Maria Rushe completes her funny, frank and informative guide to becoming a mammy.


N – NAPPIES – sometimes do not do what they say on the tin.  Babies like to wait for a nice clean on before they work their poonami. Also, you NEVER have enough in the house and you should NEVER leave the house without at least 2 in your bag or boot.

O – Oh no you did not... –  You did not just eat a cold fishfinger off the plate you are scraping.  You did not say “Stop licking the fridge.” You did not just sing the theme tune of Peter Rabbit in the shower. You did not just say “Good boy” to your husband as he handed you the remote.  If you want to read more things that you WILL do, here ya go!

P – POO – Big, small, sheepballs, slimy, black, green, gray, brown, sneaky, silent, violent, sticky, honking… sniff that bum. Not sure? Swipe your finger in… Yup. Poo in the nappy.  Poo in the bath.  Poo on the floor. Conversations about poo. “Good nappies”   Being a parent = poo! Lot of it!

Q – QUIET – The quiet and calm that descend on a home as the last child drifts off to sleep is like nothing else on earth. Busy homes and noisy homes. And noise is fab, but you’ll learn to appreciate quiet on a whole new level once you have babies. Enjoy it however, because once they hit the twoublemaker years, quiet becomes suspicious. If they’re not asleep and they’re quiet, be afraid, be very afraid!

R – READING – Nursery rhymes, songs, stories. Get used to them and get your children used to them. Rhymes are everywhere. They go from being soothing and fun to being really quite useful with toddlers. “Clean up, Clean up, everybody everywhere?” (works 78% of the time!)Make a bedtime story part of your daily routine from day dot. And you should read too.  Not just internet forums and blogs, try something grown up and funny. Even a few pages a day helps.



S – SEX – Yes so that’s what got you here in the first place, but it doesn’t go away.  We all have different ways of viewing sex. For some, they never want to think about it again. For others, they can’t wait to get back to business. It’s personal. If you’ve had a section, or a particularly traumatic birth, you might need to wait a while before getting back on the job. And it IS new. Things down there have changed and you might not be in as much control as you used to be of your body parts. But take your time. You might feel like you’ll never get back to the way it was.  You will.  It just takes time.

T – TEETHING  –  Labour is not the ultimate hell on earth.  Teething is.  It starts as early as 8 weeks and continues until feck knows when. I have a  Princess who is cutting all four eye teeth at once… Try everything. Herbal remedies, gels, frozen teethers, chew toys, cold face cloths…  It’s a bitch. But it is a phase and it WILL end.

U – U-turns – Be prepared.  You think you’re going one way, you’re not.  You are determined to do something, you don’t.  “I will only feed my children organic food” becomes “Who wants waffles and fishfingers?  “My child shall never have sugar” becomes “JUST GIVE HER THE SMARTIES”  “I could never leave my child for a night” becomes “Can you keep her for two?” You might have great intentions and if you can stick to them, good for you, but most of us end up doing massive U-Turns and making no apologies for them!

V – VIOLENCE – in many forms.   1. Violent mood swings.  One minute, you’re beaming with joy, then a pampers ad has you in hysterics.  2. Violent thoughts as your partner snores beside you as you feed or burp for the 46th time that night. 3. Violent protection – the reaction in you when you think that someone has hurt or upset your child.  It’s OK for YOU to scold and shout at them, but someone else does it, and you turn into a Lioness and are planning their slow and painful demise.

Also for VAGINAS – The most magical things in the world. Like Mammies, they can be stretched to the limit and yet spring back practically unscathed.

V is also for VASECTOMY, funnily enough…

W – WASHING – Let the games begin and may the odds be ever in your favour.  Actually, the odds are that you shall never again see the bottom of your laundry basket.  And you WILL wonder if there are 7 invisible people living in your house that you haven’t met.

W is also for Wine.

X – XXX.  Babies also bring an endless supply of kisses.  From the slabbery ones, to the snottery ones, to the stolen ones. Take them and give them often.

Y – YOU.  Don’t lose you.  You still have your needs and you still have your skills. And even if you aren’t able to look after them or use them right now, because you are doing the most important job in the world, you must keep them in sight as you will use them again soon. So keep up the hobby. Go back to the art class. Keep writing or making or baking or singing. Whatever it is that makes you you, show your babies and let them see you doing it.

Z – ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZS – SLEEP  –  The Holy fecking grail. For some it is fine. For others it seems to disappear for 7 years.  There is no secret or answer. And I have NO idea about it. But I can tell you that a bedtime routine from the start helps. And I must also share with you the power of CBeebies.  Since Mini-Me was a few weeks old, CBeebies bedtime hour was on in the background.  Iggle Piggle and his multicoloured pals sing and dance and then there is a bedtime story and a nice lullaby, before the screen goes blue.  To this day, it is how my girls know that it is bedtime. Supper, Jammies, storybook, teeth, bed. Sometimes it works, other times, it doesn’t. Bathtime before bed doesn’t work for me. (They get too wired up.)   We also had a side of the bed system. Whoever slept beside the door was on Baby duty during the night. It did help, because we both got some sleep, some nights.

So there!  Chripes that was longer than I’d planned, but considering that I could write (and have probably written) posts on all of the above already, I’ve done well I think to keep it to this length!

Have a great weekend!