Blending the Truth – The Human Touch

When did we become so disturbed that we have to know exactly how one person died? Why is he glorifying it for his own column inches?


Yesterday has been playing on my mind. Personally, it was a lovely day with friends and family that love me and treated me with kind words and presents. But in the bigger picture the day was horrendous.

Quentin Letts was on Jeremy Vine’s radio show this afternoon, describing the events he saw unfolding under his office in London. In great detail. My blood is boiling at this. When did we become so disturbed that we have to know exactly how one person died? Why is he glorifying it for his own column inches?

I know I started this blog to write about being a stepmum. But this is relevant. We want to protect our children from the big bad world. In a world with 24 hour news, constant news updates and graphic pictures/videos being posted on the internet it’s becoming harder.

I also draw on my own experiences. To have the press at your neighbours doors, letters from second rate magazines with smarmy “we’re sorry for your loss but would love to hear your story. Oh and we’ll give you money for the bother”. Seriously? Foxtrot Oscar.

That policeman had family and friends. They don’t need to hear the details of how he died sensationalised under big headlines by the press, so they can make their millions.

He is not tomorrows’ fish paper. His name was PC Keith Palmer. He died doing his job and his life will affect his family for many years to come. My thoughts are with them at this time.


Blending the truth – Mother’s day as a Steppy

The majority of mothers love this day. Spoilt rotten with breakfast in bed, cards and presents. I hate to say this, but I dread this day more than any other.

It’s said that everyone has a story someone else will read. I never believed that I would ever be writing about what I feel is my mundane, day to day life. But don’t they also say never say never?

Here comes the obligatory about me BS…I joined the military in the early Noughties and left last year. So it’s fair to say that I’ve been feeling a bit stir crazy sometimes now that I’m a SAHM (don’t you just hate that phrase???). But at the end of the day, this is the life I chose and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Anyway, I married my husband 3 years ago. At that time, we were dealing with a fair bit… I was expecting my first child; the girls had recently lost their mum to cancer; the eldest had left boarding school (she was sent there due to her dad’s deployments- don’t  judge!) and the youngest came to live with her dad the afternoon before her mum passed away. So we were all kind of thrown in together all of a sudden. I’d known the girls for over a year but now we were all living together in a 3 bed house and getting used to each other’s bad habits.

Fast forward 3 years, we’ve just moved into our first rented accommodation after 3 military houses. The youngest has just turned 3, the eldest is in her second year at Uni and the middle is rapidly turning into a female version of Kevin The Teenager.  And Mother’s day is this Sunday.

The majority of mothers love this day. Spoilt rotten with breakfast in bed, cards and presents. I hate to say this, but I dread this day more than any other. Not only have I lost my own Mam, but we also have the shadow of the girl’s mum hanging over us. So it’s very easy to be bloody miserable. I’d quite happily gloss over it and do something family orientated. Like go for a meal, or a day out. But even then, sat at a table receiving a complimentary bottle of wine “to the best mummy ever!” with your future step daughter does lead to a rather awkward feeling!

We’re learning to get through these days, and dark humour definitely helps. If not with the kids, definitely with my fantastically patient other half. The girls find twee Stepmum cards for the event, though Middle has promised me she’s going to make me her own card this year. And that to me is the best present ever. Knowing that, even when she hates me for taking her phone off of her for her attitude problem, she’s put in the time to make me something which I’ll keep for many years to come, having done the best that I can do.

Damned if you do; damned if you don’t.

You don’t have to conform to what society expects in these “modern times”. You don’t have to be super woman doing everything. As long as you and your family are happy and content, bollocks to what society thinks.

I’ve not written anything for a while as I’ve rejoined the big bad world of work. After a couple of years getting my mental health sorted and spending time with the kids, I decided it was time to get my big girl pants on and brave working again.

Little man is settled in a fantastic nursery where the level of care and the activities they have him doing are amazing. Middle is still attending the same school even though we’ve moved out of area, to provide her with some stability.

And this is where the guilt has started to seep in. If I wasn’t working I’d be able to do the drop offs in the morning in a less hurried, stressy manner. I’d be able to keep on top of the housework better. I’d see more of my kids. I’d see more of my husband. I’d have the time to make time to relax. To do the mindfulness and relaxation exercises I’ve been taught. To actually finish a craft project I started on months ago.

At first I thought I enjoyed my job. But after a number of years in the military I forgot just how bitchy civvie street can be. How lackadaisical these environments are. “It’s 5pm so stuff this task and the impact on whether I finish it or not; I’m doing one.” And this is my opinion after 2 weeks!!

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I expect too much from my colleagues. Maybe I just need to take on their attitude. But that’s not me.

I want to do the best for me and mine. That’s why I went back to work. To feel like I’m contributing. But perhaps I’m not one of those women who can work full time and bring up my family simultaneously. And maybe I’m going to have to be at peace with that scenario. To persuade myself that I’m not a quitter. That it’s ok not to do something if it isn’t working for you.  If not just for my own sanity but that of my family’s.

If nothing else, to prove to Middle that you don’t have to conform to what society expects in these “modern times”. You don’t have to be super woman doing everything. As long as you and your family are happy and content, bollocks to what society thinks.

Blending the Truth – Manners cost nothing

Hubby is on night shift. Kids in bed. I’ve been wasting my time reading crap on the Internet whilst the tv is on in the background as company.

Tonight I found an interesting article on the 12 words we need to teach our young children to make our lives as a parent  easier. Amongst them were the following; up, down, no, ready, uh-oh. You get the idea.

As helpful as these words are, I have to say that this list to me was missing the one thing that children need more than anything. Simple manners.

I’m not old, but I am old-fashioned. This list of words may make life easier as a parent but surely the bigger picture is being missed? We’re parenting to make our children decent human beings. I believe it starts with good manners. To me it’s more important to teach please and thank you. To say pardon or excuse me when they burp, cough, sneeze or fart (hopefully not at the same time, though it would be impressive!). To cover their mouth when they cough and to close their mouth when they eat.

Regularly I have to remind Middle and Little that no one wants to see food swirling around their mouths like clothes in a tumble dryer! I’m forever hopeful that one day it will eventually sink in.

The point is, these are the foundations that will make them much nicer to be around as young adults and that may in turn make life much easier for us as parents in the future.

Blending the truth – Birthday

Tomorrow I turn 34. No great shakes. Hubby charmingly pointed out this evening that I’m now closer to 40 than I was. I pointed out that he’s now closer to 50 than he was at his last birthday. *drops the mic*

He’s currently putting Little to bed. Much to Little’s disgust. Mummy is a soft touch. But if mummy puts him to bed she’ll likely fall asleep beside him. Again. Which leads to a grand total of half an hour spent together alone this evening before bed. And resentment sets in. BOOM – it has now been put out there! Sometimes I resent the kids.

Timehop this week for me has been all about a trip to Paris I took myself on for my 26th birthday. Totally random, but I had the cash and I was single at the time. All good? Nope. I wasn’t in a good place mentally. Between losing both parents within 15 months of each other by the time I was 23, and my penchant for Spiced Rum and Diet coke (or anything that was generally wet and alcoholic if truth be told), I wasn’t at my best. BUT I was free to please myself. I could eat a chocolate bar without worrying about the sound of a thousand elephants thundering downstairs to culminate in the question “what you got mummy?”;  I COULD PEE IN PEACE!!!! I didn’t have to justify every movement. All I can now say to that is well played Mam. I’m sorry I pissed you off at the bingo in Blackpool that time, pestering you for money for another Mr Blobby trinket. Can you lay off now, please???

Little is in nursery tomorrow and Middle is at school. Hubby isn’t at work until late afternoon so I’m being treated to Birthday Lunch. I can’t wait. A few hours together where we can be us. No interruptions/shouting/random questions. A chance to connect and keep our relationship strong and in turn keeping our family strong.

The best Birthday present…..in the world.