipolar, but The Baby really takes the biscuit.  Quicker than the speed of light, The Baby grabs the shoe and throws it at her sister, hitting the very spot between her eyes.

“Stop.” The Kid screams and throws the shoe back, defying gravity, and hits The Unsung Mum in the exact same place.

‘What the hell is going on here?’ The Unsung Mum thinks rubbing the now parsnip shaped bump on her head. How much fish would she have to eat to make up for all the brain cells she’s now lost? The Unsung Mum doesn’t like fish unless it’s battered or comes in finger shapes.

“She did it,” says The Kid.

“Don’t lie. I just saw you throw it at me.”

“Shoe!!!!” Continues The Baby, while The Unsung Mum wonders if 8.30am is too early for cake or a glass of Pinot.

“Right. Everyone needs to calm the hell down.” Rounding up her offspring, The Unsung Mum wrestles the dressing gown off The Kid and agrees to let them wear wellies all day in eighteen-degree heat if they promise not to step on her toes. The Unsung Mum knows this is a pipe dream, but weirder things have happened.

“Snacktime,” says The Unsung Mum in the hope that everyone will finally sit on their arses quietly for a few minutes without battering each other.

“In please,” asks The Unsung Mum as she tries her hardest to put her now pencil shaped baby into the highchair “In.” she repeats slowly, hoping The Baby will change her mind and suddenly move her now rigid limbs.

The Unsung Mum wonders what happened to her sweet baby who liked bending in the middle.

“No chair. Want floor!”

‘Of course, you do,’ The Unsung Mum thought. It’s easier to bash the TV with your fruit bowl when you’re sat right in front of it.

Slipping away, The Unsung Mum hurries to the downstairs loo to try and barricades herself in. And like any self-respecting middle-class mother, she takes out her phone and starts making a list of all the things so far that have pissed her possessed toddler off in order to try and not make the same stupid mistakes again.

“Okay, things that have set her off are:

“Mum. The Baby is screaming again.” Of course she is.

The Unsung Mum may be simple but she ain’t no fool. No amount of screaming (well maybe) will get her out of the bathroom. No siree.

The Unsung Mum is actually very stupid. She now knows this and can be found in a padded room attached to a cake drip with wine on tap.

And The Baby?

Island Living 365

Collab: F*cking Annoying Gym Types

It’s guest post time, and as normal, the amazing Sam at Mouse, Moo & Me Too has bloody nailed it.

 My complete opposite exercise wise, Sam nails why going to the gym in the dead of night can have you sweating your ass off next to the…errr…more eccentric of society.


Now that I’m the proud careful lady owner of two children who sadly can’t be left unattended in the house, I have to keep rather unsociable hours at the gym. I’m talking your 9pms, your 6ams, the real arsehole time slots that simultaneously bring out the devouts and the weirdos.

Why not join me in a game of Gymbum Bingo, and see how many you recognise? (Er, I cross my heart that all links between names and stereotypes are fictitious, honest guv.)

Mike, the abominator
Mike is built like fucking King Kong, and lords it about the hardcore weights section in one of those 80’s vests that has an armpit opening so vast, his entire torso hangs out the side. Mike is aiming to break the world HGV-pulling record, and gurns his way through the weight increments. When he approaches his one-rep limit, he likes to have a friend on standby to brace him in position just in case he drops something and manages to concuss himself, or bust a hole in the gym floor.

Jasmine, the Victoria’s Secret ambassador
Jasmine is sooooooooo fucking pert and pretty. She doesn’t even need to be in the bastard gym. She goes purely to show off her threads, bedecked as she is in garments from the Pink range at VS, with coordinating nail varnish and trainers. Do you know how much that stuff costs? Even with her NUS discount she’s probably spent a good hundred quid on that ONE look. And her winged eyeliner is perfect, and seemingly smudgeproof. Bitch.

Des, the ripened stilton
Des had a heart attack in 1994 and since then, has adopted a militant regime that has turned his calf muscles to sinewy, veined glory. Des wears a headband and pulls his white socks almost to knee height. Des avoids the weight machines in case they send something into spasm, but he will give the cross-trainer a damn good thrashing for a solid hour. He has orange squash in his water bottle, and carries his towel and spare clothes in a Head holdall. Des holds the door open, we love Des.

Megan, the constant long hair tweaker
Megan has a veritable horse’s mane. Thick, ombre, shiny, lustrous. At the start of a gym class, Megan rocks a messy bun on the very top of her beautiful head. But as the class progresses, Megan imagines that her pile of locks is becoming loose from the effort that frankly, she’s not putting in. Between each track, Megan will untie her hair, flick her head forward, use her nails to scrapey-scrape each errant strand back into submission, whip the band back around the shaft, loop it through, messy messy glamtastic glam, and back in the beat for the next song. But shit the bed, three minutes and forty two seconds later, it needs doing again! No fucking way!

Brad, the renegade
Brad hasn’t got the time or inclination for correct workout attire. Brad will wear whatever the damned fuck he wants, even if it is literally his pyjamas. Brad will slip on some Converse and have a little go on the treadmill, before mooching over to do some casual tricep dips. Brad has a man bun and needs a jolly good shave. Brad dreams of Newquay and waves – Brad cannot be tamed by a petty gym floor. He only goes because he can use the shower for free afterwards.

Sophie, the social butterfly
Sophie will absolutely, resolutely not be parted from her phone, not for a second, do you hear? She has exceptionally important business to attend to, probably relating to boys and jagerbombs and such. If that means pausing mid-set of 10kg flys then you’re just going to have to let her get on with it and wait your turn. She can’t pull up a pew in the changing room and round up her social interactions, no no. She must be responsive to each notification as it flashes on her screen, even if the gym is rammers and there’s a queue for each bit of kit. Quickly now Sophie, someone’s just followed you on Instagram.

Toby, the try-hard
Bless Toby. His body didn’t quite get the memo and despite eating turkey steaks for breakfast and boshing down liquid protein chocomalt isotonic hydraulate, he’s still built like a gnat. Which is a shame as his mate is fit as fuck. Toby’s face turns puce as he does battle with the leg curl machine, and his back folds into a sloppy mess when he tries to give the rower some welly. Toby is bookish. Toby thinks he might apply for University Challenge and let his gym membership lapse.

Lucy and Jo, the twins
These two sweethearts haven’t come to the gym to get ripped, they’ve come for a chat. They’ll help one another set up a machine, chatting, decide who’ll go first, chatting, and continue to chat chat chat as Twin 1 carries out a nominal set of pissy little reps. Twin 2 will pass Twin 1 her water bottle, they’ll swap over, and Twin 1 will drape herself over the arm support of the adjacent weight machine rendering it inaccessible to anyone else. Such a lot to chat about! A quick meander over towards the bikes leads to a five minute cycle at conversation-maintaining speed, and then….would you look at that! They’ve been here hours, better go home and chat over a Snack-a-jack.

Tom and Nicki, the power couple
First spin class of the morning, front row, let’s fucking have it. Who needs breakfast sex when you can thrash out all that pent-up energy to a Clubland Ibiza soundtrack? Afterwards, Nicki will shower and shimmy into a pinstriped pencil skirt / white blouse combo, with nude Mac lipstick and actual diamond stud earrings. Tom will put Moss Bros to shame, run a hand through his beautiful sexy salt and pepper hair, and fasten his cufflinks which are worth more than their starter home was before the economic slump. They’ll strut like living fire to the train station where they hop into the first class carriage, do the Telegraph crossword and eat something homemade with Chia seeds and cranberries.

As for me? I’m a Sophie. In fact, I’ve spent the last twenty minutes straddling the seat of the diverging lat pull-down machine, hammering this out in Notes. You’re welcome.

Yummy vs Slummy: A Normal Mums Demise

If the media are to be believed, then there are only two types of mum is this world.



and Slummy.

Yummy Mummy likes to look rad, cook organic food and have her kids in a very strict routine. Slummy Mummy is a bit of a rebel. Slummy Mummy swears openly, drinks like a fish and reads her phone while her kids are running riot at baby group.

Yummy and Slummy are so opposite, that they sit outside of each other’s houses with pitchforks and mean banners to try and put each other off. (Not really.)

But what happened to Middling Mummy? You know the one. Middling Mummy who openly admits that she doesn’t bath her kids every night and lets them get away with having an extra biscuit at bedtime.

Middling Mum who loves the fucking bones off her kids, even when they call Granny Dotty “poo poo face” and ask why she smells of cabbage.

Middling Mummy doesn’t want to be a Yummy Mummy but doesn’t hate her either. Yummy Mummy is the one that reminds her that there’s an insert day at preschool and that Sainsbury’s toy sale starts next week. How can anyone not like that?

Middling Mummy gets why Yummy Mummy likes to keep her house like a show home and (heaven forbid) wear make-up every day. She wishes she could handle that, but after just four hours sleep most nights, she really can’t be fucked.

Middling Mummy likes Slummy Mummy too, because, let’s be honest, having a mummy to share a drink with and who just “gets” how bloody hard this parenting malarkey is, is well, kinda cool.

Middling Mum may buy shop bought birthday cakes and wear ten-year-old purple dressing gowns, but she also sits and does craft shit with her kids, even though she can’t stand it. She laughs at the same fucking joke her three-year-old has told her a thousand times and is happy to read the same bedtime story night in and out lovingly knowing that a nice cold glass of white is waiting for her downstairs as her payment.

She wishes she could play as enthusiastically as Yummy Mummy and couldn’t care less like Slummy Mummy, but she can’t.

All she can do is try her best and hope that that is enough. Or not.

So surely there’s room for three types of mums? Somewhere for the “I’m a good person but can’t be bothered today” mum or the “I’m fab at most stuff but crap at other stuff” mum.

Being a Middling Mum who has a potty mouth and an aversion to the dishwasher doesn’t make you a crap parent. Like Yummy and Slummy, it just makes you normal, in your own kind of way.

So let’s give these labels the boot, and just BE mums.

The Unsung Mum and The MADS Mayhem

Today, The Unsung Mum is feeling pretty rad. She has managed to bag herself a ticket to the MAD awards and can’t bloody wait.

For anyone who is not a blogger, this is an award ceremony where all the cool cats get recognised for their hard work blah blah dedication blah blah.

After tricking her good-natured Mother in Law into having The Spratts overnight, The Unsung Mum picked up “Stunning Blogging Friend” (or MouseMoo&MeToo as her blog is called) and drove them frantically safely into the Big Smoke.

The Unsung Mum likes the Big Smoke. It’s the only place in the country that you can sit outside a cute little cake shop stuffing your face while drinking a cider at 11am while giving off the perfect illusion that you aren’t a raging alcoholic and can barely function.

The Unsung Mum has imagined this moment of freedom all week. It involves strutting into a large room of unknown people, all dressed in three-year-old fashions, like her, with windswept hair and vomit on their shoulder.

It’s probably for the best that they were all dressed up to the nines looking like supermodels, though, as everyone failed to notice the rusk stain on her dress and the fact that her bastard shoes didn’t do up properly.

Instead of shouting “fuck my life” and drinking heavily, which is of course how The Unsung Mum normally celebrates her own demise, she grabbed “The One”, her only drink for the night and sulked in the corner.

She felt a bit weird. Like she was stuck in a massive game of Guess Who.

The Unsung Mum and her Tribal friends are actually brainy and very cultured women (ahem) and The Unsung Mum is confident that their combined humour and cleverness will definitely help her get through the evening of ‘Guess That Blogger’, and it may even be fun.

After finding her table, the Tribal gang start to answer all the pesky little questions The Unsung Mum has. Like “Who’s that?”, “What programme is the host from again?” and “What is it I’m eating exactly?”

It’s possible that the answer to most of these things where “Don’t know, Ab Fab and meat, of some sort,” and in the event of anyone actually remembering she asked such stupid questions, everyone will be too shit faced to remember it in the morning anyway.

The Unsung Mum knows she will probably pay dearly for this spontaneous night out come tomorrow, but fuck it. Sometimes you’ve got to put your big girl pants on and remember you are actually a grown up woman who USED to talk to other grown up people fine, and are not just ‘Mum of Two: Contributor of Beige Food; Unreasonable Putter to Bedder, Finder of All Lost Things, and Lone Packer of the Overused Dishwasher.’

The Unsung Mum isn’t actually sure what to think, though. She feels a bit like Marty McFly in Back to the Future when his mum tries to kiss him at prom. Kind of overwhelmed and underwhelmed all at the same time.

Meeting some of the life-affirming and uplifting bloggers ALMOST makes The Unsung Mum nostalgic for her old baby group, where there are normally one or two other mothers like her with a ‘mum bun’, pyjama bottoms and an ill-fitting white t-shirt covered in stains; or a toddler to distract her by blowing their nose on her sleeve.

Nothing says love like bodily fluids after all.

After managing to not embarrass herself completely, The Unsung Mum decides to celebrate the next night with some friends.

The Unsung Mum is stupid. “Making up for last night,” should be banned. The Unsung Mum decides that it’s The Hubs fault she now has a hangover and has to look after her own children while dying.

Life sucks.

The Unsung Mum and the Peppa Pig Predicament

You may have noticed that The Spratts watch a lot of television. The Unsung Mum has no idea where this habit has come from, as when she only had “The One” they’d strictly watch it between 4pm and 5pm while she prepared a fresh organic rainbow dinner.

It wasn’t meant to be like this, she swears. She had really good intentions when The Baby was born. She was going to take The Baby to Waterbabies at four months like she had The Kid and go to those library singing groups every morning where everyone is happy and looks very put together.

The Unsung Mum was naïve though. The baby soon reminded her what it was like to have a baby in the house again. Only this time when The Baby slept, The Unsung Mum couldn’t, as she still had The Kid to watch. Hence the wonders shit that is children’s TV.

The Kid’s favourite was that little pink pig, and now two years on, has become a firm family stable, a bit like crumbs on the floor and beige food. So when The Unsung Mum stumbled across a post today that mentioned “shows like Peppa Pig are damaging kids” she clicked on it, then straight back off.

The Unsung Mums first reaction to this well-known online news site story was…..

“Crappers. I really am a shit parent.”

That night, while laying on The Baby’s floor for the umpteenth time she swears to stop putting TV on for convenience, and only when she’s completely desperate, like if The Baby wants the craft stuff out or if The Kid wants The Unsung Mum to read Daphne the Diamond Fairy. Again.

“There all better.” She thinks smugly.

Except then, trapped in the dark with an eagle-eyed baby, she realizes that she doesn’t feel any better. In fact, she feels a little-pissed off.

What is it with these “experts” who always think offering their tuppence worth of advice is helpful to parents?

The Unsung Mum often wonders who these experts are and if they actually have kids of their own.

Do they look after them themselves or toss them over to their au pair while they write shit like “Kids’ shows such as ‘Peppa Pig’ damage children’s emotional development” and “stops kids from learning new concepts as they are so used to being entertained by external sources.”

The Unsung Mum thinks this is tripe but it doesn’t stop her from feeling guilty.

“Great, another thing I can add to my ‘what I’m apparently doing wrong as a parent’ list.”

The Unsung Mum would like these “experts” to look after their own kids on a rainy day and dare them not to turn Peppa Pig on. Yep, it’s fecking tedious and teaches them to be stuck up cows, but for five minutes’ peace The Unsung Mum thinks it’s bloody worth it.

She’d rather have The Spratts run around screaming “di-saw raaaa,” and screaming the Birdie Birdie Woof Woof song wrong every two seconds then go off her rocker because she hasn’t had a moment to herself.

It’s either that or the daily thought of adding a padlock to The Spratts oversized trampoline, trapping them in, but at three and two, thinks Peppa Pig is probably the safest option.

The Unsung Mum knows her kids watch more Peppa Pig then most, and that she should take them down the park instead. But after spending the country’s debt on ballet/swimming/gymnastics/karate/horse-riding lessons that she knows they will have no interest in next week, she just can’t be bothered, and is pretty sure that watching Peppa “blasted” Pig most days won’t turn them into something…well…hideous.

In fact, to celebrate her success of running The Spratts to this place and that, she has now rewarded herself with a large slice of lemon drizzle while hiding under the stairs.

“If only the blasted program lasted longer.” She grumped.


Diary of an imperfect mum


The Unsung Mum and The PND Disaster

Today The Unsung Mum is feeling weirdly sentimental.

It’s The Baby’s 2nd birthday and should be a happy time but it’s not. The Unsung Mum remembers, this time, two years ago, correctly named ‘The Dog Days’, when life wasn’t so peachy.

Back then, The Unsung Mum was full of joy from having The Baby but that didn’t last long. Once at home, The Unsung Mum started feeling a bit odd. See, like everyone, she’d heard of post-natal depression, but didn’t actually know what it was. She thought it was something that only happened to other people, a bit like Chlamydia or getting eight hours’ straight sleep.


She didn’t realize that bloody PND comes in all shapes and sizes. The Unsung Mum is a simple lass and thought it meant you’d cried for a bit, threw a few plates at the other half’s head then got on it with so to speak.

Much to The Unsung Mums annoyance, though, Mother Nature had other ideas. The Unsung Mum thinks Mother Nature is a twat though and should get a taste of her own medicine one day. She’d happily give it to her too, somewhere between shoving a Tampon up her bits and inspecting her armpit hair.


“Fuck this.” The Unsung Mum cried. It was day 5 and she just wanted the tears to bugger off now. “It’s completely normal.” The Hub reminded her. She wanted to remind him that there was still plenty of room under their patio for his lifeless body, along with next doors dog and The Kid’s fucking whistle.

‘And anyway’ The Unsung Mum thought, ‘these bloody tears will stop soon and I’ll start feeling a bit more like myself.’

The Unsung Mum liked that idea. She was getting a tad concerned that this grey feeling was going to hang around for a while. The days seemed passable, running after her feral toddler and producing milk any dairy farm would be proud of kept her busy. No, it was the nights that scared the shit out of her. The scary ass thoughts, like would a cat jump through the window and suffocate The Baby? Or what if the house flooded and she sailed away?


It was lucky that she went to all those mother groups then. The one’s that told her how happy she was and wasn’t she lucky to have lost the baby weight so soon. The Unsung Mum didn’t give a shit, though, about anything. Not the dried milk stains by her left boob, last nights rusk in her hair or the four-hour-old nappy The Kid was still attempting to walk around in.

Looking back now, The Unsung Mum wished she’d done more. She now knows that at least 20% of women suffer from some sort of PND. The Unsung Mum is shit at maths, but even she knows that that is a lot of women.

The Unsung Mum probably knew deep down that telling someone the truth would have helped, but that is like asking a toddler to share her birthday presents with her older sister. Yep, The Unsung Mum felt like she was up shit creek without a paddle, or a fucking canoe if she is completely honest. (Which of course, she tries to be as much as humanly possible.)

And yet nobody talks about it. The Unsung Mum loves a good birth story, the more intimate the better, and doesn’t mind sprouting off her own within two minutes of meeting a complete stranger in Sainsbury’s. So it still baffles her now to think she couldn’t ask for the help she needed. But she couldn’t.

She now knows that PND is a vicious cycle of bullshit that makes you feel isolated and alone. The more alone and isolated she felt, the more depressed she became.

The Unsung Mum thinks of herself as a happy go lucky sod, but during ‘The Dog Days’ she couldn’t shake the bloody thing off.

The Unsung Mum was stuck somewhere between her own version of hell and oblivion. She can safely say that it sucked. Yep, even more than The Hubs cooking. Until the ‘Lightbulb Day’ happened. A friend called. Yes, she called and knew very well not to come around as that would have made The Unsung Mum feel like she had to tidy up her pigsty. Instead, she muttered six simple words.

“It’s ok not to be ok.”

She reminded The Unsung Mum that she was bloody amazing and was kicking parenting in the butt every day and that even though these yummy mummy’s looked like they had all their shit together, they probably didn’t and could be suffering too.

The months spent in the clutches of PND are a tad hazy to her now. But the worst memories are of the loneliness; the powerlessness to tell anyone what it felt like; the utter belief that no one else could possibly feel like this when they had such a perfect baby.

The Unsung Mum thanks her lucky stars and this special friend for her magic ears and kind words every day. Without her, she’s pretty sure she would have murdered The Hub and ended up in a Scientology camp married to Tom Cruise.

The Unsung Mum wishes that she could remember more of The Baby’s first year than just the unending grey but she can’t. She now realizes that this isn’t something to feel ashamed of. The only thing she is ashamed of is not recognizing her own condition sooner.

‘PND needs to do one.’ The Unsung Mum thinks. Along with cancer, hummus, and The Hubs stinky arse.


*** If you can relate to this post, or just need someone to talk. Please call the PANDAS Helpline which is available from 9am – 8pm every day.  Their dedicated volunteer team are on hand to offer support, advice and can help point you in the right direction if you need more support.  0843 28 98 401. Please call.•••

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23 Things I’ve Learnt After Surviving My First Six Week Holiday

First off, that title is whack, as it’s not really six weeks, is it? It’s bloody eight weeks, taking into account all the shitting insert days and half days.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a blast and I’ve been mega lucky to have had The Hub home for two of those eight weeks. We weren’t brave enough to go away (I’m not suicidal) but we did some good old day trips while each taking it in turns to cross off a day on the calendar.  September will come damn it!

Anyway, I just thought I’d give you a heads up on some of the things I’ve learned during my first kid infested six-week headache holiday….

1. By day four, you’re begging preschool to reopen.
2. You’ll roll your eyes more times than you blink.

3. And argue over who packs the car just to get out of watching The Kid take her third dump of the day.

4. Packing for a trip to the international space station for six months would be easier than packing for a day out with toddlers.

5. You threaten to call Super Nanny in 7983 times a day because your kids are so badly behaved.

6. But wouldn’t do it really because she scares the shit out of you. Who wants goody two shoe kids anyway right? (Me!!)

7. When your kids say please and thank you to old relatives you feel like having more.

8. Then remember why you don’t.

9. iPods/iPhones/TV/Wifi, in general, are worth their weight in gold, silver, bronze and any other valuable metal.

10. Make a list of all the things you want to do at the start of the holiday, as by the end you’ll have no brain power left or any motivation at all to think of anything.

11. The beach keeps all ages amused.

12. You think you’ll have shit loads of time on your hands and plan to cook loads of amazing middle-class meals with posh ingredients. Then don’t because you realise you can’t actually fucking cook and no one will eat it anyway.

13. After having a nice family day out, you decide to finish it off with a meal out, child-friendly of course. Then regret it. Again.

14. Soft play isn’t soft. (And sucks, but I didn’t need the holidays to learn that!)

15. Agreeing to go to some bastard relatives’ party with the kids and letting them stay up till 11pm will be fine because they’ll probably have a lay in any way. All that shitting dancing and running around must have done them in.

16. Despite the 11pm bedtime and crazy dad dancing both still wake 8765 times in the night then wake up at 5am with the blasted sun.

17. Thinking of games, you can play while tired hungover is good but keeping them interested is fucking hard.

18. Putting endless episodes of Peppa fucking Pig and Paw Patrol on repeat is fine, just to get another half an hour shut eye.

19. Parenting all day for six eight weeks should be considered an Olympic sport.

20. Nursery workers and teachers must really be angels in disguise.

21. You’ll say for fuck sake and fucking hell 6578 times a day under your breath while secretly swigging wine from the bottle at 11am.

22. By the time September comes you wonder how the hell you survived.

23. But then start thinking of more crazy shit you can all get up to in the last week because you already miss them and can’t see yourself surviving without them for 5 seconds.

The Pramshed
A Cornish Mum

Review: The Unsung Mum and the Trampoline Test

In between the yelling, sobbing and the frantic Googling ‘are my children bloody normal’, The Unsung Mum has spent much of the six weeks’ holiday trying to be cool and fun.

So when The Unsung Mum was offered her first PR review, for Oxygen Free Jumping no less, she felt smugly clever and accepted with swag.

Having just lived through the longest summer holiday of her life, sustained only by the tiniest hope that September would eventually come, The Unsung Mum grabbed the opportunity to tire her feral kids out with two hands, and feet, if she could have managed it.

Entering into this wondrous new world of hot teenage referees telling your children off for you while still looking like something out of GQ magazine has amazed her.

She thought places like this were a myth, somewhere between kids sleeping through the night at six weeks old and not running off in M&S. Yes, today The Unsung Mum discovered what she could only call a bloody miracle.

The Unsung Mum weeps with joy as she surveys the plush blue seats and delicious looking cake that is sweetly singing her name.

Alas, The Unsung Mum’s bubble is burst by the screaming Baby who doesn’t want to wear her bouncy socks while The Kid thanks the rather attractive looking attendant by screaming “smelly poo face” then runs off in a fit of pure excitement to bang every single locker in reach.

Planting on her “happy” face, The Unsung Mum decreed that everyone will have a good time and be nice to the good looking people.

Despite The Unsung Mum’s strong scowl, The Kid decides that staying with her bedraggled mother is “not cool” and sprints off happily to play with the puppy kissed stewards, who give her tips on how to jump off the walls and flip between the trampolines.

The Unsung Mum, in pursuit of the ultimate pinnacle of middleclassness, thought that The Baby would like to jump around on the trampolines cornered off for under fives, while waving for the perfect Instagram picture. Instead, The Baby morphed into the wildest of beasts and threw the lovely soft play balls at the well-behaved children while shouting “ot you” at the top of her lungs.

After one full hour of watching her deranged offspring jump into the giant airbag and dive into foam pits, one of the rainbow people lightly remarked that it was time to leave.

The children, of course, in a harmony that sounded more like nails on a chalkboard screamed for “one more minute” and “one more jump.”

The Unsung Mum, remembering supernannys tips from last nights rerun, counted to three and demanded the little buggers follow. This went wrong on many levels. Trampoline parks, as it turns out, are bloody large open spaces with enticing obstacles to hide behind and extra bouncy performance trampolines to jump on. Perfect for any cheeky miscreant to escape a parent.

This, like most trips involving her wayward kids, led to The Unsung Mum screaming “get back here. Now” while muttering words like bloody hell and FFS under her breath.

In a fit of severe self control, The Unsung Mum managed to abide by the unspoken parent rule and not actually leave them behind like she threatened 18765 times already.

On the plus side, the happy people kindly round up her mob, thus saving The Unsung Mum from making up more excuses for why she can’t control her own children better. She’d rather jump into the foam pit via the monkey bars naked then attempt to chase after them again. The little scamps.

At home, The Unsung Mum pretended she was only opening the Jaffa cakes because she had surely worked off enough calories bouncing around, but we all know she’s lying to herself really.

Still, it IS Wednesday, so she will only have one. Two at most. Maybe.

** I was given the chance to take my offspring to Oxygen Free Jumping for free in exchange for this review. To be honest, the kids loved it so much that we have been four times since this (in under two months). All views are my own. **

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Hannah Spannah

How to Rid Yourself of the Mothers’ Group Twatty McTroll Face

This is Twatty McTroll Face.

Twatty McTroll Face dwells in the dark world of mothers’ groups.Instead of carrying a wooden mallet, she has a bucket of shit, that she’ll throw at you when you’re at your lowest. Which, let’s be honest, is quite a lot.

Twatty McTroll Face’s main purpose in life is to make you feel as crap about yourself as possible. If you’re not into baby led weaning or don’t bother wearing a bra on the school run, then, whoo, you better watch out!  She’s so clever that she starts to make you question your very sanity, and before you know it will have you questioning if you’re eating organic enough or if you really are killing the world by using disposable nappies. (You aren’t.)

As your confidence as a matriarch grows, so does her insults.

She might be hard to spot though due to that pesky lady mask she wears everywhere, which changes depending on where you are.

She’s at her most monstrous though when you’re pregnant.

You see, it’s in a matriarchs DNA to be a bit bitchy, but being a troll is like being a dog on heat. She feeds off of others meanness and attacks. To Twatty McTroll Face, there is only green, no grey.

She loves swinging shit around whenever she can, and if you don’t duck quick enough (and who can when you feel like the size of an elephant) then you will probably be hit. So by the time you actually give birth, you’re covered in so much troll shit that you can’t see your confident spark anymore.

It doesn’t help that she changes her mask regularly. So just when you think you’ve figured out who it is, she’ll stop, and put another mask on to continue her reign of bullshit remarks.

But sometimes, when she’s feeling especially green, she’ll resort to the lowest form of shit throwing of all; anonymous net bashing. She can be found in most places, but her favourite haunts are online baby groups, where she can inflict the maximum damage possible.

She will come across all nice at first. Ask how your baby is, if she is hitting all the milestones, then proceed to tell you that her baby is only a year old and is part of the British Olympic gymnastic team and has a black belt in kung Fu.

Twatty McTroll Faces ultimate goal is to make you forget that you are a strong woman, a matriarch, and wants you to sink so low that you no longer have any confidence at all.

She hates brilliant women, and if by chance, you can’t afford a cleaner five days a week or make your own houmous, then she will attack, like the raging troll she is.

She doesn’t care if you’ve had a bad day and need someone to brain dump all over. She won’t bother finding out if you suffer with depression, have been cheated on, have been shat on too many times or haven’t slept for three years straight.

What you don’t realize is that Twatty McTroll Face really just wants attention. Hiding behind the closed world of the dreaded mummy group makes her feel powerful, but really she’s not.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do about Twatty McTroll Face or her online world. She will always be there in many of her disguises, and will only increase her shit throwing as your matriarchdom grows.

However, there is a small way to tame her and keep her shit out of your way as much as possible.

Confidence in yourself.

This tiny spark can be found deep inside your heart, behind all that muscle and cholesterol.

Twatty McTroll Face doesn’t want you to find your spark again. She wants it buried forever like her own, stuck in the constant flow of trying to be beyond perfect and failing miserably; but if you shut your eyes real tight, switch off crappy Instagram and delete shitty Facebook, you might just catch a small glimpse of it.

To help it grow, ask fellow matriarchs for help. You know deep down the ones to ask. Virtual or not, these amazing kick-ass women can help you scrape that troll shit off and help your confidence spark shine bright again.

These beautiful matriarchs come in all shapes, sizes and from all kinds of walks of life.

Twatty McTroll Face only hates two things. Being ignored and unity. It makes her feel useless and worthless when you continue to trust other remarkable women and get smart to her shit throwing.

Annoyingly she never gives up. As long as your confidence continues to shine then she will continue to grow along with you. Confident matriarchs do seem the perfect breeding ground for Twatty McTroll Face, so there is only one answer:

Shine bright. And be the beacon that helps other matriarchs wipe that shit away, and show that however much shit is swung, it won’t and can’t bring you down.And hey, there’s always violence right? Which of course I don’t condone🙂

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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