I can’t Sew for S**t (and more of my parenting fails)

The Twinkle Diaries

When I was a little girl, I, like many others, was in The Brownies. Now, if you too were ever a young girl in the Brownies, you’ll remember how you had to earn badges by doing a range of ridiculous tasks: like demonstrating that you could lay the table, or forcing your grandmother to let you ‘assist’ her (she was only in her fifties at the time, and didn’t really need my assistance truth be told). You may also, like me, have had to attend a church service once month as part of your role in the Brownies, where you were made to parade down the aisle in your uniform with a flag singing about something (what would we have been singing about? God perhaps, it was in a church after all). Before we were allowed to do this, our Brownie leader would inspect us all and ensure that our uniform was correct and all of our badges had been sewn on. Unfortunately for me, my mum couldn’t sew. I don’t think she even owned a sewing kit. So when one late Saturday night we realised that I was due for my church procession the next day, panic ensued that my badges had not been sewn on and it was too late to find someone to do it.

“Leave it with me” my mum had said, and I trotted off to bed safe in the knowledge that my mother would keep to her word and ensure my badges were all intact the following day.

Which is precisely why, at 10.30 the next morning, I was the 8 year old whose badge was peeling off as she walked through the church, because the pritt stick had started to wear off.

Two decades on, and I too do not possess the ability to sew. I’ve tried, I really have, but I am incapable of doing it. When it was my eldest’s Sport’s day, her team badge was applied using ‘No More Nails’. It stayed on though, and true to their word, I didn’t need to use any nails.

In fact, I don’t possess the ability to do lots of ‘proper mum’ stuff.

I had kind of thought that as soon as I got pregnant, ‘mum’ things would just magically appear in my brain. But they bloody didn’t.  So on top of being unable to sew; I can’t iron very well. I can’t knit. I can’t do crafts. I can not garden. My daughter needed to grow a sunflower in school and I killed it. I managed to kill a tomato plant that was ALREADY GROWN in our last house. I can’t do fishtail plaits, I can barely put the sprogs’ hair into decent ponytails. As a result my kids spend most of their days going to school/pre-school like they’ve got there on horseback. I try, I really do. But somehow I can not muster the ability to be good at any of it.

In my defence, this is after school. But sadly, it didn't look much better before.

In my defence, this is after school. But sadly, it didn’t look much better before.

I try to bake. My lord, do I try at that one. It always starts off ok. I have visions of me as a young Mary Berry, making baked creations that all of my friends and family will marvel over. I can just about make a cake, or cupcakes, or biscuits. They look fine. They taste adequate. But if I dare to decorate them, then we’re really screwed.  I made my eldest a Supergirl cake, that ended up costing me about £70 in ingredients to try and rectify and that my husband refused to let me serve because it was SO dreadful. I told my friends about said cake, and was reassured that it ‘couldn’t be that bad’. I showed them. It was that bad. I reduced my friend Clair to tears of laughter.

My mum couldn’t do these things either. This was my third birthday cake. Why she had painted the ‘floor’ with ear wax I’ll never know.


I think we all know those bears ain’t sleeping…

She used to insist on making our family’s cakes for every event as well. Can you remember back in the nineties, when we wore hair scrunchies and you couldn’t buy ready made cakes in shops?? ME NEITHER. Which leads me to think that either she actually thought her creations were special, or that she has some sick sense of humour that got off on watching her family force themselves to eat these monstrocities.


At least I learnt quickly that my abilities do not stretch to cake decoration. When was I supposed to learn these skills? Am I the only one? Will my children be psychologically  damaged from the lack of well hemmed skirts?

I try to take solace in the fact that I can do other things. Whilst I somehow missed the class at school where I learned how to be the perfect storybook mother and wife, I had other skills that benefited their young lives. Like, I’m awesome at reading bedtime stories. Seriously, I deserve an oscar for some of my performances. Even those bastard Topsy and Tim books can be made semi interesting by my huge range of accents (and yes, Vinda was always Welsh). Also, I can cook. Better than that, I can cook with no ingredients in the cupboard. My husband says he has never met someone who can make a meal out of a parsnip, half a pack of bacon and a pack of noodles. I’m a pretty good driver. I can improvise a song at the drop of a hat and make it rhyme. I know the lyrics to almost every Disney song.

So that’s my hope anyway. I’m hoping that when my girls reflect on their childhood, they’ll ignore their shop bought birthday cakes and lack of home grown suedes, and remember that their mum could recite the Gruffalo better than anyone else.

They’ll have to appreciate those things, because- I suspect- their own children will be the third generation that will never know the pure joys of a well ironed pillow case.

Twinkly Tuesday

13 thoughts on “I can’t Sew for S**t (and more of my parenting fails)

  1. Anna Brophy says:

    Oh my lord; just found another ‘unnatural’ mum!! Cheers to you! Loved it!! I, too, thought everything would just kick in after birth…mmmmm….still waiting….My mother still keeps offering to lend me her sewing machine. Bless her, she will be waiting forever. Thanks for the giggle. #TwinklyTuesday

    Liked by 1 person

    • theridiculousmrsh says:

      I kept going, I thought maybe 3 sprogs and I’d be due some serious mother skills. But alas, it’s not meant to be…. I hope the kids aren’t hoping for a hand knitted winter hat this year! Thank you for reading xx


  2. amytreasure0 says:

    Haha, Mum ‘things’ definitely do not just appear in our brains that’s for sure! We all have to muddle along as best we can and try and ignore the ‘perfect people’ on Instagram!

    I am not too bad at baking, but give me the iron on badges and sticky hem tape stuff any day x


    • theridiculousmrsh says:

      I tried baking again today. I just don’t know why I try! I put some cakes in the oven when the health visitor turned up to weigh the baby. Ten minutes later my two year old told her how she and mummy were making pink cakes, only for me to jump up, mutter ‘oh bugger it!’ and run to the kitchen in time to find 12 perfectly burnt little rocks… Mary Berry is never going to adopt me at this rate! Thanks for reading! X


  3. Everything is a phase says:

    Yay! We are 2 of a kind, I can’t sew or bake at all! My son is still walking around with a missing toggle that I have but have not sewed on his jacket, this has been going on for a year now. #twinklytuesday


    • theridiculousmrsh says:

      Thank you, and thanks for reading! I bet you’re not. Just ask your kids, I bet they think you’re brilliant at stuff you hadn’t even thought of. My daughter tells me I’m an excellent teeth cleaner, but a terrible hair washer (the girls aren’t keen on my drowning approach) I love your blog too… I’d love to guest blog if you’d like me anytime! xx


  4. Becky Pink says:

    Those cakes are outstanding. In those situations, I really think “it’s the thought that counts” comes in to play. I can iron, but I just choose not to. I think having creased clothes gives you character. And I certainly won’t be worried about creased pillowcases on my deathbed! Life is too short. Becky x #twinklytuesday

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kateywrites says:

    I adore this! SO glad to have found you through #TwinklyTuesday. I personally am crafty just to the point required to get suckered into leading the Daisy troop for my littlest. (That’s like Brownies, even smaller) I immediately hand all the moms (and the one dad who does troop stuff) a pack of Badge Magic when they sign on. It’s basically iron-on badge glue and it has saved me hundreds of dollars in alcohol. With three girls, 2 of them in troops whose leaders are overachievers, it would take many a bottle of wine for me to get through SEWING all those dang badges! So no, I don’t really sew, but I can recite endless silly poetry, build fairy houses from twigs and tiaras from clovers, and given enough sunshine and open space I will frolic like you can’t believe. We’ve all got something going for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Claire W says:

    What a well times read after my purchase of wonder weave iron on stuff today, couldn’t even be bothered to take the school shirts back and remonstrate with them about poor quality.
    Fab read, loving having discovered this blog Mrs H 🙂


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