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Slummy Chic

Half term is rapidly approaching and I can’t wait, here’s why

  • I can spend some quality time with the eldest
  • I can spend some quality time with the hubby (who doesn’t work school holidays)
  • I also have the week off of work
  • I can (fingers crossed) have a lay in at some point next week, bliss
  • I won’t have to do the school run: Yay extra jammie time
  • Halloween is just around the corner
  • Hubby has offered to decorate one room of my choosing..

It’s this last one which has got me in a spin, one room, any room (bar the family room, which is open plan living/dining room/kitchen and will no doubt be in use) I can chose either mine or Scott’s office, one of the toilets, our bedroom or one of the children’s. So here’s the dilemma, which do I chose? Being a ‘Slummy Mummy’ means I have my own unique way of decorating, this usually involves the following:

  • Buying candles (lots of candles, purely ornamental mind you)
  • Buying picture frames (lots of picture frames)
  • Purchasing those mini paint tester pots (You know the ones, where you paint a stripe on each wall and it they sits there for 3 years while you decide which colour you prefer)
  • Buying cushions (lots of cushions)
  • Collecting paint supplies (we have a range of different tapes, overalls, dust sheets, brushes and rollers)
  • Hours of internet research with Google images
  • Hours of internet research with Pinterest
  • Hours of internet research with DIY stores
  • Hours of wandering around show homes, department stores and the home sections of supermarkets for inspirationhome final

So with all this, how many rooms have I decorated in the last ten years? Let’s think, 5 homes, er 0 complete rooms:

Home 1, a flat, no point decorating, this is a pit stop

Home 2, all neutral anyway, I painted a wall of the kitchen bright pink, only to have it all crumble and fall off during the winter, that was a coooold house, I did put up some stickers in the hallway and begin my candle collection though.

Home 3, painted a previously hideous brown wall: green, got cushions, used testers, added to the candle collection…. Painted H’s room and put up a border…. (I lie, I met my husband that year, and he did that for me)

Home 4….. Paid a decorator to do our downstairs and My husband painted our larder door, I then stripped the wall paper in our bedroom, got bored, fell pregnant (not cos I was bored) and stared at a half done wall for a year.

So here we are home number 5!!!! I’m pleased to say, this is our 10 year house…. So when you think about it, there’s no rush to decorate really….. maybe I’ll get some new cushions

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Not as young as I used to be

Do you ever feel like you’re still 18? Oh I know I have a house, a family and a respected job, but every so often my little world is jolted by the reminder that I’m not as young as I think I am.

This weekend, in a rather belated family celebration, we went out for a meal. Now, going for a meal in our household is a rare treat, not because I like cooking so much (we have the obligatory fortnightly take-away), but because It’s too much hassle sometime to get, the children out the house, get ourselves out the house and be back in time for the bedtime routine. On this occasion my fears are confirmed, when, arriving at the family friendly restaurant (no swanky candlelit bars for us) we realise we have left the changing bag at home. The baby had done a poo and we don’t have his meal time paraphernalia, cue trip to local Tesco for husband while I wait for our order to arrive!

In walks a group of young people, I expect them to glance over (as young people do when either checking out the talent or the competition) they don’t see me, they order their Alco pops and instead, I’m greeted by a family of five and their screaming toddler… I send the mother a sympathetic look. Yep I’m not 18 anymore.

Our waitress is also in her teens, she looks affronted when I ask her to clean the highchair again (we had a terrible gastro incident involving a trip to hospital last time baby Roo ate from an unknown high chair) I feel like one of those clean freak mums, which if you saw my house, would def cause a raised eyebrow to these demands…. I waitressed once, I sneered at disinfectant wipe mothers but OMG I’m one of them now.

The waitress returns to bring our drinks, neither hubby nor I are drinking alco pops, or alcohol at all for that matter. Oh don’t get me wrong it’s not because we want to be responsible parents, I even offered to drive so he could have a West Country Cider but, we decide, neither of us want a sore head (or the other to have an excuse not to fetch baby from the cot at 3am). We have a coke each and I set about trying to calm the baby by whipping out my boob, the other mother throws back my  sympathetic look and the teens look a little disgusted. They are talking about music festivals, I on the other hand am reassuring the eldest that it’s fine to use a single crayon to colour in the menu: leave them out in the cold long enough and all veg turns blue….. Harriet is not convinced!

When did my life change? When did blue crayons become more important than blue vodka drinks and hairspray…. I still feel 18!

Just as the meal is brought out, hubby returns with plastic cups, nappies, wet wipes and, low and behold, disinfectant wipes!!

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Damned if we do…..

So, during preparations for my earth mother experiment (real nappy, breastfeeding and sling research) I came across a fantastic article on extended breastfeeding, this got me thinking about how us mothers are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts with you:bitchymoms

  • Are you breastfeeding?: This question, if coming from genuine interest, maybe a curious mum-to-be or a health care professional is all well and good, but if it’s to gauge my suitability to join your baby gang you can sod off!
  • Are you still breastfeeding??: So, you’d judge me if I didn’t but beyond the age of 12 months there must be something wrong with me for continuing…. Right!!
  • You’re doing baby lead weaning: Won’t your baby get really hungry? Throw most of it around? Won’t he choke? no I wont look at the book you bought to understand it better.
  • You’re mashing his food: Oh,how will he learn to feed himself, you’ll never get him to eat lumps, you’ve made a rod for your own back (agrahhhh I hate strongly dislike that saying).
  • Make noise around your sleeping baby so he gets used to it: who really feels like hovering when you have a new born? and at 3am I’m not risking it….sorry
  • Sleep when he sleeps: I thought I was meant to hoover?! (also this advice only counts for the first 3 weeks after that, no matter how little sleep you’ve had, you’re lazy for wanting a nap)
  • Is he still not sleeping through? No, I like my two hour a night cuddles. (if I’ve not offered up the info, or said I’m struggling its NOYB)
  • Its psychologically damaging to let your baby cry it out: agrahhh I can’t win

Can you think of anymore??

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The Yummy Mummy Experiement pt2

So I did it, today I got up early, despite a rather disturbed night; I put on my face and squeezed into some less slouchy clothes. The aim of this experiment was to gauge the reactions of others; do others treat you differently according to how you look? Fleetingly my husband comments ‘oh, youre wearing a dress today’ and the baby has a fab time rummaging in the make-up bag…..DSCF3407 but that’s the extent of the day, I kid you not, making an effort with your appearance increases your own self confidence and I must admit I felt more empowered today, that might be because it was such a sunny afternoon though, blue skies do put you in a better mood, But the mums you chat to normally make the same efforts and the lady down the road who sneers at you each morning, still sneers at you….. I did think she was waving to me at one point but I suspect her yummy mummy friend was behind me. The man who delivered the milk, continues on his way without a passing glance and the lorry drivers rolled past, not even a ‘wow you made an effort today’ beep!

mum-signs-yummy-mummy

I wish I could offer more, some witty insight into how wearing make-up and making an effort each day will magically transform your life, Instead I’m left with the following realisations:

  • You still can’t breastfeed in magic underwear
  • You will spend the day checking your skirt isn’t tucked into your leggings
  • You will panic if you think it’s going to rain for fear of a make-up melt down
  • You will be terribly tired by 4 pm having got up too early
  • You will feel more confident
  • You will develop a horrid make-up related pimple by the end of the day
  • Your children and friends don’t give a toffee what you look like
  • You’ll realise that’s the most important thing to remember
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The Yummy Mummy Experiment pt 1

In order to be transformed into a yummy mummy meticulous research is required, Thanks to the joys of the internet, Wikipedia has done it for me

‘Yummy mummy is a slang term used in the United Kingdom to describe young, attractive and wealthy mothers.’

Hmmmm, clearly this experiment will be tougher than I thought. We don’t own a Chelsea tractor, I don’t even have a yummy mummy changing bag (but I kinda want one now)

Clearly if these women are wealthy one would assume they have a entourage of staff, I do not, therefore finding time in the day to put on my make-up, style my hair or go shopping for clothes is impossible… I decided the best bet here would be to cheat.

Creating the Yummy Mummy look

So I call my local nail salon, they don’t have pushchair access and a full set of acrylics will cost set me back £25. I have fallen at the first hurdle! That £25 will keep me in cheap wine for a month, and pretty rubbish if I can’t bring baby Roo with me, mind you, I’m kinda relieved- I’m pretty sure the idea that I can relax and be pampered while a group of women  coo over the baby is nothing more than misguided idealism at best….

After work this morning (I’m lucky enough to work from home) I get out the make-up box- I collect make-up. It’s kind of like the times you buy a new canvas picture thinking it will look great when you finally redecorate the living room….. I buy a new eyeshadow thinking it will look great when I finally redecorate my face.

Thankfully I have discovered the most amazing make-up, Bare minerals is a powder foundation, it take all of 3 minutes to apply and covers every blemish 10577863-1326127794-817252without having that sticky heavy 3 layers of goo feel about it….. today I discover, my wonderful daughter decided that ‘Barbie I Can Be Baby Doctor Doll’, needed a make-over (I allow my daughter to have plastic dolls providing they are aspirational in some way). Bare minerals is down to bare essentials.

Last night I plaited my hair before bed (v little house on the prairie) I hope that today I will have beautiful curls and luscious volume which I can secure with a few bobby pins in a haphazard I-didn’t-try-but-my hair-looks-fab kind of way. This morning I have a mess of frizz with a flat unmovable parting and straight ends (didn’t plait far enough down)…. Crap! DSCF3391Thankfully I have a cheat for this also, hair pieces!!! I’ve not taken care of mine, they look like dead rats in a box. I plait my hair on the side instead with fizz tamer and hair gel (that will be fun to brush out later)……

Even I know it’s impossible to lose 2 stone in a week just for the purposes of a self-appointed assignment, so what’s the answer here???!!! Magic underwear!! I’m able to contain the baby (cake) belly with the following,  a Belvia, Bridget Jones’ style knickers and, what is commonly referred to in our house when I’m screaming to my husband before a night out as, the ‘wheres-my-sucky-in-vest-top?’. Now, the three garments together actually do amazing job at taming the flab, if it wasn’t for a, I can’t bloody breathe and b, I can’t bloody breathe….. 0323973_lNeither can I breast feed in them. It’s back to the drawing board while I feed the baby and consider my options…. My husband by this point has left for work (he has the baby on Monday mornings) So its 11:30 am and I look like a grizzly bear with patchy make-up, nerve bitten nails and a body shoved into a toothpaste tube, thankfully no postman today! I revert to the jammies ….

Day 1 fail

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Label Guns

Recently, while trying to get some feedback on my blog I was informed the following:

‘To be honest I hate all the yummy mummy / slummy mummy type labels. We are women, not just mummies. I wouldn’t read your blog because of the name’ (Ironically my stats went up after this with a link to the site in question, so I suspect the poster may have had a sneaky look anyway)

And

‘So for being normal you are labelled slummy? nice.’

It’s amazing how untactful people can be from behind a screen. However, always conscious of my readers (you guys have helped me hit the big 1000 hits in two weeks wooo hoo)- I won’t be baking cakes this time due to a food colouring incident (fail) !!, I have decided to examine these comments and clear up any misunderstanding: Here is my Passive aggressive responsejudging-others-274x300

I consider this to be a satirical blog, one which is aware that mummies place labels on ourselves and others far too often, I aim to promote a healthy view of being yourself, if we don’t do the laundry or curl our hair each morning we are labelled ‘Slummy’, therefore I have embraced this…. although I find myself chasing that elusive ‘Yummy Mummy’ status, I don’t believe it exists. The women in the playground who DO curl their hair each morning prob have curly hair anyway and can’t fathom how I’m able to straighten mine each day.  It’s that unrealistic view of what a mother should be which holds us back from just letting it all hang out so to speak (don’t let it hang out, tuck it into your waistband).

You guys get it don’t you???

I would like to point out that this blogging network does not belong to the fabulous website I work for! It’s the other one (wink).

So, I’m thinking we need to test these labels out, what do you reckon? Over the next few weeks I will take on a persona, I’ll do the school run, and the supermarket trip (ahhhhh, I’m an on-liner normally) as a mummy with a label. I’ll be my old ‘Slummy’ self, a ‘Yummy Mummy’ an ‘earth-mummy’ and a ‘Corporate Mummy’. I’ll gauge the reaction of others (including my husband and children) and see what insight I can uncover…… Ideas welcome here guys…. I shall call this test ‘THE EXPERIMENT!!!’ Yeah, Ideas welcome for the title also…….

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The Bedtime Rout…..

The bedtime routine in our household starts around the dinner table, as this is when I start mentally preparing for the task ahead. Each evening we play a round of ‘what did you learn today’ in which all members of the family are required to contribute to the discussion.

H has learnt that, if you’re the boy next door, you get into trouble for trying to sell her conkers. I for one can’t understand this; I think this boy must have been fairly ingenious, what’s that saying? ‘Selling ice to Eskimos?’ I think him rather entrepreneurial myself.

The hubby has learnt that, if you complain to the railway network that there are too few carriages on the rush hour service, you actually get a personal phone call to discuss your grievances….. wow, who knew?

Baby Roo has learnt ‘mmmmmammma’, I translate this to mean ‘if I empty all the nappies from the box every half an hour, mummy stops the dishwasher shuffle to pay me extra attention.DSCF2680

But what have I learnt…… hmmm, if you question why the Christmas present delivery didn’t arrive as expected, the company will explain that the courier delivered them instead to a Mrs J Hillman?! Who happily signed for the items despite having no recollection of ordering them….. I hope you’re enjoying Harriet’s fashion designer set and Rupert’s wooden blocks B”%*H!!! (Bet ill see them on ebay soon).

Once dinner is over and the crock pot left to soak for a few days, all attention turns to bath-time. While the husband negotiates the baby I survey the carnage of the day: the nappies out of box, the train set chewed then discarded, the dressing up box upturned, the cushions now a fort in the centre of the living room and a half eaten gingerbread man squished into the rug…. I think bath-time would be preferable to this lot! Trouping up to the top floor I casually ignore the debris on the stairs begging to be taken up, stop by my office to count the coffecups and note the trail of mashed potato which has fallen of the baby on his way to meet ducky and boat….. No wonder I’ve not got around to putting the pictures up in the hall or painting my chalkboard list…..DSCF3345

Harriet has pulled out the entire bookcase to find her favourite story; she is prancing about to ‘the Disney collection’ CD and clearly doesn’t understand that calm down time does not include demonstrating a new dance routine. The baby is chewing his tooth brush and the husband is searching for the shampoo with one hand. Perhaps that gingerbread man downstairs needs some company after all? I settle the eldest to read and get a rundown of every bruise and bump from the day at school, this is from a football, this is from the adventure playground, this is from the where I bit my nail… it’s thrilling stuff! But it’s also ‘CALM DOWN TIME’

Next begins the ‘which teddy to cuddle tonight’ fiasco, everyone gets an equal turn but it appears, Sally dog has gone walkies on her designated night…. She needs to be located otherwise she will miss out! Ofcourse you can’t swap the order, it could cause a rift and apparently the stuffed animals in particular are still recovering from the shock of moving house.

I leave her to deal with teddy anxiety issues and manage to catch the final page of ‘That’s not my monster….’. Hubby and I do a swap, he locates Sally dog, inside the fort and manages to squish the gingerbread man further into the rug with his bare feet…. Cue the sound of running water and the eldest needing to inspect the damage…

I feed the baby and, for a few serine minuets, I consider falling asleep also, but, baby must be put in cot awake, or I’ll be up and down the stairs for the rest of the night while he tries to remember how to ‘self soothe’…… I lower him into the cot, nice and drowsy…….very calm and content, he might just drift off….BANG!! H is showing Hubby the dance routine, baby starts to cry and I hear from the eldest’s room… ‘ITS CALM DOWN TIME’.DSCF2994

Baby settles on boob once more, I lower him down into cot…. He Parps, then throws up the extra milk down my top…. Still, I think he might actually go to sleep……yes, yes, he’s rolled onto his side, I close the door, locate the monitor and WOOOO HOOOO, one down!

Upstairs she is in her Jammies and finally in bed, I lean down to give a kiss good night……thinking ahead to the carnage downstairs….. ‘Goodnight Mummy, love you too, don’t forget my costume for tomorrow’s School trip’

‘Oh crap!!!!’

When’s OUR calm down time??