Monday, 25 May 2015

Three Generations of Women - the next step...


Right. Sorry in advance. This week's blog post isn't about parenting as such. 

But it is about being a mother. 

Or having a mother. 

Or knowing a mother.

Last year my theatre company, Broken Leg Theatre, developed a website for women to upload their stories, sharing experiences and memories of what it is to grow up in Britain over the last 100 years. 


And the response was immense. Like, truly incredible. 

Nearly 2000 stories were uploaded. Tales of courage, of oppression, of love. 

Secrets that were held in families for years, shared with us online. 

And from this, we wrote a play, which was performed to audiences in Brighton, London and Leeds as script in-hand-readings. 

We now want to build on this. 

To enable more women to share their stories by developing the website further. To hold writing workshops for women to find their voice. And to tour the play nationally. 

To do this we need to fundraise.

We've set up a crowdfunding campaign, and already within the first four days we've raised £1650. 



Which is INCREDIBLE.

But we need to reach our target of £5500.

And we have only 28 days left to do it. 

So, if you can donate, that would be fantastic, but if not it would be amazing if you could repost this blog or the link to the campaign. 

Or have a look at the website, read some of the inspiring stories, and maybe add your own?

Because we've all got a voice, we've all got a story to share. 

And maybe this might be the right place for you to share yours.

MASSIVE THANKS. x

Monday, 18 May 2015

Week 188- sleep, sewing and what success looks like...

My son sleeps through the night!

I know I’m tempting fate but I don’t fucking care!

Also, when I say the whole night, I mean his day starts at 4am now- but that’s the time some commuters get up to go to work, so technically, yes, he sleeps through the night.

Practically, my day now starts three hours earlier than it did when I used to drug him with breast milk from 2am onwards as I lay there like a bed-bound heifer attempting to catch another 40 winks while he used me as a human dummy.

But those days are over *dusting hands*

We are moving on.

And I am going to embrace these eye-wateringly early starts.

I was having a think about what I could do with an extra three hours a day while still entertaining a one-year-old.

  • Finish writing my novel
  • Upload and print out all the millions of pictures I have of my children that are lurking on a range of digital devices
  • Clean out the cupboards
  • Sew at least one button back on every item of clothing my children own
  • Sort out the children’s clothes to filter out all the really titchy baby gros I’m still squeezing my son into.


Day one. My son plays happily on the floor as I turn on the computer, then sit with my eyes shut in front of it as the glare feels like it is burning my retinas.

Day two. Tip out three drawers of children’s clothes onto the floor, just to stare at them for a couple of hours, then squash them all back into the drawers again.

Day three. Sit on the sofa under a duvet with my son in a headlock. 5.30am he gives in and goes to sleep on me.

Forget fast cars and big houses.

This is what success now looks like.


Quick plea...
If you enjoy my blog, please could spare two minutes to vote for my blog in a couple of awards….

I’ve been shortlisted for the Brit Mums Brilliance in Blogging Awards in the writer category, the link is here; http://www.britmums.com/2015/04/vote-for-you-favourite-bloggers-bibs2015/ the writer category is number 7, and my blog's called You Can Take Her Home Now… (www.youcantakeherhomenow.co.uk)

Secondly, the MAD awards have just opened, I’ve been a finalist three times in the writing category, and it would be fab to be there again, the link to that is: http://www.tots100.co.uk/nominate-in-the-2015-mad-blog-awards/ (The writer category is second from the bottom on the second screen after you’ve nominated your blog of the year.)

Thanks! x

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Week 187- feeding, fretting and an end of an era...

Hello mastitis, my old friend. 

Has no-one told you that YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BOTHER WOMEN WITH ONE YEAR OLD CHILDREN?

TWICE?!

As I lay in bed with a temperature of 40c, radiating heat whilst simultaneously chattering my teeth off, I decided enough was enough.

I was going to stop feeding.

I lied about how old my son was when discussing methods of relieving the pain on a parenting forum. All the other women who were suffering were feeding their two-week old babies. It felt ridiculous to say my boy was virtually walking and can eat a chicken wing unaided and I’m STILL getting mastitis.

On the plus side, this now means I can:

Go out on the piss and not have to extract the last moisture from my body by breast pumping an evening of double gins resulting in looking more dehydrated than a fig.

Wear dresses, because, lets be fair, no-one wants to have to hoik up their dress over their waist to feed their baby even if it is in the comfort of their own home.

Bin my disgusted collection of milk-encrusted, fraying, greying maternity bras.

The thing is through, I feel really sad about it, (stopping feeding. Not the bras.)

The feeling just crept up on me.

On day one of no longer feeding him it started as a niggle. That unsettling feeling like you’ve forgotten something. I just put it down to the fact that we probably had actually forgotten something as we haemorrhage our belongings wherever we go so the chances are I’d left a coat/ doll/ pair of socks/ dirty nappy somewhere throughout the course of the day.

But by the morning of day two, I got the full on, punch-in-the-face impact of the realisation that I will never breastfeed a baby again.

And that it had stopped so abruptly that I hadn’t even had chance to say goodbye to that part of my life.

He doesn’t need it anymore, I get it. It was only going to get harder for him to stop.

And let’s be honest, there’s nothing glamorous about sitting on the floor in front of a mirror in a pair of pants putting your make-up on when a one-year-old scales your back, pops his head under your armpit and starts feeding.

But when I stopped feeding my daughter, I knew we would hopefully have another child in the future.

We don’t intend to have any more.

So three nights ago, when I cradled my boy in my arms, when the wiggliest one-year-old closed his eyes, fed and feel asleep on me, I didn’t realise that would be the last time ever.

That that part of motherhood had just ended. That it was the end of an era.

So tonight I’m going to raise a gin to wave goodbye to that chapter. Actually, I’m going to have several cos I bloody well can now.

Quick plea...
If you enjoy my blog, please could spare two minutes to vote for my blog in a couple of awards….

I’ve been shortlisted for the Brit Mums Brilliance in Blogging Awards in the writer category, the link is here; http://www.britmums.com/2015/04/vote-for-you-favourite-bloggers-bibs2015/ the writer category is number 7, and my blog's called You Can Take Her Home Now… (www.youcantakeherhomenow.co.uk)

Secondly, the MAD awards have just opened, I’ve been a finalist three times in the writing category, and it would be fab to be there again, the link to that is: http://www.tots100.co.uk/nominate-in-the-2015-mad-blog-awards/ (The writer category is second from the bottom on the second screen after you’ve nominated your blog of the year.)

Thanks! x

Monday, 4 May 2015

Week 186- while you're in the voting mood...

Now, it’s the week for deliberating how you will vote, who you trust and how you want your country to be run.

You’re probably absolutely sick of campaigners, manifestos and promises of a better future.

So, I realise I’m pushing my luck by throwing this one into the mix but…

VOTE FOR ME.

Not for a political standing, but in the Brilliance in Blogging 2015 Awards as I’ve been shortlisted in the Writer category.

The link to the form is here, the Writer category is number 7, voting closes Friday 15 May, and, just like the election, it’s all about the votes. 

But, unlike the election, I am not intending to run the country, I’d just like to put on a posh frock and go to an awards ceremony.


So, I’ll let you crack on with your bank holiday, and mega massive thanks in advance.

Oh, and this might help...


Or this?




And if you needed any more convincing?


Thanks Goslinator. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Week 185- birthdays, barbecues and blowing your nose...

My baby boy turned one today.

How can that possibly be true?

It was only about two seconds ago that he was a tiny, sleepy creature who would snuggle into me for hours.

And now I’m lucky if I get a millisecond of a cuddle before he wriggles out of my arms to noisily crawl away, slapping his hand loudly on the floor as he does, pissing off the neighbour downstairs.

Ben took the children out so that I could tidy the house before family came over for a little party.

But instead, the moment I had the house to myself, I slumped into the sofa in my pyjamas and started crying. Just a lip-quivering sob to start with, which soon escalated to a shoulder-shaking nose-running wail, aided by a particularly moving story on Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs.

I don’t know why the first birthday feels so emotional.

Maybe because it is the beginning of the end.

The beginning of your child becoming a little person in their own right instead of totally dependent on you.

And the end of them being your baby.

It is also the only day where a mother knows EXACTLY what she was doing on that day the previous year. Often on a minute-by-minute, contraction-by-contraction basis.

When we’d sat down for breakfast, I’d thought, a year ago right now I would have seen my son for the very first time. The midwife would have just caught him as I gave the final mother-of-all pushes, and passed him through my legs for me to clap eyes his purple, wrinkled body.

As I sat on the sofa sobbing, 365 days previously we would have been in the birthing room, our son asleep in a cot and me eating toast and downing tea as if it were my last supper.

There’s never the time to think about how amazing it is that a person has been created and immediately changed your life, because you just get on with it.

Everyday.

But a first birthday is a moment to reflect.

To realise that you’ve done it.

You’ve survived a whole year; the titchy baby you created is now a laughing, babbling, mud-eating, clapping, pasta-throwing, bath-water-slapping, loving child.

And they will no longer be described as a baby.

You no longer have a baby.

And that knowledge makes you excited about the future, but also grieve a little bit for the past.

I let myself indulge in remembering his birth day while snotty crying for a moment longer before realised that guests were arriving in less than an hour for a barbeque that was still to be bought from Argos and I was sat on the sofa in my pyjamas.

So I blew my nose, took a deep breath, and got ready to start the next year of my son's life with him.



Sunday, 19 April 2015

Week 184- marathons, bum bags and GETTING ENGAGED...

Just a normal week; working, looking after the children and…

WHO AM I KIDDING? I’M EN-FUCKING-GAGED.

I didn’t think it would ever happen.

I am the bossy one in this relationship, but a proposal was the one thing I didn’t want to instigate, not because I’m a traditionalist, but just cos I massively like the idea of being proposed to. 

And with two children and a mortgage together; the chances are I’m probably going to say yes.

But, after over 13 years together, I kind of thought marriage might be off the agenda Brenda.

So, when we went to support Ben running the Brighton marathon last week, the last thing I anticipated was that he’d pull over two miles from the finishing line to get down on one knee and propose. 

He’d been carrying the ring in his bum bag for the last 24 miles. 

Seriously, what girl in her right mind doesn’t want to retell a marriage proposal without including the words ‘bum bag’?

He spotted me, the children and our mates cheering him on and slowed down, which immediately set off alarm bells that he was having some kind of massive coronary. Or at least bad wind.

But then he stopped, bent down on one knee, rummaged in his bum bag (YAAAAAY!), produced a ring and asked if I would marry him.


To which I was totally gobsmacked. Like absolutely lost for words. Which happens virtually never. 

I managed to squeeze out a yes, followed by a shitload of expletives, as the crowds gave us a big cheer.

We had a sweaty kiss and an awkward cuddle as I had our son strapped to my front, he told me the ring was from Argos so not to panic, it was a ‘holding ring’ then he bezzed off to the finish line feeling like a winner.

Ben’s romantic gesture has been immortalised in our regional paper, The Argus, and the Daily Mail, so that’s one to show the children!


So, lets crack on and organise a wedding. 

Or more importantly, put on a bloody gorgeous, hold-everything-in-within-an-inch-of-your-life, dress and have the mother of all parties.