Back to School 2020 – My Old Year Resolutions

Back to School 2020 – My Old Year Resolutions

Back to School 2020 – My Old Year Resolutions

Who is cheering in quiet salutation to the universe that it is back to school?

Routine!

There is a teeny tiny part of me that will miss the matching family pj parties and the beige food binging, but on the whole, we revel in autonomy. But we are Back to School for 2020 even ig I only have Old Year Resolutions!

All the lines seem to get blurred when the kids are off school. We don’t get up let alone going until far, far later.

Which is great unless there’s actual shit you need to do but instead you’re whittling the hours away on insta or faceyb rather than getting your ass in gear and showering.

Or is that just me?

Leading by example:

 

I actually detest technology. Ironic when I am trying to grow an online presence, huh?! I think it may well hate me back, I can just look in the vague direction of a printer and it breaks.

Team Twiglet were reluctantly gifted their own screens when they were 8 by Father Christmas. Despite my soap box preaching over technological babysitters, I was adamant that it would not affect their education. As a result, I had to recant my indefinite ban on them ever having one. 

SumDog, Wordshark, Squeebles – the list of apps available to help children with their education is immeasurable. Do they work? I am not sure, but the odd half hour on them can’t harm….

Can it?

I had a complete social media abstinence just over a year ago. In fact, I still do not use my personal accounts. I only ventured back in to the world of posting when I took the plunge to start sharing my waffle with you wonderful folk.

Social Media Pitfalls:

How much time on average do you spend on social media? There are some handy apps that tell you down to the minute. 

I actively avoid looking at my screen time. I am ashamed of how often I find myself mindlessly scrolling when I have ACTUAL THINGS TO DO.

And yet, in order to pop into your inboxes or onto your grids, social media has to be the way forward for me. I can’t pout, I take shit selfies and I have zero fashion sense. Not a stereotypical “influencer” to say the least. So what do I have?

• I have a tribe of small people who I am honoured to be known as Mama to. Some days. Other days I wish they came with a mute button, but alas I digress. 

• I also waffle, a lot. In my every day actual real life (the one where I have actual shit to do) I still waffle, even when I don’t have the time.

• I apologise constantly, and forever worrying about really, really random stuff. For example; I moved schools a lot growing up.  Whilst living “daaan sauf” I went shopping circa 1995 in search of the coveted Clearasil pore strips. The sticky stuff they used was EPIC. I opened the box out of interest and it was empty. I told the store (Goody two shoes) and was then accused of being the one who pilfered it. Still mortified to this day.

• I am superbly forgetful, which is exasperated by the medication that I have to take.

• I have a  granny diary and love to write in pink ink.

• I have three unfinished manuscripts waiting in the wings for me to quit scrolling/forgetting/coughing and get off my butt and type. To actually put fingers to keys and waffle. 

So if you fancy popping along for the ride, follow, like, share. I am not afraid to laugh at myself, take criticism or get told to fluff right off. I am quietly working CONSTANTLY on this little project of mine. I am not on for New Years Resolutions, mainly because the last few years I have made them, they have gone completely and utterly tits up. 

So whilst I may not have any poetic wise words to share, I do have me, 

I am busy over here waving (whilst avoiding a scroll)  I would absolutely love you to wave back,

One Of Those Weeks

One Of Those Weeks

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One Of Those Weeks

It really has just been one of those weeks and it isn’t even over yet! My week thus far has been a shocker at best, a down right titanic sized fail at worst. This little ol’ thing known as life sure can be a journeyI didn’t earn the accolade of “It could only happen to me” without some blood, sweat and tears. 

I am ashamed to admit that I’ve had one of those weeks when I have really being suffering writers block. There has been a serious lull in my creativity. Sometimes, life just gets in the way. I have felt so poorly I was actually in bed at the beginning of the week. I am safely back in the house after our weekly market & butchers shop. PJ’s already on, and duvet at the ready!

Even when its one of those weeks – Shop Local

As we were passing, It would have obviously been terribly rude to not buy some Lamb & Mint Sausage Rolls from the fabulous Market Cafe. Speaking of which, I definitely didn’t “help” a child to eat it. I am 66.6% “Healthy Eating Helen”, thinking about what I am fuelling my body with. Then there is the other flabby third of me smuggling a square of dairy milk every now and again. Like I say, it really has been one of those weeks. I’m hoping that we all have a similar percentage distribution…I would love to say it was 80/20 but I would definitely be lying.

I have invested in a snazzy granny trolley and can often be found towing it one armed to and from Knutsford. I also spied a new stall (might not be super new as I’ve been out of action for a while) offering a solution to the plastic epidemic. Plastic Free Weigh sounds right up my street, I am forever getting mad with unnecessary things coming covered in plastic. I am far from perfect, but if we all make little changes, it will have a big effect! I can’t wait to peruse when I am not herding cats, I mean kids. Told you it had been one of those weeks!

This isn’t an ad by the way, but a real passion of mine.  When I “retired” this year, I made a huge effort to buy local. After all, we are a community, I would hate to see the local markets and high streets die.

The Tiger (Mum) who came to Tea

So, as I have previously moaned, it really has  been one of those weeks. Things just seemed too go to shit. Me, my health, my parenting, the kids, well, life. And then I made an epic fail.  Have you ever accidentally “Tiger Mummed”?

I endeavour to portray an honest account of motherhood, parenting, life, cancer and all that it entails. I admit it, I definitely have. And I suffer from “Oops I did it again” syndrome too.  

Growling girl with Facepaints on - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

I would give my last breath to my children. They stole my mind, ruined my body and inherited my soul.  But, I am very sure it is going to be all worth it. Honest.

The definition of a Tiger Mum is:

“a mother who is very determined that her child

should be successful and makes them work very hard”

according to the Cambridge dictionary. And I think I am inline for 10 out of 10 for enthusiasm, let alone effort. The words seem to flow out of my mouth before I realise I have even thought them! In my defence, I’ve felt like a fire fighter fighting against my own self combusting flames. I have barely managed to think straight, never mind outside the box! We all have them don’t we? A week where there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for things going wrong. And it just goes down as one of those weeks.

How did I get it so wrong?

When did I get it so wrong? Parenting Fails & Pigtails

It hit me, like a bullet between the eyes. I was so desperate for Team Twiglet to be successful in all that they do, that I haven’t seen  all the things that they don’t do.  And I don’t just mean not  making their beds. 

The grace, prowess and tact I thought I had instilled, I would even go so far as to say drilled, into all of my children, some how seems to have vanished. Some time, when I clearly wasn’t looking or parenting. We now shout, at each other, and that is not something I am proud of.

Given my failings, I am trying to rectify where we seem to have found ourselves. This weekend we are employing Elsa’s way of thinking: We are going to let it all go. Start a fresh on Monday, with a clear head and a happy heart. Put last week in the “one of those weeks” box.  As Parents, Hubs and I also hope to enter back into the parenting saga with a more positive head. 

As twins, 2/3rds of Team Twiglet have always had to split their parents. When number 3 turbo charged her way into the world, we seemed to adopt the “divide and conquer” mantra. I ended up plumping with the girls and The Hubs with Thing 2.

This isn’t gender related by the way. It is just Hubs doesn’t come equipped to save the world every time he leaves the house. Therefore his ability to take two children may well push him over the edge. For someone who can’t cope if he doesn’t have a plan, he sure as well can cope with leaving the safety of the house without any saving equipment.

The Perils of a Freedom Wee-er!

This problem has lessened somewhat a decade in. For example; we no longer need nappies. Way back when, they were the cause of many disgruntled ramblings on my part. The problem was  exasperated by the fact Thing 1 wore Pampers and Thing 2 wore Huggies.

Laugh as you might at the ridiculous notion,  when you’ve been pissed and shat on as many times as I have, decisive action was needed, and rigorous nappy testing ensued. 

Babies bottom with a heart on it - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

The conclusion was fewer Poonami’s per twin per day if they wore the ones that fit them best. They just happened to be different brands. As you guys already know, it could only happen to me!

Picture this: The Hubs opens the baby bag. (Hahaha, sorry that made me laugh). Just kidding, he didn’t take it with him. On my instruction he opens the baby bag I packed and carried, to get a nappy out for Thing 2.

He pulled out a pampers, followed by a sock (and we’ve been blaming the washing machine all this time!), a gross bib, questionable remains (did the sniff test – inconclusive results) and at last another nappy!

Elation washed over me as I stood up to sneak around the bench. It was a lot less hassle than getting up and leaving Thing 1, or worse tandem change! She has always had the potential to blow a place down with her wailing. No idea who she gets it from…….

I went in for the emergency change in the hope that no staff were looking or that it stinks that bad you have to vacate the building. Both highly probable.

Parenting Fails & Pigtails Love Bubble - careful it might POP

The Luuuurve Bubble, Baby!

With a perfectly placed needle into my bubble, I realised he had indeed, gone for the double and pulled out another pampers. Thing 2 has  a notorious reputation of the freedom wee, so speed has always been of the essence.

Not something my husband often exudes (nor does Thing 1), unless he can see an Irish Pub in the distance, in that case he practically transforms into Usain Bolt.

Despite The Hubs speed, well, lack thereof, I made it with seconds to spare.

The bubble of pride for not getting pissed on was quickly followed by a Wife skill I am proud to share with you, the all knowing “I should have just done myself” death stare.

Fast forward 10 years and it is still very handy in a plethora of circumstances. My favourite being when the Hubs has done something exceptionally reminiscent of thing 2’s actions a mere second earlier. Engaging Chara’s death stare stating he needs stop talking through his food and chew with his (god damn mother fluffing) mouth SHUT. (autocorrect changed that to SHIT 3 times, shit, I fear I need to widen my vocabulary)….…

The Sniff Test

Why do we always feel the need to sniff something that we are grossed out by? Like the aforementioned remnants of something that could, and I emphasise the word could, be a banana. But as I couldn’t be trusted to recall that days shit-cycle on The Hubs command, there was no guarantee it wasn’t an escape-poo. As a nation, why, if something is weird or gross, is our go to response to put it near our face?! “Oh yeah, I know, this icky thing of undetermined source looks gross, lets sniff it”.  

I guarantee should you find yourself in this scenario, you or one of the people in your immediate vicinity will sniff it because they “just wondered what it smelt like”.

I would put money on it, but I don’t know how to.

Bet Me Up, Baby!

As a naive 30 something *cough cough splutter splutter*  I tried to put a bet on. Not your every day bet down at the nags (did I get that right?!), but one that I had hoped would be a sure fire thing. My beautiful SIL is expecting bubs numero tres. Both my niece and nephew have arrived on their actual due date! So I wanted to put good money, well, two whole English pounds, on it as a sure fire win.  

So off I popped to town with the intention to go in to the betting shop or the bookies (I am so down with the lingo (who even says that anymore, I really need to be refitted with a shit filter)).  I need to have a bit of confidence to go in somewhere I am unfamiliar with and ask a question that could either be expensive or stupid.

As I am sure will not come as a surprise, I was not brimming confidence that day, as a result I walked straight past said betting shop. I am a creature of habit, one whose only experience of placing bets is when I have tagged along, either inebriated or pregnant (wife brownie points I am still reaping the rewards from) with the boys to a casino, but I never fully have any understanding of what’s in play.

You’re everywhere and no where Baby!

Needless to say, the bet wasn’t placed in person. Then we decided to google, in the hope that surely there was a way to put this extravagant bet on. All of this effort to put money on a date. What were the chances? I have no idea, but I think I should have called them odds. Landed on a betting website and I was truly mesmerised! All these flashing lights are so pretty, oooo are you getting sleepy yet, yes, yes I am take all my money, its not true what they say, the house doesn’t always win*. 

It probably is true to be fair, well from what I can figure out anyway. Maybe I need to learn the rules before I make such assumptions! But alas, no bet was placed and irrelevant of when my next niece or nephew chooses to enter this world, their arrival will not make us (naturally, I would have split thee winnings, given you know, the giving birth bit) millionaires. Damn it.

The cute baby smell will more than make up for it I’m sure. Well, lets be honest a million quid would be a nice icing on the cake, but a new addition to our ever growing Cheshire family is just perfect. 

Baby Bump with pink & blue ribbon - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

But hurry up will you, we are itching to meet you and Mama Bear is ready to POP! Let the eviction begin!

As I am accepting my fails of this week, I am hoping to put last week to rest and start a fresh on Monday. Hopefully with a new niece or nephew swathed in my arms, whose arrival incidentally may not make it a hat trick, it really has been one of those weeks,

*not based on fact, I think I heard on a TV show, either that or it was my Daddy putting the fear of god into me about gambling. On that note, if you or someone you know is affected by gambling please visit https://about.gambleaware.org for more help and advice.

My Most Epic Parenting Fails of 2019

My Most Epic Parenting Fails of 2019

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My Most Epic

Parenting Fails of 2019

As the year is galloping towards completion, I thought we should take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of my most epic Parenting Fails of 2019. As I have a panache to fail in/with epic style, it has been somewhat difficult to narrow it down to fit in a document smaller than the Magna Carta.

But, as Christmas is getting too close for comfort, try I must! Whilst it is only a 7 month diary thus far, it does give a taster of what’s to come. Poor Team Twiglet having me as a Mum!

My Most Epic

Parenting Fails of January 2019

Oh January, the month we all dread. The month when we batten down the hatches and hope the ever mounting credit card of doom can hold off exploding until March.

Or, the month where Mama Bear here needs to remember to put Mr sodding Elf back in to hiding.

I forgot.

Elf on the shelf hiding in a Christmas tree - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

Not only did I forget, I had to hurl said Mr Elf into the depths of the loft, because I didn’t bloody realise the random bag #BossBaby was opening AT MY REQUEST, contained the magic chuffing creature that was supposed to evaporate into thin air and then miraculously reappear on the 1st December.

February 2019

Aw, the month I first graced this planet with my wit, humour and beauty. What a lucky bunch you are. This year, I endeavoured to make pancakes. And give up Diet Coke for lent. I succeeded at neither.

Pancakes are not as easy as they look. Combined with severe aspartame withdrawal, and not a golden syrup bottle in sight, (despite alllmoossst buying a bottle and second guessing myself at least 7 times), the whole affair was a shitter. Thank god for the wonderful Rhiannon who swooped in and saved the day, making the whole pancake making thing look like an absolute doddle. She has super powers I am sure of it. She would give Mary Poppins a run for her money! Speaking of which, have you seen how saucy Dame Julie Andrews can be? I was quite shocked/secretly proud! 

World Book Day Potato Simba from The Lion King - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

March 2019

Awwww 7 years ago #BossBaby exploded onto the scene and completed Team Twiglet. Fast forward to 2019 and it was quite literally close to being the biggest write off of the year.

It was World Book Day, and “we” were tasked to make a character from “our” favourite book.

 Out of a potato.

Bloody marvellous. My negotiating skills are second too none, even if I do say so myself, but shit me, getting three kids to agree on one character is not advised. So, the biggest kid of all (me) stamped her feet the loudest and “we” decided on Simba. It was sketchy whether The Lion King had ever been a book, but amazon didn’t let me down, and Potato Simba was born.

I did that Mummy thing where you pretend to just be helping. The “oh no darling, maybe do it like this” that soon progresses into “no, not like that darling” progresses to “no, look, noooo…guys come on, not like that” finally culminating in “JUST GIVE ME THE POTATO!”. Growing up I swore I would never be that parent, even first time mumming to twins, I was never going to be that person. I lied.

An almost Parenting Fail of April 2019

On a more serious note, April sucked. #BossBaby was not at all well, and despite our best efforts, couldn’t even keep sips of water down for over 72 hours. As it seems is always the case, Team Twiglet don’t get properly ill until Friday evening, because who would want to go to a GP if you can go and see nee-naws, and sadly in some cases, even ride in them.

After a call to NHS 111, Tinks marched herself in to the hospital and was only mediocre unwell on all her stats. So much so, the initial suggestion was to head home and call back up in 12 hours. But, that nagging mothers instinct made me push for her to be given a proper once over. She just wasn’t herself at all. 

Again her stats weren’t all that bad, but thank the universe for a very wonderful, knowledge filled student nurse who as a last test before we went home checked her blood sugar. It was so low it was dangerous – in fact I only learnt how dangerous after it took over 4 hours to get her out of the danger zone and a further 12 hours to get her stable. And all I could do was watch. 

 Always trust your instinct.

Thankfully, it seems to have been an isolated event that arose from a nasty bought of gastroenteritis, but to any fellow parents out there reading this, please always follow that instinct of yours. It will never let you down.   

Poorly Little girl with plasters on her fingers - Parenting Fails & Pigtails
Poorly Little girl with pink cheeks - Parenting Fails & Pigtails
Little girl in hospital eating toast - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

My Most Epic Parenting Fails of May 2019

 

An entire decade flashed through May as we celebrated/commiserated ten, long, occasionally fighty, but mostly happy years being a Mr & Mrs. It sometimes amazes me that neither of us are incarcerated for murder/our own benefit, but so far, so good. In celebration of both being married and avoiding arrest for this long, we had a little do at The Mad House. 

My fail for May is less parenting based and more wife based. I spent months planning our little soirée, everything from the jars on the tables to the paper flowers, you could even find me relaying the patio, so I am going to go with there being a far bit of effort put in.  In the spirit of present giving, I decided to arrange a surprise for The Hubs. This came in the form of a super cool magician – Magic Matt.

He was absolutely epic, from card tricks to stealing some mighty fine watches, his talents are unending. The only issue was, I had relied on an unfounded belief that if The Hubs couldn’t remember the face of a family friend he also wouldn’t remember Matt. I was wrong. He can’t remember my birthday but he can remember the face of a dude in a suit at a wedding of over 200 people 5 years ago. Typical.

June 2019

As Team Twiglet and I are an avid chocolate fans, Easter is our favourite time of year. Yes, my most epic parenting fails of 2019 in June began life in April. We live by relatively strict consumption rules Monday – Friday, because I am a misery arse who endeavours to raise healthy-ish albeit slightly feral small folk. As a result, come June there were still some bunnies hiding in The Mad House.

A Red Wine Sunday came around and the girls and I decided we should have a little bake off whilst the boys were at rugby. We would have been right at home in that tent Paul, no soggy bottom from these bakers!

Off to the baking cupboard we went and found numerous useful eggs, bunnies, biscuits and golden syrup (I bought it every time I saw it since Easter, we now have shit loads, better late than never!), so a rocky-ish road was born. Which definitely only fits in the “ish” bit of healthy. But recipe-less ultra keen small folk and some banging* tunes and we were off! Bakers, Bake!

Then the fail came, sleepless nights and a fear that the Easter Bunny may never deliver to The Mad House again.

A picture speaks a thousand words:

Melting chocolate easter bunny in a pan - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

My Most Epic Parenting Fails of July 2019

As Team Twiglet is 2/3 female and I am a rule breaking mofo** we all have a tradition of joining the “Pink Hair, Don’t Care” Club over the summer holidays. This has worked well because we usually spend some of the summer in sunnier climes. All whilst The Hubs stays in the UK to do some hard graft.

By hard graft I mean he has his clothes washed for him by his mum, eats out with his mates at least 3 times a week, and eats off paper plates the rest of the time to save washing up. Yet I am on “holiday” trying to do a weekly shop with my trusty granny trolley flanked by three hooligans on scooters, but yes, hard graft it is.

He isn’t therefore around to see it our hair when it is at its pinkest. Well timed usage of pink shampoo vs normal shampoo and all is well in the world by the time he gets off his next flight.

Unfortunately, we haven’t been away this summer because my stupid nerve decided to get cross with being cut into (I see its point) and I wasn’t well enough to fly post op. So, in order to entertain the small folk we did various fun things together as we would usually do in the sunshine. But we had do navigate the rain, so indoor fun it was.

Off we popped to the hairdressers and a light pink toner was washed through the girls hair, much the same shade as the shampoo we normally use. A wash in, wash out principled colouring technique. But boy did it come out pink. Fabulously so, but even though I am down with the kids, it did take some getting used to. 

Pink hair on little girls - Parenting Fails & Pigtails
Pink hair on little girls - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

As the weeks went by, mine faded perfectly. I even had it done a handful more times before a smurf styled fail put me in detention. But the girls hair, well didn’t. At all. So as the summer played out before us and September edged ever nearer, it dawned on me that this could be a school policy violation. Whilst as super cool as I am (not) teachers still scare the shit out of me, even though I am apparently meant to be a parent.

Sure enough, September arrived, and no matter how well plaited or conveniently coiffed their hair was, there was no denying they were still full time members of the “Pink Hair, Don’t Care” Club.

At least they owned it. #BossBaby thought “Rebel” was a naughty word when a friend innocently complimented her on her undeniably pink locks. She bided her time and lay in wait for the right moment to avenge this crime and stamped, with vigour on this poor kids brand new, and still very white, trainers. All for paying her a complement.

Note to self: swear more in front of children so they have access to a full range of vocabulary and can differentiate between an insult and a compliment with ease.

Oh no wait, I don’t think school would approve of that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a little trip down memory lane, and have had a laugh along the way, until next time,

Signature - Helen - Parenting Fails & Pigtails

*are tunes still banging these days? Retro cool? Or just old and out of date?

**you’re impressed I’m down with the kids I know – too cool for school, thats me ……

National Women’s Health & Fitness Day – Endorphins

National Women’s Health & Fitness Day – Endorphins

Parenting Fails and Pigtails logo - Navigating motherhood one fail at a time.

National Women’s Health & Fitness Day 

 

As a busy Mama and owner of Team Twiglet, exercise can sometimes feel impossible to fit in. Despite my best efforts, there are occasions when I simply run out of time. Or, given my life motto, I am out of action due to some self inflicted injury or ailment. In the spirit of National Women’s Health & Fitness Day, I thought I would fess up!

How many times have you put your gym kit on and not made it in the actual gym?

This week: Gym 1 vs Gym kit 3 – and its only Wednesday!

My leisure garment wearing has increased to a level where it is wholly unacceptable. This is my go to outfit choice based on the fact it is stretchy. I pair it beautifully with an unkempt mum bun, zero makeup and the potential to utilise an emergency bra free day when I can’t find the grey mangey fave I am looking for. (truth be told I am a huge advocate for the #FreedomFunBags campaign anyway, I digress!)  

But not too many moons ago, I was a self proclaimed gym goer.

Back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth: Gym 5 vs Gym Kit 5 (& ¾ – no one is perfect)

More over, I loved 9 out of 10 work outs. It really does give me that ever so needed endorphin rush. A whole hashtag has been devoted to National Women’s Health & Fitness, what an accolade to have earned! Thats how awesome exercise is!

Endorphins

By definition endorphins are: any of a group of peptides occurring in the brain and other tissues of vertebrates, and resembling opiates, that react with the brain’s opiate receptors to raise the pain threshold.

In more sole remaining marble owner terms- these incredible bad boys are known to help with pretty much everything from boosting your mood to improving your productivity. Where do I sign?

Kristen Domonell writes: there is a physical change in our neurochemicals when your body comes under stress or experiences pain. Endorphins are produced in the brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland, explains J. Kip Matthews, Ph.D, a sport and exercise psychologist.

Endorphins, are a natural painkiller as they are able to activate the opioid  receptors in the brain allowing our awesome human bodies to minimise their own discomforts.

And, as if it couldn’t get any better, they also encourage feelings of happiness, even euphoria and an over all improvement in our well being.

Euphoria can’t get much better than areal yoga for me, the exhilaration and sheer dread I may fall out at any time, certainly get the endorphins flowing!

“Endorphins are also involved in natural reward circuits related to activities such as feeding, drinking, sexual activity and maternal behavior,”. J. Kip Matthews, Ph.D

Exercise is the gift that keeps on giving!

Not only are there real life chemical reactions going on in our bodies when we work out, there are a whole heap of benefits that adorn us (mum bun and all) with, when we work out!:

  •  It helps to give us control over our weight. When we exercise we burn calories and there is scientific correlation between the intensity of our output and the number of calories we use up. Physical activity is great for you and the more consistent activity you do throughout your day, the better! Fitness trackers are a great way of counting steps, and encouraging you to beat your previous goals. I wear a Fitbit (not an ad or affiliate link) and you can set your goals to suit you. As I am struggling to exercise much, I take comfort in knowing I have done enough steps to feel slightly less guilty over the kids leftovers I inhaled.
  • Regular exercise works wonders on combating and even controlling health ailments. Blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety and even cancer. It should be prescribed, it sounds like a wonder drug.
  • By releasing those fabulous peptides into our brain we also improve our moods, and it can even help with depression. Personally, I find running is one of the best things I can ever do for my mental health. Even if its currently dino-arm style. Furthermore, as a bonafide insomniac, I was pleasantly surprised it can even help you sleep! 

National Women’s Health & Fitness Day

Overall, I feel like National Women’s Health & Fitness Day should offer us a lifetime use of the #. I for one can’t wait to be back in my lycra for an actual reason, and not just because I am having a fat day. The benefits I enjoy from regular exercise are too long to list in their entirety, but I know from a mental health as well as physical perspective, it is a top priority. It is one of the best ways I can spend time on myself. 

If you fancy getting moving more or smashing a deadlift, I hope you guys enjoy those awesome endorphins as much as I do,

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#SocialSeptember with Mummy Social

#SocialSeptember with Mummy Social

Parenting Fails and Pigtails - navigating motherhood one fail at a time

Mummy Social and Me – #SocialSeptmeber

#SocialSeptember & Me:

Let’s go back on a little journey together, way back when on a winters day, I remember needing a pint of milk from the supermarket. With 3 month old twins in tow. My stumbling blocks were vast and many, here are just a few examples:

Do not reverse park when you have a buggy in the boot.

Having two babies in car seats does NOT make it easier to shop.

Yes, I know I have my hands full.

Yes, they are cute.

Yes, they are mine.

No they aren’t identical. Yes I am absolutely sure, one has a willy and one doesn’t.

Yes, I am married (not that it has any bearing on mine or any one elses parenting ability)

Yes, I am clearly old enough to have children. I have two.

The Supermarket & Me

During a particularly lengthy supermarket interrogation, whilst simply trying to buy said pint of milk, I came to realise this:

How bloody lonely I was.

It was pre the days of utilising social media by way of communicating, and I gave birth before the NCT classes had even begun. 

Mother Teresa  Quote - Parenting Fails & Pigtais
CS Lewis Quote - Parenting Fails & Pigtais

Mummy Friends

I initially didn’t make many new “Mummy Friends”, my lack of confidence was rife. 

Its like being surrounded by people but not feeling a soul around you. Despite having two small things to be responsible for, I felt marooned on an island of sterilisers, puke sodden muslin cloths and a tower of stinking nappies. 

Had it not been for some well timed encouragement from Mama Bear, I think my relationship with the twins would be a fraction what it is today. I am riddled with a life long inability to have confidence in myself. I had resigned to the fact that the twins were better in someone else’s care. Someone who knew what they were doing like our most wonderful Bobby, Denisa & Rhiannon, or someone who seemed to just “get” being a mummy.

The stigma surrounding mental health worries me greatly.  Would you leave a hospital without your stitches tied, or your cannula removed? No, we wouldn’t. Yet loneliness and mental health seems to be hushed over, whispered about, or in the worse case scenarios, downright ignored.

As a child, there was a huge stigma around mental health, a pull your socks up and get on with it kind of attitude. So up those socks were pulled. But post-partum blues were horrendous for me, its a shame that only hindsight showed me this.

When #BossBaby was born,  I got it. It fell into place. Whatever “it” is, for the first time in almost 3 years. From the minute she was born I had the rush. That feeling of love beyond anything else. It also made me realise, I love the twins just like I love her. I wasn’t a failure after all. I was a Mummy, a bonafide parent, not an imposter. And so The Twiglets were unified, one cuss, I mean cuddle, at a time!

#SocialSeptember

When I approached Mummy Social to share my interest in their campaign, #SocialSeptember it was in order to give hope to those who might not be ready quite yet to share EXACTLY how they feel. A safe place, without judgement or shame would have been the most incredible thing for me just shy of a decade ago.

Mummy Social screen shot by Parenting Fails  & Piigtails
Mummy Social screen shot by Parenting Fails  & Piigtails
Mummy Social screen shot by Parenting Fails  & Piigtails

Somewhere to express how I could go from coping to surviving and on to struggling in the space of a day. Heck, it could disintegrate to disaster level in less than an hour. Now I know, that it is ok. It always has been ok, I just didn’t really know it. I can whittle hours away trying to reminisce the twins early years, and as this post involves opening up and telling the truth, shame and embarrassment aside – I feel like I can barely remember a thing.

Other than Thing 1’s first word was shit.

Let that sink in.

S. H. I. T.

All because she had dropped duplo on the floor.

Mother of the Year right there.

I was mortified. Not helped by this happening in front of our brand new neighbours at the time. The very same pair had given us marriage lessons through the church not too many years before! In my defence Mother, I had inadvertently exposed her to this language at such a young age due to dropping a tape measure on my foot and the expletive slipped out of my mouth. I know it is no excuse, but I hadn’t know she was even there let alone in ear shit, I mean shot!

Mummy Social and their #SocialSeptember campaign offers you the ability to find fellow mamas in and around your area. It is easy to navigate and takes seconds to sign up. I would thoroughly recommend giving it a whirl, its free and if I can use it, anyone can!

Mummy Social Quote from Parenting Fails & Pigtails

What the app can offer is amazing. I really hope by signing up, interacting with people and making new friends, we can end loneliness. Together.

PS. please accept my apologies – this post was written and published earlier this month, but I had a technological fail (standard) and have had to repost it. My laptop has been at severe risk of injury for the last 5 hours. I can’t promise its out of the woods yet…..

The Art of Parenting

The Art of Parenting

The Art of Parenting

The Art of Parenting. How is there an art to parenting? Like, I make sure Team Twiglet are fed, watered and clothed, does that make me an artiste? Is it my flair for entertaining voices in the bath? Or perfecting the ever so important Mum Glare when the kids are turning into possessed Tasmanian devils in the cereal isle? Either way, I’m not convinced there is an art to it.

Same Shit, Different Day.

We are on week 5 of the epically long Summer Holidays, and I think all of us are beginning to lose a marble or two. Artistic it most definitely is not!

There are so many hints and parenting tips for you to absorb in the magical world wide web, it is pretty much an Idiots Guide to Parenting.   

Team Twiglet, wet play. Parenting Fails and Pigtails. The Art of Parenting.

Except, the main thing that seems to be sparse in the advice for parents of babies to teens alike, is this:

The fact that each individual soul that walks this planet, is unique.

What I may find funny for example, could be offensive to the person on my left, but mildly amusing to the person on my right. Yet despite their indifference, I am rolling around on the floor in a fit of giggles, because it tickled me pink.

Quote No One is you and that is your super power. The Art of Parenting. Parenting Fails and Pigtails

So, whilst there is a fountain of knowledge out here in the massive technological universe, I suggest to try to take each Parenting Styles or Preschool Parenting Advice or any other of the millions of parenting related titles, with a proverbial pinch of salt.

No two humans are the same, there is no one else who is you. And as the quote states, it really is a super power.

I spent some time figuring out who I am this year, with the help of Martha Beck and it has been an amazing exercise that I thoroughly recommend. Personalities are so complex, sometimes it is hard to figure out who you are, let alone any one else. 

Its a Twin Thing

I say the above based on limited, but genuine experience. Having been launched into parenting on a nappy filled rocket, we welcomed twins almost a decade ago. My pregnancy was complexed due to multiple reasons. Primarily cancer + pregnancy isn’t a great combo, but we’ve made it thus far regardless.  

Thing 1 for example, would only sleep on her front*, which is against all advice. But she would cry and cry on her back yet slept soundly on her front. Where as Thing 2, would only sleep on his back.

A minute apart in age, a world apart in personality and preferences. 

Comparing when you have twins is pretty much a mortal sin, but somewhat inevitable. Having two children grown in the same womb, sharing the same conditions and entering the world at almost exactly the same time, leads to some natural comparisons. If Thing 1 was winding better, I would try and figure out the perfect technique to use on Thing 2. I had completely lost the understanding that they were indeed entirely separate entities. I now know, each and every child is as different as the advice available to trawl through.

Whilst I wouldn’t swap our parenting baptism of fire, I am grateful they are somewhat self sufficient these days. The twins have even started to make their own breakfasts! Team Twiglet continue to amaze me each and every day. Thats not to say they don’t push my buttons, argue and invariably cry multiple times a day. For my sins, I am a shouter. Despite my best efforts a few years ago to give up shouting for lent, the Summer Holidays aren’t all that easy to navigate. It has however decreased in volume and frequency now they are now old enough (ish) to reason with, and I no longer have to wrestle a crocodile to remove yet another piccalilli shit storm!  

The Art of Parenting?

I feel, should there be an Art of Parenting, that someone, somewhere needs to take ownership and filter out the tosh that is floating around these binary 0’s and 1’s. 

There are too many people who seem to know the best and apparent only way of parenting correctly. I however do not. I believe we each parent the best possible way we can, and the way I do it, is no better or more correct than the way you do it.

And my attempt is most definitely is not Art,

*The current guidelines recommend an infant to sleep on their backs, I was aware that this was against midwife regulations, but as a sleep deprived mummy of twins, I got to the stage of if it works, it works. I spent many nights in restless slumber checking on her, the mum guilt was rife. She still sleeps on her tummy, bum high and wrapped up like The Hungry Caterpillar.

I do not however recommend or endorse other people ignoring these well researched guidelines.