Category Archives: christmas

Because The Term ‘Big Trunk’ IS FUNNY…


So, including the couple of weeks I did from home prior to venturing into the big, wide, often grubby but jam-packed with enough badass clothes and food shops to counteract any hygiene concerns, world of London, my one month trial as a full time worker is coming to an end. Yesterday, it was review time. Was my boss happy? Was I happy? Did I want to carry on?

No….I didn’t…..

Sorry. I don’t know why I did that. I’m just dicking with you. Of course I did. Of. Course. I. Bloody. Did. I’m having the time of my freaking life. And I’m really sorry because that might sound gloaty or showy-offy and I know, nobody likes a smart arse (yes, smug mum acquaintance who, after my request for hangover cures on Facebook, responded with ‘I’ve never had a hangover so I can’t help you on this one’ – THAT MEANS YOU) but if I tell you that, prior to coming back to work, I largely spent the previous two years crying, enduring 4am anxiety attacks and repeatedly berating myself for generally being shit at life, then hopefully me saying ‘actually, yeah, things are pretty good right now’ won’t make me seem like such a wanker.

So yeah, things really are pretty good right now. The job is ace, I work with a lovely, funny bunch of people – not one of whom has ever told me anything remotely passive aggressive about their kids and what they’re capable of – and as a result I am laughing a lot. Like, proper laughing where my face hurts, not manic laughing that has been instigated by my daughter rubbing yoghurt up the wall and, as a result of me being so exhausted, I can’t do what I want to do, which is cry, for fear of passing out (because obviously, me passing out = nobody to stop the kids getting those indelible ‘children’s’ paints out = another fucking wash to put on when I come round).

Where was I? Oh yes. So all good. Getting the work done, raising a lot of eyebrows (ok, raising BOTH eyebrows, that’s pretty much the maximum eyebrows any one person can raise) when anyone apologises for the heavy workload because seriously, compared to 6.30am-8pm of pure, unrelenting kids, a full-on day or writing and researching is genuinely a doddle in comparison, and feeling a whole lot better in myself and what I am capable of. Sure, I have guilt and there are still flashes of ‘my children, I have ABANDONED MY CHILDREN’ panic that run through my mind each day but I find I can usually stamp on these with a quick text to our lovely nanny to see how everyone’s getting on. Failing that, I just bob out to Urban Outfitters and look at pretty things until the worry dissipates (‘ooh, fake-vintage necklaces….Children? Eh? What?).

Anyway, chat with boss went well, I’ve signed up for another few months and hopefully many more will come after that. And, in celebration of this very news and of life generally picking up a bit, and in a kind of farewell to the stay-at-home mum in me, I thought what better way to remind me that I’m doing the right thing than with a little review of my SAHM cock-ups. The clangers. The bollocks I dropped. The opposite of highlights. Basically, the shit that happened when I was with my kids. I like to think of it as not totally dissimilar to the part in the Oscars where they show you a montage of who died and their work. Although obviously in this case nothing died. Except my soul, obviously, but I think I might have resuscitated that so dry your eyes and cancel the wreath. It was touch and go at one point, but soul hasn’t taken its last breath yet.

No. I’m not on drugs. Well, not illegal ones anyway. I’ll shut up now. Here are my motherly balls-ups:

After a particularly stressful day at home with the kids that had seen them throwing Whiskas around the kitchen, we had to then go to a bonfire party at the home of my husband’s boss. Through no fault of my own, and through every fault of the boss for having rosé wine when EVERYONE knows you should never EVER give a highly emotional woman with a screaming child on her hip rosé wine, I got drunk. About an hour into the party, I thought ‘sod this’ and, grabbing the nearest available stranger, handed them my baby, briefing them with the words “if her hands smell of fish, it’s because she’s been eating cat biscuits”. And off I fucked to get more wine.

Social Services In A Glass

Getting a serious, and somewhat inappropriate attack of the giggles at the local music class when, as part of ‘Africa Week’, the teacher encouraged the kids to join in with the words “come on kids! Dangle with me. We all like a big trunk don’t we?”

One Christmas, attempting to make my own mincemeat (don’t start), I had just bobbed in to Tesco Metro to buy a quarter bottle of whisky. Trying to channel my inner green goddess, I decided to say no to the plastic bag and just chucked the bottle in the nappy bag. Naturally, seeing as I apparently live in sitcom-world, who did I bump into just moments later, whiskey bottle sticking out of my nappy bag? That bitchfacesmuggysupermum who, just the day before, I’d been telling how fraught and desperate for a drink I was. ‘Hello alcoholic’ – that’s pretty much what her eyes said to me.

Scrambling around a church altar during a playgroup nativity service as my errant toddler, complete with bulging shitty nappy, took the opportunity of the diversion of every other child angelically singing Away In A Manger to leg it from me. There was a plus point to this, however – as we all filed out of the church, the hot vicar complimented me on my rugby tackle. Phwoarrrr, hot vicars totally dig a woman who knows how to floor a stinking 2 year old in a place of all that is holy. Get. IN.

Crying, in front of the kids, at Subo singing Both Sides Now on This Morning as they rubbed Sudocrem into my good coat. Hey, we’ve all been there, right? RIGHT?

Shit. Scary.

The moment when, as I was loading one kid into the car, my son decided to lean on the horn one morning after a particularly stressful playgroup that had witnessed me breastfeed my daughter CONTINUOUSLY for THREE FUCKING HOURS. This would not have been so bad if we weren’t parked up outside a church. Which we were. Or if there had not been a funeral taking place. Which there was. Or, had he not taken the precise moment the coffin was pulled from the hearse to start his honkathon. Which he totally did. My son heckled a corpse. Is it any wonder I quit full-time motherhood?

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Mum. Dad. What Happened To The Stranger Danger Rule?


Two smiling faces. Neither of them the kids'. Ah Father Christmas, sometimes you just shit kids right up

P.S. Yip, I’m totally sat on Santa’s knee.

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Mistletoe and Whine


Bollocks. Sorry. I haven’t written in ages. In my defence, I’ve had work on (like, actual, paying work, HIGH FIVE!) and then, you know, it’s coming up for Christmas and we’ve all been ill and my husband has been working late and then, well, my dog ate my homework and I’ve got my period so my mum says I can’t do swimming today. I’ve got a note somewhere. What do you mean that looks like my writing? It’s totally my mum’s…

Anyway. If it’s any consolation, I’ve been feeling bad and generally a bit panicky about the whole lack of blogging thing. I’ve bored my husband to tears with my guilt. Wah-wah-wah, I haven’t done the blog in AGES and he’s all ‘Abby, it’ll be fine, chill out, it’s no big deal, let’s talk about it later’ and then I’m all ‘that’s typical of you, we never talk anymore, are you having an affair, is that what this is all about?’ and then he’s like ‘it’s 4am, please stop talking’. He’s quite selfish like that my husband….

But yeah. Working. Whoop whoop. That’s nice. Nice to earn a bit of money and use my brain and have conversations with people that don’t end in ‘and then she crapped in the bath. I’d only cleaned it five minutes earlier, what a waste of Cillit Bang’. All good.

What’s not so good is the fact I work for myself, from home. Sure, it’s flexible and I’m my own boss and sometimes, when I’m tapping away on the laptop, I like to smoke a pen, diffuse my hair and pretend I’m Carrie Bradshaw but you know, it has its downsides too, especially at Christmas. In fact,  I’d say this is probably the worse time of year to work on your todd, namely because you totally miss out on all the good shizzle that goes with working in an office over the festive season.

For one, there’s no office party. Or, more specifically, no festive buffet action. Let’s get this straight – I ROCK a buffet. I’m from the north-west, buffets are in my blood. It’s what we do*. Cold pork pies, soft Wotsits, curly sandwiches – these are the very essence of my soul, not to mention the foundations on which all good office Christmas dos are built. Yet what do I get? Nothing. Not a sniff of a vol-au-vent, no hint of a prawn ring. My booby prize is a quick mine-sweep of fish finger scraps and burnt oven chips from my kids’ plates after tea-time and frankly, that’s shit.

Instructions: Defrost prawns under the hot tap; keep sauce in the plastic pot; serve. Right nice.

There are of course some people who will say ‘ooh, well, no Christmas party, no hangover’. And to that I reply – ‘have we ever met?’ Who needs a party – I’ll drink to anything. Getting free delivery from Asda online; discovering they sell coconut milk at the 99p shop**; having a coil fitted – these have all been known to give me a reason to pour a big, fat glass of booze come 6 o’ clock. Hell, my kids have a hide and seek toy that says ‘let’s celebrate’ when you find it. ‘You don’t need to ask me twice’, I’ll often respond as I pull the gin out the cupboard. Give me some mulled wine and Olly Murs’ Ye Olde Christmas Carols on VIVA and I’ll gladly get as pissed as the best of them. And as hungover. Which brings me to the next sucky thing about the whole stay-at-home-mum at Christmas business.

Hangovers. When you work in an office, yes, it’s a bit rubbish having to go in with a cracking hangover but at least there’s always someone in some nearby canteen that’s going to fry up the necessary lard-arsed carb-fest you’re going to need to get you through the day. At home? That person is you and a dirty great bacon bap isn’t the same when you’ve had to cook it yourself inbetween waves of nausea and to a backdrop of Peppa Pig’s Madame Gazelle singing that fucking bingly-bongly-boo song. Plus, PLUS, with a hangover, there’s not even a minute of respite from the usual day-to-day child-rearing, home-making bollocks, is there? You’ve just got to get on with it. Not like when I worked in an office and one of my greatest tricks when suffering from the consequences of a session the night before, was to tell people I was off to a meeting, set the alarm on my phone for an hour later and go and have a sleep on the floor of the disabled toilet. You know, kind of like how a tramp would.

But then, you know, t’is the season to be thankful and all, so while yes, I do totally miss these things, I’ll quit it with the grumpy old woman act for a second, hold my hands up and say there are some nice things about living in Stepford come Christmas time. The lovely man who grows a beard each year especially to play Santa for the local kids; my amazing butcher who never seems to tire of my stuffing and chipolata-based innuendo and the annual tree-lighting service in our village. Sure, it involves a bit of religious stuff and some proper carols rather than the Slade-fest I’d usually opt for but the local committee also provide free booze for everyone who comes along. Free. Booze. Amazing. Although if maybe I hadn’t got quite so delirious with excitement over the prospect of complimentary alcohol, I wouldn’t have sank those three mugs of badass mulled wine quite so fast and could have probably avoided going on to heckle the Salvation Army band as they played to the crowd. As it happens, no, they don’t know the Cheeky Girls’ Have A Cheeky Christmas and yes, in hindsight, it probably would have been better if I’d saved my own, personal rendition for when I got home.

Man alive, I really need to get a proper job in 2012.

Santa touching up the Cheeky Girls - that's the true meaning of Christmas right there

* years ago, I had a summer job at my local  M&S and always remember the manager telling me that, of all the Marks and Spencers across the land, the Stockport branch sold the most meat paste – proof right there, doubters

**have you seen what Tesco charges for coconut milk these days? That and butter. I get very Daily Mail about it. Tesco are playing us like fools. FOOLS

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