Quite a surprising thing happened to me on Tuesday in the early afternoon. An email zipped into my inbox from the organisers of the Realex Web Awards, dropping the bombshell that I was a finalist in the awards. I have to say, I wasn’t expecting this in the slightest and thought that my days of attending award ceremonies were over and done with for this year. But nope, not just yet. The Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards, two weeks ago, was great fun. I anticipated it with excitement and, I’ll admit, slight anxiety since it was my first Blogger event and as a finalist no less. Papa Bear came along with me and we made a night of it, booking a hotel, revelling in the incredible acrobatics of the Circus and picking little miss up at 11am the next morning. This time, I wasn’t following the announcements for the Realex Web Awards and missed that I was a finalist. The Awards were thrown on me a day before the Ceremony. Yep, a day before! The event was last night, in Dublin’s Liberty Hall Theatre. Since it was all very last minute, juggling work, babysitters and life in general, I pretty much figured it was out of the question for me to attend. I had almost resigned myself to missing the night until Papa Bear encouraged me to go if I could get a date. A date? But of course, there was only one person to ask. I was absolutely delighted that my Mum was happy to be my arm candy for the night.
A year ago, a former Google Executive, Ellen Petry Leanse, wrote a piece on LinkedIn advising women to avoid using the word “just.” When I read Leanse’ article, I admit I initially felt a tinge of feminism wash over me. The words Woman and Permission and Passive jumped out from the screen with a hand ready for a slap and I instantly took offence. I am by no means a feminist, but I will advocate for women’s rights if it is something I believe strongly in – Repeal the 8th – and stand up for my beliefs as regards to women in society. It’s not something you can run away from being a woman and a mother raising a strong and determined daughter. Leanse’ opinion on women’s overuse of such a simple word started to make sense to me the more I looked at how often I actually included it in my daily life. I’m just saying…
I’m 33 today! Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me. Until I became a mum, birthdays were the bees knees. I would count down to my birthday and always have something planned. I would do my level best to take the day off work and if I was lucky, head out somewhere for breakfast. But since becoming a mum birthdays have changed for me. They are no longer as important as they used to be. In saying that though, there are two birthdays that stand out to me. Two birthdays I hold all other birthday days against and compare them too.
I’m not talking about when you bring a newborn home and the world suddenly seems very big and very scary. Or when the weight of responsibility for a beautiful helpless human lies heavy on your shoulders. You feel so alone because you think you don’t know what you’re doing (when really you do!) I don’t mean when the excitement of the first few weeks dies down and suddenly friends and family visit less and the house is quiet and looms large with its multitude of tasks. And I’m not talking about the loneliness that comes with being somewhat isolated on maternity leave when you wish after the old norm of the daily grind which included adult conversation and hot cups of tea with colleagues.
Don’t Patronise Me. To look at me you may put me somewhere in my mid 20’s. Or younger, if you dare. Don’t treat me like a kid because you think I look young. Treat me like I deserve to be treated. Recently, I was buying a set of garden shears in Argos and was asked for ID. Yup, identification please! I was unaware that you had to be over 18 to purchase such a weapon of garden destruction. Now to set the scene, I had my two year old running around me and I was clearly quoting from the Mommy Bible “Put that back”, “Don’t touch that”, “Give that back to the lady”, and “No, wait until we get home”. At which point I gave her my car keys to play with which allowed me one second to hand over my credit card to this Argos assistant who was staring at the console, back to me, to the console and back to me again. A whole minute passes and she says:
I am 33 next month and still feel like a student. I dress like a student, living in skinny jeans and ankle boots. My khaki summer jacket wouldn’t be amiss in the college corridors, wisping through lecture room to coffee shop to library – oops no coffee in the library! I still wear my baggy jumpers, my KISS ARMY t-shirts – albeit these are confined to bedtime clothes most of the time – I am and always will be an indie girl at heart, and I frequently quote phrases from Friends. And I also have many insecurities.
Never underestimate the impact you have on those around you, whether good or bad. Believe it or not but a small gesture you may have made years before can have lasting implications on someone else’s mind, soul and life. Thank you for influencing my life
I grew up in what was considered at the time to be a town. Over the years that town with its friendly and welcoming mentality turned into a city. It was a neighbourhood that turned into a suburban metropolis. I love where I grew up but since becoming a mother I knew I didn’t want to live there anymore or raise our daughter there. Moving to the countryside was the best decision for us.
I like to think I’m prepared. Ready for anything that might come my way. I can fix it, make it better. All will be OK because I AM PREPARED. I feel like a walking textbook of DIY and home hacks. I should have a Lycra jumpsuit with a thunderbolt across the chest saying I Can Do It.