30 November 2016

Interview with Surviving Motherhood AKA Amy Ransom!

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Morning! Today I have an interview with Surviving Motherhood aka Amy Ransom aka the inventor of The New Mum's Notebook! 

I was very pleased to tie Amy down for some questions and find out how she fits it all in plus juggling motherhood too!! 

This is the interview my lovelies;

Hi Amy, thank you for answering some questions for Bad Mum magazine.
Congratulations on the success of The New Mum’s Notebook! I am hopelessly addicted to stationary and this book is enough to make me want another baby! Before my partner kills me, please tell me there is another one coming out for Mum’s with toddlers? Or even just for Mum’s in general…I want one!

So many people have asked this! There are two more notebooks on development for not new Mum's for 2017. Watch this space! P.S I am a stationary geek too...obviously! 

What made you want to make the notebook and how did you even begin?

I wanted to get some reassurance to new mums in those early weeks after having a baby, when you can spend a lot of time on your own, doubting yourself and feeling quite lonely. I thought that if new mums knew how normal it was, they might feel better supported. The Notebook sort of created itself. From a 16 page booklet it just grew and grew to the 304 page colour journal it is now. I was very lucky to have some brilliant friends who just happen to be talented too! So I had a designer on board from the start, a stylist to help oversee the project and tell me that, 'No. I shouldn't have animal print ALL over the cover,' (she was right) and a graphic designer/web developer to make sure someone could actually buy it.

Have you been pleasantly surprised with the positive response you’ve received so far?

Yes, it's only been two months and I can't quite believe how many people have bought it. Not because I think it's rubbish, I should add. But just because, wow, people are actually buying something I've made. I've had quite a few messages from women who've said it's helped them confront some anxiety or PND issues and that was very humbling to hear. I felt very emotional when I read those.

These days our time is very stretched and us Mum’s become experts at multi-tasking! How are you finding being a parent, running a business and everything else life throws at us?

I really like having lots to do. That said, some days I'm not very good at it! My mind gets frazzled, I can't think and we all end up in Mc Donald's because it's time to call it a day and I don't have the energy to cook. We're mostly muddling through but I'm OK with that most of the time.

Just from looking at your website and Instagram account anyone can see you are one busy lady! What motivates you and what is next on your To Do list?

Opportunity motivates me. The world of social media has basically handed opportunity on a plate to anyone who wants a piece of it. I'm not short of ideas, but I'm short of time! And storage, ha ha. Next on the list are two more notebooks in the range and possibly some other merchandise, related to the blog.

On Bad Mum, I represent the real face of parenting. Do you feel it is important that the real day to day life of parenting is shown on social media to make it more realistic and assessable for parents?

Yes, I do. Most of the comments I get on my blog are from people saying what I've posted makes them feel better. We basically all want to know we're 'normal' and that we're not alone in our struggles or thoughts. I do think that there's going to be a backlash against some forms of 'honest parenting' in the not too distant future. Where people get fed up of seeing mothers posting selfies drinking wine and it just all becomes less funny.

We all know how bloody hard parenting can be sometimes and apart from reaching for the wine, how do you cope (or survive) the really bad days?

I'm actually trying to be good with the wine and gin these days. I've mostly cut it out during the week because sometimes I find it makes that 5-7 PM bedtime slot even more painful, as I take my eye off the game and it takes twice as long! Sleep is how I cope now. I've just discovered that going to bed at 10 PM and getting 8 hours sleep makes a real difference to how I cope with the kids. I've even started leaving my phone downstairs so I'm not tempted for 'one more scroll' through Instagram!

Lastly, everyone must leave us with a parenting confession they have never told anyone before? Go and do a shot then write it down!

Now, this one might be a problem for me. Mummy blogger. Over sharer. Goes with the territory...there isn't much I haven't confessed!

Thank you so much for your time and I wish you continued success with The New Mum’s Notebook plus everything you achieve in the future! I'll let you off the confession this time...ha ha! 

To see Amy's full profile and details please visit the Bloody Truthful Mama's section above. 


29 November 2016

Huge welcome to...

Today I have the very talented Kika Mitchell supplying us with a Guest Post. 

You can find Kika over on Instagram here or take a look at her website here. I feel like an interview with Kika might need to be done...over to you my lovely! 

Today I’m proud I became a quitter. In pursuit of having it “all”!  

Today I became a quitter. And this is no bad thing. In fact it's a very good thing for my sanity and my family. I put them first. I chose to leave my television career and continue with my dream of another, in Child and Family Photography. So despite the fact that I tell my children to try again, never give up and keep going, Mummy couldn't and didn't want to try anymore. It was too tough and it would have driven Mummy bonkers. So my darling sproglets, do as Mummy says and not as she does! I know best remember!

When I left university I decided I wanted to work in telly, I said it, so I believed it and I made it happen.  That's how I operate, say what you mean and mean what you say!

I have worked so hard my whole career, I made tea for years, I got treated like a slave in a TV newsroom, I worked 12 hour night shifts, I drove home at breakfast time and drove back in at home time, I've travelled the world in style, I used to challenge myself to film product demo's without ever reading the instructions, I once even modelled on shopping telly because the model didn't turn up, yes really I did, I've laughed so much at work and had so much fun whilst getting paid it was almost a crime. I've made the best friends ever, fact!

I've worked on national telly for years and loved it so much. It was all I needed and what made me feel fulfilled and proud of myself, until something else became more important.

Two little people I never thought I'd be lucky enough to have arrived...We’d left it late, my lovely boyfriend and I wanted to be "ready" whatever the hell that means, so we tried and tried, you know the story…

I fitted in IVF and embryo transfers around my edits and foreign shoots. Fast forward a few years and those little people with the big eyes became too important to leave on a Wednesday morning at nursery and not see awake again until Saturday morning.

I'm not saying I won't find it hard, and I'm not terrified of missing the buzz of London, the ITV telly tower, 4pm chocolate cravings in the office, the great atmosphere of shoot days, even the commute, but I have to follow my heart and to be honest it was costing me a fortune in rescue remedy! Some women make it look easy, I am not one of those women. 

I felt like a bad girlfriend, bad daughter, bad friend and what mattered the most was I felt like a bad mother and colleague. I had too many people for whom I felt guilt. As a wise lady once said, guilt is such a wasted emotion but it doesn't make it any less real or less destructive. I simply couldn't cope with not being good enough. I used to be great at most things, but then being bad at most things became too much. Actually I wasn’t that bad, I just never had enough friggin time to be as good as I knew I could be. And that wasn’t going to change, time is not something you can bolt on with your childcare vouchers unfort! Now for my own sanity I prefer to be just good enough at a few things!

The things I will miss will be: being part of a gang, a cool London gang, actually was I ever part of this- maybe not but I still had a gang! I will miss my team! I will miss leaving home on a Wednesday and sometimes feeling important. But I won't miss the stress, the guilt, the rush, the guilt, the commute, the adrenaline fuelled rush home, my heart beating so fast my throat starts to close up, as every second literally counts beyond measure. Missing the tube, rushing so hard I don't care if I hyperventilate or knock someone over. Looking at my watch and thinking I've made it to the car park 5 minutes earlier than normal, and how I'll make it to nursery slightly earlier to miss the 6pm rush, only to realise those 5 minutes melted in Marks and Spencer whilst getting the snacks I should have packed the night before. Then getting there and those little faces that light up and make me wonder why I ever left them.  Driving home praying that the meltdown happens once in the house and not in the car...heart still beating out of my chest!  But now it's done, it's over and I've taken control back. I know there will still be meltdowns but now when they happen they won't all be my fault and it won't be all three of us crying! I will make a new tribe though, and it will work for me.

I know and I'm trying to prepare for the days where I turn on ITV and miss the old me of telly land, I wipe the kitchen counter more times than needed, and I walk around far longer than I should in sloppy jogging bottoms with no make up on, oh and the days when despite my new found non telly job status I still put the kids in front of CBeebies for longer than I'm proud of...but in spite of all of these reasons and in spite of my hard working awe inspiring mother and her generation claiming we could have it all, I know I for one cannot. Well not without a price anyway, and that price won't be my mental stability, my children's memories, nor at the cost of my relationship.

I admire all mothers, the stay at home ones, foster ones, adoption ones, the working ones and most heart breaking the ones who yearn to be yet can’t. It’s bloody tough and the struggle is real! No one ever prepares you for this bit, the guilt bit. You think the hardest bit will be the early days of sleep deprivation, leaky boobs, shit explosions, and snot stains on your best black jeans! God who knew children could cause the leakage of so many bodily fluids! Right I must go, the kitchen counter needs wiping! Oh and I've run out of rescue remedy.

If you would like to write, be featured, advertise or promote on Bad Mum Magazine, please contact me. 

27 November 2016

To comment or not to comment?

This is an article I wrote for the Huffington Post recently; first seen here

Or you can just read it here...

Unless you’ve been underneath an Instagram rock lately you would have seen the ever growing group of females, mostly all Mum’s, taking over your feed and flooding you with their Kick-Ass vlogs, blogs and books. And, it certainly is impressive.
What comes with this ever growing Mummy power is a huge sisterhood which is stronger than it ever has been. If you need a whinge, cry or celebrate a baby milestone then open up that little box with the camera symbol on and go ahead; you will soon get encouragement, celebrations and support back from women you have never spoken to before. Trust me it is the best pick me up you can get and after scrolling through all the different Instagram feeds you put your phone down feeling empowered to change the world just a little. Now in my book that is brilliant, especially when being a parent you can be isolated and lonely.
Instagram is in a league of its own and I’m not too shy to admit that I am probably a tad addicted to it. Put Instagram with the blogging world and you have a recipe for success. From this success something rather special is emerging. A new type of famous - the “IN” crowd full of VIP of Instagram Land. And, what I wouldn’t give to be in that gang!

To belong in this crowd you need a super duper niche, an eye catching website, some professional photos taken and a good face to match...not a lot to ask really. Oh, and did I mention the 50k followers too?
After that you will see the book deals land on your welcome mat and the phone calls inviting you to appear on This Morning with Phil and Holly. And, all this can be yours from hardly spending a penny and some hard graft.
As these new found celebrities started on social media then it is easy to follow their every footstep along the way and try your best to get noticed yourself. But, boy it is hard! As much as people like Joe Wicks and Zoella have dominated Instagram and YouTube they still try to give advice where they can but it is the fans you need to watch out for.
The fans of social media stars are a force to be reckoned with and daily you have to make the decision whether to pipe up and speak out on something you may disagree with or keep quiet to remain undeleted in the comment section. Every single day people post photos with captions underneath, on Instagram, on their own views and opinions. This of course is absolutely fine and everyone is entitled to this right but if you disagree with what they have posted, will you say something?
Nine times out of ten the person that posted the photo will know they will get a mixed bag of reactions filling up their notification box but the fans are a different matter. If you chose to go against the grain and disagree then you may be accused of being a troll, a hater or the powerful sisterhood that once had your back, will come into play and soon leave you out in the cold, report you or flood you with harsh backlash which you don’t want if you are trying to make it to the top yourself.
If you are trying to make it to the top then annoying a ton of people in one go isn’t really recommended as you’ll soon discover no matter what you do these people will no longer follow you. So, do you keep quiet on something you disagree with to help you make it or speak out and take the risk?
It recently happened to me; I disagreed with a post on Instagram and as I read through all the comments I found I was the only one that felt this way. Every single comment agreed with the person that originally posted it and then it made me think ‘are these people really agreeing or are they just writing that to please this person and to stay within the confines of the group’...after all they say safety in numbers!
I had a decision to make; just move on, say how I really feel or lie to maybe gain more followers.
I decided to say how I felt but I done it in a polite manner and yes the person that posted the photo totally respected me for it but I did in fact loose some followers too! Everyone has a voice, let’s just except we are all different with our own views and live within the happy #nofilter world of Instagram in peace and not run to the “unfollow” button when someone disagrees with you.


25 November 2016

About bloody time!

I think it is about bloody time I actually write on my own site! Oh boy, has Bad Mum taken off or what; thank you so much to everyone that understands the concept behind it and for everyone filling my inbox up with amazing bits and bobs.

I promise I will get to everyone, even if I have to work day and night (which I am) I will get to you; you are not unnoticed or forgotten. I have To Do lists everywhere at the minute and a notebook that has become my best friend – touch it and you’re dead!

I am slowly showing my new born baby, Bad Mum, to friends and the ladies at the school gate; the ones you normally do a polite nod or muster up a fellow Mum hello too and it has been a complete mixed bag of reactions. I have had my friend send me a text saying “OMG Hun, just had a brief look and it looks and sounds incredible!! Its seriously amazing Soph and I am so proud of you!” to not interested at all to people looking at me in horror by the Bad Mum name…if you’re that easily shocked you better not read the crocheted dicks zine I posted!

Saying Bad Mum still seems to be a bit of a shocker to people which I totally get because I have been called it after all but this is not a site promoting shit mothers that piss off and leave their baby; sit around all day out of their head and more interested in going out then actually being a Mother! This site is full of bloody amazing parents that somehow manage to bring up a human being brilliantly and at the same time conquer the world with their blog/business/product/personality, all while holding their shit together…somehow! Now, that is what this site is all about and I’ll say HELL YES to that!

Bad Mum represents the bare face of real parenting by real parents. This is a platform to showcase parent’s talents and also come together to be honest about the shit side to parenting, instead of keeping quiet about it. It is a platform to showcase the voice that has been waiting to be heard.

We all know there is a tough side to parenting and it is boring, mind numbing, hard work, sleep depriving and stressful but we don’t always say it out loud because in society it is seen as a terrible thing to say looking after your child all day is boring! But it can be! When you are stuck indoors, watching CBeebies all day and then that flipping channel decides to repeat all the same programmes again in the afternoon, you’ve already watched that morning (and your little one acts like it is the first time they’ve ever seen it) you are ready to hit the bottle or stick your head in the microwave just to bring it back to life again!

It is just getting people to speak about it and make it more normal but it appears that parents are craving for some honesty. There are plenty of Mum’s out there now doing a great job spreading the word and showing that WE ALL DO IT!

I have been writing for years and done everything I can to get my writing shown just somewhere as long as it was out there. The fact I can feature your work and to receive such lovely comments and emails thanking me, gives me such a buzz! You guys have become my drug; let’s hope I don’t OD on honesty!

I’m way to honest for my own good and I’ll tell anyone anything if they ask me. I’ll probably be the same on here too. I’m not shy to discuss the tough topics or the subjects we hardly discuss; like sex...or lack of! God at the beginning, when I first had my son I was a complete lunatic with being sleep deprived and if my partner had even mentioned the word shag I would have cut his dick off with a carving knife! If we did manage something I’d have one eye on the clock and the other on...well just remove the l out of clock! All while just thinking this is eating into (stop it you dirty lot) my sleeping time and that was very scarce and precious!

And, when it comes to romance well, have a laugh! The closest to romance I get these days is my partner asking me if I’ve had a shower today and if not can I go and use a wet wipe to freshen up (please note; I do wash every day and I am not a minger) so we can have (yet again) a shag! Or stopping mid-shag so he can fart or burp! Romance is officially stone dead.

Anyway this is me and this is Bad Mum. I’m getting more comfortable with my special-ness and quirks; which I’m sure you’ll see from time to time. I have a handsome funny little boy who I adore with all my heart and who I had a full blown conversation to about the price of tomato sauce today in Tesco’s (all other major supermarkets available...always wanted to say that.) He wanted the small bottle for £1.65 and I said we might as well go for the bigger one as it’s only £2.00...this conversation went back and forth for some time until eventually he won. That kid wouldn’t know a bargain if it hit him in the face (and it nearly did!)

Anyway folks, this is me, this is Bad Mum, that’s some of my life and let’s start this Bad Mum journey (*she said the journey word, who does she think she is? Someone off Strictly Come Dancing?*) together because I have a rather good feeling this is going to be one hell of a trip…and I can’t bloody wait!

Hold on tight as I have a feeling it is going to be a bumpy ride! 


23 November 2016

Huge welcome to...

Today we have a guest post from Lianne Harris and you will find her over at mrsmummyharris86 on Instagram. 

As I only know all to well what it is like to be called a bad Mum, Lianne has also experienced the same treatment but has chosen to speak out also and list what she does as a Mother to we all do! 

Over to Lianne...

Recently I found out someone had called me a bad mother, a bad mother whilst I was pregnant with my first child. Now this was shocking as the accuser is a fellow parent. Someone who I thought would be supportive as I entered into the new chapter in my life, but no. I got judged on the basis that I treat my cats like a child. I set timers for their dinner, we ask people to catsit when we go away overnight and we keep them as housecats due to a train station and major roundabout within seconds of our house.

Now as a major middle finger up to my accuser; here are my mistakes to date:-

1) Quite frequently Ben cries when I'm out of the room, so when I'm in the kitchen washing up or doing his bottles I sing to keep him quiet. It started off with Ben by Michael Jackson and the current choice of song is the Justin Timberlake Troll song. It keeps him quiet whilst I do jobs around the house but lately it doesn't always work. Sometimes he just cries and cries and I walk back into the front room to find Ben has fallen onto his front; sometimes he has an arm trapped underneath as he slopes sideways, other times it's just pure faceplant.

2) When Ben was young and I needed a wee and didn't want his eyes peering at me I'd leave him on his changing mat, it worked until he started to roll over but last week I walked into his room and found cotton buds emptied all over him, they went literally everywhere, in his trousers up his top, in the cot, on the floor! Definitely not going to do that again!

3) Ben was barely a month old when I was hosting a coffee morning with my mummy friends and I realised he needed a bum change. We had a mat downstairs as I was worried about the cats getting under my feet on the stairs, so I went to move him from his Moses basket to his mat but by doing this I accidentally hit his head on the corner of our coffee table. Wow did I panic! I looked at my friends in horror and became more worried when Ben didn't cry. However, he appeared absolutely fine and one of my friends then reassured me by telling me she'd done worse just that morning as her baby (a few months older) had fallen off of the bed!

4) The first time we went out with Ben, all of 6 days post birth, we were in a shop and I walked away from the pram to the next aisle and forgot to take him with me! This is less being a bad mum, more not used to having a baby in a pram to think of!

So there you have it, a list of things I have done since becoming a "bad mum" oh also becoming a bit of a recluse as I had a few panic attacks whilst out with Ben alone due to my PND. So due to this he doesn't always get Sunshine, but most weekends when hubby is home we go out. Must remember to smack my hand!!

Personally, I think I'm a fucking fantastic mother. I don't drink around him, I don't do drugs and I don't palm him off to others so I can run out with my mates and have a night out. I quit smoking (a 15 year habit) the moment I found out I was expecting and haven't caved since.

My point is, we all make mistakes; some of the above laid heavily on my mind for a while but they don't make a bad mum, if we all have confidence in our roles and show our kids that hurtful words can only make us stronger then we're doing a good job.

I am going to be an amazing mother, yes I may do certain things for an easier life like a wet wipe bath or put his rusks in a bottle rather than spoon feed on a busy day (who doesn't?). This child will be given every opportunity in life and will know discipline, empathy and will be an amazing gentleman just like his father. In years to come he will be an amazing boyfriend, husband and hopefully a father; and that will all be down to what his parents taught him.

So fuck you haters!!

You go girl, that is exactly how I felt too and don't feel like you need to justify yourself to anyone as youre doing a great job! 


22 November 2016

Interview with Zombiie Mummy

Hi Hannah, thank you so much for giving up your time to answer some questions for Bad Mum, I know you must be so tired with your little bundle of joy, baby Zelda. And, by the way that is such a cool name!

I absolutely love your style and your cute little family! What made you start up a blog and become a children’s fashion and lifestyle blogger?

I originally started up the blog as a way of documenting my life as a new mum, one that generally had little clue & I felt, if one Mum read it and felt OK about herself then I was doing a good job, It evolved when my son grew from a baby to a toddler and I started to re-think about the clothing I purchased for him, and wanted to know where it came from. I started the blog with no clue how to get readers to it, now I feel confident in what topics I write about and the direction its going in.

As a parent do you feel it is important to retain who you are as a person, such as your style and not completely lose yourself in baby land? I know from experience a whole year has passed me by before without me really looking in the mirror properly! It was a fright when I finally did.

I think it’s very important to retain who you are, even if it’s your clothing style. Becoming a Mum doesn’t mean losing who you are, sure parenthood is an all encompassing lifetime role, when your baby is given to you for the first time, your life changes forever  but that doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your happiness. A happy Mama means a happy family after all.

As the weeks seem to fly by (especially with a new baby) how do you find time to run your blog and be a Mum at the same time?

I actually feel like I’ve really neglected the blog since my daughter was born, but somehow I find time to look after the blog and the social media side. Luckily for me (so far) both my children are easily contented and as I’m always thinking of new blog posts, I get things done in stages, so I feel organised and less flustered when my daughter wakes or my son wants the Play-Doh out for the millionth time that day. 

I love that your photos are real and true to you. At Bad Mum I strongly believe parents should show the real side to being a parent; even the tough days, to show it isn’t always a bed of roses! Do you think being honest on social media is important?

I think it’s important to stay as honest as you feel comfortable with, for me Zombiie Mummy was set up on the foundation of honesty because Mary Poppins was just a character after all and Mothers shouldn’t try to be perfect. Parenting is sometimes very difficult and by showing the totally honest parts, as mothers we can all support one another, no matter the struggle.

If being a parent, looking after the family and running a blog all wasn’t enough to do, what is next on your To Do list and how will you achieve this?

Next on my to do list is re-decorating my living room, with weeks until Christmas I don’t think I quite have enough time to achieve this yet, but I plan to have all hands on deck on this in the new year, my husband and son can both lend a hand! Haha!

As a parent we all experience good days as well as bad days. We simply do what we need to do to get through the day and basically to survive the madness! I personally have given my son chocolate for breakfast just so he has eaten something and then cleaned him up with a wet wipe; then gone on to clean the whole bloody house with it! What things have you done just to keep your sanity?

What things have I done to keep my sanity? One time I didn’t brush my sons teeth until bedtime, because I dreaded the screaming tantrums I got each morning so much I felt unable to do it without losing my mind.. needless to say my husband did the bedtime routine that day! That day was particularly challenging for me personally, we all have those type of days though don’t we.

Lastly, everyone has to leave us with a parenting confession that you have never told anyone before?! Go and do a shot then write it down! 

My parenting confession is, we were at a wedding with our son once (who had not long turned 3) he was acting up so badly whilst waiting to be shown into the reception, I let him eat a little sugar cube! It’s horrifying to write down and admit, but there it is.

Don't worry we have all been there! 

Thank you so much again and all the luck in the world for the future! 

Take a look at the Bloody Truthful Mama's section above for all Zombiie Mummy's details. 


21 November 2016

The Art of Crocheting Dicks

I'm not sure about you, but when someone purposes – let's get together and crochet some dicks – I meet that with a “HELL YEA! Let's make some dicks!” without any hesitation. Not that I have ever attempted to crochet penises before, it isn't hard to imagine how. You seriously don't need a pattern. Penises are just a dome, a cylinder and a couple of spheres... easy. 

I think it is the simplicity of the shape that makes penises such an easily reproducible object. Vaginas just get complicated and then confusing for some reason, so females get stuck with tits. But that just feels very gendered. More people need to draw/create/replicate some uterus's!

So first time crocheting a dick? It's easy enough if you can crochet a circle. <Cast off four or five loops, Attach the ends, Add a line – adding two or three stitches per loop.> I must add that I'm a lazy crocheter, meaning I very rarely do single stitches (this way I can finish projects faster). In this case you should follow my example and do either double or triple stitches. This way when you are satisfied with the shape and size of your penis head, you can tapper it of with a few single stitch lines. At this point you should continue doing double or triple stitch lines (dropping a couple stitches at the beginning) to complete the shaft.  

As a mother of two young girls, I must say they were pretty excited when I started crocheting the balls. Why? Because I was obviously crocheting small hats for their dolls! What else could they possibly be!?  I finished them up after they went to bed by crocheting the two “hats” together and then adding a couple more lines. Then you want to stuff your penis and balls and attach them at an appropriate location, being sure to close off the end of your dick.

And there you go! A beautifully crocheted dick!

I'm pretty proud of the results but then I also started to question my new found dick crocheting talent. What does one do with a bag of crocheted dicks? Do I just continue to make them into my old age so that I can fill a gallery with them and put on a show? Do I enter them into craft competitions? (it would be pretty nice to have some award wining dicks). But I have a better idea for them. I'd like to see them used to make dick pics. Imagine receiving an unwanted and unsolicited dick pic and having the power to send one back! Crochet Dick Pics for the win!  

by Amye St John at Amyest.john on Instagram.

I bloody love this and gave me a good giggle too! 

Everyone is welcome at Bad Mum Magazine. 



20 November 2016

Huge welcome to...

Today we have a guest post from the lovely Barbara Kelso from Kelso Kids, you find Barbara's website here. 

Thank you Barbara! 

My mom genes gave me camel toe.

Jeans on me nowadays are like what a miniature waist cincher would be on a hot dog. Pointless and kind of disturbing. My lady parts swell up enough from chafing to convince a stranger they’re lost in the Sahara with the amount of camel toe I’m sporting. This pelvis is too long, too broken, and too bitter to be trifled with. 

So when I crossed paths with a headline that read, “Science Confirms You Are a Different Person After Giving Birth“. I scoffed and muttered to myself, “No $#!+, geniuses… how much did they spend on THAT &*%^$#÷ study?” 

Honestly though, the topic fascinates me (““Mom” From Your Cells Up“) and I’m thrilled that the scientific research community has finally deemed it interesting and worthy to study the other half of the population and our health. Especially since someone once upon a time bothered to birth them and sacrifice their body and health to bring them into the world but, you know, no big.

Back when I still wore jeans and looked well rested, and hopeful

I don’t regret the sacrifices I’ve made with my own health to have my children. I do regret that I live in an era that still treats women’s bodies solely focused on their fertility and nothing else. Our quality of life or the long term effects of treatments are rarely discussed because – hey, you got a baby out of this finally, right?

It makes me want to go back and scream at most of the doctors I’ve seen in my life and greet them with, “QUACK!” I deserved to know the truth and be fully informed about my choices. Instead, looking back, I was placated and patted like a cow being sent to pasture. It was routine to them, business as usual, and no regard was given to warning me about the dangers of fertility drugs used long term. 

My resentment at the medical community eclipses those feelings of grief over my old ability to bend over without pissing myself or sit on the floor and get back up without groaning or crying, almost. I’ve accepted that my body is broken, breaking, and possibly not even good enough for spare parts.

The comfort level of my clothes reflects the level of discomfort and pain I’m in on any given day. Someone commented recently that I dress so much more “feminine” these past years. 

I bristled (rightly so and not just my chins) and responded that I’ve been busy breastfeeding and chasing kids. My clothes required easy boob access, dark patterns to create stain camouflage, and the ability to use the bathroom one-handed. (You try using a public toilet with a baby in a carrier, a preschooler for company, and you’re in jeans. Good luck!)

My wardrobe downgraded immediately with my second trimester while pregnant with Nora and continued to plumit until I gave up all hope. I type in searches on eBay now like “cruisewear” or “lounge”. My dresses are all wrinkle-free floral patterns that are inexpensive enough I don’t fuss about stains and comfortable enough I can wear them to bed. I call them my “Mrs. Ropers'”. (If you don’t get the referrence just think mumu. Also, congratulations on being so young you’ve never heard of Threes Company, fetus.)

I can only wear dresses, skirts, and yoga pants because anything else is too uncomfortable from c-section scar tissue and joint problems. Which means if I wear form fitting clothes I swell up and walk like John Wayne in drag.

So to all of you out there that make fun of how moms dress – screw you. No really. If you need me to explain why then your mother failed and is either miserable with regret over going through so much to end up with you or clueless as to what a s#!++y job she’s done raising you since you’re the end result.

We’re busy “raising future grown ups” (thank you, Louis C.K.), so shut up or these mom genes might just stomp all over you.


18 November 2016

Huge welcome to...

Right, I will put it out there straight away! As soon as I read this I fell in love with her. This Mum totally understands Bad Mum and exactly how I have felt since having my son. This my friends is the reason why I started this website. 

Please enjoy this guest post and I am hoping we will be seeing Amy from kittyandpip (instagram) again! 

Hail to the Shit Mums 

It really gets my goat when 'insta-mums' are slated for hating their kids. 

There is a definite new generation of Mum's arising. A truthful, vocal, zero fucks given, kick ass Mum. I love these women and I am so genuinely thankful to them all. 

When my baby was born I hated everything. I hated my life, my house, my husband and sometimes my eldest and the baby. I felt like an awful person but what was worse I felt like a properly shit Mum. One morning whilst I cried into my cold cup of coffee, after another row with my eldest and the third poonami before Jeremy Kyle, I opened Instagram and found HUNDREDS of honest Mum's living the same things as me. Gone were the #blessed and 'look at their angelic face' captions. Gone were the immaculate homes and children. It was real honest motherhood, just with a quick Reyes filter or black and white photo. It was amazing. 

I think pre-baby women are generally all disillusioned about how idyllic motherhood is going to be which is one of the reasons that the reality is so much harder to deal with. I used to regularly think 'this isn't how it's meant to be!!!' whist pulling my hair out and crying into a dirty muslin. You feel like a failure 95% of the time. The other 5% is the most amazing you have ever felt and that totally erases the shitness. But in your dark moments it gets really dark and lonely. 

So to hear another woman say 'well this is bloody hard' or 'I'd give my left kidney for an afternoon on my own' is so reassuring. It offers an emotional and mental crutch to other Mum's who would otherwise be suffering silently. 

Recently I described my youngest as 'a total little shit' to a fellow Mum I don't know all that well. Instantly regretted it! Her face was a picture of shock and concern. I posted about it on Instagram and the response I received from fellow Mum's (Mum's I haven't actually met) was awesome: a big, warm, reassuring digital hug. 

If I meet a Mum who only has totally amazing, glowing things to say about motherhood then I think her antidepressants must be a lot stronger than mine! Or a Mum who never describes their child as a little shit, I can't help but think she might be a little delusional and that her kid is probably the 'spirited' one. 

I am yet to meet a woman though that only has bad things to say about motherhood. Like I have already said, doesn't matter how God awful it feels as soon as that little mini turns and smiles or belly laughs everything in the world seems to be right again. Muma, you got this! Handle it anyway you see fit, as long as you all survive and have a few smiles along the way who cares if you have dropped the F bomb and called the toddler a dick before breakfast. 


17 November 2016

Essex Mama Interview

Hi Liz and thank you so much for taking time out to answer some questions on parenting for Bad Mum.

Firstly, WOW! You are conquering the world my lovely and keep doing what you are doing! Your Girl Gang Tee’s are super cute! What made you decide to start Essex Mama and where did The Girl Gang Tee’s idea come from?

Ah, thank you so much! *blushes!* I started Essex Mama because of the very first Girl Gang tee I made. I wanted a top that said Girl Gang on it (don’t ask me why, I just did. Ha Ha!) I have always been a creative type & had a craft machine at home that allowed me to create the print so I went ahead and made one out of an old tee. One selfie later, and the messages started coming from friends, friends of friends etc who wanted to order one. So at the end of May, I cobbled together a website in totally clueless fashion & Essex Mama was born.

Do you think it is important for people to know you are not just a business women but a Mum also? 

Absolutely, to be honest it is one of the biggest parts of my brand. I couldn’t return to work after the birth of my son, Henry 3 years old, due to the inflexibility of my role and employer. I was itching to do something vaguely creative that used the minimal brain power left in my exhausted mind. So this was born by accident, it was never my intention to set-up a t-shirt business and I certainly feel like I am learning as I go – very much like mothering a now toddler! I am not perfect, nor is my business but being a Mum has certainly taught me to fret less about the stuff I can’t affect!

We all know there is no spare time these days so how do you find time to juggle being a parent and starting up your own business?

In short, I don’t. It’s not easy, I don’t think any Mum who starts a business would say it was easy. Regardless of how many children you have, you suddenly have one more. I don’t believe I juggle it particularly well but I work incredibly hard to make it work. I hate letting people down, I suffer anxiety and guilt all the time – the combo of Mum-guilt Vs Customer Guilt is powerful! So, if that means I work all night to get orders made so that I can spend the day with my child, then that’s what I frequently do! Thank fuck for concealer & caffeine right?!!

I see that you have worked with the lovely The Mother Hub and also Mother of Daughters, do you feel it’s important for us Mum’s to stick together?

When I had Henry I was part of a varied NCT group, they were essential to my survival in those crazed early days/years! I didn’t realise how much we needed one another, how much our sanity relied on it!!
As time went by our lives moved apart, they all went back to work and I didn’t, despite wanting to so badly! It was a lonely time, PND (Post Natal Depression) reared its ugly head and I realised then just how much you need the support of other mums.
You may have zero in common, be from the opposite sides of life but you’ve both popped a sproglet into the world who is suddenly the most fascinating, demanding and baffling thing you’ve ever laid eyes on!

Being a parent can be tough, we all experience the highs and lows but the lows are rarely spoken about on social media, such as Instagram. At Bad Mum I want this taboo subject to be spoken about more freely as we are all human. Do you feel it is important as a Mum to talk about the bad days as well as the good? 

Absolutely, as someone who experienced PND quite late on (Henry was 10 months old – I thought I just been put on the wrong contraceptive pill!) I was so ashamed. It hadn’t occurred to me that the way I was feeling wasn’t my fault & was completely normal. It was scary, lonely & put a lot of strain on everything. How I wish I had known it was OK, had been able to view other Mums putting their shitty days out there on social media to see it was normal. It’s ok to have a crapper than crap day covered in someone else stinky crap, tomorrow is another day. Celebrate every tiny victory – even if that’s just the fact YOU have clean knickers on by lunch time! Woop!

What advice would you give to any parents sitting at home reading this that really want to start something new but not sure where to begin?

Try. Don’t look back. DO NOT COMPARE – it’s totally mind rotting to compare yourself to others. Someone once said (I can’t remember who, sorry I can’t credit!) ‘Stay in your own lane’.
Do it for you, go with your gut and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice.

I have seen on Instagram a growing community of parents and a strong sisterhood of us Mum’s conquering the world (or at least giving it a good go!) How important is Instagram to you and your business?

Vital. It’s through Instagram that I found the courage and strength of support from other Mum’s to take the plunge & just try. An incredibly good friend, KellySeymour founder of Cult Of Youth, said to me ‘Babe just try, you’ve kept a baby alive so what could be harder’.
I talk to women on Instagram that I have never met, but yet discuss problems and projects with daily. It’s like a modern age pen pal system! Plus, if ever you need to a bit of sanity the Sisterhood is right there – be it business or parenting woes!
It’s also an advertising platform and sounding board for my products. For seeking customer feedback and connection with my customers/potential customers so that they get to know the person behind the brand which I think is so important within the small business community. I am not a corporate giant. I am me, and this is my brand. So it’s essential.

From all your experience and what you have learnt along the way being a parent, what words of wisdom can you give to our readers?

Don’t wear white during your little one’s poonami style tummy bug (that ain’t pretty!)
It will be ok, don’t give yourself any unnecessary pressures just deal with the task in hand – even if that’s sitting on the sofa trapped under your babe all day! Download the iphone remote app!!!

Lastly, everyone must leave us with a parenting confession that you have never told to anyone before! We all do what we need to do in order to survive the roller-coaster of parenting and sharing will help other parents talk about all the ways we get through the day.
Go and do a shot then write it down!

I once ran out of wipes, forgot about it then went for a long walk. A volcanic nappy eruption consequently ensued & all I had was a magazine, a muslin & some anti-bac hand gel. It was not pretty. Nuff said.

Thank you so much for your time and talking to me. I wish you all the luck for the future and continued success.

Please take a look at the Bloody Truthful Mama section above to see Essex Mama profile for more contact details.

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