‘I will not be defeated by a bad man and an American stick insect…’

I love this line from Bridget Jones Diary – her attitude towards a total kick in the teeth is what is inspiring me this evening. I am down but I am no way out. My problem is not man related like Bridget’s. Mr Pud is such a good egg, I am a lucky girl. But as Bridget also says

 

This is the final straw, the one that has broken this Mama’s back. It is time to stop being a victim. Time to stand up and flick a V sign. I am sick and tired of being kicked like a puppy. I am not a puppy, I am a bloody lioness.

Yes today was; as is so eloquently put by Rachel in Friends:

You see today was the culmination of everything I have worked towards being stuck in a blender. Never have I been more demoralised. I can’t give you the details here – I wish I could. Just know that at this point I have to believe that everything happens for a reason.

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I am standing up and saying STOP. No more meek acceptance of things that are fundamentally wrong. A life that is damaging my family. To hell with this.

A monster was created today. Granted she is a wounded, slightly beat up monster, but that is what makes her more dangerous. A flicker of burning passion, currently fuelled by a cold hard rage is coursing through my veins. This time I won’t be put off, this time I will strive to achieve my potential.

In a time of rising discontent in so many. In a world where racists and fascists are starting to impact on our very civilisation I can no longer sit back and let the injustices lie. If I can’t fight for myself, how can I fight for my children and for those who are unable to fight for themselves.

This Mama bear has a plan, a goal and by hook or by crook this time I will succeed. Even if I do need to channel my inner Bridget Jones!

Graduating into The World of The Grown-ups

It’s a strange thing when you realise unexpectedly that you have entered the realm of the ‘grown-ups’. Most people think this automatically happens when you turn 21.  For me personally all that happened when I turned 21 was the amount of alcohol consumed went up and the scrapes I got myself into required a lot more getting out of! But as I looked across the table at my school friends the other night I suddenly realised that we were in fact now adults.

This is truly cemented now that we have 6 children between us (Poor Pie is the only boy, Least he has the pick of the ladies). But I don’t quite know when this happened. We are all married and have been for 5 years or more, I don’t remember thinking wow we are all big girls now we have husbands. We still had those boozy weekends away and fell back into our teenage ways. Then the pregnancy announcements started, which to be honest curtailed the booze (hopefully only temporary). Once the first of the little people arrived it was out with shopping trips and in with nappy changes and nipple cream.

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It was great to have my closest girlfriends going through stuff together, it made that journey into motherhood much easier. I think the real shift into adulthood came one Xmas eve. Usually a drunken affair with some very silly games, this was replaced by soft drinks and quiet(ish) conversation. Where had those raucous twenty-somethings gone? I would like to say it’s because we were all so happy and contented we know longer needed to prove we were the loudest voice in the room. In all honesty I think it had more to do with the fact that we were all shattered and wanted to be at our best for the kids next morning! And there it is the reason why we went from living it up to the Mumsketeers. You can’t get shit faced until 3am and function with a baby and a toddler the next day.

stokpic / Pixabay

It’s not that having a baby makes you a boring person. It’s just that your priorities change. You wake up one morning and realise you are no longer at university, but that these small people depend on you. The late nights are gone. The responsibilities are bearing down on you. Without realising it you stray into the land of the grown-ups and once you are in there you understand that it’s not so bad. So long as you have your friends and you smuggled in a bottle of gin.

Reviewing Hug-in-a-Box: Promoting Mental Health

If you haven’t heard of Hug-in-a-Box then you are missing out. These wonderful boxes were launched by Mind Matters earlier this year. The principle idea behind them is that you can send them to a friend or loved one to give them a theoretical hug so that they know you are there for them.

Mind Matters have designed their box to help provide ‘perfect moments’. Those priceless moments when we all feel present and content. With this in mind they have included items such as dark chocolate which has the ability to boost the brains natural opiates. As well as chamomile tea which is extremely effective at helping with anxiety and insomnia.

The evidence behind the idea is that giving or receiving a hug can create significant physical and mental benefits. Including reducing blood pressure and reducing stress levels. Hugs also increase the level of the love hormone, oxytocin. Although a Hug-in-a-Box is only a metaphorical hug; research suggests that receiving something that shows love and attention also reaps these benefits. Sounds great right?

Well we certainly thought so! Now having been fighting my own PND for the last few months I thought this was an ideal product for me. However, poor Mr Pud has been on endless night shifts this month. So I very kindly offered the box to him. I mean if anyone deserves a hug its Mr Pud. He was pretty excited when I handed it to him.

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I have to say when we opened the box together I did slightly regret my decision! The box was beautifully packaged. All the items were individually wrapped in pink tissue paper, making it all the more exciting to unwrap each one.

Hug-in-a-Box

We couldn’t believe how many things were in the box! I kept diving in and handing him another one. Honestly he was like a kid at Christmas.

Hug-in-a-Box

Once we had unwrapped all the bits, he immediately scuttled off to run himself a bath to test out the bath salts. (Don’t worry I didn’t get any pictures of that) He then requested a cup of chamomile tea, his chocolate bar and his little mindfulness book to enjoy in said bath! After leaving me for an hour with the children, he emerged from the bathroom in a cloud of lavender scent and looking like a new man.

Mr Pud certainly enjoyed his Hug in a Box. It definitely helped him unwind and de-stress after a hard week. I personally think it helped him to cope with the mood crash he often has after a long stretch of night shifts.

Hug-in-a-Box appreciate that this little gesture won’t solve everyone’s’ problems. Hopefully it will provide a chance to recharge and assist with a persons coping abilities. It may become the start of a recovery for some people and every Hug-in-a-Box contains a ‘Get Support Now’ card to signpost people to a range of services.

Hug-in-a-Box

We were very impressed with the Hug-in-a-Box. If you have someone out there who could do with just a little pick me up then you can order them a Hug-in-a-Box here. Every box can include a special message from you, to ad that personal touch.

Want to know more about Hug-in-a-Box or Mind Matters you can find them on Twitter

Diary of an imperfect mum

Mum’s I Meet

In my four short years of motherhood I have spent a lot of time attending groups, coffee mornings and soft plays, I have seen all sorts of Mums, each one navigating there own way through the parenting jungle. It would appear that a Mum can fall into 6 categories – which one are you?!

Frazzled Mum

Ah this is the Mum with a slightly harrassed look on her face, usually juggling a small baby on her knee, whilst attempting to stop her threenager from lobbing his lunch all over the floor. She looks down right tired and is clearly in need of a pamper day, a hair brush and some new clothes. This poor lady has probably not looked in the mirror for two days and has no idea that she currently has baby sick down her back. Don’t judge her, we all have days like this, especially when we up the ante from one baby to two!

FreeStyling Natural Mum

 

Now this Mum is the one that you see in all the baby magazines, she has her hair loose and flowing over her shoulders, wearing a beautiful maxi dress. Her ability to calmly control all of her 7 children leaves you staring in wonderment, which turns to amazement when she informs you that she grows all her own vegetables and raises chickens. A firm believer in co-sleeping and breastfeeding she  really is the epitany of the Earth Mother, you kind of want to hate her and her perfectness but then she offers you some homemade pie!

Geek Mum

 

Everyone kind of needs a geeky-mum, you know the ones that have read every article about every baby related thing on the planet. They are a font of knowledge for baby buys, baby wearing, weaning, colic and postnatal blues. These are the mum’s that run groups and know how to get you into the best play group, nursery or school. Sometimes their know-it-allness can really get your back up but you realise that they don’t mean to be so annoying they just want to help!

Fashionista Mum

 

You will never know how these Mum’s do it – they rock up to soft play or playgroup looking like something off of Mum vogue. They are the only Mums’ who can pull off the top knot and joggers without looking like something out of Little Britain, don’t be fooled into emulating them. It’s like trying to copy the flawless model in a magazine. Their kids are always clean and impeccably dressed too, and they don’t carry a mammoth sized changing bag, they have a stylish Michael Kors draped over their arm and Prada sunglasses on their head. You could easily be fooled into thinking that this Mum is the embodiment of the ‘cool’ girls in your secondary school – but actually when you start chatting you realise like the rest of us she is just a Mum (all be it a slightly more refined model).

SuperMum

 

We would all love to be this Mum, she gets to school on time every morning with her child in the correct uniform, home made super healthy lunch and the required art project tucked under her arm. Her children have slept through the night since they were 8 weeks old and eat broccoli willingly. Some how this Mum finds the energy to attend every baby class, hold coffee mornings and help out in the playground at lunchtime – seriously SuperMum we applaud you!

MumBiz

 

You will see this Mum whizzing down the road in her beautiful suit and high heels with her face fully made up, dropping her little darling at nursery before dashing off to the office. She expresses milk in her lunch hour and is always home for bedtime. When she finally gets some time off she is the one crawling through the soft play area or chasing her kids round the farm. Don’t be fooled into thinking this Mum isn’t in need of a friend just because she looks busy, we all need a buddy to help us through!

Mothering is a tough job and we all need a little support from other Mum’s to help us through the highs and lows, a good network of friends can see you through the most difficult times. It’s tough, but get yourself out there and meet your own Mummy Tribe, we recommend one from each category 🙂

Published previously on meetothermums.com

Rhyming with Wine
Pink Pear Bear

 

 

Not Just Another Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To finish off our Easter school holidays we, that is Mummy, Pie & Pudding, arranged to meet some friends at the National Forest Adventure Farm over near Burton-on-Trent. We drove up from Birmingham and the journey was really easy, straight up the A38 and then follow the signs through a lovely little village called Tatenhill. On arrival there were car parking attendants guiding cars into the large car park, plenty of spaces and the car park is hardstanding so no mud to wade through. Considering it was Easter holidays the farm didn’t look overly busy, it was a bit of miserable, drizzly kind of a day, but we live in Brum that kind of comes as standard. I initially thought that entrance was a bit steep at £10.95 each (if you book online in advance you get 10% off) – but in all honesty once we got inside and saw all the things that were available I realised that this wasn’t actually unreasonable.

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Our friends were running a little late so I took Pie into the indoor play area and brought myself a coffee (there is always time for coffee right?) Pudding was her usual interesting self and was asleep! The indoor play area was HUGE, there were some quite scary looking vertical red slides that the bigger children were throwing themselves down, but the rest of the soft play looked great. Pie obviously thought so as he had his shoes off and was disappearing up the steps in less than 30 seconds of us arriving. I sat at the table with Pudding and a large latte (very nice and reasonable too), it took me a long time to spot Pie in the soft play and due to its size I did loose sight of him quite regularly, luckily Pie is food and drink orientated so he returned to the table regularly to steal some of my kitkat.Picture

Once our friends arrived we decided to take the boys on the Easter trail that had been set up in the woods – we weren’t entirely sure what was involved but knew that there was a tractor ride and the promise of chocolate soon had the boys on board. We queued for the tractor for around 10 minutes, thankfully a very sensible person had put the queuing system in a marquee so it wasn’t wet and cold. Once on board the tractor we were taken around the farm and up to a little wooded area, the boys loved the noisy bumpy tractor ride and Pudding slept through it (no change there). Once we got to where the trail was the boys were given a small piece of paper that they had to carry round the trail and stamp with the animal stamps – they had to get 6 stamps to show the Easter Bunny. Thankfully the trail had been covered in bark chippings, so again not too muddy, not pram friendly so I had to carry a sleeping Pud. The boys really enjoyed the trail there were a few characters to meet on the way round as well as collecting the stamps and all the characters were really enthusiastic and friendly. The Easter Bunny was right at the end of the trail – unfortunately the boys were a bit more focused on the chocolate by then! Then it was back on the tractor for a bumpy ride tot he farm, even Pudding woke up for the return journey, she did look less than impressed but their is no accounting for taste.

PictureEveryone was a bit chilly when we got back so we decided to head back to the soft play area for lunch. We ordered kids meals for all of us as at £3.95 they were good value, both the boys were a bit to excited about the soft play and neither ate that well. The food was simple but good, I have to recommend the chicken goujons, they were really tasty!

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PictureAfter lunch we wandered out to find the big animal barn (the boys spotted an amazing JCB bouncy castle too) this was just round the corner from the soft play. Outside was a big sand pit and both boys wanted to spend some time in there digging. It took us a while to drag them into see the animals but it was worth it. When you enter the animal barn there are two low walled areas that have loads of guinea pigs and rabbits in. You aren’t allowed to pick up the small animals but they are great fun to stop and watch for a while. The barn only had a small selection of animals but they were all at close quarters so that the boys could see them (they could have fed them if we had brought a food bucket) they enjoyed stroking the piglets and the goat. We had managed (by total fluke) to arrive in the barn when the lamb feeding was about to start so we grabbed a token and sat down. The lamb feeding was quite organised, the children all got a number and were called up in groups to feed a lamb, the boys really enjoyed this and the staff were brilliant with all the kids. We did talk about going round to see the outside animals but both boys wanted to drive the go karts and it had started to rain!

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Unfortunately Pie had a minor disaster at the bouncing pillows (which were great, one specifically designated for under 8s so the smaller kids don’t get ploughed), he had run off in front in his excitement and straight across what can only be described as a quagmire, which had him covered in mud right up to his knees. This signalled a major meltdown and as it was now 3.30, we decided to call it a day.

We didn’t get to do everything available at the Adventure Farm – there were lots of other things available and in the summer there are even more things going on, including the giant Maize Maze (Dinosaur themed this year!). We will definately be back later in the year as we had a great day and I do love dinosaurs….

Want to know more about the National Forest Adventure Farm? Have a look at there website http://www.adventurefarm.co.uk/

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Monkey and Mouse
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Blogging Balance – Too Much Information?

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Here at Pudding HQ we are all pretty new to the world of blogging, Twitter and all the things that come with it. The geeky part of me is enjoying getting to grips with coding and designing the website and I love the challenge of promoting the site. The realistic part of me says that this will never come to anything more than a hobby but what if it did? What if my website took off and became as famous as some of my other fellow bloggers? As amazing as this would be it would come with a huge amount of responsibility to Pudding & Pie.

The danger of overstaring information is brought into sharp context when you remember that everything you write or post online will be around forever. All that I write today will be available for my children to read when they are teenagers. How then will they feel about having their young lives described in every intimate detail? Do I want them to know about every personal struggle I had whilst raising them? I think the answer is no. I never want either Pudding or Pie to read anything I have written and to think that in that moment I didn’t like them or love them. I want them to read about our good times together or the hilarious disasters that befall our family on a regular basis and laugh. I don’t want them to feel that they spent the first few years of life irritating the hell out their mother, because in general that’s not true. I think I could easily fall into the trap of casting them as comical individuals or turning them into mini monsters, I hope that I don’t.

I chose to anonymise Pudding & Pie because I don’t want there school friends to Google them and be flooded with stories of toddlerhood and embarrassing pictures. I think about their long term futures – high flying execs? Politician or even Prime Minister? I can’t see that future employers would want to have access to their whole childhoods and nobody wants to hear about the Prime Ministers’ potty training. My job is to protect my kids but I also want to share my parenting experience and read about others, it’s a hard balance.

I already love the online mum community I have only recently been initiated into, every one gets each other and there is such a sense of ‘we are all in this together’. I just worry that I will turn into a moany mum blogger – concentrating only on my children’s failings and foibles, or that I will paint myself as a terrible mother! I want to be able to write hilarious, witty anecdotal posts without being either moany mum or rubbish mum. I think I can do it, I am certainly going to try!

Mummascribbles
Petite Pudding
Cuddle Fairy

Park Life Pudding

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oh my what a tiring afternoon! Mummy, Pie and his friends and me all went out to enjoy the lovely bank holiday weather at a great big park today. Mummy popped me in the carrier for some hands free time, yet again I had to have my bottle on the move, this is becoming a habit! Still it was OK as being close to Mummy is what I like best. I wasn’t to sure about the great outdoors to begin with as I had been napping in the car but with a full tummy there is nothing I can’t handle. Although it wasn’t great when a big piece of Mummy’s nobbly bobbly ice cream landed on my head, I wasn’t that impressed. Mind you it was quite funny when Pies’ ice cream fell out of his cone and Mummy picked it up, pulled a stick out of it and shoved it back on, he didn’t seem to be too worried. 🍦🍦

The boys were crazy, like a pack of wild dogs, running all over the park chasing each other and shouting. There was some to do about hand holding and someone calling someone else a princess (such sensitive souls these boys). I hung with the girls and tried to join in their conversation, I just ended up babbling at them as I was so over excited looking at the trees and sky. I tell you something though all that walking and fresh air wore me out completely, I ended up sleeping on the way back to the car! 😴

Pie loves the park it’s one of his favourite places to go – I think he is making a list of his top 5 reasons why the park is great. I bet it features a stick, he loves a stick does Pie. Me? Oh my favourite thing about the park is definitely being snuggled into Mummy with the sun on my face 😊