Featured post

Static text

Tired of reading parenting magazines and articles featuring ‘perfect’ parents, warning against having babies too young, too old, too…middlely…. and that if you don’t plan to breast feed for the first ten years of your child’s life, you’re already a terrible parent?

Well you won’t get any of that rubbish here. Read our honest and enlightening blogs from Sharyn Hayden and other truly entertaining contributors – some of them don’t even want kids and we say that’s fine too! It’ll all put a smile on your face, promise…

 

 

Me and My Middle-Aged Chocolate Spread

If 20s are the new teens and 30s are the new 20s, 40s the new 30s and so on.. when does middle age officially begin now?

I recently turned 42 and let me tell you.. all hell is breaking loose. If I compare photos from last year to this, there are outrageous differences – I have aged, people, really aged – in my face, on my body and perhaps, most regrettably, in my teeny, tiny mind.

Mentally flipping from ‘Hanging onto my youth, getting away with certain clothing and perhaps a trip to Ibiza passing for someone in my 30s’ has morphed into ‘I can’t believe my hot water bottle burst how am I going to survive, will I establish a neighbourhood watch group, oh my god I’ve turned into my parents’ – in the space of a few short months.

Ass Monkey and I decided to embark on ‘One Year No Beer’ in January, which also coincided with No smoking, No meat, No dairy, His entry into full veganism, and My vague, ill-informed registration for the Dublin Marathon 2019.

So off we set in January, doe-eyed and optimistic about how our lives were to be positively transformed from all these epic efforts – we sprang from our beds at 6am and went running, gymming, I took up dancing again and signed up for yoga, reformer pilates – anything to compensate for the huge energy void I was sure not drinking would leave behind.

I claimed I would be full of excess energy, now that those nasty hangovers would no longer be present, sucking the goodness of the day away with headaches and narkiness.

I claimed I would get my old dancer body back – toned, trim, nice bum and toned abs. Hell, I might even find my Madonna arms again with all that planking and dancing and Reformer-ing.

As the weeks wore on, I studied myself in the mirror religiously, waiting for the pay off. But the results were the opposite – the exact opposite of what I had anticipated.

How was I putting all this effort in and now beginning to look… well… like shite? My body seemed to be expanding rather than toning up, my eyes more wrinkled and tired looking than ever and – dare I say it – my arse looks like it’s starting to droop. THE HORROR.

In truth, a part of the problem is.. CHOCOLATE. Having previously held a ‘take it or leave it’ approach to the eating of chocolate, I find I am now obsessed with it. Thanks to my ‘new healthy lifestyle’, my sweet tooth has literally exploded and won’t be satisfied until it eats every bit of chocolate in the house.

I am a woman possessed – looking for it in the morning, dreaming about it at night, hiding my eating of it from the kids ‘coz I don’t want them to know where my stash is in case, horror of horrors, I might be asked to share it.

Is this my new alcohol? Am I now on the rocky road (mmmm…) to becoming ‘that’ lady who spends her days seeking out a nice slice of lemon drizzle cake, a tasty chop bun to accompany my pot of tea (that I will keep asking the waitstaff to refill but never paying twice).

The answer, from me and my expanding arse-line, is a resounding, ganache-filled YES.


Lovely, Just As Your Lips Are

I wanted to write something about all these lip fillers you see everywhere.

You know, on the 19/20/21 year olds about the place; the ones serving your coffee, taking the train to college, teaching your kids dance class. The ones whose lips look too big for their little faces & you know they don’t truly belong together.

I wanted to say how worried I was, that to enhance your already beautiful face at such a young age must have a detrimental affect as you get older?

I wanted to ask if you are vulnerable, if you don’t feel so great about yourself, that you feel as though forking out €200 to have some crap injected into your precious lips was really going to solve whatever is going on?

I wanted to be judgey, and blame Instagram and those fucking Kardashians, and say that everyone is starting to look alike, and that isn’t good.

I wanted to say, why the lips? Is it about pouting? Is it about blowjobs? Is it because you’re trying to attract guys? Why it that important?

I was going to write that I’m 42 and, despite really wanting a boob job in my 20s, didn’t go ahead with it and I’m glad now that I didn’t, because I don’t know that the decisions I would have made in my 20s are necessarily the ones I would be proud of now (think ex-boyfriends..shudder)

I was going to say I am happy now in my skin, and that I don’t need enhancements, and that you should be proud of who you are and happy in your skin too, and stop messing with your gorgeous face.

But the truth is we are none of us completely happy in our skin. There are so many things I would change if I could. There’s the sudden middle-age weight gain (next post!), the wonkiness of my ‘Hayden Nose’, and how my ponytail doesn’t seem as thick and long as it used to.

I MAY go looking at a l’il fix here and there but as a qualified ‘ole wan’, I think now is a good time to start looking into all of this. Not 19/20/21 when I was springy and line-free and had the metabolism of my now dreams.

And also, I woke this morning on holliers to find I have acquired a bit of a swollen lip overnight… and, truth be told, I might just love it…

Detective Pikachu The Movie: Definitely, Definitely Go Catch It.

Last year it was Minecraft. My then 6-year-old spoke only in Blocks and Villagers, Obsidian and EnderDragons. By the time I got around to Googling ‘WTF Is The Actual Point of Minecraft?!’ he had developed a whole new language altogether.

This one consisted of Energies and EX’s, Evolutions and Legendaries. Prone as I am to the dramatics, I was just about to lift the phone to enquire as to whether my now 7-year-old might be a candidate for Mensa with all this new extraordinary vocabulary.. I realised he’d gotten into Pokemon.

Jacob (far right) & some of his Super Buds

I am 42 years old. When Pokemon was created in 1996 I was a singing waitress at Ellen’s Stardust Diner in NYC and thought I was Madonna. Makey-uppy characters with awesome names and even more awesome powers really wasn’t on my radar.

I worked at HerFamily three years ago when the Pokemon App came out. The ‘young people of the office’ were going crazy for it as I nodded and smiled in that way you do when you haven’t a fucking clue what’s going on. And to be fair, I was busy anyway writing about Top Tips for Parenting, an’ all.

Well, here’s a top tip: the crazy shit that your kids get into can actually be pretty cool if you get involved yourself. I LOVE Pokemon now, thanks to Jacob and his wiley gang of hardcore Pokemon card-trading mates. There have been playdates where my kid will come home, exhausted, sighing; “Finn/Sean/Cillian/Ethan/Jack made some seriously harsh trades today’ as if coming from a hard day at the office. They would seriously give Wall Street a run for their money.

Eva (R) got to bring her pal Holly along too. For the cute factor.

The general release of the highly anticipated Detective Pikachu movie was coinciding with our holiday abroad and I was gutted for Jacob, thinking we’d get home and all his pals would have seen the movie without him.

But then, Picka-CHU! we had a miracle – our pals at Warner Bros invited us to the Irish Premier! And not only that, they let us take along all of the Wall Street Traders with us. This Mammy is on brownie points FOREVER.

Held at the Odeon Cinema, the morning was super cool with face painting, games and even a full-size Pickachu for photo ops and cuddles.

The gang got the VIP treatment ;o)

The movie itself is really good fun – witty, clever and top notch CGI which all flows seamlessly with the action.

And Ryan Reynolds is in it. Need I say any more?

Detective Pokemon is on general release on May 10th – you really want to take the kids to see it, it’s brill.

Huge thanks to Nick and all at Warner for a great experience. From the mouths of Traders, ‘It was the best day ever’ xxx

The Good, The Blog & The Ugly

Eva starts school this September. We got the letter at the beginning of the year, asking us to nominate our school preference for her, and I thought, ‘They have this wrong. She doesn’t go until next year, right?!’

WRONG. Our baby girl turns 5 this July and off she pops then to school after the summer holidays.

But where did that time go? And have I spent enough time hanging out with her, doing girlie things and just staring at her perfect little face?!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I’m not sure if Eva likes her new dressing table @presentcompanyskerries … (she loves it!) #shoplocal #localbusiness #supportlocal

A post shared by Sharyn Hayden (@sharynhayden) on

Of course not, so I did what any normal parent would do – freaked the f*ck out, tossed and turned with mammy guilt and anguish, pondered all of my options and.. cut her pre-school hours in half to spend more time with her.

Now, instead of collecting her at 3pm every day, I cram as much work as I possibly can into a 3.5 hour morning and get her just after noon.

And we’ve been having A BALL. We’ve hit all the playgrounds and cafes in our local area, we’ve snuck off to Smyths, we’ve done each others nails, we’ve danced to the Lego Movie 2 soundtrack (it’s actually brilliant) and I’ve stared at her perfect little face a LOT.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

What do you think @muamakeup_x – a makeup artist in the making? (I’m still trying to get the glitter off me today!!😃😂)

A post shared by Sharyn Hayden (@sharynhayden) on

The benefits of all of this to our relationship, I know, are endless, but on a personal level I’ve gotten so much more than I bargained out of it.

I’ve stopped for a minute. And I’ve realised a few things – for starters, I’ve bloody missed writing (so hurray! Here I am!!).

Then there was the stress I hadn’t realised I’d been carrying – and ignoring – for who knows how long. I went to the dentist with a sore tooth recently to be told that I was grinding my teeth so much in my sleep that I had essentially given myself a pain in my face (!). Slowing down with Eva has made me notice and deal with that.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

This little lady is always treated like a VIP at @blowdrysandbigeyes ❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by Sharyn Hayden (@sharynhayden) on

My house is finally getting some attention! I had been mostly ignoring the mess and the clutter and the unfinished-ness of it all for the past two years. I don’t know why. I used to be extremely house proud and just sort of.. gave up.

From hanging out at home with Eva a bit more than I usually would, and seeing it through her eyes, I’m starting to love our home again. I mean, I’m not quite Ellen O’Keeffe level (love her) but I am really putting effort into it again. And it’s making me feel good.

 

I’ll be 42 this year and the more that I think about this ole thing called life, the more I battle with what my life should or shouldn’t be like, the things I feel I should or shouldn’t have achieved by now (constant annoying thought process), the more I realise that really, at the end of the day, I just want to be in front of the fire, dancing with my family to Everything is Awesome.

Because everything IS awesome, right here, right now xxx

Valium and the Summer Holidays..

I like the summer holidays. I do.

I like living by the beach – especially when we have summers like this one – because the age-old question in Ireland of ‘WTF am I going to do with them all summer?!’ is easily answered by packing everyone off to the seaside for a long, lazy day.

I like the ‘no school’ buzz – the NOT having to get so much done by 8.45am before battling the car parking and the wrestling with tired and uncooperative kids, bags and uniforms and F*CKING homework and reminders about fundraisers and half days and head lice alerts…

I like the casual drinking. The ‘sure we’re on summer holidays, aren’t we?’ as we chug spritzers at 3pm and ‘test’ new ciders because it’s an official summer drink.

We had the VIP treatment at Chapter One recently thanks to our friend Daniel who is the manager there!

I like the bra-and-shoeless-ness of it all – wearing vest tops and flip flops forever is my idea of absolute heaven.

I like getting into the garden finally – painting a few windowsills and popping a little flower pot on them that I will ultimately forget to water makes me feel like the house is somewhat in order. Yes, I am officially peak ole wan. I know you know that.

But. BUT! I would love the kid’s summer holidays so much more if I didn’t have other shit to do.

Like work. Like deal with my car and the NCT nonsense. Like make a doctor’s appointment. Like go see The Snapper at The Gate (ok I figured that one out – and it’s bloody brilliant!)

The 8 weeks off means that, unless you have the privilege of paying for childcare, summer camps or some helpful friends or family members around to give you a dig out… you literally have to put everything on hold until September.

At the moment, I’m doing most of my work when the kids are in bed or after Ass Monkey comes home from work. At 6 and 4, they are very cute and all but JESUS CHRIST they need so much attention.

I’m happy to give it to them. I’m happy to spend lazy days at the beach, swimming and eating sand-infused sandwiches.

I’m happy to have breakfast in the treehouse and snooze together in the hammock.

I’m happy to kick footballs around the green and go for long walks in the woods.

I know theses are the memories that my kids will carry with them forever.

But we could have done all that in about one month, couldn’t we?! There’s no way I can get my hands on enough valium to last me another 4 weeks… ;o)

What To Do When Your Kid Gets Lego Stuck Up Their Nose

Yes, this is a real post and yes, this 100% happened yesterday.

As if getting our little darlings back to school wasn’t excitement enough, Eva approached me as I sat on the couch yesterday evening after dinner, with just a tiny bit of trepidation.

“Mam, I just wanna tell you something. I just sort of didn’t mean to do it but I just sorta accidentally stuck some Lego up my nose and I can’t get it back out with my finger”

And there she was, my beautiful 3-year-old, in her flower girl dress she insisted on putting on after school, trying to stick her chubby finger up that nostril and ultimately, make things worse.

Step 1: Internal Panic. Ass Monkey is working late for all of January because he has a RIDIC number of restaurant fit-outs. Mam and Dad are at a funeral all day. If you have to go to the hospital to get this thing professionally removed – YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN, goddamnit.

Step 2: External Calm. Reassure lovely daughter that everything is fine. Enquire as to the shape of the Lego piece. “Roundy”, says she. Well, that’s either a blessing or a curse. Time will tell.

Step 3: Sub It Out. Enlist the help of Big Brother Jacob. “Could you perhaps chuck the dogs out into the back garden please?” I nod knowingly at him, like it’s a big important job. (Mostly it’s because the new puppy just LOVES to jump all over Eva and distract her and I needed him out of the jaysus scene).

Step 4: Light Up. No, not a smoke, we haven’t gone that far into panic mode yet. Get lovely daughter up onto the kitchen counter so we can get a good look up that shnozz in the bright light. No sign of the Lego piece. Balls.

Step 5: Go Oprah On It. Soothingly reassure your worried maggot that everything is fine and get them to stop sniffing up OR sticking their finger back up there, which is all she wanted to do.

Step 6: Check Your Biology. This is honestly what was going through my head; “If she sniffs it all the way up, will it go into her brain? Or is that what happens if you stick a lead pencil up your nose and you whack your head off the table in school? Oh no, that’s it. The lead pencil. So if she sniffs it up will it come down and out of her mouth? WHY DIDN’T I PAY ATTENTION IN SCHOOL???”

Step 7: Breathe. Together, Eva and I practiced sniffing down instead of up, all the while watching Jacob struggling to get the two dogs out the back door (which never happened) until finally, happily, a tiny green ’roundy’ piece of Lego dropped from her nose and into the lap of her princess dress.

“Why did you put it into your nose?” I (still calmly, I was so relieved) asked her.

“Because I was holding it and I needed my hands and I had to put it somewhere” was her reply.

OBVIOUSLY, like.

Step 8: Fuck all the Lego out of the house.

Confession: 20 Things I Completely F*cked Up in 2017

I am generally a pretty positive person, but with a healthy dose of self-awareness.

It’s great to have platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter et al to filter messages about our lives and the way we would like for it to be portrayed.

But what’s really going on? Are our kids always smiling, standing by the front door in their best clothes ready to leave the house on time? (Are they fuck). Are our career choices always on the mark? Are our relationships perfect? Are we HASHTAG BLESSED 24/7?

I know I’m not, so here’s a look back at all the shit I definitely fucked up in 2017:

  1. The Downers: I was so flipping depressed last January, when our wedding was over and my head was no longer filled with lists and busyness. I was surly, lethargic and bored. And really, I should have done more to get out of that funk rather than let it fester right into February and rule my emotions. This Jan, I’m keeping an eye on my moods.
  2. The Business: Ass Monkey and I opened Skinny Batch in May and we were SO underprepared. We didn’t put enough time into planning out something that had, in reality, been a dream of ours for so long. Next time.. I’m doing more homework.
  3. The Health: I was diagnosed with a form of colitis around the same time we opened Skinny Batch and I have done precisely nothing but avoid the issue. It’s childish and irresponsible and I’m sure has only served to make the matter worse. This year.. I’m taking my meds.
  4. The Skin: My psoriasis has been off the charts in the past 12 months (since I got married, wha?). There are things I should be doing; seeing a dermatologist, not drinking, de-stressing, eating better, sorting out the colitis which I’m sure is related.. this year will be ALL about the appointments.
  5. The Kids: The kids are ok. We spend a lot of time together and they are happy. But I’ve realised that I don’t get them outdoors as much as I should, and I don’t plan adventurous day trips the way I used to.. this year we’re getting the wellies back out.
  6. The Relationships: It’s hard to maintain all the relationships that you care about when you open a new business. I was lucky to get away for friend’s 40ths this year and have some fun days out with each other’s families, but other than that my free time has been spent asleep (there has been much crawling into bed with the kids at 8.30pm and being gone for the night) or scrambling around, trying to stay on top of the admin for the shop. This year.. time management.
  7. The Hubby: We need more quality time, stat. Last year we said we’d go on a date a month in 2017 and we definitely failed at that.
  8. The Smoking: How did that even happen?
  9. The Family Time: We need to get Sunday Lunches with friends and family at our house back on.
  10. The Technology: My phone has been broken since November and I haven’t bothered to deal with it in any way. Also, I’m thinking about downloading Snapchat (you can talk me out of this at any stage)
  11. The Travel: We need to see more of this country, and the world. When did my hometown of Rush get so.. comfortable?
  12. The Social Awareness: I am as mad as the next woman about all that has been going on in our country and worldwide but I haven’t been shouting as much as I should be about it. This year.. more shouting.
  13. The Art: I’ve been missing performing, and writing and making videos. This blog post is likely one of about.. 6? this year. BOO TO THAT.
  14. The Craic: Less seriousness and more craic needed. Crank that shit up.
  15. The Dreams: Ass Monkey and I have lots of great ideas and never seem to get around to putting them into place. Or it takes years. We have one big dream that I am going to REALLY look into this year. It involves wellies and muck. You’ll be the first to know.
  16. The Reading: I have 8 half-read books on the go. Brutal. The amount of reading I do is of course directly proportional to the amount of baths I take so.. more baths please!
  17. The Community: I am really proud of where we live and the community who live in it. But there is so much lacking from an environmental and services perspective and I’m so guilty of being one of those people who stands around, complaining, and doing nothing about it. So this year.. less talk and more action.
  18. The Negativity: How easy it is to be drawn into negative thinking and talking and vibes. I’m getting my Wonder Woman wrist shields on and bouncing that shit away from me from now on.
  19. The Future-proofing: Jesus I need to care more about the planet and environment than I do. I couldn’t even BEGIN to tell you what really goes into the green bin..
  20. The Love: I have lots of love for everyone but I need to show it more. Even when I’m stressed out. Even when I’m tired. Even when I might not be feeling it coming my way. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love yourself. Love your family. Love your friends. Tell them all, every day.

I love you. Happy 2018 xxx

Mara and Me – A Mother’s Story

On Halloween morning 2015, my childhood friend Melissa woke up to what would be a living nightmare.

Her daughter Mara, then 4, blonde haired and blue eyed and delicate in that most beautiful of little girl ways, had developed a huge lump on her neck, literally overnight.

“She wasn’t sick”, Melissa told me over a recent coffee (one that we held hands and mostly cried during).

“In hindsight, there were little things; night sweats, a runny nose, a cough – all the normal things that children get. Nothing that we were worried about”.

The journey from parental concern for Mara to full diagnosis of Hodgkins Lymphoma is rife with those all-too-typically-Irish-medical-system stories – under-diagnoses, misdiagnoses, it isn’t cancer, it is cancer, she won’t need chemotherapy, she will…

I personally knew very little about Hodgkins Lymphoma except that when Jacob started school in September last year, there was a little girl with a ‘Freddie’ in her arm because she was having chemotherapy.

Look how beautiful she is!

You burst into tears when you hear this, about this child who didn’t have cancer 11 months previously, your friend’s baby girl, the baby girl who is the same age as your baby boy…

Melissa tells me that it is the most treatable of the childhood cancers, the survival rate is higher than others but the chance that it might re-present within 5 years is also quite high.

Horribly, St. John’s Ward in Crumlin Children’s Hospital lost other children while Mara was a patient there, but our little hero Mara came through to the other side.

My friend burst into tears as she recalled how she and her husband Alex would have to help the medical staff hold Mara’s tiny body down to receive her chemotherapy, an image that I will never forget for her.

She tells me about Aoibheann’s Pink Tie. They were a huge support to Melissa and her family at the beginning – they gave them ‘Chemo Duck’ to help explain the process of chemotherapy to Mara (he has a Freddy too), as well as providing sound practical support when they needed it the most.

Mara and ‘Chemo Duck’!

My Jacob is a little bit in love with Mara, the now 6-year-old girl who no longer has a Freddie in her arm and who was aptly awarded Junior Infant Student of the Year at the primary school that they attend.

Yep, we all bawled then too..

In fact, all of the kids are quite in love with her. Even while she was still having treatment, she insisted on writing out and colouring individual Valentine’s Day cards for each of the kids in her class last February.

My heart.

Melissa and Alex are looking forward to a clear scan at Mara’s next appointment this month but are still processing all that they have had to deal with in the last 2 years.

Besides managing Mara’s illness and treatment, they also have two younger children to take care of. So not only were Melissa and Alec feeling miserable about Mara being unwell, they also had that all-too-familiar parent guilt that they weren’t giving the other kids enough attention.

Can you imagine?

“I’m still so angry”, my gorgeous, and very placid friend Melissa, tells me. “Why us?”

**If you are worried about any aspect of your child’s health, seek advice from your GP immediately. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, seek a second opinion. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month each year but let’s always think of, and support, those families who are struggling. Melissa tells me that the nicest things that people did were the simple ones – dropping over a dinner, cutting the grass, popping in to say hi.

Take care of each other x**

 

We’re Not Feelin Ya, Ophelia

“Well..did you survive the night?!!”

That’s all we are hearing this week in the wake of Mz Ex-Hurricane Ophelia who hit the south west coast of Ireland with the MAJOR rages on Monday morning.

Us Irish, as usual, had been fairly chillaxed about it’s arrival.

Except me. I’d been flinging garden furniture and toys into the shed since Friday afternoon (thanks to my trusted bringer-of-all-the-weather-updates – Twitter – but by Saturday night at dinner, most of my fellow diners hadn’t even heard that a hurricane was about to hit.

And I thought I was the one who generally had my head up my ass.

Am I Hurricane Prepping? What made you ask me that?! 👻

A post shared by Sharyn Hayden (@sharynhayden) on

By Sunday evening, as soon as we all knew that the kids were getting the day off school, we were taking that shit seriously.

“The WHOLE day?”, cried we. “Sher it’s not even SNOWING!!”

Kids strapped to the crafts table, X-box, games board and hunkered down in forts, we braced ourselves for the inevitable cabin fever that comes from having to entertain our kids all day when the weather isn’t playing ball.

Hurricane Prep Step #1: Build a Fort 👍🏻

A post shared by Sharyn Hayden (@sharynhayden) on

That we can deal with – but throwing our PARTNERS into the mix? Ass Monkey was off and house-bound with us for at least 7 hours.

That’s just damn torture.

(Hope you all ARE ok after Ophelia. I know that lots of people are without power around the country and homes and businesses have been damaged. Thinking of you all x)

The 12 Stages Of Going C(gl)amping With the Kids

If you think I was built to camp, you can think again.

But since the summer hols are no longer anything to do with me (thank you, parenting), I conceded to 4 nights glamping in a lodge at Hidden Valley in Wicklow.

I didn’t regret it. Well, I did. But not for the reasons I expected.

Here are my 12 Stages Of Going C(gl)amping With the Kids:

  1. Smug Parent-ness. How smug was I when I made the reservation – finally, a decent parenting move; a holiday that was really fuck-all to do with my needs and all about giving the kids something to look forward to at the end of the summer break and that would create memories to last a lifetime. Go, me.
  2. Confusion. So we’re camping but we’re not camping. What do we need? Where do we eat? Hidden Valley say they have cooking facilities so I probably don’t need to do anything. Just give Ass Monkey the info and wait for him to feed us, as usual.
  3. Packing. Packing for clamping is much nicer than packing for a flight. Warm blankets, wellies, flip flops, marshmallows, downloaded movies and, most happily, BEER. You can’t bring beers on a flight, you know.
  4. Panic. You have no sleeping bags because you’ve never been camping before, you dope. Also, Ass Monkey has been so sick for the last few days you are considering having him hospitalised.  Which is a huge convenience since you have no idea how to cook for the kids over a camp fire. Thankfully, you’re not expected to pitch a tent.
  5. Cleaning. Why is there always so much cleaning to do when you leave the house for more than a minute? Also, why is Ass Monkey always threatening to be hospitalised when there is so much cleaning to be done?
  6. Relief. You’ve picked up sleeping bags from Argos and you’re on the road, entire family intact. First thing kids want to do when they get there is ‘get into the swimming pool’. Errr…
  7. Excitement. We’ve arrived. The sun is shining, the lodge is cool, the staff are beyond nice. We check out all of the activities and the kids go bananas for the playgrounds, climbing frames and slides. They also spend a ridic amount of time throwing stones into the lazy river, delirious with happiness. It’s the little things..
  8. Shame. You realise that you’re the worst glampers ever. You don’t have any BBQ utensils, plates, knives, lighters or, most importantly, wine glasses. HOW DID YOU FORGET WINE GLASSES, YOU FOOL?! (Side Note: Ass Monkey needs a commis chef/PA)
  9. Wasps. An official stage of being outdoors. The fuckers.
  10. Rain. The rain pelted down on two nights of our stay and I was never happier for our little lodge with it’s little plug sockets so that we could watch movies on the laptop with the kids. And so that I could fill my hot water bottle. Yes, I managed to pack that but not wine glasses. Yes, I am a granny. Yes, thank you.
  11. Washing. Ourselves, the car, the blankets, the thousands of socks, the wellies – everything and everyone are filthy after 4 days and nights in the outdoors. We had epic walks in forests with rivers running through it, rammed each other gleefully on bumper boats, waded in the river in search of fish, visited baby animals at Tinahealy Farm, stayed up late toasting marshmallows and drinking hot whiskeys, bounced on bungies, ran in water balls, played crazy golf.. the dirt was actually worth it.
  12. Happiness. It was a great trip, the kids had a ball, we’re totally relaxed on the back of it. My only regret? That we didn’t go sooner.

So we’re moving to Wicklow. See yiz later 😘😜

A post shared by Sharyn Hayden (@raisingireland) on