A Hot Wash, Spin and a Tumble away from Madness!

I jolt awake in a cold sweat, babbling incoherently and clawing at my husband. I have pulled myself out of this dream before, the one that envelops me in it’s dank, smelly, material horror. My constant bed-time companion, my recurring slumber buddy, MY WASHING NIGHTMARE!

It’s been with me for about, oh, going on four years now? Since I had my first baby, funnily enough! From the day I lovingly prepped all those weeny little babygro’s and placed them in the cupboard, it has been a hot wash, spin and a tumble down the laundry mountain to here.

And here I sit, at the edge of an endless sea of washing, bedsheets lapping at my feet, dirty socks nibbling at my toes.

The amount of washing my family produces is crazy!! My Zanussi 1200 is the constant rumbling soundtrack to my life. As soon as I glimpse wicker at the end of the laundry basket it immediately fills up again like the magic bloody porridge pot!

Every clothes horse I own is heaving under the strain of jeans and shirts and outfits for tiny people. I have nowhere to hang all this stuff, short of building an extension to house my own private laundrette. I dream of this.

This is what my fantasies have been reduced to!!!

My husband has become fearful of putting any clothes on the dirty pile less he incurs the wrath of the washing God’s. I recognise the creak and snap of the basket lid a mile away as it is the sound of my heart breaking over another load for the machine! I should have married a much shorter man….

I used to be very particular about sorting my washes, now it’s just light and dark as everything slowly melds into the same shade of mottled grey.

I lost the will to colour code many moons ago.

But how do four people wearing one outfit per day create this level of dirty laundry? Allowing for the odd nappy explosion or little bladder leakage (not always the children’s), it just doesn’t add up! I mean, is this normal? Should I fit CCTV in the bathroom just to be sure strangers aren’t sneaking in their smalls??

Should we start thinking about applying to the government for washing powder allowance???

If I were to go one day without doing a wash? One day? Jesus, the thoughts of it sends me reeling into a cold sweat. And I really can’t afford to get this top dirty…!

Do You Have Mummy Nuts??

Balls. By gosh have I grown a set since having kids! If you’re not sure whether you’ve got some, have a good rummage around in your giant Mum bag, they’ll definitely be jangling around in there somewhere, like the elusive set of keys. Every Mum has a pair, and every Mum knows how to use them.

After having my first baby, I felt superhuman. I had just created a life, damn it! Even though I didn’t technically do it alone. Even after my husband’s unwavering support and patience. Even after he did the whole Lion King thing – every man’s right of passage into fatherhood.

Even then, I knew that it was really my balls that had carried me through three loooong trimesters and the agonising exhaustion of childbirth to the finish line.

Afterwards, I remember my husband saying ‘Wow! I didn’t think you were gonna get through that!’ Eh?! What else did he think would happen?? I wasn’t going to rub my belly and hope the baby would magically appear! There was no easy way out. So I felt pretty damn impressed with myself for getting from nugget to newborn. And with that, I grew more confident. I had to. Because now I was responsible for another life. It wasn’t just me, my clothes and I anymore. I got ballsy…

Then when baby number two dropped, so did my fully fledged set of Mummy nuts!

I was all over this shit. Not one, but two perfect creations! I knew that if anyone tried to harm one of my girls I would tear them to pieces. I would lift a burning car to save them, cut off my own limbs. I don’t know what situation would necessitate any of this to happen, but I’d do it!

I would protect these tiny humans I’d made with the strength of any man!

My eldest girl likes to regularly rank the power in our house. It goes Daddy – Big Boss. Her – Little Boss. Little sister – Baby Boss. I don’t get a mention. I don’t need one. Chuck Norris doesn’t need to state the fact that he’s the boss….

Testicles? Try CHESTICLES baby!

‘Cos I can break out of any padded play hell in under 2 minutes! I can McGyver a nappy out of a toilet roll and two hair bobbins. I can clean an entire child with just one baby wipe. My left bicep is freakishly larger than my right ‘cos I lift two children with it! No more am I afraid to return a top to Penney’s without a valid receipt. No more do I let old ladies push in front of me in queues. No little boy racer cuts me up in traffic and gets away without an icy stare! (Yeah you know that look son, it’s the same one your Mammy gives you!!)

Now in saying all that, would I send my food back in a restaurant? Jesus no! I am Irish after all…


Clear Out Your Life!

There’s nothing like a right good clear out of all the junk you’ve been hoarding to make you feel lighter, tidier, smugger about your life. Cutting loose all that crap and regaining control of the Black Hole of Calcutta under the stairs can be hugely satisfying.

So imagine if you could have a clear out of your life. How great would that be?! If you could purge your life from attic to basement.

First to go? My self consciousness. I’ve been meaning to get rid of this ever since I had my first baby. Being prodded and poked through two pregnancies, having a small audience at my business end during labour, and not being able to pooh in peace since 2013 has definitely taught me to lose my inhibitions. A nipple slip at the local pool is irrelevant these days. 

So this can go.

Then there’s the resentment I’ve been harbouring in the attic. It’s long gone out of date. When things go bad they leave a nasty odour in your life that filters down and becomes toxic. But we can still hold on to them for one reason or another. So it’s time to get rid and move on.

Next: my lost youth. I found it under the bed a few months back and brought it on holidays with me to Spain. I’ve changed my mind, it doesn’t fit me anymore! Being young was much easier when I was younger. I shall just grow old disgracefully now instead.

Sadness. I’ve had a lot of sadness in my life. But most of it has served to make me stronger. So time to let some of it go, and be happy. I might keep a smidge in a jar for the odd sad movie, or for the true tragedies in life, like the over-dunking of a biscuit. But the rest I’m dragging out of every cupboard, closet and crevice, and dumping.

Febreeze your life with happiness 🙂

And finally, I shall be chucking out the dead weight of my inner critic. The one that won’t let me wear that dress I love. The one that stops me from submitting that piece of writing. The one that tells me what a shit mother I am. The one that tells me what I should be doing all day long. About as useful as the elastic on my period pants; and just about as supportive. Be gone!

I feel lighter and smugger already!

First Time Mum

This title means so much. It is euphoria, exhaustion, uncertainty, silly questions, mistakes. Yet it is all forgiving.

As time goes on and your baby gets older, this title fades away, and after those first few precious months, you will never again be described as a ‘First Time Mum’. That safety net is gone, and people begin to assume that you know what you are doing.

But the truth is, we never stop being First Time Mums – no matter what age our babies are. We never truly know what we are doing!

Because however old they get, each and every new experience our children go through or new obstacle they hit will be a first for us too, and will have us fumbling for answers and reaching into our guts to make the right decisions.

So to my daughter I say; I am sorry!

I’m sorry that you had the L Plate Mum who was scared and exhausted, and who didn’t understand you a lot of the time. I’m sorry you had the Mum who was only just beginning to trust her instincts. The Mum who was adjusting to a whole new way of life, feeling resentful, confused, overwhelmed, as she tried to push a soft little baby into a very square routine.

I’m sorry that you will always have the Mum who is winging it, who is flying by the seat of her pants; because you will always be the one to hit those milestones first.

I am so sorry that you, my eldest, will often get the worst version of me.

Forgive me when I say “You should know better!” just because you’re the eldest. Forgive me if I seem to go easier on your sister – I have learned to pick my battles down the years! Forgive me when I get it so wrong; I am still learning.

I always will be with you, my love.

But know that I will keep trying my best. Know that you have softened my cynical heart, and that you have brought us such joy. Even when you are pushing me to my limits, I know this will be an invaluable trait when you are a young woman finding her feet in the world.

And as much as it frustrates your four year old soul, don’t ever doubt that I love you equally as much as your little sister – my heart is just that big!

(Believe that your little sister truly loves you. I see how she watches and copies you, the way she follows you about and teases you for attention.)

Know that whatever storm hits, we can weather it together, and even when you feel us drifting apart, I will always be here when you drift back.

Wherever I am, you are home.

You are my firstborn, and this is the unique bond we share for life.

Your First Time Mum


5 Silver Linings To Be Woken Heinously Early By Your Child…

If, like me, you have a small person that wakes at a completely ridonculous hour in the morning, here are five ways to put a positive spin on that cripplingly exhausting brain ache you enjoy every day!

  1. Take it as a deep compliment that your child loves you so much and thinks you’re so rad that they want to share literally all their waking minutes with you. Even as your spiky, slightly smelly 5 am self, they think you rock! Take it while it lasts because when ‘Tweendom’ hits, they will deny all knowledge of even having parent’s at all!
  2. Just think of it as yet another fond memory to add to the Big Black Book of Mummy & Daddy’s Dark Revenge, an increasingly meaty tome filled with doozies such as ‘the living room swimming pool incident’ or ‘the mysterious case of the guitar and the hammer’. Karma’s a bitch…
  3. Have you ever wondered what the dark really looks like? I mean the real, pitch-black, middle of the night, depths of your soul dark, that other losers usually get to sleep through? Well now you know because that’s every Winter morning with your little cherub! And in the Summer, you have the added bonus of a sunrise. Gift!
  4. Think of all the extra hours of worrying you can now fit in to your day! Being awake super early gives you a head start on the regular Joe, meaning you can get cracking on the disection/analysis/examination of your life nice and early.
  5. You’re just blessed to have a kid. Get over it.