The mother law, or why we’re always late

The mother law: everything that can possibly go wrong just before you’re due to leave the house with small children, does.

Duchess of Cambridge

Leaving the house pre-children is really, really easy; I laugh now at how easy it was. It involves a) making sure you have your phone, bag and keys and b) walking out of the door. Even going back twice to check your straighteners are off only adds about two measly minutes on to your journey.

But after kids? It’s a complicated affair. If it’s a 25 stage process with one child then it’s even longer with two. And when I’m trying to leave the house with both children, for any kind of purpose, everything usually all goes wrong within minutes. It’s like an invisible force where it all unravels right before my eyes.

If there’s Murphy’s Law, Sod’s Law and that one about the toast always dropping butter-side-down (does that have a name?) then the Mother Law should definitely be a thing.

Here’s my case in point:

* Just need to get dressed? Sounds easy, but think again. If we’re going somewhere it’s always a challenge to talk the toddler into it. The baby won’t be a) put down or b) impressed. Then it’s only after we all have clothes on that I realise we all match a bit too much. And then the toddler will want to wear her winter shoes, winter coat and a knitted Olaf hat on the hottest day of the year. I’m all for independent choice and freedom of expression, but…in summer?

* There’s always a last-minute emergency nappy situation requiring a complete change of clothes for the baby. Just as we’re about to leave. Always

* The more fun and toddler-centric the planned activity we’re off to, the more things in the house will somehow suddenly distract her. The route to the door is seemingly littered with random distractions

* Important things I’ve had just minutes before vanish into thin air when we need to leave. Like my phone. Or the house keys (we’ll ignore the fact both inevitably turn up five minutes later…in my back pocket).

* The baby – who’s been happily awake for lots of the night – falls asleep at the most mission critical time. Usually in the sling if we need to take the pram, and vice-versa

* Be prepared? The change bag – that I actually now go to the trouble of pre-packing – will always be missing one key component in the nappies / wipes / bags / change of clothes equation (the one we’ll definitely end up needing later)

* Whatever the weather, it’ll start to rain when the raincover to the pram is no-where to be seen

* There is always a last-minute curve-ball, like hearing a little toddler-shaped voice shoot “Mummy, I’m wearing your lipstick.” (And always the most expensive lipstick).

I bet the Duchess of Cambridge never has this problem.

Duchess of Cambridge with baby

Other Mother Laws:

  • The postman will always ring twice…right when you’ve just got the baby to sleep. And it’ll be a delivery for next door
  • You always lose the toddler’s favourite toy right before bedtime
  • Pale or pastel clothes? 110% chance of a grubby handprint on them within seconds. Usually from you
  • One or both of your children will always wake up unannounced on the evenings where you have something planned (even when something = having dinner)
  • You run out of wine on the days when you need it most
  • The worse the night, the cuter the baby seems the next day. It’s almost as if they know…

The six stages of cinema-going

Popcorn

What was the first film you saw at the cinema? Mine was a Disney classic re-release like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I must have been around six. It was at the old-school style cinema in our local small town, with velvet fold-up seats and an interval where ice-cream was served.

And also…what was the last film you saw? Mine was X-Men First Class, which, shockingly, IMDB tells me was released in 2011. Two children and no childcare means that’s how long it’s been. There were snacks, but definitely no interval this time.

So we’ve not been to the cinema in quite a while, and I miss it. I miss the absorbing enjoyment of watching something great you’ve heard a lot about,and even the inevitable part at the end when you leave and discuss it, blinking at the bright lights.

After thinking about this for a while I realised there are a couple of very distinct stages of cinema going, from when you’re a child right through to when you have children of your own:

1) First films – usually Disney, animation and big children’s specials, going to the cinema when you’re really young is a treat that you look forward to for ages. Someone’s mum will inevitably fall asleep in the middle

2) Teen dreams and ‘got any ID?’ – it’s a big deal when you’re allowed to go with just your friends, usually to the big blockbusters and any film containing whichever actor is the flavour of the month. Later on, you try and sneak into the slightly older rated films by making up your date of birth (first practising it over and over in your head)

3) The pseudo-intellectual showings – stretching from sixth form through university and into your twenties, this stage includes classic films, arty ones, film noir, anything edgy and award-nominated. You actually have on opinion on them too

4) Smug copuledom screenings – sandwiched in between dinner and drinks, these are the cosy years with your other half. What was the film, again…?

5) The wilderness years – small screaming children and a short attention span doesn’t really equate to much cinema time, apart from the odd daytime parent and child shows that you mostly spend feeding

6) The circle of life – taking your own children to the cinema. Inevitably, it’s usually Disney or an animation that you roll your eyes at but secretly enjoy. It’s a treat, it’s fun, and their excitement is catching. But you try really, really hard not to fall asleep…

I’m also giving away two pairs of tickets to any Cineworld cinema (two prizes, two tickets each).

To enter: Continue reading

Busy mum, and other phrases I’d change in the parenting dictionary

  I read the news this morning that the Scrabble dictionary is being updated with slang and more modern terms. While I doubt I’d actually have the brain capacity for a game of Scrabble right now – is zzZZz a word? Oh, the lolz – I’m always interested in these types of news around language.

Especially because language changes so much when you become a parent. Straight off, you’re introduced to a whole new world of words. Time become trimesters, and it’s measured in weeks not months. Then there is baby wearing and weaning and self soothing, and all the other motherhood myths and legends and phrases and words that come between.

But some of it is pretty questionable. And if language is power, then a lot of the lexicon has the power to seriously annoy. So if ever the parenting dictionary is ripe for a re-write, here’s the words and phrases that I’d bear in mind:

Continue reading

Breastfeeding buys: the best breast pumps

Looking for a good breast pump? I’ve been trying out two different ones – the Lansinoh Single Electric pump, and the MAM manual pump – so here’s a review and overview…

MAM and Lansinoh electric breast pump review

I’ve been breastfeeding for a combined total of over three years now, and I’ve just worked out that I’ve had six different breast pumps in that time – because three of them broke – so have used several different ones. Continue reading

Hey Huggies – we’re baby wipes ambassadors

Huggies baby wipes

Baby wipes are pretty much the fabric of parenting life, aren’t they? I’m never more than three feet from at least half a pack. Leaving the house without any would make me very, very nervous. Running out is more than enough to turn a good day bad.

Huggies wipes

With a weaning baby and a toddler who loves painting, baking, running around in the garden and all the messy arty stuff you can imagine, we use a lot of wipes.

So when we were asked to be Huggies Wipes ambassadors it was a no-brainer, especially as it’s our wipe brand of choice for stockpiling / carrying around with us everywhere. Continue reading

Baby brain, trains and t-shirts

Good weekend? Here’s a round-up of life, lately…

2 G, E, F

G, E, FI was pretty thrilled to be at number 4 in the Tots 100 top ten baby blogs for 2015 (out of 10,000 blogs!) It made me really happy, especially as I’m currently up against my usual blogging battles of baby brainno sleep and no time…a massive thank you for reading. Continue reading

If baby milestone cards were made for mums…

Baby milestone cards for mums

Who’s seen baby milestone cards? They’re the cards that capture significant events in a baby’s first year – each weekly and monthly birthday, that all-important first smile or those initial wobbly Bambi-zombie steps, for example – that you use in a photo of your child taken when each  event happens.

As well as being cute Insta-fodder and a socially acceptable excuse for some stealth baby spamming, the card / picture combo is also perfect for exhausted parents for whom memory recall might just be a bit, well, cloudy later on (“When did you roll over? Of course I know! I do! Hmmm….oh wait, let me check my photos“).

But as developmentally speedy as this time is for babies, the post-birth first six months and year is also pretty busy for parents. It’s packed with significant and slightly smaller mum- memories and milestones, both brilliant and not-so-bad. So why don’t they make these cards for grown-ups, too? Come on marketeers! It’s an idea just crying out to happen.

So if baby milestone cards were made for the first year of motherhood, what would yours say? Here’s a couple of slightly alternative suggestions from me: Continue reading

Best baby buys: The Baby Show

The Baby Show in London

(Collaborative post) How did you make decisions on all the things you need to buy when you have a baby, and where did most of your purchases come from?

For us, like lots of people, it was a mix of inheriting things from friends, buying pre-loved at nearly new sales, and then everything we bought first-hand. In all that lovely pre-baby spare time we spent a lot of time researching the pros and cons of bigger buys like the pram, then spent a lot of time testing them out in shops like John Lewis (I even remember Alex taking me there one Friday night to cheer me up, which was surely a precursor to all those crazy nights in with the kids). Continue reading

A blog about London life as a mum of two; UK pregnancy, baby and parenting lifestyle blog. Top 10 UK baby and pregnancy blog