The above is a direct quote from my 5 year old. Yes, it was that bad.
Sitting on the sofa, watching call the midwife on catch up today, I realized something. No matter what the year, there is always pressure to be a ‘yummy’ mummy.
The first time my husband and I went on a date since having our son, I had literally no idea what to do. Neither of us did.
I remember being so utterly excited I felt like a kid at Christmas. I bounced around the bedroom. Our son had a temperature and we had been verging on calling the whole thing off, but we held on through sheer determination and thank god we did. The minute the babysitter arrived, he perked up. The thought of eating anything he wanted, doing anything he wanted and being able to stay up until whenever he wanted was too good to miss.
I ran to my room, still smelling like calpol and vicks and tried to find something to wear. I couldn’t think what I used to wear when I went out. And when I finally remembered, none of those things appealed any more- I wasn’t sure if they would fit, or if I would look too overdressed. In the end, I found a dress I used to love and a pair of black leggings that I knew didn’t have any holes in. The dress was a lot tighter than it used to be, and the leggings had some stains on that I’m pretty sure were child’s snot- but I sucked my stomach in, refused to look too much in the mirror and scrubbed the stains with a dish cloth. I was ready.
My other half took a bit longer than me, and appeared to be having similar issues. “Darling,” he said, “my clothes appear to have shrunk”.
Eventually, we left. I couldn’t WAIT. Neither could our son- he was basically pushing us out the door. Freedom was needed, not just for us apparently.
The actual date night wasn’t the most exciting…we went to the cinema and got a burger. But it was a question-free burger, one we ate in absolute silence, savoring every quiet, hassle-free mouthful. The cinema was packed, and I nearly fell asleep. The film wasn’t even that good, and I don’t think we spoke a word to each other until we left. It was total bliss.
I didn’t feel like a yummy mummy that night. But I didn’t care.
Things have changed though, since that first, beautiful, night of freedom. I think I remembered who I used to be, my old ‘standards’ of living.
Since my son has started school, I seemed to have bumped into a lot of mums who take the whole ‘yummy mummy’ thing to the extreme. I’ve met woman who look airbrushed as they do the school run. I’ve met women that apply a full face of slap and bling themselves up just to stay at home. How much stress must that be?!
And then there’s my old friends. They seem to be back in touch a whole lot more now and our lives are going in totally different directions. They travel to exotic places and take selfies in front of starry nights. I stay home and go to bed at 9. They have so many selfies, they make albums of them. I take pictures of tractors and trains to show to my son. They spend hours in the shower. I spend about ten minutes. They spend all day letting their nails dry. I…don’t.
After a lot of reflection, and three months make-up free, I decided enough was enough. I might not make as much effort as my single friends, but I will make some effort. Just because I’m a mum doesn’t mean I have to give up on looking good. I’m fed up of shying away from the mirror in the ladies or looking jealously at other people who have no bags under their eyes. I am female, and luckily for me, its socially acceptable for me to cheat and wear make up.
So that’s what I do now. I started with a hair cut and a set of cheap earrings that go with anything. I have ‘work’ outfits that I can fling on quickly every morning. They are mostly dresses and leggings that I keep well away from snotty noses. I picked ones that smooth my curves but are colorful, so I’m not always in black. My son helps me do my make-up (he ‘rubs’ my foundation in) and I pack my lunch bag the night before. I’ve decided to loose a bit of weight, so I’m packing apples instead of crisp. I don’t spend hours on my hair. I stick it up into a high pony and let it dry like that all night, so its voluminous the next day (needs a bit of taming). I do my nails once a week- usually Saturday night, and normally that’s just a clear gloss coat. I also manage to pluck my eyebrows once a week now, and sometimes if I feel I have enough energy I treat myself to a face scrub.
All in all I spend around 20 minutes a day preening now. Which is a massive change but honestly, I can’t actually believe I used to spend as long as I did!
I may not be the ‘yummiest’ mummy, but I am much happier.