Are they all yours???

I don’t think I ever thought about being a parent much whilst growing up in fact I was never that keen on kids, I would never ever want to hold a baby that was far to scary! I certainly never dreamed that one day I would have 4 of my own and 2 step children!

Just shy of 21 I had Joe, I want to say my whole world changed but it didn’t hugely he was an absolute angel and he kind of just fitted in. Four years later we decided to have another and I got my little girl.

All was going well and I was learning to balance life with two then came the big shock! Anyone who know’s me well will know that when I found out I was pregnant with Stan I was shocked beyond belief…… I know I know we risked it for a chocolate biscuit and that’s what happens but was I so crazy to think we had at least one get out of jail free card? Yes Tash you were!!!!!

There I was with a 4yr old who had just started school and my baby girl just shy of 4 months old and then came the news… 5 tests later and i was 100% pregnant! I had a baby I was having a baby and I was totally freaked out. I know it’s crazy now but at the time I felt like I was greedy! Like how can I get pregnant so easily when so many struggle? What would people think? How will I cope?

There can definitely be a bit of a negative perception around having lots of children, some people just don’t get it, why would you want lots? You must be mad? Another one!? How can you afford it? You don’t have enough room! Wow are they all yours?

According to statistics only 14% of families in the uk with children have 3 or more so I can understand how we stick out like a sore thumb. We also get lots of smiles though and also nice comments “Wow aren’t you lucky to have brothers and sisters” “what a lovely bunch of children” Honestly it’s been said and these comments make my day.

Having 2 close together yes it was a shock, yes it took me about 6 Months to get my head round it, it was hard work and yes there were times I cried but…. It was incredible! The first year was fine, Stan was a good baby and Bella was a giant toddler so she was very self-sufficient, we made the best of it and they grew an amazing bond.

The second year when Bella was two and Stan was one well that was a bloody nightmare they were like the gruesome twosome into everything, partners in crime taking me down one day at a time. From ice skating in hand soap to emptying out tea and coffee over the kitchen if I turned my back for a minute I was screwed!

That being said it was the best thing ever having such a small age gap because they are so close, they wouldn’t take anything without taking one for the other. They overlapped at pre-school and had a blast! Although it was scary at first I would recommend it to anyone to have children so close in age.

Then came Frankie our little dream boat! He’s such a babe and his siblings love him! He doesn’t stand a chance with all the silly things they teach him already he’s definitely going to be a character!

What have I learnt…

Whats important, as much as it kills me I can never maintain a pristine house with 4 kid no matter how much I want to. It’s clean but with 4 kids comes a lot of stuff! In every crevice you will find lego or hairbands and I deffo hide stuff in drawers when we have guests. Please tell me I’m not the only one?

My memory has turnt to sludge literally gone my kids even remind me that I forget things! “Yeah remember that Mum because you forgot last time” . Kids are really great at remembering your failings! Yes darling! I’m yet to forget a school event but the finer details are in there somewhere floating around with shopping lists, appointments, ballet practise, doctors appointments, wine….. Calendars are the way forward if it’s not on the calendar it’s not happening. I deffo forgot frank once! I’m not proud to say it but when frank was tiny I parked outside our local hair salon and ran in with my daughter. I sat there for 5 minutes whilst she was having her hair cut and suddenly a cold chill came over me! I must have turnt white as a sheet I think i mumbles something about sleeping baby and slid out the door running like a loon f*#* f*#* f*#* That was not my finest moment!!! Sorry baby! He was asleep all was good.

Planning is key

Days out are expensive!!!

You can’t book one room in a hotel! (Without lying/accidentally missing a kid off)

A multipack of cereal bars or yoghurt’s lasts one day!

Everyone wants to play at your house because it look so fun! By fun I mean wild, crazy and loud!

The washing is insane I often wish I could just bin the lot and buy new!

After school activities exhausting

Four kids later would I have more? Hell yes! If I was rich and had a big house, had a bit of help and someone to do my washing! But I’m not and I don’t so we will stick with this little tribe forever feeling truly blessed to have 4 happy healthy kids! 6 including my step children! There’s a lot of stress a lot of moaning, definitely arguing and they annoy me daily but there’s a whole lot of love and laughter and they are all incredible little humans !!

So that’s us in a nutshell loud and proud!

X

I am going have some other mum’s guest blogging about there small tribes over the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled!

Is it ok to not be ok?

These last few weeks have been hard! Like seriously hard. Whilst I sit here reflecting on them I’m struggling to actually remember what was hard and why it was hard? Because that’s what happens life gets shit we ride it out put on our big girl pants and crack on! You get over it and it soon becomes a distant memory you managed to survive!

A wild 5yr old running around the supermarket hitting his siblings and acting completely bloody deranged whilst everyone looks on you with discarace, now that one I haven’t forgotten just yet!

Now whilst in the thick of it I wasn’t keen on being a mum at all and definitely questioned my life choices a lot, I mean I certainly didn’t pick the easy option. Anxiety at an all time high inside I felt like running but you can’t and it’s truly suffocating at times. I definitely said I was going for a wee so I could just have 5 minutes peace ALOT! Also questioned if I was in fact losing the plot because I was so bloody stressed out. Telling your husband that you might get sectioned if the kids don’t sort their shit out! I definitely had a glass of wine in my hand when he was walking through the door most days!

So that right there that pretty much summed up our half term it may seem harsh but it’s true and I’m not sugar-coating it because what’s he point?

The point is that we get through it and live to tell the tale, we create star charts, implement punishments, question our parenting. We question the children’s diet, question if they have behavioural problems you have missed (yes I did), arrange meeting’s at school and confide in friends. You pretty much do everything you can to get back on track and you do that because of love!

Because you care about your child and the person you want them to be, it kills me to see them being horrible to each other or putting each other down or even themselves down.

I have spoken to so many people in the past week who have expressed exactly the same feeling’s as me and it has made me feel so much better, not because their going through it too because it’s a shit place to be but because it means that I’m not on my own and I’m normal, it’s normal and sometimes it’s ok to not be ok!

We’re in this together and speaking about it is the best medicine.

I also recommend

– Deep breathing

– regular bathroom breaks

– Wine

– more wine

Mum problem’s….

Brace yourself because this one is a bit of a moan…..

Do you know what really gets my back up? Really put’s me in a crappy mood, rile’s me, makes my blood boil?

Bloody places with staff that treat you like shite because you have children in tow!

Sod off!

I am so fed up of being made to feel like your not wanted in places, I get that we’re a bit of a tribe and we may not sit and whisper in the corner BUT we are paying customers and human beings who should be treated the same as the next!

Today I went to a cafe a big chain cafe which I won’t mention, the vibe was instantly cold from the manager serving me, not a smile, not a thankyou and even our drinks given to us in take away cups as a not so subtle hint!

It instantly got my back up and what did I do I bloody took it out on the kids and was ratty with them moaning every time they raised there voices, I felt so uncomfortable that I wanted them to be perfect angels but actually probably made them (one in particular) play up a bit because I was on his case.

Last year a few friends and I took our babies to a restaurant for lunch, my fave restaurant until that day. We turn up t the empty restaurant to be greeted by a mumbling waiter who immediately ummed and ahed about whether they had high chairs. He went off and came back to tell us that they were locked in a room they had no access to. We were there and the babies were small so we said we would keep them in buggies, there was plenty of room and they were good as gold. The manager served us throughout our meal with barely a word let alone a smile. We actually asked for things and got no reply and then them bought to us, “oh he did hear us?” we thought. Maybe he was having a bad day? Oh no every other person that walked through the door was welcomed with a smile and he completely changed.

It was nearly time to go and I decided I would change my little man’s nappy, as I went to change him in the disabled toilet and there they were 2 piles of high chairs stacked up! Not locked away at all, my heart sank and I felt absolutely gutted that a restaurant I had been to for years, recommended to friends and loved had treated me this way!

We left and I haven’t returned, I won’t return how we were made to feel was unacceptable and I hope no one else is made to feel like that by them again. We emailed a complaint to the head office to which they replied there was a mix up but it was just a cover up, at least they can be aware and hopefully stop it from happening again. I couldn’t believe it they didn’t want us there with our children, they had hoped that by not having high chairs we would have gone else where. Gutted doesn’t even come close to how I felt.

So that’s it I’m over it! next time I’m given an ice cold stare and made to feel unwelcome I won’t take it out on the kids I will try to relax and maybe I might just have the balls to tell them! Ok I probably won’t tell them but I won’t let my kids suffer and I will go somewhere else.

Screw you cafe lady!!!

I know not everywhere is like this and there’s a lot of fantastic welcoming places too and to them THANKYOU!!!!!!!!

Peace out!

Sharing the love…

This one is for big families, other like minded people that thought having multiple children was a great idea! Oh it is I wouldn’t change it for the world but…..

How do you share your time?

It’s so easy to get into a rut of the mundane Groundhog Day style life. You wake up rush around getting ready for school and drop them off. Then amuse toddler all day pray he naps so I can clean the house/ watch kuwtk and have a hot cuppa. Retrieve kids from school and go home or to an after school club, rush around making dinner and then starts the bedtime prep! No you calm down! I know the excitement is all too much but that’s a normal week for us.

I hear people talk of this spending time doing things after school but I’m not sure where this time comes from?

Admittedly without the clubs we would have more time but they love them and are good at them and well we’re in too deep there’s no turning back now!

If we’re lucky at the weekend we might get a free day a free day that starts after swimming lessons or football maybe a birthday party thrown in for good measure, a free afternoon then it’s a bloody free afternoon, Damn it!

You wonder how to spend the day???

Chill day/afternoon to recharge your batteries for the next weeks rat race? Kids love chill days don’t they? About once a year! Otherwise they are bored and want to get out the box of doom that is the arts and crafts which lets be honest is most parent’s nightmare! Creating big cardboard heaps to sit around the house looking pretty, pretty damn ugly! I don’t mean it kid’s your creations are all beautiful and I keep them all. I don’t I’m sorry I don’t but one day if you happen to read this you will understand that your models are massive eye sores that only a mother can love.

So we go for a walk or play a game or procrastinate the day away folding washing and de-cluttering lego models from every nook and cranny. It can all be a little repetitive I need inspiration and new things to do?

Amongst all this running around spending quality time with the schooly’s is really tricky. Off course I listen to them read and read to them but to be honest it doesn’t get much better than that in the week. We take the kids to the clubs and watch them which is nice, the husband is Joes coach so that means they get a lot of time together doing their thing. However this isn’t always enough and leaves me constantly asking how Can i put in more quality time?

I try to take them out individually every now and then as a treat just for them but I’ve lost track of who’s next so I’ve decided I need to get back in track and sort it out.

I’ve decided I’m going to go through my calendar and block out times where I will do something be it big or small but recognise that they are the only one doing it with me.

A great idea a friend has also given me is to choose one night a month for each child and they get to stay up for an extra half hour to do something with Mum or Dad. This could be tricky as joe being the oldest by 3yrs stays up later than the others but maybe on those night he can read in bed? There’s a lot of thought going into this as you can probably tell it’s gonna be a bit trial and error but I am determined to find a way that we can all share the love and all feel special.

– bake a cake

– draw a picture

– play a game

– pamper each other

– lego

– pyjama walk

Ideas welcome I’d love to know what you like doing for a little one on one time??

Stan threw out another cracker this week…. Whilst in Waitrose I asked him to go and grab a cucumber to which he replied very loudly “il get a cockcumber” “I think you’ll find it’s called a cucumber darling” I replied in my sensible Mum voice “I know but I’m gonna call them cockcumbers that’s my new name for them” whilst giggling to myself I saw a lady chuckling into the tangerine stand. Only my son!

Hope you’re all having a good weekend!

X

Yes I definitely remember..

I definitely remember I mean how could I have even forgot?

The destruction and determination of a toddling baby!

It’s fun guys, I mean it’s heart warming watching them take those first steps it brings tears to my eyes, for me it’s my favourite milestone and I remember them all taking their first steps so significantly. They toddle around like little drunk men for a few days and then that’s it they’re ready to hit the town, by hit the town I mean literally take out the town I mean left to his own devices I’m pretty sure he could destroy a whole village in a day!

But alas he settles for our house, opening drawers and throwing out the contents, getting into the bin (who knew veg peelings were so appealing), pulling down drinks and anything that he can stretch out his go go gadget arm to pull down, let him near the bathroom and well you know what happens in there I’m not gonna go into specifics.

After about 3 days of walking Frank realised he could climb! Yay! Now I’m all for encouraging gross motor skills but climbing into the window sill and planting slobbery kisses all of the window is not encouraged, using a ride on as a step ladder to climb on the toy kitchen is also not encouraged but this is what we are spending our days doing at present.

Tantrums…

This is what happens when said child is removed from the window or anything he has mounted. He throws himself to the floor and does a very angry backwards crawl until he just sulks in a heap on the floor. He looks at me like I’m the meanest mummy in the world with his little chubby flushed face and his mop of hair all over the place.

So yeah that’s my update we’re living the dream clearing up one mess after the next and sipping prosecco like it’s going out of fashion!

It’s all good fun though right?

x

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A New year…

As far as the tradition goes Christmas comes to a close and we start thinking about the new year. Hopes, dream’s, aspirations, trying to better ones self, give up the bad and start the good..

Giving ourselves goals is great we can always aspire to be better as life is what we make it, only we can change it, it’s not always an easy ride but we can certainly make it a little smoother.

Who’s losing a stone in jan? Every year it’s top of my list and it sucks, it’s such a rubbish way to start the new year!

January is hard money’s always tight after overspending at Christmas, everyone is on a bit of a low after the excitement of the Christmas build up and it’s all a little bit shit! There’s no beautiful displays to visit anymore, the decorations have come down, it’s not acceptable to drink prosecco everyday anymore (damn it) and everyone returns to work. People try to fill the void by planning their next big event be it a holiday, new home, birthday celebrations anything to make January a little easier and so the new year begins.

So do I want to lose a stone? I’d Love to but its bottom of my list this year, I’d much rather go into the new year feeling positive rather than negative. We overindulge at Christmas and we enjoy it, we share food, laughs and love and if the jeans get a bit tighter then so be it, a bit of reigning it in and the Pounds will come off, it might not happen in a week but at least you won’t feel shit about yourself starving hungry on some stupid fad diet that will just make you miserable. I’m not anti dieting I’ve been a slimming world member numerous times because it’s a balanced diet which works well with family life and I will return when I want to but I’m certainly not gonna beat myself up about it, I’ve had a lovely Christmas enjoying everything it brings and I’ve definitely got a few more days of prosecco drinking under my belt yet! The kids are still of school after all!

Let’s be kind to ourselves this jan go into the new year positive not depriving ourselves of things we love, make the journey a little less bumpy and ease ourselves in slowly, the 1st of jan is the start of a new year not the day you give up everything you love, and if you go into it feeling good it’s gonna make it a little easier surely? Let’s get through January first.

My main resolution is to get out more with the children, explore new places and appreciate the things in life that come for free.

Frank’s new year resolution is to sleep through the night! I’m so excited!😉

Stan said he’s giving up school!

Bella wants to do more with her family (princess)

Joe is going to be nicer to Bella!

I think we’re in for a good one!

Happy new year! I hope it’s kind to you all.

Tash

When it all get’s a bit too much….

December has been a monumentally crazy month!

Relentless, exhausting, exciting, expensive, beautiful, joyful, hard, testing, trying….

These are all word’s that have described my December, there has been high’s…

Watching the children beam in their school nativity’s and make me proud. (Even if Stan was just a stupid animal) His words not mine.

My daughter performing on stage at her annual ballet show and amazing me at how much she has improved, she made me beam with pride and I definitely had a few happy tears.

Low’s….

There’s also been a fair few of these. The children turn wild in December I seem to forget this every year and then it all resonates with me very quickly a bit like stubbing your toe, yes I have shut myself in the bathroom for 5 minutes just to try to get my shit together and find some more patience. Yes I have had a few deep breaths in the kitchen and yes I may have called my children various names under my breath! It’s been a challenging month to say the least.

Being told ‘I hate you’ from stroppy tired 10yr old wasn’t a highlight either. The school exhaustion from play’s, Parties, trips etc makes for some very grumpy kids il tell you.

The pressure of preparation for Christmas Day! It’s one day! One bloody day! I’ve decided I need to do a billion things all in preparation for Christmas. Why? It’s just another day, it was when I was considering fitting in a deep clean that I realised I was being ridiculous, I had to give myself a talking to and just stop! Stop with all the stress and pressure to make it so perfect, rid myself of the anxiety of trying to create the perfect Christmas and just enjoy it for what it is.

when it all gets too much just stop and remember why you are doing it? What Christmas means to you?

A day to spend with my family, laughing, playing, sharing, and making memories. No one is going to care how clean the house is, no one is going to care if I’ve matched all the wrapping or have the perfect outfit, no one!

So it’s stopped, the presents are wrapped the food is brought we have enough booze to sink a ship and enough sweets and chocolate to turn the kids into wild savages! It will be what we make it. There will be a dance off, there will be charades there may even be a few arguments! Ok there will deffo be a few arguments but it will be ours

we will be at home and we will be knee-deep in wrapping paper, I will make several lego models eat several pigs in blankets drink several glasses of prosecco and most importantly there will be love and laughter!

I hope you all have a great day and thankyou to everyone that has read my ramblings this year.

Here’s to 2018!