3 thoughts for a 3rd.

I have two wonderful amazing, beautiful, wonderful (insert all other Mummy/parent speak here) children.  I adore them.  Yes, they are hard work and exhausting and there are days where I wonder what planet they came from.  But all in all, life is good.

The Cyclist dropped a bombshell on me a few weeks ago.  ‘Let’s have  3rd’ he casually says during our Tikka Masala.  I nearly choked.  A third has never been on the cards.  We are just coming out the other side of baby-ville, final hurdle – potty training.

We don’t have enough bedrooms, I”m the wrong side of 30, I’ve sold everything on Ebay.  I don’t want to be fat again.

To be honest, apart from all those cliches, here are the three things that have been torturing me the past few weeks.

1. My Family.

My youngest is 3. And well, she is a little difficult.  No – she’s bloody hard work.  There are days I think I can’t cope with her.  How would SHE cope with another baby?     Would it undo all the progress she has made recently? Would she regress?

What about my eldest?  I already worry that I don’t have enough time for everybody and I fear she would suffer.

The Cyclist – well I don’t know how he puts up with me to be frank.  I’m unpredictable, I’m manic, I have obsessive tendancies.  I swear too much. I shout. He says I am a wonderful Mum.  Not sure what he thinks about me as a Wife.

2. Everybody else

So I think I am a strong person, I know my own mind.  I am a professional with a high pressure ,  difficult job.  I make life changing decisions for people all the time.  Yet here I am worrying what OTHER PEOPLE WILL THINK.  I hate myself for it.  Yet I can’t help it.  What is wrong with me?

3. Work

Well I had a rough ride in work with my first two pregnancies.  They were not exactly well received, although we have got over that now.  However, I have told work that I have completed my family and have no plans for any more children. They have made plans for my return to full time hours next year. I feel sick at the thought of telling them any different.  I know this is ridiculous.  I know it is my life.  I know this is all very irrational.  But I think – No -, I know, that this would probably damage my working relationship, potentially beyond repair.

Deep down, I think I have made my decision.  I think I would love to have the opportunity to make my family of four into a five. It won’t be easy.  It may not even happen.  I will have to plan very carefully how I do things.  But I have a husband who loves and supports me and who believes in me as a Mummy.

So, lots of if’s and buts and maybes.  But if I am not careful here, the only person I will really disappoint is myself.

Do all these thoughts make me Selfish and shallow and small?  Did I lose my backbone in the last couple of years?  Is this normal?   Answers on a postcard…

xxx

My Blood Boiling Moments

Aggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Ooh.  That’s a little bit better.

I’ve had one of those days.  We all have moments where we bite our tongue, or not, as the case may be.  But we muddle on and it is soon forgotten.

Occasionally though, things drive you mad all day.  And your blood begins to boil… and then simmers away for the rest of the day.  Until wine o’clock.

Moments like this:

  • Putting your coffee spoon on my teabag holder, so when I stir my cuppa, it tastes foul.  And I have to start again.  And by then, I haven’t got time for a cuppa
  • Getting up at 5.45am, having meticulously planned for every eventuality, and still  being late for work.
  • The Cyclist not leaving the porridge bowls to soak so when I come to wash them they are like cement.
  • Not closing the drawers under your bed, so I walk straight into them and take 5 layers of skin off my shin.
  • When you make me a cuppa, and it’s a half-cup.  Why?  For the love of God, why?  Where is the rest of my tea?
  • Being in work and sneakily trying to do the Tesco online shop.  Minimising it when my Frenemy comes in to ‘chat’ (read : Spy) and is there so long that I lose my delivery slot.
  •  Going, going , going out for a Sandwich.  Oh dear, there’s nothing left.  5 Rich Teas and a banana it is.  Sod it, a Blue Ribband and a packet of Snack a Jacks too.
  • When the computer says No – and you want to hurl it through the nearest window.
  • Being on hold for 42 minutes, finally getting through to someone and they say, ‘Can you put that in an email?’  No. I effing can’t.  Why does no one want to talk any more??
  • My mobile phone  inexplicably ‘draining battery down‘ at the most inopportune moments.. Several times a day.
  • Drowning behind my desk, not knowing where to start and so wasting a whole hour on Twitter.
  • Driving home wanting to smack the driver in front of me for letting every man and his dog into the queue, when I am perilously close to getting a Late Pick Up fine from the Nursery.  Again.
  • Realising I have forgotten to clear the internet history on my work computer.
  • Coming home and emptying nursery bag to find a poo wrapped in knickers. I mean, come on.  What am I paying half my wages for?  I would rather you put them in the bin than not even try.
  • Shouting ‘I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow!!!!!” when the third text of the evening arrives trying to arrange ‘Easter play dates’.
  • Finally getting the kids upstairs, undressed and within 1 metre of the bathroom door…and Oh look, there is no hot water because one of the little Darlings has been twiddling with the heating remote control.
  • Not being able to find the ‘remote’ control.
  • Wanting to hurt and maim The Cyclist for agreeing to new heating system.  What was wrong with the switch on the wall?
  • Soothing Littlest One who is wailing in bed for some crappy plastic monkey that came in a lucky dip from the Leisure Centre, that is the size of a 5p piece and is a complete choking hazard and is, completely, missing.
  • Trying to log in to an account and trying every dog/cat/street name/date of birth I can think of before vowing absolutely NEVER to shop there again, before giving in and checking out as a guest using The Cyclist’s work email.
  • Going back upstairs as the Little One is still wailing about the monkey.  I offer every variety of Peppa I can find.  And for the first time in her little life – she wants George. Don’t have George.
  • Decide to open wine with The Cyclist before remembering that he has given it up for lent. Pious prat.

Phew.

xxx

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

Oooh so there was some lovely sun out this weekend, still a bit brisk, but feel-good weather never the less.  Time to get out in the garden (with a fleece on).  Thing is – my kids are noisy.  Screamy, shouty, just-being-kids noisy.  They are my kids and they give me a headache and so I try to spare a thought for the poor neighbours.  Not that they appreciate it, experts in icy stares as they are. You see, our house is  fortunately/unfortunately surrounded by pensioners and semi -retired folk. Here is how the two categories pan out:

Fortunately

  • We get lots of free , huge, amazing vegetables from No.7’s allotment.  I don’t know what most of them are.
  • We get free gardening as No.5 can’t help herself.
  • No.7 has taken a shine to eldest child and they occasionally provide free childcare while she bashes the hell out of their piano.
  • They buy seasonal goodies so I don’t have to, Chocolate Santa’s. Thorntons Easter Eggs, Jelly Spiders. Saves me oodles of pennies.
  • I get all the Sunday Supplements for free.  Okay I don’t get them till Wednesday, but they buy every single paper  – it is magazine heaven.

Unfortunately

  • The children like to run up and greet nice chap at no.7 with a lovely hug, they are the wrong height and I just die inside when they are headbutting his groin.  Poor man.
  • They do not like noise.  They pretend to like noise ‘oh it is so lovely to have some life in the neighbourhood…’  Just not when we can hear it/see it /have it shoved in our faces.
  • They hate our dog.  They don’t even pretend.
  • We have minor car wars.  They have lived their forever and care not that it is our drive. I am frightened that forcing the issue may cause one of them to have a heart attack.
  • The chastise the children.  Not always welcome and/or necessary.
  • They hate, and I mean, hate, that I have  my supermarket shop delivered.  They tut tut when the van comes up the drive, eyeballing the poor driver.  I want them to see me one day, in Tesco’s, about to lob everything, shop and kids included, into the ‘Community Donation Box’.  Then, THEN they would understand.

So the first bit of Sunshine this weekend led me to trying to control the fun in the garden,

‘..Ssshh, no screaming on the trampoline….stop yelling like that……NO! NO! come away from Mrs (no.5) pretty flowers AWAYYYYYY!!.. Stop fighting, STOP IT – do you think everyone wants to listen to you lot?…..AAAGGHHHH who left the zip open on the trampoline? . …. no it’s not broken.. its fine.  please stop crying, please, please, yes here is a Jammy Dodger… just be quiet…etc etc..’

I had a few stares from one couple, The Trampoline Police ‘…it is such an eyesore..’ 

If it helps, I completely agree. Hate the bloody thing.  Yet the kids love it, it provides oodles of entertainment and they are out there rain, hail or shine, so it’s here to stay.

So we will have to muddle through.  As my mum pointed out to me, we are Out more than we are At Home. They (Groin Man, Chastiser, Trampoline Police, Eyeballer and Icy Stare) will have to sit in their garden between 9-5 and not at all during the school holidays.  I’ll draw up a timetable and send them a  copy… Along with some ear plugs . xxx

Using the Flush

I know what you are thinking  – Mummy Marbles is writing about Poo again.

No, actually.  Which is rather unusual for me as Poo is rather at the forefront of my life right now – or rather my Littlest One’s penchant for having one anywhere other than in the toilet.

Today I am writing about Work.

I thought I would share some Coping With Work strategies that you can easily apply to home/family/life in general.

I work in an Office where it is very loud, very stressful , very sweary and there is a lot of pressure.  Sometimes, the only thing that makes it better is when someone goes out for Donuts.

Otherwise – we have The Flush Method

It basically goes like this –

Aggrieved person –

‘….Aghhh (insert name here) is driving me mad! Who does he/she think she is?  This is ridiculous, how am I suppose to manage this and deal with everything else, I’m supposed to be at such a place by 11am and there just isn’t enough time etc etc ‘

The rest of us

‘…Use the Flush. Flush them away, flush , flush, flush them away. Pshhhhhhhhh’

Then we all put our hands in the air and swivel our fists in the mock action of flushing the toilet.

I appreciate that this all sounds faintly ridiculous, but it works.  For several reasons, it reduces the tension, it is a bit of fun and it creates a bit of camaraderie.

And Laughter is better than Tears.

Something/Someone getting on your nerves today?  Flush it away.  Flush Flush.

You will feel better. Promise.

xxx

The Day I Realised I Loved being a Mum

So I had an epiphany today.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I adore my children and always have.  They make my heart contract in a way I didn’t know was possible.

But being a Mum? No.  I haven’t been loving  that.

It hasn’t just been the lack of sleep, the crying , the constant worrying, the strain on my marriage or the fact that I am currently watching a colleague steal my job from under my nose.

No no – can’t blame any of that.  It is Me.

I worry and stress about everything.  I have control issues.  I want everything to be perfect, organised, under control.  I have to be prepared for every eventuality, I have 3 diaries and a wall chart.  I just can’t let things go.

Today though – today , while in the garden throwing the ball for the dog for the 100th time and watching my little girl copy everything I did – I realised a few things.

  • The world will not stop if the children don’t have a weeks supply of clean underwear in their drawers at all times
  • I have never been as happy in my life as I am today
  • Nothing really matters outside my family’s four walls
  • My children are becoming little people and I  just love them
  • I don’t like being apart from them

Okay, so I will still enjoy going to work tomorrow and having a Hot cuppa and some adult conversation.  And I will still dress all the dolls before I go to bed, because I can’t help myself.  And of course my Littlest One pooed herself before she went to bed, because she always does – But do you know what, I am okay with that.

Maybe, subconsciously,  I don’t care about the job.  There is only so far you can go, I have nothing left to prove.  I have got something more important to do.

You forgive them everything when….

Oh it’s hard being a parent.  You don’t need me to highlight the tough bits – tears, tantrums, poo, vomit, snot.  More poo . Cold cuppa’s, spilt cuppa’s, lunch on the floor. Lunch in your eye, lunch on the dog, lunch in the dog.

Fights and rows and bickers. Can I sit in the front?  Can I take my scooter?  Why do we have to walk? I don’t need the toilet. I do need the toilet, I need it right now.  I went to the toilet in my knickers.

I want juice. I want milk. I want a biscuit. I DON’T LIKE GREEN BEANS.  Please, Sorry, Please. I beg my pardon. Mummy, who are you talking to on the phone?  Can I say Hello?  I WANT TO SAY HELLO. What are you doing on the computer?   Is it Mummy’s work? Can I touch?  Please.  Sorry Mummy.

Are we nearly there? Mummy are we late again? Mummy did you forget my rabbit?

I don’t want to go to bed.  I’M NOT GOING TO BED MUMMY. I need a drink, I need a story, I’m scared, I’m hot, I’m cold, I’ve banged my head. It’s too dark, it’s too light. I feel sick. My tummy hurts. Can I sleep in your bed?

Phewwwwww.  However, you can forgive them everything when….

  1. They give you a cuddle and squeeze you really tightly like you are the only person on earth.
  2. You escape from the house and the black cloud lifts, and they wander ahead, without a care in the world, holding hands, and you think your heart may burst.
  3. They are asleep.  And you can trace their still-baby face and watch them curled up like a cat.
  4. They squeeze into the non-existent space next to you and snuggle in.
  5. You are given the 15th scribble of the day and it still makes you smile.
  6. They tell you that they Love You.
  7. You listen to them pretending to be You.
  8. They knock you over when you walk through the door like they haven’t seen you for a year.
  9. They want to show you what they have made/mashed/rolled/built;  with their face full of hope and you don’t know who is bursting with pride more, you or them.
  10. They hold your hand, voluntarily.

My children never let me down when it comes to smiles and joy, I hope I never let them down either.  It’s hard , but I think I’m getting better.

xx

I’m the King of the Castle

Had a wonderful Family Day Out today.  In unfamiliar territory in North Wales, we spent the day at Bodelwyddan Castle. Slightly further than we thought (okay, miles away), but well worth it.

It was bright, with blue skies and a biting wind.  Not that the kids cared. For me, the complete absence of rain was an absolute bonus.

Lunch for 5 under £25 – with Real Ham as The Cyclist put it, decent toilets, loads of parking and friendly staff – it ticked all the boxes  for a decent family attraction.

Mums went free (it was Mothers Day) so that was an added bonus.

There was a fabulous outdoor adventure playground (made The Independent’s Top Ten), lovely gardens and a fun maze as well as enchanting Woodland Walks.   Most definitely a place to go in the Sun with a picnic.

But it was the house that I thought was great.  Now I love Country Houses, Stately Homes and the like, but in the absence of decent outdoor play, I can see how they are a drag for families.

When you enter this Castle, you are immediately offered clipboards, age appropriate puzzles, games and searches, even an interactive tablet for a small deposit.

They have a children’s activity linked to the theme of every room, off the Billiards Room was a children’s games chest from the relevant era.  In the Lounge there was a section devoted to Afternoon Tea, complete with wooden cake stands and cakes and a delightful teapot.  They have really tried to engage and involve the children and I thought it was fab.

The Castle literature and maps tell you that Noise is Welcome! How delightfully refreshing.

The icing on the cake was a whole room dedicated to Victorian Toys and Games.  Brilliant, different and good fun.

It doesn’t end there, you can also all dress up in Victorian Costume, and have a photograph taken in their Silvy studio which you can choose to edit on the computer, add props, and then email home! Very entertaining.

A gift shop with an Old Sweet Shoppe  (if a bit overpriced) completes the trip and my lot were snoozing before we got out the gate.

Highly recommended.