Category Archives: Health & Wellbeing

8 Ways To Keep The January Blues At Bay

January. Who’d have it? Can’t we just skip it in the calendar year and head straight from the day after New Year’s Day (to give the hangover a chance) and straight to February?

You see, the thing about January is that is has nothing going for it. It’s like an under-achieving student whose meeting with the career guidance counsellor is going like this:

“Your pal Christmas pulled out all the stops to pitch itself at the top of the class rather successfully. It offered us mulled wine, presents and the opportunity to stuff vegetables and bread crumbs up a turkey’s arse. February isn’t doing too shabby either – it does it’s best with Swarovski-encrusted underpants and the likelihood that your four-year-old will send you a soppy card about how much they love you. You, on the other hand, are a disappointing underachiever. All you have to say for yourself is ‘start eating horseradishes and get thee to the gym’. You are expelled, January”.

While I normally power through January, rebelling against all resolutions by emptying the house (via my gob) of all booze and sugary foods.. I just fucking hate it this year.

In saying that, I am doing my best to be kind to myself during this feud with the first month of the year by attempting the following;

1. Walking

Yes, yes, everyone says get outside for some exercise and fresh air when you’re feeling a bit shit. But when you ARE feeling a bit shit, it can be hard to get out for a walk. So let’s call it what it really is; look your dog in the eye and feel guilty about not walking them enough and reluctantly bundle up to go for a walk around the block every evening. You might be a bit allergic to it but it will definitely helping your mood, I swear.

2. Sleeping

Get into bed as soon as you absolutely can and sleep it off. Having the January Blues can leave you feeling all kinds of exhausted so add at least an hour onto your usual routine – you need it.

3. Crying

‘Better Out Than In’ is my motto – there is nothing wrong with having a good cry so release some of that sadness or moodiness if you want to. I always squeeze out a few tears over a really powerful song that means something to me so will get the earphones on when I need to have a little tear to myself.

4. Dancing

Dancing with the kids to fun music always makes me feel better so we are listening to the Trolls soundtrack daily and are having a good boogie.

5. Kissing and Hugging

Having small kids around when you’re not feeling yourself is brilliant because they just love giving their parents hugs and kisses. Every now and then I just pack in the organising/cleaning/cooking malarkey, get to the couch and demand hug parties. They really work.

This little lady cheers me right up

6. Laughing

I have been listening to the Mortified! podcast when I’m out walking and it is really making me guffaw at the old diary entries that people are reading out. It just makes you forget yourself for a few minutes and releases some of that tension or anxiety.

7. Being Quiet

I’m normally talking and organising and texting and rounding up and chattering and discussing and planning and generally being hyperactive all the time, so at the moment, I’m just being quiet. I’m reading books, I’m taking time out to myself, I’m sorting through paperwork and I’m turning down events that require me to be too social at a time when I don’t feel like it. Peace and quiet is rather lovely.

8. Talking it through

The best thing for anyone to do who is having a hard time is talk to someone they can trust about it. Even if they are letting that person know that they just need a bit of quiet time to themselves at the moment, at least that person can keep an eye out for them. And when the blues lift – WHICH THEY WILL – you and that lovely person you confided in can head out for a pint or a hike or a big piece of cake and you can laugh about how January got expelled from school for being SUCH a pain in the hole.

*We hope January is being kind to you. If not, please look after yourselves as much as you can or talk to someone if you feel too overwhelmed. Loads of people love you, including us, so remember that!*

Wanted. Dead Or Alive: A Mother Of Two’s Former Sense Of Style

My current sense of style can be described as.. DEFEATED.

I was never a slave to fashion but I liked to keep an eye on things.

Growing up in a small village like Rush in North County Dublin in the 90s, I was something of an enigma who eschewed the acceptable local GAA team tracksuit for tartan flared pants, backwards Kangol caps and tinted glasses.

I didn’t need glasses but I thought they were really cool and I got slagged off A LOT. I didn’t care though because I was ‘arty’ and a ‘rebel’ and anyway I would be a famous actress some day and they would have to make aprons out of their tracksuit top when they married the local farmer SO THERE.

An ex of mine once said that I could always rock a dress and I can. I do love wearing them but a lot of effort has to go into wearing a dress. One needs clean shaven bits, a bit of fake tan, heels and somewhere fabulous to go.

That ex and I didn’t have kids together.

Ass Monkey obviously had a good look at me in a dress or two back in the day or else I probably wouldn’t have gotten pregnant twice but he may not have seen me at my best since then.

I’ve had my moments, sure, my opportunities to get dolled up and hit the town but they are truly few and far between when one is raising two small kids, moving houses, organising weddings and changing careers.

At the end of 2016 we took the kids to Tenerife and we were tired going; we needed to lie by the pool and go for long walks and eat amazing fresh food and get to bed early with the comforting warmth of the day’s sun kisses on our skin.

On the first day I threw on my good ole trusted bikini, the one I’ve always worn when I get away anywhere and.. it didn’t fit.

In horror, I took a good look at myself in the mirror and realised that not only was my bikini a size too small for me it was also.. pretty old and tatty.

Not only did I look haggard and bloated at the end of a crazy busy year, I also hadn’t bought myself a single nice new thing for going on hols.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped making an effort.

The kids were all tricked out with sunhats, new leggings, shorts, t-shirts and swimwear and for me? Nada.

(I confess to self-indulgently wondering for a moment if I was pregnant as if THAT could be the only reason for this ‘inexplicable’ weight gain when in fact, I just hadn’t moved my ass off the couch for the previous month. I discovered on Day 4 that I am not, in fact, pregnant. Scarlet for moi).

We’re home now, home to no more house moves, no more wedding planning, no more honeymooning and slowly took all the Xmas decorations down before getting ready to get everyone back to work and school today.

I’m SO sad that all of that excitement is over but I’m trying to concentrate on this potential fresh start: so this year, I’m really going to try to focus on looking after myself a bit more.

This evening, I chucked out half of my wardrobe which was stuffed full with too-worn cardigans and jumpers, too-tight dresses, t-shirts with holes and/or paint on them (WHY? And WHY do I insist on continuing to wear them everywhere?!) and finally, more than one item that has 50 or more layers of tulle coming out of it.

And you thought Halloween was over.

This week, I’m determined to buy three things that not only fit me, but that are fashionable and that I will try not to let my children vomit on.

So watch this space, kiddos. I’m off to bed tightly wrapped in clingfilm with a couple of cucumber slices on my eyelids.

(PS: If you have any recommendations for your favourite shops that this late 30’s lady might like, jesus help me!)

 

When Life Gets You Down, Always Remember Your True Colours

I have been feeling a hardening up lately, a desire to shut down and make unavailable certain parts of me that I ordinarily give away so freely.

Xmas can make me cranky despite my best efforts to enjoy it – I think I’m generally just really tired and in need of peace at a time when life is more hectic, loud and busier than I need it to be.

Add to that the post-wedding blues which I will determine to write about in another post because really, I can’t believe it’s hit me so hard (and furthermore, I’m quite embarrassed about it!)

I know I can get pouty when I feel a bit disappointed by people in my life who don’t consider me as I do them – not in a ‘OMG I just do SO MUCH for everybody and nobody does anything for me!!!’ kind of WAH WAH.. but just in a ‘I can’t believe that people aren’t much nicer to each other, including me’ WAH WAH.

I talk to my lovely mum about this despondency regularly and she counsels that no matter what, I have to stay true to myself and my own way of doing things.

“You’re lovely”, she’ll say. “You just keep being the way you are”.

It’s great advice but it does gets hard from time to time, wearying, to see that other people carry on about their own lives, oblivious, and don’t seek to go out of their way for others. I think of them and wonder if WE (Ass Monkey and I) are the real dopes for running around so much and that if we spent more time concentrating on our own family and interests, would we perhaps not drop the ball on things like our kids’ notes from school or when they are about to lose a tooth or two (scarlet).

I sometimes want to be harder, to not notice when someone needs something, or to not offer to assist when I have an option to. I want to put my head down and walk through the crowd, oblivious to what’s happening around me, just like everyone else.

I’ve been trying to do that lately because I’m so fed up and I’m so tired.

But then Ass Monkey and I brought the kids to see TROLLS yestrerday which was just 74 thousand shades of amazing and went a long way towards cheering me up.

Afterwards, we went to Ruby’s Pizza and Grill which has a fairly decent vegetarian menu. Ass Monkey had a falafel burger and I had a veggie pizza which was gorgeous.

Before our food arrived I noticed that Jacob was waving at a baby sitting at the table next to us. The little one was only about a year old and loving all the attention she was getting.

When her parent’s food arrived, the baby started crying because she didn’t want to be taken away from her waving game with her new pal Jacob.

So even though I was in a fowler – even though the rude woman at the Sugar Dolls nail bar wouldn’t entertain my appointment because I was 10 minutes late (the customer service rage rages on) – even though I was determined to never be nice to anyone ever again..

..I offered to take baby Millar (what a fantastic name!) so that mum could have her grub in peace and the kids could have some fun together.

And you know what – five minutes of doing something nice for a total stranger did me the power of good. It didn’t hurt that baby Millar was lovely to snuggle and a total DREAM too.

Doing something like that is the true essence of me and I’m happier for it so I’ll determine NOT to change if I can help it.

Now I have this song from the Trolls soundtrack on repeat around the house. It’s kind of making me cry a bit but the message is getting under my skin which I really, really need.

Like my mamma says, you gotta stick to being yourself, girl x

This can be a very tricky time of year for lots of people. Please reach out to someone if you are feeling low – take some time for yourself; go for a walk, listen to your favourite music, drink more water, hang out with someone who makes you laugh, eat cake, cuddle your kids and.. go see Trolls. You’ll love it. Mind yourselves x

Parenting Fail: When Your 5-year-old Has ALL The Cavities

FOR FUCKS’ SAKE.

Ass Monkey and I tried to go away for 5 minutes (well, 3 nights to be completely honest) and we came back to a bit of a shit-storm on the kid’s health front.

Firstly, young Eva had the reddest cheeks I’ve ever seen. She wasn’t a terribly narky baby when she first started getting teeth – we’d know that they were coming because she’d drool a lot or was a bit clingy for a few days – but aside from that, there were never any prolonged periods of wailing or being up during the night (unlike her big brother).

But this time, she’s getting the dreaded back teeth and to add insult to injury – she also seems to be getting ALL of them at once.

When we arrived home just over a week ago, Eva ran for her daddy as she always does and pretty much hasn’t let go of him since. The pair of them have been up together pacing the house every single night since we came back  and we just can’t wait until this crappy bit is over.

Jacob (my son, moon and stars) ran for me and promptly let me know that he had a pain in his back tooth.

We tried to get a good look at it, mostly unsuccessfully, but we could see that it was pretty black looking back there.

My mum, who had been minding the kids, let us know that he had been complaining about it all week and she’d called our family dentist who was all booked up the following day.

But they did mention a HSE clinic in Skerries which I knew nothing about, and Alan popped up on spec with Jacob the next morning.

They weren’t entirely happy to see someone with no appointment but obliged regardless.

Our son, our 5-year-old had not one, not two, jesus, not even three – but FOUR cavities thanks to our pal, SUGAR.

Jacob won’t forget that visit in a hurry

Alan said that Jacob was pretty terrified as he had his tooth ‘fixed’ in the dentist chair (no drilling these days, thankfully) and he was given quite a positive talking to about laying off the sweets and better dental health.

I’ve always been ok with cakes and buns, particularly because we bake them at home and it’s nice to test the work afterwards (!) but there are other failures that I know are responsible for Jacob’s poor dental health;

1: Grandad And His Lollipops: The likelihood that Grandad gives Jacob 2 or more lollipops every time he sees him is a real possibility. He has been duly shamed about the holes in our son’s gob and is now throwing fivers at him instead. Win-win.

2: Relaxed Attitude About Teeth Brushing: The kids both brush their teeth in the bath, and they have a bath almost every evening – but have I been properly supervising them to make sure they are really, REALLY brushing their teeth? No, I’ve been on my phone or dressing beds or pairing socks. So WE have been duly shamed too and are operating as the Tooth Brushing Police henceforth.

See what happens when you’re a parent and you’re off trying to enjoy yourself? Disaster!

*Have you checked out Mum’s Box yet? It’s our brand new subscription box just for mums! Buy a once-off or sign up for monthly subscriptions and receive really cool discounts. We want to send mums lovely things – coz we deserve them, don’t we?! Click on the pic below for more info*

 

Introducing ‘Mum’s Box’ from Raising Ireland

We had a little idea and we ran with it.

The idea was born from my ongoing understanding that the welfare of family – and in particular, mammies – is completely neglected in Ireland.

Being a part of wonderful support networks such as Irish Parenting Bloggers has meant that I have gotten to hear and absorb the most important message that all mums need to hear; ‘Look after yourself and you can look after everyone else’.

It’s so true. Rather than push myself to my limits as I previously did, and risk being too stressed out to be the best mum I can be around my kids, I make sure to treat myself as much as I can.

I take a nap if I’m wrecked, I get cover and hoof up a hill or two for an hour if I’m uptight & I get into the bath with a face or hair mask as much as I can.

This is why we developed ‘Mum’s Box’ – because being kind to ourselves as mums is a learned thing. We need to help each other remember that we deserve simple treats such as a cuppa and a slice of cake or a nice new lipstick!

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To subscribe to Mum’s Box is €20 for a once-off box & there are reductions for multiple subscriptions available.

We’re sending beauty products, amazing skincare items, sweet treats and a novelty trick or two to keep smiles on those mum’s faces.

The difference between us and other beauty boxes is that we are dedicated to providing a support network to mum’s – a cheerleading team who will send positive messages and helpful information on parenting in every box.

There is a 50% discount for our gorgeous Raising Ireland readers – just enter ‘PRELAUNCH’ at the checkout.

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Parents Worst Nightmare: When A Head Bump Goes Bad

We were VERY lucky with Eva and a recent head bump.

I say lucky in that she had a mild concussion, we went to hospital and she has come out the other side ok.

Every time she and her brother start to mess together now, i am terrified for her; I don’t want it to happen again and am seriously considering popping a helmet on her from morning to night.

We won’t do that, obviously, but it is that thing that we are always concerned about with our little ones isn’t it? Don’t bump your head, don’t bump your head, don’t bump your head…

Eva’s preschool are running a fundraiser tomorrow night for an almost four-year-old boy named James Higgins who was not so lucky with a head injury last year.

Just shy of his third birthday party, he fell at a playground and banged his head.

What happened in the next 24 hours is every parent’s worst nightmare – their gorgeous James is now rehabilitating and wheelchair bound following a blood clot and other complications.

I will let James’ grandad tell you the story in his own words:

James Higgins was 1 month short of his 3rd birthday when the accident happened on the 2nd of December 2015. His grandmother and I had taken him to collect his brother, Liam, from school. On the way home we decided to visit the playground. We were only a few minutes there when James fell on the all-weather pitch and hurt his head. What seemed innocuous enough at the time later turned into a nightmare. Within the next two and a half hours his condition worsened and we called an ambulance to take him to Temple St. Children’s Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to remove a clot on his brain. He was subsequently moved to intensive care where he spent the next three weeks in a coma.
Over the next six months James’s condition fluctuated with bouts of pneumonia and flu. At the end of May 2016 he was moved to the National Rehabilitation Hospital for further treatment and rehabilitation. At this stage he was unable to walk or talk and his left eye was partially closed. A recent brain scan has revealed that he will never have the use of his left eye.
Obviously James needs 24 hour care and still attends the National Rehabilitation Hospital four days a week in a specially adapted taxi. At the weekends his Mum and Dad, Jean and Kevin, and his brother take him out for walks in his wheelchair but outings are limited to this as they have no other means of transporting him.
When Brenda heard about James’s plight she offered to carry out some fundraising events so that James’s Mum and Dad can purchase a specially adapted car, which would make a significant difference to the family’s quality of life.
A big thank you from James and all his family.
Michael Conroy (James’s Grandad)
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Eva’s preschool are helping to raise funds for a specially adapted car for James and his family promise to bring him to visit the children at Bizzy B’s when he (fingers crossed) gets it.

There will be a charity auction hosted by yours truly in The Drop Inn in Rush at 8pm and I hope some of my Rush friends reading this might make it along.

If you have any prizes or items for auction please contact Brenda Lattimore on 0872487445 or if you would like to make a cash donation, please contact me and I will point you in the right direction.

I know you join me in sending love and best wishes for little James and his family, and I hope to see you tomorrow night x

THIS Is The Real Reason That Mums Don’t Take Showers

Concussion. That’s why. Your two-year-old daughter’s potential concussion. Fml.

‘Twas a morning that was going well, last Tuesday.

Ass Monkey left for work early, the kids and I had brekkie, cleaned up and got back upstairs to get dressed without any major upsets.

The calm in itself should have been warning enough that something disastrous was about to happen.

With both of my little ones dressed and the ole ‘Hands, face and teeth’ routine complete, I ushered them to my room and stuck the TV on while I had my own shower.

“Don’t jump on the bed” I warned. We had gotten a new base for the bed the previous week and the kids had been enjoying testing it’s durability by bouncing on it, off it, over it and all around it.

“Jacob, you are the Chief of Not Bouncing On The Bed until mammy gets back. I’ll be two minutes. Watch Diego”.

He wasn’t really convincing me that he was listening so I chucked out my instructions another 17 times before leaving for the bathroom.

“Don’t jump on the bed. Don’t jump on the bed. Don’t jump on the bed”.

I was in the shower all of 30 seconds when Jacob came in, crying.

They had been jumping on the bed, he said, and had bashed heads.

He looked so scared that I ran, soaking and in my nip, to my room where Eva was crying that kind of a cry where you know something has gone really wrong.

She’s normally a tough little thing but on that Tuesday morning, she wouldn’t stop crying and wouldn’t let me put her down either. It was some job trying to get the suds off and get myself dressed.

On the way back from dropping Jacob to school Eva vomited all over herself in the back of the car so I did an instant detour to the doctor’s surgery. Bang on the head + vomit = not a great situation.

Our local GP was great – he saw her immediately and said she had a mild concussion, to administer Calpol and Nuerofen for the pain in her head and to monitor her for the next couple of days.

Ass Monkey and I got zero sleep that night – between just being worried about her generally (I slept beside her in her bed) and her own inability to sleep (concussion can throw out a sleep pattern for a few days), it was one long night.

She seemed pretty ok the next day and went to preschool who said she was fine aside from a slight spike in temperature. She had also taken a little nap and we put that all down to the lack of sleep the night before.

That evening we were out shopping for a shirt and tie for my dad for the wedding and went for a bite to eat afterwards. Our childminder called just towards the end of the meal; Eva had thrown up twice.

We were in the city centre so zoomed back to North County Dublin to grab her and take her to Temple Street.

The staff in the hospital are absolutely fantastic and we discovered while we were there that not only did Eva have the concussion from the day before but also has a urinary tract infection (UTI) which was the cause of the temperatures and the vomiting.

That kid was having a SHIT week.

We all got home and into bed at around 5 am armed with a dose of antibiotics and pain killers and had another couple of rough days (and nights!) after that where her temperature still spiked every few hours.

She’s back to herself as of around Monday or Tuesday this week and I’m only short of putting a helmet on the kid to keep her little head safe.

I haven’t had a shower without either Alan being around to keep an eye on them or with her having a nap since. That’s the end of that!

(My advice if your kid bumps their head? Take absolutely no chances – take them to the doc straight away and into hospital if you suspect anything is awry).

**Read More On The Signs Of Concussion On The HSE Website**

 

7 Things That Happen When You’re On Steroids For A Week

My skin has been a bit of a problem since, oh.. FOREVER.

I am of that 30% of the population in Ireland that suffers with psoriasis and eczema and wishes there was a cure other than being told to ‘try not to stress’ (gah!) and ‘have you tried sunbeds?’ (gerrup outta that).

My flair-ups have been particularly bad twice in my life thus far: the year I sat my Leaving Cert and had a part-time eating disorder was one and the second is now.

Or, more accurately, since Ass Monkey asked me to marry him.

I’M SAYING NOTHING.

Anyway I’ve been ignoring it somewhat and hoping it will go away by osmosis but I found myself in trouble at the beginning of this week when I woke up to find angry and swollen patches all up and down my arms and chest.

In fact they were SO sore that I thought I had the shingles so I popped off to the doc.

‘Dermatitis’ says he. ‘Is there a chance that you could be pregnant?’

WTF.

‘No’.

‘But if you got pregnant would it be the end of the world for you?’

Silence. He stares at me and I stare at him. He wants me to pee into a jar and now I don’t want to in case he knows something I don’t know. Are swollen armpits a new pregnancy symptom that I haven’t heard of yet?

I peed in the jar. Aside from acute dehydration there was nothing to worry about, especially Knocked-up-itis.

(Note to self: discuss The Snip with Ass Monkey)

Dr. Drama prescribed steroids for the week anyway to get the dermatitis under control and we’ll head for blood tests next week to see if there’s anything else going on.

Anything else, besides, you know, wedding.

Having not ever been on steroids until now, I can tell you it’s not an experience I’d like to repeat. I’m wrecked but fucking wired all week. Double-wrecked with a crazy constant impulse to clean everything, if you know what I mean.

Here are the 7 likely outcomes for you if you ever find yourself popping 8 steroids a day for any reason:

  1. You won’t sleep. Well, not really. You will really, really want to sleep because you know that you need it but when you get to bed, you will lie in bed awake and think about all the things you should have said to that bitch in school when you were 15 until 3 am.
  2. You will agree to mad shit. Like to throwing a random dinner party at 6 pm on a Wednesday. Which makes no sense because YOU HAVE KIDS.
  3. You’ll be aggro. I’m a bit shouty-snappy at the best of times but The Snap has been strong this week. I had to get out of the house and hoof up and down a hill on Friday to shake off the excess negative energy. I probably should have joined a professional swim team for the week.
  4. You’ll be hungry. I have a good appetite but I couldn’t STOP eating this week which isn’t great when your wedding is in 6 weeks and you’ve been sooo good up until now. #theresalwaysmonday
  5. You’ll go to award ceremonies. Well I’d most likely go to an award ceremony even if I wasn’t on steroids (who wouldn’t!!) but you especially run when your book has been nominated for an award AND you’re on steroids. And when you don’t win, you feel fine because YOU’RE HIGH AS A KITE ANYWAY.
  6. You’ll attend hen parties and not even drink. I did. I did that yesterday. And I even drove a few people home afterwards. Who needs cocktails any more huh?!
  7. You’ll sort shit out like a boss. The house is clean, we finally have curtains, even the bastarding ironing is done. I literally couldn’t sit down, not even for a second.

If I thought the little pillies wouldn’t make me need a second wedding dress by December, I might even consider staying on them.

For more on matters of health and wellbeing, read on!

Six Weeks Too Short

Can We Talk About The Housework?

We have a busy, messy house and white tiled floors to go with it. BRILLIANT COMBO. We have our dog, Pearl, who drags who-knows-what through the house on her paws, we have four year old Jacob, who loves the combination of muck and water probably more than anything else in this world, we have one year old Eva, who likes to fire porridge, peas, biscuits, spaghetti – you name it – from the height of her high chair onto whatever she can hit below. Then we have Daddy Alan, Mr. Engineer who comes home from work covered head to toe in dust and dirt from a busy day at Dynamic Cater Care. Part of the work uniform is a pair of humongous work boots that he likes to keep on him until he gets up the stairs to get changed…..don’t mention the war.

Then there’s me, I am a hoarder of bits of paper; bills, receipts, newspaper clippings, recipes on the backs of envelopes, things that I’m working on or things that I’m hoping to get a read of ‘later, when I get a sec’. On a whim, I’ll decide to sort out the attic and drag half of it’s contents onto the landing below, only to be called away by a crying child, a dash to the school, or a call at the door, and I might not get back to it for weeks…..don’t mention Alan’s war with me ;o)

Laundry has taken over our lives. It’s everywhere, it’s unruly; you think you have it under control until the day you open the hot press door and it physically attacks you, the bastard.

‘Have I any work t-shirts?!’ Alan will call from upstairs, just as I’m eyeing the damp pile of washed clothes that he has taken from the washing machine the night before, and casually dumped on the floor by the back door.

‘Oh you have’, I’ll call back. ‘But the magic laundry fairy didn’t intercept their neglect and get them up onto the clothes horse to dry so it’s another topless day for you, darling. I shall inform the neighbour to get their camera phones out when you’re ready to leave the house.’

There has been great chats this week online about how much housework we all do, and how we keep on top of it. I know I could spend every single minute of the day on housework and laundry if I so chose to, and I still wouldn’t want anyone to drop in ‘just yet’. There would always be one more thing that would make it better, isn’t there? If I could just get to wash down those seat covers…if I could just quickly wipe down the kitchen windows…if I could just Fabreeze the smell of stale milk out of this room…..

And the thing is, it’s so BORING, isn’t it? I know it has to be done, and no one wants to look like they’re living in squalor, but we’ve got to sort of get a grip. I mean, who are we really doing it for? I know I’m not cleaning the house for Alan’s benefit, because he never notices (although he does like to tip the cleaning staff in hotels ‘for doing such a great job’ – *coughs*. He could easily owe me 74 thousand euros in back payments at this point).

I definitely keep the floors clean for Eva’s sake – she is walking and everything now, but she still lands on her bum quite a bit and still plays with her toys not he floor, so that gets done every day for her. But the rest? The dressing the beds first thing and the scrubbing stains off walls and door handles and rearranging shit that does not need to be rearranged and the power hosing of the fooking high chair??? Ok, the high chair is completely manky, not even the power hose is sorting that shit out…. but who is it for? For myself? To prove my worth as a woman and a mother and a home owner? But who really cares?

The answer is: nobody. Nobody cares. Sure, someone will notice if you’ve got a pile of dirty nappies sitting in the corner of the living room, or if the contents of your jacks should carry a health warning so let’s not go there. But let’s try this: why not cut your time spent sorting out your house every day IN HALF this month. Just do it. And spend the other half making Witches Hats with ice cream cones and melted chocolate instead.

Which you will then have to clean up after. Oh I see your point.

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The Lube At Dublin Airport

The clever and sexy people at Durex magically knew two things about me this week, 1: that I am off on holidays very soon and, 2: that I have decided not to have any more babies (more of that later). And so they sent all of this to my house:

Durex Products

I have an extremely nosy postman, as in, he sometimes looks at me expectantly at the door as I sign for parcels as if I’ll open it in front of him, or declare ‘Oh I know what this is! It’s the BROS back-catalogue I’ve been waiting for!!’ (As if I’d share that kind of excitement with anyone…)

Anyway, he lived another day without embarrassment at my hands. I mean, I’m not embarrassed about condoms, lube and massage oil, but you’d be surprised how uncomfortable I might get unwrapping them in front of the local postie. One who knows my da..

Anyhoo, as one is not currently on the pill (and we all know what kind of situations I get myself into under those circumstances), I was thrilled to receive my stash and I fully intend on using it!*

And guess what? Oh yes, that’s right, they’ve offered to send another stash to one lucky, soon-to-be-sexed-up reader of Raising Ireland in a giveaway! All you have to do to enter is:

1. Like Durex on Facebook.

2. Like Raising Ireland on Facebook.

3. Don’t get pregnant ;o)

*Comp closes at midnight on Friday August 21st*

(*Disclaimer: If I get pregnant on holidays, I promise not to hold Durex responsible. Mortified explanations will no doubt appear in the next book: ‘I Forgot To Bring My Condoms: An Honest Diary Of A Third-time Mum’ ;o) )