As a Mummy, many of us strive for perfection, to be the best Mummy we can be a Super Mummy, a Crafty Mummy a fun Mummy, a Sporty Mummy, a brilliant Baker, a cook, a maker of all things, a solver of all problems, a squidgy hugging Mama bear, a Juggler, an Acrobat, a Nurse. Sometimes trying to be all of those things makes you feel like “The cat in the hat”piling all of the different things on top of you, at risk of falling over, of tripping up, of dropping things.
We can only be the best version of ourselves, and that is pretty blinking ok. We just need to open our arms as wide as possible and hug and love and twirl and dance and laugh and smile and enjoy it as much as we can because we are so so lucky to call ourselves a “Mummy”to hear those words from a little persons mouth. It is a miracle, a privalige, an amazing thing, and we get to hold that little person, to love them and to help them to grow and develop and become the person they are going to be, don’t waste time trying to prove anything, there is only one Mummy like you and your children love you just the way you are so on Sunday laugh and smile put your feet up have a cup of tea and drink it in, drink in the memories and the love and the moments ,Mummys are awesome, you are awesome. HAPPY MOTHER’S Day.
I was thinking about my younger days and childhood today, the things that we no longer have that were so much a part of everyday life years ago, I crave recreating some of that nostalgia and memories for my children as part of their learning and development.
I am getting my weekly Tesco shop delivered this evening it costs me a fortune and stresses me out, I often lose my booked timeslot as I am carefully browsing through each section and offers and deals and favourites very slowly I try and get the cheapest options and best value thinking meticulously about what we will eat what will go to waste what to buy what we need, getting carried away in the kids section buying brightly coloured non spill juice drinks and innocent smoothies and mini sized fun things that are meant to be reasonably healthy anything to tempt my picky children into eating as well as I can.
Alongside that I try and pick fairtrade and eco friendly products trying to do my bit for the world, trying to think more carefully about what I buy, especially as at church last week we were reminded about fairtrade fortnight and I do want to support it as much as I can, in my student days I worked at the bodyshop and admired Anita Roddicks business ethos, remembering how the body shop was such a large part of my childhood,and of many in the 80s and 90s bodyshop at home parties strawberry shaped soap brightly coloured endangered animals on tshirts and washbags, that familiar smell and the comforting knowledge that aswell as being great products it did something great too, yet somehow we have forgotten about it along the way no longer do receive my white musk gift set at christmas and nice smelling soap, yet The body shop still very much exists we have two in our york high street and an outlet shop, it reminded me to remember it again and use it again.
Alongside all these memories I remembered Milk the sound of glass bottles tinkling in the early hours, whistling milkmen and taking it in turns to pick it up off the doorstep and put out the empties, what happened when did milk for most become giant plastic bottles you can barely fit in the fridge ot carry, no longer do you know your milkman or postman or chemist or Gp anymore they are just anyone, we have lost that familiarity of yesteryear and I want it I want it back so much.
Today I hunted for and found a dairy still doing glass milk bottle deliveries I am so excited and soon will hear that clink of glass bottles again, I have ordered a vegetable/fruit box delivery too to show my children where things come from and to support local businesses and farmers, we wonder why the world is not such a friendly nice place anymore but it is up to us to keep traditions and memories alive to get to know our neighbours and to be friendly and kind because then our children may carry it all on tooxxxx
This morning when the kids were getting ready to go to school we discovered holes in the soles of their shoes again, they are good makes of shoe they haven’t had them very long, as my eldest daughter put on her black jeggings(the only trousers she will wear) and burys her hands under her oversized cardigan sleeves awkwardly with her changing enbarrassed hormonal ten year old body she would rather hide under a massive hoodie top than have to wear these unflattering thin polo shirts, and in their once bright white polo shirts that are now grey even though we replace them all the time, and most of my youngest sons jumpers have impossible to remove white board marker stains all over them.I gave a sigh.
When I was at primary school we wore very smart expensive uniform with blazers, dufflecoats,straw boaters the lot it must have cost my parents alot of money but things were better quality then and seemed to last longer it seemed and we didnt get so messy then, my husband didn’t wear school uniform at primary school at all he wore jeans and cords and jumpers and trainers.
At my senior school (a comprehensive) we pushed the rules as far as we could rolling up our skirts, putting our ties the wrong way round, as though we were trying to show our individuality or be part of the in crowd group in any way we could, shoes had to be from dolcis or barretts and carrier bags from River Island or we were the lowest of the low p.e trainers had to be nike, I didn’t agree with these things but at that age it was hard to show confidence to be myself.Uniform is meant to reduce bullying as we all supposedly then look the same but to me it made no difference to that at all nor to my being bullied, if your bag or trainers or pencil case isn’t cool you stand out anyway. If you are different you stand out anyway, at the moment at my children’s school there is a trend for oversized hair bows and handbags as school bags, children trying to show their tastes and likes through accessories in their hair because they can’t do that through their clothes, surely individuality should be encouraged and embraced and celebrated we are not all the same therefore why do we have to conform to uniform all the time? Even as adults we often have to wear a uniform in our jobs, which I really dislike it always puts me off because I dont feel like me unless I am in my clothes, my clothes are my confidence and personality, without them I do not feel like me at all, even my husband has to wear collared shirt and smart trousers for his office job which isn’t even customer facing, and people who work in primark don’t get to show off the great fashion that they sell to customers instead they have to wear horrid blue poloshirt things, it seems silly to me, though on the otherhand even in our regular clothes we often seem to have a uniform or fit into a group or style or fashion type, these groups and cliques and gangs and types would happen anyway whether we wear a school uniform or not, but then the pressure having to wear uniform is alot on parents despite it being cheap the amount we get through still makes it pricey and the state of a childs household income and poverty is really evident when you look at their uniform it makes people look scruffier almost than they would if they were in their regular playing clothes, school jumpers with holes, scuffed school shoes, holes in tights, stained greying polo shirts, wearing a uniform is supposed to show pride in the school that they represent and belong to but when the school photos show an array of dishevelled kids to me, wouldn’t it be better if they all wore clothes from every colour of the rainbow instead, if they could wear thick robust denim jeans and pinafores or dungarees or waterproof all in ones or comfortable tracksuits for rolling about in and trainers and waterproof crocs and wellies and comfy slippers indoors or if they could take off their shoes and wiggle their toes a little bit wouldn’t they feel more freedom more relaxed and more themselves, more willing to learn in a comfortable way? I don’t know the answers but I know that I will always encourage my children to be themselves and be confident about it and to never feel like they have to look a certain way, as my favourite cyndi lauper sings “I see your true colours shining through ….your true colours are beautiful like a rainbow” and until things change in the world I shall buy more school shoes and white polo shirts and stick to the rules 😦
I am an overthinking thinker, a worrier of everything I even worry about worrying, I take on the wars of the worlds and troubles of all and carry it all upon my shoulders, things that really I need not.
I want to take the woes and torment and hatred of the universe and turn it all around and make it all better, but it is too big a battle to take on, too big a load to carry that I inevitably fall over, collapse with the weight,explode and overflow like a volcano errupting and I realise I can not make it all better all on my own, just little me. I sometimes wish I did not think so much, but I am constantly wondering and pondering about the point of it all, the reason for our existence, do we just live each day to just get old and then die what is it all for?
I try and live simply in a world where we are all so overtaken by social media and electronics and constant noise I crave silence and peace, and stillness. LIFE is so short in the whole scheme of things and I need to be happy and enjoy the little things and have faith that I am taking the right path to feel content and secure and guided cos if the hokey cokey is realy what its all about I want to be in that circle and be part of that dance going in and out and shaking it all about as much as possible with my whole self in and I am not going to worry about the bigger things anymore.
Imagine that feeling you have forgotten something really important or have lost something really important, or have a test or an interview or an exam iminently, imagine having that feeling constantly for hours on end and days on end, imagine every time you try to fall asleep you feel like you wont ever wake up again so much so that you stop yourself from falling asleep and find it impossible to relax and feel like you are going to have heart failure or stop breathing, feeling that your chest will cave in and your head will explode, going to the doctors or a and e departments convinced you are having a heart attack and then knowing after being checked that there isnt anything majorly or physically wrong with you and yet you feel so poorly, so weak, so ill, so sick unable to enjoy normal tasks or function, having to go to bed all pale and wan and victorianesque feeling “strange”, “funny” and just “not yourself” as though you are on the outside looking in on the world, and so many headaches and blocked ears and indigestion and sickness and feeling hot and tingly. I would not wish these feelings on anybody.
When I am feeling good I feel great I give my all I give my heart and all my energy yet when suffering these “anxiety” attacks I can’t give anything much at all, I can’t make simple decisions, I can’t function I can’t live my life normally and I hate it , I hate how my family have to put up with it, that they have to see me this way. Mental illness isn’t just those that feel depressed or bipola or want to give up life there are so many different types anxiety and stress and worry and panic attacks are real and common and for me it is that I want to live more than anything, Im scared to die and I want to be as happy as can be and live a long life so much that I want everything to be perfect all of the time, that I’m constantly reaching out for storybook happiness and the strive for happiness and perfection takes over to the point where I can’t even enjoy the little moments and happy days sometimes, because I am frustrated and never satisfied, people say I am too open in my blogs but for me I feel it important to tell people so that they know they are not alone, and so that people can understand and that I don’t want or mean to be this way, and when I have three gorgeous children and a kind husband I can’t just hide under a duvet and sleep off these episodes I still have to be a mummy and function and face the world but if I dont speak so much or smile so much or don’t seem my usual self please forgive me and know that I will soon be Milly again.
Who am I? am I who I have become? Am I just a Mum ?am I a version of myself or of the Milly yet to come? did I get lost in wonderland? or did I bury my head in the sand? did I do the things I thought I would? or did I settle with the things I thought I should, am I still finding it all out? can they hear me even if I shout? Is that me Im looking at? or could I try and wear a different hat, adjust my lipstick thicken my brow,sing a song then take a bow, am I just rolling through a door or do I need to land on a different floor? am I leading down the path or just following the rabbit? is this becoming quite a habit?never satisfied or pleased is this the ending that you teased? Or a road we were meant to cruise with ease ?
We all get stressed at christmas trying to make it “pictureperfect” running around like headless turkeys buying presents and food, this year we wanted to simplify our christmas as a family with a tight income and three children to buy for, each year we have been a parent( our eldest now 10)we have learnt and realised that the pointless things, the unwanted unnecessary gifts are just a waste of money, we try to homemake many of our gifts for other people, we dont buy for many of the adults in the family or outside the family and only give a small gift of chocolate or a homemade gift to children in the family other than our own, each year we have spent less on our children and the presents under the tree have lessened rather than multiplyed, each child getting a small number of presents from us, and as the children have grown the need for numerous toys and plastic and novelty items has reduced, their understanding behind the real meaning and celebration of christmas and giving thoughtful gifts has increased and we have become stronger about what we want as a family at christmas time. We dont have a big excessive christmas dinner either and we dont spend lots of money on luxury food or alcohol, it is just one day that comes around each year,why put yourself through hardship, and strain for one day, just enjoy being with those that you love enjoy the twinkling lights on your tree, the carols, the family time, the great tv, and the time off work and school.Merry Christmas everyone.
Well today I turned 35 and I feel good and grateful and thankful for the years that I have been on the planet creating the story that is my life thus far,the 5 ft 1 and a bit of me that may be small but fierce, and I enjoy growing older as with every new line on my face and crinkle and crepe and grey hair, I feel stronger more confident more liberated and more me as I am evolving and growing to become the person I really want to be, the happiest version of myself, creating the story, writing the chapters, capturing the moments and memories and laughter lines of life and within that I see the women that have influenced me, that are inside me, that are part of me and I a part of them as I look at my hands I see my Mother as I look at my eyes I see my Grandmother, when I hear my voice I hear my Nan, and I feel blessed, and I look at my daughters and children and see those women and me in them also and I smile for the life I have had and the life yet to come, for me and for them…
I used to love the lead up to christmas, the shops filled with festive promise, the colder weather, The adverts, the boots gift catalogue, excitement, the lead up, the magic but as I have said in other blogposts, since having children I also find it a time of great financial stress and strain and overwhelment, it is a time where I feel the need to take a break from social media, feel overflowing with things to remember, things I need to get, lists, cards, gifts events snd occasions, my legs feel like they are carrying heavy weights on them and tasks seem harder than usual. It is a time where I need to sit back reflect and relax and prioritise what christmas really means and not be taken over by expectation, to me christmas is a time to relax and to enjoy the company of my family to appreciate them and enjoy the days spent together, it is a celebration of jesus birth and the importance of church, the singing of carols, the sharing in nice food. Togetherness, love and thanks, homemade gifts and twinkly lights and trees and making happy memories. It should not be a time of worry stress and distress, and hardship.
Something Im really passionate about and have written about before is the art of decluttering, of organising and simplifying your life as once you do it cuts down stress, it declutters your mind speeds up decision making and keeps your living space tidier, it is an ongoing job however if you have children or other people in your house that dont help you to keep the home organised and clutter free, but if you are passionate enough about it it can really make a difference I reccomend reading the Marie Kondo book, which goes through each room and suggests ways inwhich to tackle them it talks about precious things and how to let them go if they have no use to you, I found it so enlightening and helpful, I love it when I only have one handbag on the go that I really really love , one coat that I wear everyday, One scarf,enough clothes that I adore and wear all the time but not too much to choose from as I do not like being overwhelmed everyday like a kid in a sweet shop, I like capsule wardrobes that all mix and match.I only have shoes that I will wear, mugs that I use very few ornaments that I dont need to dust. This lifestyle isnt for everyone and some people may think me odd, for I have very little attachment to material things, unless I use it find it beautiful or significant. I do have little obsessions for a while I collected lots of Emma Bridgewater mugs until I realised I had far too many to use, then I had a fondness for cushions, then Cath kidston dresses then green things and now gold things but I do try to be rather ruthless and sensible with what I purchase. To know when ive gone too far had enough and no longer want nor need. I try to encourage my children to do the same and am a big donator and customer of my local charity shops when Im having a declutter. Im not done yet I still have that drawer full of randomn rubbish, and far too many knives and forks but Im getting there.