Its ok to be a Grumpalo

Its ok to be a Grumpalo

 

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Me and my 8am Boot camp crew

I go to boot camp every Saturday morning with two of my very lovely friends. It starts at 8am, yes 8am on a Saturday. But honestly it is the best way to start the weekend. Its hard and most of the time I think I might be sick, even without a hangover. I always have a coffee before I go otherwise my legs feel like lead. Is that actually a thing? Legs that are addicted to caffeine? Anyway although the coffee helps my legs, it also makes me need a poo second lap of the warm up run. I then laugh through the rest of the bootcamp with my friends about the fact I drank that coffee and that it gave me a turtlehead for the rest of the class. I get home and its barely 9 am and the endorphins are flowing. The endorphins scare the demons away and make me a better parent and a nicer wife.

 

Anyway the inspiration for this post came from a chat we had in the car to and from Bootcamp. Can I just point out that its about a 4 minute drive to bootcamp, probably 8 with pick ups and drop offs. Somehow in that short time the three of us manage to put the world to rights and have some good deep and meaningfuls. I think its because the collective 8 kids between us aren’t actually there.

The journey there is always picking apart the week we just had and one particular Saturday morning my friend Sarah was feeling low about not enjoying her daughters 4th birthday. She had a made loads of effort, decorations, thoughtful pressies, an all important cake, but it all went wrong and she found herself screaming silently to herself in the ladies loos later that day. Her little girl hadn’t even noticed the negative stuff but Sarah was being really hard on herself. She then started to talk about a calm parenting course she was considering doing. Now to me, my friend is a brilliant mum to her 2 beautiful girls. She is calm, kind, funny and she would move heaven and earth for them. I am also a firm believer that as an individual we make our own choices and I will always support and respect anything anyone wants to do or spend their money on (unless its illegal of course) Chatting to my friend about this made me question my own parenting and moods and feelings and how they affect my kids. It also made me wonder why Sarah felt she needed to do this course.

Everyone is different but since I have become a freelance mama I have found that I’m a much more patient parent. Don’t get me wrong I can be seriously grumpy at times. There are other times where I have been asked for stuff so much that I flip my lid. I mean seriously flip it, where it bounces off the ceiling. But I don’t think this is going to give my kids any lasting damage. I said to my lovely friend to do the course if she felt it was going to make her feel calmer and confident but I also wanted her to not be so hard on herself. I told her this. I think so many of us parents these days are really bloody tough on ourselves. Especially us mamas. From our life affirming boot camp drives I know that these two particular friends are really hard on themselves, as am I. We are expected to be great mums, wives, friends, sisters and colleagues. Its not just that we are expected to be, we want to be and quite frankly sometimes its just too fucking much.

Its not going to do our precious kids any harm to see some light and shade. Its also not going to break their tiny ears or mean they will be a serial offender if they hear the occasional F bomb. What it means is that we are human. It teaches them that actually mummy can get sad and can quite rightly get really cross and shout if they don’t pick up their fucking dressing gown after having been asked 22 times. It teaches them that sometimes the consequences don’t just affect them.

Occasionally when I wake up there is a black cloud, I just cant seem to shake it and on these days I’m going to be a moody wotsit. I give my kids warning, it doesn’t necessarily make any difference to them but I feel a bit better about being a grumpalo if I’ve given them some notice. Kids push us, my kids spend the whole day gently nudging me to the edge of snapping. They are never quite satisfied and will always push for a bit more… an extra biscuit, another story, 5 more minutes at the park and I test myself to see if I can say yes more times in a day than I say no. But I always get to the NO in the end and there is nothing wrong with this. We can be kind, gentle and fun parents and still get irrationally cross, still drop the occasional F bomb. Our kids wont be damaged, they will still be happy (and occasionally annoying of course) and be a bit more rounded. So to my lovely friend, you do that course if it will make you feel happier and calmer but I bet everything they tell you is what you already know and do. But that in itself is worth it. Sometimes we just need a bit of affirmation.

Fashion YES or Fashion NO

Fashion YES or Fashion NO

One of my first posts was all about how my ideas of fashion have changed since I have become a mum. It was all about what suits me and what I feel confident in and how that has changed. After I wrote this I had lots of people asking me if ‘teetering on the edge’ was going to be a fashion blog. After working for 15 years in the Fashion Industry and having done a fashion degree this probably seemed logical to them. I do think about what what I’m going to wear and its a conscious decision every day, even if I am just doing the school run and sitting at my computer. I love clothes and choosing outfits. What I wear everyday makes me feel together and confident as does makeup and decent hair.

My initial answer was no. I tried to explain the blog is all about teetering on the edge as a mummy. Teetering on the edge of making a good or bad decision. Whether its big life decision like going to the doctors because you feel really low or its a decision about whether wearing a ripped jean with a dress over it makes you look like a knob at 38 years old. Its just about how as mum or a busy adult there are so many daily situations that I feel like I’m teetering on the edge, its just about making something succeed or it failing terribly because I totally pushed my luck.

Anyway, every single morning I teeter on a fashion edge. When I was going into an office 3 or 4 days a week it was easy. But now I’m not, I struggle. As I have mentioned before I’m a skinny jeans and loose top/shirt/sweatshirt kind of girl. I love a sneaker, I also love a little heel or a bit of leopard for confidence. I totally love colour, print, embroidery, anything neon or metallic (as long as it adheres to the guidelines above) But I doubt myself every day now. I never used to. I know its because my situation has changed. Its also because I have been pregnant 3 times and got over my post baby body 3 times and my body, face, skin and hair has changed so many times.

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This look is a definite Fashion YES for me these days, not exactly sexy. Dungarees- Topshop, Shirt- And Other Stories, Jacket – Madewell, Sneakers- Air and Grace.

In my wardrobe I have loads of wicked shirts and blouses. I have 3, yes 3 blue and white striped jazzy Zara shirts. I love them all but I just haven’t worn them as much as I thought I would. It just doesn’t feel right for baby music class and sitting at my kitchen table. When I wore the lush embroidered one the other day, mum came over and asked if I was out that night (I don’t mind that…. but I wasn’t) then last week I wore the one with the crazy tassles at the bottom and two of my besties popped over for coffee and one asked if I had an interview later as I was looking posh! None of this is so awful I hear you cry and I should just wear what i want but its about what you wear making you feel good. With the popularity of dress like a mum on the up and up and where she is a massive advocate for just chuck it all on. The more pink, embroidery and metallic the better. She looks amazing, as do many other mums. I don’t. I look like a female version of Timmy Mallet on wackaday (Is that how you spell it?) Ultimately though its about how you feel about yourself and I feel like a tool dressed like that.

 

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Doing the Housework and chilling with my bub in one of my fav jazzy Zara shirts.

 

 

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Trusted Fashion YES formula- jeans and jacket- Topshop, Sweatshirt- Cos, T shirt- H and M and Traners- Adidas Gazelles

 

So every morning I look in my wardrobe and peruse and sometimes decide to put on something totally inappropriate or just plain odd. I know all the bits above aren’t really a big deal, its not like I’m deciding to wear a PVC catsuit or a crop top on the school run, but after a while it has started to wear away my getting dressed confidence. I have this lush burgundy tunic dress from Whistles that I got in the sale at Christmas I have previous season’s versions in navy and washed denim and they have been worn endlessly. Such easy pieces to pop on over a polo neck or a Breton, they have earned their pounds per wear. I looked at it this morning and thought ‘ Gosh (I would never actually say gosh) I have barely worn that!’ My jobs today were a hospital appointment for baby Charlie and writing this post. I thought jeans under the dress will dress it down and I will still look cool and well put together? Well I felt like I was still at uni in brighton circa 2001 and all I needed were some acupuncture trainers to finish it off.

I love buying clothes, but I’m not a willy nilly spender. Since babies and a mortgage I always have to be able to justify buying something, I always have to be able to calculate the pounds per wear. All the lush bits in my wardrobe were all bought with thought and consideration. I love a basic but I love a wow jacket or shirt too, i will always dress them down with jeans and sneaks. But I cant seem to get my head out the fact I don’t go into a fashion office every day now. The days I feel like I’m not teetering on an edge and have a definite fashion YES are when I’m in trusty high waist ripped skinnies or boyfriends (Mom jeans are not designed for c section bellys) black and white or navy and white stripe, denim and khaki. With some camouflage, a bright pop or my leather to make feel trendy. Oh and not forgetting the trusted Mr Tumble dungarees. This basically blanks out 90 percent of my wardrobe and that just makes me sad.

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Rocking the Mr Tumble look. Outfit details as above.

 

I’m sure like many other time poor mums I don’t have the time to really ponder on my outfit for that day. I decide in the shower. The above formula is a no brainer for me. I have so many mummy friends who don’t think about it and just look effortlessly chic and casual. I’m hoping that’s what I portray but to be honest these days I question it at least half the time. On a night out, I usually need the first drink to think yeah I’m good, I’m rocking this, or yes I’ve made a really good understated statement (You girls know what I mean eh?)

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Christmas Party outfit with the trusted Leopard boots. Boots- Next, jeans- Topshop, sequin sweat- Next and Shirt-Cos.

 

Don’t get me started on the days I’m heading into town for work or going out…. well actually you can. This is much easier. The jazzier shirts come out, the leather, the orange lippy. The Leopard…. of course the leopard. I cant actually believe I haven’t mentioned the leopard print. Especially leopard shoes. My lovely friend is a leopard bag fanatic, mine is shoes. So this winter the outfit game changer for me were some Air and Grace leopard trainers and some Next leopard ankle boots. The trainers were reassuring for any day to day outfit and the boots were my confidence saver for any going out situation. They totally stopped me from teetering on the fashion edge.

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Father Christmas brought me THE best trainers ever.

 

Anyway, I’m sure with time I’ll find my fashion formula for my new freelance life. I’ll carry on filling my Zara basket with stuff I wont wear or buy- this lush jumpsuit has been hanging around in my basket on Zara for a couple of weeks. If I was doing the office thing still it would have earned its keep by now. Its not revolutionary, but so easy.

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In the mean time ill carry on looking for the summer game changer, its always footwear for me. I’m thinking some orange or yellow high throat flats or low courts for going out (see the next ones or topshop ones, let me know which you prefer?)  and some silver supergas or grey snake vans for casual…. what do you think? then there’s these lush topshop laofers! These on the school run? Let alone bright lippy when I have nowhere to go. The home counties won’t know how to cope.

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As for sandals I think ill stick with my trusted nanna sandals. you cant beat a birko eh?