World poetry day

I love writing. I always have. Creative writing was always my favourite thing to do at school when I was very young and as I’ve aged I’ve stuck more with poetry. Short stories are great when you are a child or teenager but as you grow older I feel like great novels are expected and I’ve never had the time or brain capacity to write a novel of 200 odd pages or more. I’ve attempted it but the creativity gets lost somewhere and I end up feeling like I’m writing words for the sake of it. Poetry on the other hand is something I absolutely love. Rhyming poems are my speciality. I love writing them for people, about people, but ultimately I love writing them to express how I feel and how I view the world. It’s the simplest way to express it. I love the challenge of finding words that rhyme but that actually bring something positive to the poem and not just because they rhyme. 

People have often said I write a lot differently to how I talk. I’m pretty common when I talk. Cassettes recorded of me when I was younger make me sound like an extra from Oliver Twist. But when I write I even speak different in my head. My posh voice comes on and I love using descriptive words. Unlike in the spoken world where I tend to use the same old slang. My writing voice used to be American but as I’ve grown older it’s now a more well spoken British accent. And no I’m not schizophrenic but everyone has a voice for their thoughts….don’t they? (Nervously laughs). 

So to cut a long story short, pun intended, I thought today, as it’s World Poetry Day, it would be extremely appropriate to share with you just one of my many poems. One of the many which I hope to collate into a book. This is a poem I wrote just under 4 years ago when I was pondering the meaning of life and the possibility that our lives may be dictated by fate. 
If there is, there was

And if there isn’t, there will be

If you seek to find, you never do

If you quietly desire, luck finds you

Reluctantly we make our choices

And place our trust in what they’ll bring

Some of us will lose, some of us will win

There seems to be no pattern, no rules or reason why,

But this is all that we can do, until the day we die. 

Go shorty, it’s ya birthday

  
I’m a big believer and supporter of birthdays. None of this “it’s just another year, it’s not a special one” crap. Every birthday to me is a celebration that you made it another year. Life is short, precious and valuable and not something everyone is lucky to have. So to not give your day of birth it’s due by celebrating this momentous occasion is kind of a slap in the face to ya poor mum who put all the effort into getting you into this crazy world. 

Not only that, but for this one day a year you are pretty much a prince or princess and should be treated as one. Drinks made and bought for you, everyone must be kind to you, kisses and cuddles are a must.  It’s not about the material things. Cards and presents are lovely and hugely appreciated but must not be expected as not everyone’s circumstance allows them to congratulate you on your prince/princess status. Having said that, it truly is the thought that counts so it’s an opportunity for those around you to wish you well be it by post, text, telephone, email or in person. These wishes are taken on board and swallowed wholeheartedly like little love pills. For just one day you know people truly care and go to any length to show it. 

As I’ve got older this feeling has never faded and I will continually promote the celebration of a person’s birthday to anyone that doesn’t feel themselves worthy of such a day. 

There will be years when some celebrations are smaller than others. Some years I have had big parties and days out. This year, my second as a mum to a now one year old, I am happy with a lie in, a rendition of happy birthday from said one year old, and a day spent with my family doing things that my son will enjoy as much as me. I take as much pleasure from seeing him happy, as I do from doing activities that would have got me excited in previous years. 

Overall I use this day to love and appreciate myself and all I have. And to openly, willingly and thankfully accept love and appreciation from those around me. Age is just a number and as long as you have or are working towards achieving the things you would have expected to by this age, then I think you should enjoy this day for what it is. A celebration of you. 

Love and hugs to you all. Mmmmmmwah X 

Sumo nappy to the rescue

 To say my first year as a mum was a whirlwind is like saying a hurricane is a bit breezy. It was a year that changed our lives! I’m under no illusions that this is not something unique that we experienced and I know many couples experience worse but I like to share my own honest story as I know when it comes to talking about a lot of things in life, we all like to play the hero in our recollection of what happened and a lot of sugar coating goes on. I’m still not sure why people do this, but as a self confessed sugar addict I can’t be wasting that shit on my stories. I tell it exactly like it is. Whether you want to hear about it or not. 

We won’t talk about my pregnancy! That’s a story in its own right. We’ll begin at that rather fantastic, blurry life changing day my waters broke. There was no expected pop, no warning in fact.  Having been virtually housebound for the previous six days, due to discomfort, by that evening I was scratching at the walls to get out of the house for five minutes. Having been assured by the staff at my local supermarket that if your waters break instore that you will be congratulated with a gift voucher or a years supply of nappies, I thought this was a great place to venture out to in an effort to remain sane and get me out of the confines of our house. Somewhere I’d been too uncomfortable, and being 6 days overdue, partially too scared to leave. 

So I waddle out to the porch and bend down to get my shoes and suddenly I realise water is just gushing out between my legs. I shout for my hubbie to get a bowl that I can stand over, but my first thought was to just get to a toilet. Having only an upstairs bathroom, my first thought was “oh no we’ve just had a brand new stair carpet laid”. I asked hubbie to grab me a towel could roll into a sumo style super nappy to allow me to get up the stairs to the loo and not damage the carpet. Priorities and all that! And as I sat down on the loo and dialled the midwife it annoyingly and rather disappointingly dawned on me that I was five minutes away from a years supply of nappies! 

Perspective

  
 So perspective is something we are all capable of but are often too busy to take on board. We live in a society today with so much opportunity. Most things are so available. I feel like a lot of us have lost the ability to not only appreciate what we have but to also put it into perspective. We moan about feeling cold and needing to crank the central heating up, without much thought for people who can’t afford their heating bills or who don’t have a roof over their head altogether. We complain about having to wait in line at the supermarket without fully appreciating how lucky we are to be able to buy food when there are people who have to work until they bleed to enable them to grow food and collect water all whilst they are weak from starvation. We don’t appreciate the time we have today to spend with those we love. With our faces glued to some form of technology. A generation growing without the ability to maintain eye contact. And before you know it those we love are gone and the moment with it too. 

So I suppose the point I am trying to convey is that no matter how hard or how awful you think your situation is, take a step back and shine the big ol’ torch of perspective on it. It won’t make your problems and worries go away. But it should give you a sense of gratitude and in doing so your problem should disappear into significance and transform into a realisation of how fortunate you truly are. 

And with that realisation, you can really start to live. You don’t have to go mad and start doing skydives and swimming with sharks. You just need to start fulfilling the ideas and dreams on your own list of life’s expectations. No matter how small or silly you think they mean to others. If it matters to you then it’s worth doing. One of the biggest and most pointless and damaging of human emotions is regret. To live with regret is such a wasteful use of your time and although some circumstances are out of our control, it mustn’t stop you from trying to live out that wish list to your utmost of capabilities. Live for the moment, not everything needs to be captured on film, take a mental picture and enjoy what is happening all around you. Overall show your love for those you care about. Life is short no matter what age you leave this earth. Appreciate it, put it into perspective. We are just a dot on the universe. Some arguments and problems really aren’t that big of a deal in comparison. 

Much love. 

Bringing up baby : Unwelcome advice

We’ve all experienced unwelcome advice at some point in our lives. It’s only when I really sit and think about it, I realise we are surrounded by apparent ‘ experts’ in every subject.  And these experts love nothing more than sharing their unwelcome, expert advice.

Having became a Mum to gorgeous George, I have increasingly felt under pressure from almost everyone around me to be the type of mum they think I should be or to mould George to be like the other babies or like their babies were.
When I think about it though, this is nothing new! People have forced their unwelcome advice on me all my life! Any big event in my life, be it getting a job, buying a car, buying a house or planning our wedding, there they were, the orderly queue of advice givers, opinion makers and critiques. Many well-meaning, many not having a clue what they were talking about but liking to think they did. Many advising you on what you should do because that’s what they did, completely irrespective of whether that’s what will be good for me or not. Despite the fact when they last did what I was trying to do it was ten, twenty, fifty years ago! And some I sadly suspect were ill advising me as they didn’t want me to succeed at pulling off something they themselves couldn’t, wouldn’t, or hadn’t.

Now the good soul that I am, and not wishing to offend anyone, I’ve always taken each and every person’s advice on board. Added a pinch of salt to some, a splash of cynicism to others and just let some fly right over my head without so much as a thought. Because I knew how unsuited the advice was for me.

unwelcome advice

The problem is that each of these past life events were in the planning stage, then they happened, then there were over. I got a job, I bought a car, a house and we got married. But with George it’s different. George is an ongoing event. Not including milestones, George will always be a work in progress which I love. He can be anything he wants and develop at his own pace.

But what plays on my mind and makes my heart sink is that the advice giving and opinion making will never end. And as much as I feel confident now that I know I’m doing the best I can with George, I can’t help feeling guilty that I should be doing something else because that’s how so and so did it or that’s what so and so’s child does so why doesn’t George. I hear myself continuously and repetitively justifying the decisions I’ve made with George.
It’s a mentally exhausting battle. Like sifting through a large bag of slightly unwelcome fan mail sorting them into three piles of “ignore completely”, “take pieces and discard the rest” and finally “take wholeheartedly on board” wondering why I hadn’t thought of that myself.

unwelcome advice

So next time you are telling somebody all about what you did with yours, or giving your unwelcome advice that really wasn’t asked for, please realise that person is potentially going to think about your words for a lot longer than you did before you opened your mouth to say them.

Until next time……..

This was written when George was 16 months old (he’s now 27 months). At that point I was experiencing, its safe to say, undiagnosed postnatal depression. I over thought everything and had little confidence in my parenting abilities. I really now that I have always been an amazing mother to George and this unwelcome advice was really not helping the way I felt. I’m glad I spoke out about how I felt and with the help of family, friends and medical professionals, became myself again. If you are feeling emotionally unable to cope with life at any point, talk to the right people about the right stuff and help can be found. Love and strength. x 

The legend that was….

Now I’m in no way going to claim to be David Bowie’s biggest fan. Very far from it. But he was one of those people that I considered, as I’m sure many others do, to be an absolute iconic legend. 

I woke up and did my usual check in of the most recent events via Facebook. I suddenly scrolled down and saw a status saying “RIP star man”. My mind just didn’t register. Desperately eager to find out who had died I began frantically scrolling down the page to see more statuses but this time I saw it “RIP Bowie”. Having not realised he was unwell and in complete shock and disbelief, I clicked on the nearest reputable news page (just to be sure it wasn’t some sick hoax) and discovered to my absolute devastation that David Bowie had died after suffering with a battle with cancer. Suddenly the tears were rolling down my face. But I wasn’t his relative! I can probably only name a handful of his songs despite having his platinum collection. And then it dawned upon me. He was in that category. An absolute music legend in my opinion and I’m sure millions of others. Right up there on my icons list with Elvis, Dean Martin, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and the one and only Freddie Mercury. Legends that I should have been around for during their peak. Legends that were on my “I wish I could have gone to see”. And in my mind Bowie was still capable of a concert. The opportunity was still there! And this morning to know it had been taken away was what hurt the most. To know that the songs we have from Bowie are all the songs we will ever have now. To have to say, “he was amazingrather than “he is“. 

I can’t tell you what got me interested in the music of Bowie but I’m an 80’s baby so I was brought up on the weird but wonderful Labrinth. Recently there have been rumours on Facebook of a sequel with the original cast, including Bowie. Another dream which will sadly not come true. 

Five years ago we all went to Butlins for a 70’s weekend at Butlins. I remember being so excited that one of the evening entertainment acts was a Bowie tribute act. When the night came I made sure I rushed to front and stood there screaming and jumping around. Part of me having lost sight of the fact this wasn’t even the real Bowie. That’s when I knew how much he meant to me.  

All of this may sound rather selfish but why do we mourn people if it’s not for the loss of their brilliance which we shall no longer be able to witness. At least in the case of Bowie he can live on through his music which I will ensure my son, currently one years old, will grow up listening too along with Elvis and the rest of them. Ensuring that the legends live on. 

And as I sit watching and listening to MTV’s tribute day to Bowie I realise I know a lot more of his songs than a handful. Definately enough to call myself a fan. 

My thoughts and sympathies are with his son and his family. How utterly distraught they must be to lose such an incredible man from their lives. 

RIP Bowie. 

How not to heat up milk

As I write this post on how not to heat up milk, I can’t help thinking of a quote from the 1969 film The Italian Job in which Michael Caine famously declared;

“You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”

So I’m known to be lacking in a certain amount of common sense, something I’ve written about here.

http://www.gorgeousgeorgesmama.co.uk/common-as-sense/

Please do not confuse this with intelligence. Although I wouldn’t go as far to say that I’m intelligent I’m happy to state that I’m certainly clever. Now this common sense deficiency has provided me with many a comical tale to tell and seems to provide much amusement to those who witness it first hand.

My latest misadventure involved a baby’s bottle and a microwave. Some mums would blame it on sleep deprivation, the incurable baby brain, or just pure distraction. I’m happy to admit that I just don’t have enough common sense to anticipate the unfortunate result of my actions.

Having recently weaned George onto bottled cow’s milk, I were finding he was waking for a bottle a few hours after I went to bed. I was venturing downstairs to warm the bottle for him and then he would quickly drink this and go back to sleep. The same could not be said for me, who then proceeded to spend the next few hours laying wide awake. The solution, suggested by my mum,  was to warm the milk until it was too hot to drink just before going to bed and placing it in a thermal bag. By the time George woke, the milk was just at the right temperature, and right by the bed so I didn’t wake up too much and everyone slept happily.

I have always chosen to heat his milk in the microwave as although advice suggests not too in case of hot spots, I ensure I shake the bottle thoroughly to distribute the heat and test it before giving it to George. It’s a method that’s always worked and as we’ve only ever heated the milk for 30-50 seconds it’s always heated gently with the bottle fully assembled. To make the milk hot enough to take to bed and cool, I found 2 minutes was the perfect amount of time to spend heating it through.

On the first night of “operation more sleep”,with the bottle fully assembled, I placed it in the microwave for a minute and a half. I tested it and decided it could do with being a bit hotter so put it on for a further 30 seconds which brought it to a nice hot temperature but when George woke a few hours later and I tested it it was cool enough for him to drink but not so cold he wouldn’t like it.

On night 2, I followed the same process but this time I placed the fully assembled bottle in the microwave and set it for 2 minutes. Chatting away to hubby in the living room , checking he’d done all the locking up and turning off we both were suddenly interrupted by an almighty bang. I ran into the kitchen just in time to find the microwave door being blown open by the force, milk flying up in the air and spilling out onto the work surface and a great big hole in the side of the bottle. With only three seconds to spare on the timer. It was only then my hindsight voice kicked in. “Oh! I probably should’ve left the lid off, too much pressure”.

After settling the cats and hubbies nerves I explained what I had done. Much to his exasperation. After all the action of the milk explosion we were both full of adrenaline and then spent the next hour both wide awake.

Until next time…

Mummuddlingthrough

A look inside my crazy mind

My brain is literally always on thought overload and I find blogging a great way to download some of those thoughts. After all, it’s selfish not to share! Here’s a look inside my crazy mind.

Do you ever have those moments where your thoughts go into overdrive? Not because you have a lot on your mind or you are stressed or under pressure. Just random thoughts that come all at once. Like a Duracell bunny on speed on a 100mph motorbike whizzing around your mind thinking about everything and anything.

No idea what I’m talking about? Let me paint you a picture. Myself and hubs are walking around central London, when I asked him what he was thinking. “Nothing” he replies. Nothing!!! So I explain to him EXACTLY what I’m thinking.

A running commentary of my thoughts if you will, for just a few moments as we walk down the busy London street through the lunchtime rush on a weekday.

And as Run DMC would say, now it goes a lil something like this…..

“Oooh I love that woman’s outfit, she’s bang on trend but she doesn’t look like she’s tried too hard, what the….what the fuck is that girl wearing! Why is everyone is such a rush?! How do people relax here!? Oooh look at those boulders,that’s a nice sculpture. Wooooow that building looks pretty impressive, I love the way the architecture differs so much down here. Oh god a homeless man, shall I talk to him? Why is he homeless? When did he last eat? Is he really homeless? Why is he holding a saying saying he had no food? Do the coffee shops here not have those honorary sandwiches and coffees that people have paid for? Why isn’t he getting one of those? Why are the pavements changing so much? They’re made of so many different things it’s disorientating.”

After blurting this out to hubs at the same speed it entered my mind, I expected him to run scared in the other direction. Thankfully he didn’t and we are still happily married.

It has left me questioning however if my thoughts and mind are somewhat unique or if there are other perfectly sane individuals out there with the same over active thoughts. Keeping them silently entertained each day. We know hubs mind is full of…nothing?! How does your mind operate?

overthinking, crazy, thought overload, crazy mind

Until next time……

Full time mummy vs stay at home mummy(SAHM)!

SAHM
Having just resigned from my job/career/life in the world of pharmacy to become a stay at home mummy I have been presented with a glaringly obvious faux pas of the present day.

Whilst informing my fellow colleagues and acquaintances of my decision to resign I was met with the same initial question.

“Oh really what are you going to do?”

Knowing that I was quitting to enable me to be at home with our one year old son, my response was “oh I’m going to be a full time mummy for a bit”. A full time mummy? This is by no means a phrase I coined myself.

It’s one of those terms I’ve heard bandied about by mummies of the world. Still relatively new to the world of parenthood, (yes I know I’m one year in but there always something to learn so I’ll always be new to it) I just used this familiar term lightly. Now, I have been known to be rather good at theoretically picking things to pieces. My less fonder fans would say pedantic, the more favourable of my personality describe me as thorough. That said I am feeling rather inclined to pick the term full time mummy apart, stitch by stitch.

Are we suggesting that women that go out to work are not full time mummies? Had you said this to me when I was working it would have been enough of an insult to send my hormones into the rage zone. Having completed my favourite pastime of googling this topic I found that there is a common divide. Between those who find the term insulting and then those who find the term irritating. As a result, it’s a term that not only will I no longer use. But I will avidly correct and discuss with anyone who uses it in future. In the meantime my brain will slowly dissect the term “stay at home mummy” in an effort to look for an alternative. I don’t want people to think I don’t leave the house.☺️

Until next time…..

A belly full of nothing but a heart full of warmth. 

 A belly full of nothing, but a heart full of warmth I feel quite aptly describes how I felt returning to work after having George. The feeling most mums feel when they return to work can vary. For me it didn’t feel right. It went against my instincts and literally speaking I felt empty.

love, sleeping, warmth, adore, motherhood
First full day back at work and the feeling in my belly is like emptiness. It doesn’t matter how much I’ve eaten or drank today, the emptiness is still there. And it’s not an emptiness I can fill because what I’m missing is my little boy. Not only is it my first full day back at work, it’s also his first long day at nursery. We have done settle in days of two to three hours at different times of the day but today is the full shebang. And no matter how much I know it’s good for him and it will help mould him into a better person and prepare him for his life ahead at school blah blah blah, none of that fills the empty gap inside me. The gap that is usually dancing around, singing a variety of nursery rhymes and pulling silly faces, with a gorgeous little man, his own unique smell, tugging at my leg and demanding what he wants in his own little way.

ball pit, funny, love
My method at the start of the day was to pretend that me and this little man hadn’t become a part of each other’s lives, because the less I thought about him, the easier and more pain free it was. But as the reality sunk in that I couldn’t eat and go out for walks when I wanted as I was now restricted to this structured day, then suddenly this little man popped back into my head. And I found myself dialing the nursery to check up on him. Something which I justified by the fact that I always call to check if my cats are ok in the cattery on holiday so why would I not call to check my baby is ok in nursery!?
Hearing that he had been crying intermittently but was now napping was reassuring for me but my mind was now on him. I couldn’t concentrate fully. My imagination was playing ball and reading stories and blowing bubbles. Yet here I was in an office catching up on the last years standard operating procedure updates and getting my qualifications back up to par. But as all my fellow mummies had reassured me, i did survive the day, I even managed to get through my new three day week without shedding a tear. My gorgeous man presented me with his first painting and a hug with lots of kisses.


I am yet to be convinced that I need this apparently fabulous thing they call “mummy time”. Unless i am misunderstanding, my perfect “mummy time” would be time spent being a mummy.

Until next time……

Life through the overactive imagination of one ordinary girl turned mummy.