Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

April 26, 2009

Art Attack

I have a dilemma.

For the past month, my kitchen has been adorned with my children’s wonderful artistic creations. Mother’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring and Easter have all been celebrated with glittery paper tea cups, lolly stick flags, cotton wool lambs, tissue paper chicks, loo roll daffodils and endless amounts of paintings and colouring in.

My dilemma is what to do with this all now it has been taken down? There’s too much to keep but I can’t bring myself to throw any of it out (I should probably mention that I have three year’s worth of similar stuff lurking around which I also haven’t decided what to do with yet).

I do realise that if I was sensible and matter-of-fact about this, I would select a couple of things to keep and recycle the rest. But how can I decide between these lovely things – each made by their own little hands and each a mini milestone in their development (the cotton wool lamb my three and a half year old made this year is so much more obviously a lamb than last year’s!).

If I keep them, who am I keeping them for? For the children so they can look back and laugh at their early masterpieces, or for myself so I can go on a massive nostalgia trip when they are grown up and tell me they wish they’d never been born?

Perhaps I’ll have a de-cluttering frenzy in a year or so and throw it all out with wild abandon. For now though, I’m very sentimental about these innocent bits of sticking and gluing so I’m keeping them. I think.


April 13, 2009

If you go down to the ducks today…….

In my attempts to live a frugal life as a mother of no fixed income, I am trying to avoid the temptation of play centres where a large latte and a glossy mag can be enjoyed while the small people run riot in padded climbing frames dressed as spiderman. Very appealing, but not an option for the fiscally challenged.

Instead, I go to local toddler groups, other people’s houses, the back garden, other people’s back gardens and the duck pond. Unfortunately, the latter of these inexpensive options has just cost me dearly.

Despite the lashing hailstones and howling wind last Tuesday, off we went to feed the ducks. After several anxious moments where the sixteen-month-old lunged dangerously close to the edge of the path, I decided we would head back to the car. As I brushed the breadcrumbs off my jeans, my engagement ring flew off my finger and into the water.

It was one of those slow motion moments – I almost caught it, but just out of reach, in it fell. Horrified I stared into the water – no sign of the ring anywhere. After a while standing like this, telling my little boys how awful it all was, I realised there really was not much I could do without a snorkel or wet suit so I turned my back on my lovely ring, and drove home.

Despite returning the next day with a make-shift dredging device fashioned by my husband from bits of junk he found in the shed, still no ring. The swans looked very suspicious – I reckon they know something.

Now every time I look at my left hand I see a gaping void where my ring should be but the void in our bank balance will be even more gaping if we try to replace it.

I am hopeful that one day I will gaze into that duck pond and something familiar will glint back at me. In the meantime, I’m taking the kids to the play centre to cheer myself up with a large latte and a glossy mag!


April 6, 2009

Goodbye Yummy Mummy, Hello Hum-Drum-Mum

So, it’s week three of life as a Stay At Home Mum (SAHM from now on). So far, so good. My floors are actually quite clean, the hot press has been organised to military precision and even the fridge has had a makeover.

The only down-side, so far, to this life change is the resulting impact on my personal appearance. The world is in a recession and so, it would appear, is my image. Whatever small sense of style I used to possess seems to have disappeared along with my monthly salary.

It is definitely a case of goodbye, Yummy Mummy and hello, Hum Drum Mum as I find myself putting on – yet again – the drab jeans and tops I don’t mind getting covered in yoghurt, beans, Sudocrem or any of the other multitude of messes which pass me by in any 24 hour period.

Also, I just don’t have time to do much about my appearance in a morning. It’s hard enough having a wash and brushing your teeth with a small boy clamped to your legs, never mind doing anything which requires any significant time or detailed attention.

My 3-step beauty regime now consists of a splash of water, a dollop of Beauty Flash Balm and a splodge of mascara. This may soon be a 2-step regime as the Beauty Flash Balm is running low and I have yet to have the discussion about the household budget for ‘Miscellaneous Lotions and Potions’.

And yes, it bothers me when I meet working mums outside playgroup looking utterly glamorous and groomed and realise I still have a blob of yoghurt on my shoulder and several Cheerios stuck to my bum.

I haven’t yet resorted to a track suit, but am definitely on a slippery style slope which can only lead to such dark places. Yikes. Better do something about this and quick……

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