The week I failed at parenthood

Diary of a tired, honest, moody, hormonal mum…

Not your ‘normal’ week…
Have you ever had a week where you feel you’ve totally failed at parenting? Reward charts have gone out the window, chicken nuggets for supper every night, feeling you just want to run and hide from the kids, cry and eat a snicker without sharing it with them. The constant tidying, cleaning, cooking battle on rotation. It’s not glamorous it’s overwhelming and exhausting.
I don’t want to put people off having kids but parents will understand this. Social media is good for showing off the good bits, and the happy times of parenting but oh boy there is a lot of bad bits too!! I suppose we don’t want to share them so much. Why not? Ashamed to say we struggle? Afraid of what people might think? When you open up you soon find out everyone’s on the same boat. I’m here holding my hands up saying yes, I struggle, really struggle. It may look like 3 kids looks easy… a breeze…believe me it’s more like a hurricane.
I feel the kids are constantly fighting for attention, you satisfy one and the other one kicks off, just one vicious circle. I’m having one of those weeks where by dinner time I’m counting down the last hours until bed time. One good thing is when they go to bed at 7pm they don’t move again, no bed time performances, just lights out and sleep. So why can’t they just behave like this during the day?

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I always laugh inside when I hear people say ‘’Oh I love the bed time routine, we snuggle up and read a story and spend one on one with the child special bonding time, it’s just wonderful’’ In reality is it really that wonderful? Yes when they are all lights out and sleeping that’s wonderful . I call it happy hour in my house the bath time bed time routine. It’s a struggle now to get the eldest into the bath at all, while the other two are trying to drown themselves deliberately by seeing who can hold their breath the longest. The Drama performance of who comes out the bath first is always a showcase. Tackling 3 naked body’s to put on pyjamas and dry hair you would think they are being chased by a lion. So let’s have that one on one time with 3 children individually…yes that’s right, by this point everyone is past it including myself.

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Malachy our 3rd child is lucky if he gets a bed time story, if he forgets to grab one I’m delighted, one down. Gracie the middle child always goes for the thickest book or chances her luck with 2 books. If you secretly try to skip a page or a couple of sentences oh boy does she notice! Ain’t no fooling her. Final bonding time is with Ivy our first born the most laid back of the 3, very independent and easy pleased. Somehow we was led into a false sense of security after having Ivy as you think they will all be like her…don’t be fooled! By the time I get to Ivy’s bedroom she’s pulled out the good old 500 page BFG chapter a night book. Naturally Ivy likes to try and read some of the words which takes twice as long. So as u can imagine by 7pm I can’t wait to see them all tucked up in bed…asleep. I then head down stairs to tackle the bomb site they left behind.
‘I know what I’m doing, I have it all planned out- plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.’ Jeremiah 29:11
Before I head upstairs for the night I go around their bedrooms and switch off their lights and tuck in their little hands under the blankets. I look at them sleeping angelically and begin to feel guilty and the worst mum in the world for shouting, because someone spilled milk for the 2nd time or wouldn’t put their shoes on the first time I said it. Why did I have no patience today? I say tomorrow I’m going to try harder to be a better mum. Sometimes I question myself and God why am I getting pushed to the very ends of my limits?

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‘No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down: he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.1st Corinthians 10:13
I’m beginning to sound like I live with 3 caged wild animals, well sometimes it feels like that. What is the key to well behaved children all the time? Has anyone found it? Hats off to you if you have. I know a few people pretend to have it all under-control.
I know all children have their moments and usually mine are not too bad, but I think a combination of hormones, 5.30am starts everyday, work, Christmas planning, more hormones, has made this week exhausting and left me questioning my parenting skills, my life choices and hormonal imbalance. Reading back I sound like a right witch of a mother, like the one in Tangled. I love my kids, and everything I do is for them, they are my world and my dream is to push them to their fullest potential. Sometimes I look at them and can’t believe how blessed I am to have them.

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Parenthood wasn’t supposed to be easy sometimes we just need a little encouragement to get through it. Maybe these bad days wasn’t in our vision of parenthood but its all part of the package to make us better parents on our journey. We are not robots, we struggle and have our bad days, this is just a glimpse into mine…

The weekend before I turned 30.

Many people dread turning the big 30 or 40? Why because they don’t want to feel old?
I suppose people want to feel like they have accomplished something by the time they reach a certain age? Like a weight loss goal? Married? Kids? That dream job?


I was doing a bank shift recently and was given a student to shadow. As we were driving along in the car we were chatting about life and what she was doing at the weekend. As she talked I thought we sound like we’re the same age, although she wasn’t married or had kids.
When I asked her how old she was she said 18…my jaw literally dropped… I thought we were the same age….but in actual fact I was 11 years older!!! How could this be?? Even driving along the road that day chatting about life with 3 kids car seats in the back I felt not a day older than 18!
It was a reality check for me that day.. I thought she must look at me and think I’m old!! But I wasn’t I felt young! Age is just a number!! It doesn’t mater if your not married by 30 of 40 or 50! Marriage isn’t for everyone and we’re not born out the same box, everyone has different goals and views of life.
These days people aren’t getting married at 19 and Boom boom boom 3 kids. People are enjoying life a bit first before they have kids and settle down, travelling or meeting new people. Turning a milestone birthday is just another number.. has no meaning…you are just as old as you feel…and I don’t feel a day older than 18…

The last Saturday in my 20s was just another ordinary Saturday for us… usually we have a chilled out morning as it’s the one day of the week we’re not rushing to get out of the house for school or church. So on a Saturday we chill… my dad came round to finish more of the hall way floor and Sean decided to muck in too. There was a craft fate on the in village hall which I had planned to take the girls to… however my mum took Ivy away to Fraserburgh with her and my brother took Gracie away to Banff with him.


So I found myself ‘almost bored’ just me and Malachy. What were we going to do? As we were chilling I began to think.. this is my last weekend in my 20s I should have arranged a party or a get together with my friends, but life has been so busy with kids and other stuff, I guess I forgot!

When he girls got back we sat down to some lunch, Sean was always hinting ‘what we going to do today?’ To be honest I was quite happy just go to the craft fayre and come home again. However I felt Sean wanted to get out the house and kept commenting on that we needed a food shop from Lidl’s!
As the hours passed I was still sitting there in my polo neck, jeans & slippers…looking back now Sean must of been in a sweat trying to get me out the house half decent dressed.
So he mentioned something that would always make we jump… what about we go for a food shop and go out for supper somewhere nice… right he said it… let’s go!
So I decided It was my birthday weekend even though we hadn’t anything planned, I would dress up a bit and we would have our dinner out with the kids in the evening which I looked forward to as we never go out these days. The stress of eating out with kids just isn’t worth it.
So while Sean packed everyone into the car (at this point Sean was getting a little stressed at the time it was taking everyone to find their shoes and get out the door) I was thinking to myself, What’s the rush? It was 2 pm we had all afternoon to go to Lidl’s and go out for dinner.
Any ways we got into the car and off we went in the direction of Lidl’s… in the back the girls was popping out hints like when will we be at the fayre? I began to wonder what was going on.

Sean took a wrong turn. He stopped the car and pulled out a blind fold… here put this on! From then I knew my suspicions were right there was something going on. I said where we going but he would let out no clues.


He started to drive, to begin with I knew the road so I kind of knew where we were going. Later that day I got a text from someone who saw Sean driving me through the countryside blind folded wondering if we was doing a fifty shades stunt. I couldn’t help but laugh! If only!
So the car stopped, by this point I didn’t know where we were. He opened the door and lead me through the car park. I took my blind fold off to find all my family waving at me and laughing shouting surprise!!

Sean sneakily had arranged an afternoon tea for my 30th Birthday.
What a great surprise to receive. I was in shock as I sat down at the head of the table Sean began to thank everyone for coming, and thank everyone for their help with the kids ,as he did a speech for a moment I thought he was going to do a pregnancy announcement, I wasn’t the only one who thought this either.
Along with my mum they arranged this together with the help of some friends. It was lovely, food and cakes and party bags for the kids to keep them entertained in our own private room to ourselves.


I never knew my man could pull out all the stops and arrange something like that without me knowing. I did have my concerns when it must have been in the planning stages when he was continually on his phone, I would ask him what you doing and he would say never you mind!

Felt totally blessed to have all my family come together to celebrate my birthday. Made turning 30 that bit easier…

little did I know that wasn’t the only surprise that week he had up his sleeve!!

…to be continued…

My survival guide

Many people ask me how I cope with 3 kids 5 & under also with an occasional husband (who works away 2 weeks at a time) To be honest some days are more fun than others. Sometimes I look at people with 4 or 5 kids and wonder how they cope. Having 3 kids really push you to your limits when your solo parenting. I try to keep on top of the housework as much as possible to make this journey more enjoyable for everyone. It’s getting easier now the kids are older and more independent. I love to plan things out, write myself notes, and be prepared for the week ahead. I don’t have OCD but after you read this blog you might think so. It works for us. Everyone does life differently, so here’s how I do mine:

Prep the kids
I found out through experience and reading baby books that kids love routine. Keeping them informed makes them happy bees in the hive. A fine example of this: Gracie is sitting engrossed in the iPad, instead of taking it off her I would prep her beforehand. If i didn’t I would then endure a 10 minute tantrum which then leads to some serious misbehaviour. “Gracie, you’ve got 5 minutes left on the iPad” then a while later “two minutes, Gracie” then after a another couple of minutes ” okay Gracie, times up put down the iPad now that’s long enough” It works wonders. I would say 90% of the time she puts the iPad down. It’s a good technique to use when were about to leave the grandparents ” were leaving in 5 minutes kids” and so on. Usually we all leave happily and without a tantrum, tantrum free= happy mum!

Prep the food
At the start of the week I love to meal plan for the week ahead. I first got the idea from a Slimming world class. It helps you to stick to your chosen meals for the week and not go off track. I try to involve the kids as much as possible however their reply to “what would you like for supper?” is usually “noodles.” I have recently started to write out a shopping list before I head to the supermarket. We’ve found that we save money as we only buy what we need for that week, we actually come out with some decent meals. As before I would wander around the aisles throwing stuff in the trolley be £100 at the till and have nothing to make a decent meal with. So this is how we do it now. If its not on the list it doesn’t go into the trolley. On a Monday I do lots of food prep when the kids are away at school. A typical Monday can be quite stressful for me so I like to have a big pot of soup boiling on the hob. This will do us for 3 lunches. I also stick a big piece of meat in the slow cooker that will do us two meals too. Doing this just releases the stress of making supper after one of our busy Mondays knowing that the meals are sorted.


Housework
The dreaded word, right? I used to enjoy house work when I had time to do it before we had kids. Nonetheless with 3 kids now and sometimes a working mum I struggle to find the time. I like to be able to keep on top of it so it doesn’t nag me. There is more important things in life than housework however when the house looks like a bomb has hit it something needs to be done. I love following The organised mum method(TOMM) 30 minutes a day on specific rooms and your done! I hear you thinking that doesn’t work… but it does. She also does a deep clean method for all those homes needing a bit more tlc. I find that if I keep the washing & ironing basket empty I am not doing piles of ironing that I hate. I like to spend a little time each day in my utility room sorting out clothes and it keeps the whole thing at bay. Sometimes if were busy over a weekend and I don’t keep on top of it, and I go into the utility on a Sunday I could just walk out again and cry.

Morning Routine
From when I open my eyes in the morning even before I have a cup of tea here is a glimpse into my morning routine. This only applies when Sean’s away. As when he comes home the routine can sometimes get a knock on the head. When I hear the first child awake, usually one of the girls I jump in the shower while Malachy is still asleep in his crib. The girls will sit happily with the tv on until I shower. We are lucky with Malachy as he sleeps from 7pm till usually 7am. If I were to take him out of his crib there would be carnage in the bedroom and I would end up not getting a shower. He can be seen running about calling 999 with the house phone, emptying bedside table drawers or dunking the toilet brush down the toilet. So I tend to leave him in bed till I get myself organised. After everyone is dressed
1, Make beds
2, Throw all dirty clothes down the stairs
3, Quick tidy of bedrooms and bathroom upstairs
4, Open blinds and turn radiators down (Sean’s request)
5, Everyone comes down stairs and eats breakfast
6, While the are kids eating breakfast I load the washing machine.


I love to come down stairs to a clean kitchen and empty sink so the night before I ensure the island is free from dishes and clutter. I like to set out everyone’s clothes for the next day in the bathroom in their individual piles. When the kids get up they know the routine, get dressed and go down stairs. I try to encourage the girls to help with making their beds and throwing the laundry down the stairs. Which usually results in a pair of knickers landing on Malachys head. The girls can be so messy at times, I try to engage them in some games when it comes to tidying up. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Please note my routine doesn’t always go to plan the way I would like it. There’s usually a chase around the bedroom with a half-naked child trying to put on their socks. That’s what makes life exciting I suppose a lap around the bedroom before school. I’m not the perfect mum or don’t try to be. I just love routine and so does the kids. What is the perfect mum?

Lidl Food Haul

Our weekly shop has came round so quickly again. Beforehand I usually write out a list of the meals for the week ahead and a separate list of food. Otherwise I go in and head strait for the middle aisle and come out with a tent and a machine that takes dry skin off your feet instead of any actual meals. We’ve also found when we’ve started doing this (lists) weve been saving a lot of money, not so much popping in and out of shops mid week, and you only buy what’s on the list. Simple right?! Should be. But who said the weekly shop was simple..

Today’s shop of choice was Lidl. I love Lidl! To begin with when Lidl’s first came to our streets, I was a bit dubious and wasn’t keen on the brands that I hadn’t seen or tried before. However it’s now my first choice for a food shop. You save a fortune! I’ll admit though sometimes I head to Tesco afterwords for particular things that they don’t stock.

Grabbed a trolley and in I went 9.30am so was nice and quiet. Malachy was the child of choice today as the girls were at school and nursery.

The fruit and veg in Lidl’s is so fresh and great quality. I love their animal marketing scheme that’s going on just now with the veggies.

Unicorn carrots! Now who can resist unicorn carrots? When I’ve got the girls with me and they see these they go wild. I first thought ok here we go they will never eat these. But they do!! Every time! So why can’t other foods not have unicorns on them. crocodile mini cucumbers are also another great buy!

I couldn’t pass buy the flower stand without buying a bunch. To me, from me xx. They weren’t on the list but the house is a bit bare after Christmas. They have started stocking daffodils already! Come on Christmas was just a week ago and we’re getting organised for Easter? Big bargains to be had on all those Christmas foods, chocolate and some of the dates go on into next year!

Another love of mine is the dairy section. My kids love to snack, snack snack all day long, so knowing what healthy snacks to give them can be difficult when you run out of ideas. These yoghurts are yummy and very cheap at 75p per pack, packs of small raisins 75p (pack of 12) and blueberries go down a treat too!

Lidl’s has now increased their range of spices and baking ingredients which is great as that’s what I would usually nip to Tesco it ASDA for.

I now only buy Lidl’s nappy’s and wipes. Kids have had no problems with blisters or leaking like I’ve seen in other brands would highly recommend them!

Someone recently recommended me to buy pure coconut oil to help with Malachys skin. Malachy is constantly itching, we’ve tried everything nothing seems to work. He hasn’t any allergies or asthma so I’m going to give this coconut oil a chance. If it doesn’t work at least he will smell lovely.

This year in our house we are trying to save more money than usual so saving that little extra on the food shop can help. So no more shopping down the middle aisle for me! But it’s a different story when Sean wants something or just a quick look down the middle aisle….Sean step away from the power drill you don’t need it, and it’s not on the list!!

So in total I got all this lot for £75.64.

That should do us for the week.

Visit Here for all the latest Lidl highlights and offers.

Welcome to my blog!

For those of you who don’t know me I’m April. I am happily married to my husband Sean we’ve been married for nearly 7 years! We have been blessed with 3 beautiful children…Ivy age 5, Gracie age 3 and Malachy age 18months. We live in a small picturesque village in the north east of Scotland.

Nurse

I trained as a nurse about 10 years ago and been practicing on and off between having babies, but reluncantly gave up my perminanent part time job after Malachy was born to concentrate on bringing up the brood, as I felt asking any grandparent to look after 3 kids is a big ask! I still work the odd agency shift to keep up my registration from time to time. I loved my job as a community nurse so found it hard giving it up. Sometimes I liked just being ‘April’ at work instead of being ‘mum’ all the time (also getting lunch and tea breaks in peace is great without someone stealing a bite of my sandwich or wanting a toilet break when I’ve just sat down to eat)

Family life

We are a well grounded family I would say. Sean works as a Captain on board the North Link Ferry from Aberdeen to Shetland so he leaves me with the brood for 2 weeks That’s when the fun really begins! When he comes home after his trip I can be seen running for the hills…alone! In Seans spare time he has a small boat that he goes out fishing for crab lobster and mackerel during the summer months. We are very close with our paretnts and extended family’s and they play a big part in our life’s. Both of us were brought up in Christian homes which leads me to my next chapter.

God

We are a Christian family and we aim to bring our family up in a Christian and loving home and guiding them towards God as we were. We attend the Assembly of God church at Fraserburgh It’s a great church full of people buzzing for God! If you think church is boring or stiff, you should go there and it will categorically change your minds! Check out their page Here. Like most families at times we struggle with our Christian life’s as there is many stumbling blocks that come our way that test us. We are not perfect and don’t try to be. I believe every hurdle is out there to test our faith. I pray about everything and try not to worry too much as God is always in control of my life. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my faith in God. God is the centre of our home! Amen Sister!

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My Blog

I’ve decided to start a blog about my brood as we go through life together, having 3 kids life is very hectic at times. On my blog you will find a mix of everything from my brood stories, weight loss, wife stuff, family, baking, interiors, crafting and lifestyle. A mix of everything and the highs and lows of life. I will be as honest as possible in my blog to share the reality of life with my brood. Hope you enjoy!

Follow me on instagram for more updates my_brood_stories

April