Insights

So today I had a teeny bit of an insight into the life of a mammy who also works full time and honestly, I don’t know how they do it!

I worked full time when my eldest was born for about 6 months but then I gave it up for a part time position. At the time I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her and working full time meant I was only just home some days in time to put her to bed! So I got a part time job and 13 years later I’m still part time. I love that I can go out to work in the mornings and be home when they get home from school to give them lunch and hear about their day, help with their homework and really keep in touch with what they’re up to during the day. My logic is that they’re only young for such a short space of time and before long they won’t need me so I’m very grateful that I get to be there now.

Today I had to take my eldest to the orthodontist so I worked late, rather than go home and come back into town again, picked her up from school, went to the dentist and we weren’t home till about 5.30ish. I’ve been playing catch up though since I walked in the door!!! The washing was still in the machine and more to be done, youngest daughter had lots of homework still to do, the kitchen needed cleaning, lunchboxes to be cleaned out, swimming bag to be emptied, dinner to get ready…blah blah blah the list goes on. None of this is normally any bother on a normal day when I’m home by 2 but trying to squeeze it all in today was a push!!

How do other parents to all that after working a full day?? I did it for one day and I’m flippin shattered!!!

Giving kids responsibilities….(not mad about the word ‘chores’)

So I’m probably very late to this topic as my daughters are 13 and 10. Lately though I’ve come to the conclusion that I do far too much for them. I guess I’ve known this for a while but I justify it to myself that they are really good kids. I’m not bragging here or anything, they’re not perfect but I am really proud that they are well behaved, polite, grateful happy kids.

Trouble is I don’t think I’m actually doing them any favours really. My eldest is 13 and still quite young at heart. She just started secondary school and has settled in really well thankfully!! Because she leaves for the bus at 7.45am, I started making her bed and pulling her curtains etc after she left. There would be pj’s on the floor, face wipes on the dresser, hairdryer etc left dangling everywhere and I, like a big aul softie would pick it all up and put it away so she has a nice clean room to come home to. I’ve literally made my own bed, I know, ironic huh!! She kind of takes it for granted now that I will do it for her.

My youngest is 10 and has the same habits – when I get home from work at 2ish and she’s not due home till 3 I go down to her room and pick up clothes, pj’s, art supplies etc and tidy them all away.

I know that some of it is because I am a serious control freak!!! Nobody does it like I do. Sometimes I get sick and tired of hearing my own voice ‘nagging’ and asking for stuff to be done that it’s just easier to do it myself…….

They don’t actually have any responsibilities around the house! Every now and again I’ll ask them to empty the dishwasher or put away some laundry, sometimes lay the table for dinner and clear it afterwards but nothing daily or regular. I suppose because I work part time I do more for them than parents who work full time and have less time at home than me. Is that just making excuses??

How do I start now without seeming like a right nag or cranky mammy?? I have to stress that they are far from spoiled in all other ways, they are rarely in trouble and fights between me and them are quite rare!! I know how lucky I am in this regard and long may it flippin last!!!

What to other mammies give their kids to do around the house I wonder…..

How-Get-Kids-Do-Chores

slightly unwilling sports supporter….

So the hubby is a big sports fan. I am a bit of a bandwagon supporter. I’ll tag along to the big games with him. Given that we are native Dubs living in the country, I’ll head down to the local to support the Dubs in big games….. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I know very few of the rules and might often shout out something completely ridiculous!!

My eldest daughter is a big GAA fan, she is very proud of her Dublin roots. I promised her that we would go along to some more Dublin games this year so hearing that the Dubs were playing in Longford today, and we only live 30 mins away, how could we not go? so we buttered the bread, packed some chocolate biscuits and off we went. I don’t often go to live games so here are a few things I’ve learned today!

  • Dress for the occasion – I straightened my hair this morning; for what??? I was in baltic temperatures in a hat and scarf and hood that barely showed off my eyes never mind my perfectly straight hair. Also my Dunnes Stores wedges looked great but my blue toes could not be felt after the first half! My daughters are 13 and 10. The 10 yr old had no problem taking my advice and pulling her hat down over her ears. My 13 yr old is a different story, given that we had to argue to make her wear jeans instead of barely there leggings,asking her to pull her hood up and zip up her coat was like asking her to pull out her teeth!!!! her blue and shivering lips were a good indication that she was cold enough to insist!!I also made the mistake of wearing my daughters Dublin Jacket – aged 13/14 its too big for her.When we bought it it was a case of “she’ll get plenty of wear out of it” It fit’s me nicely but is a tad snug when taking it off. Fast forward 2 hours in the rain (Its one of those over the head ones with no front zip) and you get me and hubby shivering at the boot of the car killing each other because I can’t hold my arms up high enough for him to get it over my head. A lot of swear words later and we’re in the car, me in a wet jacket that I can’t get off.
  • Bring food – we packed the ham sandwiches and were bloody glad of them! and there were plenty of people there with travel mugs of soup etc.
  • Take no offence- we were in a crowd with a mix of supporters. The banter is normally good but being a Dub living in the country, we are normally well outnumbered. I actually end up getting really offended when people slag off the Dubs.  Obviously that’s just part of the game but am I naive to think that it all should be quite friendly really and we are all just there to enjoy a decent game of football!! Some people take it super seriously though!!! It’s a little scary….I mean if they are actually so knowledgeable to think that they know exactly what the players and ref should be doing, shouldn’t they be out there playing or managing their own team??
  • Know where you’re going – hubby isn’t great with the aul smart phone. I should have loaded the map on his phone before we left but I didn’t so cue me driving whilst trying to talk him through loading the google maps app and enter the address. It was a lengthy process!!! Google maps then proceeded to direct us into a housing estate at the back of the grounds. Technically she was right if we could scale a 40foot wall!!

 

To do list before the next match! 

  1. A jacket that actually fits me with a front zip
  2. a decent flask – it may not be ‘cool’ but you’ll be glad of it!
  3. An extra pair of socks and decent rather than fashionable boots!
  4. Learn some of the flippin rules!!

It was a nice family day out, any time we get to spend together can only be a good thing. Kids love when it’s just the 4 of us and we laughed through the cold and the rain and mammy stuck in her jacket so I think we made some good memories.

D x

Life changing so fast…..

Haven’t written anything in a while but I felt like today I wanted to write how I was feeling…..Diary

My eldest daughter started secondary school this morning. The emotion of it all has been building all summer….. firstly we had ‘leavers mass’ with primary school, the kids sang a song about their hopes and dreams and all the mammies sobbed for their little babies all grown up. The kids were excited to be leaving, the biggest in the school being made to feel like they were the most important people in the school ever. Treated like kings and on top of the world.

Fast forward to uniform shopping and it’s all very exciting (and expensive!!!) The books are covered and new pens and pencils all labelled and ready.

Suddenly, a couple of days before, she’s nervous – now I’ve been nervous all along but hid it well (I hope!!) 

She asks me to promise that everything will be ok. We have ‘a thing’ in our house, you can promise and that’s fine but if you make a pinky promise, that’s serious shit!! You cannot break a pinky promise under any circumstances!! So I promise that everything will be ok. Then she asks me to pinky promise!! Panic…..

How can I ‘pinky promise’ that everything will be ok? Of course I hope it will, that she will make nice friends, that she will be confident, work hard and do well in school. In reality, I have no control over any of this. I had to let her go at the school door this morning and figure out how to do all of the above on her own. In primary we know all the kids, we know all the mams and dads, we know the teachers, it’s all very relaxed and friendly. This is new territory for all of us, we won’t know all the girls or their parents, we’ll rarely get to speak to the teachers.

So I ‘pinky promised’  that it would all be fine, cause I’m sure it will be…. I hope it will be……

So this morning comes, she’s nervous, I’m overly chirpy. The uniform is rigid and new and too big. We get to the school and anxiously await the arrival of a familiar face. The friends arrive and she’s smiling and happy and confident. Then the principal comes out and ushers them all inside. She looks back and I know she wants a kiss or a cuddle but she won’t, not with all her friends there, so off she goes, without looking back. And that’s it, my little girl off to begin a new adventure….

oooohhhh I feel better already, this is like free therapy….. 🙂

Questioning Marraige

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This week has seen our family deal with the breakdown of a marraige in somebody close to us. Although it doesn’t affect me directly, it has had a profound effect on my youngest daughter. It was unfortunate that, on Thursday, when ‘the news broke’ the kids were in the house with my mother and with calls flying backwards and forwards they got all the details before I returned from my parent teacher meeting.

I spoke to the kids and explained that sometimes, people are just not meant to stay married and that it would be better all round if they can co parent, live separately and be the best parents they can be, just not as a couple. There were lots of questions from both girls about who would live where, arrangements for the kids etc. I tried to explain as best I could.

Of my 2 daughters, my eldest is definitely the drama queen, at 12, everything is a huge drama but she took this one in her stride. My youngest daughter (9) is normally the opposite, couldn’t give a toss as long as she has dolls / lego, someone to play with and a bit of grub 🙂 Friday morning though, she didn’t want to go to school, (She loves school!!!) she had herself so worked up that she was pale. I tried to brush it off, we had a chat and a cuddle and sent her off to school. She went to a friends house to play after school and when I picked her up she was in floods of tears. When she realised that I was 10 minutes late (bad mammy!!!) she got upset which ended up in her telling one of her friends what was going on. I was so surprised that it effected her so badly. There were questions about ‘if it was you and Daddy what would happen’….. A weekend of reassurance followed and hubby and I made a conscious effort not to bicker about stupid stuff so she wouldn’t get any ideas about us separating.

I suppose the lesson is that you just don’t know what way kids are thinking and how their imaginations can take hold and run wild on them. Another lesson would be that they wouldn’t be privy to so much of the information in the first place but that was outside my control at the time.

Halloween witch….

WitchNot a big fan of Halloween, I’m not sure why, maybe I don’t put enough effort into it. Anyway the kids were invited to separate parties with their friends this weekend so I ended up home alone, well the folks were there, hubby was working late. It was quite lonely actually, other families trick r treating at the door and my 2 having “the best night ever” with someone else’s family. Cue me feeling sorry for myself till it was time to pick up hubby from work and then all he wanted to do was complain about his day. Step up the nagging, ranting wife, he got both barrels I’m afraid. I think the Halloween witch got me and hopefully it’s temporary!!