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)

March 22, 2010

I can’t get off the mummy-go-round

It should have been a totally relaxing, blissful hour all to myself. It should have been. Except, it wasn’t.

I was in a hotel spa, wrapped up in my robe and slippers. After completing the questionnaire confirming that I wasn’t about to expire or have a baby, I was greeted by my therapist (not that sort, the other sort) who can only be described as a cross between Mrs Doyle from Father Ted and Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter. Slightly perturbed, I followed this crazy lady into ‘The Lotus Room’ and settled myself on the table thingy while she went to fetch me a glass of water.

I’m actually rubbish at relaxing. I find it hard to turn off my internal mum-ologue which always seems to be going over my ‘To Do’ lists. Moaning Myrtle's incessant chatter didn't exactly help: “Have you travelled far? What do you think of the hotel? Do you have any plans for the evening?”

“For god’s sake woman SHUT UP! I’m not in the hairdressers. I don’t want to talk to you. I'm trying to relax. Just get on with it."

(I didn’t actually say this).

Unfortunately, get on with it she did. This woman’s hands were about as relaxing and healing as I imagine an old fisherman’s barnacle encrusted ones would be. So they I lay with my limbs being slowly eroded; listening not to the sounds of crashing waves, but to my rambling thoughts.

“Ouch, that salt scrub is really scratchy. Bloody hell, she’s being a bit rough. I wonder what the boys are having for tea? Blimey, those hot towels on my face are boiling hot. What if I’m scarred? Oh, I must remember to ring the school on Monday. I wish she’d stop pressing so hard on my scalp, I think I’m getting a migraine. I bet the boys haven’t had a bath. I have to get our flights booked for Spain as soon as I get back. Ouch. I can’t remember if I defrosted those sausages……”

An hour later, I emerge from The Lotus Room not in the slightest bit relaxed, still not sure if I defrosted the sausages and looking like I've escaped from a home for the terminally bewildered. Maybe next time I’ll just have a manicure

I'm currently guest blogging at Cuddledry. Check out my post about being
a little bit pregnant and overwhelmed in Mothercare!



  1. Sounds familiar. I got a voucher for my local spa last year and had two massages. Neither of which turned out to be as relaxing as I'd hoped. The first one was when I had a bit of a cold. My nose would not stop running but when you've got your head in that hole thing on the bed you are a bit stuck for wiping it. And if I recall the girl doing it was coughing or something. It was around the time when everyone was paranoid about swine flu so I was convinced she had it. Oh dear.
    And second massage wasn't relaxing as it bloomin' hurt. Of course I was far too British and polite to say anything so just suffered in silence!

  2. Ditto! I got a fab full body massage for my valentines treat. Well, it wasn't so much a treat more like an hours worth of swirling thoughts going round and round my head. I almost asked my therapist for a pen and piece of paper to write everything I'd remembered down!!

  3. LOL! It's so hard to switch off isn't it. But frankly the very least you expect at a spa is a decent therapist who knows to shut up in the face of an 'off duty' mum. Love your description of her, sometimes it's all a bit weird isn't it.

  4. I agree with you!! What is with all the chit chat while you are suppose to be relaxing! Did you defrost the sausages? It has me concerned!

  5. My daughter is nearly seven now and I think I have finally reached the point where I can switch my constant mummy voice off, but then another one kicks in - have I sent an invoice in on time, when is my next deadline, and on and on it goes!

  6. Oh dear, I was thinking of booking a spa day for a friend and myself over the next few weeks. Might just give that one a miss. I hope you are not too traumatized!! Jen.

  7. Must be something that afflicts all those charged with keeping the household running... my internal daddy-dialogue's just as bad and I've never been near a health spa.

    Mind you, if anyone out there would like me to try one I could put it to the test!

  8. Honestly, there is nothing worse than this - thinking you're going to have some relaxing time and instead experiencing the opposite. And you know what? I cannot stand when people in spas talk to me while I'm having a treatment! How is that relaxing???

  9. What a disappointment. Maybe you should try taking some Calpol before? Works on the babies!

  10. LOL Me too! I pretend I'm all relaxed, but inside I'm constantly doing the mental check of what should be done or what I could be doing. Well, unless I've got a glass of wine in hand and then it's a different story!

  11. I know exactly what you mean - I've finally found the answer is to mostly avoid the spa, it doesn't really relax me and I'd rather spend an afternoon sitting with friends

  12. Ha ha! Very much know where you are coming from - glad I am not the only one!!

  13. I'm the opposite - I go for a facial avery 2 months and for a back massage about 4 times a year and I sooo love it. The therapist is a lovely girl who chats for the first couple of minutes whilst I'm settling under5 the cosy warm towels then doesn't utter another word until she's finished. I blank the world out and have complete me time! No worrying about frozen sausages for me!! It's a gift maybe - an ability to switch off - perhaps it comes when you reach menopause!!!!

  14. What a disappointment for you. A facial is a rare treat for me, so I always say "Hope I'm not being rude but I probably won't talk while you're doing your thing"...then I pretend I fall asleep...zzzz
    Mind you, having Barnacle Bill giving me a rub down wouldn't lend itself to pretending anything except abject terror XXX


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