10 Signs You're Just 'Pretending' To Be A Grown-Up

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

By Alison Perry

I don't know about you, but on a regular basis, I step out of my body, rise up above it, look down on myself and laugh. How did I become a grown up? How is it possible that I'm a MUM? No, this must be a joke. Or a dream, yes that's it. I'm about to wake up, Dallas-style, but rather than see a naked Bobby Ewing taking a shower, I'll be surrounded by Take That posters, my Tamagotchi will be bleeping on my bedside table and my Doc Marten boots (complete with CND signs Tippex-ed on them) will be sat by my bed.

These moments strike me when I'm watching Friends, and the year that shows at the end is 1995. "That episode is 19 years old," I'll tell my husband (I've got a HUSBAND! *squeal*) and I'll feel so weird. Or a trail on Radio 2 will be promoting a Britpop show being presented by Jo Whiley and Steve Lamacq. How can it be that those two young, edgy DJs and that recent era of music is on Radio 2, now? Oh. You mean they're not young and edgy now? And Britpop is 20 years old? Oh.

Does this happen to you? I think I'm just pretending to be a grown up.

Here are 10 signs you're just pretending too...

1. You're at a family party and end up on the kids' table... yet strangely you feel at home there. And relieved that you can play with cars and talk about school football trips rather than *cough* boring grown up stuff.

2. You're sitting at your desk at work, and suddenly feel panicked that your boss is going to find you out. They gave you a job, thinking you can DO STUFF, but really, you're just blagging your way through life. What will happen when they discover the truth?

3. While out for lunch, you finish your drink before the food arrives, and you order another one BECAUSE YOU CAN. Yep, no one to tell you: "Don't drink all of that now. If you do, you won't be getting another."

4. You fall out with a friend and wish making up could be as simple as making her a mix tape and giving her your favourite Mark Owen poster. Ugh, you're going to have to have a proper grown up conversation about it and apologise, aren't you?

5. You hear a call from the other room: "Mummeeeeee!" and you stop. "That's me," you think. "I'm 'Mummy'. I am responsible for another human being." You feel a bit scared for a second, before you snap back to reality.

6. You still find yourself walking into Topshop, out of habit. Yes, you haven't bought anything, bar a necklace and a denim jacket, in there for years, and yes you can't quite work out if that thing on the hanger is a pair of hotpants or a hat, and 'ooh isn't the music loud?' but you might find a lovely dress in there...

7. You hear yourself saying to your child, "If I have to tell you one more time...!" or "Because I said so." But you know you're only saying those things because that's what real grown ups say.

8. You get on a bus, and still head for the back seat. Look, it's just the COOLEST seat to sit on, OK?

9. You don't think you'll ever understand tax. It's such a grown up thing. You'll understand it when you're a grown up. Oh and long division too.

10. You still think that sausage, beans and chips is just about the best meal you could ever have. And you'd choose fish fingers over grown-up tuna steak, every time.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who feels like a fraud!

Easter Treats for GROWN UPS

Thursday, 17 April 2014

by Ellie Crompton

Hang on a minute, where is my Chocolate Buttons Easter Egg and why haven't I been given enough buttered hot cross buns to give Mr Kipling heart-burn? No matter, deprived, mistreated grown-up, just slip a couple of these little treats into your Easter basket to put a wiggle in your tail…

The most incredibly kitsch, brilliant nails from House of Holland for Elegant Touch, guaranteed to spark life into the most strained Easter Sunday lunch with the in-laws. More peas Judy? 
House of Holland Kitty Kitsch Nails, £7.99, Boots nationwide and eleganttouch.com

Marc Jacobs has done loads of super cute bunny prints this season. This make-up bag is the perfect home for a powder puff tail.
 Marc by Marc Jacobs landscape cosmetics clutch, £59.94, julesb.co.uk
 Remind us why we googled bunnies? Now this is going on the lust list too.
Marc by Marc Jacobs Rabbit print clutch, £125.84, Farfetch.com

Here's how it looks against some incredible legs. Will also look great resting on an incredible bar...

Sadly, these devilishly rich, salty, caramel, balls are very, very bad for children. Shame.
Artistan du Chocolat No1. Sea Salted Caramels, £14.99 Selfridges

Easter Bonnets come in all shapes and sizes. Pick up a trilby with a twist to keep you ahead of the festival crowd while you're sensibly at home on a deckchair in the garden.
1) Colour Block Braid Trilby, £17, Accessorize 2) Floral Print Trilby, £20, Fat Face 3)Navy Dot Straw Trilby, £95, Paul Smith

Anyone for a Chocktail?

How about a wee Obsession to keep you going?
1 tot Amarula 
1tot Crème de Cacao (chocolate liqueur)
1tot Disaronno Amaretto
1 tot milk
(all ingredients available in your local supermarket)

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with grated chocolate.  Mars Bar swizzle stick optional.

Happy Easter All! 

Kids - Different But The Same

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

By Charlotte Taylor.

It's funny, Motherhood is so full of differences. We all do things the same. And our children all like different things. Whether they are Peppa Pig fans, or they have had Frozen on repeat since the DVD release.

And it doesn't really matter whereabouts we are from, because we can smile at a child's laughter. It's universal. We recognise that bubbly sound laughter a mile off. We don't need to speak a certain language. Or understand the joke. We can just enjoy it for what it is.

Why do we blog?

Monday, 14 April 2014

By Katie Ellison

When you actually think about it blogging is a bit of a narcissistic thing to do.  We sit at a computer screen typing our words, opinions and sometimes truly personal and emotional feelings into the vast world of the interwebs, then we press publish and just wait for people to read them.  We live in a world fuelled by likes, hits and 140 character messages, but why exactly do we blog?

It sounds strange but sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I ask myself that very question.  I have a tendency to over think more when I am lying in bed, willing myself to go back to sleep but failing miserably as my brain processes lots of random thoughts.  When I started blogging three years ago, I had no idea where it would lead.  I didn't even really know what I was doing, but I spent about five seconds coming up with a horrendous name (Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three- what was I thinking?) and soon was armed with a page ready to spill my thoughts out for people to potentially read.  At first I talked about current parenting topics or things in the news, when that didn't  sit right for me I began to try and write witty and amusing posts. (note to self- you are not naturally funny)  After a while, I just decided that I would use my blog to document my life as a new mother.

I originally decided that I wouldn't put photos of my daughter on my blog, but I soon found that because my blog was becoming more of a story of our lives together, it made sense to start including photos of our adventures.  I of course didn't put anything up that wasn't suitable for people to view but it still is the thing that I most worry about.  That I am sharing too much on my blog, that I shouldn't be posting photos of my children online.  They are just innocent snapshots, but I still have the occasional blip where I think that I am being too naive in regards to their privacy.

So why do I do it?  Why does anyone do it?  Why do I spend the very little free time I do have sat at the computer writing about our ever so slightly boring life?  Why instead of doing housework or putting my feet up while my girls are napping, do I sit and upload our family photos for people I don't know to look at?

Let's be honest here, there's a small part of us that does it for acceptance.  For reassurance.  For a little bit of an ego boost.  Everyone likes to feel proud of something. Fifty people liking that photo on instagram of your child and telling you that they are beautiful, what mother wouldn't be proud of that?  When you are at home with your children the days are long and sometimes it's nice to know that other people think you are doing a good job.  Or if you are a fashion or beauty blogger, of course it's nice to receive compliments on your outfit.  There's no way you are posting photos of yourself for zero reaction, you want people to say you look nice, or that you have great taste.  It's nice to feel talented and there are some incredibly talented writers in the blogging community.  Of course they love people telling them that their writing skills are inspiring.  Are bloggers secretly all just a little bit self obsessed?

Social media especially only gives such a small insight into a person's life and it is so easy to believe that certain people have perfect lives.  Instagram especially shows an array of beautiful images- perfectly prepared school lunches, kids in the trendiest designer clothes and selfies of impeccably dressed mums in heels and red lipstick.  Yes you don't photograph the ready meal you shoved in the microwave for their dinner that night, or the photo of you in stained jogging bottoms watching Made in Chelsea and you don't tweet about the fact you are on your hands and knees bleaching the toilet.  It's a fantasy world, it's escapism at it's finest and you want people to think you are doing a good job.  It's a rose coloured spectacle of mundane life.

Then of course there's the sense of community.  Much like work colleagues, friends or even Mums at the school gate, the blogging world is smaller than you think.  It's nice to feel part of a community, and to make friends through the online world.  Yes you may never meet some of those 'friends' but you know more about them than some people you know in real life.  You speak to them almost everyday, know what they had for dinner last night and know if their child is being naughty that day.  In some cases you know their innermost thoughts and feelings.  We all want to in some way belong.

Or there's the freebie side of it.  Let's be honest here, the invites to exclusive events or the latest toy turning up in the post is a real perk of the 'job'.  There are blogs who do it just for that and fair play to them, we all blog for different reasons but for whatever reason you blog, these perks have come because of the result of a lot of hard work and dedication.  And brands realise this.  They realise that these bloggers have a real influence online and that people listen to their 'voice.'   Blogging for commercial reasons or to supplement an income is more popular than ever.

A lot of people do it to record the memories.  Myself being one of them.  That's the fundamental reason why.  I want to create a legacy for my children.  Blogging has brought so many things into my life and I am so thankful for that.  I have recorded so much more of our life as a result and my daughters have got a full story of their early childhood years.  There is the argument that I could do it privately, but having all the other reasons listed above means that I shall continue to sit online and pour my heart out to a computer screen.  I have visions one day of sitting at the kitchen table with my two grown up daughters and laughing together as we click through the pages over a bottle of wine.  Reminiscing about the times they don't remember, the times they do and the story of our ordinary life.     Maybe one day when they are a Mum themselves they can learn from me.  How I felt about being a mother.  How it's ok to sometimes feel like you want to hide under the covers after a stressful day.  How you can feel like you are doing everything right one minute and then failing miserably the next.

Then there's the fears you don't want to think about, but that are always there at the back of your mind.  The one's that you try to push away but always linger however hard you try to forget them.  The fears every mother has.  Last week a mother of two tragically passed away.  Peaches Geldof was a celebrity, but first and foremost she was a mother.  Just like me or you.  Her constant instagram photos of her boys, ones that seemed mundane before- constant 'selfies' of them together, silly photos in the bath, or eating meals in their highchairs- are now a lasting legacy of a mothers love.  At the request of her family her instagram account was deactivated two days after her passing, the reason behind the account deactivation haven't been disclosed, perhaps it was the ghoulish comments, or the fact that it all became a bit too personal after her death.  Whatever the reason, the fact is that social media and the way in which we now share everything online means that her boys will now have those photos as a memory of just how much their mother loved them.

Blogging is a funny old thing and unless you do it, it is easy to criticise those that do.  Whatever your reason for it, and however you do it, everyone has their own voice and their reasons for writing their thoughts down for potentially a large number of people to see.  Blogging brings a huge world of opportunities and possibilities to the surface.  It's crazy but it's highly addictive and very fun.

Above all it's about telling your story.  And whatever that story may be is up to you.

What are your reasons for blogging?  We would love to know...

10 Myths of Motherhood

Friday, 11 April 2014

By Charlotte Taylor

I think we'll all remember that phase in our lives, when we're sat there in a hazy pregnant glow. A bubble of impeding babydom. And then all of a sudden some know-it-all so-and-so comes and pops it.

All of a sudden you're told about the future state of your vagina, that you'll forget what a pub looks like, and you'll never have sex again.

Yes. The wonderful world of Motherhood Myths. We've heard them all. But please, let us quell them for you...

8 Questions That Dads Are Rarely Asked

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

By Alison Perry

Oh here comes Alison with one of her "modern" feminist blog posts again. Well, yes, actually. But it struck me recently how there are certain questions that people just don't ask men (or rarely do, anyway). My mum was chatting to me about someone we know who is pregnant, and she said, "Oh and she says she's definitely going back to work, after she's had the baby." I paused and said, "Oh right. And what about Ben?" (Ben is the dad.)
My Mum looked puzzled. She couldn't work out why I'd even asked the question. "Well," I explained with a smile, "You've told me that she is returning to work but you didn't mention him..."
It got me thinking - we have come on leaps and bounds in the journey towards equality for women, but there are still these thoughts and assumptions that we place on women. It makes me want to bang my head against a brick wall...

So here are... 8 questions that dads are rarely asked

Goodbye Peaches

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

We watched her mourn her own mother, stumble through the pitfalls of adolescence under the scrutiny of the press and then blossom in the fullest sense of the word into an elegant, articulate and funny young woman who loved her family with a passion. How cruel that she should be taken now. 
Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Peaches Geldof. 

Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof 13 March 1989 – 7 April 2014

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