Monday 30 April 2012

Mothers I'd Like to Punch (MILPs)

Oh celebrity mums. How they like to shove their teeny tiny baby bumps in our faces. How they love to show off the post baby body twenty seconds after giving birth. How they adore writing their parenting manuals, designing the babywear collections and declaring they do it all with no help whatsobloodyever.
It would be so refreshing to see a celeb saying it AS IT REALLY IS. Who admits to relying on a nanny, who struggles with losing the extra weight, who just looks fecking KNACKERED.
The lovely @midwifetomum and I have put together the following list of MILPs:


And to make love, not war - here are some MILFs:

Please feel free to comment and add to the list.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Parent Confessions

I want to start a Parent Confessions page where you can write things anonymously that you'd never normally admit to. Just as soon as I get my lazy arse in gear and figure out how to do it. Which might take a while. In the meantime, here's a little taster from me.

1. The one great thing I can teach my children is sarcasm.
I believe that they will grow up having sarcasm as their superpower. My 8 year old is already using sarcasm instead of his fists to fight back and he does it with humour.
Unfortunately, I will probably be on the receiving end of their sarcastic blows.

2. I don't believe that my kids will be professional sportspeople, actors or popstars.
I think this is a good thing. Of course I will support any dreams they have but I'll be truthful with them if they show no talent.
There's nothing worse than those kids on X Factor who honestly think they can sing because their family has told them so. When they're slated by the judging panel, you can see years of therapy ahead.
My kids probably will need therapy in the future anyway, but this will be down to my fuck-ups not because I told them a lie.

3. I can't wait until my kids can do their own washing, ironing and clean up after themselves.
Because in ten years time (and counting) I will be done and I will be a happier person for it. I know it's part of being a parent, but I really hate having to clean up their messes - especially when they've split juice, chucked Lego everywhere and pissed on the floor.
Short term goal - for them all to be able to wipe their own bums.

4. Sometimes my kids misbehave in public and I get embarrassed.
But that's okay. Because when they're teenagers I'll return the favour and they can use all the sarcasm they like, I'm going for it.

5. Mummy porn pisses me off. The pictures you see of celebs - Jennifer Lopez looking gorgeous with her week old twins, Angelina Jolie and her fifty kids looking fabulous, Victoria Beckham wearing D&G at Fashion Week whilst suffering from PND. Those images only exist to make us regular mums feel like shite. BUT I do sometimes aspire to be like them.

6. Quite often, instead of playing trains with my toddler, I pretend to be watching him but instead I'm texting or tweeting.

7. I love my husband. But sometimes I hate him. Especially when I've had a crappy day where the kids have practically killed each other (and me) and he comes in from work and says "They're just children."

8. On occasion, I have wondered about what my life would have been like if I didn't have children. And, on occasion, it is really really good.

9. I like that our toddler sleeps in bed with us most nights because it means I don't have to do The Special Love when I'm tired.

10. I do not like some children.

Soon, people, it will be your turn. Just give me a year or two to get it going...

Thursday 19 April 2012

Getting Off My Arse

A conversation with my mother the other day got my mind working overtime and set a fire under my Parental Guilt bonfire. Without going into detail, the brief exchange left me with knots in my stomach:
A) Because she made me feel bad.
B) Because I don't ever want to make my children feel like that.

On top of this, somebody asked me how often I read to my children. And you know what, I used to all the time - before it got a bit painful (see and before we bought an iPad. I don't hardly read to them at all now.

Cue volcanic explosion of parental guilt.

But let's get things straight. I'm no Kirsty Allsopp of a mother, one of those women born to parent. I am neither willing nor able to build a replica of Big Ben out of an egg box and yogurt pots. But in light of recent events, I've decided to make more of an effort to do more interesting stuff with the children, to stop shouting as much and to just have fun. Especially because my son has to write "News" and I once noticed that he often writes the same thing week in week out. My daughter tells everybody everything and most often it's lies. She tells her friends that I bake, paint, make her clothes and never tell her off. Well, no need to tell her friends the truth, but I suppose I could make the fiction a bit more fact.

So hence my epiphany. If I can just get off this sofa and do stuff with them then my son won't always write "Watched TV, played Angry Birds" and my daughter won't have to lie.

But it's all very well having an epiphany. It's the afterwards that is really really hard. Because you actually have to do something about it and I'm forgetting what kind of a lazy arse person I am. Parental guilt only really lasts about a day before you think "Oh feck it" and slip back into your old ways.

It's been going okay though. I've been reading to them and I've only thrown the book across the room twice. I've been playing shops. My Psycho Mum voice has been filed away for the time being. Hell, we even went to the park.

It's not making Big Ben, but it's something.

Dead Sperm Walking by A Dad (Guest Post)

Why did I want to guest blog this? Well after a chat briefly on twitter I said I would blog about this subject, yet I don't want to constantly blog and so I offered to guest blog this. A once in a life time blog. So that women knew and men don't fear the subject.

The subject..... The Snip.
Yes that's right. You heard me, I said - THE SNIP.

So background information first. Due to my mum having congenital dislocation of the hip, she was advised not to have any children as the doctors weren't sure if she could cope with the physical demands of labour itself. However - she did cos I am the end result! Some time after giving birth, she was advised to be sterilised on medical grounds. My dad disagreed and said he would be instead. So for me the whole concept of the snip is not an alien one. I understood the reasons why I hadn't got any brothers or sisters and what my dad went through (bus, train, taxi, op, taxi, train, bus all in one day).

Fast forward a few years and I am married and our second child has been born. I raise the subject - watch the wife squirm, I drop the subject. I raise the subject again sometime later - watch the wife squirm, I drop the subject. I raise the subject - the wife looks back at me and thinks. We chat about it. We run through the reasons why, we discuss some more and rather bizarrely it's me saying "Lets do it" and she's saying "err I'm not so sure" Anyway we agree after a few more months that I will indeed go for the snip. We have two kids and we don't want more. Now whilst I cannot predict the future, I cannot see the future changing for me in my life and so I go and see my GP.

It's a good job I had had a shower before hand as rather unexpectedly I was standing with my trousers down by my ankles and the GP giving my scrotum a quick once over. OK, that wasn't pleasant...but I suppose he was checking for any cancerous lumps etc..and not some cheap thrill. So sat back down in the chair he started quizzing me about my reasons why. I told them. He asked if we had discussed coils and implants, we had. He was about to go on when I dropped the clincher about my dad having had it. Well he agreed almost on the spot, any concerns about me being 32 seemed to vanish and he promised he would write to the clinic and get me booked in.

A few weeks pass and I get the letter confirming where and when.. The Marie Stopes clinic in a NHS hospital on a Friday in the month of November. D-day (or was it snip day) was fast approaching. I had told my mates and work colleagues, the majority had all said they felt I was too young at 32 to have the snip. They tried to persuade me to not have it, but my mind was made up.

A somewhat cold, grey chilly November Friday and I find myself in a room with 5 other nervous looking men and their somewhat smiling partners. And my smiling wife and kids. Men shifting in their seats looking apprehensive and some idiot turns up with their kids, just to make it all worse for everyone there.

Men being men, a brief raise of the head and a nod and an "alright" is exchanged. Nothing needs saying, we all know why we are here. There is an air of unease hanging over the place. We all suddenly have an idea of what the condemned man felt. The women, however, chatted a little. making comments bout "how normally he's so chatty and I can't shut him up, now I barely get two words out of him".

One by one we are called into another room and the process is explained to us. We are told what happens afterwards and what we need to do and how to make life a little more comfortable after the operation. I left my chat with the very professional woman and sat down, I looked at my wife and said, "last chance to change your mind, in 5 minutes there will be no going back" She said she was happy and gathered the kids and all our bits and would return in a period of time later after I had had it done.

My name is called, one bloke looks at me and says "Good luck", I smile and walk towards the operating theatre. I am asked if I have my tight fitting underwear with me - already on is the nervous reply. (No not Y-fronts, I have a purple pair of Bjorn Borg's own brand snug fitting "things" - for record I usually wear non-descript boxers and for once I am fashionable). The smell hits me first, burnt protein. Hmmmm..... this isn't good. Though I am glad I am number 4.. not number 17 (17!!!!! 17 snips in one day).

Then panic, WTF...a female doctor is performing the operation. Cue momentary panic...Look at crotch, please don't do anything...Please don't have that mind of your own. Be scared...but not too scared - family honour and all that. (YES I know, men obsessed with size...but look it's male pride here....just deal with it and move on - forget man-flu (I get colds thanks for asking) this is like a whole new league of self doubt and panic and OMFG..).

So with trousers and (new fashionable) Bjorn Borg sloggi things down by my ankles I get onto the operating table and lie down. "Something" is moved to one side (BE GOOD you git....) and a green sheet with a hole in the middle is laid over the top. Cold gel is squirted over the area to clean the area before operation. Farge that's cold.... The woman assisting is there to chat and take your mind of things. Kinda surreal really, talking about the weather and your job whilst a surgeon is about to stop your baby making capabilities for ever (well 1 in 5000 may end up with a "later on in life" pregnancy).

The Doc utters those immortal words that anyone who hates needles shudders at the mere thought of (and I'm one of them) "Just a slight scratch".... "Lying cow" I think... Needles in my arm .... I don't like.. Needle in my scrotum - mmmmmmmmmmmm noooooooo

"Don't you like needles" asks the surreal nurse.
"No.." I whimper.

Then Doc gets her machine to burn a hole in my scrotum. (Readers I can assure you it didn't hurt, but the smell wasn't pleasant). She roots about a bit. Finds the correct tube and "Beeeeep" ... as MC Hammer didn't say "It's burn time " the machine does its thing. Another slight scratch, a bit more rooting about..only she didn't leave it as long this time, the anaesthetic hasn't had time to properly work and I can feel a dull throb coming from my's not a pleasant pain...Machine goes "beeep" .. cue more burning and it's all done. A wad of gauze is pressed against the area. I get up, dress and walk out.

A welcome cup of coffee and biscuits are in the waiting room. Some chat with the bloke who had had his done before me and I spy a packet of biscuits...Oddly there are loads of a particular type. I don't want one and try to find the custard creams. Which funny fecker put ginger nuts in that box.......

Wife arrives looking cheery. Kids scoffing cakes and I'm allowed to leave. Clutching my take home bag. we get to the car. I plead for her to take it easy, having already spied the speed humps on the way out after the car park. She "forgets" and we hit the speed hum at normal speed... "Do you mind" (well the kids were in the back).. She giggles...and we hit the next one at the same speed... "OW" .. "Sorry" she giggles.. The third and forth are approached in the same manner.
"Stop the car"


Why...she asks why... COS IT BLOODY HURTS!... She says "sorry she had forgotten!!!!" (how can you forget...FFS) And as for the big roundabout........... OWWWWWWW

So home, a cushion needed for when the kids want to jump on my lap and I read through the literature in the bag. You get some leaflets, condoms and two addressed stamped envelopes and two sample bottles. Yup, two samples at weeks 12 and 14 are to be sent away to check you're "clear". Well..forms a plan... as soon as I feel ready.. I am going to make sure that there ain't no swimmers left in my tubes. Samples sent away and results checked.... Good lad, all clear....BUT you have to wait for the piece of paper from the clinic, if you don't and you have sex and Mrs gets pregnant they take no responsibility....after you receive said letter they take full responsibility.

Letter arrives...All good...

My dad had a tie, not sure where it's got to when we cleared his things after he died. Wish I had kept it. It had the male symbol sitting on top of the female symbol and three letters underneath... I.F.B.



You may may think we are may think I was too young, you may think that a man isn't a man if he has no swimmers....that's fine.

Only 1 in 10 men go for sterilisation. We don't talk about it openly. Yet if the subject arises (ahem) a knowing smile and "ahhh you're in our club now" look passes and nothing else needs to be do sorta feel a bit exclusive...Well I say we don't talk about it openly...I just have.

Hello my name is Mr X and IFB

Sorry all previous comments deleted. We had to remove and repost this blog as the author decided to change to anonymous.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

A Few Reasons Why I Am Not Nominated For Mum Of The Year

I'm nearly 43 and nothing has ever baffled me as much as this parenting thing. There is not a manual out there that can answer ANY of my questions. Quite often I say out loud "So how am I supposed to parent this?" - especially on those days when there's a toilet roll shoved down the loo and my daughter has cried six trillion times. I'm in my forties and I wish I could say that I've never felt better, but my memory isn't that sharp anymore. I am old and tired. I often wonder if I should have had children when I was much younger so I'd be better at blagging it. I know we all make slips but I'm starting to think I am making BIG mistakes. But you know what, I'm in a good place at the moment. People have even commented on how calm I am, which kinda freaks me out because I must have been demented before. And at least I've got some money saved up for my kid's future therapy. Anyway, looking back on my time parenting in my forties I can see a number of reasons why I have not yet been nominated for Mum Of The Year.

Reason One: My kids sometimes don't love me and sometimes I don't love my kids
Here's a conversation -
Child: "I don't love you when you're angry with me."
Me: "Oh well, nevermind."
Also, on those days when they've been arguing, fighting, whining, crying and generally revolting, I can pretty much say I don't love them.

Reason Two: Accusing my daughter of faking an injury and ignoring her
Because she constantly cries about every bump and bang even when nothing's happened. This morning, for example, I counted 27 new things wrong with her. And what made it worse was that she got wind her brother was seeing the doctor so she made up another 8 ailments.
Yesterday we went to the woods for 90 minutes - 60 minutes of which she spent crying because she'd hurt her knee on a leaf.

Reason Three: I let my toddler do what the feck he wants
Because it's easier. I break all the Rules Of Parenting with him. I don't discipline him that often and sometimes he plays with a hammer. If he wants crisps for breakfast, he gets them - because at 7.30 in the fecking morning with three kids to get to school, I don't want to be force feeding him cornflakes.

Reason Four: My kids don't believe me when I'm nice to them
Maybe because I fake smile so often. Or because I'm really good at saying "That's a lovely story, darling" when really I'm reading Twitter.
Or when I say "You've been really good", they tend to ask "Who are you talking to?".

But you know what - I tried it once, being a really Great Mum, doing everything by the book. It was a couple of months after I'd had my toddler. I did loads of home cooking, played games, did crafts and never raised my voice. I was actually fun to be around. However nobody noticed or even cared and my husband thought I was having a breakdown.

Maybe I'll be nominated in my fifties. Then again, maybe not.

This is an old blog revamped in case you recognise it - but I doubt that. I wrote it back when nobody read my blog except me. And my dog.

Friday 6 April 2012

Seven Days Of Special Love

So. It all started a few weeks ago when I wrote my Rules Of The Special Love post, followed by Spencer's guest blog and then a conversation with a friend. I have realised that some women HAVE SEX. Yes - they are AT IT. These women are married, have children, have jobs, in fact they have probably more on their plates than I do and yet they still have time to trim their lady carpets and shag their partners. This is the conversation with my mate:
Me: "Oh my god, on the blog a couple of people have commented that they still have loads of sex even though they've got, like, a child."
My Friend: "What do you mean? We do it at least three times a week."
She has FIVE CHILDREN. Five of the feckers! And yet she's sexing like I was in 1999.
So these bi-atches have given me food for thought. Got my love juices a-flowing. Because, well, I can bloody do this. I can be one of those women that don't even lie about their sex life because I'm going to be the best of them all! I'm going to get me SOME SEX! Ten years of marriage, three children later and I can still GET ME SOME BOOT-AH!
So this is what I decided to do. For seven days I have been determined to have sex EVERY GODDAMN NIGHT with my husband. I have been wanting to prove that there can be sex after children. That after childbirth, the 'in' door that has become an 'out' door can once again be an 'in' door. That I can have a red hot sex life without trying to get something out of it, like that dress in Monsoon (by the way, in case he's reading). And I kept a little diary, because what's actually the whole point if I can't SHARE:

SATURDAY: We have friends over. I eat three times my body weight in Chinese food. My tummy gets all funny and the bedroom gets a bit smelly. My husband mysteriously doesn't feel like it.
SUNDAY: You've got to have Sunday Morning Special Love. It's like THE LAW. In between the kids running in and out of the room we somehow manage it. It's not the Kama Sutra but it's a quickie.
MONDAY: I've bought book 2 of The Hunger Games trilogy which I'm, like, obsessed with. But my husband thinks he'll try a bit of tantric. Twenty minutes in and I'm ready to suggest he hops on doggy style so I can carry on reading.
TUESDAY: Husband comes home in a bad mood, complaining of a headache. Hey! Wait a minute...
WEDNESDAY: We have a successful takeoff and almost landing. Just as things are, errr, coming to, errr, a head, the toddler shouts "Mummy I need youuuuuu", giving an alternative meaning to the phrase "Yes Mummy's coming!!!!".
THURSDAY: I show my husband the 'come to bed' eyes to which he responds "Why are you being weird?". Mission Impossible 3 comes on the telly which he has only seen 482 times so he watches that and I go to bed.
FRIDAY: We are determined. Even though I have fifteen minutes before I meet my mate, the kids are safely downstairs watching telly so we seize the moment. Now we're very sensitive to the sound of a child on the stairs. But what we're not trained for is the sound of a child creeping up the stairs. Our kids don't do quiet. We're in the middle of a successful missionary when in bursts the 8 yr old. My husband stops, drops and rolls. "Daddy! You've got your bum in the air!" laughs our son. "Yes," says Daddy, "It was itchy so Mummy was scratching it for me."

I don't know what my little experiment has proved. It's shown that you can occasionally have decent sex after children but it requires focus, intentionality and planning. There are 300 things that impact me being in the mood for sex and lack of spontaneity is number 56. I'm hoping that by at least trying I've got a bit of my sex life back from the Maternity Ward. So go try it yourself. If it doesn't make you sexy, at least it'll make you laugh.

A Person Who May Have Had Sex After Children