This week I have mainly been… date nighting in Fermanagh!

Don’t you just love Wowcher and Groupon? If it wasn’t for them, I doubt I’d ever get to go anywhere. You can’t deny someone a bargain stay after all! We booked a deal to stay at Lusty Beg Island about four months ago then, did our usual and forgot about it. It was only when we received the ‘warning, your voucher is due to expire’ email did we finally get our arses in gear and book it. Booking is the easy bit, finding someone to look after three, mental boys for the night is the hard bit. As usual, eldest and middle had to be split up in order for us to sell the idea of babysitting them for a night. Once anyone has looked after them both together and, witnessed the obligatory 6pm-8pm battering session, they refuse to do it ever again. Eldest was packed off to my sister on the promise of a ‘sleepover’ with his cousin and the other two stayed with nanna. Freedom beckoned. But first, a cheeky Nando’s because, why not?

We arrived at 3 pm, drove the car onto a little ferry and, were transported to the most beautiful little island. So picturesque. After checking in and obtaining our key, we went to explore our room. It was perfect, even if it only had a shower and no bath. Is it a mum thing to want to have a bath in peace once you get away from your sprogs or, just a Grace thing? I’d no sooner sat on the bed when I received a Whatsapp from my sister advising that eldest had been awarded ‘star of the week’ at school. I burst into tears. He has wanted to get star of the week ever since he started school. Every week he has become increasingly frustrated when he hasn’t. “Maybe you would get star of the week if you refrained from glueing your artwork to your face?” I helpfully offered last week. Either something clicked or, she is just running out of children to award it to but, he did it! Trust this to happen the one day I don’t pick him up from school. I know how excited he would have been to tell me. Mum guilt began to set in. Only one thing for it- wine! After a few glasses, the guilt subsided. I could always make it up to him the next day. Off we went to play a game of pool in the hotel’s game room. After a few vinos, the game was rather one-sided I’m ashamed to admit.

We had the most amazing steak and dauphinoise potatoes for dinner, overlooking the lough. Perfectly relaxing. Next, we headed back to our room for a few more drinks (yes, we are that broke these days). Come 10pm the two of us were royally merry. “Let’s go to the bar and ask if they will make me a big bowl of dauphinoise potatoes” I demanded. “At this time?” hubby replied. “Yes at this time! When a girl want’s potatoes, she wants potatoes! Failing that surely they will have Tayto”. Begrudgingly, hubby retrieved his coat. We entered the bar, approached the barman and, asked for some potatoes. “Um, the kitchen closed at 8pm” he responded dumbfounded. “We have Tayto though”. Some people just get it. Tayto in hand, we found a table. It appeared we were the only ones there. That is, until I heard a lot of giggling and four girls came hurtling around the corner. They then joined our table. We got chatting and,  they were all fellow mummies and fellow mum’s on tour. I shared my Tayto and they shared their fishbowl gin. Hubby sat there quite obediently whilst not just one, but, five women proceeded to talk utter shit to him. I have never drunk gin before and, now I know why!

Waking up the next morning to check my phone, I was confronted with a smashed screen. “What the? When did I do that?” I panickedly asked hubby. “I have no idea, I don’t even know what time we came back to the room at” he replied. “You may also check if you have your engagement and wedding ring as I vaguely remember trying to stay awake whilst you repeatedly emphasised how your finger has got fat this week and they no longer fit” he added. I had been thinking that all week in fairness. I leapt up to begin the search. No wedding ring. Gin 1, Grace 0. Eldest may have been bestowed star of the week’ but his mum has been titled ‘twat of the week’. Middle has also disowned me upon returning as my phone is ‘broken’. All my worries that he loves my phone more than me, have just been proven. Never again (until next time I get some freedom).

Star of the week- this would happen the one day I don’t collect him from school!

This week I have mainly been….attempting to take some ‘me time’.

I’m not going to lie, I have been feeling pretty crap this last while. Stressed, exhausted, broke and very much pissed off with life. I decided this week that, enough was enough. I needed to start looking after myself, in order to best look after the others in my life. This called for one thing and one thing only- me time! Yes, us mum’s aren’t familiar with those two words but, these are the two magical words that will always bring you back to you. ‘Me time’ can mean anything, depending on who you are. Maybe a trip to the cinema with your friends, a sneaky wine and takeaway night instead or going shopping alone for once. Alone, what’s that?

For me, I decided my ‘me time’ should be spent at the hairdressers. An establishment I haven’t frequented in two years. Isn’t that shocking? I guess I just didn’t have the time and, after purchasing some hairdressing scissors off Amazon a year ago, figured I was the next Nicky Clarke anyways. But I got thinking this week how I used to go every month B.C. (before children) and how much I had loved it. As hubby was paying,  I booked myself an appointment at the most expensive salon around. He doesn’t know this obviously (well, he does now- shit!)

Come Tuesday 26th June at 2pm, I was going to feel like a new woman. Come Monday 25th June at 3pm however, eldest was in tears that his throat and tongue were “so sore”. Figuring he probably had my throat infection of last week, I wasn’t even going to check his tongue. Then thought, I probably should,  what with being responsible for him and all. When I did, it resembled a rather large strawberry- lumpy, swollen and weird. As all us mums do, I ‘Google panicked’. Said Google panic led me to Scarlet Fever. He had all the symptoms- fml! I called the out of hours number as our doctor’s surgery was closed. They advised that I take him to our nearest hospital.  So I did and, he did indeed have, Scarlet Fever- great! He was prescribed the most disgusting medicine ever, that bright, orange penicillin. Utter disaster trying to get it into him once he realised the extreme level of disgustingness. So much so that he declared that night “mummy when I am a big boy, I don’t want to design games anymore. What I will do is, design a super nice medicine for other boys that have this. That one is just so yucky!”. Richard Branson eat your heart out.

As eldest was now highly contagious, I was left in a bit of a conundrum. Who would mind him? My mum wasn’t available so, I was left pleading with my stepfather to do it (who much prefers to babysit with the assistance of a woman). He relented, finally. Middle was at nursery so, that just left baby. Stepfather was having convulsions at the mere thought of being in charge of two of them alone. So much for my ‘me time’ I thought. Baby will have to come with. Is that allowed? I mean, I don’t think I have ever witnessed someone at the hairdressers with a baby in tow. Then again, I haven’t been in two years so maybe it’s deemed acceptable these days? Then the fear began to sink in.  What happens if he starts having a crying fit whilst they are washing my hair? What do I do? What if they are drying it and I have to feed him? Arrgghh, this is not going to work at all. Just as I was about to cancel my much longed for ‘me time’, my sister messaged to say she would take baby. This was quite the offer, considering her little girl was ill. So off I went to hairdressers. I literally didn’t know myself just getting me in and out of the car. Usually, it’s a full mission getting those three in and out, numerous times. This is the life! I really should have appreciated that more all those years when I could do that, I thought to myself. A few hours later and, a few inches lighter on top, it was back to mummy/nurse duty. Even just getting those few hours alone, doing something for me, had served to create a more calm and serene me. It was worth every bit of stress even getting to that point.

I am all for the current ‘me too’ movement but, maybe us mum’s need to start a ‘me time’ movement also? Maybe it’s time we allowed ourselves to be selfish once in a while. Maybe, just maybe, we even greatly deserve it for what we do on a daily basis. Anyone with me?