Mum About Town

Emma is a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger and online marketer. When she’s not writing, she gets down with her Smalls, bigs-it-up with Him and swans around London reporting for her blog.

Who's judging who?

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 07 August 2014
Small and I were getting dry after swimming at our local pool this morning and I heard a little boy ask his mum for help with his laces.

Can’t you see how busy I am?’ she barked at her son while balancing a MacBook pro on her lap and simultaneously punching numbers into her calculator.

She was clearly stressed. And every bit of me wanted to jump over the bench and help the boy tie his laces. He didn’t look in the least bit surprised by his mother’s reaction to his plea for help. But there I was…judging.

Right there and then I was judging that poor woman when she could have easily been on a hateful deadline with an even shoutier boss.

There’s something in the air at the moment as I feel everyone is judging each other. Call me over-sensitive or just plain hormonal but whether it’s a comment from a friend, a glance from a stranger or simply an untimely-overheard conversation, I feel we’re ALL being judged more than ever.

It could be about something as small as the snacks we allow our kids to eat or as large as whether we have a career or are full-time mums but also seems to stretch to what/if we smoke or drink or who has had NITS again…

The bottom line is that all this judging and being judged is totally and utterly exhausting. So today I tried my best NOT to judge that mother. Who knows what was happening on her laptop and whether she had shown her son a million times how to tie his own laces…keen for him to try a little harder for himself.

And I now want you all to pass the non-judge message on so that we can break the judge-chain. Basically, we’ve all got better things to do.

Desperately seeking a real job

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Wednesday, 30 July 2014
It’s about this time of year, every summer, that I flirt with a job hunt. The full time office job – despite the beautiful summer we’re having – looks really really appealing. I start to imagine how a phone conversation might be without someone small interrupting. I hallucinate about walking down the street on my own and the ultimate fantasy of an after-work drink in the sunshine combined with something a little cerebral sends me dizzy with excitement.

Of course, I’m not bored. Not with a pile of copywriting, client updates and online stats analysis to get done as well as the highly exciting tasks of finding new school shoes, uniform and pencil cases for September.

I know, I know. The grass is always greener and all that. It’s just that from where I’m sitting (overlooking a busy street), it seems that not everyone out there is disciplining, organizing and shepherding these small people behaving as if they have recently been released on bail.

I need to remind myself of awful bosses, irritating work colleagues, unrealistic deadlines, terrible tube journeys and a less-human alarm clock.

And suddenly the packing, unpacking, washing, ferrying, tidying and endless meals feel like a walk in the park. Which is maybe exactly what we’ll have to do today.

Ye olde Internet

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 24 July 2014
This week I’m mostly posing as a cross-generational-go-between. In a remote barn, close to the sea but also surrounded by heavenly East Sussex fields, I’m kicking off the long summer break by ensuring that my Oldies spend a quality six days with my Smalls.

I say Oldies but they are actually pretty sprightly. Not in the least bit daunted by clambering over the sand dunes of Camber, climbing up 266 steps of a lighthouse and (proverbially) kicking a football around a garden – this couple aren’t past their sell-by date quite yet.

Games of chess, long reading sprints and a little scrapbooking (as per my own childhood) have been the order of the day when not out and about finding local castle ruins and riding 1920s steam trains. But back at the barn, to my surprise I have found Lord Y more than a little addicted to the internet. Rurally situated with only an ADSL connection, communication has fallen off at times during our break. And there was me concerned about my terrible Instagram habit which is nothing compared to his stress as he banged away at a futile laptop. Steam poured from his ears as he listed the urgent emails that needed to be sent… within the hour. It seems that even those retiring-retireds are also obsessed with ye olde internet.

House invasion

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on Thursday, 17 July 2014
My house has been invaded, infested or perhaps even burgled. I had – initially – thought about calling the police or even Rentokil. But as it turns out, it’s simply the school holidays and these particular mites actually live here.

Obviously, there is a huge part of me who adores the time off with my Smalls. Forcing me to step away from my keyboard hours at a time, I love seeing them broken out of the constrictions of stiff uniform and hard fast school rules. And there isn’t a part of me which misses homework hour or the manic pre-school run rush either.

However, I do need a few days to adjust to their insatiable hunger, the comics on the stairs (pretty slippery when taken at speed) and utter bedroom chaos that would make any third-world slum look tidy.

The way I see it, there’s only a matter of years before they won’t want to climb the trees, transform their bedroom into a campsite or paint in the garden. And then I’ll be left for dust - so I’d better grin and bear it, at least for the next 8 weeks.

Snail fail

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Wednesday, 09 July 2014
Small bounded out of Bug Club (an after-school club, I kid you not) on Friday clutching a snail and a leaf in a plastic container.

‘A pet at last!’ he couldn’t wait to exclaim.  ‘I’m going to train and coach it and it’s going to become the fastest snail in the world!’

While my head was busy blaming the World Cup competitively, a pang of guilt shot through my stomach.  You see, Small has been pleading for a pet for months.  But I have zero inclination to add more creatures to our home and seeing as it would most definitely fall in my remit, the decision is final.

However, the snail came home for the weekend. Small spent hours bent over this coiled shell.  He even read a bug book in an attempt to try to work out just how rare it could be.  Until Sunday morning… He and I were making our best attempt at a lie-in when we were informed (rather hysterically) that the snail was DEAD.  Or at least ‘faking his death’.  Small immediately turned to Google:  what to do if snail will not come out of shell he punched into his equivalent of NHS Direct.

Later that afternoon he was already hunting for a replacement snail in our garden.  The boys in his bug team (who were due to take the snail home next) would never know the difference… apparently.

At Life of Yablon HQ, I’ve used the whole episode to illustrate my very valid point.  If we failed at a snail, it doesn’t bode well for a dog, cat, parrot, guinea pig, tortoise and all the other animals on Small’s wish list.


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