The Blog

The Alternative A to Z of Motherhood

U is for Unexplained marks - everywhere - on your windows, carpets, furniture, clothes you name it, if you've got kids in the house then no surface will remain unblemished as long as there are sticky fingers and runny noses about.

A is for Arms - after having kids, two will never be enough again. Although in time you will find yourself quite adept at most household tasks using only one.

A is also for Andy (of CBeebies fame) who you will undoubtedly develop a mum-crush on in the absence of anyone else worth fancying on day-time TV.

B is for Boobs - once you've had a baby these will never be the same again. Anyone and everyone from complete strangers to your mother-in-law will have an opinion on them. And some (no names mentioned callous handed NHS breastapo) will think it's OK for them to manhandle them at any opportunity.

B is also for birthday cakes, the making of which appears to have become some kind of competitive sport, and (C)Beebies (see above).

C is for Cuddly toys - an army of which will invade your house once you have small people. I don't know what it is about them that winds me up so much, other than that they are the most pointless toy ever.

C is also for comics, which are way-overpriced and cuddles with your little people - the best thing. EVER.

D is for Doctors Surgery - which will become your second home due to the endless number of childhood illnesses your little ones will pick, or your fear they are succumbing to Dengue Fever, Alice in Wonderland Syndrome or some other weird disease. You will be on first term names with the receptionist within weeks and know everything about her recent trip to Eastbourne, her great uncle's gout and what she had for tea last Friday. (It was chicken and chips).

D is also for dry shampoo. It sounds revolting, it is revolting, but trust me, you will use it just to save half an hour you don't have to waste washing and drying your barnet.

E is for Engage brain before you speak - having spent however many weeks, months, years with just a gurgling baby / gibbering toddler and Upsy Daisy for company you may find easing back into the realms of adult conversation is not like riding a bike. Heed my advice and think before your speak. I wish I had done.

F is for Fashion - or more specifically mum fashion. Leggings - check. Flat, comfy shoes - check. Cross-body bag - check. Mum coat (ie a parka) - check. Floral pyjamas / onesie for when you don't actually have to leave the house - check.

F is also for Facebook where you will lose numerous hours nosing through the lives of friends, relatives, old work colleagues and passing acquaintances who you are unlikely to ever see again.

G is for Gatherings (of the social variety) - once upon time these would be held when it was dark, and you would head down the pub for a few vinos with friends before hitting a trendy nightspot. You would have actual conversations with real people (as opposed to glove puppets / soft toys / Barbie) eat, dance, drink and be merry without having to worry about what time you got up the next day. Now your children are invited to more parties than you. And instead of being held in nice bars where the furniture isn't stained with orange squash and crushed biscuits they are in soft play centres and draughty village halls. There is no nice Pinot or Waitrose nibbles - but 50 small lunatic children running amok, all high on sugar to contend with, a jelly fight to thwart and tears and tantrums over who is 'out' in musical chairs.

G is also for glue, glitter and guilt. Don't worry every mother suffers from an attack of the latter 24/7 - Are you doing this right? Are you doing that right? Are you spending enough time with them? Do you leave them to play alone enough? And so it goes on..... Well they've survived OK so far, so it can't be all that bad?

H is for Housework - despite a new addition to the family being teeny tiny and taking up the space of a large shoe box, you will suddenly find all chores magnified ten-fold. Don't ask me how - it's a mystery I'm still trying to fathom.

I - except there is no I anymore. It's all about them, not you from here on in.

I is also for internet, without which we wouldn't be able to do all our shopping from the comfort of the sofa while wearing pyjamas and eating a Magnum.

J is for Jogging - something you probably did quite frequently BC (Before Children). Don't try to kid yourself you can still do it afterwards. You will have neither the time, the energy nor the inclination.

K is for King-size bed - best to make sure you've invested in one of these before the little darlings are old enough to start creeping into your room in the middle of the night and it be a case of there were three in the bed and the little one said roll over, roll over.....

L is for lie-ins - let's not beat about the bush. These no longer exist. Anything past 6am qualifies in our house.

L is also for leggings (see F above) and Lego - great toy, not so great when it's embedded in your knee or sole of your foot.

M is for Muffin top - unless you eat a mung bean-a-day a la Victoria Beckham you are going to have one of these hanging round for the foreseeable after giving birth. Learn to love it 'cos it ain't going anywhere.

M is also for milestones. You will start off marking them all down, and then life will get in the way - ie you start to feel like a human again and you forget to take to take the three-and-a-half months photo, mark the height chart and lose track of the rolling, shuffling, crawling landmarks, especially when it comes to child number two.

N is for 'No' - the word in the English language which you will find yourself saying, muttering, ranting, shouting and repeating the most once your child starts moving, walking, talking etc.

N is also for Netflix - well, after kids, staying in is the new going out.

O is for Over-sharing - once you've had a room full of people all staring at your nether regions during the throes of labour nothing will phase you, or ever be private again. Everything from your traumatic birth story, stitches afterwards and leaky nipples becomes polite conversational topics no-matter who you're chatting to.

O is also for onesie - see F above and OCD, which you will develop when you see your other half has tidied up and put Lego in the Playmobil box and vice-versa.

P is for Peppa Pig - who you will develop a deep-seated love-hate relationship with. How cute when you're two-year-old wakes in the middle of the night and starts singing the Bingly-Bongly song you will think. But it won't be long before you start to hate her for all her puddle-jumping smugness and want to smash her porcine little face in with her golden bloody boots.

P is also for phonics, plaits, pelvic floor and the mum's Mecca - Poundland.

Q is for Quiet - unless you move to the bottom of the garden, and even then it's not guaranteed, this is something you will rarely experience for at least the next 18 years.

Q is also for questions. So. Many. Questions. Which you will have to fend every day. Why is the sky blue? Why do ladybirds have spots? Why does a triangle have three sides? That kind of thing.

R is for Routine, routine, routine - boring, but it does work. And like an elderly relative advised me - you always know where you are with a good routine. Nuff said.

S is for Split digraphs - and after several explanations I still don't really understand what these are.

S is also for soft play (bleurgh), stickers, covering every single inch of my house and stain remover - a mum's must-have.

T is for Tat - there is no avoiding it. Kids are magnets for plastic c*ap and woe betide anyone who tries to tidy it up or attempt to dispose of any of it.

U is for Unexplained marks - everywhere - on your windows, carpets, furniture, clothes you name it, if you've got kids in the house then no surface will remain unblemished as long as there are sticky fingers and runny noses about.

V is for Vodka - self-explanatory.

W is for Wet wipes - excellent for cleaning everything from bottoms to your kitchen work tops. (Just don't use the same one the aforementioned items).

W is also for wine. Or rather whine. Mums are good at necking the first one, kids are even better at the second.

X is for Xylophone - and also every other instrument known to man, which you will wish did not exist should they fall into the hands of your baby / toddler.

Y is for Yelling - as much as you tell yourself you won't be *one of those mothers* always yelling at her kids, just you wait until they're ripping up your favourite Jackie Collins, leaving the taps running after sticking the plug in, rifling through your make-up bag or knocking the heads off your geraniums with a croquet mallet. Let's see who keeps their cool on less than two hours sleep?!

Z is for Zzzzzz - also known as sleep. Something you will see very little of, unlike your spouse who appears to be able to sleep through anything. Anyway, sleep is overrated. And only for wimps.

Before You Go