What if we’re not The Gilomre Girls?

Working in the coffee shop near mine, I’ve just seen a mum bring over two cupcakes to the table her young teenage daughter was sat at. Looking eagerly for her approval, the mum said ‘these really are ‘instagram-worthy’ cupcakes aren’t they?’, to which her daughter rolled her eyes and looked back down at her phone.

Aside from being a real ‘of its time’ comment, it got me thinking that in 10 years or so, I too will likely come up with cringe-worthy statements to try to endear myself to my teenage daughter.

I find this scenario of struggling to build connections with Emily a completely alien concept. Ever since she was born, I have been her number-one favourite person in the whole wide world. I’m the first person she comes to when she’s pleased with herself for completing a new task for the first time, and I’m the person she runs to when she’s upset and in need of comfort. Presently, at this point, I can do no wrong.

As this is all I’ve ever known, I’ve never considered the fact that in a few short years, I’ll probably be secretly reading the messages on her tablet to just get a glimpse into a life that she tries to keep hidden from me. I shudder at the thought of me accidentally catching a few minutes of Radio 1 during school drop-off time and saying ‘I really love this track! Who is it again? Justin Bieber?’, to which I’m told to shut up and stop being so embarrassing.

I’ve always thought I’d be the ‘cool mum’, the Lorelai Gilmore to Emily’s Rory. But what if it doesn’t pan out that way? What if she’d rather die than talk to me about a boy she likes in her class?  I don’t think I could deal with that.

I guess that decision isn’t up to me though. I can do my best to maintain openness and honesty with Emily by respecting her, listening to her and leading by example. But if Emily doesn’t want to let me in, there’s not much I can do about that. It’s a natural and normal part of the growing-up process. But that doesn’t make it any easier to bear.

Until that time comes, I’m going to savour being her ‘number 1’ for as long as it lasts. And when she does cut me out of her life, I’ll console myself by eating a ton of ‘instagram friendly’ cupcakes.

From ‘Yummy Mummy’ to ‘Mumsy Matron’ – Why it’s time for me to put down the Baby Bell and pick up the kettlebell

The Pramshed

God, I feel gross. The culmination of a birthday straight after Christmas, slathered on top of months of coffee and cake with friends on maternity leave, has seen me morph into Jabba the Hutt in a floral dress.

I’m not normally one to bemoan my weight or appearance. I usually think life’s too short for all that malarkey. But recently I’ve had the diet of a 18th Century French Duke and now I’m worried that life literally might be too short if I don’t change-up my routine.

A couple of things have tipped me off that I might need to change my ways. Visiting public loos with tiny cubicles has become a pain in the arse. Literally. I have to wedge my colossal behind on the seat next to the sanitary bin so often, that I’ve got a permanent ‘PHS’ logo impressed on my hip.

I’m also wearing the only pair of jeans that I own that have not yet succumbed to ‘chub rub’ from my thighs. Seriously, I could start a pubic-bush fire with the amount of friction down there. Eat your heart out, Bear Grylls!

To make matters worse, I’ve had a few false-starts when it comes to rejuvenating my exercise regime. Last week I marched into the kitchen in my joggers and hoodie. ‘Why are you in your pyjamas at this time of the day?’ Asked my husband, to which I replied, ‘these are not my pyjamas any more, my love! These sweat pants will now be used in the official capacity for which they were created! I’m off for a run!’

I managed a couple of circuits around the park until I collapsed on a bench. A passing child voiced his concern; ‘Mummy, that lady is purple!’. That was enough humiliation for me for one day.

The husband and I also dabbled in some ‘couples exercising’ (get your mind out of the gutter, please), so we decided to have a kick-about in the park. I thought some football drills would be light-hearted and enjoyable. But after ten minutes of kicking wildly and missing the ball more often than hitting it, I was getting increasingly frustrated. My husband’s condescending advice was also getting on my nerves. ‘Visualise the ball! Be the ball!’, he said. ‘You’re being a big enough ball for the both of us,’ I snorted back.

It’s bloody hard to find a way to work out when you have a toddler in-tow too. The only way I can raise my heart-rate when I’m with her is to crawl around the soft play area after her, like a less-fun ‘It’s a Knock Out’. When I do work-out, I spend the next few days in an extreme state of achiness where even putting the baby in her cot is agony.

As of yet, I haven’t found a work-out regime that’s ‘working out’ for me. But the intent is there, and that might have to be enough for now. Maybe I’ll try a few burpees after nursery drop-off. And if I don’t pass out, perhaps I’ll try a few more the day after. Who knows? In a few months, I could be the next Jane Fonda. Realistically though, I’d be lucky to be the next Natalie Cassidy.