Archive of ‘Family’ category

The Worst Thing I Have Ever Done to My Kids. (Will They Forgive Me?)

changing schools picture of Prabs in black and white looking pensive

A few weeks ago, I was going to write about how May 2nd marked 21 years since one of the hardest and most significant events of my life: the day I moved back to London from Paris. Unfortunately, I never got round to writing the article because this May, another life-changing incident happened that has pretty much preoccupied my every thought and dominated most of my days.  My husband and I reached a decision which (like the one to leave Paris) is for good reasons…but is nonetheless heart breaking and involves the hardest goodbye. 

For some people reading this – especially those suffering intense trauma and hardship – my ‘sad life-altering’ event is just a precious first world problem… It’s probably one of those things you have to be a parent to understand too.


After 11 years at the same school, we are changing schools.

Yes I know! Nobody has died.  We haven’t lost the roof over our heads due to war or financial crisis. Nobody (touch wood) is suffering an awful illness. We haven’t had our lives devastated by a natural disaster or a terror attack.

Yet in the years that have passed since that fateful day in 1997, few things have impacted me or caused me as much heartache as the thought of my children (and er…me!) leaving the only school we’ve ever known and all that changing schools entails (even if, as I said, we feel we are making the right decision). We started in 2007 with a then three year old Musical M who is leaving (aged 14) as one of the ‘longest attending’ pupils. 11 years of school socials, plays, concerts, class presentations etc. We were almost a part of the furniture!

So I won’t pretend the last few weeks have been easy.

Realising ‘we’re really doing this’ –  looking at other schools and obtaining application forms (something I’ve not had to do since my 14 year old was 19 months old!) – sent my nervous system into shock.

As did this: Visiting a school that I just sobbed walking around, dealing with an archaic obstructive mentality that exists in certain school administrations, learning that certain schools teach specific subjects only in Maltese (a non starter for my kids), discovering that many schools (from both the government and the private system) set a COLOSSAL ten to twelve compulsory Matsec (Malta’s GCSE) exams in addition to the optional subjects, realising that some schools don’t offer art or design or music or drama at Matsec level and one school doesn’t teach geography or history at all!

The tears, they did flow.

Schools exist in all sorts of shapes, sizes, facilities, curriculum, teaching style and philosophy. State…private…grammar…international…a high scoring school that everyone’s desperate to get their kids into…or a jungle you wouldn’t send your worst enemy to…

changing schools Prabs looking to the side

Whatever the options available, there is no such thing as the perfect school. What you might see as a school’s best points might be my very reasons not to choose that school.

Were there things about our school I didn’t much like, that may possibly not be an issue after changing schools? Yep…

A preoccupation with encouraging Valentine’s Day and Prom celebrations in place of honouring World Book Day or culturally significant days, an inadequate language programme, increasingly expensive school events, modest facilities, a rather ‘relaxed’ health and safety approach in certain scenarios, a seemingly non-existent approach re teaching manners/enforcing a respect for authority and an inability/refusal to deal with bullying behaviour, which you may recall from that viral post I published last year.


But of course there were things I just loved. Things that made it so so very special. Things that I will sorely miss….

The cosy inviting feeling of the converted buildings and their wonderful historical significance.
The family/community spirit.
The nurturing, collaborative educational methods (at primary level).
The theme-based curriculum.
The EXCELLENT art programme and art festivals that used to leave me speechless with admiration.
The relaxed understanding attitude regarding absences and vacation time.
And the class sizes of 17 or so.
The list goes on.

My kids have been blissfully happy there for the most part.

changing schools picture of kids looking happy

So the more I researched alternative schools and
– heard stories of physical bullying
– spoke to friends who told me about teachers who simply don’t show up
– managed my children’s reactions and feelings
– got told by friends that changing schools will have a damaging effect on the eldest
– and discovered that two friends were pulling their kids out of the very school for which I’d applied only to be told by that school that we’re not in the right catchment area anyway (!),
I was a tad drained.


By the time I went to inform the Head of our current school of our decision, I thought I’d at least be able to get through the conversation in one piece, with no tears.

Wrong. Seriously, how were my tear ducts not exhausted?

Then there was this week’s Grade 8 drama show. The last time I’ll see my eldest sing at this lovely school. Once again she simply blew us all away with her strong moving solo. (No I’m not a stage mum. She’s got a great voice. Simple.)

As Musical M belted out the lyrics of This is Me, a song about self-empowerment and rising up against tormentors who try to drag you down, there were more tears. (I thank God for my enormous black Ralph Lauren’s without which my blubbing would have been totally exposed to everyone.)

The painful irony of M singing these lyrics, standing next to the very mean girls who’ve made her life a misery the last few years, was not lost on those people who know the situation.

How have the kids taken it?

M is very emotional about the move. And quite frankly terrified. Dreamy D (now 11) said “Mummy, it’s really hit me how I don’t want to leave my school”. M told me that Cheeky K (8yrs) burst into tears the other day about it all too.

Will I cry my eyes as we walk out the gates for the last time? No need for me to reply.

Will I lose sleep the night before they start at their new school, whereever that may be? No need for a reply.

Will I spend the long (even longer than we had in this current school) Maltese summer holidays staying strong for my kids? No reply needed.


BUT all three totally understand our reasons for and benefits of changing schools.

There hasn’t been one outburst or flash of anger or even plea to stay. Their reaction has filled me with pride.

I am convinced it will also do them good in so many ways.

They have spent years saying goodbye to at least two classmates at the end of each academic year. It’s the nature of the international school; students come and go all the time. It takes its toll. M has been heartbroken every single time a friend has left the island. This is their chance to make and hang on to more long term friends. And to be honest, 11 years for M and 8 for D is more than most students stay at this school! There are worse things in life.

As I finish this post in the small hours, before our last morning at this school, I feel strangely numb. There will continue to be many times when my heart is heavy but I also know there are several more reasons to have faith in our decision.

There are always reasons to be positive!

The earlier schoolday start and finish times sure as hell aren’t one of them though.

Fancy giving my kids a lift…?


A Brilliant Way to Actually Get. Your. Child. To. Sleep.

It’s That Time Again: The Time of Day You Have Come To Dread!

The time of day your home turns into a battlefield, filled with tears, tantrums, and finely tuned theatrics that make you wonder when exactly you morphed into the villain from a Disney film, and all for asking your children to get ready for bed.

Sound familiar at all?

If you currently struggle to get your kids into their pj’s and convince them that yes, they do need to brush their teeth before bed and that yes they do in fact need to sleep to avoid faceplanting with exhaustion into their breakfast the next morning, then the above scenario is likely quite familiar to you.

Having trouble persuading your children to get ready for bed is sometimes only half the battle. I haven’t even breached midnight snack requests, 3 am bedwetting, or The alarm isn’t for another 2 hours, go back to sleep, we are not playing trucks right now bedside visits.

Bottom line is: when your kids don’t sleep, YOU don’t sleep. Simple as that.

So, why do some people [she almost cried with relief at never having this problem herself]  encounter such resistance from their children when trying to put them to bed? And what can we do about it?


Common Culprits Behind Bedtime Tantrums

There are many reasons you could be experiencing difficulty at bedtime. Here are the most commonly cited ones:

  • Overstimulation (too much screen time)
  • Lack of bedtime routine
  • Separation anxiety
  • Frustration over lack of control
  • Nightmares
  • Allergies
  • Screens in the bedroom
  • Stress (yes, kids get stressed too!)

There are quite a few things you can do to ease the burden of nighttime tantrums. Be sure to set a bedtime that remains consistent. Centre a bedtime routine (washing the face, brushing teeth, etc.) around the established bedtime. Limit screen time leading up to bedtime. Read a story together in bed to encourage the relaxation response.


But What If You’ve Tried Everything Under The Moon To Encourage Your Kids To Go To Sleep And STAY Asleep?!

What if just can’t seem to make any of it less troublesome for everyone involved? Then why not consider this amazing way to actually Get. Your. Child. To. Sleep. 

Meditation! Bear with me… Yes, meditation can actually be adopted by children to great effect.

Meditation is growing in popularity around the world and for good reason. Its benefits are numerous and it can help alleviate the symptoms of many health conditions, including chronic pain, depression, and anxiety.  Now, you may be thinking:


“Isn’t Meditation a Little Too Much to Ask of a Child?!”

I hear you ask. (Believe me, I wondered the same myself at first)

I mean what child is going to willingly sit in the lotus position for 20 minutes with their eyes closed, humming a mantra? Actually, that question could have just stopped at ‘sit’!

  • Meditation is a field that’s unimaginably wide in scope.
  • It incorporates many different practices
  • There are meditation techniques for kids proven to be a very powerful tool for parents.

get your child to sleep sisters meditating together


So How Exactly Can Meditation Ease Bedtime Struggles?

A lot of children’s meditation involves the use of a tailored visualisation technique which takes advantage of children’s inclination towards vivid imagination. Given children’s natural energetic tendency making it hard for them to sit still for a given period, the visualisation technique provides a ‘diversionary’ tactic that encourages them to use their imaginations to decompress and relax.  The child sees this as fun rather than focussing on the silent aspect of meditation.


Here is one effective visualisation meditation technique particularly suited to young children.

Floating Balloons Meditation for Kids

  1. Have your child get comfortable, ideally lying down in bed.
  2. Ask them to close their eyes, and place their hand on their belly.
  3. Now, have them take a deep breath, and focus on expanding their belly like a balloon.
  4. Tell them to fill their ‘belly balloon’ with air, then release the balloon through their mouth with a gentle whoosh.
  5. Now, have your child imagine their favourite movie character or superhero. Tell your child that you’re going to play a game with this character. The game will involve collecting enough balloons so that their favorite character will be able to float all the way to the moon
  6. In order to collect balloons for this game, your child will need to fill each belly balloon with a deep breath, and also, will need to add one thing to the belly balloon that is worrying them.
  7. Have you child fill up their belly balloon while thinking of something that’s bothering them. Then, explain that as they breathe out and release their balloon into the air, the problem that’s troubling them is now captured within the balloon.
  8. See how many belly balloons your child can fill. There must be at least a few in order to send their favorite character flying high!


You Can Also Employ The Use Of Guided Meditations, Something You Can Follow Alongside Your Children As You Prepare For Sleep.

I actually did this with my kids years ago, taking my inspiration from a yoga teacher I once had and they absolutely loved it! It worked time-wise as all three were in the same room. Sadly, now as a busy mum who has to get back on the blog after the kitchen clear-up and kids’ bedtime, I don’t make time for it now they are in three separate rooms. It’s something I really would like to get back to because


Guided meditation also has the additional benefit of creating a calm effect on the parent, instilling some peace into what can often be a hectic evening routine in the household.

This visualisation technique, along with many others you can find available online, are wonderful tools for encouraging relaxation before bed. Learn more about meditation for kids to incorporate some fantastic visualisation exercises and meditation techniques to your nightly bedtime routine.

Who knows? Perhaps you will benefit from these nightly meditation exercises too!

Collaborative Post



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Thanks Muchly!


Golub, Erica. “A Bedtime Meditation For Kids So Good You’ll Do It Too.” Mind Body Green.

Hardy, Rebecca. “Zen and the art of bedtime: How we turned to meditation to stop the children’s evening tantrums.” Independent.

“Slideshow: Top Reasons Your Child Can’t Sleep, Including You.” Web MD.

Stephens, Betsy. “Solution for Kids’ Sleep Problems.” Parents.







They’re Back to School and I’m Back to the Blog (with an apology!)

Prabs in the car with the kids back to school post

Once upon a time, a mummy blogger (who nearly punched herself in the face typing that stupid phrase because she’s pretty sure nobody says ‘mummy graphic designer’ or ‘mummy pharmacist’) sat down to write the obligatory back to school 2017 post.

She was several days late (because truth be told, she was a bit of a rubbish mummy blogger).

Anyway, throughout the blogdom, she’d seen post after post from ‘mummy bloggers’ (aaarrrggh) revealing their desperation at having to endure six long weeks of school holidays with their kids.

And judging by the number of witty back to school 2017 memes bandied about on social media, she had the nagging feeling she should be instagramming suitably hilarious photos of herself cracking open bubbles, practically crying with relief, just metres away from the school gates on the first day of school. You know, photos peppered with hashtags such as #TFFT #YayISurvived #StillSmiling #WheresTheVodka for maximum effect.


In fact, as this snarky woman originally launched her blog to confess her numerous failings as a mother, SURELY it was her duty to write something about feeling sheer glee at them going back to school after their own 10 weeks off?

After all, wasn’t this the mummy blogger (screaming inside my own brain now) who liked to share humorous anecdotes about the challenges of parenthood and essential coping mechanisms such as these wines specifically for parents?

Surely, she should admit she couldn’t take One. More. Day. of their bloody bickering?

Surely she was totally over reminding them to clear their frickin’ plates away after e-v-e-r-y snack and meal?

Surely her brain was fried at them constantly forgetting the few Summer holiday chores they had been set?

Surely she was fed up to the back teeth of their requests to watch yet another film followed swiftly by their total inability to then agree on something to watch?

Surely she was beyond irritation at finding the iPad battery was down to 2% because some little bugger hadn’t charged it after watching the damned film they’d had finally agreed on (and by ‘they’ I mean two out of the three kids)?

Surely her eyes hurt from rolling over how someone always managed to empty half a bottle of sun cream onto just one arm, leaving the rest of their body (and leaving the rest of us without enough sun cream).

Surely they had run out of beaches to visit and had had enough chlorine and seasalt in their hair to last a lifetime?

Surely she was ready to explode if she had to spend one. More. Day. with a teen who would rather draw her last breath getting the last word in?

And surely maybe, maybe surely, she had spat out venomously one too many times how she couldn’t wait for them to go back to school? (Shocker.)


However, dear reader, when it came down to writing a deliriously happy back to school post, this mummy blogger discovered something profound.

She. Could. Not. Do. it. She couldn’t bring herself to say she was thrilled about them being back at school.


Was it because she had — HOLD THE FRONT PAGE – actually enjoyed the company of her three musketeers?


They’re back at school and their mum is (cringe alert) scrolling through the Summer 2017 photos with a bit of a heavy heart. This is one of my faves…a retake of a photo first taken 3 years ago (minus Musical M that time) on this exact spot at Xlendi Bay, Gozo. Wonder whether we’ll manage take 3 in 2020! – – – – – #mykidsmylife #rememberingthesedays #cameramama #documentyourdays #pbloggers #thisismotherhood #myfamilymylife #makingmemories❤️ #raisinghappykids #myhappycapture #thisisfamily #mblogger #thismamaloves #findingjoyinthelittlemoments #absolutelyprabulous #childhoodunplugged #theglassisalwaysfull #happykidshappylife #findingjoyeveryday #thisiswhatitsallabout #maltabloggers #coolmumclub #pinklinker #Gozo #thisismalta #islandlife #summerfun2017

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Was it because they had actually enjoyed EACH OTHERS’  company? Seriously, do siblings like this exist?


No I won’t tell you about the telling off they got in the car as we were boarding the ferry cos they were making so much noise mucking about. I’m not going to tell you about the first evening in Gozo where they just kept bickering. Let’s just sit here a few minutes and pretend our kids get on ALL the time!😁 – – – – #mykidsmylife #myhappycapture #happychildren #rememberingthesedays #cameramama #documentyourdays #pbloggers #thisismotherhood #myfamilymylife #makingmemories❤️ #raisinghappykids #myhappycapture #thisisfamily #happylittlebuttons #mblogger #thisisparenthood #findingjoyinthelittlemoments #absolutelyprabulous #theimportantstuff #siblinglovin #brothersandsisters #childhoodunplugged #theglassisalwaysfull #happykidshappylife #findingjoyeveryday #thisiswhatitsallabout #maltabloggers

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Was it because it had been total HEAVEN seeing the laundry mountain halved

by the  Maltese #TooHotForClothes summer heat and she couldn’t face the looming heavier Autumn clothing that the kids would wear for exactly 90 minutes before chucking it in the laundry hamper?

As if we’re not already up to our ears in tech problems in this house (my Mac battery is on its last legs, hubby’s laptop needs replacing, the printer hasn’t worked in years, all our mobiles are playing up, my wordpress site is giving me hell, the eldest cocked up a newly repaired Vaio etc) I find THIS in the washing machine when I was just putting a load on. MY BLOG USB. Wedged in the bottom when I found it (moved it to show you tho). No idea how long it’s been in there. FML. Goodbye yet another USB with important files. You may no longer be any bloody use whatsoever but at least your clean. #mbloggers #domesticdisaster #technology #technightmares #modernliving #housewifeproblems #accidentalhousewife #lifeofamum #lifewithkids #fml #housewifefail #oops #familylife #mumsofinstagram #instamum #instakids

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Ha! If THOSE were the reasons she couldn’t write a ‘thank God they’ve gone back to school’ post, then that would make this ‘mummy blogger’ (seriously just punch me) actually sound like a calm earth mother!

That would never do.

She’d be a sham of an ‘honest tell it like it is’ mum blogger!  Her followers may feel let down. They’d demand their money back (ok overstretching the metaphors here but you get me).

No the actual reason she was not cracking open the champagne by the gates or writing a joyous back to school confessional was because she knew what was to come. 

I mean, who in their right minds would look forward to this?!

  • Trying to think of lunchbox options that don’t contain pasta or sandwiches every flipping day. Lunches they actually eat.
  • The calm dulcet tones of her husband in the morning [sarcasm] barking orders and frog-marching everyone out of the house (including her)
  • Stomach-churn nervousness over whether her kids would be in the same class as their chosen friends or stuck in perpetual hell with their class tormentor
  • Having to sign the pointless code of conduct form for an 11th year in a row.
  • Spending the first month at school at countless meetings, meet the teacher, meet the directors, parent café, social events X 3 (you know that feeling where you think maybe you had too many kids?)
  • Weeping at paying out for ballsports, swim classes, gymnastics etc, so her kids supposedly develop Olympian hand-eye coordination, aquatic skills and agililty……but really so they don’t panic when someone throws them keys or drown in a puddle or do their back in bending down aged 30 to pick up a bunch of keys (that land on the floor when they dodge them because they can’t catch because they never did a ballsport…see!)
  • Figuring out how to actually make these activities all happen when there are three kids in different places at overlapping times, one of me, seven days in a week and one car (yes I know that stupid orange-faced manchild doesn’t believe in climate change but I do)
  • Homework. Homework. Homework.
  • Leaving her wallet permanently open for the entire month of September, October, November for back to school stationery, birthday parties, activities signups, mid term play, two of her own kids’ birthdays. (You know that feeling where you think maybe you had too many kids?)
  • And then there’s Christmas.
  • Making sure the house is clean and tidy, keeping the kitchen fully stocked and trying to relocate her cooking mojo, tending to the mounting household projects, taking care of her own attempts to exercise regularly and…



To cap it all…she couldn’t put it off any longer…

It was time to go back to the blog.

Because, rather inconveniently, it wouldn’t run itself.

And she had NO idea how she was going to manage the kids, the house, the blog (the writing, the social media, the income side) and the everything. And she definitely had NO idea how others managed it.

Prabs lying on grass in despair back to school 2017


So please bear with this mummy blogger (final groan) while she tries to relocate her blog brain.

It went on summer holiday without her permission and she doesn’t know where it’s gone. And she needs to work out which direction she wants to take her blog in too!

She sends you her sincere apology!


I really did enjoy my kids this Summer and genuinely had a heavy heart coming back home after the first morning drop-off. Opening the door to a quiet house without my three musketeers felt too lonely. Just don’t tell anyone I said that.

Dear Papa

dear papa fathers day message title image

Dear Papa, Mama is not an organised blogger. At. All. After realising that she hadn’t written anything for Father’s Day (and that the only time she’s written something for it was two years ago), she quickly ‘bashed something out’ (her words) and asked us to contribute. Apparently, this isn’t as bad as Mother’s Day this year where she only wrote something after the day had been and gone. (Are you sure she is even a ‘mummy blogger’?)
Mummy is now giving us ‘the look’ because apparently we’re being rude and asking too many questions (and she’s muttering something about being a blogger who just happens to be a mother, whatever that means) so we’d better stop talking about her and just deliver our message for this Father’s Day.


Dear Papa, I love it when when you come to pick us up from school because Mummy’s working from home. #LoveSurprises

I hate it when you have to go back to the office after dropping us off. #HeartSinks

Dear Papa, I love it when you do that hilarious dance in the kitchen, the one that Mummy ALWAYS manages to miss but tells us she’s seen a hundred times. #RoomFullOfJoy

I hate how we get told off for interrupting while you’re talking when you interrupt us too. #NotFair

Dear Papa, I love it when you come home early twice a week or on the odd odd occasion when you come to meet us when we’re out and about with Mama. [Dreamy D]

I hate that you don’t take us (apart from the occasional baseball match) to any of our  activities. #WeOnlyGetOneChildhood

father's day message Hubster and MDK

Dear Papa, I love how you never give up on anything.

I feel sad that you work such long hours even though Mummy has explained it many times to us #KidsDontUnderstand

Dear Papa I love it when you make Mummy laugh and she pretends she doesn’t find you funny but cracks up a few seconds later.

I hate it when you and Mama fight but also know it doesn’t mean our family unit isn’t strong and you both usually get over it quickly instead of letting it become a problem. #RelationshipLessonsIDontEvenKnowImLearning

father's day message family shot

I love that you are so supportive of my musical ambitions, school life and general decisions. I don’t like how you don’t do any sports or have any shared hobbies with us. [Musical M.]

Dear Papa, I love your commitment and how you work so hard to provide for your family.

I feel bad that you recently admitted your biggest fear is not doing enough for us. #DontFeelScaredPapa

Dear Papa, I love that you don’t get wound up (well not as much as Mummy anyway) every time we lose or break something.

I hate it when you bark at us in the mornings when everyone’s being good getting ready for school and we just can’t work out what we’ve done wrong.

Dear Papa, I love how we get to have a childhood.

I just wish you could remember your own. #CanWeMakeAgeJokesNow

father's day message family shot

Dear Papa, I love your stories from years ago about you hanging out with Prince Albert in Monaco, having dinner with Kylie Minogue and getting Lionel Ritchie to play a song in a London hotel.

I hate that you can barely remember the stories I’ve told you recently!

Dear Papa, I love family movie time. #NeverTooOldForSofaSnuggles

I hate how you insist we don’t utter a word when we’re watching a film and then provoke us into talking (!) before falling asleep. #EveryTime

father's day message family shot

Dear Papa, I love that you say sorry and hug me if you accidentally hurt me when you play with me. [Cheeky K]

I hate it when I hurt myself and you ask if the furniture is alright first #ProvokerJoker

Dear Papa, I love our precious weekend family dinner night.

I hate it when we’re on our best behaviour at a restaurant but still get told off for just getting up for a few seconds or talking loudly when we’re not. #WhatIsThatAbout

Dear Papa, I love that you and Mama are still together, when so many parents aren’t…

…and that we’ll all be spending Father’s Day together when so many families won’t be.

And there is absolutely nothing to hate about that.

MDK xoxo

father's day message kids at ghan tuffieha

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title image for thirteenth birthday post me and M aged 5

So a year has passed since your 12th birthday, Musical M. I wanted more than anything to write a ‘light’ post for your thirteenth birthday, It’s the least you deserve my gorgeous spirited friendly kind-hearted girl.

As I did for your tenth irthday and previous birthday I sit here attempting to write something in your honour.  But today has been oh so hard. They say it’s therapy to write when you are suffering, when all is not well in the heart. I’m not sure this post will be therapeutic. I’m not even sure it is a good idea me writing it. You could (and in fact do) read my blog.  But as I sit here with my brain absolutely fried and my stomach clenched, I realise I’ve barely drawn a full relaxed breath for hours, days…weeks… Writing a light carefree post may not be an option.

If I’m honest, I had already been feeling tense most of this week, wondering if you will even have a handful of friends at your party; it’s been ridiculously hard just getting a straight answer from some people and several are unable to make it. I can’t help wondering if your father’s suggestion of the usual cinema and sleepover idea was a better option after all.

post for M's thirteenth birthday M on mummy'chest

I wanted more than anything to write a carefree post for your thirteenth birthday. But then I had a shock this afternoon

during a meeting in which it was recommended pyschological tests are finally conducted to see why you struggle so much with focus at school. Of course I know, from knowing many children over the years, reading many blogs and having several friends who are teachers, that whatever comes up during the tests should not be seen as a stigma. But the co-ordinator’s initial opinions and diagnosis were like a punch in the gut.  How could I NOT have spotted it all these years?! So much about our family life and your character makes sense now. I SHOULD have spotted it. I’m your mother. It’s my duty to get my shit together and figure stuff like this out for God’s sake; there have been SO many signs! The tip of the knife blade pricked my heart.

Let’s add to the mix this evening’s bitter unexpected disappointment of a ‘close friend’ bailing on Saturday’s party. The knife makes an actual cut.  You were clearly upset and I didn’t handle my bewilderment over the fickleness of your friends well at all…as if me erupting about minimum numbers and money already paid out is your fault or in any way remotely beneficial to your already low self-esteem. Now you feel that knife, poor child.

post for M's thirteenth birthday M 6 months old


I wanted more than anything to write a humorous post for your thirteenth birthday. But the long conversation we had at bedtime and the further chat I had with your father has left me drained and agonised, unable to will the funny from fingers to keyboard.

What mother wants their child to go to bed crying, pouring their heart out about how miserable they are at school, how they see themselves and so on? What parent wants to sit on the edge of their child’s bed, stroking their hair, painfully aware of eyes swollen from crying and a voice thick with loneliness and suffering?

As you questioned  why so many people at school get satisfaction from treating others badly, I was both heartbroken over your total bewilderment and defeat yet strangely proud of your intelligence and maturity and determined refusal to treat people the same way.

post for M's thirteen th birthday M 5 years old summer dress cute!

You’ll never get why they do it my love because for all your faults (and you have several as you are my child after all) you just don’t have that mean switch in you. You never have (yes you are looking puzzled right now because I have accused you of meanness several times but mama now admits that sibling arguments don’t count!).

You are many things but mean just isn’t one of them. I’ve seen you include the new person as you hate for anyone to feel left out. I’ve read the school reports that conclude you are a giving  gregarious soul who lights up the room with her warmth and humour. I’ve witnessed your incredible kindness when a friend has been going through personal strife.  What a tragic shame your peers meanwhile have you totally doubting yourself making you feel – indeed calling you – weird. It doesn’t matter how many times I remind you of one of those life lessons I wrote for you and your siblings, the one that explains how a person’s mistreatment of you is usually a reflection of how they feel about themselves and not down to anything about you.

How can I expect those mantras to actually make a difference to you between the hours of 8,35am and 3.20pm each school day?

I just don’t know how to help you as I struggled at school and if truth be told all my life. This is the worst nightmare, reliving my own pain buried from decades before and feeling my child’s pain too. Double the agony.

Life was so much simpler when you were a babe in our arms. As a blogger I read post after post from newer parents who are (understandably) frustrated and broken over not being able to comfort or help their young child who can’t yet express what they need.  Give me those tough baby years back. They were actually easier than this…this stomach-churning terrifying entrance to the ‘parenting of a teen’ years. The only positive is that you at least feel you can talk to your mum; and we do loads. And yet my darling Musical M,

When you were barely able to speak, I actually could help you. Now, when you are so totally able to articulate your pain, I am so totally unable to take it away.

post for M's thirteenth birthday M as a baby lying on changing mat with daddy hugging her


I wanted more than anything to write a positive post for your thirteenth birthday. But tonight, during that long conversation (in which I was so relieved that you opened up to me), you dropped a bombshell.

It was the bombshell no parent ever wants to hear.

Blindsided. Powerless. UTTERLY helpless. I sit here wondering if I’ve had a part to play in this. ‘Wondering’ she says…

And just like that you turning 13 is no longer about who comes on Saturday.

Bam! You turning 13  is no longer about whether I’ve chosen your gifts well.

In a heartbeat, you turning 13 years old has gone from the excitement of you becoming a teenager…to us somehow making sure that we get you, our beloved first born child, to your 14th birthday unscathed and intact. But I have zero idea of how to make that happen.

post for M's thirteen th birthday pretty pic face on to camera at restaurant

And now the tears are coming.

I wanted more than anything to write the perfect thirteenth birthday message. It’s the least you deserve my gorgeous spirited friendly kind-hearted girl.

I am so very sorry I couldn’t.



M's thirteenth birthday mummy and daughter selfie

Just click on this THIS LINK and fill in boxes 1, 2 and 13. 
Super quick and easy!
(Voting closes July 2nd.)
Thanks muchly!

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#IAmMama (The Late Late Mother’s Day Post)


So it was Mother’s Day in the UK/Ireland last weekend. Translation, one of the days in the year the run up to which sees the parent blogosphere going mad getting busy with

Mothering Sunday competitions and posts about parenthood and how much they love their kids. Now, whilst I ran a giveaway myself, it dawned on me that I hadn’t even thought to write something about motherhood/my kids! No joke. What a muppet! In fact, you’d think contributing to this post from Motherhood the Real Deal would have rung some kind of a bell in me. But no, it would appear not… #MostLikelyToWinAnAwardForTheLeastOrganisedBlogger.


In my (rather shabby I admit) defence, may I point out it isn’t Mother’s Day until mid May for Malta, where I now live,

nor indeed for USA, Australia, New Zealand… When you don’t see anything in the shops or plastered on street advertising boards, you just don’t think of it. (Yes, it’s flimsy at best considering I GREW UP in the UK and therefore celebrated a fair few Mother’s Days in March!) However, the not so flimsy excuse is that those aforementioned countries are in fact the ones where (in addition to the UK/Ireland) I have my biggest readerships. So every year I hesitate about writing a Mother’s Day post which may confuse people!


Anyway, as my unofficial motto in life seems to be ‘better late than ever’ (honestly they’ll put it on my tombstone along with ‘sarcasm has just lost its biggest user’, guess what? YES I’m bringing you an Absolutely Prabulous exclusive!  The very very late Mothers’ Day post! Tadaaaaaa!


So to all you Mamas who:

  • have ever asked “do I have to do EVERYTHING for you?”
  • are ALWAYS picking things up from the floor and putting them away
  • have tolerated playdates from hell for the sake of their kids
  • have seen their bodies IRREVOCABLY change shape after kids
  • answer the SAME questions All. Day. Long.
  • stay up til LATE to bake an awesome birthday cake and a million cupcakes
  • have known the TRAUMA of miscarriage
  • look forward to a glass of wine/cake as a REWARD for getting through the day
  • live with the PAIN of nursing and raising a sick child
  • sneak post-it notes with ‘Mama loves you’ messages into their lunchboxes
  • literally can’t remember the last year they got a full night’s SLEEP
  • feel their teeth hurt trying to help with maths HOMEWORK
  • loathe that time in the evening when the packed LUNCHES need making
  • can’t keep up with the number of items LOST at nursery/school
  • have experienced the LIFE-ALTERING grief of child bereavement
  • have battled PND
  • can can match most preteens with their knowledge of One Direction lyrics
  • go above and beyond MULTI-TASKING to make sure one kid attends that party while another gets to sports on time while another gets ‘dropped off’ in Wales (yes looking at you for that last bit Just Saying Mum with this fab Instagram post!)
  • feel like they’re just not good ENOUGH or don’t do enough
  • will never tire of hearing their kids’ LAUGHTER
  • love their kids’ HUGS more than anything
  • felt like they found their true PURPOSE as soon as they first held their newborn
  • would do ANYTHING for their child
  • felt utter heartache when the first of their kids turned ten
  • can’t IMAGINE their life without their kids
  • know that this list is just the TIP of the iceberg and could go on forever


I salute you! And I leave you with one of my favourite quotes about raising kids 

(and makes me wonder if Jackie is looking on from her grave tut tutting at me!)


mother's day post jackie onassis

Word: How a Parent Fail Can Lead to a Parenting Epiphany!

Are you one of those people who’s an arts and crafts wizard?

The kind who can whip up the most amazing creation with nothing but a few buttons, some glue, a piece of foil and a cereal box?  Or are you like me?

 The kind of person who can barely draw a straight line?

Why do I ask? Well, all I’ll say is this week’s words of wisdom and vlog are inspired by none other than my a total parent fail…and my 7yo daughter who led me to come up with the following:


Want to know why I came up with this? Of course you do. Go watch 🙂

Will We Ever Get There? (International Day of the Girl)

I tend to start my day checking my social media on my phone before I’ve barely drawn two breaths or gone for a pee.

What can I say?  Blogger.  A couple of weeks ago I saw something in my Facebook feed that caught my attention…and not in a good way.  This:




Yep my day had started with me feeling a bit riled.
I shared it on my Facebook page (link) and filed it away in my brain in the ‘pending’ compartment rather than shoving it right to the back of my mind as I had a funny feeling I’d end up writing about it.  Fast forward to this morning: cursory check of social media and I see something in my feed about some sort of World Day and almost ignore it as every day marks something or other (well with 365 days in the year, every day marks more than one thing).  I don’t know what caught my eye and made me hover instead of just scrolling past but I’m glad I lingered as it was a World Day that I could actually appreciate.  International Day of the Girl to be precise.   You may have seen the frames you could place temporarily on your Facebook profile picture in honour of it and to show your support for girls.  ‘Support for girls’…I can’t help wondering if this is a sad regrettable turn of phrase to have to use…


It’s accurate to say I’m usually late to the party, always the last to know etc so I’d never even heard of this day until today.  (Incidentally, blogger extraordinaire Motherhood the Real Deal who had heard of this day published a fantastic article with regards to raising girls; I really do think it’s a must read.)  I actually wasn’t going to write anything as I’d sort of ‘missed the boat’ with timing and I’m not a fan of hurriedly bashing posts for publication the same day as I usually regret it.  And I would love to write something positive and uplifting.  Instead I’m giving you this!

Something happened.  My eldest said something that was so very telling that I knew I had to write something.

I had asked her about her day – as you do while chopping the onions for dinner, answering questions from the other two at the same time and trying to drink that cold cup of tea – and she mentioned a learning assistant who is fairly new amongst the teaching staff.  She gushed about how lovely she is and I asked what she liked about her.  The first thing she mentioned?  Not the assistant’s teaching ability/professionalism/friendliness/nationality or even which class she assists.  No.  It was her looks.  I nearly cut my finger.  This is becoming more frequent; her talking about people…females…firstly from a physical perspective.


Image courtesy of Loryn Brantz Books


It’s not unknown for her to meet someone for five minutes and decide they are the nicest human she’s ever met being purely because she thought were physically attractive.

But who can blame her?  The media and entertainment industries endlessly pushes its version of the perfect female and what girls are ‘good for’ at us so you can’t blame past, current and future generations of females to buy into it and believe they are meant to be that version.  Hell, hardly any of us have been able to avoid the self-doubt, the desire to be thinner, taller, have perfect hair and skin and so on.  I honestly can’t blame my 12 year old daughter for judging other females first and foremost by their looks, hate it as I might, because she really is just a product of the society she’s growing up in.  The thing is, we’ve all done it and it’s a vicious circle.  How can we hope to be taken seriously by males when actually we ourselves judge one another on entirely the wrong criteria?

Our everyday language referring to females is full of references to beauty, princesses, booty, finding Mr Right (as if that’s the ideal).  Shouldn’t it Be More About Ambition Achievement, Humanity and Intelligence?

I think of those magazine covers that had annoyed me so much and the many magazines that have been published over the decades with nothing but beauty and fashion for girls, those damned tabloid newspapers that only manage to describe women in terms of hair colour and relationship status, beauty pageants, porn sites and those bloody Kardsashians who’ve done such a great job of making intelligence old fashioned.

Ultimately, however, I know no matter how well I teach my girls, no matter how many opportunities my husband and I try to give them in life, they are living in a society that still has far to go in improving its attitudes towards females…



Are our girls’ very own attitudes part of the problem, especially if they are growing up in environments that don’t empower females or recognise they can do pretty much anything they set their mind to?

I’m not suggesting those brave suffragettes at the turn of the last century and the feminists of later decades suffered and struggled and raised hell in vain.  Not at all.  Women are better educated, wealthier, healthier, more independent and more accomplished than those suffragettes could ever have hoped for.  We have amazing athletes, people of science, artists, entertainers, heads of government, revered academics and so on.  But we also know there is still that glass ceiling.  We know that negative body obsession and failing mental health is on the increase. We also know there are far too many countries where females receive no education, too many cultures that have horrendously little respect for females and too many incidents of physical torture and sexual assault and then right here on our Western doorstep…those damned magazine covers!  Let’s face it, you don’t have to go East to India or the Middle East or down to Africa to encounter disparaging attitudes towards women designed to keep them down.

Thanks to the toupéed one who goes by the name of Donald, we know that the West will also never be rid of men with an ingrained disrespect for females…monsters who are making sure the ‘female struggle’ continues.  

As a mother I can’t help worry about this.  The obvious question of what world I brought my kids into comes to mind and I do feel that the struggle to raise females is real (don’t forget to read that post by Talya mentioned above once you’ve finished this).

I guess that’s where i’m going with this.  When it comes down to it, I have to ask how far have we actually come raising our daughters?  We want so much for them…

Will we ever get there?

back of girl in swimsuit about to jump into the sea


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To M on Your 12th Birthday. It’s Not You, It’s Me. Sorry

To Musical M on your 12th Birthday title image Prabs and M

Dear Musical M, you’re 12.

I know it never really means anything to others when they see their social media feeds flooded with pictures of kids growing up and the customary ‘I can’t believe s/he is x yrs old!’ from the parents.

But…fact is, I simply can’t believe you’re 12.  Frankly, I spent so long grappling with you turning 10, in denial and wondering where it had all gone, that 11 came along almost unnoticed but now that 12 is here…I’m in shock all over again.  12 is different, perhaps because it is the last year before the teenage years start.

So I sat down to write something for your 12th birthday.  After all I wrote something for your 10th.  That was hard enough; the more I wrote, the more I had to face how I’d just let those years slip through my fingers.  I could hardly blame not spending proper time with you on being a working mum whose job took me away from you.  I’d been there the whole time as a SAHM…yet one who very often wasn’t (isn’t?) mentally or emotionally there for you.  (I don’t know what makes me that way.)  And writing Ten Candles just killed me.  I know you laugh and say “Oh mummy!” when I admit I still can’t read that poem without dissolving in tears at the final verse.  I tried not to cry as I read it again the other day, for the first time in a while, when it was featured on another site.  Hopeless.

I am not sure there will ever be any explanation or justification for why I have simply failed to be the mother that you always deserved.

I sometimes wonder if I need to see someone about it (actually I know I ought to see someone about it…).  That is one hard thing to admit here, on a blog that quite a few people read.  Why expose such bitter inexcusable failings?  Who does that?!  Who fails their child over and over and then writes about it publicly?!

I think it is this: when I go to my resting place, I really do think it will be the single biggest thing in my life that will stop me from being in peace, when they lay me down or scatter my ashes.

I’m such a walking cliché but I really genuinely thought I’d just be…well…better at it. The thing is, people will read this and probably do an inward eye roll and mentally tune out.  A mother talking about how she’s not a great mother?  A mother attributing her own parenting behaviour to events and emotions from her childhood.  Oh purleese.  Must we really watch this film/hear the song/read the book again?  Seen it.  Heard it.  Read it.  No, we don’t wanna buy the bloody t-shirt thanks, Prabs.

Repetitive, tiresome, obvious, cringey and predictable.  #Snore.

I’m repetitive with my rants about you not listening to me (although if you just listened…?), I have become tiresome with my promises to be a more patient less shouty mother.  I have become obvious in the way I speak to you in an unforgiveably sarcastic snarling manner.  It’s almost cringey how I half-heartedly try to make up for the day’s failings at bedtime asking you about your favourite part of the day.   I am predictable with the way I fly off the handle too easily.  Honestly I hear myself starting off on you and I just think Shut up, just stop bloody talking Prabs, I’m that bored of my own voice.  But then you snap at your siblings, and I go mad again…wondering where you get it from!  If I can’t control my own short temper and lack of patience, how can I expect you to be any better towards your siblings?  You’re only 12 for heaven’s sake!  That’s the thing…on the one hand I can’t believe you’re ‘already 12′ but on the other hand, I know you’re still really just a child.   Yet day after day I trot out the cliché “You’re old enough to know better’ and “Just grow up” when some aspect of your behaviour irks me.

And as you know, your poor sweet girl, so much of your behaviour irks me.

I guess you’re not the only 12 year old who leaves the house without thinking about the same vital things they need every day (and who then complains the whole time while they’re out).  I’m sure there must be other 12 year olds who don’t listen to the words anyone says and then asks what they said four times (forgetting what they said immediately afterwards anyway).  There have been other 12 year olds before you and plenty to come I’m sure, who wreck a computer or phone the minute they touch it.  In fact the world is probably full of preteens who will try to lie their way out of a situation rather own up to a wrongdoing.

So I guess it’s not fair that I get so annoyed.  Especially because…

When I’m pissed off that you start searching for face paint just one hour before we need to leave for a school play, it’s not your fault, it’s mine. I’m the one paying for a class gift or RSVP’ing to a party invite or filling in a school trip form on the day they’re due.

When I’m mad that you’ve not tidied your room AGAIN, it’s not your fault, it’s mine.  We don’t exactly live in the tidiest of houses do we…?

When you leave a bag or lose an item of clothing at a cafe or somewhere at school, it’s not your fault, it’s mine.  I’ve managed to lose a pushchair for heaven’s sake.

When you argue with me about every little thing until you’ve got barely any breath left, it’s (sort of) not your fault.  It’s mine.  A man whom we both know says I always need to have the last word…

You see, here’s the thing.  it’s not you I’m having a go at M.  It’s actually me….

I’ve known it for years.  I first realised when you were just two.  As I watched your facial expressions, noticed your mannerisms, listened to your voice, heard your intonation…I realised, with dismay…I was in fact raising myself.  As if the world needed another Prabs, here I was raising another one.    A mirror image of myself, my carbon copy in every way.  It’s just too much.  In fact, everyone uses those terms to describe you don’t they? We can hardly go anywhere or see anyone without hearing “Oh you look just like your mother?” with reference to you.  Who’d have thought it would be such a major issue, that it would in fact define my parenting of you?

I can barely get through a day with myself…how do I get through a life with myself and a mini me?!

And over the last two or three years, it has come to a head a few times.  You’ve dissolved in tears… A sentence I can’t bring myself to elaborate on or complete…too many ugly blanks to fill in.  We stood on that street corner in Sliema during the Christmas holidays and you just crumbled and said I’m too hard on you.  Other things were said.  About my parenting.  True things.  Things I simply could not deny.  Things I’ve tried to type here but…honest as I am on this blog…I just can’t bring myself to admit them.  I typed some of them and deleted them.  Shameful.

You know you’ve messed up with your child when you say (yet again…) that you will try to change how you treat them to be met with the response “I think it’s a little late for that.”  History repeats itself.  And how…

How can a mother bristle with irritation the second her older daughter opens her mouth to speak, yet melt when her youngest one speaks.  Yep I admit it.  The ugly truth.  Unforgivable.

How can I call your father out when I feel he’s unfairly reprimanding you, then swing round and do the same myself?

How can I roll my eyes when you ask me something, yet answer the very same question without hesitation when your brother asks it?

How can I feel my heart harden when you don’t lay the table, or wipe your crumbs off the counter, or sweep up that little mess or fluff up the cushions you left in disarray when the fact is I hated doing all that at your age too?

How can I get so annoyed when I hear you making judgemental comments about someone when maybe (just maybe), you may have heard me unwittingly do that once upon a time (or a few)?

There are definitely things you could do to make things smoother between us, such as not pretending that you have numerous phobias or deciding you can’t do something without even trying first (so the opposite of your father and me) or relying on me to do things that you are more than capable of doing at your age (and we’re talking the most basic of stuff here…)  And the thing is M, it’s all very well saying I’m hard on you but you also have to meet me halfway on the road to change.

 I CAN’T make the journey all on my own whilst you stand at one end carrying on with the same behaviour.

When all is said and done however, Musical M, you’re just great.

Fact is you are actually so aware and in tune with certain things.  I mean you heard the Chili Peppers for the first time the other day and loved them and John Mayer is one of your favourite artists.  You think Julie Andrews is beautiful and inspirational even though most kids would think she’s uncool and as ancient as the very hills in the Sound of Music and say Carly Simon is amazing every time I play her.   You watched Julie and Julia which is not a kids’ film, aged just 8, and fell in love with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. I honestly love that despite me butting heads with you on so many things, we have this shared passion for music and film (and by the way I’m the one doing most of the head butting anyway).

And your laugh…there’s no laugh like it!

You love your brother and sister to bits (when you’re not moaning about them) and have a good heart.  You are loyal to your friends which became really evident to me on your birthday when your friends gave you that amazing card describing your character.  It blew me away and made me feel ashamed that I have a tendency to forget what a lovely spirit you have.  Anyone who meets you loves you.  You say the nicest things to your mum (heaven only knows why) and while my friends are lamenting that their preteen daughters no longer want to be seen with them, I have a 12 yo who can’t get enough hugs and still wants mummy’s kisses.  What a shame that somewhere along the way, I stopped giving them.  No wonder you adore your father.  Thank goodness you do.

My shameful admission may not be much of a birthday gift.

But anyway, the bottom line in all of this is…

It was never you.  It was always me.

I’m sorry.




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So What Do You Do All Day?!

so what do you do al day shopping trolley

So I tumble out of bed, make it downstairs with minutes to spare before the time to leave the house (yep Hubster is a saint who’s got the breakfast/packed lunch gig down to a fine art as I’m usually up til stupid o’clock blogging the night before), drop them all off at school/office/police station (ok last one was just for effect but that’s where I may end up one of these days if this morning was anything to go by) before heading to the supermarket to do the week’s main grocery shopping.  Then it goes down like this:

Spend 20 minutes looking for parking because inconsiderate twunts have parked their car in their own space AND the free one next to them.  So six drivers have managed to occupy 12 spaces between them.  I’d love to say this is a one-off but no this is Malta.  #BloodPressureAlert

so what do you do all day parking note left on car window

yep…I really did leave this on the car that was in the space I managed to squeeze my car into


Find a trolley, speed to the lift and watch in disbelief as the doors close
while the two people already in the lift just watch me running.  Strange isn’t it?  They manage to steer their trolleys into the lifts presumably with the aid of their hands as opposed to telekinetic/mind control skills, but have bizarrely suddenly lost all use of their upper body leaving them unable to lean 1 inch to the left and press the button to stop the doors from closing (you know…like I do for others).

Get into the store, fight past the boxes and wooden pallettes of items left on the floor
by a shelf stacker who must have not noticed how narrow the aisles are in the first place, barely allowing one trolley to get past, never mind another.

Grab some after school treats from the bakery section (stop tutting)
and wince as the entire wooden board at the base of the display cabinet tips forward and hits me in the shin.  Go tell an assistant who of course just looks at me blankly, no word of “Oh sorry about that Madam”.  Sooooo much I could say here about culture and manners but best not, lest the hot heads get wind of this post and get their knickers in a twist, as is the habit.

Shopping done, queue up and put goods on conveyer belt, all the while feeling uneasy about the woman behind me who just stares. And stares. And stares at me.  If it were possible for her to bore a hole into me with her eyes, I’d look like a colander.  I start getting all the shopping (and there is a LOT of it…I must have thought Christmas had been brought forward by six months) into the bags.  She carries on staring.  The cashier is humming – literally won’t stop and I have to do my deepest breathing to stop myself from smacking him because I’ll never understand people who emit that weird unidentifiable hum that’s merely indicative of their total inability to shut UP.  Still the woman is staring.  I even try smiling at her.  Oh no!  Now she ramps up the glaring.  Mental note to self: don’t smile at her again.

The last item’s in the bag and the cashier announces the amount.
“Sorry how much?” I ask.  He repeats it. “Pardon?” I sputter again.  He repeats it (again).  “Excuse me, how much?”  The man is terribly patient with me.  Far more patient than I’d probably be if I was the cashier.  I swear he must think I’m either freshly arrived from a rural Indian village capable of only pidgin English or deaf.  Actually, I think I have gone spontaneously deaf at the mention of the total.  What the eff?!  Never mind Christmas being brought forward, I don’t think I even spend this much at Christmas! I think to myself as I part with my money sobbing inwardly.

I drag the trolley to the car, get it all in – no mean feat squeezing it all in next to the
beach toys, deck chairs, 300 bags for the Red Cross, two further unidentifiable bags, my hiking boots, sand (a lot of sand) and God knows what else – dump the trolley and finally head home.  Yes, I know… #OnlineShopping

Not even going to bore you with the details of the driving nightmares
suffered at the hands of the highly conscientious, aware, sensible safe drivers on this island [sarcasm] on the way home.  Because.  Hotheads. (See above.)

Arrive home, deftly save one of the bags from splitting before I get it into the house.
Haul it all into the kitchen and wonder if I really just heard the fridge say ‘Have you gone completely mad?  You’re not coming near me with all that…I can’t possibly stand up straight with all that inside me!”

Discover I now have more frozen mixed vegetables, fish fingers
(don’t judge me, they’re extremely useful!) and mushrooms than I know what to do with, as I’ve come back with a whole load of items we already had, unbeknownst to me.  What?  How would I know what food we already had?  I’m only the woman of the house!

NB. If anyone in Malta is wondering where all the tomatoes are…they’re in my fridge.

Move existing contents of fridge around.  Feel defeated by the teeny weeny size
of my freezer and literally can’t fit everything in.  Focus Prabs, you can do this.  Go at it again, moving things around in an intricate configuration, using every last millimetre of space.  Result.  #NinjaHousewifeSkills

In fact, so in awe of my dexterity am I that I’m seriously tempted to take a photo of the freezer.  Because.  Blogger. #InstagramCalling

High five myself.  Consider pouring a celebratory glass of something
but realise this is lush behaviour as it’s not even 11.30 am.

Turn round and spot the pile of dishes.

And reconsider that drink.

Now, shall I tell you about my afternoon and evening…?

So if you’re about to ask ‘what do you do all day?’.




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5 Reasons Why The Tooth Fairy Didn’t Come

title of post plus silhouette of tooth fairy

I’m not the bake-sale mum with perfect coiffed hair. I’d eat all the cakes, would rather endure Celine Dion on constant loop than attend football practice and my hair is decidely un-’coiffable’. 

However, to go as far as admit that I am in fact the mum who cannot, for the life of her, remember to put the tooth fairy money under her kids’ pillow when they lose a tooth…E-V-E-R. Well…I’m about to admit that (as well as give you five reasons you can use if you ever need to explain why the tooth fairy never came…you’re welcome).

“She’s joking right?” you ask. Oh, but I’m not.  In my pathetic defence, although I was born and bred in the UK, am more British comedy series than Bollywood drama, prefer a Sunday roast to a curry (I know, shocker right?) and own a ridiculous amount of Union Jack items from oven gloves to shoes, I did nevertheless grow up in an Indian household.  We just didn’t do the tooth fairy ritual so I guess it’s a culture difference thing.  I could double-check with my siblings to see if they remember it differently but I’m quite sure we didn’t get anything when we lost a tooth. Apart from a ugly gap in the mouth.

let me take you through the fiasco of my son finally losing his first tooth, aged seven.

He had excitedly placed his tooth under the pillow – BIG moment – and I wished him and the girls goodnight, making a mental note to fetch a coin once he was asleep. I went back down, told Hubster about the tooth and…promptly forgot about it myself.  Ironically, I forgot because after cleaning up the kitchen, I got busy writing a post about what I’ve learned since becoming a mum.  Clearly, I must have learned to not put the damned tooth fairy money under the pillow.  Honestly, my scatty mother behaviour has become so legendary that an actual newspaper article has been written about me.

Anyway, the following morning I nearly fell out of bed with a pounding heart as I
realised the mistake.

My Dreamy D: such an undemanding gentle child (when he’s not tanked up on Asthma meds) for whom the least I could do is remember his tooth fairy money.


 No worries, he’ll be fast asleep; I’ll just slip it under the pillow now, I thought…before I heard him in the bathroom sounding very much awake. Cue mini heart attack. Is he kidding me? He chooses this morning as the ONE morning in the whole week to wake up early, instead of being dead to the world like he normally is?!  Then I thought No problem, he’s always half asleep first thing; there’s no way he’s noticed the lack of silver under the pillow.  My sick-to-the-stomach feeling now replaced by calm complacency, I popped my head around the door and smiled as brightly as I could (no easy task as I don’t usually smile til I’ve literally bathed in coffee).  I nearly shrank in mortification as my son mustered up his bravest smile, tried to mask his disappointment and said:

“Mama, the tooth fairy never came.”

Quiet, flat, deflated voice.  Those huge doe eyes.  Go Team Prabs.  #MotherOfTheYear.

I crept back into my bedroom, punched myself in the face, briefly considered punching Hubster in the face and told him about the mess-up.  His response was “We are sh*t”.  What can I say?  He’s a man, an Aries man; they’re fairly direct but to be fair, this Aries man had a point.  Yet, though I totally agreed with the sh*t verdict and berated myself for my crap parenting, I was cheesed off at the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and all the other damned myths I have to try to stay on top of.  My brain instantly fogged up with panic trying to figure out the right course of action.

In my frustration, I came up with 5 excuses I could give to explain the absence of money i.e. 5 Reasons Why the Tooth Fairy never came.

1) Toothy overslept after a mad night out with Tinkerbull (as Tinkerbell is now known because of her legendary Vodka Redbull consumption)
2) She got stuck in fairy traffic, due to an accident caused by two fairies not looking in their ‘wing’ mirrors 
3) Times are tough; even the tooth fairy is affected by the poor Fairy Dollar (FD) exchange rate.
4) Wait, you were expecting money? You know what I used to get when I lost a tooth? Kleenex!
5) Your mother is sh*t


I decided against mentally scarring him any further by using these excuses and instead, the whole situation went down like this:

  • I ran downstairs to fetch my wallet only to bump into Musical M (9yo at the time). Is she kidding me? She chooses this morning as the ONE morning in the whole week to wake up early, instead of being dead to the world like she normally is?!  Are you detecting the pattern here?
  • I hurriedly grabbed some coins. Musical M saw me. So I threw her my look. You know THE look that all of us are suddenly able to do once we become mothers. The “Don’t even think about asking me” look. Not you? Just me? Seriously?!
  • I pegged it back upstairs (I swear I never knew I could moved so fast) and bumped into Cheeky K (4yo) who’d climbed out of bed, having also chosen this morning as the ONE morning…you know what, I’m not even going to bother finishing that sentence…
  • I literally threw the money under his pillow not realising that Cheeky K was watching.  It’s pointless trying to administer THE look to a four year-old upon realising you’ve been rumbled. A hand may have been clamped over her mouth as she started asking me questions. I can neither confirm nor deny this. You’ll have to speak to my lawyer about that.
  • Now comes the rolling-my-eyes-in-shame bit (like it’s not shameful enough so far): I FORGOT TO TAKE THE TOOTH FROM UNDER THE PILLOW.


hat did Hubster do during all of this?

What, the man who can survive on three hours sleep? The man who never hits the snooze button? The man who practically leaps out of bed ready to face the day, the second the alarm goes off?  (Incidentally, how did I marry someone like this? I could just thump him.)  Basically, after delivering his “we are sh*t” verdict, he chose this morning as the ONE morning in the whole year to…

…go back to sleep.

Is he kidding me?!

A short while later, Hubster woke up, Dreamy D lifted his pillow again – er possibly prompted by his mother – and found money that had miraculously materialised while he’d been brushing his teeth.  He ran out of his room in total astonishment to tell us both that the tooth was still there.  Now, I’m a blogger. I write. Words are obviously my thing. But I have NO idea which words describe the look on my husband’s (or my son’s) face at this point.


I may or may not have crept out of the room silently.

I can neither confirm nor deny that rumour.

You’ll have to speak to my lawyer about that.


Rookie Mistakes
Originally published two years ago in different form. A version of it has also appeared on the brilliant guest blog series Rookie Mistakes by Life, Love and Dirty Dishes
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A Funny Thing Happened at the Doctor’s…

I recently launched a guest post series the #OopsFiles where bloggers have been revealing embarrassing life incidents.  

It honestly is hilarious and if you’ve not read the posts, it’s worth doing as they are such a treat.  I subsequently shared a few of my own epic fails recently, one of which mentioned problems I’ve had with my name.   After writing it, I thought of another ‘name spelling episode’, this time at the doctors.  Then that reminded me of another embarrassing experience (non name-related) that happened at a gynaecologist appointment (yep, my stomach just clenched).  So, I guess you could say a funny thing happened at the doctor’s.  Well, more than one.  I should probably think hard before going to the doctor’s again to be honest.  Anyway, I give you:

A Funny Thing Happened at the Doctors title image for


1) Dreamy D is asthmatic so we’ve spent a lot of time in and out of hospital/clinics etc.

One time, we went to the doctor to get his routine prescription.  The doctor we had at the time was a rather doddery old man, bless him.  You know: looks at you like he’s never seen you before despite being your family doctor for years, asks for your name three times, enquires what’s wrong but then talks over your answer etc.   Anyway, as if the doctor wasn’t doddery and forgetful enough himself, he’d had the superb idea of employing an equally doddery male receptionist (which in itself is mystifying because everyone knows men can’t take messages down properly).  I swear it was like the Fawlty Towers of doctors’ surgeries.  It was so like something out of a 1970’s TV comedy, I half expected an unstable secretary to come in on wobbly legs spilling a tray of tea everywhere like Mrs Two Lumps in that hilarious Monty Python sketch.  To this day, I have NO idea what purpose this receptionist served because he just sat there and made a list of names of people waiting but never took the list to the doctor nor call out the names of the next patient!

We sat down in the waiting area and Mr Receptionist asked for my son’s name.

To be fair, Dreamy D is very softly spoken.  A confident boisterous loud volumed child, he is not, so I admit it can be very hard to make out what he says sometimes. Mr Receptionist understandably didn’t catch his name and asked him again.  This time, I answered.  Now obviously my son’s real name is not Dreamy D and is just his alias on here (but FYI his name has only four letters…let that sink in for a second…JUST FOUR).

Mr Receptionist: Darren?
Me: No Dreamy D
Mr Receptionist: Andrew?
Me: D-r-e-a-m-y D (I started spelling it…story of my bloody life…)

It was unreal. The guy was either incompetent or hard of hearing or both.  He mentioned various letters that aren’t even in my son’s name:  N? V? K? [What the actual heck?]

Now I know death, however it happens, is no laughing matter

and phrases like the one coming up aren’t funny (or responsible) especially when voiced in front of your child.   However it was an expression uttered in bewilderment by a woman who had spent 36 years of her life spelling her own name before incurring the additional nightmare of constantly having to spell her kids’ names.  So yes, I gasped “Oh my God I want to kill myself”.  I know.  Bad.  Very bad.

You know what though?  The other patients started giggling.  I kid you not, one of them hid her face behind her magazine. Best of all (in a not very proud parenting moment kind of way):  my shy quiet son burst into giggles.  Then (probably out of sheer relief that my words hadn’t offended the people sitting in this room in this very Catholic country) I started laughing:

Until Mr Receptionist asked: “Now, what is your surname?”

Laughter over.

Me: “

No way!  If I give you his surname, we’ll be here all week.”


Once upon a time there was a young lady who moved from London to France to work for Disneyland Paris.  One day she realised it was probably time she started seeing a gynaecologist.

Her workplace was on a beautiful avenue opposite the Champs Elysées and she booked a routine check up at a nearby clinic.  Except…erm…for her there was nothing routine about it because this was her first gynae appointment.  Gulp.  She really had no idea what to expect because when you grow up as an Indian girl, no matter whether it’s in India, Britain or wherever, there really isn’t much ‘nether regions talk’ at the dinner table in between “My God how many chillies did you put in this mum?” and “Sorry, I didn’t come first in my exams”.  Anyway, this young lady headed to the clinic after work and nervously entered the consultant’s office.  He got some details down, did a BP check etc.  So far so dignified.  Then it was time for the familiar: “Right, pop behind that curtain, then hop on the bed once you’re ready”.  Obviously this was in French but don’t worry the young lady’s French had come a long way since THAT kiwi incident in 4 Epic Fails and she didn’t do anything stupid.


And as you know, this story is about me so I’ll drop the third person act.  Now, when I said his request was familiar, I mean that it would be familiar now, you know, now that I’m a mature grown woman and mother who clearly has seen many gynaes since this episode.  It was not familiar then on my first visit.  I didn’t know what “get ready” actually meant.  Well this is Paris, everyone’s so groomed, should I put on lipstick and spray some perfume?  I’ve no idea  what this man means!  I know, I know, I’m gaping at the screen in disbelief and amazement WITH you, dear reader.  I emerged from behind the curtain nervously in my underwear and couldn’t understand why the man’s expression changed from measured to astonished to downright apoplectic all within about two seconds.  He totally went off on one, as the Queen would say, about me still wearing my bra and knickers.  To be fair, the curtain was totally on the other side of the office from the examination bed; how was I to supposed to know I was meant to walk across the whole office starkers without even a modesty towel?!

I may not be able to remember what I had for breakfast yesterday but I’ll never EVER forget the sound of Monsieur Charles (see, it was over 20 years ago and I still remember his name!) literally bellowing:

Well I don’t know how you people do it in England but in France WE TAKE OUR CLOTHES OFF!

Mais oui oui.  They sure do…



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15 Wines Every Desperate Mum Needs to Survive Parenthood


So a while ago, I came up with a Cocktail Menu specifically for mothers.

People related so much that I got to thinking it’s only logical I do something similar with regards to wines. Then recently, I saw an article by Life As a Rambling Redhead on a friend’s wall, joking about pairing real wines with our child’s behaviour.  It seems that Mummy wine (well wines for parents cos dads have been known to drink too, although mummy wine has a ring to it) are becoming a parents’ survival mechanism. I mean, you can barely go a week on social media without ‘bumping into’ a wine meme such as this now legendary one:



So I reckon there is a real demand for wines made specially with parents in mind!

Don’t agree? How familiar does this sound?


Wouldn’t it be great if they made a mummy wine range, a vino for parents based on what we go through during the many stages of raising our kids?

Just think: entire vintages cultivated for those of us who have endured:
– the newborn sleepless nights phase
– the shock to the system that is breastfeeding
– the torture of toilet training
– the marathon otherwise known as the school years
– and dare I mention the obstacle course of the teenage years.
Alas, there is nothing on the market for those of us in the trenches otherwise known as parenthood. But fear not dear reader:

The Absolutely Prabulous Whinery (see what I did there?…oh the GENIUS) is coming to the rescue of wine-drinking parents everywhere.

Yes, I have been working hard to come up with a range of wines that does just this. Without further ado, I bring you, [trumpet fanfare, drumroll etc] 15 Wines They Should Make For Parents. So bottoms up (and pants down). There again it’s precisely that nonsense that got you into the situation where you need these wines in the first place. So on second thoughts, keep your pants on and just read the post.

The first three up are the New Parent Wines (or those still growing their young family):


Going Nuts
, Sleep-Deprived Zombie and Weapons of Mass Distraction are fine choices that will help you survive those early years. Alright, it looks like I’m suggesting breastfeeding mums partake. I don’t know how that happened. I think I fell on the keyboard and accidentally photoshopped that one. Also, I may have embellished when I called them ‘fine’ choices. When you’re so sleep-starved that you could cry at the drop of a hat, can’t remember the last time your boobs didn’t hurt or leak and you’re waaaay past the point of caring if you smell of kiddie wee, Honey, you won’t CARE WHAT THE HELL KIND OF WINE you’re drinking. Vinegar? Sure, fill up my glass.


Next we have a selection suited to parents of toddlers who are at home or those in daycare or pre-school:

Just Shattered, Fraudster
and Lost Identity are light-weight fruity wines. These three are perfect for the woman who realises her life has changed f-o-r-e-v-e-r and with it, her ability to drink more than one glass without falling over. Dads are more likely to handle more than one glass (sorry but it’s the truth). The exhausting baby phase might be over but the routine of daycare or preschool is a reality and crawling home at 4am after a night on the tiles is a distant memory. The desire to exercise is there but it never quite happens. And shopping for life’s luxuries such as fancy handbags and must-have cosmetics is no longer a priority and anyway it’s a total mission with little ones in the equation.

The range I spent the most time developing comprises six wines, for parents of school going children; and most closely matches the stage of parenthood I am in myself.


Mum’s Uniform, Parents’ Punishment and Scatty Mama are medium-bodied wines that suit the parent adjusting to a new routine now that their child has entered the school system. These go especially well with supervising homework (may I suggest a discreet plastic cup so that the budding student doesn’t suspect mummy or daddy is a lush), searching for that damned form again which was due in yesterday or simply relaxing (translation: slumping exhausted) on the sofa after kiddie bedtime…in those yoga pants you’ve been wearing all day.


Super Glue, Ugh and School Run are for parents who require something a little heavier. When getting them to school on time, running around the building trying to locate yet another lost pencil case/coat and spending the entire evening on a science presentation (that you’re pretty sure your child was meant to do) just gets a bit much, these go down nicely.


Last but not least, wines for parents of [inhale] preteens and teenagers [exhale].
Need. I. Say. More.


Looking for something with more body (translation: to knock you out)? Then may I suggest Floordrobe, Bankrupt and Denial? Robust and as full-bodied as they come,There again, there are simply not enough wines on earth to help anyone cope with that.

Let me speak to my people at the Absolutely Prabulous Whinery about that.

Crap, there are no ‘my people’.

There is no Absolutely Prabulous Whinery.

These wines don’t exist.


Someone pass the vodka.



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14 Types of Parent You’ll Probably Meet At Your Child’s School

In the eight years we’ve been in the school system, we’ve seen a lot of transition due to the frequent arrival/departure of expats.

My kids have made and said goodbye to a lot of friends and obviously I have met many different types of parent over the years.  People are people are people. Despite the myriad nationalities and cultures of people whose children attend school,

I think it’s fairly safe to say parents tend to fall into certain types or groups and to be fair, these types can be spotted all throughout life. 

In fact, I read somewhere that writing something like this is similar to writing horoscopes: most people are bound to fit into at least one of the categories.  Well so be it. The fact is, I have ‘spotted’ all these types of parent at some point or another over the years. It goes without saying, I’m one/a few of the:

14 Types of Parent You'll Meet at School


1. The Interrogator

Asks more questions in a one hour orientation meeting than most kids ask in an entire academic year. If the Spanish Inquisition were around today, this parent could ‘out question’ them. You can actually hear the teacher’s eyes roll back in his/her sockets as he or she is continually interrupted or asked questions about topics that have already been covered or were in the introductory letter that was sent out for crying out loud.

This is the teacher, not the parent!

2. Mr and Mrs Nice

Just arrived and genuinely lovely people. They both exude warmth and are always smiling even when they’re having a bad day. In fact, one wonders if these two ever have a bad day. They also seem to have bags of time on their hands as they are often seen dropping off and picking up together. Every kid wants a playdate with their kid…every mum wants a coffee date with the mum and every dad wants to play golf with the dad.

happy family smiths


3. The My-Kid My-Kid My-Kid Parent

Can you provide more PE lessons a week for the sporty children? Will you provide extra homework for the advanced students or more activities for the ones who need extra stimulation?

Good grief, for reals?! Don’t get me wrong. I can see they are all actually quite valid questions in a way. But the My Kid My Kid parent does not ask these to genuinely acquire useful information. Nope. It’s mainly to drive it home to the rest of us parents that their child is the leader of the pack. Let’s face it, they could just have a quiet word with the teacher about that, n’est-ce pas?

This parent will often trample over other parents’ kids to get theirs ahead in life because apparently playing fair is for losers. Whether it’s practically knocking another parent out of the way to get to the front of the queue for after-school activities enrolment (alright knocking just sounded good) or sneakily grabbing the last slot at that popular party venue they heard two others discussing at the school gates, there is nothing the My Kid My Kid parent won’t do to get their child ahead. Beware, this parent’s mission is to raise masters of the universe and heaven help you if you attempt to get in their way (and by get in the way I mean simply do right by your own child).


4. Ice Queen / King

Looks right past you when you attempt to smile or say hello. They will never know who you are despite both of you having kids in the same class (for the last four years). No prizes for guessing they haven’t the faintest idea who your kid is either.


5. Too Cool for School

Happy to make an effort chatting to people at the gates, this parent is friendly but has long given up on getting close to anyone after being burned a few times. Feels like it’s all rather hard work mixing with the melé. Some may think them a bit aloof but this parent has simply learned the art of self preservation by avoiding the cliques and making most of their friends outside school.


6. The Old Timer

Typical characteristics are friendly, approachable and helpful for the genuine good of the school and not for any personal agenda. This parent has been around the block a few times with kids of various ages at the school. There is no smug ‘Been There Done That Got the Tshirt’ aura emanating from this one. They are just a genuine good egg.


7. The Calculated Networker

Beware of this charmer. First name: Uber. Last name: Popular. An absolute pro at schmoozing their way into mutually beneficial circles. Knows everyone with five minutes of arriving and has sized everyone up (wealth, partner’s job and useable connections). Cleverly ‘recruits’ best friends for their kids as well as a BFF they know inside out (despite only just having met) and wouldn’t you just know it…their spouses are best buds too! Moves onto the next posting, new country and deftly does the same all over again at the next school.


8. The ‘Wait…I Have Kids?!’ Parent (MIA)

Rarely to be seen as they usually send their child on the school bus or with the nanny so you never get a chance to get to know them. They’re never at sports day or concerts. The nanny is though. They don’t help with homework. Another member of staff does that. Playdates? The nanny’s there… And then you find out it’s not because the MIA parent is a busy working mum or dad. Rumour has it they just don’t like the erm parenting part of parenting. Ouch.


9. The Non Participator

Wouldn’t mind offering the odd day here and there for school trip attendance or reading assistance but has enough trouble fitting in mother/household duties never mind fitting in all that malarkey too! Ahem.

me arms folded

Hmmmm….who’s this then?


10. The Frazzled One

Looks permanently stressed even when not stressed and actually having a good day (yep I’m looking at my shoes right now). Totally struggles Monday to Friday to get anything constructive done beyond grocery shopping and occasionally hoovering the house and genuinely wonders how on earth other mums help out so much at school and get stuff done in the the six hours between drop off and pick up (or seem to…). Often late. (Much looking at one’s shoes right now…)

Not to be confused with:

11. The Frightened Deer

Looks more worried than their own kids the first day (week…month…term) of school. Extremely quiet and hardly anyone knows their name nor they anybody else’s. It’s like they are there but not there. Literally looks like an animal caught in headlights, the poor deer, I mean dear.

Deer Caught in Headlights


12. Queen Bee

Ah…there is nothing, N-O-T-H-I-N-G let me tell you that this woman (yep it’s usually a female) is not involved in. Every school event, reading day, library help, school trip, concert, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g…they are right there at the forefront. Unlike the Seasoned Old Timer (who has no ego-driven reasons for helping out and simply wants to do their bit for the betterment of their child’s school) Queen Bee sees herself as crucial to the smooth running of the entire establishment. Don’t you know the entire school would fall apart without her?! Woe betide anyone who tries to ‘steal the show’…you know, by just trying to do their bit too.



13. Not-My-Kid Not-My-Kid Parent

Extremely competitive, this parent cannot/will not even entertain the thought that their precious little cherub could possibly intimidate their way throughout the school day or indeed entire school life. It doesn’t matter How. Many. Times. this parent is contacted by the school regarding their child’s behaviour (which clearly violates the school’s official code of conduct) it will always be the other child’s fault. (Funnily enough, this parent will not hesitate to wave the same code of conduct in the Head’s face when it suits them.)



14. The Go With The Floooooow One

And finally, the one I’d love to be. They are neither the tiger parent you wish really became extinct like the animal that gave its name nor the frazzled one; they’re just über calm and laid back. They are neither popular nor unpopular; they are just happy with their circle. They’re neither over-involved nor totally detached; they just do enough. Zen. All the way. And just look at those happy kids.

On a serious note, we parents come in all shapes, flavours and colours. The one thing we’re definitely (hopefully?) united in is our love for our kids…yep, even those Queen Bees without whom the whole operation probably wouldn’t run as smoothly!

All gifs courtesy of

You might also like the fabulous 9 Different Types of Parents at the Playground by the hugely talented Talya of Motherhood The Real Deal.

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13 Confessions of A Housewife


I had a surreal dream the other night.

(impressive because I don’t usually dream) that I’m pretty sure featured some famous actor type in it. Nope I’m not going to share the details because a) having three kids has destroyed my brain and I can’t remember who he was (there are no words to describe how cheated I feel by this…NO words) b) even if I could remember the details, it would be just my luck that my mother or one of my kids’ teachers or that helpful lady at the bank who I probably shouldn’t have mentioned my blog to, would read this post and be slightly stunned by the revelation. Of course, knowing my dumb luck, nothing exciting even happened and he probably just changed my car’s tyre or told me where the washing powder aisle was at the supermarket (because only in dreams do weird things like that happen).

Anyway, my mind wandered a bit and I got to thinking about this motley crew.

Okay, perhaps my mind wandered a bit too far.. I am married after all. Married, in fact, to a man who trumps all of these guys (I have to say this because that nice lady at the bank might miss this post but HE won’t). It turns out, they’re no threat because the more I thought about it, the more I realised it just wouldn’t work out between me or any of them. No, it’s not because one of them’s young enough to be my son and one of them’s old enough be my dad. Or the small fact that they’re all screamingly famous so I wouldn’t stand a chance anyway. Stop coming up with your own theories, thank you very much Now, do you really want to know why? Of course you do!

So here are some confessions…



Warning: get the blood pressure tablets ready.

1. Bradley Cooper


Oh Bradders. Why so orange? I’ll tell you why: Too much fricking fake tan. Silly boy.

2. Idris Elba


You are THE man. But how can I put this? We’re from physiologically different origins. Basically, you’d hurt me.

3. Henry Cavill


Yeah, you’re gorgeous with that yummy accent of yours plus the fact that you’re a fellow Brit helps. But how I can I take you seriously, when you wear your underpants over your clothes, mon cher Henri?

4. Matt Bomer


First, you’re gay. Second, even if you weren’t, there’s no way I’m changing my name to Bomer. Because Boner. Sorry mate but I can’t keep a straight face over things that aren’t even half that funny.

5. Adam Levine


Oh Adam ADAM! Of all the men in all the world… YES, YES, YES! I mean I just know you wrote Animals and Sugar for me, you lovely man. (Thanks awfully by the way.) But all those tattoos…I’d just get distracted and stop in the middle of ‘proceedings’ to read you.

6. Ryan Gosling


Here’s the thing…I would. But you’re all loved up with that Eva. Now, I may be a strong Punjabi woman but man those Latina girls… I’m no match. All fiery temper and hypnotic wiggly hips. Nah. Not worth the headache, mate.

7. Johnny Depp


Once upon a time. Yes, defo. You could have been my very own Pirate of the Mediterranean. (See what I did there?). Now? You look like you need a shower JD.

8. Ian Somerhalder


I just have this weird feeling we’d never leave the house. Not because of non stop rabbit-like activity. But because you look so well groomed I don’t think you ever leave the bathroom much less the bedroom. Be a love and move along now.

9. Jude Law


Hey Jude (I know…me so original). Look I don’t blame you. It’s just that receding hairline. Now I admit my beloved Hubster hath no hair (what can I say…I think the stress of meeting me made it all fall out). But he was like that from early on so no surprises there. But you Jude on the other hand, YOU won me over in the 90’s and noughties with that full head of hair. Alas, now you’ve lived up to your name and it turns out you’re a proper JUDAS for letting it fall out, mate. Okay, so maybe I do blame you.

10. Robert Downey Junior


Because you’d break my heart. I’ve always known it. And besides, I’d fall asleep waiting for you to get out of that damned red metal suit thing judging by how many times it malfunctioned in Iron Man 3 (seriously man it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r ). Can’t. Deal.

11. Zak Efron


You really do seem like a nice guy and all. But there’s just no room in my life for someone with that amount of hair product. NO ROOM you hear me? Plus I reckon I’m old enough to be your mum. #AintNoCougar


12. Tom Cruise


Not it’s not the most recent pic but it’s a good one ha ha. Have to admit I’m tempted because a) I want to relive that Jerry Maguire scene and tell you to show me the money (seriously show me the money right now) b) I’m RIDONKulously excited at the thought of not needing a step stool just to reach you as you’re barely taller than me. But that megawatt smile of yours. Soooo 80’s. Sooo over it.


13. Liam Neeson

liamneeson-web Mr Neeson…oh Mr Neeson…honestly I’d love to. You’re a man’s man. That gravelly voice. Those brooding eyes. I love that. And that accent. Oh God help me.

But you see I’m… wait for it…


Drops mic. Exits stage left.

P.S. Please note Justin Timberlake and Dave Grohl have been omitted for a reason…I’m still clinging to hope.

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Why This Mum Is NOT Cool With Back To School!

All These Cartoons About Mothers Overjoyed at the Kids Going Back to School.

Why THIS Mum Isn't Cool With Back To School

Call me a jumbo dumbo but WHY is everyone so excited?!  Granted, my kids have driven me bonkers in other ways this summer (leaving their underwear ALL over the house, never switching a single fan off after leaving a room and hardly ever remembering their sunglasses or sunhats in this intense Mediterranean heat) BUT I’m still not filled with glee at them going back to school.

If you’ve read my post about the Exhausted School Mother you’ll have a pretty good idea of:

Why I’m Dreading the New School Year.

In the space of just one week of the first term last year, I managed to:
– mistake day two of the cycle for day one
– dressed K in P.E. clothes when they didn’t have P.E.
– dropped them off late twice
– left K’s folder at home twice
– forgot to listen to Dreamy D read his book
– didn’t get round to buying the mini whiteboard requested by his teacher
– and ‘overlooked’ the twelve – yes TWELVE (that’s what you get for having so many kids) – forms that needed completing and signing.

In fairness, the latter was sort of intentional: I ‘overlooked’ them until I had a sufficient supply of wine to help me cope with completing the whole damned lot. But let me explain:

Why I’m Not Putting up the Bunting to Celebrate The Start of Another Academic Year in:



1) INSTEAD OF LYING IN TIL LATE O’CLOCK enjoying the peace because MDK creep downstairs quietly and get their own breakfast and then switch on the TV (yes my kids do this because they know Mummy would love to raiser her kids on zero screen time but #LetsHaveAGoodLaughAboutThatOne)

I NOW HAVE TO GET UP EARLY AND FACE THE DAY. Anyone who’s ever met me will know I have never coped well with this and cannot gel with the “I’ll sleep when I die” motto because when I’m dead I won’t have the satisfaction of waking up and looking back at a great night’s sleep because I will be dead…

You KNOW I”m right (unless you’re up half the night with your kids in which case, sorry, sleep when you’re dead).

2) INSTEAD OF YELLING AT THEM FOR not being able to pack a single swimming essential or beach item the entire school holidays despite practically living on the beach every long hot Maltese summer

I AM NOW YELLING AT THEM FOR not being able to put their reading book/homework/school folder/lunch box – in fact anything – in their bags despite two of them having attended school for several years. “Ooh I wonder where they get that from then Prabs…” Stop it. “You know yelling doesn’t achieve anything right Prabs?” I said stop it.

3) IN PLACE OF ENDLESSLY RUNNING AROUND the pool/beach searching for their swimming goggles, flip flops etc after a day of swimming,

I WILL BE ENDLESSLY GOING BACK THROUGH THE SCHOOL GATES every afternoon to go up to the classroom (ha! classroom x 3) just as everyone else is trying to come through the gates the other way, to try and find water bottles, hats, clothing etc

4) I HAVE SWAPPED TWO MONTHS OF SINKING INTO A SUN LOUNGER after mentally high-fiving myself for my kickass organisation because I’ve packed everything we need for a Summer’s day out [see 28 Reasons],

FOR NINE MONTHS OF SINKING INTO DESPAIR having actually high-fived the teacher because I’ve remembered everything from sports gear to school trip money to art class clothes, only for her to say “You remembered his library book right?” following it up with “Oh bless…shall I move in with you to help, love?”

Seriously…this actually has happened!

5) INSTEAD OF REALISING I’VE HARDLY GOT ANY FOOD IN THE HOUSE but it’s no biggie cos I can jolly well give them pancakes if I want to (or another bowl of cereal)

I NOW HAVE TO GET MY SHIT TOGETHER AKA actually planning lunches and snacks…oh God the planning…it just kills me.

6) RATHER THAN JUST ENJOYING THE BENEFITS OF MDK relaxing, playing, not getting in my hair at all and being super low maintenance housemates

I WILL BE SPENDING FIVE DAYS a week ferrying them around the island to tennis, football, swimming and choir (well alright, not quite ‘around the island’…more like within a one mile radius..but FIVE days MAN!).

7) AND DON’T GET ME STARTED on all the time spent trawling through every computer I’ve owned trying to find old photos for some project or another, spending my mornings running around buying items for various school productions and my evenings gritting my teeth doing internet research to help them create – oh hang on, help me create on their behalf – presentations.

8) AND DEFINITELY DON’T GET ME STARTED on…cue Pyscho’s shower scene music……MATHS HOMEWORK HELL!

9) BUT WORST OF ALL, THERE IS MY OWN TOTAL BEWILDERMENT OVER HOW LITTLE I GET DONE DURING THE DAY now that Cheeky K is finally at big school with her siblings.

I honestly struggle to the point of depression over not being able to find enough days or hours in the week to fit in the housework, school run, blogging, after-school activities and (dare I say it) some exercise…and I’m a stay at home mum for goodness sake! What’s my excuse?! Working mothers have it far worse; alright the blog is my work and I take it seriously but it’s not the same as having an actual job with an employer and official working hours and all that jazz.


I Can Feel a Blog Post Coming on About Trying to Manage it all.

It will be very short post and will consist mainly of me crying all over the computer and typing “Just. Can’t.” and possibly ending with a plea for free chocolate.

So no, dear reader, I am not shouting Hooray at going back to school. (Well silently mouthing it at the thought of going for a coffee alone I admit…)

Can you relate?  If so, what’s the bit you dread most about the school year?


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The Anniversary Card I Never Thought I’d Write

I sat down to write something for my wedding anniversary thinking I’d be writing a testament to the amazing relationship and strong marriage I think Hubster and I have. As the words poured out of me, I found myself writing a very different sort of post, one that actually shocked and unsettled me with the brutality of the pain I was clearly feeling as I wrote it so much so, I had to put it to one side. I then had no choice but to come back to it when one of my blogging besties Modern Dad Pages asked me to write something about relationships.

The things is, most people will read this and think What on earth is she going on about? This guy is amazing! (And yes my husband is amazing in so many ways.) But as you know, our problems (perceived or real) and our truths are personal to us and we never know what goes on behind closed doors.

My husband knows I’ve written this post and gave me his blessing to be as honest as I wanted (which again shows what a great human being he actually is). There are things I’ve not mentioned because there is only so much dirty laundry I’m willing to wash in public but this is still the hardest thing I’ve written to date and I can’t say that I’m that comfortable doing it. So here is:


Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because you have such an easygoing manner towards anyone who meets you and you were always so laid back…but when one of our kids just drops some food at mealtime or a spills a drink at a restaurant, you literally freak and you have become angry and serious enough for the both of us (when I thought I’d cornered that market pretty well myself).

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because you are so chatty and open with your friends…but when I try to make conversation, I’m met with disinterest from a man who’s mentally left the building before I’ve even finished (started?) my sentence.

Dear Hubster I want to grow old with you because your cuddles are the best…but how do I cuddle a man who looks inconvenienced at having to budge up on the sofa when I sit next to him and who doesn’t think to just slip an arm round me when I’m washing the dishes?

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because you were my buddy who was always interested in what I had to say and with whom I’d close down the restaurants in Paris and London chatting til the early hours. We’d look over at the middle aged couples tired of life, tired of each other and we promised one another we’d never be like them and we’d keep the conversation going year after year.…but I’m honestly drained after years of silent evenings on the sofa or being cut off when I speak.

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because you were the eager lover who couldn’t get enough of me no matter what time of day it was, no matter where we were or whether we needed to be somewhere…but now, even though you say you still find me sexy and hot, when I give you the bedroom eyes, your brain fast forwards to how much you have to do and you suggest we ‘schedule it for later’. And later hardly ever comes…

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because I want to share my thoughts and experiences and interests with you…but when you snapped at your 5 year old who was just trying to show you a picture she’d drawn, what hope is there for me?

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because I chose you as my life partner…but how do you get through a life with someone when sometimes it’s just hard to get through a day without arguing about the stupidest things?

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because you are the man who goes to four different card shops to find a Valentine (and anniversary) card with the exact message he wanted to say…but who has so much difficulty just finding the romance in the simplest of daily transactions as man and wife even when the opportunity is staring him in the face!

Dear Hubster I want to grow old with you because I love you…but there are days when I ask myself if I actually do or whether love is even enough to see us through.

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because we made three amazing kids together and I know you love them like mad and see little point in even being home if your wife and kids aren’t around…but you never show any interest when I tell you about something they’ve done or said and I hurt waiting for you to show interest in teaching them a sport or spending individual time with them.

Dear Hubster I want to grow old with you because you are so wonderfully different from anyone I’ve ever met…but we’re both so very different it can be hard to just get on.

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because you are the most domesticated hands-on partner anyone could hope for…but maybe in between stacking the dishwasher, emptying the bins and doing the school run, the old you and me disappeared?

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because you used to make me laugh endlessly…but now you rarely find my jokes funny and I don’t get yours anymore on the rare occasion you clown around.

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because I thought you’d be the most gentle warm laid back father…but your yelling, lack of patience, inability to understand when they need sympathy or terms of endearment kills me.

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because I have NO bloody right to complain about a man who does the kids’ packed lunches every morning, gets bedding and floors clean and has food in the fridge for when I return from a trip abroad with the kids (and checks us in online without being asked)…but I just wish that man could show his wife and kids some emotion instead of always being so practical.

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because you have told me so much that you love me and you’re trying to take on board how I feel…but you and I both know there’ll be another blow out, I’ll retreat inside my shell and cry endlessly in private, you’ll apologise and on and on it will go.

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because mere words cannot describe the appreciation and respect I have for how hard you work to give your family a home and a life (never pressuring me to go back to work after I had the babies)…but you can’t run an entire marriage on that alone and I need to respect you as a friend and lover too and I can’t rebuild that on my own Baby.

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because that’s what friends do
..but so much of the time I feel like we’re just housemates who raise three kids together.

Dear Hubster, I want to grow old with you because you are the wonderful man who insists we go out to celebrate our anniversary...but don’t you wonder what we’d be celebrating? I am feeling depressed and terrified at the thought of an evening of awkward silence or desperately trying to find things to talk about with you apart from bloody work.

Dear Hubster I want to grow old with you because you are gentleman. Thank you for being that gentleman and listening.

I have a hubby who goes above and beyond in so many ways, a hubby who isn’t possessive, who doesn’t ‘expect’ things from me and who gives me space to be me. I also have a hubby who gives me THE most wonderful anniversary and Valentines cards with heartfelt messages he has really given thought to writing when half the time, I don’t get round to getting him one or I find crappy ones! It takes two people in a relationship, I have plenty of faults and frankly marriage takes constant work and care. The Disney straight forward happy-ever-after fairytale does not exist. I think, in the end, each couple has to create their own fairytale. My hubby is aware of and really wants to address his emotional attentiveness and other shortcomings. In the meantime, I’ll be having a good think about addressing my own…



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To All The Fathers Trying Damned Hard To Get It Right


Quality Time With Your Child

Musical M was recently off school the other day. After taking her to the doctors and running a few errands, I popped in to Hubster’s office nearby to say hi. A short while later as we headed off home, I noticed a lovely new café opposite his office. I’m always lamenting how it’s impossible to grab individual time with each of my kids so I thought it would be a great thing to just hang out with M for a short while and have some girlie time, considering I had the rare luxury of having just her with me. So, despite having a mound of packing and jobs to do before leaving for the UK the next day, I turned the car round and headed back to have a cheeky cappuccino and a chat with my eldest at the new cafe.

That decision turned out to be a life-changing moment for my child and a defining moment for her mother.

Should You Smoke In Front Of Your Kids?

As I came down Hubster’s road and started turning into his office garage, we were both so excited to see him again (I know…it’s pathetic right?), this time standing in front of the building having a little break. A split second later, I spotted it was a break of the cigarette kind. Musical M til then had been totally unaware that her father has the occasional cigarette. We’ve brought the kids up in a non-smoking environment emphasising the dangers of it. Well I have anyway. Sadly (sadly for me I mean as I’m the staunch non-smoker) Hubster has had the occasional cigarette once every few months/once a year for a while. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t bother me. It just does. However, he’s never got addicted and it really is occasional so I’ve kind of made my peace with it (kind of)…or at least I had til the other day…

No offence to smokers. Go ahead. It’s your life. It’s just not for me and personally I’d be royally gutted if my kids wind up smoking when they’re older.

When You Make A Bad Mistake In Front Of Your Child

Back to that moment. Hubster’s eyes locked with mine and I spotted the panic on his face (he has a deadpan hard-to-read face usually but when you’ve been with someone for years, you spot flickers of expressions etc that others would miss). And what I saw looked rather like panic. In fact, no this was definitely panic as he then immediately threw the cigarette on the ground at lightning speed whilst looking right at me with the old ‘rabbit caught in headlights’ stare. Another nanosecond went by in which I prayed that M hadn’t seen him. Stupid me. Of course she’d seen him! The girl who adores her father and who is in a car just 2 feet away from him has obviously seen him just panic-toss his cigarette. As we started descending the ramp – because no I didn’t stop the car as usual to say hi to him as I thought How the flipping heck are we going to handle this? – she said “I can’t believe what I just saw” with a voice of total shock. Great. Way to go team Hubster. She’s never going to forget that sight. It was then followed by “Did you know about that?” Oh crap. Crap crap CRAP! What in Holy Hell’s name do I say here? Think. Oh God THIIIINNNNKKKK! Blind panic. Don’t know what to say. I’m screwed either way here.

Let’s see, if I go with option 1)

No I never knew he smoked

I’m teaching my child that couples keep secrets from each other. No, not wild about that one.

If I go with option 2)

Yes I knew

she’s going to think I’m the biggest hypocrite raising her and her siblings to see smoking as horribly unhealthy and unadviseable. Even though it is horribly unhealthy and unadviseable.

So I went with option 3)

A mishmash of the two.

I knew he has smoked a bit in the past but I thought he’d stopped.

Oh God. Nope. Not much better. He still comes off looking deceitful and I come off looking like the dumbo who never knew and this isn’t the right lesson to teach her. What the heck is the right lesson to teach her here? Seriously, Google, what say you?

The scene that ensued will probably seem laughable to half the people reading. What on earth is the big deal? She can’t be serious…this was a life defining moment?! But for Musical M and me, it was.

Hubster quickly came down the ramp to meet us getting out of the car. Even though nobody was to blame for what had happened I couldn’t help feel really annoyed that our daughter had seen him smoking considering I wish he didn’t in the first place. Neither M nor I could get a friendly hello out. I honestly didn’t know what to do or say. Neither did he, poor guy. I told him we were going for a coffee and off we went. He went back to his office.

I ordered my coffee, some food for M and as we waited for order to arrive, I noticed tears starting to stream down her face. More tears. Then more. Until she was actually sobbing with head buried in arms at our table.

He didn’t even tell his own wife!

I asked him ages ago if he’s ever smoked and he told me ‘just the once and I didn’t like it and haven’t done it since’

My friend’s dad just died a month ago because of smoking.

And on and on the bawling went.

How Not To Console A Child

I messaged Hubster to come down as I felt he really needed to explain his way out of it as I was struggling to know which side of the fence I ought to be on. He came down a while later and if I’m honest seemed rather puzzled to see M so upset. After chatting to her trying to reassure her that he was not a serial smoker he clearly – in typical Hubster fashion – felt that he had spent the required amount of time on the matter and turned to me and asked how my coffee was. I think I just stared open-mouthed at him. Our daughter was in a crumpled heap with her world having fallen apart after seeing her father smoking and here he was asking me how my coffee was. I couldn’t believe it. My eyes told him as much. He spent a few more minutes saying useful things like “Don’t cry” to our daughter which is always extreeeeemely helpful to someone who is a-l-r-e-a-d-y crying. After a while he asked if I was going shopping. I thought he meant so I could pick up a small thing for M to cheer her up. Nope. He needed me to pick up razors. Eff me. Is this guy for real right now? We’re facing the biggest hurdle so far in our parenting experience and he’s asking me if I’m buying him razors. God help me.  The response was “Oh I thought we’d finished talking about that”. One of those shoot-me-now-cos-I-can’t-handle-how-men and women-are-so-bloody-different from each other moments.

Betraying Your Own Child

I could go on. But the long and short of it is that Musical M’s trust in her father took a massive hit that day. And her father, not being the most emotionally aware/sensitive of people himself (having grown up in a culture/family where parents didn’t focus on their children’s feelings) was not able to handle it in the way she needed. Her comment “He didn’t seem at all bothered” confirmed that she didn’t feel he’d understood how hurt she was.

We talked to her at great length about the issue trying to comfort her as much as possible. Personally I didn’t think Hubster should be judged by that mistake. It shouldn’t negate all the years he’s put in as a loving father who works seriously bloody hard to pay the school fees, put food on the table etc.

Parents Make Mistakes!

My point is this: I don’t know what would have been the right way of handling this situation. To many reading this post, there was no issue. However, whether you are a smoker, non-smoker, drinker, non-drinker, or whatever, doesn’t really come into it. The point is she lost a lot of trust in her father that day and neither of us knew quite how to handle it. You can read ALL the parenting books. You can take a flipping course on child psychology. You can be the most ‘perfect’ faultless parent (whatever that is) every day of your parenting experience. Until you f*ck up.

And we all eventually f*ck up.

But it’s okay. Because we’re doing the best we can.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there trying oh so very hard to get it right. You’re doing a great job (despite the f*ck ups)!



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I’m A Mum Who

I’m honoured to have been tagged by two of my newest blogger friends – Tayla of Motherhood The Real Deal who is super funny and the lovely Laura of Life With Baby Kicks (who listens to me moan about blog tech glitches on an alarmingly regular basis and who I’m dragging out for a Mojito-fest when we meet one day ‘outside’ of the blog) – in the wonderful “I’m a Mum Who” series. I’ve been really enjoying reading the at-a-glance descriptions of various bloggers regarding their parenting experiences and themselves. It’s wonderful finding out more about them.

So here is mine.



Could write a book called ‘Being The Not Now Mummy’. #TooBusyForYourKidsIsTheWrongBusy

Is rubbish at crafts. Cannot. Will. Not. Do. crafts. But finally learned to bake aged 38 and has made all her kids’ birthday cakes since the eldest was 3 (and yes you’ll have to work out my current age yourself) #NotBraggingJustSayinWeDoWhatWeCanDo

Is never happier than when she’s snuggled up for weekend movie night with her babies…or sipping a Rosé by the beach while they play. #HappyMemories

Is hellbent on raising healthy eaters but will never deprive her kids of home made chocolate cake dammit! #LovinFromTheOven

Finally understood so much of what her parents had said/done raising her the very minute her firstborn was handed to her in hospital. #ThatsWhyOurParentsWantGrandchildren

Somehow conceived all her kids on the first try after the age of 35 but who has known the heartache of miscarriage. #MixedBlessings

i'm a mum who

Literally hates it in a toe-curling stomach-churning tear-inducing way when her hubby yells at the kids but then yells at them herself a few minutes later #ParentingTruths

Conquered her lifelong crippling fear of water to jump into a pool aged 39 knowing there was no other option after her 4yo said “Go on mummy you must”. #AboutTimeToo

Was never an outdoors gal but has got into hiking with her equally “can we just stay home Mama?” kids. #GetOffTheSofaNOW

im a mum who hiking


Is a super strict parent yet still receives compliments, hugs and “you’re amazing mummy” praise from her children #GoFigureAgain

Misses that golden time of the ‘afternoon sit down’ with a cuppa, Murder She Wrote on TV and a cheeky sleep while the kids had their nap. #ThoseWereTheDaysMyFriend

Has found her identity again and ‘met’ awesome talented people through blogging but is so busy running a blog about being a mother that she hardly has time to be a mother! #BlogMammaBlog?

Loves Sunday mornings, pottering about, baking to the soundtrack of kids playing and listening to chillout/retro 70’s/old soul tunes. #EasyLikeSundayMorning

Didn’t leave the suburbs of London from 1975 to 1988 but now has the crazy privilege of stopping off on the way home from school to go to her local beach #LifeHasPlentyOfSurprises

im a mum who end of road


Nags her eldest on a weekly basis to tidy her room yet hasn’t sorted this out since January.  #Hyprocrisy

storage room

Clowns around and loves laughing with friends but has never been the ‘fun mum’ with her own kids. #SortThatOut

Tries to undo some of the mental conditioning of a very Indian upbringing swearing blind she wouldn’t turn into her parents. But…guess what…yep. #FacePalm

Honestly doesn’t know what she did in her past life to deserve three little monkeys like this #WhenYourHeartBursts

stunning hiking pic resize


Gets it wrong each day but still has kids who know they are loved. #MummyDoesntTryEnoughButSheTries


I now tag:

Yes Peas Mumma

Coffee Kids Ice Cream

Silly Mummy

The Holly Hockdoor

and a dad:

Dad Blog UK


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Knackered Mothers Epidemic Breaks Out As School Year FINALLY Ends

end of school year mum


A mother of three is being treated for exhaustion as the school year draws to a close. Our Daily Fail undercover reporter (posing as a stressed father with Man Flu) managed to obtain a copy of the hospital admissions form containing Mrs Prabulous’s own reasons for seeking help. It makes for sorry reading. Amongst her sins were:

– Failing to RSVP to birthday party invites

– Telling her youngest there were no more spaces at an after-school activity because she “couldn’t bear to spend one more minute in the effing car to get there”

– Failing to check homework folders since May April

– Hardly ever remembering ‘”that fricking library book”.

Even worse, the pint-sized British Asian mother who lives in a four bedroom house by the sea in Malta (this is the Daily Fail remember…we love to throw in totally irrelevant shit like that and pretend it’s real journalism) confessed that her biggest crime of the school year was feeling actual relief when her eldest went down with a suspected case of chicken pox forcing the whole family to miss a school event. She confessed:

“I nearly did a jig in the middle of the lounge upon realising that I was off the hook having to make entire trays of tandoori chicken for the British table at the biggest event of the school year. Wrong. Attitude.”

A senior consultant at the clinic that deals mainly in treating Syndrome of The Underachieving Chronically Knackered Yelling (SUCKY) Mother said “This is not an isolated case. We’ve actually seen a sharp rise in this sort of case over the last few weeks. It’s not unusual for stressed out mothers to be admitted complaining of lunch box boredom, school project frustration, PTA exhaustion and utter dread over ‘that stupid new maths long division method’. However, if I’m honest, this is the most severe case we’ve treated so far.

“Mrs Prabulous is not just suffering from run of the mill fatigue. Upon closer analysis, we noticed serious symptoms of general disorganisation and apathy. When interviewed upon her arrival, she admitted she:

– has considered giving her kids a packet of crackers and a jar of nutella between them and “just letting them fight it out in the playground” as she was tired of coming up with lunches that all three would finish.

– was the last parent to pay for end of year teachers’ gifts

– resorted to using her five year-old’s Hello Kitty markers to write the children’s names on clothing as she never got round to ordering name labels. Ever.

– got the school start date wrong once leading her kids to miss the first two days of term.”


Mothers at her children’s school have been shocked by the developments. “We always knew she wasn’t the most organised or involved of mothers but this is a shock” said one who did not wish to be named.

The Daily Fail’s special investigations unit has learned that the clinic was full of mothers repeatedly asking “Is it wine o’f*ckingclock yet?”, clutching crumpled unsigned class trip forms and muttering something about waiting for the bell to ring on the last day of term and collapsing at the finish line.

Doctors have identified the condition suffered by Mrs Prabulous.

It is called Sheer Relief.

It is often replaced by another disorder 48 hours later:




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If They Did A Cocktail Menu For Mothers, It Would Probably Go Something Like This

Oh the excitement we mamas feel when we finally make it out for that long-awaited night out… The thrill of letting our hair down over a few drinks instead of just falling asleep on the sofa after one glass of wine. Especially when we notice we’re still in time for happy hour. Yep, cocktails! Why not? After all, it’s a much deserved ‘night off’. Actually, that goes for ‘ladies who lunch’ get togethers, Mother’s Day celebrations, birthdays…

But life totally changes when we have kids. Suddenly that cocktail menu that was a hoot in our younger days can seem like an almost unfamiliar blast from our partying past and the drink names are almost ironic. So I’ve been thinking, they really ought to come up with a cocktail menu specifically for mothers that helps us choose a drink based on what motherhood is like rather than the ingredients they contain. And if they did, I reckon the menu would go something like this.


 Cheers mothers everywhere!


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Friday Frolics

5 Reasons Why I’m Glad I Had C-sections

c section

I may sometimes joke about not being a real woman as I don’t know what it’s like to have a contraction or go into labour but it is exactly that: a joke, a big Prabulous joke. I have never felt guilt or shame over my c-sections. Why talk about this? Well, it turns out April was caesarean awareness month. It’s also when I came across blogger Next Life No Kids who is spearheading the Mommitment movement, aimed at stamping out Mum-shaming (sorry I’m a Brit). Ha, the coincidence! Because what’s one of the biggest mum-shaming obsessions perpetuated by society (i.e. mothers)? Yep, the passive-aggressive view that women who wind up having c-sections somehow failed at childbirth. Purleeese.

Here’s the thing. Whether a woman has a home birth/hospital birth/gas and air/no gas and air/epidural/no epidural/a scheduled caesarean/an emergency caesarean/a super quick labour/days of hell in labour/a doula/a state midwife/a private doctor/a water birth/a squat on the side of the road and just get it out birth, the ONLY thing that matters is if that child is born healthy. If it is, that’s one lucky child and one lucky mother. I don’t think we truly realise how incredible the female body is or how miraculous pregnancy and childbirth is until we actually go through it. Whichever options we choose or have thrust upon us by circumstances, that baby is a miracle however it came out.


Yes, natural birth is best. It just isn’t always the best option…as I found out:

In a nutshell, Musical M wasn’t thriving as my placenta was no longer viable and she was too underweight to stand much chance of making it out of the birth canal alive, VBAC was apparently too risky with Dreamy D and by the time it came to Cheeky K, my fate was sealed. All three were breach and had the cord around the neck several times.

But a walk in the park those c-sections were not! Spinal block, ice cold operating room, conditions, catheters, needles, stitches, trying to move…everything hurt like holy hell. Granted, my c-sections just involved uncomfortable tugging rather than the searing pain of pushing but everything else…oh God. Trying not to shiver and shake while the anaesthetist inserted that needle. Being lifted and rolled onto my bed as I couldn’t feel my lower half. Trying to feed baby without placing baby anywhere near my sore tummy. Trying to sleep with a catheter and needles in me. The blindsiding tear-inducing pain of trying to walk once the feeling returned in my legs…just the most bloody painful, humbling experience of my life. Up till then. Of course, much later, kneeling on the floor wiping up food and begging a toddler to eat just one frickin’ mouthful would become the most bloody painful, humbling experience of my life. Oh and laughing, sneezing, coughing and just plain breathing? They felt like extreme sports due to the air that got trapped while I was open on the operating table, causing shocking stomach pains once it was stitched back up (as if that poor sucker hadn’t been through enough).

I begged the doctors, nurses, cleaners, the woman in the next bed’s visitors, heck anyone who walked past me for pain relief. Yep, Alternative-Medicine Prabs was replaced by Desperately-Seeking-Any-Fucking-Drugs Prabs. What can I say? Morphine, Voltaren, Co-dydramol, Anythingamol and I became friends. (I think this mum just shamed herself.)

So, wondering how or why I could possibly be glad I didn’t give birth naturally? Here are:



1. Who doesn’t want a four day break from dishes, laundry?
Most of my friends were desperate to get home the same day they give birth. I couldn’t think of anything worse. Just think about it: I got a break from domestic drudgery. Then once I got to my second birth, much as I missed toddler Musical M like crazy and dissolved in tears when I finally saw her, those four days in a quiet room with her brother were heaven. What’s not to like about not having to deal with this for a few days?

By the time it came to Cheeky K, the easiest roomie who just slept all day and didn’t yell Mama, mum, mummy, MAMAAAA!! every few minutes…I’m telling you it was a mini holiday. The only thing missing was the minibar. I asked for a fifth day.

2. Being unable to drive or lift heavy things for several weeks was almost liberating.
I had the ‘luxury’ of cocooning at home with a newborn (if you can call surviving on next to no sleep cocooning) as I couldn’t go far without a car and my driver (aka ‘he who got me pregnant’) was at work. I could wear pyjamas all day (ironic considering the lack of sleep) as I wasn’t going anywhere and could watch trash TV (albeit with a baby clamped to my breast) because hoovering the floor or unloading the dishwasher involved lifting. And I wasn’t meant to lift, right?

3. My biggest fear in life was the agony of childbirth so I wont lie: I WAS relieved when the docs decided I had a date with Edward Scissorhands.
I can’t deny I played at wanting a natural birth. You are expected to want it…because it’s natural… People have different fears: spiders, flying, heights, whatever. Honestly? I didn’t view the act of pushing a rather large thing out of a rather small hole as natural. Nope. Not. At. All. Of course the irony is that despite my pathetically low pain threshold, I was nevertheless able to tolerate being cut open three times.

4. My stomach may be shot to pieces but I now have a shelf to rest my coffee mug.
Visible scars aside, I sprang back into shape super quickly after my first two c-sections. But that third child. Mercy me, that third… I now have the delightful ‘too many c-sections shelf’.  Let’s just say when I lie on my side…well…I just shouldn’t. When I lie on my back, I can’t say it’s that much better. Ah, the beauty of the post-caesarean ‘overhang’. The only way to avoid it: big girl panties. But what’s the point of that when I need that shelf for my coffee mug?

5. I may be lazy with kegel exercises but I don’t wet myself every time I cough or laugh or run, thanks to my lady region not being destroyed by pushing three humans out.
Major props to my natural birth sisters but sorry, that is definitely something to be thankful for. I didn’t say it doesn’t happen. It just doesn’t happen every time…

Seriously though, I know c-sections are no laughing matter. Mine were carried out based on medical decisions made by the doctors. Each successive operation can be more tricky and of course I would have conquered my fears and given birth naturally if circumstances allowed. But that’s not the way things worked out. I spent a millisecond feeling like less of a woman for not achieving the trophy-worthy natural birth before snapping out of it and realising I had still very much given birth and was crazy lucky to have each of my little bundles of joy. (Anyway, undergoing major surgery three times is deserving of a trophy in my book.)

Oh and that not being a ‘real woman’ thing. It isn’t because I had c-sections. It’s because I never got my boobs.


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