It would be fair to say that I have a love hate relationship with the gym. I hate having to organise myself in the morning to go, hate having to exercise, but when I get there and once I start, I do enjoy it.This on\off relationship has been going on more than 20 years now and I still can’t bring myself to walk away from it.Before you think that I am a gym bunny, believe me I’m not.If anything I would be the antithesis of a gym bunny.I don’t have the latest hi-tech gear, I do like to get hot and sweaty and I don’t feel the necessity to wear makeup and have my hair looking good to work out.
But the strange thing is that since having kids it has become my place to escape to.Sounds silly I admit, of all the places you can choose to escape from the kids (and Mr P and his bloody Sports Talk and Sky Sports) you wouldn’t think that the gym would come far up on the list...
Why you may ask?Well it is where every couple of days I get a full hour to switch off from everything else going on.That’s a full hour where I don’t need to talk to anyone, I can listen to what I want to listen to, I can clear my head and “think”.Think, do you remember doing that?I don’t mean “think” as what should we have for dinner, the kids need new school clothes, what to get little Johnny for his birthday.I mean “think”, that strange thing I used to do with my mind before it got cluttered with the daily grind of parenting.
It’s an hour where in my mind I can think “how would I solve world peace”, “what shall I blog about” even daydream “do I really need those Christian Louboutin shoes”, “How would I spend my lotto millions”.Okay perhaps those last two are fantasising a bit but that's the thing, my mind is free to wander and think all these weird and wonderful things while I plod along on the treadmill.
An hour where I can people watch and try to slot them into one of 3 groups, the baggy t-shirters, the pretentious and serious gym goers.Checking out whose boobs are real, wondering what possess the woman in front of me to wear a leopard print outfit and of course checking out the hot and sweaty men in the weights area.All in that precious hour.If I don’t feel like exercising then I can have a quiet coffee in the cafe all by myself.The benefits of exercising can only come second to this me time.
Of course the fact that the gym also has a crèche where I can off load the kids for an hour or so a day has totally nothing to do with it!Really it hasn’t.....
41 years ago today these infamous words were spoken to my mother “Here hold this one while I get the other one”. “Get the other what” my mum was heard to shriek. “Baby?” came the reply. Yes, all those years ago I entered the world the elder of twin girls to the utter surprise to my parents. It really was an utter shock to them, as not only was the pregnancy not planned, as they already 3 children, but twins! Back in those days there were no scans available to check on what was going on with your pregnancy. My mother had absolutely no idea that she was carrying twins. There was the odd disagreement between the doctor and midwife about the number of heartbeats, the third faint one was just an echo apparently! But the doctor was adamant that there was one very large baby and that was all.
Times where so much simpler then, my mum like many in her generation, ate what she wanted, drank (she wasn’t a big drinker) and smoked (like a chimney) unaware of the affect to her unborn babies. They just got on with life, no sitting back and feeling sorry for themselves over morning sickness, or what to wear as it wasn’t a fashion show. There were no celebrity mummies showing off their fantastic post baby bodies, to make you want to reach for the cookie jar. You weren’t unique you were just pregnant like millions of women before and after. If they had a problem or unsure of anything they just asked their own mothers, no going online to self diagnose yourself.
I can hardly compare her experiences with mine as it is a far cry from the stresses of having a baby today. Apart from the medical care you get now, which I must add helped me have my two boys, so I will be eternally grateful to the NHS. There is the endless bombardment of the media telling you want you should and shouldn’t be doing. How the decisions you are making now mean you are already a bad mother before you have even given birth. All the must have baby items that you need so you have a happy baby. These items that you don’t really need, but think you do otherwise you aren’t a good mum. That you eventually dig out of the bottom of the cupboard months later never used and wonder why on earth you brought it in the first place.
Makes me think, perhaps she had the better pregnancy experience than me. Perhaps ignorance in some ways is bliss....
P.S. Finally I thought I would share my birthday card from Mr P, arh he knows me so well...
“It’s not fair” I shouted back as I stomped into my room, slamming the door.
I always get the blame even when it is my younger brother that goes and makes a foozle of everything.
But what mum doesn’t know is that I love my room. I can make my very own growlery, away from the noise and mithering of my brother. Where I can grab the blankets from my bed and create my own secret hideaway.
There will be no brabble going on in here; it is just me and my toys.
This post is part of the 100 Word Challenge hosted by The Heads Office, for more great posts head on over.
So there I was the other day, walking pass a building site of sorts when I heard a whistle and a “ello darling”. I stopped mid step in a bit of shock, okay, sooo was that for me? As believe me, it has been a while since that has happened! After a quick look round and realising that I was the only “darling” in the area I assumed that it was for me.
So did the inner feminist rear her ugly head with rage, “how dare they, do they think I am some sort of object, for them to leer at”? Arh, no, I gave a quick acknowledgment and kept walking, with a slight spring in my step it should be noted.
Gone are the days where this would have bothered me, where I would have either ignored it or the inner feminist would have said something back to them. Hell I will take any compliments (okay so it is a borderline compliment I do admit) I can get these days. Especially, as next week sees me on the wrong side of 40. There is only so long you can tell people that you have just turned 40, that’s 364 days in case you are wondering.
I have posted before how I enjoyed male company and the general banter that went with it while I was working. It gives you a bit of an ego boost, nothing wrong with feeling appreciated by the opposite sex I say. It’s all well and good getting compliments from Mr P but after 17 years together it is kind of a given. So if a couple of hairy arsed builders want to give me a whistle and a shout out then so be it, I won’t mind. Life is too short to worry about whether it is demeaning or not.
Of course it would have totally made by day if it had come from a couple of half naked bronzed demi gods instead of two paunch bellied middle aged blokes. But then, as my mum says, beggars can’t be choosers...
It’s over between us!The honeymoon period of 4 ½ years is totally finished, it’s no more.Yes, we used to think you cute and endearing, the boys gathering round the windows at dawn and dusk to watch you in the garden.Hell I even used to leave the odd chicken carcass out for you, and how do you repay me?By shitting on my lawn!No, actually you crap wherever it takes your fancy, lawn, footpath, doorstep, hell you have even managed to crap on the boy’s slide a couple of times!
Now Mr Fox, don’t think I have turned anti-fox on you, I haven’t.I have no problem with you living at the end of the garden, you just need to stop crapping everywhere.Honestly I don’t want to have to do poo patrol every morning before the boys go out to play.My boys are Kiwi kids they want to be able to run around outside in their barefoot without running through berry infested poo!
Hell, the liberal leftie bit of me even supported the hunting ban, stopping your country cousins from being torn apart by dogs.So I feel the least you can do is to cut me some slack and stop using our garden as your own private loo!
So in closing Mr Fox, you can snooze on my lawn, tear the odd ball up but if you want to poo can you pop next door?
PS..Be warned Mr Fox, Mr P grew up hunting in the countryside so is a dab hand with a rifle..
As a mum of two boys I consider it my duty, no, actually my right, to embarrass them whenever I can. At the moment it is hugging and kissing Son no 1 in public that has him squirming and running away from me. He is only 5!
But what happens when the little darlings embarrass you? Well for a Flashback Friday moment I thought I would share with you the moment when my eldest little delight truly and utterly embarrassed me. Of course I will have the last laugh in this matter. I can’t wait for the day he sits down to read my blog and finds this!!
So picture the scene, I am at work about to go for an important meeting (coffee) with another manager. So my lippie is on, I grab my coat and then the phone rings. I notice it is from the nursery, bugger, do I answer it or let it go to voicemail and ring them back after my coffee?
I decided to answer it, this was a bad move!
Hi it’s Jo from the Nursery.
Oh hi, what is wrong, everything okay with F?
Yeah he is fine, but we have had an incident today which I need to inform you about.
Phew okay (thinking great I don’t need to rush home) what has happened?
Well at carpet time this morning he decided to take out his Willy.
HE DID WHAT? (At this point everyone turns at look at me as I turned from my normal shade of pasty white to a bright pink)
He pulled down his shorts and took his Willy out.
Oh my god I am so sorry. (Thinking this is all...)
So did you tell him off? (Still thinking that this was all)
Yes. but there is more.
MORE? (Getting redder at this stage)
Yes, he then started to play with his Willy.
HE DID WHAT? (Now more people staring, almost burning up with the embarrassment)
Yes he started playing with his foreskin, pulling it back, showing and telling all the children what he could do.
OH MY GOD!
The rest of the conversation just blurred into me apologising more and more in a very high pitched voice. With images of what he usually does at bath time flashing through my head. But really, on the mat, at nursery! Her telling me not to worry as it happens all the time at nursery, both boys and girls do it.
Of course the fact that it is quite common for the little angels to do this didn’t make any difference to me. That afternoon I sheepishly walked into the nursery with my head hung low.
Oh the shame..
For more Flashback Friday moments pop yourself over to Cafe Bebe now...
So it’s been 5 months now since I became a SAHM.In case you don’t know the back history this was a choice I made after being made redundant in March and why I started to blog.Yes, I know, I was lucky enough to be able to make that decision so I shouldn’t be moaning about things.
However 5 months on, it has been pretty much life changing and hard, and to be honest it still is for me.So let me share with you the things that I really truly hate and seem to struggle with about being a SAHM.So in no particular order we have..
Mealtimes:I hate meal times with a fucking passion.In fact I have always hated organising dinner so it’s just not since the kids came along. But really having to organise meals for a day and then plan a week really does my head in.My husband isn’t a foodie at all, so eating to him is something you need to do to survive.So asking him what he would like to eat for dinner is rather pointless, “not fussed” or “whatever” are the usual response!To make matters worse he can’t really cook either, I blame his mum and first wife for that one!Then there is the delights of my little angels, luckily the Son No 2 will still hoover anything I put in front of him but not Son No 1.It is a constant battle to get him to eat his dinner, unless of course it is baked beans.Many a day I have spent cooking meals for him, for him to turn around and refuse to eat, he won’t even taste the bloody stuff.At the moment he doesn’t like, pasta, rice, noodles or potatoes..Oh, why do I bother, perhaps a diet of baked beans will be good for him!
Housework:I am not talking about the tiding up of things.I mean the actual back breaking tedious housework of mopping floors, dusting, cleaning sticky finger prints of doors etc.We used to have a cleaner when I was working who would pop in for a couple of hours a week to do all this.But on stopping work I decided we didn’t need her anymore, oh what a bad move that was.I resent the fact that I have to do all of this, I know I am at home and have the time to do it but that doesn’t make it any better.Mr P would be happy to do some of it during the weekend but then that would eat up what valuable family time we have in the weekend.So big question is do I get the cleaner back?No, as I can’t justify it really if I am at home twiddling my thumbs.
Children Chitchat:Not talking about the funny day to day chit chat with my boys what I am talking about is mothers I meet who incessantly talk about their little darlings and their deeds.Let’s get this straight, “yes I am a mum but I have been on this fair planet for the best part of 40 years and in that time I have done more than give birth to two little mini me’s.I have in fact done many things like, swum in the Borneo rainforest, canoed down the Zambezi, and ridden elephants, does that interest you?No?Then why do you think I am interested in what your little darling is doing and what he\she got on their report card?Please is there anything else you would like to talk about, any current affairs, I will even do celebrity gossip?”
School Holidays:Nothing needs to be said about this other than they seem to be on holiday all the time and it fucks up MY routine!
So as you can see it’s a short list, and it is getting better. The good points really are starting to outweigh what I hate or struggle with.
The one thing that is making it better for me is having the opportunity to watch the relationship and companionship between my sons develop and grow. The idolisation of the eldest from the younger, the teaching, torture and tormenting from the eldest to the younger, the battle for possession of toys (the eldest hides them!), the ongoing violence, the ability of the youngest to ‘hold his own’ in battle, all interrupted by small bouts of genuine warmth to each other and playing together nicely. Things I wouldn’t see if I was working...
It seems that we have an iPad junkie within our midst.It is not I, Mr P or even Son No 1.It is in fact Son no 2, yes the 2 year old.Yip, that’s right the 2 year old.
What started as a cutesy techno habit has turned into a full blown tantrum producing habit.With cries of “iPad, iPad” and “Show you something Mummy” as he follows me around demanding it and when he has it yelling at me as he wants to show me something he is doing.Which is usually playing the same game, over and over and over again, nothing quite like repetition to make you want to bang your head against a wall is there?I have taken to hiding it during the day so he doesn’t see it, kinda like out of sight out of mind, however that doesn’t always work, “iPad mummy, mummy, mummy, IPAD MUMMY?”.
I will put my hands up to say we did encourage it at the start.As it was something to keep the boys entertained on the plane for our summer holiday.It was never intended to be an electronic babysitter or pacifier it was just another “toy” to play with.An expensive toy I do admit but at least we could choose what apps or games they were using.Nor were they annoying us every five minutes to change an app or game as they could do it themselves.Really as it is such an easy device for children to use, I am surprised Apple aren’t marketing it more to parents as the “must have present” for your child.
So back to our little junkie, what am I going to do about it?Well I think that would be a big fat zero. Nothing, in fact I would prefer him to be on the iPad then watching the telly as I can kid myself that it is more educational than the telly.We have apps installed that are teaching him his colours, counting, matching pairs etc, and of course there is always Angry Birds!Let’s face it the way technology is changing it won’t be long before most schools, including primary schools, have some sort of multi touch devices for the students to use.
My only dilemma is whether we buy myself another one, one that I can use that isn’t covered in sticky fingerprints and toddler snot and slobber..
It occurred to me the other day while watching yet another episode of Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom that Nanny Plum actually rocks.She may be impatient and sarcastic at times but she is also kind, helpful and very, very funny.It fact in some bizarre kinda way she could almost be my new role model as she seems to be able to do everything I strive to do.Oh if only I could master the magic bit then my life would be sorted!
Let’s face it, anyone who can look after small school children without raising their voice is pretty amazing.Of course magic is generally used but then she often has to use it to help out Holly, but inevitable ends up in all sorts of trouble herself.When things don’t go to plan, (magic jelly anyone?) does she moan, argue or break down in a miserable snotty wreck?No of course not, she just brushes it off and gets on to the next thing. Also like many of us in this day and age she manages to hold down a number of jobs.Not only is she very good at magic but is Holly's nanny, teacher and general housekeeper for King and Queen Thistle.Her cooking is quite legendary and has been described as the “best cook in the whole wide world” by the King.How nice would it be to get a compliment like that about your cooking, other than "yeah it was okay"! When called upon she’s a master linguist and is capable of speaking many animal languages; however she will be the first to admit that there are a few like Aardvark, Mole and Ant that are a little bit difficult.And when needs must, she is also a tooth fairy.Now how is that for multi-tasking?
She can also hold her own when it comes to the difficult men in her life.This I am proud to say is something that I am able to manage.There is the rather pompous and lazy King Thistle who likes to have her run round after him.But truth be told she has him wrapped round her little finger.Then there is the Wise Old Elf, not sure about you, but with all the bickering going on between them I am sure there is some hidden sexual tension there.
So what do you think?Are you thinking, “Yeah, I can see where you are coming from” or “ Bloody hell, you really need to get out more and stop watching kids telly"?