Sunday, January 29, 2012


I wake up tired as always. I hear crying. I don't want to get up just yet. My body's not working, I can barely move. Is it really morning already? I've not had enough sleep. I never feel like I've had enough sleep. I always need more. I can't face my children in the mornings. Mornings are hell.

It takes me all morning to wake up; I heave myself around with no energy, trying to restock my broken body with an ounce of power to get me through the day. My eyes close heavy and slowly, my sore back can't support my body, my every molecule aches for more sleep. I have to force myself to keep going, to carry on. The kids need me.

The noise they pump out shreds my nerves. I have to shut down, I imagine a protective shield around me that takes the edge of this screaming and shouting. I wish I could openly wear ear plugs. I take deep breaths and try not to shout at them but I'm so grumpy when I'm tired. I try to remain quiet as I try to dig inside for energy to come alive. I can't hear their demands, I tune out; it's the only way to protect myself from being drained any further. I can't cope with my kids when they are like this. I inevitably shout at them, exasperated and annoyed. When did I become Shouty Mummy? I never used to shout, ever.

I can't think straight. All around is noise. I just want more sleep. When I'm tired like this and they scream and whinge, I struggle to find anything likable about them. Who are these wild animals? How is it they have so much energy when I have so little? When did all this fatigue and exhaustion kick in? I'm numb. I'm frazzled. I snap at my husband who snaps back - so we start the day on a bad note too. 

If only I could wake up gently, not be woken up rudely by kids jumping on my head screaming to be taken downstairs. If only my baby wasn't constantly teething at the moment, screaming in pain for me and my milk during the night. If only there wasn't so much screaming in my life. It's a form of torture you know!

I haven't dreamed in so long. I haven't remembered a dream, I should say, because of the sudden snap out of sleep and Call To Action. That makes me sound like a Superhero, ready to respond, I'm not, I'm Bad Mum in the mornings. Grumpy Mum. I yearn for peace and quiet. Have I said that already? I want to be more alive but I'm struggling. I'm half dead. The kids are killing me. 

This is how I start every day.

Today I was allowed a bit of clarity so I could download this out of my brain because a dear friend took Jago away to play with her similarly manic son, my parents had Tegan overnight (yippie - one less child coming into us during the night), and I've just put the baby back to bed. Peace at last, for a snapshot of time, as I clear up the mess and bring myself back to me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


SOMETHING happens when you survive the first eight months of being a mum of 3. When you come up for air after several years of sleep deprivation and deafening chaos, there is a curious feeling of being slightly triumphant inside. Like suddenly I am invincible, able to achieve anything. That I can run the world and still whip together dinner for five in 10 minutes flat. That's me right now. 

This can change on a minute by minute, day by day basis. All it takes for me to go back to thinking I can't do this full-time-mum thingy, is all of them crying/whinging/screaming at the same time for not very long at all. It's that easy for me to crack. But then I take a few deep breaths and congratulate myself that another day is down and tomorrow it's going to get a little bit easier because they'll be a little bit older and they might finally start listening to me. 

That said, having 3 kids makes you realise your power. If you survive with your sanity intact, you emerge so much more 'able' in yourself, so infinitely more flexible - because you've been to the edge of your sanity and pulled yourself back. Many times I've felt on the brink of losing it - I've screamed and threatened to run away (not one of my finer moments in front of the kids!), but when I've finally clawed back a little bit of me, I'm surprised by feeling like a better person for it. 

In life, I always thought of myself as a bit of plodder, preferring slow and lazy weekends when I wasn't racing around London in my heyday. But now, after five years in the Cork countryside, I find myself a Power Mum. I amaze myself with my sudden ability to multi-task: juggle three kids, arrange playdates, manage a dozen pick-ups and events each day, host coffee mornings, organise christmas parties, redesign a newsletter and hold down quite a hectic social life. And now I'm going to try to add writing a Blog to this list. This is what happens when you become a mum. You become someone else. A different efficiency creeps in because if you didn't evolve in this way, you couldn't manage. 

I'm really not sure who I am anymore. I have been a mum for exactly four years. Today (as I write this) is my biggest boy's birthday - and it's been a spectacular ride. Seventeen months after Jago 'The Hurricane' knocked us off our feet, a feisty Tegan entered our world - she's now 2 and a half and a Spice Girl on Steroids, wailing to get her own way. She was displaced as my baby eight months ago when Lorcan screamed his way into our lives. Some say the third child is an angel and just fits in; not Lorci, he's the loudest and most demanding of them all. 

Somewhere between discovering three babies in my body and breastfeeding myself into brainfog over four years, I forgot who I was. I went internal. My core destabilised, I went into automatic pilot as my brain detached from my body. I've had days when I could barely utter a sentence, forgetting words for every day items like eggs and cookers. Days when I honestly still think it's 2001. Days when I can't stand the smallest noise (which means the kids don't stand a chance) and I crave silence. Utter silence. What bliss that would be. And space. My own room. Kids not allowed. Somewhere with no clutter where I can retreat when overwhelm kicks in. And when I'm in there, I am magically protected from feelings of Mummy Guilt; thinking they're going to hurt themselves or kill each other if I'm not watching over them constantly. 

As each baby took over my body and my life, I lost myself a little bit more. I lost control. I didn't realise it at the time but Control used to be a very good friend of mine; now he's as distant as most of my Before Baby best friends back home. As more babies added to the chaos, Control left me shaking my head until I gave up, broken; I just didn't care anymore. "It doesn't matter", I repeat to myself a lot these days, "It just doesn't matter". 

Many things have to give. It's not uncommon to find the same sheets on our beds for at least a month, we leave the kitchen in a mess overnight cos we're too tired to clear up after the two hour battle to get the kids to bed, and the kids often wear clothes for four or five days (I wipe off stains with a babywipe) because laundry is a constant nightmare. It doesn't matter.

I'm fed up of battling with them. I'm fed up of shouting. I'm fed up of not having any control over my life. I'm fed of being waitress to the rudest clientele in the world. I'm fed up of the drudgery of trying to get good food into them. I'm fed up of not being able to achieve anything day-in-day-out. I'm fed up of being nothing but Mum. It's time to change. Time to get back to me. Time to find out who I really am. Who I've evolved into. I know I'm still here somewhere, underneath the frazzled exterior, I'm here, I can feel it, smiling, secretly pleased with my achievements, wanting to write again, suddenly feeling external, wanting to be someone. I hope this Blog will be my journey back to me. 

I've wished so many days away as I wrestled with the mayhem, but now I'm starting to take deep breaths and appreciate their joy of life. They're unique and beautiful and I can't imagine life any other way, but boy it's the hardest work I've ever had to do. I'm coming back; something is shifting; I can feel 'me' there somewhere; I think it's all gonna be ok. 


Tuesday, January 03, 2012


My name is Amy Vickers and I'm lucky enough to live in a beautiful place next to the sea in east Cork, Ireland.
I am a mother of 3 small people. The oldest Jago is 5, my middle one Tegan is 3, and my baby Lorcan is 20 months. Each is more challenging than the next, each can outscream the other with gusto. Each has more energy than I have in my little finger.

Every day I just try to survive. I try to keep my sanity intact while all around me chaos reigns. I try to raise my energy but their demands far exceed any energy I have left in my poor old body. I've just turned 40 and feeling exhausted by motherhood, whilst trying to get my life and my brain back.

This blog is an attempt to rediscover my self, my voice and to give me something else to think about other than just being Mum.

Here's my first ever blog post attempting to explain why I need to write this blog: Gasping For Air

Years ago I worked in London making a living out of writing on national newspapers. It seems like a long time ago...

Why Daily Muttering? Well I am a bit of a mutterer (dictionary definition:"To utter or say in low indistinct tones") and I'd love to get back to the discipline of writing daily.

Perhaps when I do acheive this goal, I'll no longer be a mutterer, so I'll have to change my blog name to something far more dynamic like Mama Pheonix or Dynamo Mum...  Will I ever be this confident?! Probably not. But who knows where this blogging journey will take me.

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