Facing the storm of change

I took this first photo of my eldest son two years ago, as he was about to move from infant school to the junior school a mile down the road. A storm was coming and I thought it captured the essence of facing new challenges head on and not being afraid. Now, two years later, … Continue reading

Roll with it

Listening to Oasis’s What’s the Story Morning Glory in the car on the way to the cinema, we all sang along to Wonderwall and She’s Electric but when Champagne Supernova came on we all fell silent, driving through the rain, until I asked them if they knew what a supernova was. They said no, so … Continue reading

Time for something new?

I’m at a crossroads. I was wondering after a few years of sporadic musings on having babies and family life and a few friendly followers (and a few more on Twitter) should I be trying to make money from this blogging? Should I be trying to get sponsorship, advertising, paid for posts? I’m a journalist so … Continue reading

16 unexpected ways parenting keeps you young

Sure, having children keeps you young and makes you feel like a child again. Here’s why:
You need permission to go out  — not from your Mum, but from your babysitter, who is often your Mum.
You become friends with the people you happen to be in closest proximity to in the school playground. Continue reading

Friday night

Friday night before kids: Apply make up. Go out to club. Get drunk. Do shots. Fall over. Injure self. Bleed. Go home. Friday night last week: Remove make up. Make a cup of tea. Receive WhatsApp message from friend saying she is doing shots at her book club and has given herself a nosebleed. Reconsider joining book club. Put cup of tea … Continue reading

A Room of One’s Own

“What’s this? A shrine to 44 years ago?” BUB.1 was watching me sort through boxes of old school work, vinyl albums, Smash Hits yearbooks and photos that had finally, at the age of 44, made it out of my parents’ loft and into mine. But not before I had relived the memories and kept a few … Continue reading

#influencingnooneoninstagram #1

I wrote about the unreality of Instagram Mums the other day and it got me thinking about my own Instagram account. I remember the exact moment I realised I would never be a proper Instagram Mum. It was when I took the bubs to see the snowdrops and not only forgot to take the ‘proper … Continue reading

Camping: Never. Again (until next week).

Camping. It’s basically just wiping toilet seats, dry retching, eating crisps and arguing, isn’t it? How many times in one holiday can you say “You CAN’T want a wee again already?” or “Have you finished yet?” or “Don’t go in THAT one!” or “You’re not hungry because you’ve eaten eight bags of crisps,” or “We … Continue reading

8 times I knew I was tired

I decided to adopt the “early tea and fast track into PJs” strategy, only to find everyone demanded a second tea and required a change of pyjamas. Double the work. Twice the pain. I completely lost track of how many contact lenses I had put in each eye and took three out of one eye … Continue reading

Fish heads 1 Parents 0

I sipped my tea from a safe distance, muttering things like “There’s no need for such a fuss” and “It’s nothing a quick rinse with some soapy water can’t fix” and “It’s just a matter of encouraging their individual interests,” as the children splattered and smeared fish guts all over the kitchen cupboards. Continue reading

Let's pub

I find that getting ready for a night out isn’t what it was. I once had to deal with two poos and a pair of sore bollocks just during make-up application. Despite usually having to let one of my children try on my dress or my boots or my bag, despite sweating most of my make up off before I leave the house, despite hangovers with kids being the ultimate torture, I want to pub so badly. Continue reading

Exploding sprinkles

A while back I thought I was having a bad day: leaky milk bottle in school bags, wee in the car seat until, at tea time, the sprinkles exploded.So, with keeping a tidy, clean home in order obviously at the front of my mind, here are 10 confessions of a true scummy mummy. Continue reading

5 Tricks To Get You Through The Day

The hideous cacophony of household appliances, voices and thuds, the constant litter picking, the ceaseless searching for things and the endless supply of defrosted sausages to cook. It’s what known as the Day That Lasts Forever But Actually Nothing Gets Done and it happens when you are a parent to small children and spend time in your own home. Continue reading

Pigeons and rainbows

Adorable. CHILD: “Where does rice come from?” ME: “A field called a rice paddy. It’s a crop.” CHILD: “It doesn’t grow on daisies then?” Mix up: CHILD: “How do caterpillars make raccoons?” Continue reading

My candle burns at both ends

How do mothers of small children write bestselling novels and build empires? For me, working from home with a baby resulted in her spending a few hours ignoring her toys and rifling through the wastepaper bin while I retrieved passwords, paid bills, and glanced nervously at the clock. Continue reading

Cracking up

One thing I didn’t expect to worry about as a parent was whether my three-year-old would address strangers as “you stupid bum crack.” But that did actually happen when BUB.2 was three. It was around about the same time he and his older brother invented an imaginary horse bum crack flavour ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s have missed a trick, surely. Continue reading

Bat capes and bingo wings

I’m usually covered in food and normally dunk at least one part of my body in baked beans during the course of any day. Once it was my right boob, in public. As for personal style, you just know that it’s time to change the style of your shoulder bag when someone tries to pay you to go on the bouncy castle. Continue reading

Still on the seesaw

A midlife crisis these days doesn’t necessarily mean a sports car, affair or round-the-world trip, but is more often played out in the home and sometimes, in our generation, with small children around. Makes farting off to Vietnam a bit difficult. Continue reading

Reproduction: Make my stamen go berserk.

Last week the Unmumsy Mum shared a photo that I posted on my Facebook blog page and it ended up on the newsfeed of almost half a million of her Facebook followers. It was a photo I’d taken in my parents garden of a cut down tree that resembled Julia Donaldson’s Stick Man with a big willy. On hearing about my Facebook fame, my Dad went out into the garden the very next day and chopped poor Dick Man into six pieces. I don’t think it’s quite what he hoped for his 43-year-old daughter. Continue reading

My George

It was hard to grieve for George Michael today, with the sound of giant whoopee cushions going off left right and centre to a backdrop of Listen Without Prejudice. The joy of my children at Christmas took the edge of the death of my own childhood, which I guess is the main purpose of having them.
Continue reading

Black Sunday

These things take their toll on your creativity. I want to post slow cooker recipes and camping stove bakes, I really do, but yesterday completely demonstrates why I haven’t been able to post a letter, let alone a blog about the kitchen renovation. Continue reading

A hot dog with legs

Climbing the bunk bed ladder feels like such a climb after a long day, when you know you only have an hour or two of wakefulness left (at best). Sometimes you’ve just got to make that final climb and sometimes you just can’t. Continue reading

It's not all bad.

So I’ve made a house for him here, here’s his bedroom with a bookcase, and here’s his oven and I’ve put potato in there cooking for him, he can cook whatever he likes. And my house is over there but I’ve not put anything in mine except two beds. One for me and one for him if he wants to come and stay. Continue reading

Tongue-tie: Can anyone give me a straight answer?

An unexpected breech caesarean section, BUB.3 first appeared to me as a long, bright pink, crying blur. “She’s got a tongue-tie which they say they can cut” Willy Wonka said, reassuring me she was OK as they checked her over on the table behind me. From something so certain, the first thing I heard about … Continue reading

Bath time: I'll just sit here and smoke

  At bath time and in the morning, when they are getting dressed, there is sometimes shouting. I usually have to ask them to do something a minimum of four times, with increasing volume, before it might happen. This evening I snapped, as after countless attempts to extract them from the bath they were still … Continue reading

Blue whale birthday cake

Last year I made BUB.2 a birthday cake that perfectly symbolised his temperament at four years old. This year, on his fifth birthday, my blue whale-loving boy deserved a birthday cake to symbolise how far he has come since being a volcanic four-year-old. I had spotted a few whale cakes on the internet and quickly shut … Continue reading

KERBOOM birthday cake

KERBOOM birthday cake

In the future, if I ever struggle to remember what it was like to have a three-year-old child, I will just look at a photo of the birthday cake I made BUB.2 for his fourth birthday. He had seen similar cakes on the internet when I was searching for dinosaur cakes and said he wanted … Continue reading

Weight loss, it's a thing.

Weight loss, it's a thing.

Aside from rigorously following Slimming World for eight months, people ask me how I lost 3.5 stone (three of which I tell myself were each of the BUBs’ fault, half a stone was the biscuits’ fault, but it’s probably the other way round). What was the secret? It was this: Individually-wrapped Moser Roth chocolate bars … Continue reading

Any day

Any day

I will always remember the answer the actress gave to the question in the magazine I was leafing through in the doctor’s surgery.     “If you could live any day of your life again, what would it be?”, to which she answered: “Any day when my children were small.”   Wow. Not her wedding … Continue reading

Don't sweat the small, bouncy stuff

Don't sweat the small, bouncy stuff

I swore blind that the Winnie the Pooh bouncy chair was the best thing our baby received as a gift, and indeed it was beautiful, soft and fun and it served him very well. Bouncers are so popular because it soon becomes obvious that it’s difficult to know where to put the baby when he … Continue reading

Girls and boys

Girls and boys

People ask me if I have noticed a difference between BUB.3, a girl, and BUBs 1 and 2, boys. Nope, I say, they’re exactly the same. Hmmmm. Today she (purposefully) dropped an entire packet of dried spaghetti all over the kitchen floor, shattering it into small pieces. I tried to make soup, sausages and a … Continue reading

A room of one’s own

A room of one’s own

I keep seeing man sheds springing up, but maybe women need women caves too. While men sit playing video games or using their tools, forgetting the grown up world back in the house, women can read, listen to George Michael (or whoever tickles their fancy) and wallow in a time before they had the responsibilities of a family. Continue reading