I am super excited to be writing this post because it is with big fanfare that I announce that we are launching a new series on MRTD! We thought we might be crazy doing this, but after lots of positive feedback on the idea, we are launching our very own agony aunt column called Dr Doolally: Domestic Dilemmas Discussed!
Let me introduce you to Katie Porter, a hugely talented wordsmith and one witty honest mumma and author of Going Doolally: An honest tale of anxiety and motherhood.
I was introduced to her through the lovely Suki Wood of Pink Spaghetti and as soon as we spoke, and after having read her hugely relatable book, I knew that magic was going to happen. And seeing as the whole of Motherhood: The Real Deal has been built on my taking blind leaps of faith and going with the universe, Dr Doolally: Domestic Dilemmas Discussed was born!
So enough of me waffling on, I’ll pass on to Katie who has a few introductory words to say before we kick of Dr Doolally: Domestic Dilemmas Discussed (watch this space for the first edition!).
Pop, Pop, Pop. There goes another brain cell. There goes another memory. I used to fire on all cylinders. I used to deal with Very Important People and do Very Important Things. Then I had babies. And I forgot. I forget why I’m in the shop. I forget what I’m about to say. I forget people’s names. So I decided to write it all down. I could look back with fond memories. And that’s how it started.
When Arthur was born I decided to write a weekly update on Facebook. I kept it going and before I knew it, I had my friends messaging me in anticipation of the following week’s shenanigans. I admit there were weeks where nothing interesting happened. I found myself panicking that my posts wouldn’t be funny as the last. But I did it and I kept it going for the whole year up until his 1st birthday.
It made me feel like I was relevant
while finding my feet in my new role, as a mummy. There were moments of incredible loneliness and it kept me sane. When I had Harry, I didn’t hesitate in doing the same.
Then there was the incident in the playground.
Just before Christmas, the teacher pulled me aside and asked me if I could find out why Arthur had scratched another child.
Oh. My. God.
This was the moment I was dreading.
Oh but I was prepared. I was prepared to love and support my son no matter what. I was ready to work with the teams on standby to give him the tools to help him overcome his anger and work through his issues.
But I panicked. I wasn’t calm. I needed to know that very second why Arthur had felt the need to hurt another child. I couldn’t wait. Heart pounding, I managed to get him to confess. He did it because….the other boy in question was specifically told not to fiddle with the tinsel. He did it anyway. This frustrated Arthur so he got cross and scratched him. Oh that was all.
Immediately I called the teacher and explained the situation. She was surprised to hear from me so soon. (Approximately 4 minutes after we returned home).
Then I started saying things I realise you probably shouldn’t say to teachers or anyone for that matter. It was all tongue in cheek – I think.
Looking back I must have sounded completely unhinged
I told her that even if I had to come to terms with the fact Arthur might grow up as an axe murdering criminal… I’d still love and support him. The next day in the playground, the family worker asked if I was okay. Three hours of bosom snuggle sobbing, I wasn’t and they very kindly accompanied me to the doctor who very kindly made an emergency appointment. Grasping onto a worried Harry, I realised I needed help.
I realise you probably shouldn’t say to teachers or anyone for that matter. It was all tongue in cheek – I think. Looking back I must have sounded completely unhinged. I told her that even if I had to come to terms with the fact Arthur might grow up as an axe murdering criminal… I’d still love and support him. The next day in the playground, the family worker asked if I was okay. 3 hours of bosom snuggle sobbing, I wasn’t and they very kindly accompanied me to the doctor who very kindly made an emergency appointment.
I realised I needed help
The doctor was fab and 10 minutes late, prescription in hand, I started my happy pill journey. This lasted all of eight days as I felt very unwell with it. I went back to the doctor and together we came up with a plan. I would take two steps back. So I did.
I remembered (amazingly!) that when Arthur was born I’d documented some of the experiences. Well I didn’t know at the time what I wanted to do with them but suddenly it all became very clear. I already had two years worth of material from the weekly updates from Arthur and Harry. Then I pieced together the birth experiences and before I knew it… I had the structure of a book.
What wonderful therapy it’s been. The book has done its job for me. Word vomit, getting it all out. But then something magical happened. My friends started reading it and… it resonated with them. Not only that… it resonated with their children. Perhaps I could help other people. Help people realise they aren’t alone.
I’m a straight talker. Always have been. It has got me into trouble before and I’m sure it will get me into trouble again. But as the Jeremy Kyle show therapist told me when I used to work in TV production, I’m a people pleaser. He drew me a ‘people pleasing pendulum’.
We’re opening a special surgery
I like being part of a team so who better to team up with than Talya. You’re here, reading this, because you know she’s awesome. So we are going to open a very special surgery.
Dr Doolally is open for business. Send us all your domestic dilemmas and we will try to assist in the most straight up fashion. Mum to Mum.