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Archive of ‘Life lessons’ category

On the Other Side of Forty I love…a Mumcation

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As those of you who follow me on Facebook or Instagram will know, I recently spent 5 nights on beautiful Hamilton Island with 5 lovely mums from my kid’s primary school.  This the third year we have done a girl’s trip, with an extra mum and and an extra night being added on each year (I think we’ll be up to a planeload of women flying around the world for a month in a few years!) Now, before you all roll your eyes and think there is no way that could be me, let me tell you I was the same initially.  The thought of a trip away without my husband and kids sounded as fanciful to me as getting a massage from a shirtless Ryan Gosling (but enough about my dreams…)  However, after a couple of Friday night planning (drinking champagne) sessions we discovered the secret to making your desires for some me time a reality.  Now listen closely my friends, for I am about to unlock the key to your dream getaway- seven little words that may just change your life:

YOU JUST HAVE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

Yes I’m sorry to break it to you, but your husband isn’t about to turn to you one night as you are emptying the dishwasher for the third time that day, and whisper lovingly in your ear, “Darling you look exhausted, why don’t you hop onto Trip Advisor and find a nice spot for you and the girls to go and sip espresso martini’s for a few nights.”  That ain’t happening, it’s more likely Ryan Gosling will come knocking at your door with a portable massage table.  Your darling offspring aren’t going to lift their precious heads from their iDevices and say, “Mum you do such a great job of getting us to school, soccer, ballet, playdates, and into the shower on occasion, you should have some fun with your friends, please don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine.”  Likewise your employer isn’t about to acknowledge all your dedicated hard work and suggest that you take some well deserved time for yourself while they pick up the slack.  No, all these things are unlikely to occur (and if they do occur for you, can we please swap lives?)

Going on a mumcation is akin to planning a secret reconnaisance mission in wartime- it require tactics, logistical manoeuvring and determination. For us, the date is set months in advance, and once you have all agreed on the date, and how long you’ll go for, the next important step is to choose a destination and just book it Danno! For me and my friends, we like sun, a bit of shopping, some good restaurants, and somewhere scenic to walk it all off the next day. A bonus of it being booked so far in advance, is that you can save money that you might normally spend on yourself and put it towards your mumcation, so as you don’t go into credit card shock at the end of it (I may have forgotten to take my own advice on this last point!)

Once the actual holiday details are locked in, then the real intensive planning begins. Yes, it is likely you will have to ask some people for help- the majority of dads cannot do both drop off and pick ups for school or kinder, as well as all the other activities most kids are involved with.  But guess what?  Most people are more than happy to help you out if you just ask them, and every parent likes having a favour or two up their sleeve to call on when required (I know I do).  In my case, my wonderful mother in law comes to stay- her only stipulations are a detailed running sheet of where everyone needs to be and at what time, and a fridge full of cold NZ Sauvignon Blanc (done and done!)

But that all sounds like a lot of hard work, I hear some of you ask, is it really worth it? My answer to you is a resounding Hell Yes!  On my recent trip, I felt younger, relaxed, joyful, in the moment, and free to be ME.  I laughed until I cried at least once every day (I might need to work on my pelvic floor muscles before the next trip!) Yes my liver took a bit of a pounding, but with no one to get up for in the morning- who cares?  This stuff is important in our lives, we are all much better mums, wives, daughters, employees, and friends if we get to manifest some much deserved self care and self love every now and then. Besides which, as my husband likes to say, “A happy wife means a happy life” (he can be remarkably smart on occasion!)

So there you have it, on the other side of forty it is possible to have a fantastic mumcation- it just requires ditching the mother guilt, getting some good friends together, a bit of logistical planning, and a suitcase filled with champagne (man, those Island alcohol prices are a killer!)

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Are you a fan of the girl’s trip?  If so, how do you make it happen and where do you go- I’d love to hear from you…

A crazy afternoon at my place

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Let me give you a rundown of my afternoon the other day. My oldest came through the door after school tired and emotional because he felt he was being unfairly picked on, and proclaimed it to be ‘the worst day ever’. Then, when I told him we were having roast chicken for dinner, he put on an Academy award winning performance of such abject despair that it would have made Hugh Jackman in Le Miserables proud (I mean I could have understood it if it was cauliflower soup, but it’s roast chicken!) Miss 9 promptly burst into tears when I had the audacity to suggest to her that she didn’t need to buy a present for the student teacher that had been in her classroom for a whole two weeks- what a crazy mother I was for thinking that a nice home made card would suffice. Then my youngest, confronted with the two other sad sacks, joined in and started crying when she realised that I had forgotten to go to assembly and watch her sing the national anthem with the rest of her prep class- yes, my mother guilt was well and truly activated.

Trying to be the caring earth mother that I like to pretend I am on occasion, I quickly pulled out the dairy free, sugar free, gluten free “ANZAC” biscuits that I had sourced from a wellness blog on the strength of a a good Facebook photo for afternoon tea. Not surprisingly, these were were thoroughly rejected by all (myself included) as taste free (why did I think a recipe by a 22 year old skinny yoga goddess would taste good?) But really, the piece de resistance of the whole afternoon, was when one of the kids yelled out “Mum, Otto’s just pooed out my sock!” Now, I’m sorry if you just spat out your delicious Arnotts ANZAC biscuit, but yes it’s true, our rather large and crazy puppy Otto does have a sock eating problem. Before you ask, we do try not to leave socks lying around, but this dog hunts them down like Kim Kardashian hunts down a photo opportunity!

All in all, it was quite a crazy afternoon at my place, and at the time I really couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry or do both. It was only after I called my sister to vent, that I could really laugh at the ridiculousness of it all- I mean what do you do with a dog like that! Which in turn made me think, that when times are a bit crazy or if everyone in the family seems to be having a bad day, sometimes we just need to take a deep breath, have a laugh with someone, and put it in perspective (maybe with a large glass of wine thrown in for good measure!) So often in these Facebook times we often focus on maintaining a perfect outlook to the rest of the world, and I for one always feel a tiny sense of relief when I know that other peoples kids behave as poorly as mine do sometimes, or that not every healthy snack tastes good or is worthy of posting to social media.

So in conclusion, if you need to feel better about your own family today, please feel free to compare yours to mine, but whatever you do, don’t come around to my house and leave your socks lying on the floor!

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I know I’m not the only one- How do you cope with a crazy afternoon at your place?

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