Better to be porky than pregnant, Mr Cleese.

I loved the razor-sharp wit of John Cleese this week. In retaliation for being scorned for his ‘paunched belly’, Mr Cleese has hit back on Twitter by reminding the Daily Mail editor about his head start in the heart attack stakes (currently standing at 5-0). But, John, at least no one said you were pregnant.

Jennifer Aniston gave an insight into the unending scrutiny that she suffers from on a daily basis. In her recent article she informed us that tens of people have congratulated her on her ‘pregnancy’, on a daily basis, after a recent article speculated that she might be pregnant. Did you see the photos? It MUST have been someone unfamiliar with the human anatomy who came up with the idea that she was pregnant. Anyone with an IQ near 100 would have guessed that the gentle ‘curve’ of her trim stomach could only have been trapped wind or a healthy helping of fruit salad. So why is the media so obsessed with what everyone is doing with their bodies?

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THIS is a pregnant belly!!

For one, the ideal that we must all be super healthy and stick thin has been thrust upon us by the media because such a physique, therefore, indicates success and wealth. So if celebrities already have that, the media’s jaws are wide open, waiting for those same celebrities to ‘let themselves go’. That way, when they do, we (the public) can enjoy watching them slide down into the fat pit of normality and be like everyone else.

I, for one, am not waiting for this. I just look forward to more jokes from Cleese and more great films from Aniston.

And then you have the ridiculous flip side: Celebrities receive scathing comments when they are deemed ‘too thin’. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Let people eat their cake or their cabbage in peace.

I, for one, can have rather a rotund belly. Truth. And I have been accused of being pregnant when I haven’t been and, I can honestly say, it floors you. You feel like a wobbly waxwork of lard. And your self-esteem plunges into the depths of your boots so much that you want to google search ‘plastic surgery’ that second. For example, last summer, down the local park, another mum who I got chatting to (yummy and skinny as you like) sympathised about how tired I must be being three months pregnant while also looking after my twin girls.

Ouch!

I was NOT pregnant just, unfortunately, a bit porkier than normal and extra weight always goes to my midriff. Summer is great but bad for the gut: it’s those barbecues and ice-cream, they get me every year!

So, folks, I can sympathise with anyone whose physique is put under question. I felt terrible when one person asked if I was pregnant, so if tens of people had asked in one day I might just have wept. Next time I hope I can have a quick retort, ready, so that I can ‘get over it’ quickly rather than moan about it in a blog a year later. I do envy that Cleese quick wit!

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Many Thanks.

 

Is parenting more hard work than it used to be?

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It’s an interesting hypothesis: with modern conveniences like instant bottle warmers and the constant availability of Peppa Pig it seems that such a concept must be implausible. However, many insist otherwise. So, is it the 1980s Mum or today’s Mum who should wear the Parenting Champion Badge?

Firstly, let’s look at the nappies. As a modern mother of twins, in the early days, I could change up to 20 nappies a day. This is nothing compared to a twin mum in 1980. This twin mum would’ve had 2 buckets filled with water and a solution of Nappysan, and these would have held all the dirty towelling nappies for soaking. When these buckets were full they were carried down the stairs WITH CARE (pooey water would have flooded your stairs if you dared not) and then the twin mum tipped the towels into the kitchen sink, rung out them out by hand and then finally they went into the washing machine. And- it’s important to note- a twin mum might go through 30 towel nappies a day in those early days. The poor woman!

The mum of 1980 would have spent that first year doing a triathlon while wading in poo with a house smelling like a multi-storey cesspit. As a modern twin mum, good old pampers made my life easier with their perfumed nappy bags and non-spill packaging. I have buckets of gratitude that I gave birth in 2012. However, there were SOME perks to being a mum in 1980.

It was the ‘done thing’ to push your baby to the back of the garden and leave them there for a couple of hours while you ‘worked on keeping the house straight.’ But, no doubt, Woman’s Weekly, a pot of tea and some chocolate digestives were also part of that equation.

And you had some time to yourself in the 1980s. It must have been glorious for my mum to switch on the TV and watch last Wednesday’s ‘Dallas’ on the VCR tape during those delightful hours when I would ‘play out’. ‘Playing out’ referred to me knocking on doors asking if small people like me might go out and play. And, as a mother, I can only reflect on this with highly charged envy. Having that two hour breathing space must have been like a two-day trip to the Bahamas!

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HOWEVER, I have CBeebies! I know that those fifteen minutes of Peter Rabbit are waiting for me at 5pm. Plus, I’ve had ‘Topsy and Tim’, ‘GiggleBiz’ and an array of instant Disney films at my fingertips. I can always guarantee at least an hour’s peace per day, as a result. Whereas I can imagine heartfelt wails from the 80s mum when ‘playing out’ and wellies were no match for the torrential rain. It would’ve meant a child stuck indoors with only 30 minutes of kids’ TV.

Also, there are far better garden toys now. Back in the day, you were the lucky kid if you had a wobbly climbing frame. Now, with bubble machines, industrial sized paddling pools and trampolines the size of spacecraft our kids can pretty much stay out of sight in the garden for a good few hours. We just have the obligation of popping our head out of the window from time to time.

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Essentially, parenting isn’t harder now. The judgement we face is just harsher. If you fed your kid on bread and Jam, and egg soldiers, there was no Anabel Karmel wannabe shaking her head or raising an eyebrow or sending you angry emojis on Facebook. People, more or less, just got on with it. And if your baby was like me and didn’t walk till they were over 18 months, there weren’t hundreds of parenting websites telling you that your child was backward, lazy or addicted to telly. You just believed your child would eventually put one foot in front of the other.

If one could withstand the wave of judgement in today’s world, one could see what an easier task parenting might be. I mean, that smell of dirty towel nappies would make me retch! The 1980s Mum can wear the Parenting Champion Badge- I just don’t have the stomach for it.

What matters most

 

Recently I was asked to submit a piece for the blog ‘Young and Twenty’. I gave a hearty laugh.

I’m 36.

If I was a man I would state, ‘actually, I’m 37 in November!’ and give a wry smile.  HOWEVER, no amount of chocolate or Prossecco is gonna get me ’rounding up’ my age.  And I DEFINITELY wouldn’t smile about it.

But, don’t worry. The ‘mid life’ hasn’t set in.

YET!

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Asleep at the dinner table while out celebrating my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday. My family decided to plonk things on my head. #deservedit

 

Being 36 ain’t bad.

I don’t even mind the grey antennae (grey wire that’s supposed to be hair) that seems to have sprouted along various parts of my hair-line.  When grey bushes form I might have to give the nod to the hairdresser who tells me he’s ‘ready to do something’ with my hair.

Plus, I have lines around my eyes and varicose veins look like scribbled maps along my legs.  But things like that seem irrelevant and minor, now.  In fact, lots of ‘major important stuff’ seems minor now.

Six years ago, I wanted desperately to become a published author; there really wasn’t anything  I wanted more. And then I found out I was pregnant with twins and then their survival was the thing I wanted, more than anything. (Identical twins can have complications).

So I promised to whomever  was ‘out there’ that if my twins made it out safely I would do the bestest best job of being a mum. So, you see, that’s the thing I want to do now.DSCF1099

 

Don’t get me wrong, I make regular ‘cock ups’ and I get uptight, grumpy and still can’t sew (see previous post). BUT I try to make the best of it.  And having a balance between mum life and non-mum life is so important!

For instance, part of my non-mum time is my writing. I love writing but being ‘officially published’ is something I no longer crave.  I write for fun and farty giggles: my writing takes the edge off a cold cuppa or a twin whine. And I don’t have to have my name on a page to do it. So I’ll keep enjoying myself and hope I make you smile along the way.

Now, if there was a ‘Being Young and Mid-Thirtyish’ blog I would jump at the chance to write for it.  ‘Young and Twenty’ is sixteen years too late!

Thanks for reading my nonsense, once again. 🙂

Here’s some more…

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Moody-not-Broody-breed-question-ebook-x/dp/B00DFNI5XS