Brrrr! It’s chilly out there! It’s definitely an evening for curling up under a fluffy blanket with a hot cuppa and a bit of reading! And what better thing to read than another #ThisMum post! I have had this post in the bank and scheduled for a while and have been desperate to share it with you. This time we are invited by Fatty Von Von from fattyvonvon.com to get up close and personal with an average day in her life. I was really excited about this one because we’ve not had many Mums of older children involved in the series so I was cock-a-hoop to have a Mum of not one teenager but two teenagers featured!
A lot of this post resonated with me. Partly because, like Fatty Von Von, I have a teenager myself, but more so because I feel like my life is an absolute whirlwind at times, full of busy-ness. In fact, I’d go so far as to say my life is full on chaotic most of the time. Balancing full time work with raising a baby, a teenager, keeping a (relatively) clean home (note the absence of ‘tidy’ – I find all attempts at this futile), managing the social calendars of the kids, the taxis to and from places, the homework, the requests from nursery that come home on slips of paper (that inadvertently get lost) requesting she wears this on that day, or brings in something in particular on another, the ‘after hours’ work that can’t wait until the next morning, the washing (oh my god, the washing!), remembering the appointments – immunisations, orthodontist and the like and the list could go on and on. It is so hard. It’s flipping impossible sometimes. Reading Fatty Von Von’s post really switched a light on for me. When things get chaotic I blame myself. When I forget that Little Miss was supposed to wear a Christmas jumper on the party day, I blame myself. When I get half way through a nappy change and forget that I ran out of baby wipes and should have picked some up on my way home, I blame myself. If my Big Lad gets worked up over some really heavy Maths homework and I am completely unable to help him with it (Maths was never my thing), I blame myself. Let’s face it, if the sky fell in tomorrow morning, I’d blame myself for that too. I can be really hard on myself, and I often attribute the chaos in our life solely to my inability to be the super-duper-all-singing-all-dancing-super organised-Mum that I wish I could be. Fatty Von Von’s post made me realise that, actually, family life can be chaos for everyone, it’s the nature of the beast – especially when trying to balance work, family life, school and the rest. Maybe that is just how it has to be for now. Maybe it wouldn’t matter how organised I was, maybe that’s just the way it is for us. Maybe I’d even miss it if it wasn’t this way! Huge thanks to Fatty Von Von for this amazing read – you are going to love it.
A day in the life of #FattyVonVon – I’m relatively new to blogging and started to enable me to share my health and fat reversal journey. I’m a 40 something suburban mum of 2, Finlay 13 and Grace 12 (I hear all parents of teenagers feeling my pain at this part) married to Mr C since 2003. I’m a Psoriasis warrior and felt starting my blog could help others and certainly supports me in maintaining my sanity from the breakouts….
Like many of you it’s such a pick and mix of days…. I’m going to concentrate on this week. A typical day starts at 5.30am, I work condensed hours Tuesday to Friday but for a fabulous flexible employer which works well for my family. I try to leave early to avoid the Greater Manchester M60, my journey is around 50 minutes (on a good day). Just before I leave I wake both kids who need to leave for school around 7. My husband tends to do the morning stint as he works 10 minutes from home, they’ve got him wrapped around their fingers. He’s a morning person so not to bad but Mr Grumpy by the time I get home. It’s only 7.15 and I’ve received 4 calls from both kids, they are grumpy and one doesn’t do mornings, one does. Mum I need …… to which I respond with the response. Oh my who invented cars which are compatible with your phone, it doesn’t stop for 50 minutes
The kids had an incident on a public bus with another school and thought it would be a good idea to take the them to self defence to ensure they can protect themselves, not sure how these things work but they’ve been knocking lumps out of each since practicing it. I feel like a wrestling referee, their both covered in bruises but say “mum it’s all part of growing up”. Mr C rings once, their doing my head in and won’t get ready as fighting, blooming eck you’re health and safety sort it out….. I contemplate not answering the phone but generally stuck in traffic. I do forget you can hear the phone outside the car too when stationary in traffic. I’m normally calm but 15 calls later I’m shouting down the phone, fortunately it’s minus 1 outside their car windows are closed – hope they are!!
I make a final call home and their all happy, they’ve missed their bus as Finlay forgot he had cooking despite me asking 100 times so Mr C has to take them half way with a stop at the shop. This virtual parenting can be hard sometimes. I do miss primary school sometimes as you know what’s going on most of the time, high schools another story. I compose myself for the day ahead. I work as a Programme Manager for a local authority so its a full on day. I plan to leave at 2.30pm to avoid the traffic and work from home which is fabulous to sort the mess out before they come home. I’m sure you’ll all join me in recognising this, the phone rings and it’s school, I see it flash up on my Fitbit and have to make my apologies during a meeting. Your mind flashes with have they had an accident on what have they done – normally the latter. Hello Mrs C, my response jokingly, which one…. my darling teenager decided to use the puff pastry Mr C bought for his cooking and place in the microwave for a long time without the teacher noticing (in total innocence) and blew it up, it setting it on fire. They wanted to reassure me he was fine but in trouble for not following instructions. I was torn between laughing (which is wrong) but the annoyance at his behaviour took over. She did reassure me once they’d investigated the matter it was purely innocent on his behalf as he didn’t hear the instructions clearly (he was chatting with his friend). Why are they using microwaves to cook, I thought the lesson was cooking!! He’d been given a detention for not listening although it wasn’t intentional. I’ve never shown him how to bake pastry #badmother.
Back to the job and secretly laughing at the scene but also annoyed at his stupidity.
Finished work a little later due to the unpredicted call, motorway was clear so I was home in 50 minutes – house relatively clean. I’m very fortunate I’m in a position to share the morning mum role with Mr C. I log back on to work but soon give up when they run through the door hungry, raiding the fridge and leaving a trail of mess. I try to have a serious conversation with Finlay re the incident but give up, he’s adamant he was told to place the puff pastry in the microwave 😡. I’ll leave that chat to Mr C with his safety hat on.
It’s a busy night with mums taxi, dinner was very quick and one wants it and one doesn’t. Their going through a fussy stage and shocks me as always ate a variety of food, I refuse to make a variety of meals and feel they want a restaurant menu at times. I’ve resorted to giving them Joe Wicks book and choose the menus for the week. 6.15pm and it’s back in the traffic to dancing and cadets. First drop off is Finlay, their fighting in the back of the car over (I’ve given up asking). We get to cadets by the skin of our teeth as he wouldn’t get ready, it’s the same battle daily with his laid back approach. On the other hand Grace is Miss organised and is sat in her dancing kit well before her time and managed to do her homework (never have to chase her for this). Their so yin and yang but a great balance. Their also best of friends and very close (despite the recent fighting). I’m putting this down to teenager hormones which are challenging – any tips gratefully received. I bought the Haynes teenager manual for a laugh and wrapped it for Mr C – it did make him smile though. One packed off at cadets, back in the traffic for Grace and double dancing. She’s having a diva strop as going to be late. I try to ignore her but she’s jumping round like a kangaroo in the back of the car. Why have tantrums started again over something so trivial, thought I’d left them behind aged 2. She’s all calm as we make it on time, I get a grunt and wave smiling at her dressed all angelic for ballet with a stern facial expression. Back home 7.30 and the temptation for a gin and tonic is tempting, I decide against it. This is what got me fat over the years, opening the vino whilst cooking the dinner. I’ve stopped having a tipple during the week now, fabulous willpower (for now). Mr C’s doing the pick ups for 9 and 9.30. Long days but their both home, still bickering and in bed for 10. 2 nights a week like this and rest is 8 o’clock bed for them. I so miss the routine of “in the night garden” then bed at 7. I’ve always been a routine mum with 2 kids a year apart. Mr C worked nights for years so wasn’t there and needed mum sanity – appreciate it works different for everyone. The routine is getting more difficult as they hit the teens. I can’t be bothered tidying tonight as been a draining day, know I should but it’s 11 and I’m back up at 5.30 (it can wait). The Clan are all tucked up, it’s now 11.30, my heads whizzing but need to leave today behind ready for a new day, I’m sure it will be much easier tomorrow!!
You need to be gentle with yourself sometimes, we’re not all supermums all the time and it’s ok not to be ok. We’ve had a tough year this year with both of us losing a parent within weeks of each other. The impact on the family, especially the kids, has been hard mixed with starting a new job. We’re taking one day at a time, helping the kids through their sadness but also taking time to be grateful for the time we have being healthy and happy. I live in complete madness and I’ve had to accept it, life’s far too short to be unhappy. Wake up each day with a smile and be grateful for your journeys. As a family we do get periods and some weekends with a downtime day. The kids are kept active for their health and learning journeys and wouldn’t have it any other way – be happy folks love FattyVonVon 💋
Huge thanks to FattyVonVon for sharing this with us. I loved the honesty of this piece – it just resonated with me on a whole new level, as I’m sure it has with many of you. If you liked this, you would LOVE FattyVonVon’s blog so make sure you pay it a visit here
Next up on Sunday evening is the final post of the series – I know it’ll be Christmas Eve and we’ll all be playing Santa but don’t forget to check back in, you don’t want to miss it.