THE fear

THE fear

I’m assuming everyone knows what THE fear actually is. I think there are definitely different types of the fear but most people would relate it to booze and nasty hangovers.

I had a chat just yesterday with my hubby and our good friend about what the fear meant to them and what day it would land on post hangover. Back in my mid to late twenties I would spend many a Tuesday at work with the fear or at least teetering on the edge of the fear. To me and my buddies during that period of my life, it was a feeling you had after a serious amount of continuous drinking, late nights and blurry memories. The fear was that worry that you were a total dick, that you embarrassed yourself, that you had unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings, flashed your spanks or discussed your period to a total stranger. But you had killed so many brain cells with Savvy B and vodka you couldn’t actually work out if it was true or not. To my hubby and our friend the fear was a morning after feeling. Just an immediate fear you had when you woke up feeling like hell.

In my late 20s I would go out most weeks from a Wednesday evening through to a Sunday. I ask myself now, how did I ever survive or afford that? I would happily get up for work on a Friday morning having gone to bed at 2 and laugh my way through work with colleagues who had led me astray (or the other way round of course).  Monday was always just a Monday; head down, clean eating, exercise and early bed in the hopes to mend any damage done at the end of the previous week. But for me, Tuesday was always the scary day of sweats and anxiousness. You know what I mean?

Then I had children. Since then the fear has taken on various different guises and some of them have really surprised me. When my first son was born, I remember lying in bed one morning with him, very soon after coming home from hospital with the MASSIVE fear. I was so scared and worried about how much I loved this tiny person. I would kill for him. I wasn’t sure I could cope with the love. Then as time passed there were other types of mummy fear…… I couldn’t drink a drop of alcohol until he was tucked up in bed fast asleep. At my parents house the cork pops at exactly 6pm every night…… nanny and pops have happy hour every night, they always seem to quote something about the yard arm. My dad would look at me incredulously when I said ‘No thanks, not until Bobby is asleep’ To me just a whiff of alcohol before baby was asleep spelt serious MUMMY fear. It meant teetering on the edge of NOT being able to do this mummy thing. Of not being able to cope if alcohol was involved. Now, 3 babies later, I can happily drink from 1pm onwards if the occasion calls for it. 11am if the kids aren’t there. I am that leathery, wisened old bird who knows that kids will eventually settle, 5 glasses of wine or not. I now get The mummy fear from other situations, mainly caused by sleep deprivation.

I have just got back from a weekend skiing with some friends who are all mummies too. Between us we have 13 kids. We booked it last May, 5 weeks post 3rd baby. The thought of this holiday kept me going through all the newborn craziness.  I love skiing as it is the ultimate escape. Exhilarating and physical. Skiing can be a dangerous sport and the idea of whizzing down the mountain every day at great speed (well, medium speed in my case… driving miss Daisy) should surely induce The mummy fear. I mean all that responsibility resting on your ski ability. Surprisingly it didn’t. You are just concentrating on staying alive and stunned by the scenery around you. It’s the only holiday that I think you truly escape from every day life.

I have always wanted to take my boys skiing but I had a sudden thought; how will I cope seeing my precious ones doing something that can be so dangerous! We were enjoying the peaceful but freezing chairlifts (proper conversations, no kiddy interruptions) and we were all enthralled by all the little people we saw skiing. So brave, so fearless.The mummy fear washed over me in waves.

The thought of drinking for 4 days did give me The fear a bit, but the chat of going ‘out out’ on one of the nights gave me the massive FEAR. To a club, no less. I’ve realised that I do still love a drink. I still love going out and hanging out with my mates, kids or no kids, but the minute I’ve eaten dinner, that’s my lot. I’m ready for my house, my bed and sleep, so that in the morning The fear is nowhere in sight. I want to wake up to the chaos in my own house, it doesn’t matter how hungover I am.

I have a very close friend (she will know who she is) who I have discussed The fear with a lot. She has talked me through it many a time. I have talked her through it many a time. But our fear has always been due to sleep deprivation, that total bastard jetlag. Sometimes with a bottle of red mixed in. We have travelled around the world for our jobs together for a long time and stayed in some seriously weird hotels and got plastered in some even weirder hotel bars. The fear has always been in the back of our minds. Our solution was to always sleep in the same room. If you are wide awake in the middle of the night in a city in China that no one else has heard of, you might as well be doing it together. Those crazy trips were spent teetering on the edge of The fear with each other. Booze and the thoughts of our babies stopped us from falling. Oh, and of course the age old remedy of laughter. Delirious laughter, that arrived always around 3pm induced by some awful song or some mad woman dancing (us), in a meeting. We were always very professional lol.

Back in October I went to an all day rave for my best buddies birthday. It was an Annie Mac one. We all love Annie Mac right? I loved the thought of reliving my raving  yoof, a good dance is good for the soul. Especially when it finishes at 10pm. In my mind I thought it would be full of like minded 30 somethings who had been for a nice civilised lunch first, just like we had. God, was I wrong!! it was full of gurning, 90s dressed young’uns looking exactly how we looked the in the actual real 1990s. After a pint of white wine, I felt I could cope and then actually began to enjoy it. Bearing in mind it was still daylight. When it got dark I found myself in an underground car park with the floor vibrating from the bassline and the strobe pushing me to a millimetre away from epilepsy.

Despite the 5 pints of white wine, I was clinging on to the edge of the ultimate mummy fear with the tips of my fingers. When it finished at 10 and all the child free ones were heading on to a cool late bar in Hackney, I happily hopped onto the train back to the safety of my house and saved dinner from my hubby. I had looked the fear straight in the eye and punched it on the nose. I felt smug the next morning. Although there is no way i will be going back to an all day rave.

The fear is real. it comes in many forms and the older i get, the easier it is to recognise. I am lucky enough to have friends and family who understand the fear, they don’t think I’m loco, hopefully.  Whatever disguise it comes in, its real for so many of us and changes as our lives change. I find the only way to get through it is with good friends, family, chats, an exercise class, bootcamp, a walk, a cuddle and sometimes even more booze. I have to remind myself its only ever temporary. Facing The fear and conquering it is an achievement whether you are a mummy or not.

N.B. FYI i have always found a diet coke is a great Fear remedy whatever the situation.

Newborn Bobby in my arms on day 5, just home from hospital….. First Moment of absolute Mummy fear.
The freedom of skiing… just last week.
Civilised pre-rave at The Boundary rooftop.
Raving at 7pm and very scared.






Mutton dressed as Mutton

So in the last 6 months I have been on the cusp of turning quite a major fashion corner. I did a fashion degree and have always loved it. I’m not one of those  who would sell my left arm for a bit of Marant, or dress my boys in all black, but I’m very partial to a Zara, Cos or Topshop treat once a month or so. I’m not a slave to the trends as I do know what suits me and makes me feel confident. I also know exactly what doesn’t suit me and am definitely not going to spend mine or Martin’s well earned money on anything that’s going to make me look like a twerp. (maxi, maxi, maxi….. even midi)

Even though I’m 38 and have carried 3 large babies, in my head I’m exactly the same as when I was 26 (my tits and tum might not agree). When I go shopping I’m still drawn to the same things. I’ve never decided to dress any differently just because I’m a mum or I do the school run.

I am lucky enough to have inherited my mums skinny legs…. not so lucky for my 6ft2 rugby playing older brother (chicken legs I hear you shout). So my lower half is always the bit I want to show off and not my lager/cheese, 3 baby boys jelly belly. My day to day silhouette is generally some kind of skinny/slim jean and oversized shirt or jumper. Then on London work days or a night out I will deviate that formula to a mini skirt and thick tights or a nice little tunic dress, even a jumpsuit. ALWAYS with a flat or very small heel. I won’t go into my issues with heels on this post…. But man in drag springs to mind.

Anyway, the point of this post is to say that just recently my formula seems to be changing and I have started to worry about looking like mutton, as in “mutton dressed as lamb”. When you think of that term you probably think of a lady of a certain age dressed in a crop top and a pvc mini skirt. That definitely isn’t me. Even my baby Charlie wouldn’t let me out the house in a crop top. I mean I suddenly feel too old for some of my dressing formulas and even my favourite, reliable brands. It’s come as a bit of shock.

Just last week I did a Topshop order online. I wanted some new bottom halves. As I had a baby 9 months ago, my body has been changing so I made do with my old jeans. I wanted some new slightly trendier straight leg jeans and as I was browsing I spied a lovely little let down hem denim mini skirt, very similar to a homemade one from the noughties. I love my trusted leather mini skirt (even though the zip only goes a third of the way up). Same formula, or so I  thought! Thick black tights, a baggy knit and a nice little Chelsea boot or sneaker that is totally a bit of me. Turns out It TOTALLY isn’t.

In fact none of the 3 items I bought from toppers on that order were. The nice trendy straight leg jean didn’t even go over my bum. Right size, but where the hell has the lycra gone? The standard skinny Jamie jeans were exactly the same as a pair I already had, and as for the denim mini….  I wasn’t JUST teetering on the edge of Mutton!

I have recently discovered the joy of dungarees. After the birth of my 3rd baby I decided to treat myself and they have kept my confidence on the edge of cool mum (just, mind you). I am also partial to a trainer. In my head a trendy trainer definitely keeps me from falling off the edge. I also love a jazzy sock  (that’s with an s!). All of the above definitely means I’m teetering on an edge of Mr Tumble/Timmy Mallet, but hopefully in my head I haven’t fallen (just clinging on for dear life). But the denim mini was a step too far. I think it looked ok, but it just felt wrong.

In conclusion, what I have realised from all this, is that its ok for your style to change and evolve. Its not about age or the fact that I’m a mummy, its just about time and self esteem. I think I have actually just grown up a bit. On Saturday I bought a pair of Cos skinny jeans and deleted the Topshop app from my phone. I had had 4 beers and a large amount of sake but it was still a high cliff to fall from. I used to feel confident in a denim mini, now I feel confident dressed like an extra from Cbeebies.

For the record my husband does still fancy me……. luckily.



The lovely denim skirt that 25 year old me would have loved.

Popping my Cherry

Popping my Cherry

So I have been teetering on the edge of starting my own blog for the last six months and as you can see I have finally taken the plunge. I read so many inspirational, supportive, funny, informative blogs and I have wondered whether I might have a voice in this world of blogging and whether anyone would want to read what I have to say!? How will I know unless I actually try?

Hopefully some of you reading this will be my friends and know that I have no trouble finding my voice in everyday life, but this is different isn’t it? its putting my self out there, I mean really out there. This blog is going to be personal, I think it has to be really. I’m one of those people who cant help but wear their heart on their sleeve. in the past I tried not to and it just didn’t work. Ive found in life that everything I do where I am 100% myself and wear my heart on my sleeve are the things that work and I’m successful at so hopefully if I apply that theory to this then it might work.

I would be lying if I said that this wasn’t just another mummy blog because it is. But its my mummy blog and I’m a different mummy, no better, no worse just different. I’m also not just a mummy. I’m a designer, I’m a friend (hopefully?) I’m a wife, a daughter and I love other stuff other than my kids. Like interiors, books, fashion, trainers, music, TV, films, food, wine and pubs. I love a good pub. So although this is a blog about motherhood the fact all these other things are important to me might entice you to read my next post. (which will probably be a mummy post!)

In the last 5, well even 7 years I have found myself teetering on the edge of everything in life. Whether its trying to not be late for the school run EVERY single damn day or whether to resign from my job of 9 years to work for myself, be around a bit more for my boys and start this blog. I hung off that edge for quite a while before I decided to leap.

Do you know what I mean? on January 5th 2017 I set my alarm for 15 minutes earlier so I wouldn’t have that feeling that I about to fall off the cliff of calm happy mummy who gets her kids to school on time, with everything they need and reasonably clean and happy. Its January 6th today and I have already teetered, fallen off the cliff and dropped a massive F bomb. So that’s what I mean!

Anyway enough of my first ramble, I mean post. Please any comments are welcome. I would be very happy to get  any constructive advice. Peace out.