Getting your priorities right

A cuddly moment


If I have a quick run through, my priorities are   

  • the girls, and everything that makes them happy
  • my relationship with Paul
  • Thomas, Megan, Gracey
  • My Blog
  • family and friends
  • our home
  • girl’s nights out
  • Facebook
  • Bejewelled Blitz
  • me (manicures, hair cuts, hair removal, reading, needlework, cooking)

Yep, not necessarily in that order but the twins, Tom, Meg, Gracey and Paul are all up there at the top but I struggle as I never have enough time in my day to accomplish everything I want to do and I want the lot.   

My blog has become important to me over the 9 months I’ve been writing, it has shot up the priority scale often clashing with childcare, nudging Facebook (where I keep in touch with most friends and family) back a few places, my Bejewelled Blitz score has suffered immensely at the hands of Mari’s World (Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself) and the more I play with it and all that it encompasses ie Twitter, Carnivals, forums and taking part in various McLinkys around the blogosphere the more I get pulled in and realise I am so way behind everyone else and have so much more to do. Will I ever get there?   

I have been known to lose hours, writing, looking for a photo, posting and commenting on others blogs because that is how you find people to comment on yours! Well it should be but it doesn’t always necessarily work. I have spent hours commenting here, there and everywhere and never seen hide or tail of some people which kind of defeats the object doesn’t it? What we could class as a waste of time.   

And the book? Oh that has dropped massively down the scale as I just can’t fit it in. I have written one chapter and placed it on last week’s Writing Workshop and I now need to do more but first I need to find a copyright license and THAT requires more time.   

And this peeps is how my life runs, a constant running around trying to do everything, often haphazardly, often forgetting bits (like the paint pot in my food photo!)   

But in order to prioritise correctly I turn the thought around and try to imagine what my life would be like without certain elements. It doesn’t bare thinking about does it? I would be completely miserable without any of my children or my partner whereas life without the blog… 

Writing workshop This post was written for Josie’s Writing Workshop. I chose prompt 1 What’s your biggest priority right now? Do you need to rethink yours?

Mari’s Freshly Pressed!

Proud moment

What an accolade! What an amazing achievement! How in heck’s name did I manage that?

Yesterday, a very normal day where I was running around trying to get everything done by 9.30am, including my blog post, in order to get to Twins Club on time – our social highlight of the week. I chose the age-old debate of SAHM v Career Girl, I found some fantastic photos on Flickr to go with it and ping, I hit the button as on checking the PC clock, I was already late. Nothing new there then!

‘Come on girls, chip chop Charlie, in the car and off we go.’

It wasn’t until I turned on my failing laptop whilst the girls were at the table eating their adored pasta in tomato sauce that I noticed I had 10 comments already to moderate.


My first thought was Freshly Pressed, wordpress’ global dashboard where everyone goes through before clicking on their personal dashboard.

‘Don’t be so silly!’ They’re not going to choose little old you from the

“The best of 303,061 bloggers, 353,287 new posts, 377,528 comments, & 70,080,258 words today on”

Well blow me they did! AND they sent an email to confirm it, maybe they thought I hadn’t seen it? Ha! I was jumping all over the place and beside myself with joy.

I tweeted, I phoned the other half, I posted my massive achievement my accomplishment on Facebook – I so need a badge to wear now. Mental note, design a Freshly Pressed badge for the parenting community – speak to Yummy Mummy, If I Could Escape and  Battling on who were so nice to Retweet and congratulate -thank you ladies x

After 8 months of writing, somebody, somewhere had finally noticed me!

How did I do it?

I apologise as I have absolutely no idea. Maybe they had nothing better to use? (Yes, I did say that to myself but seeing as they had over 300,000 to choose from I guess I can be relatively safe in thinking that is not the case) Maybe Joy – Editorial Czar | Automattic (copy and paste from her email – her words not mine before you think I’m being cheeky) was in a hurry and clicked me by mistake? Surely a woman used to choosing day in day out for Freshly Pressed would know what she’s looking for? But yes, my enormous lack of self confidence did lead me to question Joy’s ability to choose yesterday.

So here I sit basking in my global glory with over 70 comments and more coming in, surprisingly only a few spam including one guy who has an enormous grudge on parenthood and me being a mother, I’ve kept his words for future material and debate but won’t be giving him any publicity.

I checked my stats (a daily habit) and 1735 people passed the doors yesterday, over a 1000 alone from WordPress. And the stats are on the up today too. I am flabbergasted, speechless, overwhelmed. I know some people have this EVERY  day but I am way off that.

So the content, which has to be key in Joy’s choice, was mums who look after their children instead of having the career and the incredible response was For rather than Against which is very interesting as had the post been written in the 80’s when I was leaving school I imagine it would have been very different. Padded shoulders, bright red lipstick and enormous Big Hair went with careers – message not lost on all of us. But now we’re kicking back with our own message, some forced by the global economic crisis, some persuaded by the dreadful state of our society these days, the amount of bullying in schools, the amount of ASBO’s being handed out, the children who are having babies far too early, the boyfriends beating up their adolescent girlfriends. The increasing number of paedophiles waiting to pounce on our little ones. It makes me shudder and I want to stop it all, make the world a nicer place and maybe my small part in that will be staying home with my children and making sure they have a decent childhood, something they can look back on with tenderness and happiness.

Thank you to every single person who popped by yesterday and today, I still have a lot of replying to do, but I did read every comment before clicking on ‘approve’ and my intention is to reply to everyone AND check out your blogs too leaving my own message.

But as every mum knows, this will take time, I’m out this morning to pick up a pressie for 6 year old Oliver as we’re off to his Peter Pan party on Saturday, I have a huge pile of ironing to contend with but the weather is so good and of course the girls who despite what spamhead thinks are the fulfillment of my Stay At Home Days and I feel very sorry for him that he doesn’t recognise that.

Have a brilliant day :)

Five Question Friday

Questions for Friday, August 26th:
1. How many pets do you have?
Currently none but as a child we had cats, Tora was a stray who had had her tail bitten by a dog and was never a cuddly cat as a consequence, I named her after the famous film. Tiptoes was another who lasted for years and was a gentle soul. Whilst living in Italy we went through a phase of dogs, our first was Oscar, a hunting dog who we had to give back after only a few days as he was untamable and kept knocking Megan over who was 18 months at the time. Rumour has it he was put down by his owner eventually as he had contracted rabies – scary thought! Oscar was followed by Ellen, a beautiful  large Schnauzer who sadly was killed by a car accident and Tyson, my adorable Rottweiler who was as soft as a pansy, he died a few years back of old age. I have had goldfish and years back a guinea pig called Alfredo who also died on me. I would very much like to have a dog again but will wait until I can look after him properly.
2. If you could switch places with anyone in the world for one day, who would it be?
I honestly don’t know, definitely not a politician or a Queen, too much hard work. A rock star? An actress? A millionaire? I’m quite happy being me to be honest although I’d like more time in my day.
3. What is your favourite money-saving tip?
Don’t spend! Easy :)
4. What do you want your kids to be when they grow up?
Happy strong people capable of living, laughing and enjoying life to the full. I’d quite like Tommy to be a Rocket Scientist as we don’t have one in our family and that would make me laugh. Megan is so happy being herself and mummy to Gracey that we’ll let her carry on doing that. As for the twins maybe a hairdresser/beautician could come in handy and a designer (top of course) who would dress me from head to toe in brand new creations every season.
5. What is your favourite quote?
I don’t know, I never remember things like that. I love reading them and think to myself ‘I must remember that’ and then by the time you ask me the question it’s gone. How about the last one I read by Coco Chanel – ‘Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it’s up to you to merit the face you have at 50’ or A stitch in time saves nine? Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight.
Have a great weekend, Mari xx

I wonder what they would say?

There is one thing I’d like to ask my two older children regarding the traumatic break up with their father.

On hindsight you look back and wish you’d done things differently but at the time you’re so wrapped up in the stiffling situation and have such an urgency to get out and get away that your reasoning becomes murky, your actions become automatic and your emotions are all over the place.

Without a doubt your children are those who suffer in silence not knowing quite who to turn to, their world is turned upside down and they become ‘old’ overnight carrying responsibilities on their young shoulders. They start to think before they speak so as not to upset anyone, mum or dad robbing themselves of the innocence of childhood.

My question to them would be, ‘Although it was an incredibly difficult period in our lives, did I act responsibly? Did I at least try to save you from heartbreak? Should I have stayed in Italy rather than return to the UK? Was I a good enough mum for you?

Of course, I’d love the answer to be, Mum you were great, don’t worry. In fact, would they ever feel comfortable enough to tell me the truth?

I wonder?

Poem from the past

Boxes for moving homeMy house is now a collection of different sized boxes stacked in various rooms waiting to hear of a removal date. It just all looks so messy I can’t wait to get straight again.

I have already had to re open them once this weekend as it looks like we’ll be going on holiday before moving which back at the beginning of May our estate agent told us would be vice versa. So getting ready for our Lake Garda trip I was hunting high and low for our games, playing cards and other pastimes we like to take with us.

I still haven’t found Yahtzee, one of my favourite games and one I can win at on a good night but I did come across this, tucked in an old writing pad and reading it made me realise that I too have had a go at poetry in the past, which surprised me.

Nickie from Typecast wrote this last week which I thought was lovely but I told myself I could never create something like that so when I did read this I was quite proud of myself also because it’s not my mother language.

Se si potrebbe fermare il tempo

e rimanere in silenzio

con la pace e la serenita’.

Io vorrei che tu fosse con me

a tener la mia mano

essere al mio fianco

Cosi quando ripartisse il mondo

e ci casco di nuovo nella

frenita, saprei che per

un secondo c’eravamo assieme.

The meaning? Here’s a quick translation…

If it were possible to stop time

and remain in silence

with peace and serenity

I would like that you were there with me

to hold my hand

be by my side

So that when the world started up again

and I fall back into my frantic life I would know that for

one second we were together.

I can’t remember exactly when I wrote it and my Italian is far from perfect. But it was when Enrico and I were still a couple. From these words I can read quite clearly that life was hard, it was busy and we were hardly ever together but I still had hope and I hadn’t given up on us yet.

A reminder, after all the horror of divorce and the dreadful fallout that follows, that I did love him, that there were hopes of a future together and dreams of a happy relationship that sadly just weren’t meant to be.

 It’s so easy to forget the good times when you have suffered so much hurt but of course, I would never have had two children with him and stayed for 18 years had I thought otherwise.

An important reminder to myself that I tried with all my heart and you can’t do more than that.