The Bad Parenting Olympics

goat-singing-let-it-go

(The above picture has little to do with the actual post other than I reference Elsa and a goat, I thought it was apt.)

I know, I know, I’ve not been here very much at all, and the first thing I do is rock up with a big ass rant. I’m sorry for that (I’m not sorry really but it seems the right thing to say) however there’s something that has just been getting my goat recently and I need to do an Elsa and LET. IT GO.

Here goes…

Recently I have got to thinking that there seems to be some sort of oneupmanship (thats a word right?) of’ ‘bad parenting’ occurring. (By the way, that’s not ME calling anyone a bad parent…).

Facebook seems to be a constant trail of posts, groups and pages of people, generally woman, trying to out-do each other in the bad parenting stakes or quest to show the dark truths of parenting.  It seems very popular right now to put parenting down and WOE betide anyone who would like to break rank and post positively about parenting.

I’m part of several parenting groups on Facebook where people rant about others perfect little lives, with their perfect little children and joke about how behind the scenes everything is probably less than perfect, and that Cuthbert and Doris are probably screaming nightmares to deal with and mummy probably injects valium into her eyeballs while her husband is shagging his secretary somewhere.

Haters gonna hate of course but why is it terrible to post and share the positives about your life and parenting?

Now I am not saying that I am not guilty of this, I have of course been known to crack open the Pinot before the clock has even struck 5pm and yes, I use DANTDM as a babysitter from time to time, while I am more than likely busy catching up with friends lives via Instagram or messing about with Snapchat filters (rainbow barf FTW!) We all do it. But why, why, has it become the IN thing to make ‘funny’ remarks about how hard and shit parenting is all the time.

I generally try not to post about my children too much, and certainly not in a negative light. Imagine if they read it one day? But more to the point, for me, parenting really isn’t that hard or shit for 99.9% of the time. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones or maybe I am kidding myself as I have seen it suggested on other groups.  My children are well behaved, polite, interesting, funny and generally a joy to be around but now I feel like I can’t say that. I feel that I almost have to LIE!

As I sit here typing this rant, my 9 and 10 year old are sitting opposite me at the kitchen table, designing covers for their summer scrapbooks. I have a cup of tea and a piece of Red Velvet cake and I am immensely enjoying the school holidays. but I can’t say that in public, can I?

I have always sucked at sports and it seems I suck at this one too!

Clearly, I am totally alone in these feelings as these types of pages have tens of thousands of “likes” with mummies everywhere fawning over each and every new hilarious meme, and that’s okay, I don’t mind being the lone voice in the crowd.

Would love to hear others thoughts on this…

Mrs m sig.png

Still here….anyone else out there?

salad-775949_1920

Is there anybody still out there?

To my absolute horror, I realised this week that it was nearly two months since I blogged – that is totally unheard of for me, I’ve been blogging on and off for years, and normally several times I week, however I’ve just totally lost my mojo recently. Of course, we can all agree that the middle of a heatwave is not exactly the ideal time to try and refind it but I  do need to get myself back into gear.

I have SO much to blog about so content is not the problem, it’s just been a basic lack of time and a distinct lack of energy at the end of a long working day – which is normally followed by an abundance of children’s activities, housework, personal admin etc. I used to have so much more spare time.  I miss my spare time. I miss watching TV!

That’s not to say I am not having any fun at the moment – we’ve been doing lots of fun stuff – it’s just that doesn’t leave a lot of time to sit in front of the computer, which I guess is the way it should be.  Life is for living.

“Work hard, play hard” pretty much sums up my life right now.

Truth is, recently I have also felt a little anxious about all sorts of stuff and my thoughts have been consumed by the bigger things like Brexit, terrorist attacks, the economy, the state of politics – all hugely important stuff but not stuff I want to start blogging about! It’s kind of felt like there were more important things out there to be worried about, which of course, there is.  Though I’ll be completely honest, and in recent days my attentions have switched to Pokemon GO and the #taylorswiftisover hashtag. (I never said I didn’t enjoy procrastination!).

I do need to regain my ‘release’ though, which is what blogging was/is for me.

If you’re still out there, reading, please do leave me a comment below, leave me a link to your latest blog post so I can go have a read, let me know what’s been going on with you so I can catch up. I’m so totally out of the loop!

Mrs m sig.png

My accidental blogging hiatus…

PM5544_with_non-PAL_signals

Is there anybody still out there?

You may, or may not have, noticed that I have been on somewhat of a hiatus recently. It wasn’t planned, I was just busy and lost my mojo. In fact, I have been losing my blogging mojo for quite some time now and during May, just got to the point where I would rather play pointless games on my iPad then fire up WordPress and write a blog post.  So I have decided a few changes need to be made.

I am no longer going to be running Meal Planning Monday. This was the hardest decision to make as I’ve been doing it for so long but it’s really become a bit of a chore to squeeze in over the past 6 months when I’ve been busy with other things. I used to have more time during the week but I now work 5 days a week and the pressure of keeping to a blogging schedule is just more than I want to take on so something has to give and I feel I’ve been letting people down. So, does anyone want to take over Meal Planning Monday?

Blogging is going to go back to being more about ME and what I want to post, without too many other commitments. I might still do reviews and sponsored posts from time to time but only when it is something I will get personal value out of or it’s worth my while.

I’m taking blogging back to the start. You know, word vomit about what’s going on around me or in my head. Pictures of nice things I see, covet, dream of. Recipes I’ve made and other cool stuff.

I’m not going to worry about being a crap blogger. I am shit at photography, I doubt my food photos inspire anyone to cook but it’s real life, real food. I cook it, I eat it. I am not going to be fannying around with photography equipment to get the best shot of a cottage pie. You’ll get a quick snap on my iPhone before it goes cold and that’s about it. I’m not a professional photographer, cook or food stylist. I am me, busy working mum of two trying to feed her family.

I’ll blog when the feeling takes hold and not because I have to. That might be once a day, once a week or sometimes once a month but I have to stop letting it consume and control me. It doesn’t pay my bills or take care of my children. I need to focus my energies on the important stuff and see blogging for what it is – a hobby.

I’ve joined too many commenting rings and the like, and not got around to completing them which lets others down. This was driven by the desire to have more comments, likes, shares as I was feeling that validated me more, but while I have found several other blogs I read often and I enjoy reading the comments, it’s fake isn’t it? Which means it’s quite meaningless.

As well as letting people down, I too have been let down by PR companies and brands, most recently when I had been approached directly to attend Camp Bestival again but this was pulled – annoyingly I had spent my free time writing posts promoting the event on here and social media, and of course had told my children and got them excited about it (my own fault, lesson learned) but I am not going to get into that situation again.

So there you have it – hopefully living by these ‘rules’ will help me find my way back to blogging, because I really do want to, and I do miss it. I’m going to kick start myself with thinking about a 40 before 40 list (cliche I know, but I have a lot I want to achieve and need some motivation – three years to go!) and maybe a small blog redesign as that always gets my blogging juices going again.

I just hope there is still someone out there reading!

Mrs m sig.png

73 Questions with Mrs M

73 questions with mrs m

I’m sure unless you’ve been living under a blogging rock you will have seen this meme type thing doing the rounds. I don’t normally get involved in these, and I haven’t been tagged at all, but I do enjoy the “73 Questions” feature that Vogue do on YouTube so I thought I’d join in.  If you haven’t seen these snappy interviews, then look them up. My personal favourite is the one with Sarah Jessica Parker, mainly because I love her.

73 Questions with Mrs M

1. Were you named after anyone? No.
2. When was the last time you cried? Watching Surprise Surprise at Christmas.
3. Do you like your handwriting? It’s okay when I take time to write carefully.
4. What is your favourite lunch? A BLT with mayo.
5. Instagram or Twitter? Twitter.
6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? Fo’sho!
7. Do you bake? Yes, often.
8. Do you like flying? No. I love to travel but I hate flying.
9. Would you bungee jump? Not in a month of Sundays.
10. What is your favourite cereal? Coco Pops.
11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Never!
12. Do you think you’re strong? Physically? No.
13. What is your favourite ice cream? Rum and raisin.
14. What is the first thing you notice about someone? Shoes.
15. Red or pink? Red
16. What is the least favourite thing about yourself? My tummy.
17. Who do you miss the most? My nan, she died when i was 12 and i don’t feel i ever really got to know her.
18. What was the last book you read because everyone was reading it? Gone Girl.
19. What film made you cry the most? The Notebook.
20. What was the last thing you ate? Cheese on toast.
21. What are you listening to right now? The children watching tv.
22. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Red.
23. Favourite smell? Would it be weird if I said a Sharpie?
24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My husband.
25. Mountain hideaway or beach house? I’m a beach girl!
26. Favourite sport to watch? F1 motor-racing or ice hockey.
27. Hair colour? Browny-red.
28. Eye colour? Brown.
29. Puppies or kittens? Puppies.
30. Favourite food? Cheese – all of it.
31. Scary film or happy endings? Happy endings.
32. Last film you watched? Mamma Mia.
33. What book are you reading now? Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
34. Summer or winter? Summer.
35. Hugs or kisses? Kisses.
36. Favourite dessert? Creme brulee
37. Favourite room in your house? My kitchen.
38. How long have you been on Facebook? About ten years.
39. What is your favourite country to visit? Italy.
40. What was the last country you visited? Belgium.
42. Favourite sound? That glug when you open a new bottle of wine…
43. Rolling Stones or the Beatles? Beatles.
44. What is the farthest you have been from home? Barbados.
45. Do you have a special talent? Not that I am aware of.
46. Where were you born? Warwickshire, England.
47. Where are you living now? On the outskirts of Birmingham.
48. Favourite hitchcock movie? Never seen one.
49. What book have you read again and again? Wuthering Heights.
50. Favourite tv series that’s on now? Call the Midwife.
51. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Both.
52. What’s your favourite drink? Red wine or diet coke.
53. Who is your girl crush? Jennifer Lawrence.
54. What was the first film you saw at the cinema? Joy.
55. Heels or flats? Heels.
56. Favourite bed time story? Anything by Roald Dahl.
57. Bath or shower? Shower.
58. Whats the hardest thing about being a mum? All the tidying up!
59. Favourite band? The Killers.
60. Favourite solo artist? Taylor Swift.
61. To be or not to be? To be.
62. What would be the title of your autobiography? And then there was cheese.
63. Best gift you’ve ever received? The gift of time.
64. Best gift you’ve ever given? Pass.
65. Favourite fruit? Apricot
66. What was your first pet? A goldfish.
67. Favourite board game? Game of Life – the 1980s version.
68. How do you have your coffee? I hate coffee!
69. Best invention? iPad
70. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds.
71. Blow dry or air dry? Air dry.
72. Cheap or expensive shampoo? Cheap – my favourite is the £1 coconut one from Bodycare!
73. How difficult was it to answer these questions? Not too difficult.

And now you know a little more about me – even if it is totally useless, pointless stuff!

I’m not going to tag anyone so if you want to give the 73 questions a go yourself, go for it and make sure you let me know so I can check them out!  If you’ve already done this, leave a comment below so I can read yours.

Mrs m sig.png

Turning the page…

download

I once read a quote that went something like “You have to decide whether to turn the page or close the book”. Like many quotes that can be found on the internet, I don’t know the origin of this but it does kind of sum up how I have been feeling about blogging recently.

Over the past year I’ve lost my way a little with blogging and that has made me sad. In recent months, I’ve totally abandoned it as ‘real life’ just go too busy to even contemplate squishing another thing into my already-busy life and I’ve even considered just giving up blogging altogether. During this unsettled time, I have made commitments to people that I haven’t met and I am sorry for that – I will contact these people to rectify that as these things play heavy on my mind – but all this has told me that I need to re-evaluate my blogging position and what it is I am doing here.

I really want to get back to the reasons why I started blogging in the first place, I want to get back to 2005 – when I cared not who read it, what my stats or rankings were and I wasn’t doing reviews or sponsored posts and the like. Back then, I was just writing as an outlet. Not always creative, but it was something to do, for myself.  Sure, I still like doing the odd review and the occasional sponsored post when I need a few extra £££ is all good but these have been taking over my blogging and I have been feeling obligated to blog rather than choosing it as something I want to do. Something that I enjoy doing.

Over the past year, it has become a chore.

Which means, something is wrong, right?

2016 is going to see me taking a different approach to blogging. I am going to be saying NO a lot more. I’m not going to say that I won’t do a review or take part in a challenge – because I will if a) I can fit it into my life and b) it’s something that is actually of relevance and interest to me.  Saying NO also frees up my time to do more reading and commenting of other people’s blogs – and I am refreshing my blog reader today, and looking for new blogs to follow.

I’m going to do more blogging about what I am doing, my thoughts, activities, holidays, trips, things that interest me, things that piss me off.  Which is where I started.

I feel that cutting off these shackles is somewhat a weight off my mind and I am now looking forward to blogging during 2016 again.

I’m not closing the book, I am turning the page.

I just hope I’ve still got some readers out there to read it!

Mrs m sig.png