It’s Great to be a Mum

Hardly cool, calm and collected,
Nails, bikini line neglected.
House, I’m certain, is not as clean as some.
Wet washing there for days,
And our beds remain unmade.
Despite my fails, it’s great to be a mum.

My social life revolves,
Around a 6 and 3-year-old.
Nights out have disappeared to almost none.
Cannot wait to catch the gig,
Of the real live Peppa Pig.
Hell yeah, it’s one-long-party as a mum.

My partner may well think,
That my life is rosy pink.
He’ll imply mum days are chat, tea, cakes and fun.
But you know that’s just survival,
You need mummy friends not rivals.
Let’s hug it out, it’s fab to be a mum.

The bruises, pinches, pulling hair,
The “I hate yous” and “you’re unfair”.
There are some days you’ll feel a little glum.
Food lovingly you’ve made,
At which they merely look dismayed.
But, ha, it is so swell to be a mum.

Stress, exhaustion and the mess,
Gets too much I can confess.
Days spent mopping sick and wiping countless bums.
Being ill with kids is rotten,
Chance of duvet days forgotten.
Who cares? It’s so rewarding as a mum.

Mislaid the art of conversation,
Friends have lowered expectations.
Stick sword, lightsaber fights I’ve lost and won.
Embracing every wee,
Spent with them all joining me.
At least you’re never lonely as a mum.

Their energy is off the scale,
Soft play noise makes me go pale.
Each day up with the larks, before the sun.
Now, if I could train those birds,
to do all of my housework,
It would be a fairytale to be a mum.

Belly laughs until it hurts,
Bounds of joy, then go berserk.
In opposite directions they all run.
At least you are so tired,
In a job; you can’t be fired.
It’s proof of all the fun times as a mum.

Spending nights admiring pics,
Of your cheeky dudes and chicks.
Hard work, but who could ask for better ones?
In the face of frazzled looks,
And those dusty advice books.
You’re doing great, keep at it super mum.

© Pass Me The Valium and, 2016.

Circle of Strife (A Snapshot of Four Women on a Beach)

“Oh, look at that family over there:
So cheeky. So charming. Without a care.
I dream that we might have kiddies one day,
Building castles in sand, digging and play.
Cartwheels and giggles, shrill shrieks and fun,
Yet here I am lounging around in the sun.
Worries seem selfish — which book is the best?
Or maybe a cocktail? Or shall I go rest?
Bursting with love. I know now I am free…
But could life be better if two became three?”

“Oh, look at that couple, I so long to be,
Sitting and reading with that G and T.
How I’d love to return to chilled holidays,
Time for each other; sun, sea and way hey!
Unruffled and rested. Sat oh-so-still,
Smiling and talking (and taking the Pill).
My worries are urgent — all day seem to screech,
Military ops just to get to the beach.
I do love them so. Full-on fun this has been…
Please, 5 minutes’ peace though for this magazine?”

“Oh, look at that mum, running here and there,
Gone in a flash, that time just went where?
I loved that bedlam. Now those were the days,
Always so tired though, didn’t we say?
Grueling and crazy, magic memories made,
Hand holds and cuddles soon started to fade.
Worries “are they safe?” still stop me from rest,
Kids grown and less needy; too soon flown the nest.
Missing pick-me-up squeezes, limbs wrapping tight…
I’d go back in a heartbeat to those sleepless nights.”

“Oh, look at that woman, recalling good times,
When she never stood still, her kids crossing lines.
Disorder returns soon on Granny-care days,
But you can hand them back, feeling unfazed.
Tantrums, explosions, toothy grins and hugs,
Frolics and high jinx, and vital gin glugs.
Worries now fewer — I’ve been there, done it,
I’m helping and needed and sure keeping fit.
To start over again with hindsight would be nice…
Always want what you’ve not in the circle of strife.”

© Pass Me The Valium and, 2016.

Empty Hands, Fuller Heart

*TRIGGER WARNING: this poem is for Baby Loss Awareness Week. It gives a very personal account of stillbirth. It also offers some ways to help those who have experienced loss. I have been in two minds about sharing it because the last thing I want to do is cause upset. However, if it helps just one person feel that they are not alone, or if it helps a friend support another, then it is worth the share. Please only read on if you feel strong enough*

For 7 months I carried you, my heart bursting with pride,                           
Then the words that parents dread: “I’m sorry, your baby’s died”.            
There’s life before that moment and then life that we’ve lived since,                   
Split in just a second by a sentence so intense.                                           

Two long days, a walking coffin and struggling to breathe,                        
Scared of questions: “When’s your due date?” “Boy/girl do you believe?”
Panic attacks, anxiety, and stress I’ve never known,                                    
Phantom kicks, trying to stay strong, but feeling so alone.                          

In a strange state of limbo, I seemed now to exist,                                     
Not wanting to let you go, yet wanting to give you a kiss.                          
Determined throughout labour, to give you the best birth,                          
Extreme pain of heart and mind, but your silence was the worst.                          

Yet then we met you, gorgeous boy, and held you in our arms,                  
Bowled-over by perfection and your brother’s looks and charm.
I didn’t sleep a wink that night, I held you oh so tight,                                
Treasured memories, breathing you in, kissing you goodnight.                   

Just one nappy change, one outfit, one hand and footprint too,                                                     
Leaving hospital without you, it broke my heart to do.
Going home with empty hands, your cot in an empty room,                                   
Left with pain and bleeding mementos of my empty womb.                      

Your brother was our saviour. Superhero aged just two,                 
Making us get up each day, face the world with fun to do.                       
He’s grown up as a caring boy, with kindness in his heart,
Talks about you all the time, his life you’ll always be part.                         

Despite the endless grief we feel, I’ve much to thank you for,                                
Better person, have no doubt, who appreciates life more.
I pray that this never happens to future mums or friends,                          
If it does, here’s some top tips, so on you they can depend. 

If you don’t know what to say, then simply tell them this.                       
Give them a hug, let them cry, on their forehead plant a kiss. 
It may seem small but sit with them, listen and take their hand,                           
Tell them you are sorry too, you’re trying to understand.                            

One day you will see them smile, reassure them that’s OK.                                   
They’ll feel guilt for happiness and feel like they’ve lost their way.
Don’t tell them it was meant to be, or that they’ll have another,          
You wouldn’t say that if they lost their sibling or their mother.                  

And please don’t forget the Dad, close friends can be far and few.                        
Being her rock, helpless through labour; much to cope with too.
Never had the chance to know his baby from the inside,                               
Saying goodbye before hello, heartbreak he’ll try to hide.                           

Last word to my little man, every day I miss you so,                                   
Such an honour to carry you, to feel you move and grow.
I take comfort that you’ll never feel hungry, hurt or cold,                            
Love you till the day I die, then again in my arms, I’ll hold.

© Pass Me The Valium and, 2016.

Wonder Mum

Being a Mum’s a privilege. We’re lucky, this I know.
But life with little people is intense and tough also.
24/7 on demand, and at their beck-and-call.                                               
It’s exhausting, overwhelming, with no let up at all.                                               

You’re a walking mummy zombie. There’s no chance to relax.                               
Reliant on strong coffees, multi-tasking to the max.                                               
Naturally you beat yourself up, feel only that you fail.
You try your best, yet other mums on smugness seas they sail.                             

Their children all slept through the night on exit from the womb.         
Not once confessing to tantrums, TV, or processed foods.                          
But this is just perception. Be kind to yourself, OK?                                    
Don’t forget, you’re flipping awesome, each and every day.                                    

This phase of feeling broken, with someone always needing,                    
Pushed to tears by never-ending changing, rocking, feeding.                      
I promise it gets better, and in the blink of an eye,                                     
“My baby’s growing up too fast” we’ll start to hear you cry.               

No doubt at times I bet you feel a donkey on the edge.
But from the outside, looking in, you are a total lege.
When it’s too much, take some time out, a breather, have a sob.              
Remember you are rocking, hands down, the hardest job.                          

For now, it is alright to leave those dishes and those chores.
Play, be silly, give squeezy hugs — fun matters to kids more.
Take photos, tons of photos, and lots of videos too.                                    
Look back and you’ll see only joy; hard times forgotten, few.                     

We all have plenty of rough days, there is no perfect Mum.                                               
But to your kids, perfection is you. You are their number one.
Shared toilet trips, the meltdowns and the worries you’ll survive. 
Officially a Wonder Mum who deserves a big high five.

© Pass Me The Valium and, 2016.