Fed Up of Being the Bad Cop

In my household it is becoming abundantly clear that the Old Git and I have very defined, contrasting roles. He is the fun, playful parent who gets a hero’s welcome as soon as he steps in through the front door and I am the strict, bossy parent associated with all the boring, mundane tasks of family life. Quite frankly, I’m fed up of being the bad cop and of being  perceived as the ultimate kill joy by my kids.

Daddy is just so much fun!
Daddy is just so much fun!

As the primary caregiver, I am responsible for feeding the kids, washing them, making sure they do their homework, tidy their rooms, go to bed on time etc. I ensure everything gets done as required. I am also the disciplinarian who tries to instil some sense of right and wrong in the best way I can. My latest challenge is dealing with the constant backchat from Flump, who, at the grand old age of seven, thinks she knows everything and can do as she pleases. Big sigh. In essence I have to do the really important but crappy part of parenting, with zero gratitude of course. Meanwhile the Old Git strolls in and gets the red carpet treatment.

Of course I understand that the Old Git works really hard and that the kids don’t get to see him as much, hence they are super excited when he makes an appearance. I also understand that as the primary caregiver I am the less exciting option. I can deal with that. But what I find hard is the Old Git’s reluctance to exercise discipline and order.  I suspect he is so tremendously happy to see the children and spend time with them that he just wants to play with them and entertain them without any drama.  I understand that too. But it makes life incredibly difficult for me as it means, even when he is around, I am still the one giving instructions and exercising discipline. It means I don’t get a chance to be the fun parent.

Mummy, the taskmaster.
Mummy, the taskmaster. Brush teeth, read book, bed!

I worry about how this perception of me may impact my relationship with my children as they grow up. Will they always exhale a long groan of disappointment when I enter the room? Will they always prefer to spend time with their dad than with me? And will they always think of me as the fun police? I hope not.

It’s so important for both parents to share the responsibility of ensuring good behaviour and discipline for their children. Of course they may have contrasting views about how best to do this but it is still a joint responsibility. I don’t mind being associated with the mundane tasks of family life as I know it’s necessary to keep my household running smoothly. But sometimes I also need some respite and would like the opportunity to bond with my kids in a fun and carefree way. That means the Old Git sometimes needs to adopt the role of strict parent so that I don’t have to. It also means I need to chill out out at times and stop being so task driven.  Better still is if both parents are united in their approach to discipline and household duties. That way nobody gets labelled the bad cop of the family.

I love the Old Git dearly but he is the ultimate softie/pushover when it comes to our children. Deep down I know I will ALWAYS be viewed as the stricter parent, but at least if I get some time off from this role, the kids may also see me as capable of having fun. I need to shake off this bad cop reputation and show them that I too can be down with the kids.

Being Beautiful

Recently I’ve been looking in the mirror and examining my reflection with much greater scrutiny. Damn! When did those frown lines appear on my forehead? Why is there grey hair suddenly popping out around my temples? Why do my eyes look so puffy? Flipping hell, this is NOT good and calls for emergency measures to be implemented immediately.  Being beautiful is not to be taken for granted and requires a whole heap of time and investment. Time does not stand still for anybody and I for one will not submit to being a frazzled, frumpy mum of forty. Forget it.

That being said, I’m not going to suddenly start caking myself in full makeup every day or dress like I’m going to a party on the school run. No. But I am going to start taking a bit more care of myself. Firstly, in my state of mad panic, I went out and bought a whole range of really expensive anti-aging products. Perfectly justifiable, I say, as these are emergency measures, right? I have now been introduced to the rather costly world of Estee Lauder and every time I smear my anti-aging serum all over my face I can almost feel the expensive magic working. Hoorah, I’m one step closer to reviving my youthful glow.

I’ve also spent a fortune on various eye creams to stop myself from looking like I’ve been in a punch up or that I’m related to a panda. Call me a mug, but I see this as an investment in my future health and wellbeing. Dermalogica, you had better be the miracle I’m looking for.

Makeup party! How exciting. (Photo courtesy of Mahum Butt at Mahummakeup).
Makeup party! How exciting. (Photo courtesy of Mahum Butt at Mahummakeup).

Then there’s the rather fascinating world of makeup. I was recently invited to a couple of makeup/networking parties where I was mesmerised by the hundred thousand different products that are apparently required to achieve the flawless beauty look. Only then did I realise how utterly inept and uninformed I am. Skin primers, colour correctors, eye primers, highlighters, contouring kits, finishing spray, the list is endless. And to think, for the last twenty years all I’ve been using is under eye concealer, powder foundation and blusher. More fool me. That being said, how on earth am I meant to fit this whole new makeup regime into my day? It’s not looking likely but I’ve certainly taken away some useful tips. Next time you see me with my own version of the smokey eye, try not to laugh please.

Post makeover! Clearly I did not do this myself.
Post makeover! Clearly I did not do this myself. (Makeup courtesy of ‘Love Glamour by Nazila’).

I’ve also started doing Zumba in an attempt to shake the flab and get toned. At my age you only need to look at a cream cake and you will absorb the calories. So now I’m shaking my bootie to Latin American and fusion Bhangra music and, quite frankly, having the time of my life. It’s like I’m going to a full on rave every Monday morning. I love it and before you know it, I will be sporting those super skimpy, body tight leggings and no one will bat an eyelid. Woo hoo!

As for the Old Git, he is rather bemused by my latest crisis, albeit anxious about my spending spree. He tells me I still look the same as I did when he first met me eleven years ago (are you kidding me?) and that he still finds me attractive. Clearly all the right things to say but if only he said it with a bit more interest and enthusiasm. It’s more like a passing comment on his way to the toilet when I stop to ask him. Oh well.  In any event, I shall continue with my new beauty drive, not because I’m hoping to find eternal youth, but simply because it makes me feel good. Beauty evolves and so will I. Be gone frumpiness. And welcome style and grace.

When Mummy Gets Sick

This isn’t one of those happy clappy standard New Year posts. Forget it. It’s all well and good sharing your hopeful New Year resolutions about losing weight, spending more time with the family, saving money blah, blah, blah. The reality is you will start off well and then lose interest by the end of February. It’s true. This post is all about how badly things suck when mummy gets sick.

Let me tell you about how my New Year went down. Before I could even make any meaningless resolutions I got ill. That’s right.  2017 started fantastically well with me being laid up in bed for a WHOLE WEEK. I mean, who gets sick for a whole week these days? I can’t even remember the last time I was completely out of action for a full seven days. And the consequences were far-reaching.

This is where I spent the last 7 days..IN BED!

Firstly the Old Git wasn’t impressed. He started off well and tried to be sympathetic but by day three he was just hacked off that he had to look after the kids singlehandedly and take time off from work to do the school run. By day five he was trying to persuade me that despite my throbbing head, aching body, sore throat and inability to get out of bed in the mornings, I was much better and that normal service could resume. Really? Would you like a punch in the face now or later? Even the in-laws had to be drafted in to look after the kids when the Old Git claimed he had to go back to work.   Even the cleaner got roped into looking after the kids for four hours when she came over for her weekly visit.  She was told to put away the Domestos and focus solely on entertaining Ludoo and Flump whilst I slept and sweated it out upstairs.

Despite the house going into panic mode, it seems the kids had a blast whilst I was ill.  I’d go as far as to say they loved every second of my illness as it was a change in routine for them and enabled them to have unfettered use of the iPad and TV.  They took full advantage of the Old Git, grandparents and our lovely cleaner by demanding pancakes every day, marathon dvd sessions, continuous snacks and by generally bossing them around. I tell you, it was party time for them. And on the rare occasion I did make an appearance downstairs they would tell me to go straight back to bed. Charming.

Unrestricted use of all devices. Mummy should get sick more often!

Although the kids may have enjoyed my absence from the household for a week, it certainly proved to be an inconvenience for others. Friends and family were wonderful in their willingness to help out but the reality is they had to go out of their way to help look after my children. It made me realise just how central mums are to the running of the home. When we get sick everyone is impacted and the whole household is thrown into chaos. We are the glue that holds everything together.  We make sure the day runs like clockwork from the school run, nursery drop offs, packed lunches, after school clubs, pickups, meal times, homework, school uniforms, baths,  books, bedtime, the list is endless . We make it happen and should always remember our worth.

As inconvenient and annoying as it is, sometimes we just need to submit to being ill. Most of the time we soldier on and fight off these pesky little bugs, but sometimes one really packs a punch and knocks us out. We then have to allow others to help us. Having a good support network is priceless and being able to forget about the unravelling state of the house is mandatory. Who knows, after a week of being ill, your other half might even realise what a superstar you are? Every cloud has a silver lining and mine was losing three pounds without even trying (hoorah!) and hearing the Old Git finally admit that it’s flipping hard work looking after the kids. Result.