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The Great British Tea Debate…

Alright my lovers…

She’s not angry. She’s just disappointed. Wonders how we are even friends in fact. 

Last night, on the grand finale night of Broadchurch, I declared/confessed whichever way you want to look at it, that I’ve never watched Broadchurch. It was a revelation that disappointed my best friend Sam. And so, as I try hard to redeem myself and have downloaded the first series on catch up (I’m now two episodes in…and hooked) it got me to thinking. There’s only one other thing that I can think of that Sam would probably change about me. It’s not my ability to think before I speak, hell no. She likes to be as surprised as everyone else when it comes to me opening my mouth. Nor is it the way I attempt to dance, you’ve never seen the imaginary hula hoop dance that she’s created to fine art. The one thing she would change without a shadow of a doubt is the way I make tea. Or rather, can’t make tea.

Once upon a time, I made Sam a cup of tea. She looked at it. Then looked again. Looked at me and back to the tea. 

“Is this tea or coffee”

“It’s tea”

“Oh. Ok. Umm. How do I put this? Well, uh, do you mind if I don’t drink it!”

And there it was. The look of disappointed on her face. The look of a woman who has known me for years and years and has finally had to confess she hates my tea. 

I like to think I’ve come a long since then. Gone are the days when I use coffee mate instead of milk (yes, yes I did just say that) and now, thanks to my window cleaner who is a retired dairy farmer, I now swear by   Cravendale Milk. I always used to go for normal supermarket milk completely oblivious to how watered down it was. I was told to switch milk just once and I’d never go back, so I did. 

And that brings me to the most important question in the art of tea brewing.

Milk in before or after the water? 

The photograph above is my answer. I’m a milk in first kinda gal. I know that’s going to upset some people and I’m sorry. Actually no I’m not. I’m not sorry at all. I’m a proud milk in firsterer. 

I could be totally wrong here but I disagree when people tell me the order of which you make the tea is imperative to the quality of the brew. Now that’s partially true, but for me, a big asset is the tea itself. I’ve tried so many different brands and back to the single parent days of struggling and making every penny stretch as far as possible, I even tried supermarkets own label teabags. That’s when I learnt pretty quickly that it didn’t matter if I brought cheap beans and low cost cornflakes, never, ever make cut backs when it comes to the brand of tea bag. And so, I quote that infamous slogan “I drink Yorkshire Tea nowadays”

Obviously it’s no good trying to brew a cup of tea in a shit arse mug. If you follow me on Instagram already, you’ll know I have this thing for cups and mugs. I love the oversized tea cups in quirky designs, it’s rare I can go into town and not buy one and on the occasion I can’t find any I like, it ruins the whole shopping trip. Most people I know have a preference as to which cup or mug they will use, personally, I prefer a thicker ceramic oversized cup. I know it sounds silly but if I know I’m drinking from a pretty cup then my tea seems to taste nicer. 

So we’ve established that the cup is key, the milk goes in first and the teabag has a northern accent but what about brewing time?

Everyone is different. Take my brother for example, he dunks his bag (if he wasn’t my brother I’d have said it sounded like a metaphor) a couple of times and takes it out so the tea looks like Eskimo piss. Or we have Paul, the polar (see what I did there) opposite who leaves his bag to brew for about 5 minutes, the tea is so strong, the spoon stands up by itself. I much prefer to brew mine for about a minute, I don’t leave it to settle, I just stir until it’s a nice peachy tan colour, nor do I squeeze the tea bag after, that’ll make it stronger and I’m not into strong tea. Add a nice teaspoon of sugar (23685 granules to be exact) and you have my perfect brew.

I realise I have a long way to go and I’m still not quite there yet but, I’m hoping that my bestie is a little less disappointed and reads the content of this post with a sense of pride in me, for I am on the way to achieving great things. Even if she won’t drink it.

So now all that’s left to ask is this, what’s your favourite dunker?

Em xox

The Elephant In The Room…

Alright my lovers?

I honestly don’t know how to start this blog post, or even if I should be writing it. But I guess that’s where the problem sits, not enough of us talk about the real stuff anymore, so fixated on everything bar the reality of life. Not everything is as blue skies and blossom trees as we, or I would like it to be. 

There’s an elephant in the room. An elephant that people don’t really want to talk about, for me, I struggle to admit it and almost feel ashamed of myself but I’m slowly realising that I’m not alone, I can talk about it and admit I don’t always have my shit together, I can admit that my life isn’t totally perfect and I can admit that I’m not always the happy, stupid knobhead that people see me as. 

I suffer from Anxiety and Depression. 

As soon as I wrote that last sentence, I had to put my phone down for a bit, grab a cup of tea and take a time out. I don’t know why it was so hard to read that sentence back to myself, I guess it means I’m putting myself out there and leaving myself open to judgement. It really is that cliche but, you don’t know what someone is going through until you’ve gone through it yourself. Unless you are someone who experiences these feelings, you will never understand it. It’s a dark, lonely world and one that scares me.

I can’t pinpoint an age when it all first started, I was always a little different. I was the kid that got picked last on the teams even in Primary School, the kid who would always be ‘forgetting’ her  lunchbox because Mum had neglected to send me in with one yet again, the kid who used a carrier bag for a school bag because I wasn’t allowed a new bag when mine broke, I was the teenager in hand me downs that you wouldn’t even donate to a charity shop, the ones who’s Mum cut her hair with kitchen scissors and made her look like a boy, the one who wore cheap school shoes that made an awful clopping noise as I walked because the cheap heels had fallen off. I was the buck toothed kid that nobody wanted to hang around with. I wasn’t cool. I didn’t have a steady group of friends and if I did, I lost them as quick as I made them because I wasn’t allowed to do all the things they did. I’d never experienced sleepovers with friends or having friends for tea, I was 16 and still couldn’t ride a bike. I wasn’t even cool enough to be a geek. 

It made me sad all the time, trying so hard to fit in, trying to be like everyone else. I wasn’t pretty, I didn’t have anything about me that made me stand out (except my teeth, they entered the room before I did.) I soon learnt that if I did well in class, my teachers would praise me and I might stand a chance of being noticed, I’d write long essays in English and get numerous house points, I’d try hard in Music and always put myself forward to sing in the choir because singing was something I was good at. My music teacher put me forward in High School to audition for the school musical, so I did, I was the only Year 9 to land a part in “Little Shop Of Horrors” and I didn’t give a shit that I had to play a prostitute and wear hot pants and knee high boots on stage. I was being noticed. Music soon made me realise that I was also good at acting so I became noticed by my Drama teacher and he pushed me to achieve as much as possible. People started to notice who I was and I suddenly stopped trying to do well, I was too busy working out ways to be cool so I stopped doing homework, I stopped doing long essays and getting good grades. I stopped being myself yet again, still trying to mouldy myself into someone people might actually like. Truth is, it didn’t really work, I was way past being able to fit in. I was a sheep, hanging onto the geek crowd and even they didn’t really want to be my friend. I was a loner. 

Don’t feel sorry for me. That’s not the idea of this post. Life was the way it was. I was always going to be spending my days trying to fit in. Writing this now, I suppose I could say it must have started back then. 

When I had Beth, I had PND. People didn’t always believe me because I was good at putting on a show, I’d get up, put my make up on and pretend everything was ok. I’d spend as much time going out as I possibly could and I’d run away from my problems. I tried anti depressants but they made me feel sick all the time, the taste of metal lurked in my mouth and it felt like I was gurning when I talked. Not being one to like that feeling, I stopped taking them and found other ways to cope. Spending money, nights out, obsesssing over being loved and seeking Mr Right as soon as Beth’s Dad and I split. I should have sought help, I just didn’t know where to start.

Don’t get me wrong, things improved a year or so later. But I flirted with depression as and when it appeared. As soon as it would flare up, I’d go shopping for a new boyfriend, I’d make myself feel better then I’d end it. Depression never leaves you. People say it does but that’s bollucks, it’s there in the background waiting. Depression is like the unwanted guest at a wedding. It just turns up announced ready to shit on your day. 

When I met Paul, the depression lifted. I still occasionally get days when I feel sad but can’t explain why, I feel like I want to sit and cry by myself, I don’t want to see people, I just want to wallow in self pity. But the depression has turned more to anxiety now.

It usually happens if we are going out, I have panick attacks that people won’t like me, they’ll think I don’t fit in and they’ll think I’m that kid at school again. I worry that they’ll be looking at me and talk about me when I leave the room. I worry that they’ll think I’m too loud or talk too much, that I’m too open and my lack of filter makes me a terrible person. Before I go out, I always have a cry, I tell myself to expect them not to like me and then if they do, it’ll be a pleasant surprise.  I think negatively most of the time which must be draining on Paul because he’s always so positive, but he does nothing but encourage me, he stays by myself until I feel safe enough to be left in a crowd of people, he rubs my back to let me know he’s there and whispers in my ear to check that I’m ok. I’ve never asked him to do any of that, it’s just second nature to him now because he knows how I feel. 

Nights out are very rare now unless I’m with Paul, my best friends or someone I know enough to say “I’m petrified about coming out tonight please stay with me.” I’m learning to accept that people do actually like me for the person I am, not everyone, after all, we can’t be to everyone’s tastes. I’m getting better at going out without having sleepless nights for a week before. One day, I hope that it’ll all just fall back into place and I’ll be the social butterfly I used to be, the Emma who was never asked twice for a night out, the first on the dance floor and last off it, the Emma who would go to a nightclub on her own if need be..ok, maybe not to that extreme anymore. It’s ok when you’re 18 but at 33, not so much. 

Today is a bad day for my anxiety. I need to go to Sainsbury’s but for some reason, it broke me out into a panic and I’ve taken to the sofa with a blanket instead. That’s a first for me. It’s never happened before. As I said, it’s usually nights out. I texted one of my good friends as I know she suffers the same and just needed to hear her say “I know how you feel” and she did. It made me realise it’s normal, it happens and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Anxiety is what it is. It’s a bastard. 

I am Emma. I’m loud, bubbly, off the wall rude, crude and minus any filter. But I’m also Emma, the girl who struggles to be accepted, the girl who still can’t believe that I have friends, proper friends that care about me, an amazing family and a life I’ve always wanted with a man who expects nothing of me other than to just be me and a daughter who loves me because she chooses too. 

I’m Emma. The one who has an elephant in the room. 

(Just to lighten the mood, I wrote this last bit whilst I did an anxiety poo)

Those 20 Things….

Alright my lovers…

I’m currently on a week of annual leave from work and somewhere along the way, I knew I needed to fit in a blog post. Writing comes easy to me, I talk non stop so it’s not like I’m ever short of words. But, by the Law Of Sod, when I do have the time to write, you can bet I get writers block and a shit load of half written drafts.  Typically, when I should be doing the important stuff, there I am blogging, usually mid way through the Tesco shop or when I should be cooking dinner for the tribe and I end up trying to convince the kids that charcoaled carrots are indeed, a thing. 

I’ve got a few blog posts ready to post but, in true Emma style, something else has caught my eye and I’ve done a bit of a U-Turn to get this one out first. 

If, like me, you’re an Instagram fanatic, you know, one step away from sitting on plastic garden chairs  set in a circle in a musty Village Hall, nibbling away on Rich Tea biscuits that just don’t dunk well in cold tea, ready to declare “Hi, my name is Em and I’m an Instaholic,” then you’ll know what I mean when I talk about the little tag, “20 things about me.”

I don’t know about anyone else but I like reading these little quirks that make us who we are, the little things that we may not know about the people we speak to daily or sit on our lunch breaks admiring their Pinterest worthy homes that only a lottery win can buy. So, I thought I’d make mine into a blog post seeing as I’ve had quite a tags to join in. I’m all about two birds and one stone. 

So here it is, my 20 things about me that you may or may not already know. 

1 • Many people are under the assumption that I birthed 3 children.    I didn’t. Not only would my poor vagina not cope with the trauma, but, I became unfertile after having Beth due to a string of medical conditions that led to a full hysterectomy aged 29. Life of death is no exaggeration. But I didn’t choose life, I choose Beth because to me, she’s even more important. George and Lyla are actually my step children.

2 • I find Step Parenting even more difficult than parenting Beth. With Beth, there are no outspoken boundaries, she’s my daughter and I will parent her the way I wish to, the best way I can. But with step children, there is a Mother whose feelings must be respected and whether I agree with her or disagree, it’s not my place to argue with or step over the lines she has in place. They are her and Paul’s children, parenting is their place not mine, mine is simply to be their friend and guide them as I would guide Beth.

3 • I’m a rootin’ tootin’ menopausal bag of hormones and, when I’m in the throws of a hot flush, I could kick start an Australian Bush Fire. 

4 • I’m petrified of Morris Dancers. It maybe an old tradition but to me, it’s the freakiest thing I’ve ever known and just being nearby gives me sweat burgers under my armpits. I just can’t deal with them.

5 • I recently discovered that Tuna is actually a fish and not a fake wannabe fish. Also, it cannot be kept in a tropical fish tank.

6 • In May last year, I finally found my Dad after 33 years of being kept apart. I finally feel like I know who I am. Im definitely my Fathers child in so many ways.

7 • For example, I’m very stubborn. I never back down from an argument and will dive in head first without thinking, say what needs to be said then possibly regret it later. My Nan and my Aunt say it’s a trait I’ve definitely inherited from my Daddy. 

8 • I have no filter. I say whatever is in my head and have zero air and grace. I’m an open book, happy to tell you whatever you want to know within reason, nothing is sugar coated, I’m not Willy Wonka, you want the sweet version? Good luck with that golden ticket. You won’t find it here. I’d fart in front of the Queen and talk dildos to to the Prime Minister (she looks like she needs one).

9 • I cannot bear materialistic people. I firmly believe in sticking to roots, it’s ok to have it all, it’s ok to want nice things but, it’s good to remember that you can lose it all in a second, and, if that even happened, you’d still be left with the same colour shit on the toilet paper after a good wipe. Humility is more attractive than any possession.

10 • Because I have a vagina and tits that are still growing aged 33 and 3/4, this means I must have an addiction to candles. It’s a standard requirement of anyone who has or still bleeds for seven days without dying right? You won’t find me looking in Aldi for those Jo Malone style jars though. My addiction lies solely with Holly’s House candles. If I don’t have at least 10 in my home, then I consider this as low supply. Also, Holly is the funniest prick I know and if we were teenagers, she would be in my “Squad”. 

11 • Last night, Beth told me whilst I was having a bit of a paddy and started bawling my eyes out, to “come on Mum, you’re being a bit of a twat now”. I think that’s one of my most proud moments. Not because she called me a twat, but because I’ve raised her well enough to not be afraid to tell someone when they are  in the wrong and not to say things just because it’s what people want to hear.

12 • My other addiction is cups and mugs. Anthropologie made me do it, followed quickly by Oliver BonasTkMaxxMarks and SpencerHomesenseUrban Outfitters and anywhere else that sell a pretty bit of tea drinking furniture. It’s got to the point now whereby if Beth sees a cup she knows is my jam, it goes in the basket with no questions. She’s like a well trained puppy, she even flushes the toilet after herself. 

13 • I can’t stand coffee. I’m sorry, don’t hate me. I just can’t. I drink it very occasionally but I can’t stand it, the headaches and the sick feeling for hours after are enough to make me want to leave a pube on every single Starbucks counter in the world and have them never serve the stuff again.

14 • I’m all about Ryan Gosling, one day, I will get him to husband me and we will spend our days eating jelly tots from our belly buttons, of that I’m sure, but, there is also the small matter of Dick Van Dyke from back in the Mary Poppins day. Be still my beating heart.

15 • I can’t keep anything alive. Don’t panic, the kids are fine. I’m talking plants, flowers, succulents and Cactis. In fact, I’ve got seven David Austin Roses in my back garden that bloomed beautifully last years that are currently in a very sorry state. I brought a pack of Peonie bulbs at the weekend, Paul snaughed at me and told me “it’s just another thing to kill”. These fingers are definitely not green. 

16 • If I could change one thing about Paul, I’d get him watch Twilight with me. But he won’t. Ever. He doesn’t appreciate Edward Cullen like I do. 

17 • I love buying people presents. They don’t have to be expensive, I just get my kicks from making other people smile. I don’t give to receive. Some people can spend so much time putting others first that it’s nice to reward them.

18 • My ears have to be cold. Freezing cold at all times. Nothing annoys me more than hot ears, if they’re the wrong temperature I get irritable. You’ll always see me tickling them to keep them cold, it’s a comfort thing and something I’ve done since I was shitting yellow and burping milk. 

19 • My favourite colour is grey. Fifty shades of it. No butt plugs or spanking are involved however. Just lots and lots of grey. 

20 • I still watch Home & Away and Neighbours everyday. Alf Stewart is an absolute dreamboat and was my idol as a child.

And that my dears, is my 20 things that make me the rare breed I am today. 

Em xox

Crazy Mother Judgers…

Alright my lovers?

Before I start my rant, allow me to tell you something I’ve just done, let’s call it confession if you will.

So, as it was George’s birthday yesterday, he requested a boys day out shopping with his Dad. Lyla has gone to soft play and Nev is out in town with her best friend. Here I am, sat on the sofa when I hear the familiar sound of “Greensleeves” coming from down the road. Yep, one warm day and the ice cream man is back. I bolted it upstairs, grabbed my purse and put on the first pair of shoes I could find, which also happened to be Paul’s trainers, and booted it to the ice cream van. I order a double flake Mr Whippy and then he’s asks what else I’d like for the kids (he knows everyone in this neighbourhood, he’s known Paul since he was a scrawny kid playing in the park) I was totally stumped and didn’t want to look or sound really selfish so I made up a complete lie and told him the rest of the family have gone away on holiday and I’m home alone. Then he starts giving me bloody sympathy! 

It was just a white lie, a little lie to justify me being a pig. Confession done. Judge me all you like but I’m just a woman, home alone, thinking about how my diet will be starting on Monday. 

Anyway, back to the blog post…
I’ve seen on social media recently that several accounts that I follow have been subject to trolling in the most cruel and hurtful way. Charlotte @thehomethatmademe , Cara @carasuthers and Emma emmaprettyinpink03_sw have been victims to it quite a lot lately and what for? For going about their lives and daring to share it on social media. I’ve had messages myself but not to the extreme these ladies have. 

I was always pretty naive in believing that trolls only preyed on “famous” people, I was stupid enough to believe normal every day people didn’t have to worry about that. But, after seeing some of the comments Cara has had on her blog I was given a bit of a rude awakening. I know her personally, I’ve known her for years, and I appreciate that as much as we all are entitled to an opinion, one thing you cannot judge a person on is their parenting. Yes these women have chosen to write blogs, chosen to share parts of there lives with you and chosen to share intimate details of their life with you but that doesn’t mean to say you get to judge their parenting. Not one fucking bit.

Take Emma for example, bringing up two beautiful boys on her own, whilst keeping a beautiful home and running a small business, yet she takes time to herself for a night out and out come the parenting police in there droves giving her shit left, right and centre. Give the woman a break, she looks after her boys and they clearly don’t go without so what is the issue with her taking a few hours of her time to be just Emma. She’s more than just a Mum. She’s a human being, with real feelings.

The sad part is, these trolls are mostly Mothers themselves. 

Let’s face it, all parents have different ways of parenting their kids and no matter how many books or magazine articles we read about how to parent our children, there is no greater way than our own. 

I admit, I’m a bit of an inbetweener, I let Nev get away with a fair bit but at the same time, I demand a level of respect and don’t allow her to talk to me like her maid, I make sure she does her chores and I don’t tolerate her grunting at me or slamming a door in my face. Yet she’s only ever been grounded (with it being followed through) a couple of times and I’ve never taken her iPad off her for longer than 20 minutes. I’m not afraid to call her a dickhead when she’s doing my head in, I’m not one to tell people she’s perfect when at times she a little shit and I could easily send her to boarding school. But I parent her MY way and I’m not up for being told by anyone that I’m not doing it right. 

How I parent Nev may not be to anybody’s taste, but then it doesn’t need to be. I may ask for advice but that doesn’t mean I’m open to being judged for it. 

A common debate I hear all to often is those for and against photos of children on social media. Now don’t get me wrong, I totally see all sides of the coin. There ARE weirdos around and there are dangers to posting pictures online but, I make sure I only have people I know on my Facebook, I filter who follows me on Instagram and I barely have any followers on twitter so it’s not an issue. My social media is MY social media, if I want to feature the children on it, why not? They are the reason I exist, they are part of who I am so why should I hide them because the pizza delivery guy tells me to? To tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do isn’t acceptable.

The way I see it, everyone has an opinion. Everyone is entitled to voice an opinion but that doesn’t mean that voice should be heard more than others and it doesn’t mean that voice should be aired for all to see. I see things that I don’t agree with at times on social media but, I have a rant at home and then it’s over and done with, I’d never dream on writing on someone’s personal forum that they’re doing something wrong. We are responsible for the choices we make, we are the ones who have to be able to sleep at night if we get it wrong. It’s not going to affect anyone else’s life if the girl down the road is a single Mum, it doesn’t affect your life if you breast fed and wear a fucking halo yet whatsherface is bottle feeding her baby, it doesn’t affect your life if people on social media chose to show you what their beautiful children are up to. If it has no impact on your life, why is it necessary to get so involved? 

I see women being called lazy because they had a c-section, because they’re “too posh to push”, do people ever consider that some women don’t have that choice? They may possibly have health risks and have put their child first by having the safest delivery possible. That makes them a good parent from the off, so why judge them for that? 
Why, when we become parents, do some of us suddenly think that because we birthed a little human, that we are an expect on the subject. We suddenly think that it’s ok to be a rude mofo and make someone else feel utterly shit for not doing things the way it “should” be done. Judging each other is cruel, to make the likes of Charlotte, Cara and Emma question themselves, doubt their ability and even make them cry isn’t fair, it’s not ok and will never be ok. They are in your boat too, they are Mums, trying to do the best they can in the best way they know. In their own way. In a way that they are clearly happy with and their children are happy with. They don’t have to answer to the likes of you and me. They don’t have to apologise to the general public because they’ve done something you may not like, they shouldn’t be questioning their career paths or questioning whether they should hide away.

I make mistakes all the time as a Mum. But that’s where I take the time to learn, to correct it and to grow as a parent. It’s a full time position that requires and endless pit of learning. It demands patience and time, it’s carries responsibilities that sometimes I struggle to cope with, but I don’t want to be judged, I want to be helped, to be guided, to be told it’s ok. I want to learn from other people, to be inspired. I don’t wish to be compared to other Mums, I want to be Nevs Mum. I don’t drink (rarely) and Nevs only saw me drink a glass of wine in her company 3 years ago for the first time, she’ll never see me fully pissed until she’s old enough to drink too, I don’t do drugs, I gave birth naturally and I breast fed. That doesn’t make me a perfect parent, trust me, I’ve screwed up more times than I can think of. But I’m not going to judge someone who doesn’t do all the things that I did. It’s not my right, and it’s certainly not yours.

Tomorrow is Mothers Day, instead of being a badass Mother Judger, be a Mother Lover and tell someone what inspires you about the way they parent. Make someone feel better about themselves. 
If you don’t like someone’s parenting, scroll on. It’s not your day it’s ruining, but you’re ruining someone else’s with your spite.

Em xox


Alright my lovers?

I don’t know what has happened in our household lately. Everyone is arguing with each other. The kids I mean. Paul isn’t one for arguing, I argue, he listens, occasionally says his piece, I threaten to pack my shit into bin liners and leave, he laughs knowing I have nowhere to go and that’s it, a quick snog and it’s all sorted.

But the kids? They’ve not stopped arguing with each other. 

If you’ve read previous blog posts, you’ll know I’m bred from a highly disfunctional family, this isn’t something I want to relive going forward so we do our best to make sure our household is permanently happy and iron out any issues pretty quickly. Being a blended family meant it wasn’t always going to be easy. I can only discipline Paul’s children to a certain level and likewise with Paul when it comes to Nev. 

When we became a family, we made a mutual decision to raise the three little humans as brother and sister, no “step” necessary. I’m a huge believer in not needing to be 100% genetically matched in order to love each other and live as  siblings. It was something we’ve all agreed upon, Paul’s children have another blended family with their Mum, her partner and his children so it’s a situation that suits us all. Our family doesn’t need titles, it just needs a lot of love and a massive amount of respect for each other. 

The first three years have worked a treat, the kids barely disagreed on anything and the house was always full of laughter. But recently, Paul and I find ourselves looking forward to going to work and having a “what the fuck is wrong with them” conversation on the way. They just cannot seem to be in a room with each other without bossing each other around, arguing or wanting to shit down each other’s necks. 

It’s hard work having not one, but two teenagers in the house as well as an 8 year old who is trying to find her identity and refuses to cut the apron strings to her Dayyee. She commands a lot of his time and we’ve never had an issue with Paul giving it. Nev is forever locked away in her bedroom watching Drag Queens on YouTube (she’s still annoyed that she doesn’t have a dick) and George is doing his own thing, (by his own thing, I mean watching repeats of Call The Midwife or Casualty). Now it should be a bit of an issue for us that we never all seem to be in the same room together, Paul and I are forever moaning about it. Or at least we were until the two teenagers decided that being around each other was like putting Trump and Clinton back on the podium and watching them battle it out. 

Everything became a competition. A constant “My Dad is bigger than your Dad scenario”, what would start out as ‘banter’ between them would end up in a slanging match and either Paul or myself would have to step in and tell them to quit. George knows how to wind Nev up, Nev knows how to respond and take it to the next level. Nev allows Lyla to get away with anything but if George is to do it, back the fuck off pal. George is very articulate and can hold himself very well, Nev will simply huff, puff and get angry. You know the situation requires a referee when her eyebrows begin to blend in the middle. I accept that this is normal between children, but for just one weekend only, we wanted it to be different. Paul and I wanted to hear laughter and the familiar sounds of their lame private jokes.

Usually, we give them the option of what we do on the weekend. We do what they want to do as long as it’s within reason. So far so good, although I appreciate Nev is close to the age where she’ll be drinking white lightening in the park with her friends so we need to make the most of our weekends together. The problem is, they can never reach a mutual decision as to what to do. Lyla is active and loves to be outdoors in the mud, Nev wants to stay home (yes, with the Drag Queens) and George just goes with the flow even though his face says he’d rather be anywhere but walking in the cold through a muddy forest. So this time, Paul and I decided to make the plans and tell them only when we were halfway there.

So, we went back to where we know the kids are at their happiest and carefree. Hunstanton. The place where we had our first little family getaway, the place where the kids enjoyed being around each other, the place where Beth earnt the nickname “Neville”

At first, I was deflated when they guessed. They didn’t seem a bit excited. Me? I was awake at 4.30 in the hope it was time to get in the car and go to the place where the serve the best warm cinnamon doughnuts. I looked at Paul and for a second, I think we both panicked a little, had we made the right choice? 

Within two minutes of arriving, they were back in the room again. Happy, carefree, laughing and enjoying being siblings. Not once did they bitch, not once did they make snide comments to each other and best of all, not once did they come to Paul and I to moan about each other. They skimmed pebbles on the beach, played in the 2p slot machines in the arcade,  played with the stress ball boobs in the joke shop (call Social Services if you want but you try and stop them finding it amusing), they went on rides together at the mini fair  (even more amazing that this year, Lyla was finally able to go on rides with them because she’s grown that all important inch) , they walked together along the promenade and shared cones of chips at our favourite seaside chippy. 

Paul seemed to be relaxed for the first time in a long time, he wasn’t thinking about work, deadlines or worrying about which child was going to piss the other off first. He was just Dad/Paul for the whole day and that I so god damn attractive (at one point I looked at him and thought I might just put out tonight)  I also noticed that even Paul and I didn’t bicker once, usually, having to step in between the kids causes a little bicker but not today (so that deserves a game of hide the sausage right?) Today was just a nice, normal family day. The only rule we made was not to go crazy and spend, spend, spend. So we drew £50 out of the cashpoint and once it was gone, that was it. Once we’d spent it, we got back in the car and came home, all of us feeling happy and stress free. 

I understand that it’s normal to get on each other’s tits. But sometimes, I think it’s important to take a bit of time out to take stock of what matters. We’ve had to fight hard to make our family work, we spent the first 18 months doing the long distance thing, living together is what we all wanted and we just needed to remind the kids that without having to say it. 

Now we are home, normal service had resumed. Nev is watching…I don’t even need to say it. George is watching….yep. And Lyla, she’s actually not with her Dad at the moment so he’s chilling with s well deserved beer. For now, the house is quiet, there’s now arguing. I can’t say how long it will last for, but for now, I’m enjoying this truce. 

Let’s see how much luck we have when we go bowling tomorrow. 

Em xox


To my little Neville.

It’s that time of year again. The time when I start to reminisce back to hours before I met you, back to the time when I was a young, naive and, looking back, slightly chav looking 19 year old. Those hours when I was a bag of excitable nerves, wondering what birth would be like, would you come out in covered in gunk (I was adamant I wouldn’t touch you if you were) I wondered if you’d have a winky or a front bum? I had so many things running through my mind and I was pretty shit scared about what was to come. I just wanted to skip ahead a few hours and get straight to the bit where you’d make your big entrance into the world. 

Well you did make an entrance, not the one I expected. I held you in my arms (by this point I’d forgotten about my gunk pledge) and wondered if babies were meant to come out so quietly? All the tv births I’d watched in preparation were so different to mine, and those babies screamed.

But you? You didn’t scream. You were silent. You looked like a little doll, content and peaceful in my arms. I wondered (and hoped) you’d always be this quiet. That was, until the midwife was so concerned by your silence that she pricked you with a needle in the heel to get you to cry. Bloody hell did you cry. I remember wanting to rip her head off for not warning me that she was about to hurt my perfect little girl, and seeing you cry for the first time was tough. You weren’t meant to cry because someone had hurt you. That wasn’t how it was meant to be. That’s when I knew that it would be the first and last time I ever allowed anyone to hurt you. 


Those first twenty minutes were probably the quietest you’ve EVER actually been. We always said that when you cried as a baby, you had no decibel level, and, the older you get, the decibel level continues to rise. 

Beth, I know you hate it when I get all emotional on you. You’re very guarded in comparison to me, I show my emotion so openly where as you don’t, for you, showing emotion is embarrassing. And to me, that reminds me of how very teenage you are. 

I don’t know how we’ve got to this point so quickly. I’m going to bed as a Mother to a thirteen year old but waking up with a fourteen year old. I’m not even old enough! 

You are, and always be, my one, single purpose in life. I go to bed at night and feel thankful that I created perfection, I wake up in the morning, smell your morning breath and consider whether or not there was maybe a little room for improvement. Seriously though, I wouldn’t change a thing about you. 

Lately, we argue a lot. I know it’s normal, I know it’s part of growing up and I know you’re just trying to find you’re way in life, but I hate it. I hate that for maybe just a few moments, you dislike me, you feel I’m being unfair or don’t care. And that’s where you are wrong. I argue with you because I do care, because I want you to make the right choices in life and I don’t want you to make any of the mistakes I’ve ever made. Yes, you’ll make mistakes, yes, you’ll get your heartbroken, yes, you’ll get drunk a few times too soon and get vomit in your hair, yes, you’ll look in a mirror one day and see imaginary love handles that nobody else can but that’s normal. That’s life. And those are the reasons I argue with you, because I want to keep you protected from all those moments because I am your Mother and that is my job.

I admire how independent you are, you know your own mind and your morals are so admirable. Sometimes, hearing you talk is hilarious, you’re like an old lady, stuck in the times. But I love that about you, you’re sensible and know what’s right and wrong. People tell me you’ll be drinking and smoking soon but I know you won’t. I know you better than that,    you hate the smells of cigarettes and find drunk people irritating. 

You can be the most entertaining human being but also the most annoying person I’ve ever met before. It’s like you have no off button. Forever on the wind up with stupid voice when you’ve been told off or dancing around when I’m trying to clean the house. Please don’t ever stop, even when I tell you to sod off, please don’t stop being you. You are kind, courageous, loyal, sensible, sarcastic, stubborn and energetic. You’re  smart, funny, sassy, brave, bold, boisterous and cheeky. You’re one of a kind. You’re my one of a kind. 

I’m so proud of the young woman you’ve turned out to be. I may not like it when you strop around the house and grunt at me because you’re in a mood, I may not like that you’d prefer to hang out with your friends these days instead of me, but that doesn’t make me think any less of you. You’re a normal (ish) teenager doing all the right things. There’s never a day when you don’t make me smile and never a day when I don’t feel lucky to be your Mum. I wish daily that I could freeze time but I can’t, you’re growing up and I have to let you.

Grow up and be you Beth. Be all the things you want to be and more. I will here, watching you and guiding you along the way, it’s not easy growing up, trying to find the right path in life, but you’re doing well.

And tomorrow, when you turn fourteen, just remember, I loved you then, and I love you now, more than I ever thought possible.

Happy Birthday beautiful girl.


Mama xox

The “S” Word.

Alright my lovers?

Calm your tits. This blog post isn’t a film review of Fifty Shades. Although I must say, I have watched it and didn’t think it was too shabby. Let’s face it, I maybe menopausal and have lost my hide the sausage mojo but, who wouldn’t get all giddy over Mr Grey? 

I digress. All jokes aside. This post maybe somewhat controversial and maybe, just maybe it may come across as too deep or seem as if I’m airing my dirty laundry. However, I’ve always said I blog as a way of therapy because quite frankly, counselling comes at a price and I much prefer to spend my monthly bonus on soft furnishings from George at Asda these days. (Yes, Asda. And the odd mug or ten from Anthropology) It’s a post that you may find uncomfortable but at the same time, it’s a post that I Need to write. Because some things aren’t always better left unsaid.

The S word in question is “smacking”. Holy shit balls, I’m going there. And I’m going in. 

Should we, or should we not, smack our children. 

For me, there’s no question about it. It’s a firm, definite, unquestionable NO.

We all know someone in our life who sees a naughty child and says “That child could do with a smack, it never did me any harm”

And there’s my problem. I was that child, I was the child who got smacked daily and let me tell you, it’s done more than harmed me. It’s fucked up my head for years and most likely, years to come. You see, in our household, smacks weren’t just smacks, smacks were full on smacks one after the other to the point where I can understand what it must be like to have had ten strikes from the school came back in the day. Smacks turned to punches, punches turned to kicks, kicks turned to pulling me across the room by my hair which eventually turned to being knocked out being smashed against the door frame. It was so bad, I thought it was normal, so normal that in didn’t see a problem with it for many years. Complaining to be hungry was met with a smack. Playing too loudly was met with a smack. Existing full stop seemed to warrant being smacked. 

I always used to look at my Mum when I was being smacked and see the look in her eye, like a crazed animal who wasn’t going to stop until she was exhausted. There was no line between a tap on the leg to a full on smacked bum. It was all or nothing. 

I can’t ever agree with smacking a child. The most placid of human beings are all guilty of having a temper and we all know, our children have a great talent for pushing our buttons and all it takes, is for that button to flip and in an instant, one smack can become two. That’s two smacks too many. 

Our children are innocent little beings, trying to find a way to pave their way into this world. They are going to push us to our limits, test our strengths and hit our weak spots, they’re going to be naughty little sods at some point or other but that doesn’t mean to say go ahead and smack your child, it doesn’t mean to say it’s ok to leave an angry red mark across their legs, or leave a scar in their memory that will last a lifetime. It does however, mean that as adults, we need to find a way to communicate with our children, sit them down and talk to them. Ask them if they understand what they have done wrong, talk to them. Use the power of words, use the naughty step, take away the iPad but please, do not take away your child’s innocence with violence. 

Learnt behaviour is a bastard. I’ve always been scared to discipline Beth if needed in case I lost my cool and history repeated itself, to avoid it happening, I chose to not use the smacking method at all. I’m not a perfect parent and there have admittedly been times when I did wonder if a smack across the legs could fix my broken vase thanks to her running feral around the room despite my pleas. Fact is, I can’t do it, I can’t bear to see my daughter cry because I have caused her physical pain, nor could I cope if she grew up hating me for the way she was brought up. I’d be mortified to hear my daughter tell her children how I’d smacked her. I want my child to respect me, not look at me with contempt because I took away all her innocence. 

Let our children be little. Let them make mistakes, it’s a big part of growing up, and let’s be honest, smacking a leg wouldn’t be half as hurtful as removing the iPad for the day. Turn off the wifi, that’ll be enough to make sure they don’t put chocolate fingers on your white walls again. 

Should children really live in fear of a smack? Surely their every move would all be based on “don’t do that, we might get smacked”. Do we really want to watch our children play Mums and Dads, watching the children get a smack for being naughty or watching them play with their dolls talking about what will happen if they do it again. No. Just no. 

There is so much damage that can be done to a child’s mind by smacking them. Trust me, I know. I live with those memories each and every day, its most like the reason why I’m always defensive. The reason I don’t let people get close to me anymore, the reason I always blame myself for situations that I can’t control. It’s so easy to tell someone not to live in the past. Would you tell a rape victim to get over it? Would you tell a someone who has been sexually abused to deal with it? No. So why expect a child who has been unnecessarily smacked to get over it? That may seem far fetched to some people but it’s not. To me, smacking is child abuse. 

And that has to stop. 

Smacking our children, in my mind, says that we are ok with teaching our children to be aggressive. You cannot “lovingly” smack a child, you smack them with a smile on your face. Smacking a child will make your child feel hated by the people they want and need the love from the most. It’s not fair to bring them into this world and then make them feel unwanted.

We only get one childhood. It’s important to fill a child’s early years with wonderful happy memories, they are days they cannot get back. They are the days that shape their life and will mound them into the kind of people we will be proud of. The way we parent our children could potentially be reflected upon the way they parent their children in years to come unless, like me, they are strong enough to break that cycle. 

Maybe my views on this are biased. And I appreciate that not everyone thinks the same, some of you may have been brought up with equal amounts of love and discipline. But for me, it was the opposite. And if that means I have become a push over parent, so be it. But I can never, ever, condone smacking. 

 Sweatshirt is from Harls & Ted 

Em xox

An insiders guide to care homes…

Alright my lovers?

When I first started writing this blog, I told you all how I was a carer working with vulnerable adults suffering from dementia and various other life changing illnesses. 

It was a job I loved and adored, nothing please me more than knowing I’d made a difference to one persons life by simply holding their hand or telling them how everything was going to be ok. I’d come home from work with a sense of great pride and always vowed never to do anything else with my life.

But that was the problem. I became lost. I forgot how to be anything else other than a carer, I put everything at work before everything at home. I spent more hours working and less hours being a Mum and a partner, my health deteriorated quickly and my state of mind? Well, I swear I was on the verge of a breakdown. So, I had to sit down with Paul and make a choice for my own sanity- continue to work myself into the ground or put my family first. Naturally, my family come first. It wasn’t a decision I found easy, but the fact is, I have always been proud to be a good carer, someone who wasn’t a yes man and wouldn’t please management over residents needs. Someone who would go the extra mile and never be afraid to be a voice for someone else who needed it. That’s my always enough. For every good carer, there is a bad carer. Bad carers always seem to come out smelling of roses whilst the good carers fade into the shadows unnoticed. It’s sad but it’s true. 

I get asked for advice so often about care work, by people who do the job or are thinking of entering the profession. I tell them the same every time, be a carer if you are not afraid to be heard, if you are strong but with a good heart. Be a carer if you know the real value of kindness and what it can do to make a persons life all the better. But also, I get asked what to look for when choosing a care home for a loved one. Trust me when I say this, if I could paint a cross on all three care homes I’ve worked in as a warning not to enter, I’d do it. I’d string the management up by the scruff off their necks and have them pelted believe me I would. It’s all too often that carers end up with a bad reputation and in reality, it’s the fault of management (or senior management in the first care home I’ve ever worked at). Carers that wear invisible halos will report issues but it will be swept under the carpet, they will speak up but be beaten down into silence. Then, when the shit hits the fan, it’s the management who hang them out to dry.

So, for those who ask what to look for, I hope these tips help you. And most importantly, I hope they help your loved ones.

1- Do your research. Visit as many homes as you need to. Take notes along the way, speak to residents and families that are visiting and ask them questions. NEVER book a time to visit, always turn up announced. By turning up by appointment, everything that needs to be hidden or brushed over will be just so and they will be ready with false smiles and promises of top quality care. Check out the homes website, CQC reports, social services and so on. Gather your information carefully and whittle down your choices to three homes.

2- Viewing. Once you have your three homes selected, pick three random times of the day to visit. I advise visiting at early breakfast time, between lunch and dinner and around supper time. These are important times during the day and will help you see how calm and organised a home can be. If you are refused a random visit. Don’t bother going back. When you visit, always ask to see the empty rooms. Check the beds, mattress, storage, bathroom facilities and most importantly, test the buzzer system. Ring the buzzer and time how fast it takes a carer to answer, bear in mind, that could be your family needing help as a matter of life or death. If it takes longer than two minutes, it’s an indication the home is understaffed and your family is likely to not receive the correct care because staff just cannot work miracles. 

3- Ask questions. When you visit, ask questions such as staff to resident ratio, shift patterns of staff, can you decorate or bring furniture, toileting times, where is medication stored, accident and incident procedures, in the event of fire where is allocated safe place for family to go i.e. A village hall? Ask how daily events are recorded, how many beds are empty (and more than five empty beds, ask yourself why?) how is laundry done, is it a 24/7 visiting policy, what qualifications do staff have, are the trained in your families needs i.e. Diabetes, epilepsy, dementia. Ask what are the meal times- if there is longer than a 3 hour gap between breakfast and a tea round and then another 4 hours to lunch, that’s not enough, especially ask what time is tea and is there a hot supper option? Long periods of time before meals isn’t suitable.

4-Funding. We all know the cost of care homes are a rip off, I firmly believe nobody should pay for residential care. But, check out the costs, based on what you have seen, do you think it’s worth the money? A fancy home may not be all it’s cracked up to be, make sure you’re paying for the service not the fancy arsed curtains in the lounge. 

5- Speak to staff, ask them what being a carer means to them, do they enjoy the job? Suss out if they are genuine. Always watch them, do they seem happy? How do they act with residents and each other? Does it look like they work as a team or communicate with each other? 

6- Involve your family. If you are trusting a care home to look after your loved one, give your loved one choice. Take them to view the home and gauge a reaction. Involve the with as much as possible. Too often, families make the choices and it’s the carers who then take the wrath because they are pacifying your Aunt who didn’t want to be there in the first place. 

7- Are the residents treated with dignity and respect? If staff are having a conversation about their private life over a residents head, that’s not acceptable. If staff are discussing residents within ear shot, that’s not acceptable. Are they knocking on doors before entering? Are they offering choices? 

8-Don’t be afraid to ask uncomfortable questions to management. Don’t be afraid to challenge them. And whilst your at it, if you don’t feel management are interested or approachable, don’t go near the home again. These people are responsible for your family, they’re a human being not a wage packet. 

9- Before anything, create an advance care plan with your loved one, it’s a tough subject but ask them what they want to do if they become ill, where do they want to spend their last days? What do they want to happe should they lose capacity? Do you make photo books for them so they can look back at them forexample? Is your Dad ok with female carers washing him? How do they want their meals? In their room or with other people in a dining area? It’s important to get all the little things on paper and ensure the care home sticks to these choices, if they don’t, they’ve abused your trust and your loved ones right to live life they way they wish.

10- Ask what the end of life procedure is. Will a carer be with your loved one at all times or left alone. Some homes leave a resident in bed unnoticed, other homes operate a system so carers sit with your loved one at all times so they are never alone or at least until family can be present.

I really hope some of these things help. So many people feel guilty for using a care service, but you mustn’t, you have to do what’s best for all involved. For so many people, it’s the only way they can be a son or daughter again and not a carer. It’s easy to get frustrated with your family member for the smallest thing, but they can’t help it and you can’t help getting frustrated, without the correct knowledge and training, you can only do so much. 

Call The Midwife..

Alright my lovers?

I’ve woken up today from yet another dream that I was pregnant, and yet again, I woke up believing it to be real. Well, considering four years ago, my amazing surgeon carved out my womb like a boss, we know that’s not possible. Although I’d prefer to be pregnant than on the menopause right now, trust me, we all joke about hot flushes but, once you actually do get them for real, they’re no laughing matter. 

So it got me to thinking about pregnancy and what I would do differently had I actually been given the chance to do it all again. 

I can’t remember if I’ve said it before or not but, I was unaware I was pregnant until just over six months into pregnancy. Having always been at least a skinny size 6, missing periods was common because for me, I would have them at any given time, I’d always had an erratic cycle, sometimes I’d have six in a row, other times I’d skip one then have another for seven weeks. It just hasn’t occurred to me that I could be pregnant . I remember always having sore nipples but put that down to the fact I might have been wearing the wrong bra. It was only during a conversation with my Mother and sister that I was TOLD I was pregnant. 

My sister had complained that she was getting fat as all 13 year olds believe at some point. In protest, I showed her my new found roll of fat in a bid to make her feel better. Now,my Mum was never any good at listening unless it was about her  so looking back, I’m shocked she was taking notice at all, but,, she took a look at my “roll of fat” and told me to lie on the floor. And there it was, said fat roll was actually a small mound with a brown line right down the centre. 

The next day, I marched into the GP surgery still adamant I wasn’t pregnant. And proclaimed in the exact words “My Mum thinks I’m up the duff”. One look at me, in my sky blue, reversible Adidas coat that I proudly brought from a Catalogue and was now bursting from the seams, was all it needed for my GP to laugh and tell me my Mum was right and without even undoing my coat, he’d estimate I was at least six months and a few weeks. Bless you young, naive, 19 year old Emma, believing all those little kicks were just trapped wind and the brown line was a fart breaking through the skin. I know. I know. 

Some might say I had it lucky, no morning sickness, no long winded pregnancy and no shit skin. I’d gone straight to what was meant to be the “glowing stage”. 


I was 19, Beth’s Dad and I weren’t exactly in the happiest of relationships and to be truthful with you, when I told him I was pregnant, he put down the phone and refused to speak to me for a whole day. I just felt alone. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know where to start. When Beth’s Dad did contact me, the first question was “is it mine?”. And that was how it was for the following three months, it was relentless, everyday I was asked the same question and everyday I was asked for a DNA test. Now I’m not Baby Daddy Bashing, the golden truth is, he made me feel shit. When I suddenly started to pile the weight on and get sad about the slug looking stretch marks on my hips, he’d call me “Ratty Fatty”, I also had to quit work immediately as the GP was concerned at how tired and aneamic I’d become so, as I hadn’t been in my job long enough to claim maternity, it left me with no money, if I asked him for money to buy an outfit that fitted, he’d tell me we couldn’t afford it but would go out every weekend and be drinking solid on three day benders without coming home or ringing to let me know. I even remember having not long given birth to Beth, sitting in the bath with my Mum washing the blood off me, he waltzed in and said “Well I don’t need a DNA test now, she looks just like me!”, not exactly the best thing to say to a woman who’s just had an 11 hour labour with only gas & air for pain relief. I found out years later that he did the same to the Mother of his two sons years later so I know now that his sense of humour has no boundaries and it was what it was. Luckily for him, I’ve learnt to forgive but I’ve never forgotten and to this day I still feel robbed of the nice side of pregnancy.

Some pregnant women get really rampant during those months but I can assure you, for the next three months, I wasn’t going to let him near me. That carried on for the following ten months after Beth was born until I left him. Even the sight of him taking a pee would make me gag and I genuinely believe I’d have done a “Bobbitt” and lobbed it off if he’d so much as tried to bring that thing near me.

I didn’t fully enjoy my three months of pregnancy, I felt ugly, fat and scared. I suppose that’s why I was always obsessing about getting pregnant again, yes, I wanted a baby but I also wanted to feel all the amazing things other women felt and I wanted it to be with a man who made me feel special and loved. That’s not to say I completely hated it, I have always wanted to be a Mum, in my life I’ve only wanted two things, to be a Mother and a wife. I couldn’t wait to give a little baby all the unconditional love in the world and have that love returned. So just to have the gift of being pregnant was always counted as a blessing. I often feel we take it for granted at times and to be honest, I understand that now more than ever. 

I get quite a few messages asking about my pregnancy and for advice, Beth is almost 14 so it feels like so long ago now and I don’t feel I’m very qualified to give advice but, here are some of the things I’d advise any pregnant woman and the reasons why I feel I have can give that advise. 

1) You are carrying a baby. That makes you an instant Goddess so do everything you can to feel like one. Most pregnant woman, feel like I did, frumpy and unattractive. Treat yourself to a brand new hair cut, go to your make up counter and ask them to try new products on you that suit your ever changing pregnant skin. If the money is there, buy yourself a couple of those products even if it’s one pay packet at a time. And if you can go one better and go for a pregnancy pamper at a Spa, do it. I always wish I had done it

2) Don’t be like me and wear one outfit through the whole pregnancy. Not only will it fit poorly, but you’ll feel crap. Go to the sales or to Primark and fill up a basket, or, if you’re a fancy pants, shop wherever the hell you like and buy some beautiful clothes that suit your wonderful new shape. They don’t have to maternity clothes, they can just be a few sizes bigger, but make sure you have a few staples in your wardrobe that you can rely on. I’m not sure why, but I always think pregnant women look stunning in a white smock dress or in simple dungarees. 

3) When it comes to your hospital bag, remember one thing, you are going to go in that place and do the most amazing thing a human being could ever do, so fill it with things not only for your baby, but for you. So whoever is your birthing partner, make sure they know their duties, massage oil is a must for that first hour when you don’t mind being touched, anytime after…touch her if you dare! But seriously, new pjs or nighties are important. I didn’t have new ones and gave birth in a tatty nighty I’d had for years and felt crap. And yes, my coming home outfit was my only bootleg trousers and a black polo neck jumper! It doesn’t bode well if you feel shit before the parenting journey has even kick started, trust me.

4) Embrace the extra weight. I went from a size 6 and finished up a size 16. That weight will go in its own time, don’t spend the whole of your pregnancy stressing over it, instead, eat the cake, single handedly destroy the share bag of doritos and don’t share that cheesecake with anyone! It’s not a six portion cheesecake, it’s a lady carrying baby portion only! You deserve it, your womb deserves it!

5) Take photos of your pregnant self. Take ten a day if you want to. Just please, take photos. I don’t have a single one of me pregnant, I think there’s literally one kicking around but it’s in the hands of an ex friend who I wouldn’t piss on if she was on fire and to be honest, she probably threw darts at it many years ago. You may not feel super amazing but you’ll regret not having photos to look back on and, to be honest, it makes me sad that Beth will never have a photo of me carrying her. 

6) Go on dates, enjoy your time alone together before every moment is interrupted by the smell of shit or, the boob starts spraying. Yes, you are the one carrying the baby but couple time is important too. Your man needs attention from time to time. It’s so easy to focus on being parents that being a couple gets forgotten. Go on dates but talk about everything except pregnancy and being parents. There is life outside of that role. 

7) Don’t hide away, on days when you feel lethargic and not fit for purpose, take a walk, go for a brunch with friends or even baby yoga. I spent all my time alone in bed. I regret making the most of those precious three months, I just wasted them and didn’t appreciate what a gift I had. 

8) Baby names. As soon as you fall pregnant you need to accept two things, first of all, random people will rub your swelling belly. People you don’t even know will walk up to you in Lidl and will think they have the right to touch you, but that’s ok, grab them right back in the sex part and see if they like being violated, unfortunately, if they look like they’re enjoying it, you’re fucked, so my advise is simply RUN, WADDLE, whatever. Just put down your basket and leave. The other thing is baby names, everyone has an opinion on them, they’ll either have a list of names you should have or maybe, you’ve copied their baby names even though they’re not even pregnant. There’s the ones who disagree with you naming your child Stardust Honeyblossom Six Nuggets Jones, but it’s none of their business, you just need to be prepared for the judgemental dickheads that like to voice an opinion. Choose your names wisely, never on a whim. I always liked George for a boy but about ten years ago, I was adamant I’d either have a boy and name him Seth or Noah and, if it was a girl I’d call her Willow or Darcie . Beth’s name was chosen purely because it’s the only one we agreed on, she was almost Sofia or Molly. I’m still not sure at times if Beth was the right choice and maybe I should have spent more time choosing something I was 100% in love with. 

9) Don’t worry about your dignity anymore, you’re about to have dozens of strangers fist your foof, in fact, I was pretty sure at one point, my midwife practically had head in there, so, if you wanna shit on that birthing table, woman just do it! They’ve been poking at you for hours telling you it won’t be long, six hours later you’re still waiting so seriously, leaving them a poo parcel to clean up is the least they deserve. Don’t have a cow midwives if your reading this, it’s tongue in cheek and you guys are angels from above, but please, let us know when your about to shove your hand in there yeah? 

10) This is your pregnancy, do it your way so long as it’s healthy and beneficial to you and your baby. If you want to listen to death metal whilst swinging from the chandelier whilst in labour, go for it, just bear in mind this is going to be your babies first bungee jump and I’m not sure it’s legal. But seriousy, do it all your own way. Being pregnant and giving birth is seriously amazing, it’s precious and it’s special, you make the choices with your partner, not the bloody neighbours or the Amazon delivery guy!

If I could go back and do it all again, I’d definitely take my own advice, but, at the same time, we are all different, some love being Keith Cheggers and pop babies out like they’re shelling peas, others hate it. Whatever,  we are all still Goddeses.

Em xox

P.S I’d love to post a pregnant me photo but I don’t have any so here’s one of me just after birth..

Let’s Talk Pretty…

Alright my lovers?

“You’d be so pretty if you looked like your sisters…”

“The unfortunate looking girl with a urgent need for dentistry…”

“Do you collect ugly people now…”

“You’re not pretty enough to be a DJs girlfriend…”

“You’re only jealous because I look like I do and you’re a washed up, single Mum who looks like..that”

“Alright ugly, put your teeth back in…”

What you’ve just read isn’t a figment of your imagination. Nor is any of it something you’ve heard in a novel or a magazine. These are comments that have either been said directly to me or about me.

Now I’m not writing this post for a pity party, I don’t want sympathy or reassurance. What I want from this post is for people to think before they comment on someone’s appearance. Think about the impact it has on someone, think about the long term damage it can cause a person and most importantly, imagine you were saying these words to your children (although one of those comments was actually said to me by my Mum so I know exactly the impact it causes) or, if you’re not a parent, imagine sitting face to face with your best friend, trading insults with each other like those above. You just wouldn’t do it. So why, why do we do it to other people?

I’ve written a blog post before about body confidence and yes, at times, I’m having to read my blog back to remind myself that I need to stop beating myself up but, this is something totally different. This post, is about what can cause that lack of confidence in a person.

I have always sworn by one statement – “You can be the prettiest girl on the outside but if your heart and personally don’t match, it makes those looks fade into the background and gives you an ugly soul”

I cannot stand people that think it’s ok to refer to someone by their hair colour for example. Recently, someone on Instagram referred to a child as a “ginger little fuck”, it annoyed me so I challenged her on it but she wasn’t backing down so I realised unfortunately, some people cannot see the wrong in their words and that right there, is an ugly soul. Another example was seeing a Facebook post where someone referred to a curvy woman as being “larger than life and, too fat for the aisle in a shop”. And right there, is another ugly soul. 

Since when did it become ok to shame people like that, and since when was it ok to write such things for people’s entertainment? For me, it’s far from funny to read. If your idea of being hilarious is by putting someone else down, then you have a serious problem and the personality police WILL knock on your door eventually. 

I’m not innocent. I have said some terrible things in a heat of the moment fit of anger during an argument but it takes a lot of shit for me to fire off, I’m not proud of my acid tongue but it’s there, and it’s a trait of my Mothers that I’m not proud to have inherited. I fully appreciate that I need to understand that just because people think it’s acceptable to treat me like shit, doesn’t mean it warrants a reaction, it and they, aren’t worth it.

How many times a day do we comment on someone’s pictures and tell them they are beautiful? Do we even know that person? Do we know what that person is capable of saying or doing to hurt someone else’s feelings? I mean, yes, I’m all in favour of praising others and building confidence but, should we be saying something different? I know it’s natural to comment on someone’s outer beauty but I for one, lately have become concerned that I may be feeding an ego that really, didn’t need feeding? 

There’s such a fine line isn’t there? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not on some one woman crusade to change the way we view others, I understand and accept that unfortunately, nothing and nobody can change the way we view “pretty” except for ourselves. 

So what is pretty/beautiful/stunning/gorgeous?

My idea of a beautiful person is someone who is kind, unselfish, someone who puts others needs before her own, is always the first to compliment someone where it’s due, someone who helps the old lady across the road as others just walk on by, someone who has a tenderness about them, always has something nice to say rather than constantly negative, someone who is there at the drop of a hat for you, someone who makes the world a better place purely for just existing. (As I write these things, I realise I’m literally describing my best friend Sam and that makes me proud) 

(Yes, that red hair disaster was me)

We need to accept that every spiteful thing we say about someone, has a lasting impact. All those unkind things about my looks have left a little dent in my self confidence. I can’t forget them and I see them across my forehead each time I look in a mirror. I have let peoples perseption of what I look like, alter the way I see myself and that’s a shame because so many others have said such sweet things to me yet I barely remember them. I only remember the horrible things. It’s a mindset I cannot get out of and I know others are probably in the exact same boat. Let’s think before we speak. Rather than put someone down, let’s find a way to build each other up. Rather than look at the person who looks strikingly beautiful on social media and gets 200 comments a day telling them so, let’s build up the ones who seems to only get the negative feedback, let’s build up the ones who never seem to get a compliment (those are the ones that bloody deserve it the most, the ones who don’t realise who beautiful they really are) . That all sounds like I’m contradicting myself I know, but sometimes, even just commenting on a lovely smile can build up someone’s confidence and maybe even alter there inner pretty. Get to know them before we tell them how “beautiful” they are. 

We are a society that is so absorbed with how we look, we are guilty of neglecting our inner pretty. I know I have been of late, which is why I just cut out the negative people from my life without hesitation.

I don’t know if this post is going to mean anything to anyone at all, I doubt it will change one persons opinion but for me, as long as I continue to stand by my words, I know I am making a teeny weeny bit of a difference.

Each and everyone of us are different. That’s a given. If we were all made the same, the world would be a boring place. But it’s our quick mouths that can turn us into the same, mean and spiteful people. We are all capable of being a beautiful person so long as we filter those our mouths and don’t seek out to make others feel bad about themselves.To the people who said those horrible things, I’d be lying if I said I can forgive you, I can’t, I’m not there yet because for as long as I can’t forget, I’m not being forgiving. I just hope that one day, you may read this post and realise just how ugly your words were and the damage you did with them. I hope one day, you become pretty on the inside.

Have a beautiful day. 

Em xox

* Here’s a shit bin, that’s where the shitty comments go from now on*