There was a lot of the first but not many of the giggles for that matter! I was on an absolutely sausage roll with my writing then a plague hit the expat estate!! We had the most horrible D&V bug ever which resulted in both the children in hospital requiring IV fluids. Miss C was only in for a few hours and about 20 minutes after the IV infusion started she was bouncing around like a cocker spaniel. LPV on the other hand wasn’t quite so lucky. He had the same the treatment but didn’t respond as well as she did. Now I don’t tell hospital staff I’m a nurse as our Peadiatrician knows and doesn’t treat me like a normal Mammy, he treats me like a colleague and whilst I respect him for respecting me as a professional I am a Mammy first and I haven’t practiced for 10 years! Now I don’t believe I will ever lose all my skills, they’re etched in my brain, I KNOW for a fact I haven’t lost my instincts and I trust them both the Mammy & nursing ones 100%. After a 6 hour infusion and me nagging them constantly to check this and check that. They come to discharge my lethargic baby boy. I laugh in their face and pretty much tell them they are bat shit crazy if they think I’m taking my child home. After me throwing my toys out of the pram they take a full set of observations and he is admitted overnight and that is where he stayed for the next 3 days.
People who have access to the NHS do not know how lucky they are, yes I may have had a room which looked like a hotel room but it’s all flounce and no substance. I would have given all of that up for a team of medical staff that understand the term holistic care, that actually have a bed side manner. At one point I was up to my eyes in
shit unpleasantries waiting for help, waiting for wipes, waiting for clean sheets. I found the care to be right up there with my poor baby’s symptoms……..I lost my shit, excuse the pun! on the day before discharge when I had to ask them to recheck his blood sugar, two nurses stabbing him with a needle, he is crying and instead of comfort they tell him, stop crying don’t be a baby, you’re a big boy!! Well…….red rag to a very exhausted bull, before I told them to get out my room, I offered up a little tit-bit on the fact he is only 7 he’s allowed to cry when someone shoves a needle in your arm and I still hate it at the age of 42 so please DO NOT tell not to cry, he’s allowed to cry if he wants too and it DOES NOT mean he is a big baby. After this ordeal, my saviour messages me and tells me to meet her by the lift. I take one look at my bestie holding a cup of tea and the most epic ham sandwich (they hadn’t fed me at all) and burst into floods of tears.
Things picked up slowly and he’s bloods came back normal, we were told we could go home the next day. It’s not an ordeal I want to ever go through again, Cara was my angel, picking up flossy and taking her on playdates etc. The ham sandwich was amazing but it was the love and concern that got me/us through it! It’s very difficult being away from our support network, don’t get me wrong lots of people send love and well wishes and offered to help that meant so much but it’s the one’s that see through your “I’m ok I don’t need anything” that stick with you!!
A friend/my old midwife for a laugh posted this on her FB page yesterday. I do laugh at these things myself. However I can honestly say that I have probably subconsciously stored a few bits of this meme to drive me crazy at any given time in the future and convince me I’m doing a terrible job as a mother. I can put my hand up right now and say “Hello I am Expat Mammy and I feel that working full-time at my children’s school since last September had a detrimental effect on my son academically” Why? because I was always to tired to put the time in for his homework, his reading, his spelling. Ok not entirely my fault, if he put as much time in energy in to his school work that he does to fighting Pokémon he’d be a flipping genius.
My point is, how many of us actually take all this in and worry that we don’t do it? I know I do, every time I shout I’m worried I’ll be spending our retirement fund on therapy. It’s us we are doing this to ourselves. I think as a society we share too much (she say’s bearing her soul on a SM platform) we are always out to impress someone, we brag about our lifestyles (Dubai is the worse for this) we talk about things that some Mammies were blissfully unaware of and now they are getting their knickers in a twist because are doing or not doing the right thing. And why? Why are we trying to impress, mostly people who really don’t care, they’re just friends with you on social media to be nosey?
So confession time!
I’m not actually sure that I’m taking care of my children’s academic, psychological, mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, nutritional and social needs on a daily basis. I know I tell them I love them on a daily basis, I cook for them…..Sometimes pasta with sauce from a jar as they have swimming lessons…BOOM, Physical needs right there Expatmammy 1 Society 0. I do homework, read with them. Multilingual house? EPD speaks Irish to them when I nag him and I guess Bristolian is a language in itself so I’ve got that covered. I don’t want to helicopter as half the time if we’re in the park I just want them to leave me alone for 5 minutes, just me? We live in a villa, in a badly lit street where cars drive really fast, I can’t let them out to play in the compound because the swimming pool scares me…. First world problems. I take them to the Dr for anti B’s when they are sick, I definiately understimulate when I’m hungover! Oh and I hate coconut oil, it makes everything taste like rabbit hutch.