Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Why it's OK to give yourself a high 5 Now and then.

I come across as quite a confident and outgoing character, Mr O upon meeting me for the first time described me as being " Loud, cocky and well spoken" I must have been pissed as I always get 'posher' once pissed for some reason.
Despite that not being the most flattering of character descriptions, I do think it sums me up pretty well. I always smile, I chat to strangers, in a polite way not a creepy way I hope! I crack jokes, I'm opinionated and yes I am pretty loud, I don't even mind standing in front of an audience - in a former life I used to act and I was a model something I rarely ever talk about, and that is mainly because I worry people will look at me now and think WTAF Did you eat your former self ??

Well I'm going to let you in on a secret I'm actually not that confident or outgoing at all, I just fake it til I make it, If I see you I will smile and say a big "HELLO" we'll have a chat, I'll crack a joke and then I will probably come away and go over it, and over it and over it. Generally coming to the conclusion that A) Oh my god what if they HATE me or B) Why did I make that joke did I offend them? Why am I such a twat?
I'm also pretty insecure about myself, especially about how I look (totally superficial I know)
I worry far too much about everything including what people think of me, I constantly worry if I'm getting it right or getting it wrong ESPECIALLY when it comes to the minefield that is being a parent. We're on a bit of a journey with our daughter at the moment, I know I've alluded to things in previous posts and I'm sorry if it sounds like a 'Facebook hun' status and by this I mean;

Rachel is feeling: Sad (insert sad emoji or maybe a crying emoji for effect)
Cue twenty comments all saying things like "aww whats up hun" "You OK hun"
Rachel: Can't say sorry...

Oh piss off! It just gives me the rage! So I am sorry that it not what I want this to be (see I told you I'm a worrier ) but right now we don't know where we are with it all and it's not just my story to tell so let's for the time being call it what it is, a journey. This journey has knocked my already shaky-fakey (So going to patent that) confidence, It's made me questions choices I've made, decisions we've made and it's been pretty overwhelming to be honest. So what's the best thing to do when you feel like that? Erm you put your life on the Internet. Obviously! In all seriousness, late last year when we started this 'Journey' God that does sound twatty! I started reading lots of blogs and watching vlogs, not on one particular subject either, eventually I watched them on anything! I loved them, I found them both funny and helpful, I remember thinking to myself "I could do that" 
The online creative writing course I had just finished reminded me of how much I loved to write, and and you know what I was actually OK at it. You had to post your work for honest analysis but I used a fake name (wimp) Every time I posted something I would fret and worry and check the comments every five minutes, OK every five seconds, but you know what? No one told me my work was complete and utter crap like I'd convinced myself they would. No-one said they made them howl laughing or make them want to throw their laptop out of window in disgust. I'm sure as hell my work wasn't going to win any awards, but people seemed to enjoy them. So my confidence grew and I gave myself an internal high 5.

What smashing it looks like, apparently.

So I decided to blog myself, I hate the phrase Mum blogger as it just sounds so naff, but I'm a Mum and I blog so I'm not sure what other 'blogger' title I could give myself? If I was a lion tamer I'd surely blog about that wouldn't I? And no doubt have a far catchier blogger name than mrsrachelokelly that's for sure! I literally sat looking at my first draft for hours before I pressed send, and then I deleted it, then I posted it again. It's not going to win my any prizes, or make me a fortune, or make Tom Hardy fall in love with me *weeps*  Some people are no doubt sick of seeing it in the newsfeed of social media (SOOOOORRRYY) but a lot of people have been reading it, and all over the world, mainly the U.S and Ireland, it feels quite nice.

Then a few weeks ago my friend asked me if I would Interview The Lord Mayor of Chester for him, now I haven't done anything like this since University. The last interview I did was for a crappy student play and we drank tequila shots and one of the 'actors' (and I use the term loosely) tried to snog me. This was definitely out of my comfort zone, but strangely I found myself accepting his offer.
I researched, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed that part, I compiled a list of questions and I thought my friend would laugh at them but he didn't, he liked them all. He wanted to use them. When we went to meet the Mayor I was convinced I would be 'found out'  somehow and escorted from Council HQ, "Ahhh your the Mum who Blogs please leave you fraud" but that didn't happen.
We met the Mayor, we chatted, I interviewed him, I enjoyed it and I did OK. Actually no bollocks to that, they said I was good. I rarely ever pat myself on the back, or give myself credit. I never post on social media  and say" Hey look how I ROCK at this" or " I am winning at life" I mainly like to laugh at myself and point out the negatives, it's a defense mechanism a therapist would no doubt say. 

Asking the Mayor for a selfie may have blown my cover.

I blogged last week about my Mum fails, those days when you have a wobble and feel like you are pretty crap at work, at parenting and even hair. On other days? You know what on other days you meet the Mayor, you interview the Mayor, and you write something that people will read. That day I smashed it, go me. So let's all agree on something shall we, the next time we have a wobble that's OK let's have a wobble. Dust yourself down, tomorrows a new day. Those day's you smash it? Pat yourself on the back, congratulate yourself,. Shout it out! No-one is going to pull you down, or laugh at you, and if they do? Who cares! Because today you smashed it give yourself an internal high 5! To celebrate have some wine and lust over topless Tom Hardy pics on your phone whilst pretending to watch a film with your husband, oh that was me.....

Rachel x

Thursday, 24 March 2016

What Fresh hell is the YouTube Kinder egg lady?

Now I watch a lot of vlogs don't get me wrong, hey I've even filmed  badly  a couple of my own here.
I've watched vlogs on Primark hauls, food shopping hauls, how to rearrange the inside of your fridge and how to curl your hair with hair straighteners. Something 16 views later, I'm still unable to master.
My daughter also watches videos on YouTube ( hoist judgey pants now if you wish ) of people doing all sorts of things such as building Lego, she is also obsessed with dantdm. 
Now if Minecraft wasn't already annoying enough,you know having to watch it, listen to the annoying 'click 'click' 'click' of it, and being given a daily play by play of the latest creation. I now have to be subjected to being shown YouTube videos of it; with some guy with blue hair, sitting in his chair (at home, the office? I'm not sure where you are dantdm ) playing Minecraft and then chattering away through the whole bloody thing. There are literally thousands of videos of him doing this as well, and she loves it!
I do show as much interest as I can muster for the little box men walking awkwardly through a 3D world,  a world where its OK to throw cows at each other and name people called creepers, but I just don't share the love, but to my daughter? These gamers are her heroes and they have millions of fans who feel exactly the same way.

I have found that I have to limit what she watches though, as she can become quite obsessed with it, and that's mainly because there is just no getting away from it anymore as it's everywhere! YouTube, the P.C. the tablet, books, bedding, toys, mini figure of dantdm, it's even found it's way onto my bloody phone! A blanket ban a few weeks ago to give her a bit of a break has led it to being re-introduced to a more manageable amount, but here is so much pressure put on them at school and in life in general these days so if Minecraft and these 'gamers' are her down time, if it makes her happy? then that's OK with me.
I must say dantdm you do seem very nice, and very polite, I actually don't mind the sound of your voice when you talk over the video, it doesn't grate on me and give me the urge to kill like some of them  (yes I'm looking at you Little Kelly) I find I can switch it off, a bit like white noise, and I like your cute pug puppies,

Anyway after watching one of these videos on YouTube with my daughter the other day I came across something new. It was a recommended video, I clicked on the link and well, I refer you to my blog title:

What in the fresh hell is the YouTube Kinder egg lady??!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

My Mum fails

We all have days where we have parenting fails don't we? You know the kind of days I mean, where we've regretted shouting too often or you've not had enough patience. We've allowed them to watch too much TV, eat too many sweets, we wish we'd made the effort to actually bake a cake for the school fayre, rather than buying one from M&S * We all have them, I know I certainly do and I only have one child.

The other week after one of 'those' mornings where everything seems to take twice as long, and you find yourself repeating yourself twenty times, you feel like you're failing at work, at being a Mum and even failing at hair (I apparently make my daughter feel like she's being tortured when I brush it) I had a little bit of a wobble, I was OK until we got to school but she didn't want to go in, she just clung to me asking for "One last hug and kiss" I didn't want to let her go, all I wanted to do was bring her home with me and wrap her in my arms but we both knew I couldn't.
So instead we pulled up our big girl pants and off she went, I have no doubt her big girl pants lasted far longer than mine, because mine fell down as soon as I got a respectable distance from the school, and then? Well then I allowed myself to have a little cry.

During my walk/pity party a lovely lady stopped and asked me where my usual smile was, I was about to just brush her off and change the conversation but instead I found myself being honest, and telling her I was having a "crap Mum day"  I waited for her to back off at speed (as I was pretty sure she was simply being polite) Instead she gave me a kind smile and said "My Dear we ALL have those days, some of us hide it better than others" and patted me on the arm. It made me feel a little bit better, because even if it wasn't altogether true and not everybody has days like these, it made me feel less alone. In a world where perfect parenting and perfect lives are all over social media at the click of button it's easy to compare yourself and sometimes feel like you're getting it wrong.

That morning as I was torturing, sorry I mean brushing my daughters hair I thought about all the things I'm pretty rubbish at as a parent, those areas where I feel I fall pretty short (like I said I was having a bit of a pity party) such as the following;

I'm rubbish at hair -It's true, I can just about manage a ponytail and perhaps a basic plait but other than that I'm crap, I even struggle brushing a parting in a straight line, I look at other children with their hair in intricate plaits and braids that wouldn't look out of place in a music video, and feel a bit of a let down on the hair front. Sorry doodles.

I can't drive - I've never been able to pass my test, there is a hedge at the bottom of the Village that has never grown back the same after I drove through it on a driving lesson. Not being able to drive never mattered in the early years, we'd walk everywhere or we would get the bus and train it would always add to the fun. However as my daughter has got older and there are clubs and parties and meet ups in places I can't get to I feel pretty cross with myself, I feel like I've let her down a bit. It's awkward always asking for favours as I don't want her nor I, to feel like a burden (even though people are generally lovely about it)
When my daughter reaches 17 I am insisting she has driving lessons and not quit! No matter how many hedges she drives through.

I really don't like soft play - I feel like I am committing some sort of parenting sin here but I hate soft play. In fairness at aged 9 it is now an activity we do a lot less than we used to  thank god but it would drive me insane, all those kids screaming, fighting, crying in a pit of plastic balls.
If I didn't have someone with me to share the pain, I'd be drinking coffee wishing for it to be over, a bit like a bad date, except you can leave the bad date and meet your friend for a drink instead. 

You can't leave your screaming, crying, sweaty child  in the pit of plastic balls whilst you disappear for a cocktail, well you could but you'd be judged. Harshly.

I'm sorry you don't have a sibling - This causes me so many sleepless nights, I lay awake worrying about my daughter being left alone should anything ever happen to her Dad and I. 
I know deep down that the likelihood of anything really bad happening to both of us at the same time is small, We look after ourselves but I know we could do more, and we can't travel separately on planes and trains which did cross my mind, as A) we can't afford to and B) We're not the Royal Family or One Direction.
We are lucky to have a big, loving family and cousins and friends who love our daughter, and who we trust implicitly with her, I always do my best to ensure the house is full of fun, laughter and friends. It doesn't appease the guilt though, our girl can struggle socially especially in large groups and I do wonder if the lack of siblings is the cause of that.
I wish we hadn't put off having another baby, I wish I hadn't lost my Darling Dad and Granddad when I was pregnant with our daughter, I wish I could remember my pregnancy without the overwhelming, all consuming feeling of grief that it brings.  I wish I hadn't had a traumatic birth, wish I hadn't assumed all pregnancies end with a baby. Mostly I wish I'd of had a heart strong enough to put myself through all that again, for her. It might be too late now, and the guilt of that will never ever go away.

Then I thought about some the things that I'm actually pretty good at.

No I'm no good at hair that is true, but you know what I am brilliant at? Stories; telling stories. making up stories, creating characters and acting the story out - we have had hours of fun doing this, dressing up and building sets. Yes my daughter may fall short when it comes to having a fancy hair do but she has tons of creativity and a love for story making and storytelling and you know what? Yeah, she gets that from me. Go me!

I can't drive but Mark can, and even if Mark isn't around to drive us where we may need to go it's never stopped us. My daughter and I still go on tons of adventures! We hop on the Train or the Bus and sometimes even the Ferry and have days out, we love discovering new places and exploring them together.

I may actively despise soft play but I'm always the Mum who'll say yes to a house full of kids, a sleepover or a party. Halloween/Birthdays/Easter/Christmas/Cinco Del Mayo- any excuse I love a house full, nothing makes me happier than seeing my daughter playing with her friends and family. Our house is always full and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm a good cook, I'll never say no to a stray animal she may bring home, nope not even the worms (to Marks dismay) we have mini discos when we're on our own, I give the best hugs, I will always support her and fight for her, and have her back no matter what.

See I really am crap at hair!

So yes I may fall short in some areas but I'm pretty sure I make up for it in others. Despite my best efforts and my aspirations at the start, there really is no such thing as a perfect Mother, there isn't.
We don't all get it right all of the time, and If you are reading this and saying you do, I'm calling liar liar pants on fire, sorry.
We really are all doing our best in this journey called Motherhood. If I do find myself having a bit of a wobble again I will remind myself of something my Nana once said "Rachel if you worry so much you're getting it wrong love, I'm pretty sure you're doing something right"



*You can pass it off as your own If you gently press on the surface of a Victoria sponge with a rolling pin it cracks a little and then add your own extra icing sugar on top... or so I've heard)

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

TV characters that would make pretty crap friends in real life

Do you ever look at a celebrity and think "We would SO be mates if we met in real life" I do this when we're watching TV all the time, it's like my own version of Gogglebox.

For instance I think Adele and I would get on like a house on fire. She's funny, smart, has a filthy laugh and looks like she'd be up for a few wines and a gossip in the pub. All pretty excellent qualities to have in a friend. She looks like she wouldn't mind that my house is really small, or that the dog was licking his balls and getting hairs all over her posh coat. I mean she must get bored of cocktails and premieres all the time right?

I also think Claudia Winkleman could be friend material, and I like to imagine fantasise that if Tom Hardy were to meet me in real life he would probably fall madly in love with me. I'd have to turn him down on account of being married though (dammit) so we'd just have to be friends. I might have to kiss him and cop a feel of his six pack first though. Sometimes when we're watching TV I turn to ask my husband if he thinks Adele/Claudia/Tom and I would be friends if we met? He generally rolls his eyes a bit so I have to pause the TV and withhold malteasers until he agrees with me that YES Claudia/Adele/Tom and I would be mates in real life, best mates in fact they might even go on holiday with us, I reckon Adele at least would be up for Haven.

This, which is not in the slightest bit crazy OK! Has got me thinking about the TV characters we are supposed to love, but would actually make rubbish friends in real life. Here's mine;