Matriarchood

20 Things I’ve Learnt About Half Term with Kids

So the six-week holiday is almost upon us! Like all wholesome middle-class families, we’re frantically trying to think of ways to keep our brood amused for seven and a half weeks. God only knows why it’s called the “six weeks holiday” but there you go?!

Anyway, you may have visions of spending hot summer days at the beach with your little pumpkins lovingly playing in the sand together, while you sip on your Prosecco ice lolly in peace, quiet and tranquilly, or have dreams of the kids not twating each other over the head every thirty seconds and needing your presence just to breath.

Yeah. You’re deluded. Sorry.

Here’s my debrief on what happened last year, and will dash any hope you have of a pleasant summer of fun.

  1. It will take you 4 hours to pack your car for a 6-hour day trip out and you’ll have 45 different arguments about stupid things before even leaving the house.   20 Things I’ve Learnt About Half Term with Kids

2. Going out for the day, anywhere, involves you applying for a payday loan.

3. But you are fun, wild mummy. You are crazy. Unstoppable. Ice creams and Capri-suns for everyone!

4. CRAP! Did you forget that the mystical money tree that your kids think is real doesn’t actually exist? Sad face.

20 Things I’ve Learnt About Half Term with Kids

5. If you stay close to home, you feel like you could face anything!

6. Then wish you’d gone out after all.

7. Essential supplies start off being fruit, vegetables, and hummus but swiftly turn into crisps, chicken nuggets, and Fruit Shoots.

8. You make a list of all the fun things you want to get done over the holidays.

20 Things I’ve Learnt About Half Term with Kids

9. Bedtime becomes obsolete. I mean, they’re bound to sleep in right, so who cares!

10. Having a BBQ till 11 pm and drinking Prosecco out of mugs is not cool.

11. Despite going to bed late for 4 nights in a row, the kids will still wake with the sun.

20 Things I’ve Learnt About Half Term with Kids

12. You will want to kill yourself about 6754 times a day.

13. You power on, because, well, you love your kids right?

14. Technology is your saving grace.

15. Crafts suck.

20 Things I’ve Learnt About Half Term with Kids

16. Having playdates at your house is for fools. Only stupid people offer. Don’t be a stupid person.

17. Cake is your friend. Always and forever.

18. A forest is a dangerous place.

20 Things I’ve Learnt About Half Term with Kids

19. Splash time=wine time.

20. You realise that all this happened last year and somehow all the horror was wiped from your memory by one good day.

20 Things I’ve Learnt About Half Term with Kids

Ah. What sweethearts. (Not.)

***Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Cash Lady. Please refer to our Disclosure Statement for further information. ***

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How to Spot You_re Getting Old Pic 1

How to Spot You’re Getting Old

Looking at myself in the mirror, I’m the first to admit I don’t look old. Hell, I’m still doing what I did when I was 21, but with two kids in two.

I still say the word “cool” and listen to Radio One (sometimes on low volume) and feel like I’m down with the kids.

In till recently when I a teen offered to carry my Asda bags to the car as the kids were kicking off and called me ma’am, and you know you’re old when not even the old dears ask you for ID on a Tuesday night for your favourite bottle of Pinot.

On a bad day, I start to see all those white hairs on my vag or a slight balding spot on my scalp. I can recommend NOT Googling vaginal dye by the way.

Of course, not all the changes are physical.

There are many annoying things I now do that I used to call my parents old for:

  1. A trip into New Look now consists of me saying “too tight, too short, too midriff baring or too many holes. What will that cover?”
  2.     2. You go for a run, and hurt like hell for 3 days after.
  3.     3. Realize that a kid born in 2000 is old enough to drive.
  4.     4. You get a recommendation on leggings, and rush to buy them, because Jenny’s Mum recommended them, and she wears make-up in daylight, so they must be cool.
  5.     5. Going shopping for yourself, then only buying clothes for the kids.
  6.     6. Complaining about the crap on TV, and reverting back to re-runs of Friends, because you know you like it.
  7.     7. Getting excited over a new cutlery divider, that actually fits.
  8.     8. Songs from your own childhood have been remixed. Again.
  9.     9. Packing slippers when you go to a friend’s house.
  10.     10. Feel happy when the sun is shining, and imagine how many loads of washing you can get dry today.
  11.     11. Skimming the magazines in the supermarket, and realizing you have no clue who anyone is anymore.
  12. Snapchat. Tinder. Peach? What?
  13. You remember when petrol was below a quid a litre.
  14. You get excited that you’re going round a friends later to live it up. Come 7pm you can’t be fucked to go out and would prefer to stay in and watch EastEnders.
  15. 99% of the parties you go to are now kid’s ones. (Ok, 100%, who am I kidding?!)
  16. On the rare occasions you do go out, you drive, because taxis are expensive.
  17. If you do catch the bus, you end up chatting to kids half your age about your own kids, and think they care.
  18. You get excited when people cancel plans.
  19. Hangovers last for 4 days.
  20. Technology change does your head in.
  21. You buy two of the same product, in the same colour, because you find it comfy.
  22. You wish you brought more to be honest.
  23. You look at those red shopping trollies that old people wheel round, and feel slight envious you don’t have one.
  24. Other peoples kids annoy the heck out of you.
  25. You buy annual passes because they are actually cheaper then keep buying a ticket every time, and feel fucking smug every time you hand the card over.
  26. You brag about said annual pass. A lot. And how much you save every time you go.
  27. You work out how much you have saved over the year, and tell everyone you can how much you’ve saved.
  28. Realize that feeling smug over stupid unimportant crap like an annual pass is something your mother does.

How to Spot You_re Getting Old Pic 1

Ok, so a lot of these are me, but that can’t be an overly bad thing right? One thing I’ve realized as I’ve got older is that I’m happy just being me, if no one likes that, well then that’s fine by me.

Old is the new young, right?

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The Nine Stages to Becoming a Faultless Parent

For once, I’m going to be super helpful and share with you some of my very own top tips on how to be the very best parent ever! If you already feel that the carefully constructed felt tip pen drawings on your newly painted hallway walls really offer something extra to the room, then I’m sorry, this post isn’t for you. Fuck off.

Moving on….

Stage One: Love

Pretty simple right? All you need to give them is love and plenty of attention. 24 hours a day!!!

Stage Two: Be Helpful

You should be the ultimate player at Hungry Hippos without actually getting any tiny red balls at all i.e. willing the little red balls away from your hippo into their hippo’s mouth by intense eye contact alone.

Stage Three: Do The Impossible

Be able to fit Scout into Barbie’s suitcase, reducing Scout to the size of a pea, and enlarging the suitcase to the size of your head on demand, then back again, without breaking anything.

Stage Four:  Channel Mr. Maker

Attaching objects together with no attachable properties is your name, and keeping them there is your game.

Stage Five: Conduct Electricity

You should be in possession of a way to stream Paw Patrol at ALL times with endless battery capabilities and continuous 4G connection, even in the middle of nowhere.

Stage Six: Fun

Willingly and passionately give up your body to be used as a human climbing frame.

Stage Seven: Sporty

Never take offense to being drop kicked in the side, in the head or in your bits.

Stage Eight: Have the Attention Span of a Neurosurgeon

You should have a very high level of boredom control enabling you to play Barbies/cars/trains and trolls (insert another shit toy name here) for hours and hours without making up some lame excuse for why you can’t keep playing.

Stage Nine: Have encyclopedic knowledge on EVERYTHING

You must be able to correctly select the demanded next Topsy and Tim episode, just by reading the vague one-line description from the Sky box, while knowing exactly what is going to happen and who everyone is within the two seconds you have been sat watching it.

So to sum this all up lightly, to be loved by your children* you need to be a dazzling physic with shape-defying powers, with abs of steel and a brain so brilliant that it loves the same mind numbingly boring questions shouted at it 67543 times a day on repeat. If you are only one or two of these things, then I’m sorry, you’re as shit as the rest of us.

(* for about two days until the criteria will undoubtedly change all over again. Good luck.)

How to Survive Baby Group’s (kind of)

Now I have two sprogs, the humble baby group is like mecca to me, I generally couldn’t live without them.

They’re cheap, not at my house and you get drinks and biscuits thrown in. What’s not to like?!

Yes, of course, like anything there are a few potholes in this plan. One being that you normally have to make really awkward small talk to a bunch of people you’ve never met, and keep a smile plastered on your face, even though Little Jimmy is screaming he wants to go home at the top of his lungs. To be honest, I don’t mind a bit of small talk. After all, small talk or not, it’s still an actual conversation with an adult, which is normally better than debating with my four-year-old on why I’m such a poo poo face, for the millionth time.

And anyway, baby groups can be fun, if you know how to navigate them right.

Issue One – Money

Unless you are one of those crazy mums who have spare time and energy to dedicate to other kids and let’s be honest, who has, then you will have to pay to get it. Cheap and cheerful, coughing up a quid shouldn’t be too hard, even if it is in five pence pieces because you’ve had to raid Freddie’s money box again.

Issue Two- Squash and Biscuits

What you don’t know is that before the group opens, all the saintly volunteers pick a straw to see which unlucky sod will be manning the refreshment counter this time. Ever tried to defuse a raging toddler who is told they can’t lick all the biscuits then put them back? It’s NOT a proper baby group without a couple of the little darlings going nuclear because they drunk each others squash either…

Issue Three- Ride Ons

What is it with playgroups and bloody ride ons? Isn’t it bad enough that my ankles get hit at home every three seconds? That I then have to pay to enter, to then have thirty little shits also drive into my poor ankles!

Then there’s the Cosy Coupe….. Directly my eyes lay sight on those plastic cars my heart sinks. Especially after explaining why they need to share the blasted thing, to then finally get a go, and then lose it because they run over to show me they now have it! Argh! Surely I can’t be the only one who dreams about killing the bloody thing, right?

Issue Four- Happy Smiley People

There are some days I turn up looking haggard on three hours sleep, and other times I’ve accidently switched the kids into ‘whinge mode’ and plan on hiding in the corner stalking childless couple’s photos on Facebook.

Telling me your John has slept for twenty-three hours and now only eats green food is NOT what baby group is about.

Baby group is about letting your kids run riot in a controlled environment while you keep one eye on them and bitch to the just as exhausted mum next to you about how come you can’t seem to “breed sleepers” like everyone else.

Issue Five- The Craft Table

My issue is this. The eldest one hates craft, while the youngest one loves it. So I’m torn between the constant pull of sitting with the little one and having her colour outside the lines on MY sheet of paper or being screamed up from the other side of the room by a child who can’t bear to play by herself for thirty seconds.

 Issue Six- Handbags at Dawn

The similarities between a playgroup and Keeping up with the Kardashians is uncanny if you think about it…

 Issue Seven- Puzzles

Just accept that none of the right pieces will ever be in the right box and deal with it woman!

Issue Eight- Packing Up

And of course, this is when they really want to play with the kitchen set, they haven’t touched all session!

Issue Nine- Singing

In any other social situation, having a bunch of adults sit around on the floor grumbling songs they barely know under their breaths would normally result in some sort of arrest or mass exorcism.

It’s okay, though, it’s almost over. Just have to get through this awkward bit then we’ve done enough parenting to warrant putting the TV on for a bit at home. Yes, this is the most boring bit ever, and you do let your mind wonder and silently ponder if this hell will ever end.

Don’t worry it does. Because before you know it, you’ll be begging to return to this group with biscuits and cheap squash after playing £4.50 a session at baby French for your little monkey to call you poo poo head in two languages. Brilliant!

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The Green Food Strike

As most of you are probably aware by now, my kids are pretty crap picky eaters. That’s right. As a mother I have failed to make vegetables fun and fruit smoothies that actually taste good.  So it won’t surprise you to find out that The Kid won’t eat any vegetables and only eats bananas, pears and apples.  

Whoops.

So when The Baby came along, I lived in hope that the allotted fruit and vegetable gene distribution would be kinder to me this time and start dishing out some love. No such luck.

And so it pains me to say it but we’ve been having a 1 in 3 success rate with The Baby’s green to beige plate ratio, which of course only means one thing. Both Spratts are going to get scurvy and have mutant babies of their own. 

But why? I did everything right. I weaned them on gag inducing pea puree and chip shaped sweet potatoes. (Ok, and the odd bit of cheesy pasta bake and Wotsits.)  

If only I could ask them what the hell is going on in their crazy brains right now…..

Me: So errr, I was wondering girls, why don’t you eat any fruit and vegetables anymore?

The Kid: I hate anything and everything green mummy. Except green ice lollies and play doh.

The Baby: What she said. You know how it is when you’re 2 years old. Why put food in your mouth when you can try a table leg or part of daddy’s belt?  

Me: Most other kids at least eat fruit you know…

The Kid: Those kids are weak.  

Me: Eating all your fruit and vegetables will make you grow big and strong. Like Daddy.  

 The Baby: Screw Daddy.

 Me: Most baby books suggest that….

 The Kid: Hate books.

Me… should eat at least five fruit and vegetables a day.

 The Kid: Goodness woman! Get a grip! We aren’t eating anything that looks green/purple/orange or red. Maybe even yellow if the feeling takes us.  

Me: You’d feel a lot better if you did you know.

 The Baby: And you’d feel better if you just stopped banging on about it. And all this ‘here comes the fire engine’ in that twat of a voice makes you sound like a dick. Soz.

 Me: I wish someone would cook ME healthy meals…

The Kid: Here we go again…’boo hoo for you’. If you don’t stop complaining, then I’ll stop drinking those smoothies Grandma makes too.

Me: All right all right, lets not be to hasty here. I was just commenting that at three and two….

The Baby: Oh cut the crap lady. We know your game here.

Me: I don’t know what you mean sweetie?

The Kid: Yeah. We see you nervously clutching your phone ready to Google “how to get my kids to poo quickly” again. I haven’t been for three days now! Go me!

Me: I know darling. We can smell you from a mile away. See if you just ate your veg… and anyway, you make Googling sound like a luxury!

The Baby: Well isn’t it?

 Me: Err yes but…

 The Kid: What’s your game plan here? Hoping we both take a shit before we get in the car? Or are you bored of the twenty-minute toilet musical statues I make you play?

The Baby: Or my sudden need to wriggle my legs uncontrollably? 

 Me: I’m only ever thinking of you two!

The Kid: Well, I’m not eating anything that isn’t beige and covered in ketchup.

 The Baby: And don’t bother trying to grate them all up or hide them in Spag Bols. I’ll just go f*cking mental and chuck the cutlery at my sister and throw myself out my chair again. Try explaining that away to A&E this time!

Me: Okay….

The Kid: So let us make this crystal clear for you. We eat all kinds of food for Grandma, including mashed stuff. We don’t eat anything that looks or smells healthy at home. ESPECIALLY if you’ve spent an hour cooking it. Got it?

Me: Well sort of yes, but, er, I was wondering if you would be so kind as to switch it round every so often?

The Baby: No. Well now that’s sorted….

The Kid: The park!

 The Baby: But I wanted soft play…

The Kid: I SAID THE PARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Me: Sweethearts, it’s the weekend and blowing a gale. We’re going to be flipping cold at the park and I hate soft play.  

The Baby: Shoes. On. Now.   

Me: FFS

 

 

Mums Let Loose

Whoop! The day has finally arrived. You know the one right? This one event that you’ve been planning for months along with the other 6785 parent bloggers who have paid to attend.

That’s right. It’s Blogfest16 baby!

Well, today is the day and everyone who’s anyone can attend.

Wait. Is that Bridie on the phone?

Never mind girls. Who ever said three’s a crowd probably wasn’t a mum anyway.

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Tutters Lip: Self-Immunisation Strategies

If you’ve watched the news recently (and let’s be honest, you’ve probably got time for such leisure because you don’t have kids) then you’ll know that there is a serious epidemic of Tutters Lip currently spreading across the UK.

Myths and conspiracies include:

The primary trigger point for Tutters Lip is the everyday child. The disease is thought to have started in nice cafes and trendy bistros in the capital where parents are preoccupied with life and temporarily unable to dispense disciplinary tactics. A high number of incidents have been reported where patients have been trying to enjoy a peaceful cup of tea, attempting to run the Waitrose gauntlet avoiding buggy lash, or innocently waiting for the local bus.

Unfortunate symptoms may include emitting a devil stare to the perpetrating child, uncontrollable eye rolling towards the parent, and the blurting of heinous clichés to sleep deprived members of society.

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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.

Yummy…..

 

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.

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School Holidays: How to Keep Your Kids Entertained on a Budget

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.

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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.)

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