Monday, 27 June 2011

How will I wear my baby today?

Who'd have thought that becoming a mum would be like turning 18 again? (And by that I don't mean a license to consume as much alcohol as possible, although.....). Since becoming a mum, I've once again started obsessing about fashion statements - what I wear, how I wear it, and what that says about me. It's always about me.

But we're not talking clothes. No. This fashion paranoia is related to how I wear my baby. Wear your baby? (I hear you cry) You can't wear your baby! Oh yes I can. And I do.

She's the ultimate fashion accessory and how I wear her, will determine how you judge me. Oh and I know you will.......

Let's take an average day. First outing, trip to a country park. I want people to know I'm a rural mum, at one with nature and my child, strong, fit and healthy. Better choose the tie -on (absolutely NO clips or fastenings), wraparound, organic cotton baby sling. Perfect with floaty dress (baby), hiking boots (me) and floppy sun hats (matching).

Now off to town for some retail therapy and maybe a visit to work. Sling goes back in the cupboard, I'm after the urban look. Professional, chic and not a farm in sight. Better clean up the Phil & Teds, don't want any trace of mud on the wheels. I'll wear the baby sitting up front (not hidden in the back) in best coat and those ever-so-cute shoes with animals on the soles.

Finally, meeting husband after work for a stroll down the pub. Sling again definitely, but as Daddy will be carrying, then I can't have him looking all hippy-ish in the tie-up job. Out comes the modern, man-about-town baby carrier. Black, clean lines, simple clip fastenings. Perfect. What a couple!

Three different situations, three different ways to wear your baby, three different mums. I'd like to say that I'm confident and assured enough to pick one and stick with it, I mean who cares what kind of mum people think I am? But I'm not. And anyway, I can't decide.

So until I do, I'll carry on stressing about how I will wear my baby today. It won't be long until she refuses to be seen anywhere near a high street with me, so I'm making the most of it.

Ps how do you wear yours???

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The make or break holiday

You've been going through a rough patch and things don't seem to be getting any better, or any worse for that matter. Your relationship is lurching from one crisis to another and you exist in two mental states;

  1. this is worth saving, I'm going to make an effort and work at it
  2. the effort is exhausting, let's carry on as we are and pretend the problems don't exist

There could be a number 3 here – which is “right, I'm making a decision, I'm *staying/*leaving” (*delete as applicable). Only option 3 doesn't belong in this post, because if you were able to make a decision, you wouldn't be in a make or break situation. Do you follow me?

So you decide to get away from it all, go on holiday, find out if you're meant to be together. Cue Jordan and Alex lording it up in 5* celebrity luxury, eating aphrodisiacs before jumping into their super-king sized bed with turquoise sea views.

NO! I say, that won't work, it's a fake environment, with all that alcohol, treatments and stunning vistas, you're bound to decide to give it another go. What you really need to do is go camping.

You see, I've just been camping. In the UK. With my husband. And my two children under 5. With no electricity. In bad weather.

In other words, I've just had the ultimate test of my relationship. No sleep, grumpy children, shit food and a permanent chill in your bones. Oh and sour milk in the morning (I forgot the cool bag). What I realised was, that if I was ever to find myself in a make or break situation, then a romantic getaway wouldn't be a true test of my marriage. But a camping holiday would.

We faced the ultimate tests. Packing for what me and the kids need, versus what will fit in his car. Putting up a tent in high winds, with bent poles, no instructions and lots of blame. Allocating the beds, deciding who sleeps with which child and who gets the duvet. Preparing gourmet food on a 1970's gas stove, with one pan and a plastic spoon. Being trapped together, in a confined space, because the kids wont sleep til it's dark, the rain won't stop and it's the UK, so everything shut at five.

We faced it and we survived. We had our moments, but now we're home and we're laughing about it already. We might even do it again. So next time you see a celeb couple on holiday because their marriage is on the rocks, shout at the TV as I do, and say 'you should have gone bloody camping'.

Waiting for inspiration

If by some weird twist of fate you've found yourself on this empty blog, don't despair, I'm considering posting soon. I've got plenty to say and lots lined up. But not yet posted. Come back soon!