Dropping the F-bomb.

I’m holding my hands up…I’m a sweary mum. I TRY my hardest to keep it clean whilst Charlotte is around but if some knobhead (oops) cuts me up in traffic I am likely to call him (or her) out on it at high volume and it comes out of my mouth before I remember to censor it for my 5 year old’s ears.

My attention was brought to my effusive language after catching Charlotte dropping some form of F bomb whilst walking away from me not once, but twice this week. My heart sank. I’m a failure as a mum. 

“What a silly, naughty man” is sooo much less cathartic than “What a fucking dick” though, don’t you think? 

I hardly ever remember my parents swearing when I was younger. We would get reprimanded if we said ‘crap’ which seems to be a pre-watershed word nowadays. Bugger was ok, just. Bother was preferred. When pushed during my teen years my mother may have uttered the f word but sort of muted herself when she said it. Much like when your nanna has to say ‘lesbian’. 

I obviously did not inherit this restraint.

Nope, I’m the mum who swears and then wishes she hadn’t because she isn’t quite sure if the mum she’s talking to is a kindred spirit or one of those mum’s who suddenly look like you’ve hurt their delicate ears when you call someone a wanker.

I’ve also come to realise I’m the colleague who swears. Open plan offices are not ideal for this. My job makes me say ‘for fucks sake’ approximately 100 times a day so keeping that internalised would surely be bad for my health! Luckily my team mates are well aware of my colourful language but I’m sure not everyone approves. 

I wish I was more mild mannered and I have tried, but it’s too hard to keep all the effing and jeffing in and filter it to a more child friendly/ work friendly chiding and so I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the end of the world. 

Telling someone ‘I fucking love you’ makes it seem all the more true and heartfelt (sniff), telling someone they have acted like a dick helps you get your point across more strongly and if Charlotte needs to try these words out at home then it’s not the end of the world. I would be a pretty massive hypocrite if I said she couldn’t use those words wouldn’t I?! 

It’s parents evening this week though so we’ll see if she’s been dropping them anywhere else as well. 😬

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To Elf or not to Elf, that is the question.

This time two years ago Amber the Elf started to visit us during advent and left little notes with little treats in the gorgeous advent bunting I had bought.  Nothing big. Just a little chocolate, a hair clip or something we could go and do that day. Coordinating that was bloody hard enough work!

Love having a fireplace I can hang these on.

This year, for some unknown reason…or the fact that I’m an overachiever who has a lot of time on her hands at the moment (still off work after surgery)…I was umming and ahhing about doing the full Elf on the Shelf experience.

I asked on forums, I asked on my Facebook page and after some mum’s admitting they got bored of it quite quickly and knowing that I can be quite a lazy mummy, especially at the end of the day (especially after a glass of wine), I asked myself why fix something that isn’t broken? 

During my internal debate and after approximately 1000 hours on Pinterest (ref. Time of work again) I did, however, find out about the Kindness Elves which is a cute, fluffy version of the slightly demonic looking, mischievious Elf on the Shelf but instead of being spied on to check whether the child is being good or bad, they spread kindness and suggest good deeds that help others which sits a lot better with me than the ethos of an elf spying on the child.

I have now amalgamated our original Amber the Elf with a splash of Kindness Elves and have found a concoction I’m happy with. So happy in fact that Amber has even written her first poem to say hello again. 

Amber the Elf’s first poem.

Let’s just hope I can keep this up for 24 days and Charlotte starts to sleep through the evening so I don’t have to hurriedly hide things that I have already set up at 10.30pm. 😬 

Happy December everyone! Would love to hear if you have your own traditions in the run up to Christmas.

13 pieces of valuable advice for dealing with a divorce 

After discussing my experience of dealing with a divorce with so many friends. Some who had been through a similar situation , some who were currently thinking about getting a divorce or some who just knew someone going through a divorce, I thought I should write down my top pieces of advice.   

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and everyones situation’s are different, but here’s my ‘wise words’ about divorce, for both the person going through it and how you can be an amazing friend at that crap time.
13 Pieces Of Advice For Dealing With Divorce

If you’re going through the divorce…


1. It will definitely cost more than you think and more than the solicitors tell you. 

2. All the things you think you’ll be able to sort amicably between yourselves, in order to save money may not happen. Divorces take time, and time can change how people feel about one another, so don’t rely on how you feel now – and how you think your ex feels about you – staying the same.

3. Ask questions, so you completely understand everything. My solicitor sent me letters just full of lawyer speak and some of it went straight over my head so I emailed her with a list of questions and she usually rang me back to discuss.

4. Check all letters and forms that the solicitor writes/fills in for you before they send them out. I found that invariably there’s something wrong with it. One time it was my actual name! 

5. Try not to discuss the ins and outs of the divorce with too many people. Everyone will have their own opinion on what you’re entitled to, how much money you should get and what should happen, especially if they’re close to you.  But only do what you feel is fair and will make you happiest.

6. Sometimes taking the high road is really, really hard…but it pays off. It’s also much easier for you to move forward with your life if you’re not the one wallowing or feeling bitter.

7. Try and make the most of your time alone. Start doing things you stopped doing or start doing things you always wanted to do. DON’T FEEL GUILTY if you don’t miss your children all of the time when they are with your ex.

8. Also, try not to fill up ALL of your child free time with tasks and appointments and seeing people. Use the time for some RnR because you need it and you deserve it. Children can be hard work, especially with all the change happening, so just treasure the quiet times and bank it for when you’re ready your patience is being fully tested. 


And as a friend, pretty please…



1. Invite her to do things on the weekends.  This is family time I know, but it can also be the hardest time for single parents as they don’t want to intrude, so invite them all to the BBQ or just to the park for half an hour so they can get out of the house with the kids. 

2. Offer her time out, away from the kids. She may work or be a SAHM but once the kids are all tucked up the evenings can be lonely – take her out, babysit for her so she can go out or just bring a bottle of something and a dvd. She will be grateful for the company.

3. Try not to slag off her ex (unless she does). She may have mixed feelings about whether she’s done the right thing or they may have just spent many years together and it can still hurt hearing that person being bad mouthed. 

4. Notice the changes and if they’re good changes encourage them. This sounds a bit patronising, I know. She probably wants to change her hair style or start a hobby or lose weight but she may be feeling a bit battered and bruised and lacking in confidence. Knowing someone else thinks it a good idea or worth a try maybe that little extra nudge she needs to finally do it. 

5. Say the word “Divorce“. Don’t say “the D word”, don’t spell it out like the Dolly Parton song and you really don’t have to say it in hushed tones either.  If you whisper it, it makes it sound like we’ve done something wrong or shameful.  We all know it’s not an ideal scenario obviously but it’s not something we should feel ashamed of.   I swear the word ‘DIVORCE‘ is more taboo than the C word!!


Divorce Cake
…and when its all over you should definitely get her a cake!

Feel the burn.

Before I get on my soapbox I will say here and now that I’m not perfect and my shoulders are a bit pink but…

Letting your children burn in the sun is an inexcusable offence. It is only the third proper day of our holiday in Tunisia (average temperature being 34oC) and it is the start of the season so no holiday maker has been here longer than that, yet worryingly I have already spied multiple children with bright red backs, legs and shoulders cavorting in the midday sunshine.  I then look to their parents and see sizzled lobsters rotating like a rotisserie themselves.  The adults are stupid but they have made that choice themselves however, what example are they setting to their children and why do think it’s acceptable to let their children’s beautiful, clear skin burn like that?  
Truthfully they probably have a holiday like this every year and have let them burn every one of their very few years which makes me really angry. 

 

I’m fair, slightly freckly and slightly ginger (something I have now come to terms with and embraced). Of course, if I sit in the sun with no cover, shade or protection then I will burn and sometimes I miss a spot with a sun cream and it hurts and I feel stupid, however Charlotte has always seen me apply lashings of factor 50 sun cream on if we’re venturing out and helps me reach my back when I can’t and because of this she knows that this is what happens and not just once through the day but it will happen multiple times.  I make sure we stay out of the sun in the peak hours of midday sun because dehydration, heat stroke, sun burn and ultimately skin cancer is not something I want either Charlotte or I to have to deal with.  

 

So to those parents of the three year old with the bright red strap marks and then dressing them in another swim suit with shoulders and backs exposed you should be ashamed of yourselves. 
And don’t even get me started on bikinis on three year olds!!

Never work with animals and children.

I haven’t yet introduced you to my other family member and sometimes the one who gives me most of the guilty feelings. My downtrodden, gorgeous and amazingly tolerant whippet, Sophie. If you are contemplating getting a dog before having a baby or maybe adding to the family by getting a dog then please read below.

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Five reasons not to have a dog with children.

🚫 both need exercise, but entirely different sorts. The dog wants to go for a long walk through fields and sniffing hedges, the child (and me sometimes) doesn’t want to and starts whinging approximately 15 steps in that they’re tired or need a wee. The child wants to go to the park, which nowadays are usually fenced with barbed wire just in case a dog ventures anywhere near, so you have to push your child on the swing whilst pretending the howling dog trying to hang herself with her leash isn’t yours.

🚫 a child can go in and out if shops with you, however usually, a dog cannot. Either there is nowhere to leave the dog safely outside the shop, or, see the howling/hanging comment above. Therefore no shopping gets done, just lots of longing looks into the windows, seeing what you could have had had you left the dog at home (howling).

🚫 as soon as a baby comes along, your quiet well behaved dog will become a guard dog. She won’t like the squawking, pink bundle much and looks at you like she’s wondering when your taking it back, but she will also not let the baby out of their sight and will growl or bark at anyone who ventures anywhere near you on the off chance they will snatch the baby away. The postman, the builders a block away, someone coming up the stairs past your flat etc. This includes that time you’ve just got the baby to sleep and your edging away slowly in the hope she’ll stay that way for more than 20mins this time.

🚫 she will find any nappy that you have not stashed at the bottom of a locked bin and destroy it all over your carpet or bed. You will then accidentally step/lie in the wet gel crystals after creeping into your bedroom in the dark so as not to wake the said baby.

🚫 they will decide to find the invisible fox pooh to roll in, on your busiest or most stressful day. Babies nappies have nothing on that shit, literally. I have never gagged over a smell before then.

🚫 not only does your daughter decide to join you in bed half way through the night and try and push you out, the dog will too and will work with the child to give you as little space as possible. And they are dead weights!

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But the the flip side is that…

✅ dogs seem to sense when you need cuddle and I honestly think stroking my dog’s ears is the best therapy in the world.

✅ watching Charlotte and Sophie can be utterly heart melting sometimes. They play, they cuddle, Charlotte loves helping to feed her etc. I’m sure it’s a good life lesson for her.

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✅ they do get you out of the house. Those days when you feel rubbish is when you need a brisk walk and some vitamin D most and I love the quiet, contemplative time I get when walking her on my own.

✅ I never have any food waste!

✅ I’m never cold in bed (if I’m allowed to stay in it).

✅ she never judges me on my parenting skills.

I keep swinging back and forth about whether I should make my life easier and find Sophie a new family who has more time and effort to give her, but she is part of my family and, at the moment, my heart won’t let me. However, if anybody’s interested in dog sitting some evenings and weekends please let me know!! Thanks.

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