When I became Charlotte from Sex and The City 2….

This picture is me last night. Completely and utterly done in. The only reason there is a filter on it is 1: I wanted to emphasise the fact that I’d been crying and 2: My skin was so blotchy I wasn’t brave enough to reveal the true ugliness. But I will reveal the ugliness of the situation.

I’m constantly in awe of Mums on Instagram and Facebook who post pics of themselves always looking shiny and beautiful. And the kids looking super cute.

And honestly, that is NOT a criticism. Like I said, I’m in awe. I wish that could be me. I don’t know if it’s real or not. I wish I done Yoga in the morning. I wish I could post Insta worthy breakfasts even once a week. I wish I could hashtag #mumlife and appear in the top 9 pictures looking both wholesome and fuckable. But I can’t. That’s just not my reality and never will be. (But just so you gorgeous mums know, I’ll still follow you and aspire to be like you. I just know deep down that’ll never be me).

Instead, this is me. And I ALWAYS said I would keep stuff real.

I’m exhausted. No mental health issues. Which is bloody ironic. I finally get a bit of clarity in my head and then plain and simple exhaustion decides to bring me down.

I’ve worked more than normal recently. And although I love my job and my family, I feel like I’m running on empty. (That running on empty bit is a nod to a fellow blogger. I totally get you and completely understand your post yesterday. You know who you are.)

Yesterday, at about 8pm I had a bit of a breakdown. I cried and shouted. I made my 10yr old feel like shit. I ranted that I don’t get enough help around the house and that I’m sick of being taken for granted.

So I done what any self respecting, normal mum would do and barricaded myself in the bathroom and let the ridiculously expensive Benefit mascara run rivulets down my face.

I became Charlotte from Sex and The City 2. Where she locks herself in the pantry and screams and cries. It’s a TOTALLY relatable moment. But she’s pretty and has a perfect outfit and apron on. I had a stained and sweaty Selfish Mother top on that I’d probably wore to bed the night before. And I don’t have a pantry. Just a bathroom that desperately needs cleaned.

But still, the feelings are the same.

I felt absolutely awful that my girls seen me like that. They cried. I cried. We cuddled and I cried some more.

The tiredness is unreal. I would give ANYTHING to have an undisturbed 12 hours.

But that’s the thing. When you’re a Mum, you just can’t. Well, sometimes I can because I have an awesome husband but recently things have been so busy that we’ve both been existing on about 5 hours a night…

I feel like I’m spreading myself too thinly. Like I said to a friend last night, I know I can be good at my job, I know I can be a good Mum and I know I can be a good wife. But right now I feel like I can’t be them all. I’m drained.

The same friend said I shouldn’t beat myself up about showing weakness in front of my daughter’s. That it shows them I’m real. A person and not just a Mum.

And that helped. Enormously.

I put the girls to bed with a towel wrapped round my wet air because I couldn’t be arsed drying it. I fell asleep next to Abigail with her playing with my hair and telling me she’ll help whenever I need it. I told her I was sorry for being grumpy and crying.

I felt bad. Because she’s 10. And probably shouldn’t bear the burden of a stressed out Mum.

But then, I’m only human. And they need to see my flaws and vulnerability.

I worked with a fellow Mum tonight who’s a brilliant friend as well as an amazing colleague. And she gets it too. The guilt. The tiredness. The shittiness of everyday life. And it felt so good to rant. Especially the giggles about how I left my husband in Blackpool but only got as far as Poundland.

And then another lovely friend who had watched my girls while I worked, poured me a glass of wine as soon as I finished work.

And sometimes, it’s tiny little gestures like this that make your body and mind relax little bit more.

Everything feels a little bit better.

Now I better finish ranting. I need to be up at sunrise to do Yoga. I’m turning over a new leaf for peace of mind.

NOT.

I’m drinking wine and watching Dragon’s Den.

But tomorrow is a new day. And I’ll try to be better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An open letter:

So this happened. When I’m not meant to be drinking until Saturday. Self imposed ban and all that. Well, that went right out the window tonight.

I was sitting in a place I don’t live tonight with no charge on my phone waiting for a lift from a colleague. Not bringing my charger out, entirely my fault but on further reading it may become apparent why it made me feel more vulnerable. Yes, I was on a Main Street and I NEVER felt in danger but here goes…..

An open letter.

To the man who approached me tonight:

I seen you ride past a few times on your motorbike looking at me and didn’t really think anything of it. I’m not saying I’m used to overt male attention (totally not) but I was more bothered in keeping an eye out for my lift.

But then you parked and approached me. I definitely did become a bit weary and more conscious of the fact I was alone. Again I felt no danger. It’s a fairly busy but unfamiliar street. I pulled my bag in closer and when you asked what the best route was to a certain place I answered I didn’t know because I wasn’t from round here. I told you to ask in the co-op.

Yet you still didn’t move. You may have seen the wedding ring on my finger but that didn’t deter you. You asked where I was going, what I was doing there if I wasn’t from there and where I lived.

From my body language alone, I clearly wasn’t comfortable. I kept looking at my phone as if I was expecting a phone call (even though it was dead) and checking my watch.

And yet still. You stood too close and didn’t seem to want to go into the co-op and ask for the directions you were desperate to get from me despite telling you I wasn’t local.

You kept telling me I had a pretty accent and looking around yourself nervously and if truth be told I felt a little vulnerable. Because even at the age of 36 with a shit load of life experience behind me, I wasn’t comfortable. I felt exposed and unable to move away without causing offence.

Because here’s the thing, you may have had every good intention in the world. You may have just wanted a chat. But I made it abundantly clear I didn’t. And it made me feel trapped. I never felt in danger just hugely uncomfortable.

If you have daughters (I have) I hope they never felt as uncomfortable as I did tonight. If you have sons, I hope they are better at reading body language than you. You might have been the nicest man in the world but please don’t linger around a lone woman who clearly isn’t interested in conversing with you.

Sincerely, Lynne

Why I bought my 10yr old a Fitbit….

I bought my 10yr old daughter a Fitbit and that may seem slightly controversial. Or really sensible, depending on your viewpoint. I’ve had a few judgy comments already but as long as I’m happy and my daughter is happy, then ultimately, I’m ok with my decision.

When I say judgy comments, I don’t mean they were meant nastily. I understand them. Truly, I do. Somebody said “why would a child need a Fitbit, they should be running around getting exercise anyway, not concerning themselves with steps and calories…?”

Indeed. But here’s the thing. We’re not living in the 1980’s anymore, where kids fucked off outside in the morning to climb trees, make dens, jump across rivers, get shouted at by farmers for running amok in their fields and then returned in the early evening for a plate of Findus crispy pancakes and chips. We can get all nostalgic about it or we can move with the times. I choose the latter.

I do wish things were a bit like that now. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a childhood like that for my girls but that era is gone. Maybe for some kids it hasn’t. But it largely depends on where you live, how much freedom you’re comfortable giving them and also what your kids like doing with their free time.

And if they’re anything like mine, most kids these days spend a ridiculous amount of time online. Watching YouTube videos, playing games and vlogging (my two both have Youtube accounts where they like to ramble and overshare). Yeah, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree….

And as parents, we’re kind of powerless to stop it because it’s what all their pals are doing. We can put time limits on such activities but if I’m really honest, I kind of use them as a free babysitting service. It gives me peace and gets them out of my hair. Like I used to do with back to back episodes of Peppa Pig when they were younger. It’s an easy way of life to fall into. On the plus side, they absolutely rock at technology. They can edit their own vlogging videos, while I still struggle with the Sky Remote.

Abigail also has a passion for photography and uploading lovely pictures to Instagram. They both adore reading and have bedrooms that resemble mini libraries. And I’m proud of everything they do….

It’s just not very ACTIVE. They do play out, of course they do but a lot of modern kids activities are largely stationary. They don’t move about a lot while doing them and that bothers me. It’s not all I think about as a parent but it is something I worry about.

Hence the Fitbit. She’s been eyeing mine up since the day I got it. And it is a thing of beauty. I love my Fitbit. Apart from going in the shower, it lives on my wrist and motivates me to move more. I love that it tracks my sleep. Undeniable proof that the husband keeps me awake with his snoring.

I paid £100 for it which the husband was slightly raging about but as I pointed out, I probably spend that on wine in two months and it’s an investment in her health. She’s had it two days. We’ve done Fitbit challenges (on the app) and she’s aced them. Beating me and her Dad. She clocked up more than 20,000 steps yesterday and the pride on her face was unbeatable. She probably won’t walk that everyday but it’s given her motivation to move more. It’s fancy technology that most kids love AND it has an element of competition. Total winner in my book.

It doesn’t have a heart rate function as she definitely doesn’t need to concern herself with that. I’ve told her to ignore the calorie display. I ignore mine. It’s not important to me and it’s definitely not important to a 10yr old.

This isn’t about body image either. I tell her she’s perfect the way she is (and she is, she’s all long limbs and never-ending legs) but i also emphasise the importance of being healthy and active. I’ll leave the negative body image issues to hit her when she inevitably starts reading awful magazines with airbrushed models and impossible standards of beauty. I’ll do my best to protect her from such influences but again, as parents, we’re kind of powerless against such powerful images and media.

And neither is it about weight loss. It’s simply a modern tool to encourage my child to move more. Nothing more and nothing less. If it continues to motivate and excite her, then my decision was right. For us.

The 7yr has now started banging on about getting one. She can go and whistle for it. She moves her mouth more than enough to make up for the rest of her body.

 

Gratitude

Excuse the batman pyjamas (I wear the husband’s pjs cause I’m really sexy like that…🙄🙄🙄) I like to keep him interested. Interested in the sense that he gets pissed off when he can’t find his pyjama bottoms….😂😂

This short post is a massive shoutout to the husband for putting up with me this week and not filing for divorce.

To anyone who’s spoken to me over the past few days, I’m sorry for repeating myself. But because the girls are enjoying the most awesome holiday away with my parents, I’ve taken on every available shift and I’ve worked over 100 hours in 9 days.

Exhaustion is an understatement. My bags have bags. I thought I had eye makeup spillage under my eyes tonight and tried to wipe it away with wipes. But no, it was bags.

For the first time in a year, I’ve had spots. Even coconut oil can’t save me.

I’ve had hissy fits after work through tiredness. One memorable moment was me throwing a tangle teezer at the mirror because I kept dropping it because I didn’t have the energy to drag it through my hair. I think I called it a bastarding twat. Or it might have even been the C word.

I’ve not done any kind of housework for the past week. At all. The husband took over everything. Actually, that’s fairly normal. But this time, I’ve not even pretended to do anything.

I’ve took hissy fits at work. But mostly work has been a pleasure. I love my job and my grumpiness has been reserved for a select few colleagues who know to just ignore me.

I even went to the dark side and started drinking Monster despite my lectures to other people who drink it. I’ve drank so much coffee that I need to pee in every clients house. Instead of signing off in the communication books with “All ok on leaving” I felt like writing “had a pee on leaving….”

But the husband. Bloody hell. I’ve put him through it this week. I’ve screamed. I’ve shouted. I’ve not shaved my legs or under my arms in what feels like a million years. And yet I still come home (if he isn’t working) to meals like this. Not because he wants to make sure I’m well fed. But because he knows I like a good Instagram food pic. And that blows my tiny little mind when I’ve been such a cow.

I’ve got two days off.

I’ve bought razors. Whether I’ll actually de hair myself is another matter. I may just stay in the batman pj’s for the next 48 hours.IMG_5489.JPG

Date Night

After a bit of arguing and tantrums and tears (I can be a bit of a dick when I’ve worked 63 hours in 5 days), the husband done a bit of grovelling and suggested we go out for dinner. The grovelling totally should have came from me but I have that magical quality that most women possess of making husbands think they’re in the wrong even when they’re not…..

It was a nice idea but could I really be arsed putting on make up and trying to squeeze my arse into the 4 pairs of skinny jeans that no longer fit. I was quite happy in my oversized Superdry t-shirt and leggings having slept until 3pm. Yep, I really did. I was bloody exhausted and since the kids are away, I took full advantage of acting like a teenager on my one day off. Completely and utterly wasted the day away and it felt fecking awesome.

All I wanted was a big supermarket to wander around. We didn’t need a food shop. I just get excited at going to shops without the kids. Staring at pretty wine labels and lovingly stroking book covers. Searching for reduced food. I’m easily pleased. And the husband appreciates the same shit. This is date night for us. Truly. Morrisons without the kids. Life doesn’t get any better.

I think we spent more than hour in there. Congratulating each other when we’d found a bargain. Wandering round the aisles aimlessly. Either together or alone. Getting an excited phone call from the husband telling me to “come quick to Aisle 24, I just found big bags of Doritos for 29p”. This actually happened. And I love it.

He bought me the flowers in the picture for 40p. And they mean more to me than an overpriced bouquet being delivered cause he knows I’d kick his ass if he wasted that much money on something that dies quickly. He knows my heart rate quickens at a bargain. So combine that with flowers and it’s doubly romantic.

I got wine. Obviously. But I took forever choosing it. And that luxury is nearly as good as drinking it. I said nearly.

I also spent 20 minutes choosing a leave in conditioner. But ended up getting the same one I always get. Aussie Miracle Recharge Moisture in case you’re interested. It’s fab.

He bought me a heart shaped chopping board which is for (and I quote him directly here) “your wanky Instagram food posts”.

We filled our basket with reduced Pukka Pies (29p) and tubs of olives from the deli also reduced to 29p. I’ll sit and pick the bits of  gouda cheese out of them and then wonder why my jeans don’t fit.

In short, it was heaven. I honestly don’t need to be taken out in the traditional sense of being taken out. Give me a supermarket. If you want my heart rate to go through the roof, take me to Waitrose for the end of day bargains and fanciest of fancy wine labels. And their free food magazine is like porn to me, full of inspiration for above mentioned wanky Instagram posts. But really, any supermarket will do. I’m not fussy.

So I’m happy. It’s my one day off and I’ve got him where I want him. In the kitchen making me food. Chicken and Mozzarella risotto. The wine is open. And I’m doing what I love. Writing about myself, faffing about on Instagram and trying to figure out how to get my hair more like Khloe Kardashian’s.

Well, I can’t go too wild. I’m back at work tomorrow.

 

 

An epic failure of a day out….

An epic failure of a day out…..

Last night I promised the girls a lovely family day out today. I’d had a little bit of wine at the in laws and was at that second glass of wine phase where everything is lovely and you just want to make plans and make everyone happy. I was all “yeah, when I come in from work tomorrow, let’s all get the train to Edinburgh and wander round parks and stuff, maybe go for dinner…”

Girls excited. I’m happy that they’re excited. Everyone’s happy.

Fast forward 18 hours later and I come in from work. Tired, needing a shower that lasts longer than 30 seconds and rocking a greasy hair/skin combo. My morning at work had been changed at the last minute and I had worked a run I don’t usually do. So I’d had to properly engage my brain. ALL MORNING. Last thing I wanted was to transform myself into perky mum. I wanted to be tucked into bed and left alone.

We couldn’t decide on anything to do. We abandoned the trip to Edinburgh on account of the shit weather.

Rejected ideas: Bowling (makes me want to gouge my eyes out and use them as tiny bowling balls because the real ones are too heavy) Cinema. Nothing appropriate for kids and I’d probably fall asleep in the dark. Sky high: I resent paying money for my kids to jump up and down and the coffee’s probably shit.

We got in the car and just decided to drive. Got less than a mile out of Stirling and realised we’d left the epi pens at home. I’d like to point out here that this is normally when I’m a massively responsible adult. Having a child who could actually die from eating something as little as a peanut tends to make you have your parenting shit together. But I’d emptied my bag before work and the husband had forgot them. A quick trip back home and we were sorted.

First major mistake. I’d bought the husband a can of Monster. Hate those drinks with a passion but it was zero sugar and cost 50p in Home Bargains.

The husband CANNOT handle energy drinks. He becomes manic and talks a million miles an hour. I shit you not, in less than 30 seconds he managed to produce a sentence which sounded something like this (while driving through Falkirk):

“Do you like that house up there…? I do…what do you think….? I love Jason Derulo. I like this song. Oh look, that’s where we had sausage rolls once. Have you seen James and The Giant Peach…? Girls, have you seen James and The Giant Peach…? We could watch James and The Giant Peach….? Has anyone seen James and The Giant Peach….?”

It was like having a third child on speed. If he ever drinks another can of that stuff, I WILL divorce him.

Half an hour later we somehow ended up at the Kelpies. The biggest and blackest cloud hovered while we bickered in the car. And THE second we went to get out, the heavens opened. No kelpies. I was kind of relieved.

Until the husband suggested going to Hobbycraft to the girls. Think he done it just to wind me up. Because if bowling makes me want to gouge my eyes out, Hobbycraft makes me want to staple them shut with the glue gun Abigail ended up buying there. Like, JUST FUCKING KILL ME NOW.

It was the easily the most tedious 30 minutes of my life. And my phone died so I had to pretend to be interested in glittery shit.

Little glimmer of hope though. Bella found a science bit. She bought a house for snails. She’s just moved the snails in. Real ones. And it’s awesome. No pink glittery shit involved.

Then we went to M&S food hall. Where all my dreams came true. It was yellow sticker time. Makes my heart beat faster more than anything else. REDUCED FOOD. Got an absolute shit load of cheap food. But nooooo, I still couldn’t enjoy a bit of carefree bargain shopping. Husband decided he had an upset stomach (probably the can of Monster) and runs to the toilet in M&S with a look of total fear on his face. Admitted to me later that he thought things could have turned out very differently if he didn’t find a toilet…..

At this point I just wanted to buy wine and go home. And that’s what we did. And we all lived happily ever after. Until the next time. Cause there will be a next time. That’s our specialty as a family. Having days out that make any family on Shameless look a class above us.

The 30p sandwich was good though….🙄🙄

If you don’t laugh, you’d cry….