Wednesday 13 November 2013

Help - it's a Mummy Mid-life Crisis!

Remember that classic moment in "When Harry met Sally" when Sally has a meltdown and utters the immortal words "And I'm gonna be 40!" to which Harry asks "When?" and she replies " Someday..... but it's there, it's just sitting there like this big dead end..."

Well last week I woke up and realized that I'm going to be 50 and not just someday, but ahem, in 3 years time - how on earth is that remotely possible? When did getting older sneak up and bite me on my (not nearly as perky as it once was) behind?  I only just turned 40 - didn't I? OK, breathe, it's not a dead end, I've still got loads of time to grow old disgracefully (which I fully intend to) and whereas Sally was panicking about being single and childless, I'm happily on the other side of that fence. With the boys growing in confidence and independence and the battle of the menopausal vs t(w)eenage mood-swings still at arm's length, I've finally got a sliver of me time - between school runs.

Time to work out what I need to do to hold it all together (answer: write my blog), time to ask myself such soul-searching questions as 'does facial acupuncture actually work?' (answer: worth a try) and 'can I get away with buying (and wearing) a black leather biker jacket?' (answer: yes, and it's in my wardrobe.) Nothing new of course, only now it's got a name. Yes, dear readers, apparently according to "Mums Like Us" author Laura Kemp I'm on the verge of a Mummy mid-life crisis - who knew?

According to Kemp there are seven symptoms of the 'Mumopause' and on going through the list I have to admit I'm exhibiting enough of them to qualify:

1. Having a Radical Haircut
Once a long haired girl always a long haired girl, that's me.  So why have I been drooling over pictures of Michelle Williams in the current Louis Vuitton campaign and wondering whether this style would suit me?

Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton. Photo: Peter Lindbergh
2. Intense Exercise
I've written about my regular yoga class before and having taken it up 4 years ago it's now a fixed part of my weekly routine. I love the toning (body) and calming (mind) effects , (though heaven knows I will never have Gwyneth's "stripper's butt'') but that's not enough - suddenly I'm getting scarily drawn to rather whacky yoga leggings like these:

Onzie Galaxy yoga leggings

I even found myself a pair and absentmindedly did the school run in them post class - what was I thinking? Definitely crisis-worthy...

3. Getting Crafty
I've always been a fan of sewing a bit of bunting and making the odd lavender bag, but now thanks to the genius that is Pinterest, I'm nosily checking out everyone's interiors and holiday craft ideas and endlessly thinking I could make something similar if I had the time - which I would have, if I could just stop pinning.  Hang on, I know I've got a pot of blackboard paint somewhere....

Photo: Pinterest

4. Hooked on Social Media
Friends you've never met? Checking for constant updates on the minutiae of other people's lives? I would like to say that I'm not suffering from this symptom as I'm one of the only people left on the planet who is NOF (Not On Facebook.) How on earth do I cope you may well ask? Well, I find Instagram does it for me people, and if someone I've never met likes my cupcake photo, it quite frankly makes my day. Guilty m'lord.

5. Watching the News
Now that the children are no longer glued to Peppa Pig, we 'Mumopausal' ladies are finally able to get back to grips with world news and current affairs. Knowing what's going on in the outside world again should be a good thing, though the news is regularly so depressing that I often find myself wishing I was still watching the former.  However I have realized I can sneakily replace bearded Daddy Pig with the now rather gloriously bearded Jeremy Paxman - a perfect reason for my renewed interest in 'Newsnight'.

Jeremy Paxman Photo: BBC

6. Getting a dog
Hah - this is the one symptom I am definitely NOT exhibiting. Puppies are popping (or should that be pooping?) up all around me as other Mums I know succumb, but I am holding out - oh yes. I'm happy to have the house to myself once the boys have all left in the morning, I do not need a reason to go out for a walk in the freezing cold, no thank you. But I do think Bob will be making his way onto Captain Adorable's bed for Christmas - and no, he's not a real dog - ingenious eh?

7. Caring about winter boots
Last winter it was all about my Sorel boots. That was my quest for the practical and stylish option (my 'crise' was obviously starting back then.) Now that's done I'm free to spend hours Googling slightly more frivolous footwear. I didn't know I needed a patent pair but as my favourite Fashion Editor Lisa Armstrong says - they go with everything - so now of course I do... I'm off to Zara tomorrow.

(L-R): Leather, £515, by Miu Miu, from , Block heel, £75, by Zara ( , Leather with ankle strap, £374.35, by Church's, from

And there you have it - I score 6.5 out of 7 - I think the 'Mummy mid-life crisis' Club would have me.

But wait, isn't there an 8th symptom out there - what about 'Getting a Tattoo'?  Surely that's a sign?  I've thought quite alot about it on and off - nothing very original I grant you: 2 stars on my wrist or the boys names in Sanskrit but so far I've resisted (perhaps subconsciously trying to keep my crisis at bay?) And then this week the 75 year old BBC TV presenter David Dimbleby revealed that he has recently had a scorpion tattooed on his back, which when I add that to David Beckham's current inking overload, I can safely say has knocked any desire I had to get a tattoo firmly on the head. Over, kaput, not for me.

Photo: BBC

 Still happy to include a pic of Becks though in his new Christmas undies:

David Beckham for H&M

So, saved by the bell (well actually the scorpion), English Gent can sleep easy, safe in the knowledge that I'm not going to turn into the Tattooed Lady over night and I can get my required 8 hours as I reckon I'm holding off on my 'Mummy mid-life' crisis - for now.  But it's definitely a slippery slope.... Are you holding out or joining the ranks? I'd love to know.

No comments: