Five nights. FIVE NIGHTS. Next week I will have FIVE MOO-LESS NIGHTS. That’s five whole nights and six whole days without my toddler. SHRIEK! And also, YAY! I mean, OBVS I will miss her like mentalissimo, and will probably spend the first few hours wandering round my house and making Marmite sandwiches for teddy bears and mournfully watching Cbeebies and sniffing her clothes, but THEN I reckon all the headiness of freedom will kick in and I’ll go out and, like, DO stuff.
The question is: WHAT the crap DO I DO with all that free time?
What do I ACTUALLY do?
And I am SERIOUSLY asking you here. See, this is my serious face: *does serious face*
I need suggestions. Obvs I want to make the most of such rare, precious, parental-duty-free time, and not just meld into my sofa watching the DVD box sets of Game of Thrones and The Killing (both on my to do list, natch) but I don’t really know WHAT I could do.
So far I’ve come up with:
- have a manicure (never had one before)
- go out and get drunk a lot
- triple bill at the cinema
- maybe overnight stay at the cinema
- go out and get drunk a lot
- a trip somewhere to see some people
- a trip somewhere to see some stuff
- a trip somewhere to see, erm, other stuff
Doing well, yeah? I know, right. I have NO IMAGINATION and I’m PANICKING.
C’mon, helpmehelpmehelpmehelpme. I need THINGS to do which will distract me from having no Moo, but which won’t cost a small fortune, and don’t require removing any body hair or injections.
Who knows, I may even blog about my escapades, if y’all give me some good stuff to do
By the way, Moo is going to stay with her daddy for the week, I haven’t packed her off to the Foreign Legion or anyfink. Ahem.
Now I am very impressionable so keep your ideas clean, please. Oh fuck it who am I kidding, I want to feel like myself again. TELL ME WHAT TO DO. You know you want to…
*waits with bated breath*
I am rrrrrrrrubbish at maths. Me and numbers, we don’t get along. They push all up in my face and make me itch and CONFUSE me with their fiddly-diddly numbering and multiplications and fancy-shmancy divisionals. Bleargh. Simply, I don’t do maths. Nope. This is why CALCULATORS were born, innit? And occasionally, if I need to do some urgent mathematicals, I just ask. I ask for help. I have no qualms about admitting I don’t do maths. ‘I can do WORDS,’ I intone, ‘words are MUCH FRIENDLIER and more comfortable and don’t SPIKE me so much.’ And then I get loads of sympathy and people absolutely do my maths for me. Hoopla!
See, no trouble asking for help with maths. None at all. I’ll do it right now – HELP ME HEEEEEELP MEEEEEE WITH THE EVIL SOUL-DESTROYING MATHS! Tada! Nice and clear intent, simple message, good emphasis. You got it, yeah?
Good. Go me!
So why can’t I do it for other areas of my life?
Why can’t I say to someone, anyone, ‘Help, I need help, I’m struggling, I feel sad and alone, I’m so bored and freaking out, please help me, please just talk to me, or check I’m OK, please’?
And the STUPID THING IS, I deleted that sentence and rewrote it a few times to make it sound less needy. Fucksake.
I’m an idiot, essentially. I have excellent friends and a totes shawesomeballs family. They rock. I luff them lots. I KNOW I can rely on them for all the support, love, advice, and company I may need. I know this, and I’ve received a lot of that good stuff in the past. I just can’t ASK for it. I hate bothering people. I worry that they’ll feel obliged to help me, while muttering under their breath about how self-involved I am, and then I worry that they think I don’t appreciate them enough, when I do, I really absolutely totally do, and I am so grateful to everyone who ever helps me, ever. I feel, sometimes, like I have to persevere, and endure, because that’s what life is, and I should just quit moaning, get on and do it.
I’m a single mum. I do the parenting thing, on my own, for the best part of the week. It’s difficult and tiring and, haha, sometimes, almost as bad as doing maths. The relentlessness of playgroups, toddler groups, the supermarket, tidying up felt-tip fucking pens, wiping clean a shit-encrusted arse, feeding, bath time, pushing the buggy, hoovering up bits of crushed chalk, finding stickers in my knickers, having Cbeebies on for what feels like forever, finding fridge magnets in my bed, putting away, washing, hoovering, wiping, tidying, carrying, pushing, fucking-shitting-hula-hooping, why the fuck did I buy her a hula hoop… yeah. It’s full on. Sure, it’s not dodging bullets or fighting off sea monsters, but y’know.
The rewards are obvious. I have a beautiful, funny, gregarious daughter. I would do all the above, and more, and even more, and backwards, blindfolded, if it meant she was happy and healthy and having fun. Just sometimes, y’know, I need to acknowledge that it’s HARD on my own.
Despite me writing all this, I am not likely ever to admit to needing help. And I’d like to reiterate, I am NOT asking for help right now. The last few days I’ve needed to, badly, but I made it through. I’ve been busy, kept occupied, distracted my stupid brain and had a fucking good cry when I’ve needed to. I’ve set myself some personal goals. I’ve listened to the advice of some sage and learned people. I’ve managed to keep on top of the housework WHICH IS A FUCKING MIRACLE. See? Me no need help. Unless it’s for maths. Can anyone do my maths?
What I’m TRYING to say, in a roundabout-ish sorta way, is, don’t be a dumbarse like me. If you think you need help, ASK for some. There’s no shame in asking. Ever. If you have people around you who care, then ask them for help. It could be all they need to do is listen as you admit to feeling scared, or sad, or lonely. I told someone today that I felt like shite and, funnily enough, felt better for it. Once the words had crept past my lips it was like I’d expelled them. Magic. Sure, it doesn’t solve everything but at least it’s not bottled up inside me where the most damage is done. Admission counts. Fo sho.
Please do my maths.
Do you find it difficult asking for help? What stops you? What would you never ask for help with?
Dear Auntie Venting
Something terrible has happened, yah? I have totally kept my other middle name a secret for years and years, yah, and now some pesky phone hacking inquiry has meant I had to, like, totally reveal it to everyone, yah, and now they’re all laughing at me. I mean, Mungo is a totally solid name. It’s been in my family for generations. I totally respect its history and its connection with all things traditional and aristocratic, yah? My other middle name – John – is so common. Like, sooooooo common. I need the Mungo to totally posh me up a bit.
But now my worry is that since people are laughing at me, I totally don’t know what to call my baby, who was, like, born recently and everything. Can I call her Mungo? Is it totally a boy’s name, or can I be all groovy and, like, totally modern and, like, break down the barriers between gender and renounce stereotyping and all that, yah? What other amazing names are there? Surely none are as amazing as Mungo? My god, Auntie Venting, you must help me. This is, like, totally doing my head in.
The totally honourable and not-at-all sleazy
Auntie Venting says…
Calm down, Mungo. Choosing a baby name is fraught with danger and one needs a SOUND MIND and a COLLECTED DEMEANOUR to be able to achieve the Holy Grail of parenting – i.e. the Ultimate Baby Name That No One Will Laugh At. It can be done. Do not quail in the face of danger! Keep your head and take some deep breaths. I will help you through this calamitous time.
Although, from what you say, you are heading in the wrong direction entirely. I don’t have much hope.
You see, Mungo is not a cool name. It is a ridiculous name. It sounds too much like Um-Bongo, the mega-fruity juice drink beloved of anyone fortunate enough to be a child during the 1980s. And nobody wants to have a name that sounds like a juice drink. Please DO NOT call your daughter Mungo. Not even the middle name. No.
As for first names, this can be a veritable minefield of lifelong mockery and heartache. Do not choose anything that rhymes with a rude word. Your child would suffer intolerably in the playground. And beware: kids can be horribly imaginative, as my friends Ruby ‘Pubey’ Townsend and the late Felicity ‘Fecal Matter’ Jones (god rest her soul) knew all too well.
Do not choose a name that could easily be misconstrued as a pet’s name. Standing in the park and calling for your daughter to come to you could result in a cavalcade of dogs launching themselves at your nethers instead, which is never handy for anyone. Therefore avoid Chi Chi, Bam Bam, Snowy, Toto and Sugar Cube. Which reminds me, do not pick a name that can also be slightly whorish.
Try to choose a name which is feminine, to avoid confusion in later life, especially if your daughter happens to inherit your hairy-arse gene.
And lastly, bear in mind that inspiration can be found in the most obvious places. The other day I was gazing out of my window and musing on the wonders of nature and managed to spy several suitable baby names within no time at all. Unfortunately, my husband did not want children called Spruce, Pylon or Massive Grain Silo. The spoilsport.
I hope this helps you, Mungo. And good luck with the whole parenting thing. You’re going to need it.
[No actors were harmed during the making of this blog post]
It seems I’ve reached the giddy heights of FAME (more like infamy) and have AT LAST garnered the attention of some well-meaning PR folk.
Hello, PR folk! *waves*
And for once, they’re offering something I’m tempted by. VERY tempted.
Now, in my (non-existent) Disclosure Policy, I CATEGORICALLY STATE that I am not interested in doing reviews, sponsored posts or suchlike. I write this blog for my sanity, for Moo to weep over when she’s older, and to get the attention I crave and the validation I need as an emotive human being. Not the free stuff. Nope. I have no problem with other blogging folk doing reviews etc, it’s just not for me.
Aha. But now, you see, a very nice lady has emailed me (hello nice lady! *waves*) and asked whether I would be interested in writing some articles for my blog, with some specific keywords within them, and in return, I would be compensated for my skills and time. And I would get to write in my ‘signature style’. And there’s no deadline. And I could write as many – or as few – as I wanted.
So far, so tempting.
What’s holding me back? My (non-existent) Disclosure Policy, which I formulated (in my brains) to preserve my integrity. That slightly icky feeling of selling out, like those actors you like and respect and then they go and do voiceovers for adverts (I’m looking at you, David Tennant). Worrying about whether my faithful readers (hello faithful readers *waves*) will be totally turned off by what would obviously be a sponsored post. Not being able to write such a post without it turning into a typical sponsored post and therefore compromising the whole mojo of my blog.
That niggling nagging voice in the back of my head is warning me off. A quick Twitter poll last night revealed that most folk would do it. And there is one overriding factor which seems to be swaying me more than anything.
I really, absolutely, totally, quite desperately NEED the money.
I fecking NEED IT.
So I should do it, yeah?
*small voice* Help!