March is National Bed Month! If you’re anything like me, and still can’t get used to sharing a bed with someone, even after all these years, then to #ReclaimYourMattress sounds like a great idea! Shove out the other half, and star fish all night, with the comfort of having the whole mattress to yourself! Reclaiming it from your children invading it, is also top of some peoples list…! I had a nightly bed invader, and with two extra people snoring, kicking, and the little one needing to be touching some part of me at all times, there was very little sleep going on for me. But now I’ve made up a little bed for him on the floor next to me, so he just gets in there, and it’s more sleep all around!

So, reclaiming your mattress in that way, sounds fab! But more seriously, probably reclaiming it from smaller, more microscopic critters, may be more important…! I’m sure everyone knows by now, that I’m not the cleanest, or tidiest of people. That hasn’t always been the case, my house was always clean and tidy to a good standard, but then…children.

 

Obviously being ever present for my children has taken precedence over cleaning-as it should (umm, or forcibly having to be present to stop all my stuff getting broken, and peoples eyes gouged out, then collapsing on the sofa of an evening seeming more fun than anything else-those are the actual true reasons…)

 

Having my parents stay at our house, in our bed, to look after the children while we went away, made me realise that our bed was in a bit of a state. I became the statistic of being a member of the quarter of us who are embarrassed to let others see the state of our mattresses…!

 

Between the 13th-26th March, Vorwerk has a dedicated campaign to help you #ReclaimYourMattress from uninvited guests (of the microscopic variety-Jeffrey Dean Morgan is still very much invited.) Our mattress is around 8 years old, and this means that it could have actually doubled in weight, thanks to human debris, and dust mites-I know… Our mattresses can also soak up the half a pint of fluid that we lose every night (!!!!) or more, if, like us, you regularly seem to have fevers from being stressed and constantly run down! Mix this with yearly pound of skin we lose-what a great recipe for ickiness!

 

Also, ya know London? That place with the massive population, always busy? Well, the equivalent population of London could be living in your mattress. Yep-10 million bugs and dust mites can set up home in your mattress in one year-that’s effectively the entire population of London camping where you sleep-which would be quite the fun statistic, if it didn’t make you itch all over, and want to sleep on the floor, rather than your bed! Some information suggests that some people don’t actually wash their sheets more than three times a year-ok, I’m bad, but no that bad!! I think when the little one was born, he may have peed in our bed, and I didn’t wash the sheets for about 2 months afterwards, but hey, I had him plus a 15 month old! I do wash the sheets more frequently than that now! Beds filled with debris, may also cause less support and comfort (maybe why I have a bad back at the moment?!)

 

Here are the six top tips for cleaning your mattress!

1 Treat it like a carpet, and vacuum it. My children are over their fear of the vacuum, and like to help with it now-I give them a little hand held one to do the mattress with.

2  Vorwerk have a specialist mattress dry cleaning kit, which is part of the VK200 vacuum cleaner . Part of it rubs cleaning powder into your mattress, and the other vibrates to loosen the dirt, then sucks out all the dust and icky stuff!

3  Rotate and flip-this is an easy one!

4  Don’t clean it with water-I think this is a pretty self explanatory one-it’s going to be difficult to ever get it dry, and will just provide a better breeding ground for your population of London, marching around in there.

5  Deodorise it. A useful tip is to sprinkle baking soda over it, leave for 30 minutes, then vacuum away.

6  Use a mattress protector. It may be too late for our mattress (after the said visit from my parents, my mum had put a mattress protector on ours before we got back,) but these stop sweat etc from actually reaching the mattress. I wish we had used one of these from the start, with our mattress!

By heading to the Vorwerk site, you can win a Kobold VK200 with a mattress cleaning kit, to help you #ReclaimYourMattress To enter, visit the site between 13th-18th of March.

This post contains sponsored content.

There was once a woman who lived in the South of England. She was wife of a Keifer Sutherland lookalike, and slave to the role of parenting. Nobody ever listened to a word she said, or ate anything she cooked. She was either found repeating herself like a useless parrot, into an abyss, or trying to reduce the size of her cellulitic, insulin resistant ass, by #shabammingtheshitoutoflife and letting out a bit of wee.
She had started to wonder if she had anger management issues. She had always prided herself on being calm-in her old job as a nurse (pre #shabammingtheshitoutoflife and incontinent days,) she was often referred to as ‘the calm one,’ or ‘the kind one.’ Outwardly, she mused, she was probably still those things, except pretty much 99% of situations nowadays, led to her screaming a stream of expletives in her head, or into the abyss (98% of the time out of earshot of the children, but she was only human, and has let out the occasional shit and twat around them. They don’t listen to a word she says though, so it’s ok, they’ve never repeated it.)
Old ladies tutting at her moaning children in coffee shops-old her thinks: ‘oh gosh, I really must stop inconveniencing these poor people.’ New her thinks: ‘FUCK YOU, YOU CRUSTY OLD BINT.’
Her child at playgroup is trying to ride one of the bikes down a slope, with the moderate threat that he might fall off. Another mum tells him he shouldn’t be doing it. She tells him it’s ok. The other mum won’t leave it alone. Eventually the little one is crying because of the other mum’s persistence, eventually leading to her blocking his path. Old her thinks: ‘She only has his best interests at heart, she doesn’t mean to be completely annoying.’ New her thinks: See above.
She watches a barista put ice in her children’s drinks while taking them out for a treat. Old her thinks: ‘Oh dear, brace yourselves for the shit storm peeps! You’re just about to ruin my children’s day my love!’ New her thinks: ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING?????? WHAT ARE YOU DOING??????? WHY ARE YOU NOT PSYCHIC, DON’T YOU REALISE MY CHILDREN HATE HAVING ICE IN THEIR DRINKS, AND WILL MOAN LIKE HILDA ACROSS THE ROAD DOES ABOUT HOW HER PILES, YOU ARE RUINING MY LIFE!’
People moaning on Facebook, about the same things-old her thinks: ‘Oh dear, I hope they feel better for moaning about that for the millionth time.’ New her: ‘You stupid reprobates, just find some more meaning in your lives, for the love of God!’
And her current favourite-people making a huge announcement that they’re having a social media ‘clear out,’ old her thinks: ‘Oh gosh, I hope I’m not cleared out, I will wonder for years whatever I did to offend them.’ New her thinks: ‘If Jeffrey Dean Morgan followed me on social media, and announced he was having a clear out, and got rid of me, I’d be devastated, and would probably cry. ANYONE ELSE AND YOU DON’T NEED TO MAKE THE BIG BLOODY ANNOUNCEMENT!! JUST. STOP.
I’m sure you’re all getting the picture. She even has a friend she messages for certain rants, and asked that friend the other day, if she thought she had an anger management issue. Said friend kindly recommended a yoga DVD, and a headspace mindfulness app…
There could be many reasons for the woman’s ‘problem.’
She could maybe just not be walked over in the same way she had been accustomed to being.
She had previously astounded herself with the fierceness to protect her offspring, which made herfar less quiet than she had ever been-maybe this had carried on, and she was turning into the feisty woman she always wished she’d been.

Maybe she was starting to realise that she gave less of a crap about the less important things in life, and wished everyone else was the same.

Maybe being asked for snacks 5 minutes after every unfinished meal, had finally driven her round the twist.

Maybe the lack of personal space, proper working conditions, lack of adult company, and scrutiny of her every bowel movement for the last four years, had finally become too much.

Whatever the reason, she didn’t like it too much, and will be working on it over the next few weeks.

Just don’t say that this sometimes happens to ‘women of a certain age,’ she might punch you.

Return of the carbs, come on,
Return of the carbs, OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a tune that is, and now I’ll probably be singing it for the rest of the day!! Ok, I mentioned that I’d been away at the weekend, and had drank my body weight in vodka, and inhaled carbs like I was told potatoes had become extinct. Yep. I did that. The weekend started so well too-the first meal we ate at lunchtime, came with potatoes, but I just gave them to my husband. Then in the evening, I said I was going to stick to vodka with soda water and lemon/lime (the actual fruits, not the cordial.) But this was rank, so I took the sugar hit and had vodka with cranberry juice. By the end of the evening, I think I’d actually forgotten that I didn’t eat carbs anymore, and the Golden Arches beckoned…!

The next day on the train home, I also ate a massive sandwich, because no M&S train station mung bean salad was going to make me feel less pukey-it was carbs or nothing. Also, at the start of this, I did say that I didn’t want to become one of those people, you know, the ones who can lever let go, and are total diet bores. I hade a fecking awesome weekend, and it was worth every carb!

I did have a slight (actually, temporarily bone crushingly massive) disappointment, when I got home to find I’d gained 2lbs. It just goes to show that with insulin resistance, the effects of steering away from the diet, are quick and completely merciless.

But… I got right back on it the next day, and I have weighed myself, and the 2lbs have now sodded off, taking another 2 with them, taking my total up tooooo……… 18lbs NOW LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoop for that! So the odd weekend of carbing it up, and bodyweight vodka drinking is actually ok (I suppose I should put some kind of disclaimer about responsible drinking in here? Well I didn’t , and I’m sure everyone needs a good shitfacing occasionally.)

I’ve discovered that I’m getting bloody fed up with cauliflower rice. I’ve been trying to eat more raw vegetables, and was trying a mixture of raw cauliflower, and raw broccoli. But although broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables when cooked, it’s actually just a bit bitter and overpowering, when raw. I’ve found that a mixture of savoy cabbage and spinach in the food processor, make the best the best rice alternative, occasionally with cauliflower mixed in, to mix it up a bit. I’m also aware that saying that makes me sound like one of those self righteous health freaks that I never thought I’d be, and like I have no life. The former isn’t true, although the latter may be…! Although this series is purely for people interested in weight loss, and to assure others that there are PCOS success stories out there, which if you google it-there are a serious lack of available.

I’ll write out a meal plan next week, I’ve still been modifying meals to make sure they contain no root veg, and also changed some other recipes I’ve been using, to make them a bit more interesting…!

So I’ll leave you with 18lbs lost, again, because even when I started this, I was sure I wouldn’t even lose 1lb. I was sure my body was screwed by hormones, metabolic syndrome, syndrome x, and all the other names that ‘impossible to lose weight’ falls under. It’s nice to not have to be resigned to being miserable anymore.

I absolutely love leaving the house with my exclusively breast fed children, watching them skip and form deep bonds with each other in the park, having an outdoor Kumon session (taught by me obvs,) before eating our organic lunch, freshly prepared by me from scratch that very morning. That’s until I realise that I stomp from the house, trying really hard not to just constantly fucking shout at my kids who were mixed fed, have more interest in picking their noses/bums/willies than learning what I think they need to be learning, while bribing them with chocolate to just put one foot in front of the bloody other, who would rather chew off their own faces rather than eat fruit, all while spending about 95% of the day trying to kick the shit out of each other.

And while I’ve written many times about not being the mother I thought I’d be, this is nothing new-it has happened to every generation before us. Every generation thinks they invented sex drugs and rock and roll, when the truth is it’s always been around, just under different guises. And every generation has decided exactly what kind of parent it’s going to be, but will never be that parent, because we will never have the children we thought we’d have. But yet it will go on-my mum smiled and nodded as I made all of these sweeping statements about what I was going to be like as a parent, and I’ll now smile and nod in the future when my children make the same announcements.

I went away at the weekend-just me and my husband. And I won’t lie-IT WAS FRIGGING AWESOME. We arrived, we drank. We (I) shopped, we drank. We went to the hotel, we slept. We went back out in the evening, and I drank my body weight in vodka, and we chatted like toddlers on speed. I totally forgot about my carb free diet, and spent the end of the evening inhaling carbs like I’d just been told potatoes had become extinct. We had hangovers the next day, but it didn’t matter, because nobody was screaming at us to do shit. Having a hangover while reading magazines and watching crap tv, is only a moderate inconvenience.

But as the day wore on, and I started to miss the children, I started to make new rules about the parent I was going to be once we got back to them. I was never going away again-they need a mum who is always present and there for them. I’m never going to shout at them again, because some random article written by someone who isn’t a psychologist, and has no actual scientific research to back up their opinions, says I shouldn’t do it because I will make them end up in lifelong counselling, and I will need to answer to the devil. I will totally overhaul their diet-it’s appalling, and they will end up contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic. I will be patient with them when we are trying to leave the house, and they are getting undressed quicker than I’m dressing them, and are suddenly fascinated with where babies come from, and with a barely visible ‘baddie’ on their left toe. I will explain where babies come from, because I’m a really fucking cool mum like that, and nurse that baddie with every nursing skill I own-it’s the small things that count right?

But, just like when you were given fresh exercise books at the start of the school year, and vowed to always write in them with your bestest, neatest handwriting for the whole year-then end up making a right fucking mess of them by the end of the second week, like on New Years Eve when you say you’ll never drink again, but manage to make exceptions such as the cat’s birthday, or next Tuesday will be a really hard day so I’ll have one then , and like the generations of ‘I’ll be this kind of parent’ before me-I wasn’t home five minutes before I was muttering ffs into the snack cupboard, looking for Pom Bears to alleviate the incessant moaning into my face which started the second I walked in the door, which my mum assured me she’d seen absolutely bloody none of the whole time we’d been away, while planning my next bid for freedom.

I do it every time I go away too. I have these little epiphanies about all the shit I’m going to change. And it never happens. It’s the circle of parenting life-I’ll always do it, as have those before me, as will others after me. And it’s a funny old thing to keep doing, and never learn your lesson from really, isn’t it?