Tag Archives: studentbum to supermum

Behaving like a super-mum

26 Oct

Of course this will include taking on board the mission tasks in this book, but behaving like a ‘Super-mum’ can also be quite a simple thing.

General behaviour changes would be to ditch any binge drinking or recreational drug use, think before you speak and have all round good manners. 

You may also need to cut out any bad influence friends and make your ‘clubbing’ days a thing of nostalgia.

Task: The new you

  • Write a ‘Personal Improvement Plan’ that sounds like this:

“I want to be a Super-mum, and Super-mums do not:”

 

  Take drugs – ever

  Drink alcohol a lot

  Go clubbing all the time

  Swear like a potty mouth

  Drive too fast

  Fight like a boy

  Lie in bed all day

    (Make sure you write on all the things you currently do that you know you shouldn’t be doing and make a plan to stop each and every one.)

A good thing to do is to change your mobile number if you have one and leave any social networking sites that you may have used before you had a baby.

This means that you can then individually select only those ‘decent’ people, that you wouldn’t mind being around your children, to be in contact with.

Task- Ditch all the random texters and weird late-night callers

  • Get a new mobile number.
  • Give it only to those people that are ‘decent’ enough to be around your family.

    Treat yourself to a new phone!

 

Personally I even ditched my promiscuous binge-drinking best friend as she was definitely fun for accompanying me to the student all-night house parties but I wouldn’t dream of having her as a role model to my precious babies as she was quite frankly a toxically bad person.

Changes like this can be quite challenging as you may have times where you miss people and want to catch up on things with them but it is important to choose what is best for your children and not be selfish.

A good method of doing this is creating a mental image in your mind of a protective wall around your family with one entrance that you control. 

If there is even a very slight chance that someone could influence you in a way that is going to have bad effect on your children then they are not to be let into the entrance.

If an old chum may encourage you to binge drink, go clubbing, use drugs, or hang out at wild parties, they should be kept at arm’s length as this is unfair on your children and, from now onwards, your children come first; not you.

Such sacrifices, although not easy, are very rewarding and are impeccably mature steps towards showing how much you really do care for your children by protecting them from any harmful influences.

Task- De-activation

  • Leave your social networking sites in the past- yes – click on the “deactivate account” button (even if it physically hurts you!)

Mum’s important number sheet

26 Oct

It is very wise to have a “Mum’s important number sheet” and make sure you fill it ALL in, so you can look straight there, whenever you need to.

In case of an emergency or ‘cut’ the list should contain the telephone number you need to call and your account number as you often need to provide this and it is very hard to find when you’re in a rush (or in the dark after a power cut!)

Make sure you also have these saved in your mobile phone contacts list.

Task: Create an ‘important numbers’ list that contains the following numbers:

  • Company telephone no and account numbers for water, gas, electricity, the bank for lost credit cards/debit cards.
  • Your child’s school or nursery
  • Your family Doctor and the practice details
  • Feel free to add any other phone numbers that you consider important and then keep the list in an easily accessible place.

 

 

1. If you can smell gas:

Call 0800 111 999 NOW!

 2. If you see a leak in the road that needs attention;

Call ‘United Utilities Leak line’ 0800 33 00 33

3. If you need general medical advice:

Call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47

4. In an emergency:   DIAL 999 NOW!

Gas safety

If you have anyone doing work on the gas systems in your home make sure they are on the gas safe register before you allow them to work on your supply.

  • Visit  www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk
  • Check the workers ID number on the website by clicking on the link that is called “check an engineer.”
  • Or call 0800 408 5500 with their ID number.

Poltergeist at my place

6 Oct

It’s getting pretty weird at mine this week because every time I turn around something very strange has happened in the blink of an eye…. Here’s some photographic evidence…

DVDs in perfect straight lines along the edge of my daughter’s cot

A chair on top of the table which was cleverly placed directly behind me in the middle of the kitchen

Zack’s baby food jars neatly stacked on top of each other

My mum never used to let us say the P word as she hates it. ’Poltergeist’; It even sounds pretty scary to pronounce doesn’t it. Almost similar to the ‘candyman’ thing my mum was certain that if you say it three times something horrific will happen. Spooky or what! But despite me being a little afraid of my loft (its an old house goddammit!) and needing to have the light on if I go to the bathroom in the night,  I’m pretty hopeful that this little ‘poltergeist’ at my place goes by the name of Abigail (my 2 year old.) You can even see her running off in most of the photos.

 

I mean, what a strange thing to do, but it raises questions in oneself as to why we often just accept the norm. Maybe its time to start questioning things all over again with a fresh set of eyes. Taking an objective, ‘from the outside looking in’ type of view can really open up your mind to your current way of living.

 

It’s convenient and simple to slot yourself into a designated ‘motherly’ stereotypical rut. We resign ourselves to a lifetime of domestic slavery as it’s ‘the right thing to do’ and it’s what is expected of us as mothers.

 

However, I’m fighting this idea every step of the way as I have experienced it for the last two years and I hate it with an insurmountable passion. Things need to change as happiness is the priority here; not how well-pressed our linens are.

 

Although The Supermum Project seems to have a large focus on achieving a domestic standard in the home; I would not go as far as to say that we are a similar ideology to women’s institute groups or hopeful of any kind of sixties ‘housewife’ revival.

 

In running the home, household duties are not our only ‘job’ as such because when you are running a family it is ‘total control of an entire social institution’ that we are faced with. This requires serious skill and acumen when attempting to be in control of such a hugely demanding enterprise.

 

I know the cliché is that ‘children don’t come with instructions’ but you can get pretty damn close with all of the information available to you. There is, with this information however, a general focus on the health aspects and physical care of the children and this is unfortunately only a tiny aspect of the colossal role; that we have been ‘blessed’ with.

 

Women today are in real need of support with other basic things that many older generations will often take for granted as they have never had to struggle without them. Ingrained into their whole existence, basic household duties were clearly passed down to new mums by generations of mothers. Many young girls often benefited from the practical life experience of helping raise their siblings and doing all kinds of manual chores around the house for their own mother.

 

The decline of the family unit is a key factor, in the issues today that cause women to struggle in early motherhood. With broken home origins being a common occurrence it is unfair to expect young women to have any sort of idea how to run a home and manage every demand that comes with being the head of a family. If they didn’t have a chance to learn from their own mum how else would they learn such basic tasks? Not in school that’s for sure.

 

In our schools teenagers needlessly struggle with Pythagoras’ theorem; something that they will most certainly never come across again in life. Month long projects take place on the geography of Kenya and its tribes, a distant land with no practical relevance to the majority most of us. Technology teachers are paid over £22,000 per year to teach us how to build structures out of straws and glue and then don’t even get me started on the science lot with their atoms and planets and general not-of-this-world nonsense.  The UK education system spends thousands on ‘French’ lessons when English is the most spoken language in today’s world and most of the children never actually reach a fluent enough standard to actually converse with a French person.

 

I actually achieved an A* my in French GCSE and I was once stopped in traffic by a French lorry driver who was struggling to find a nearby factory. I had no idea where the factory was so despite being a pretty good French student, my French GCSE has still not been any use to me yet. I’ve had it for eight years now. Here’s to hoping that maybe one day it may be worth  the three years I studied for it and the over £60,000 total salary that a certain private school French teacher was paid to teach my class over the three years.

 

Meanwhile new mums all over the country are struggling to effectively manage their finances and could end up in massive debts. These women have never been shown how to wash clothes, clean their homes, cook meals, plan events, organise bills, change a fuse/tyre/plug/light bulb/nappy, do food shopping or just generally how to be prepared for all of the serious real situations that life will definitely be throwing at them.

 

The UK as a nation is suffering financially so it would be in our best interests to reduce the amount of people with depression and this in turn would reduce the current government spending on mental  health is currently in the region of over £6 Billion,[1] with an average real increase of 8.8% a year[2].

 

At the moment mental health is a massive issue for the government. According to Boardman et al (2004)Total non-psychotic mental illness in general practice is reaching 278 per 1000 people[3]. That’s more than one out of every four people that go to their GP.

 

When planning Perinatal health services for women in pregnancy and for the postpartum year, it has been widely accepted[4] after statistics show that “Women are at increased risk of developing a serious affective illness following childbirth. Women with pre-existing mental health problems…are at risk of relapse or recurrence of their condition during pregnancy and an elevated risk following childbirth”[5]

 

The current statistics show that out of every 1000 births, close to 196 women will suffer some kind of mental illness in the first year after giving birth[6]; that’s nearly 20% of new mums i.e. one in every five women!

 

The Supermum Project

The alarming rates of mental illness show us that The Supermum Project will be much needed, as our women today need as much help with coping as possible in their new role as a mum. We aim to prevent women from even starting to feel overwhelmed and depressed and we also want to help those who are already depressed to manage better.

 

An official doctor / health visitor referral

We are aiming to offer complete support network and extensive basic and in-depth practical advice. If the idea of a face to face weekly group meeting could be achieved this would be very instrumental in making us an official referral for mothers seeking mental health help after birth.

 

With more chance of funding we can reach out to more mothers and help tackle such a huge issue.

 

The project as an interest group

To eventually push educational policy towards a focus on the necessary life skills that will help new mothers will be a key outcome for the The Supermum Project as an interest group.

 

To make it possible for the existence of more useful “practical life” classes in schools will prevent as many women needing our workshops as these things will already be getting taught at a lower level. If women see the actually difficulties involved in parenting while they are at school we may be able to reduce the number of underage parents by crushing the ‘idealism’ of family life and show the realities of it all.

 

We also want to keep in place the support for mothers such as sure start activities for the poor and depressed mothers and keep our network available to mums who need help. If we could get a Samaritan style network to help mothers then this would really be an exciting achievement in our community.

 

To keep a regular up-to-date account of upcoming free events would be helpful in the community as mums can use the site to keep their diaries full e.g. a timetable for the week of different options.

 

Discussions with local MP’s may be of use to us so we will continue progressing watch this space for any further information as to how we can make a real change.

 

It isn’t just the effect of broken families or a lack of realistic useful education that can cause a woman’s lack of awareness of their household demands and roles. Coming from a rich and privately educated background, my parents were together throughout my teens and my mother was the epiphany of domestic goddess. With an Irish background my mother seemed to effortlessly live up to the demands on her as a mum and managed the entire home perfectly. Whilst organising all of her four children’s daily lives, as well as her own and my dads; this woman also managed to have a full time job and a constant smile on her face.

 

So how come I turned out to be so goddamn useless?!

 

You see, this is the problem in today’s culture; we’ve either never seen what mums are meant to do or we’ve had it all done for us by a Super-mum and never had to learn ourselves. As a self-confessed lazy student-‘bum’, I can see now that my mum did everything for everyone and was completely taken for granted. Until the day she left of course.

 

Despite such a lucky beginning; I started parenthood absolutely unaware of where to begin. Possessing no cooking skills whatsoever, no practical knowledge about laundry, cleaning and organising myself, I was financially idiotic and practically clueless in every way. I was in fact, the polar opposite of Mary Poppins; I was more like Mary BOBBINS.  I was frankly an absolutely unsuitable candidate to run any such enterprise. It was chaos at my place for about a year.

 

With terribly high post natal depression rates as they are, there is a desperate need to source the causes of the illness and attempt to make the situation better. The many roles of a mother can be overwhelming and confusing, to say the least, when a woman is first faced with the concept. Some of these essential roles can go undiscovered for the first year or two and many mothers would have benefited from a real management strategy from day one. Most of us may not have been ‘cut out’ to be a mother in the first instance but there nothing to say we cannot learn. Learning is a lifelong thing after all, is it not?

 

If more mothers felt confident they had the tools and knowledge to cope with their new position; it is common sense,  that this would most certainly cause a reduction in the number of mothers feeling that they ‘cannot cope’ and therefore less cases leading to post natal depression.

 

Initially we will uncover the many requirements that a woman will face while in her role as a mother and can hopefully we can shed some new light on one of the hardest vocations in the world today; parenthood.

 
 
 

[1] Wanless, D. (2002) Securing our Future Health: Taking a long-term view. Final Report. London: HM Treasury

[3] Boardman, J., Willmott, S. & Henshaw, C. (2004) The prevalence of the needs for mental health treatment in general practice attenders. British Journal of Psychiatry, 185, 318–327.

[5] Royal College of Psychiatrists (2006) Perinatal Maternal Mental Health Services. Council Report CR88. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.

 [6] Royal College of Psychiatrists (2006) Perinatal Maternal Mental Health Services. Council Report CR88. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.

 

The big (make that gyn-ormous spring/late summer clean

21 Aug

Well Im currently doing my kitchen and originally set 2 hours per room…

3 days later

and im still doing the kitchen!!!

This is mainly because the big cupboard we had was a junk cupboard for a tools and other crap!

So after moving a huge punch bag (that im sure was actually heavier than me), boxing gloves, several tool boxes, an old pc,
three high vis coats and several pairs of old trainers, three socket sets (how do you even need three of these?)
There was some random REALLY LONG and very tangled up caravan leads, a tea urn??? a fat fryer???!!! a hot plate, my christmas tree, and millions of other useless junk items…

I finally cleared my cupboard and it has now become my …

LAUNDRY ZONE yeeee haaaaa!

Reclaimed that cupboard

New laundry zone inside that cupboard

Shelves and stuff in the ALL NEW laundry zone

It could even be the worlds smallest utility room but dont quote me on that cause im not in the guiness world records or anything (and theres probably some amazing TEENY TINY ones in china or japan; dunno anyway but im defo a contender!)

Utility room or not, the basic idea is to have a ‘laundry zone;’ which is an area where you can sort out laundry and also where you’ll keep your sewing kit and any special stain removing products. This will be an area designated to all things laundry!

Task: Create a laundry zone

 Move all ‘laundry’ and sewing equipment to this zone. This includes special stain removers, the iron, the ironing board, and any washing baskets if you can fit them here.

Task: Make yourself a ‘laundry essentials’ kit for your new laundry zone.

 Here’s mine:

Laundry essentials cupboard - thats washing symbols and their meanings that i've stuck on the inside of the door because they're all so confusing

It should contain:

  • Colour run sheets
  • Tumble dryer sheets
  • Stain remover
  • Lint brush,
  • Shoe polish,
  • Sewing kit,
  • Hem repair,
  • Fabric scissors,
  • Pegs and peg bag if you have a line
  • Sewing kit
  • washing powders
  • Clothes repairs kit/Fancy bits box

Task: Make a ‘clothes repair jar’ /’fancy bits box’ for your laundry essentials kit

This is just a container of old ribbons, buttons and any other bits that may come in handy when you’re customizing clothes or making repairs.

Grab yourself an old container or tin of any kind.

It’s a good idea to cut off the useful bits from any clothes that you are throwing away and put them in this box so they can be re-used.

Collect together all odds and ends that you may have already lying around the house and also from any clothing that you’re throwing out after the big spring clean.

Clothes repairs Jar

The contents of my repairs jar - it's got buttons, sewing items, scissors, a tape measure, I even cut some gems off a cushion that I was throwing away. You really can put anything in here

The official Supermum (…by a Lazy Student-Bum) book OUT NOW!

11 Aug

A self confessed ‘Lazy Student-Bum’ embarks on a life changing mission to become a..SUPERMUM

Can you complete the SUPERMUM mission too?

This book is packed with Do-It-Yourself mum tasks so that mums everywhere can make personal and practical changes in their day-to-day lives!

From organising your home (so that it becomes a SUPERHOME!!) to making sure you don’t get caught short when you’re out and about with the kids. This book has something for everyone!

Witty and fun to read; this book invites you complete a series of practical tasks, that together, can make MASSIVE improvements to your life!

“A must-have book for Mums everywhere!”

 

Get your copy now and complete the Supermum mission!

And I think I’ve finished my book?

5 Aug

I know its been a while since Ive been here but I’ve been busy writing my book…I guess I thought it was time that I stopped messing around blogging and get my head down to some actual work for once.

So far I’ve got 184 pages and 29500 words… comparing myself to a similar writer (with a similar subject) I’m defo on a par. (and im blowing my own trumpet but im pretty sure, without bias of course, that my book is actually the better of the two!) Hope the author doesn’t know that Im talking about them.

I’m getting called ‘bookworm’ now at home and to be honest I don’t mind as long as nobody talks to me while I’m in author mode… thats MY time alright and i work pretty damn hard for it (as I keep reminding people) ;o)

Book aint gettin published till its goddam PERFECT

5 Aug

Working through the tasks and man they are a bit gruelling maybe I was a sadist in a previous life eh? Task one’s spring clean, I’ve already done once and two weeks later I’m back to square one?!!! How the hell has that happened?

Its worked a little bit already….because I HAVE kept up a ‘weekly’ day for the guinea pigs to get cleaned out so Im maybe paraniod but I think they were a little disgruntled yesterday when I ran out of hay (and it was pissing down too) so I put it off till this morning. However I felt so guilty about messing up the rota that I did it this morning straight after the kids had their breakfast… abi decided to come outside too but was just jumping in muddy puddles with only her socks on…. crazy girl.

so I’m gonna be doing the supermum mission

5 Aug

Gonna work through the mission bit by bit and see how fantastic it really is….. you see ive always had this thing where my theory is normally way better than the actual reality…better said than done and all that…

so I just have to test everything and tweak the mission in a few areas so that the  good things are kept and i guess i’ll just be scrapping the bad ideas and save my publisher some ink…its a recession after all!

Basically …ONLY the useful things that DO work and make a difference will be published… ….but thats my book… it doesn’t apply to this blog so there will definitely be typos, swear words and general pointless bullshit on here … sorry.

Been at it for hours :-S

22 Jun

Today was day one of the big clean up and boy did it take some serious time just to get a little bit towards being done.

I tackled room by room as I planned; but kept getting side-tracked with the kids and have decided to go to bed as its getting really late.

Still have about the same amount to do tomorrow so hopefully I’ll still be in the mood for it. I’m having to fight my way through mountains of laundry which is really taking a long time (but is getting there!)

After everything’s clean, I will sort everything for me and the kids into outfits so that I can just grab and go. This will even include socks and underwear and should save me a hell of a lot of time because I HATE trying to find something to wear that goes well together (it can put me in a VERY bad mood before I even leave my bedroom!)

I think this is what they call writers block… help!

18 Jun

Hey guys,

I guess this happens to the best of us but im only in the beginning stages of writing my book and ive hit a complete standstill.

Maybe another brainstorm sesh is in order… Ive heard of writers block but this is so annoying I haven’t a single idea in my head at all. Its been a few days now!!!

In the first couple of days I had all these ideas rushing into my head but now I’ve run out of steam grrrr!

 

 

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