8 things NOT to say to a mother who puts her kid into child care…

My son was little under 8 months old when my maternity leave was up and it was time to return to work. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking for, but when I saw a nursery near to my workplace, I just knew it was ‘the one’. I suppose in a weird, non related kind of way, finding the right place for your child is like finding the ‘dress’ for your wedding, or the ‘perfect’ house. Some people, however, still think of child care placements as an inferior option to the child staying at home with a family member, or that it’s completely unthinkable for you to even think about returning to work at all. Whether or not a mother is confident or uncertain about her decision to pop her baby into childcare, here’s 10 things that she doesn’t need to hear.

1. Are they registered? This seemingly innocuous question is accusatory on two levels. First of all, some families cannot afford registered childcare, which is not ideal. But let’s not pretend like our country has ever prioritised affordable childcare… So, unless you’re prepared to follow up such a ridiculous question with “here, I’d LOVE to give you £1000 a month to afford somewhere registered” I’d suggest that you keep your mouth shut, because you’re going out of your way to be a parent-shaming arsehole. Not only that, you make it sound like we’re just letting our kids take crystal meth with the local drug dealer.

2. “People are so materialistic these days. With just a bit of budget-balancing, you wouldn’t need childcare.” Usually, this sort of insult comes from the over 50s, where “back in their day” the Dad worked and the Mum did the childcare. This is insulting on two levels;1. This is 2017, not 1917. Daddy doesn’t earn enough to keep us all going. 2. I fucking budget enough as it is. I’m not sure how cutting out a can of coke here and there is going to stop me from having to work. Also, it’s not selfish for a working mother to be able to spend some of her own hard earned cash here and there on a box of hair dye, or a night out with the girls, and anyone who assumes otherwise is just a wanker and you don’t need that sort of negativity.

3. “Did you hear about that little girl who died at nursery?” It’s true. It happens. Whether it’s due to a freak accident or neglect, children have died at nursery… But they’ve also died at home with their parents. There is absolutely no way to 100% guarantee a child’s safety. (Especially if they’re as feral and adventurous as mine!). Parents, by nature are hard wired to worry about the safety of their children. So, just as it’s awful to talk about a huge plane crash to someone who’s about to fly to another country, it’s also just as unkind to stir up images of harmed children in the mind of a parent. Just don’t do it.

4. “I’d be so afraid of missing out on an important milestone of my kid’s life”When you begin a parenting-related sentence with “I’d be” or “I could never…” then the chances are you’re on the train to sanctimonious city. Yes, with a child care setting, you might miss the first official OMG moment… but if the parent didn’t witness it, or it wasn’t caught on camera, did it really happen?! N’s nursery staff definitely witnessed a couple of milestones before I did, but it wasn’t delivered to me with a tone of shame, but instead a tone of excitement; “N showed us all his amazing crawling today! Can’t wait for you to see it too!” A little, tiny bit gutting but it’s great to share the excitement and joy with someone else too!

5. How many children are actually in this child care setting? This question may be asked in perfect innocence, but the odds are that the parent you’re asking this to will hear “you’re ok with letting your kid get lost in amongst the zoo of children that are already there?” All registered child care placements have allocated people with a safe amount of children.

6. “8 hours is a long time to leave your kid with some stranger. Your life must be so much easier!” I’ve yet to meet another mother, even the most privileged ones that don’t have a really hectic life. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of choosing my working hours. Yes, 8 hours is an extremely long time to be away from me, but I have to work. You might find me on a rare “day off” (where I’m sick, or in the half term) that I have a few hours to myself, but I don’t need to be punished for that. Fucking hell, I work enough hours to spend a few having a cup of tea and watching Jeremy Kyle in peace.

7. “It’ll be interesting to see how much it changes him.”This to me, is a strange and ominous observation. Couldn’t you argue that any difference changes a baby? From new toys, clothes, destinations etc. It also implies that by handing your kid over to a childcare provider, you’ll get a different one back. One that is not yours, and one that is much less loveable. The biggest ‘changes’ in N since he started childcare is that he brought home more germs… germs that can actually be acquired anywhere, and that will (god willing) make his immune system stronger in the long haul. He came home with more food on his clothes, which happens on the hour at my house, and it means he was being fed! And the most important change that I witnessed was his social skills. They were so strong. He loves other kids and is rarely shy with them. He might get his tummy out and parade himself like a tiny little peacock, but I think it’s just great. I never once thought “holy shit, what is this horrible little thing that I’ve brought home?!”

8. “Why even have kids if you’re just going to put them in childcare?!”A personal favourite of mine(!). Indeed, why get married if you don’t spend every waking minute staring into your spouses eyes? Why buy a house if you’re just going to go outside? Why get a pet if you’re just going to leave it at home for a spare minute? I’ll tell you why. Because we all have lives that divide and demand our attention. Modelling a balanced life for a child, whilst opening up a world of people that will love and care about isn’t exactly abandonment. Generally, anyone that says this, has been extremely fortunate in life, and has enough income and sanity to spend every waking minute with CBeebies on in the background or they’re childless. I mean the childless folk aren’t really in the same league as us parents. Until they pop out some kids of their own, their opinions don’t count, and they will do well to keep them to themselves until they’ve had a Thomas the tank engine toy thrown at their head.

All I know is that, childcare providers, as pricey as they are have been nothing but great for my family. They have aided me in this journey. They helped me through the teething, they helped him to drink from a cup and to use cutlery. They gave me a hug when I cried about him crying and leaving me. They sent me messages of encouragement when I was racked with guilt about leaving him. They were fantastic. N is now with a childminder. Something a lot different to what he was used to at the nursery. She is also fantastic. He loves going to her house and having more of the attention on him. He has friends that I’ve found hard to provide him with since having anxiety and a hectic work schedule. I am able to work and make a difference to children’s lives because these people have been there to look after mine. I am forever grateful.

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Time for the birth story, I think!

I've been blogging for quite a while now, and it seems there's been a bit of interest in my birth story. I'm not sure how or why I'm about to tell you how I pushed a human being out of my vagina, but here we are. So, buckle up, we're about to get personal!

I've touched on how hideous my pregnancy was. In the last 10 weeks, I was admitted to FMAU (fetal maternal assessment unit) with reduced movements from the baby. It was decided that I would be induced at 38+3.

Now, it was actually quite handy to know that once we'd leave for the hospital, that we would be for sure coming home with a small person. Daddy and I were able to clean the house from top to bottom and make sure that everything was prepared for us to step over the threshold as a family of three. Blah blah boring, I know. You're all waiting for the juicy bit!

On Monday the 16th of February, I had to prepare myself for induction. For those that aren't familiar with the procedure, it's basically where a midwife shoves her whole arm (okay, I'm exaggerating!) up your fanny to place what can only be described as a small, hormone filled tampon behind your cervix to try and get it to open and ready for labour.

Things started to happen, and it was all very exciting and slightly uncomfortable. But, that's as far as it went with that part of the induction. The pains were irregular and not actually that painful looking back on it. All it did was make me quite cross and sweary. I couldn't sleep, so naturally, I didn't let Daddy sleep either. We spent that first night just wandering the corridors of the maternity unit whilst I moaned how fat I was and how unimpressed that there wasn't a baby here already.

After a night of no sleep and with me becoming increasingly more sweary, the lovely midwives of Exeter decided to break my waters for me and stick me on a drip of pitocin. This is where it all became very painful. The pitocin had me from 0-100 in about twenty minutes. I swore at a (probably very lovely) student nurse who questioned my sky high contraction chart, and asked if I was actually having a contraction. Apparently the student nurses that I said were allowed in pre-pitocin were caught on the end of my labour fuelled rage… and I didn't see much of them after that. I feel a bit bad for that, but I can't apologise for what happened during childbirth. I had lost my inhibitions.

During labour, I mooed like a cow, I cried for my mum, I told Daddy to fuck off… then to immediately come back. I wanted to bounce on the ball, I hated the ball. The list was endless. I was a mess. That shit is not for the feint hearted. Anyway, after about two hours on the gas and air (great stuff by the way), I needed something a bit stronger.

About ten seconds after having a pethidine injection, I begged for an epidural. Now, here's where I made my fatal error. Understandably by the time the anaesthetists got to me, the morphine was beginning to take effect. I felt like I had drank about 3 bottles of wine and couldn't sit up right (which is really important to do!) for the needle to go into my back. I remember people talking to me but I couldn't hear what they were saying, and it sounded like my ears were under water.

The midwives managed to lie me back and I had lost the ability to talk and to even open my eyes. Just before I went into a big pissed up sleep, I heard the midwife say "yep, she's gone" and I immediately thought I was dead and having an out of body experience. Obviously this was just the drugs that had sent me off. The next eight or nine hours were just filled with me sleeping and waking up to vomit.

I never imagined the worst part of labour to be the sickness. I had all sorts of anti sickness but just I was still pregnant after all, and instead of it being a bloodbath, it was just filled with my vomit. If N hadn't arrived when he had, I can almost be certain that I would have puked up a kidney.

After the morphine wore off, the epidural did too, and it was time to push at midnight. I can't really tell you what pushing an 8 pound baby out of your foof is like, but I can tell you it is only slightly like taking the biggest shit of your life. I pushed so hard I was sick. I pushed so hard that afterwards, my anus 100% looked like a bowl of grapes. I didn't believe the midwives or daddy when they said that the baby was coming. I was in complete denial until I put my hand down and felt a head between my legs. A very strange and scary feeling.

I demanded gaviscon of all things whilst I was pushing. I refused to push anymore until I had some. Apparently, birthing a baby's head can make you request some strange, strange things. I got my gaviscon, gave a few more pushes and out popped baby N at 12.59am on Wednesday the 18th of February.

He did some damage on the way out, with a nice second degree tear and a lot of 'grazing'. I was back on the gas and air whilst the lovely midwives stitched me up and then whisked off to the maternity ward.

Now, why was the epidural the fatal error, I hear you ask? Where I couldn't sit up straight not only affected the effectiveness of it, but has caused permanent nerve damage and it still very tedious to this day. I 'put my back out' several times a year and now have sciatica as a result of it.

If and when I have another little one, if I can help it, I would try and avoid induction and an epidural. I am pleased with how my labour went, and how it went without any hitches. I have heard many horror stories from my friends and othe brave ladies but I am so happy to report that through out the pain and the swearing, it was such an intimate experience for me and Daddy… But next time, I'd really like to not have a mind block from the drugs.

When the toddler starts dropping his nap time…

I suppose that since I’ve had such a terrible night sleeper for two years, that I often felt a bit gloaty about the fact that I knew I’d have 2 glorious hours the next day to catch up on some Z’s. “we’re usually up a few times in the night, but he loves his afternoon nap!” I’d tell my friends. 

On my days off, I usually count the hours down until nap time… until about a fortnight ago, where N decided he absolutely, categorically, 100% was just NOT TIRED. Picture this; I’d put N down to bed, creep into my room, close the curtains and just as my sleep deprived head hit the pillow… N would screech at the top of his little lungs; “MUUUUUUMY!! DRINK! DOWNSTAIRS!!!” And I’d die a little bit more inside. 

Today, N insisted that he wanted to go to bed at 10.30 this morning. I’ve quickly learned that he doesn’t actually want to go to sleep, no sir. He wants his dummy. Bed is the only place where the dummy is allowed these days (excluding the huge embarrassing public meltdowns where it’s used as a last resort). 

You see, naps are great. I fucking love a nap, me. My whole life has been based around naps. If you asked me where my happy place is, then it’s in my bed. The only time I didn’t nap, was when (in the eyes of society) I was supposed to. When N was a newborn, he slept all the bloody time. I’m not sure why, in my sleep deprived state, that I chose the pissing washing up over a nap. I regret that now, and I’ve learned my lesson. 

N might be ready to drop his naps, but I am not. Picture the crying face emoji, that’s me right now. I’m heartbroken that life as I know it to be is about to change once more. The only good thing about N dropping his nap is that I won’t have to wait to go out and do things, or have to worry about being back in time for his nap. 12pm is quite an unconvinient time to sleep, if I’m honest. 

We are in the transition phase at the moment, and I keep trying to convince myself that this is just a phase, and he’ll go back to those lovely, long naps soon enough… but the realistic side of me knows that this is it. Another part of my baby is leaving me. And he’s now even more of a little person. 

Ps, no naps in the day do make for huge tantrums over nothing (from Mummy and N). Toddlers are 90% more arseholish when they haven’t slept. 

Pps- scientific research has shown that toddlers who have less than ten minutes sleep in the car, can add about another 10 hours awake time. These kids can run on fumes alone. (I lied, it wasn’t scientific research. But it is definitely true.) 

FAQs about Abi/Noah’s mum

Since becoming a mother two and a half years ago (well, shit. That’s gone fast!), I’ve been asked some pretty strange and personal questions. I’ve made the conscious decision to share some of them, and my replies. NB that some of these questions/comments have been left on my blog posts… so they are very real! 

1. Do you actually have any kids? 

Yes, yes I do. I’d be a pretty shit ‘mummy blogger’ if I didn’t have a kid to write about… I am the proud owner of a hilarious, headstrong two year old. His name is Noah (yes like the boat and the two by two thing…) moving on…

2. How do you find time to blog?

If I want to write about something, I’ll generally do it there and then. Currently, I’m sat on the toilet typing this. (Real life, right here!). It takes between 30 minutes and an hour to write one whole blog post. Dependent on N’s temperament and whether he’s asleep or not can be contributing factors on how quickly it takes for me to write. 

3. How do you blog? 

I use the WordPress app and do all of my blogging from my phone. 

4. Do you actually like being a mum? You don’t deserve a kid

What sort of question is that? Of course I like being a mum! I love it! One can only assume that this question has come from someone with no children. In which case, I’m not sure why you’re looking at ‘Mummy blogs’ because that’s just fucking weird. My kid is a blessing.. but the sooner you learn that kids can be arseholes, the better. Come back in five years or so, when your kid is drawing biro all over your brand new corner sofa and tell me that they’re a pissing blessing, then. I love my son more than life itself, but if you’re telling me to embrace every tiny little detail of motherhood, then you are high off of your ass. I defy anyone to enjoy getting up every hour in the night (when the books promised that they’d be sleeping through by at least 10 months old) to get their toddler a drink and sing old McDonald sweetly into their ear until you’re a sobbing mess. Tell me that they’re a blessing then. Other parts are blessings. The cuddles in the bed, the exciting walks and adventures, the joy in hearing your name being called (only in the day time), the book reading (even if you have read it about 12 times in the last 5 minutes). He is a joy, but the life that comes with him sometimes isn’t. To say that someone doesn’t deserve a kid because they openly admit that kids can be dicks, is just a dickish move on your part. #cyahun 

5. What do you do in your free time? 

Usually, I clean my house. Toddlers are very good at making a mess. I generally spend my ‘days off’ cleaning and drinking (cold) tea. How an a small two bedroom house need cleaning all the time? Ask my son. He clearly has a “let’s piss Mummy off and get all of the mega blocks out again” schedule that he likes to stick to; along with a “she’s just hoovered, let’s stamp my cheddars into the carpet for bants” anywhere between 10am and 2pm. When N actually falls asleep in bed, you’ll find me vegetating on the sofa watching reruns of the walking dead trying not to fall asleep. 

6. Did you breast/bottle feed? 

If you don’t know the answer to that question, it’s probable that you don’t NEED to know. He was fed and fed is best. 

7. How many cups of tea do you drink a day? 

Around six cups a day… All with two sugars. My dentist is going to fliiiiiip his shit the next time he seees me. 

8. Are you this outspoken in real life? 

I like to think of my blogs as my own personal outlet. I write how I talk. So yes, I have a mouth like a sewer in real life. I can control it at work and generally in front of N (although I’m sure he said ‘shit’ when he dropped his cookie the other day…) well. I don’t tend to force my opinions down people’s throats unless they ask for it. A bit like this here blog post. I’ll post the link, and whoever wants to listen to me ramble on, will do just that. 

9. Would you be financially better off if you didn’t work? 

Unfortunately, it’s quite probable. Not working just isn’t an option for me. I love going to work. I’d like to tell you that working part-time is the best of both worlds. In a sense, it is… but I generally feel mum and work guilt through out the week. On a Monday, Thursday and Friday; I feel mum guilt. That I’m paying someone else to look after my kid whilst I go to work. I feel guilty that I’m missing out on these baby years that I won’t ever get back… and I get serious mum guilt that brings me to my knees when I have to leave N tearful at the door for me. 

On a Tuesday and a Wednesday I feel work guilt. I feel like I should be at work doing something productive instead of watching the same episode of Peppa Pig all day. I feel work guilt that is sometimes rather be there than having to deal with a small person meltdown because I gave the wrong drink container. And I feel work guilt because I feel like I could go full time (if finances would allow it). 

Sometimes, I feel that I cannot give 100% in either of my roles, which can be pretty dehabilitating. 

10. When is number two on the way? 

Not just yet. Again, finances won’t allow for another member of our family right away. Also, I’m not sure my sanity will take another pregnancy with a toddler. Kudos to those that can and have done it… I just don’t think we’re quite ready right now. 

Teenager in training

Maternal mental health

You’ve heard a lot about post natal depression, haven’t you? Not many of you are aware of pre-natal depression, that can occur during pregnancy. 

I had a hideous pregnancy. I mean, I thought it was all normal. I was in and out of hospital through out the nine months with many pregnancy related ailments; all day sickness, Brixton hicks, reduced movements from baby, reduced fluid around baby and frankly just feeling like a piece of shit for 38 weeks. 

It’s natural now to think with the stress on my body, that my mind was also under pressure. It wasn’t until a few weeks after I gave birth that I realised I almost certainly suffered from pre-natal depression. I didn’t enjoy my pregnancy AT ALL. I hated every damn minute of it, and pushed for induction at 38 weeks. 

Then, my beautiful baby was born and we all lived happily ever after… right? 

Wrong 

Things immediately after the birth shocked and scared me. Spoiler alert; they don’t tell you that the whole world feels like it’s going to fall out of your vagina for weeks after, that your arse will represent a bowl of grapes, and that your tits will actually balloon and hurt like fuck… apparently it’s normal, but it doesn’t stop you feeling like shit. Your belly button already represents  a deflated cat’s arsehole, under your eyes are already representing bin bags and your pregnancy hair falls out. You look and feel like a wreck. in most circumstances, you’re still on a high from delivery, and if you’re lucky, you haven’t torn from your V to your A, which is always a good start. 

The baby blues can come a few days after baby is born, and can last up to six weeks. I remember looking at N, stroking his little face and sobbing. He was just so beautiful, and perfect… and tiring. Euphoria mixed with sleep deprivation seems like a good thing at the time… but eventually, I hit a wall. Daddy went back to work and I wasn’t sure how to cope by myself. 

The weeks went on, and I was battling through the days. The days and nights became longer and I became hysterical at the smallest sort of thing. This is where I should have gone and gotten myself some help… I didn’t. 

I didn’t need help. I was fine. N was alive and well, and the house was clean-ish, and that’s where the being fine stopped. I became an insomniac, I would constantly think in graphic detail how every day situations could kill my baby, my relationship with Daddy became strained. I would yell at him for nothing, and I actually did think about causing some serious harm. I didn’t know how to control my emotions. 

Things buried and manifested themselves until about 5 months ago; when I realised that actually, what I was feeling was not normal. Not every mum goes through this, and that actually, it was time to get some help before I became too engulfed in the cloud of depression and anxiety. I finally accepted some help and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve had some wobbles since, but that’s all they are. I have acknowledged that not every day is going to be plain sailing, and that every day is not going to be good. 

I’ve learned to speak to Daddy, or my friends when it all gets a bit much, as well as the support from my GP and health visitor. I feel great these days, compared to a few months ago where I had convinced myself that I was a shit excuse for a mother and a human being and that maybe the world would be better off without me in it (I didn’t want to die, just to crawl into my bed and disappear). 

This week is Maternal Mental Health awareness week and this is my bit of awareness. Maternal mental health isn’t just affected after birth, but can be as soon as you get that positive pregnancy test. This post isn’t here to scare anyone, but to let you all know that if you’re unlucky like I was… that things can always get better. 

I want you all to be aware of your GPs, your health visitors and your support network. It’s never too late to talk, and get help. It took me 18 months, and I wish I could have accepted help sooner. 
And you’re all awesome. We are all super mums 💪🏻

The 5 most annoying children’s TV programmes…

My two year old is an avid watcher of children’s television, and has been fascinated with the small screen since he was old enough to hold his head up. As much as Children’s TV can be used to ‘babysit’ kids (I whole heartedly do NOT agree with that statement), it does mean that a lot of the time, you will be forced to watch along with them enthusiastically whilst internally cringing and dreaming of ‘grown up TV’. 

Starting off the list at number 5 is…

5. Topsy and Tim 

A nice, catchy theme tune; but that’s where the nice ends. It’s not the kids themselves that piss me off, no sir. It’s the really UNREALISTIC Mummy and Daddy that seem to never argue about whose turn it is to do the washing up or bath time, and who always keep their shit together when the kids are being scripted arseholes. I know CBeebies isn’t the place for realism, but I’m always slightly sceptical at Topsy and Tim’s perfect life. In fact, I’m just going to come out with it; I’m a little teensy bit jealous at their big clean house (which probably has its own wine fridge… which is probably why Mummy is always so calm… because she’s sozzled off of her tits all day) and huge back garden with definitley no sign of cat shit lurking in the grass. 

4. I can cook

No Katie, you can’t fucking cook. I’ve shat more interesting dishes than your idea of ‘cooking’. I hate your stupid washing up songs and I hate your ways of getting the kids to act like utter dick heads when trying to get them to pinch the flour like a crab. I don’t feel much like cooking when Katie appears on my screen at 12pm, but I most certainly do feel like sticking my head in an incredibly hot oven until she’s fucked off in Horace her trusty van. 

3. Justin’s house

Justin is a bit like Marmite. You typically love him or hate him. But you see, my relationship with Marmite differs than your average mainstream average joe. I like marmite in small doses. I like Justin in small doses. I definitely do not feel that Justin deserves 3 shows in a typical CBeebies day. I enjoy something special, with our pal; Mr Tumble and his delightful spotty bag. I don’t enjoy gigglebiz… and I loathe Justin’s house. You’ll typically find Justin and his robotic pal Robert roaming around cream pie-ing each other (not in a dirty way, you horrible lot!) whilst singing off key nursery rhymes  Justin is also quite relatable to thrush; annoying, offensive and it needs a lot of cream to take him out. 

2. Tree Fu Tom

Another great theme tune, but that is all. Tom is basically a know it all, yoga practicing…dick. Not slamming yoga at all here, because my son practices it at nursery but he not I have a fucking clue what Tom gets up to in his yoga interludes. This show is basically character driven, which means that it doesn’t teach kids much apart from that butterflies are apparently from Texas. Fun fact; David Tennant actually voices the little cherub thing… but it still doesn’t do it for me. 

And rocking in at number one… you know exactly what I’m going to say, don’t you? 

That’s right 

1. Peppa Pig

Now, I’ve spoken before about Peppa pig, and her little brother George. Since that particular post, I’m not even exaggerating when I say that I have probably collectively watched over 100 hours of Peppa and counting. I am not fucking with you. My kid is obsessed with her and her pals. It’s the first thing he asks to watch in the morning as he shoves the remote up my nose, and it’s always a part of our bargaining deal to leave the park without drama. “Ooh darling, I bet Peppa will be on at home, let’s go see if we can find her!” Of course she’s going to be at home, she’s on YouTube for endless hours a day. My house is becoming a Peppa Pig shrine, with the balloons the books and the constant loop of fucking Peppa haunting my television screen. On a rainy day, I will 100% have watched the same episode of Peppa (you know, the one where they find a rainbow) at least 5 times. In fact, I’ve become so conditioned to this little bitch, that I almost do a little excited wee when I finally view an episode that I haven’t seen before. This is what my life has become. The only good thing about Peppa Pig, is that she’s taught my kid all of the different animal noises and what their names are. I can’t deny that his speech has come on leaps and bounds since she entered his life but I’m not sure how much more of this bossy little piglet I can take before I hunt her down and slaughter her myself. For those of you that don’t live in the real world; Peppa Pig is a phenomenon amongst many toddlers and young children world wide. She speaks to her parents like shit, often referring to how fat Daddy Pig is because he eats too many ice creams, or that Mummy needs to piss off because she can’t whistle. She hangs up the phone on her friends and calls them bossy boots and she’s a little twat to her brother (who never stops crying). I’m not entirely sure what the actual appeal to Peppa is, but I’m almost certain that she’s here to stay in the Tepid Tea Household. 

Peppa is so much of a big hit that Daddy and I have actually suggested taking the small person to Peppa Pig world which will no doubt just cost us hundreds of pounds to watch our son cry at all of the expensive rides he doesn’t want to go on and really make us question our life choices. 

So, you tell me. Have I defined your list of hateful kids shows, or are there any more that I’ve missed out and that you want to add to my list? Let me know. 

How to deal with public tantrums

As an owner of a two year old, I know how inquisitive, wonderful, and energetic they are, with a huge thirst for learning. Unfortunately, with such education comes the bad stuff; the whining, the crying, and the constant need to test boundaries. 

I’m told this never ends, and that this is just the beginning. I 100% Fucking hope not, because they don’t call it the terrible twos for no reason. 

Tantrums are bad enough. The SCREAMING, the planking, the howling, the wailing and the soul destroying whinging. All of this is bad enough, without the public element. So, here is a survival list to try and avoid such things, what to do when the inevitable tantrum begins, and how to ride that motherfucker out. 

Make it a game – use a really high, overenthusiastic voice to make simple things seem much more fun than they’re going to be. For example; “Wow! Let’s go to the shop and see how many cars and buses we see on the way!” Or “Quick! Let’s go go gooooo! Mummy is going to win!” 

Keep firm boundaries in place – if you agree to buy them a treat for being such a good little darling, a Peppa Pig ball for example; make sure that they’re aware that they shouldn’t dick about with it. I tend to go with the three (eleventy hundred) strike rule. If they throw that ball around a busy shop whilst laughing at you, they’re going to have to suffer the consequences. They’re going to have to put that ball back, and say goodbye to it because they can’t follow the rules put in place for them. Now, that’s not to say that this isn’t going to trigger a whopper of a tantrum, because it is. But, unless your richer than the Queen of Sheba, you can’t physically buy your child’s silence with toys every time you need to pop out for a pint of milk. So it’s here that the storm begins. 

sit and think (them, not you) – They’ll need a warning, obviously, but chances are that you’ve already droned on and on about that for about ten minutes before that. You won’t find me carrying around a mat or a chair for N to sit on when he’s in arsehole mode so come rain or shine, he sits on the ground if he needs to think about his behaviour. In public, this is attractive to old dears who feel the need to come and stick their wrinkly old noses in and offer toffee pennies or a hair ruffle. As hard as it is to be rude to these do gooders, I cannot have my kid’s bad behaviour rewarded with sweets and attention, so I kindly ask them to not do that (with a twitchy eye because I really want to tell them to fuck off and mind their own business). Two minutes to think, and the tantrum is over. Right? WRONG

Carry on like the whole world isn’t staring at you right now – Hide those misty eyes under your sunglasses and keep that smile etched onto your face. Your kid might be being a dick, but at least you look like it isn’t bothering you. You’ve got this shit covered, mama. 

As hard as it is – Try not to give in to the kid’s ridiculous demands, and don’t feel like a shit human being if you do. Today, N was constantly asking for his ‘dibby’ (his dummy) and after what seemed like an eternity, I gave it and plugged that noise. You do what you do to get by and to save face. 

Move, move, move – it doesn’t matter how you move, just keep going. Today, I actually held N under my arm like a contorting human rugby ball as I walked through town whilst making sure that everyone knew WHY he was being the way he was with a; “Oh isn’t two such a DELIGHTFUL age?!” “They don’t call them terrible for nothing!”  

This won’t last forever – even if it feels like it will. Kids will be kids, and if people can’t accept your kid having a tantrum, then you either suck it up and get your shopping done, or abandon that sinking ship and leave your trolley full of shopping and do it online instead. Either choice doesn’t make you a failure or a bad mother, it just means you are only human and that your tolerance level has peaked and passed. 

I’ve heard the terrible twos are nothing, so I’m buzzing to have a threenager next year!