Top Tip: Emergency Survival

Do you remember the feeling you’d get as a kid when you’d watched too much telly and been awake in your PJs for too long? Headache. Rage. Boredom. Hunger. ALL the feelings?

I vividly remember it. And now I know what it’s like to parent it.

Really flipping awful.

Today, both kids were done-in by school and rundown and black-eyed with exhaustion. We had an early night but both were awake and singing On the Road to Bethlehem by 3.40am. Shushing got us to 5am and iPads got us until 7.30 but by 9.15 it felt like a whole weekend had passed.

With Alex in his PJs still and William armed with ‘spuckets and bades’ as Alex calls them, we all got in the car and drove through the lashing rain to the beach.

We spent an hour digging holes and racing around. I took deep breaths and let the rain and sea hammer my face and let my eyes drink in horizons and crashing waves. The boys snotted and tumbled and we got back in the steamy car and drove home.

It was just what we needed.

Next time you feel like you’re climbing the walls and at your wit’s end, bundle them up and out on to a beach: it is good for the soul and your sanity.

I’ve Never: suffered from mum guilt

I am utterly and entirely untouched by ‘mum guilt’.

I’ve never used the phrase and I’ve never experienced it.

I have felt sad at nursery drop off. I’ve mooned over pictures of my children whilst I was at work. I’ve paused to consider whether three hours on an iPad is the best childhood experience I could offer.

But that’s reflection- a momentary wonder. A healthy and normal check of the parenting pulse.

At any given moment, I am probably giving my 70% best. That ebbs and flows. That’s wholly acceptable and, more importantly, sustainable.

Mum-guilt is a bullshit patriarchal load of codswallop. Another phrase invented to make women eat themselves.

Throw it- and any other ‘mum’ prefixed phrase- out with the next pooh-smeared nappy and coast along in the knowledge that it’s ok to like yourself and the parent you are.

Me and ‘mum guilt’

My Beauty Rituals

Nighttime is me time and I always enjoy the sensuous journey between my working day and rest.

Firstly, I slip out of my work clothes and send them all to the dry cleaners

I then plan my outfits for the next day and arrange them in the perfect flatlay. Come follow my OOTD on insta @threedayoldtights

Next, I soak off the day’s toxins with an ox milk organic balm

I use an upward circular motion to mindfully apply my celebrity endorsed facial mask

To keep cellulite at bay, I use a bespoke cream on the rest of my body.

I pop on my linen-fresh pyjamas…

…and slip between the sheets.

Goon from My Womb: to the tune of Room on the Broom

The mum has a tot

And long lanky hair

That she wears in a knot

Over the carpets and floors she vacuums

The toddler is crying and churning out poohs

‘Damn!’ Cries the mum and the throws down the Hoover

She grabs wipes and nappies in one quick manoeuvre

Then out of the nappy with thundering force

Comes an almighty wee- like a race horse

‘I am a toddler as stubborn as can be   Do you have the patience to deal with me?’

‘No!’ Weeps the mum and stress eats a some cake

The mum grabs the remote and turns on Milkshake

Over the floors and hallways she sweeps

The toddler feels ignored so tantrums and weeps

‘Christ on a bike’ the stressed mum sighs

‘I not tired’ says toddler, rubbing its eyes

On through the day til mum’s climbing the walls

The the kid’s dozing off when the delivery man calls

‘Shhh’ hisses the mum as she runs to the door

‘I am your Ocado order as pricey as can be- would you like to spend nap time unpacking me?’

‘No!’ weeps the mum and picks up her phone

I’m having a crap day and I feel all alone

Then all of a sudden, on thundering wheels

Arrives a car load of women bearing children and meals

They’ve got snacks for the kids and booze for the mums

Chargers for iPads and Wet Wipes for bums.

Their voice when they talk is soft and reassuring

Motherhood’s hard and lonely and boring!

‘I’m sorry’ the mum mumbles ‘I made a mistake.

I thought I would craft and nurture and bake

It’s nice that you came here and made me feel normal

So I can burn Gina Ford books and everything floral’

‘Yes!’ cry the mums ‘You keep keeping on!’

The mum tightens her top knot

And WHOOSH

Her worries are gone.

Seven Stages of Lunching on Holiday: avec des enfants

Stage One

Immediate and furious hunger results in urgent TripAdvisoring

Stage Two

The hunt. You imagine a cosy local with fresh fish and dappled light. You can only find laminated menus and pizzas.

‘There must be somewhere near here…?’

Stage Three

Find somewhere that smells good and is busy but you have to queue and spend ten minutes shhing the children and tripping up laden waiters.

Stage Four

Ordering in pidgin Spanish/French/Portuguese. Lots of pointing and asking for ‘but without mushrooms’.

‘Well shall we just order them two bowls of fries then?’

Stage Five

Relief as cold red wine and Fantas arrive and spirits and blood sugars lift.

Stage Six

Food arrives and grown ups mainline grilled fish whilst picking mushrooms off the kids’ pizzas.

Stage Six

Contentment as kids play amongst greasy food marks and grown ups order another carafe.

My ‘Why’s my wine glass empty?’ Face

Stage Seven

Warm cheeked and woozy, everyone bundles out of the restaurant and in to the humming city to look for ice creams.

‘We’re going on an ice cream hunt, we’re gonna eat a big one’