A Letter to my Pre-Mum Self

 

Dear Pre-Mum me,

Just thought I’d drop you a line ahead of tiny people taking up residence in your womb. I hope you’re keeping well. All is good this side of the timeline. Exhaustion is a bit of an on-going issue, but you get used to it, and sometimes in all the madness of life, sleep deprived delirium can even be a bonus.

Hope you’re enjoying some carefree wild nights with your friends. Still a total night owl here, but the rave moves have become more of the “swaying the baby to sleep kind” and the attire is now less about displays of pert, voluptuous cleavage and more about the support and easy access to sometimes melon proportioned breasts for night feeds.

Enjoy all the latest cinema releases. While now you may hold an opinion on all the Oscar nominated and winning movies, in the years to come if it’s not made by Pixar or Disney, you won’t have seen it – over and over and over again.

Go out while you can, anywhere, everywhere, whenever, without the military preparation required to take a small person and half the house with you. Visit friends and family while they still smile happily to see you arrive rather than stare at you with a look of terror as you unload the troops from the car.

Wear crop tops more often.  Your tummy is going to look a LOT different in years to come. Whether it’s sunny, blowing a gale, raining, snowing or -10, show off your stomach, while you can …sob.

Take long showers and lather yourself in luxurious smellies while treating your glossy locks to some hair masks. The day will come when you’ll shower with just one leg in the cubicle as you strain to hear if your baby is crying and your hair will be washed with baby shampoo, or maybe just liquid
soap – assuming you have time to wash it at all that is.

Enjoy life and don’t sweat the small stuff.  There’s a whole load of small stuff, of the human variety, coming your way, that’ll really give you plenty to sweat about.

Oh and don’t buy that beige couch.  You’ll have to replace it in late 2001, after an unfortunate Ribena incident.

See you on the other side. The fun awaits!

 

Love Jen. xxx

Surviving the mid-term

Mid-term is here and a welcome break from school runs, school lunches and most of all homework beckons.  The prospect of a week that belongs to us is very appealing and romantic notions of quality time spent together with less shouting, cajoling and/or threatening pleasantries fill our heads, well mine anyway.

Of course the reality MAY be somewhat different. Bearing in mind the “challenges” that all this quality time together, possibly during a rainy, cold week, may bring, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help make the experience more enjoyable – and hopefully ensure that everyone is still on speaking terms at the end of the week!

1.   Take a breather: Spilled juice, upturned bedrooms, sibling rows, home phones down the toilet and constant calls of “mammy, mammy, mammy (or daddy, daddy, daddy) can cause a marginal increase in our stress levels.

      Walk away and literally breathe. Big deep breaths for just a few seconds or minutes, enough time for you to feel more at one with the world and less likely to scream like a banshee. It will hopefully stop a knee-jerk reaction punishment such as grounding or no electronics time, that only you will ultimately pay the price for, over a loooooong day.

2.   Get up earlier: Yes every school morning, you have to literally drag them out of bed but at the weekend and school holidays, they’re first up, playing the recorder, ransacking the kitchen as they “prepare” breakfast for themselves and generally causing mayhem!
      Getting up before them means that you can get yourself sorted first rather than in the midst of chaos, where you’re chasing the baby who has swiped your deodorant and finding your missing bra on the three year old spiderman costume wearing enthusiast. Managing to get dressed before they’re even awake means you’ll be ready to leave the house without any (ok, as much) of the drama.

3.   Leave the house: And speaking of leaving the house – leave the house. Go somewhere, anywhere. Escape the confines of the four walls. Even if the weather is not great, wrap up, wear wellies and get out. Go for a walk, along the beach if you’re lucky enough to leave near one. Visit some poor unsuspecting friends or family members. Visit a pet shop. Have a picnic, in the car if necessary. Go for a muffin. Go to a playground. Check out the kids club at the local cinema. Something small every day – and it doesn’t have to cost much, or anything. It’s about getting out and not letting cabin fever set in.

4.   Playdates: Because after all, who doesn’t want to look after even more children over the midterm! But seriously though, having a friend or friends over for your own kids is not only great bribery, it gives you a break from the “what are we doing now?” question that you are in all likelihood facing every five minutes otherwise. And, if the weather is good you can chuck them outdoors. Then, when you return them to their parents later, while polishing your halo, you can explain that they had plenty of fresh air and spent a very limited time on electronics.  Win, win!

5.   Stock up on wine and chocolate: No explanation required.

An Ode to Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s is here again,
And love is in the air,
There’s gifts exchanged of chocolate
And flowers and underwear
And soppy cards, with romantic rhymes,
That detail endless love,
To darling partners everywhere,
Alleged angels from above,
But let’s be honest, things really change
When children come along,
It’s a different romance that us mums need
A change from the familiar song
Of “Mammy mammy where are you,
I spilt my juice on the floor,
Please wipe my bum, and find my shoes
Oh mammy my knee is sore!
I need new pencils by tomorrow
My viking project is due
We need to bake cakes for Friday’s sale
And I’ve run out of all my glue
I’ve had a bad dream, can I sleep in your bed?
Oh now I need a drink,
Mammy quick, the fairy won’t come
My tooth’s fallen down the sink!”
So darling partners everywhere,
In this romantic season,
Just think of how you can show your love,
For no particular reason,
And see to the kids when they are calling
And let their mammy sleep,
Clean all the bums, and do the projects
And you’ll be one to keep.
And even if you’re a hero already
And everything is fine
Buy something special to treat your dearest
A practical gift, like wine!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone ❤ Jen.x

Some exciting news!

 

I recently told a few close friends and family members that I had some exciting news. As a woman known for having a particularly overactive uterus, the first assumption by many was that another baby was on the way. While nothing quite tops baby news, that wasn’t the news that I was sharing on this occasion!

The excitement began a couple of weeks ago and part one of the journey culminated yesterday, with the signing of my life, (or the next few months of it, anyway), away. There was only one way I could possibly celebrate – lunch, followed by Dirty Dancing at the theatre, with more than the odd glass of wine consumed in between. By all accounts, it was a perfect Friday!

Oh yes, the news, the sort of news someone with a passion for writing and all things parenting can only dream of – I’ve been offered a book deal.

Excuse me a moment while I explain. What I really mean is – O.M.G. I’VE BEEN OFFERED A BOOK DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So there you have it – Mama-tude, aka Jen Hogan, aka your ‘wan with all the kids, aka Maaaaam, muuum, maaaaaammmmmy, is writing a parenting book which will be published later this year!

I’ve put it in writing and I’m posting it on my blog, yet it still seems like a dream.

Quick, somebody pinch me!

 

Sunday Night Syndrome

It’s Sunday Night, you know the drill,
It never seems, to change,
Lunches to make, ahead of school,
And uniforms to arrange,
All neatly at the end of beds,
When they’ve come through the laundry,
Except for the missing pieces of course
Therein begins the quandary,
Where could they be, the kids deny
They put them anywhere,
Except in the wash-basket of course,
And into space they stare,
“Yes definitely there, I remember it well,
Straight after we had our bath”
I look in disbelief at them,
Knowing generally there’s a path,
Of clothes that they leave in their wake,
All strewn across the floor,
One sock here, and a shirt over there,
Underpants hanging from the door,
A frantic search begins upstairs,
As shoes are missing too,
A white runner is under one bed,
But the one we need is blue,
Ah here it is, in the underwear drawer,
I really should have thought,
And the trousers are there, under baby’s cot,
Just a jumper now is sought,
Hurray more washing on Sunday night,
Just what every mother needs,
And fun and games to get them dry,
Visions of an early night recedes,
Yes it’s Sunday night you know the drill,
As the week ahead is beckoning,
But I won’t be able to sleep tonight,
It’s a syndrome by my reckoning!