Motherhood: The Fake Tan Diaries

I’ve been contemplating over the past few weeks about ditching fake tan for good as I seem to have a history with it that’s not been the best and since Motherhood it’s got even worse.

Let’s start at the very beginning, to the kid free days when I was actually a kid myself. Back then it wasn’t fake tan it was pretty much make up for legs – you put it on with your bare hands and rubbed it in-voila-instant tan…although if you interacted with even a drop of water the streaks would come out fast and furious PLUS you ended up with orange hands.

I remember being 14 when I first took to the bottle (pinching my auntie’s supply) – we had gone to a family wedding and I had bought what I thought was a trendy dress from Morgan which was white with daisy flowers on the straps. I slapped on the tan so I could turn my milk-bottle white pins to a lovely shade of mocha only to get caught in a downpour from the church to the reception. Cue the rest of the night being spent in the Ladies with my legs up in the sink trying to scrub off the streaks with rough waxy toilet paper! The white dress turned to mucky brown and the tears started flowing. Mortified!

As the years wore on I decided to give it another try and all was going well with my foray into FAKE…until the patter of tiny feet meant my tanning beauty regime went out of the window (along with shaving my legs and plucking my eyebrows!) Who had the time or patience?

There was one particular day after having my little girl that I thought ‘right I’m going to make the effort today and I’m going to put on some tan and feel like the old me’. I had visions of taking her for a walk in the pram the following day looking like a glowing yummy Mummy – it would make a change from being make-up free with constant dry shampooed hair. So, I slapped on the tan before bedtime and waited for it to magically develop overnight.

What I didn’t realise is that this was real life and I’d only had a baby two months ago and that baby had a habit of waking up numerous times during the night to be fed. In my zombie like routine state I jolted upright as soon as she started crying for milk and went to get her bottle. Despite being shattered I loved those times just the two of us as she would cradle her face up against by arms as I fed her.

I managed a few more winks of sleep after putting her back down and then it was time to get up again. It was then I realised my mistake as I walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I had totally forgot I had put tan on and now, as looked down at my arm, I saw a beautiful tanned limb with A HEAD SHAPED WHITE PATCH in the middle of it. NOOOOOOOO!

Yet again I had sacrificed any chance of me looking good (cos clearly Mums can’t do that). But then I looked at my arm again. If I had NO tan, what did that mean for my baby girl?

Racing back to the bedroom I looked down to see her cheeky face smiling up at me. Phew she’s fine, I thought – no damage here. Until I looked closer. Had I opened the curtains properly? There seemed to be a shadow on one side of her face. Nope curtains fully open. Christ! I’ve tanned half my baby’s face!

You’d think I would have learnt but oh no. As the arrival of baby number two was imminent I had plans to try and make the moment they met Mummy for the first time as glamorous as possible. Yes, this time around I’d have those lovely post birth ‘Mother baby photos’ complete with perfect painted nails and a blissful glow (unlike the first time around where I had a swollen water retention moon face that was red and sweating-albeit smiling). So, 9 months pregnant with a huge bump that meant I could no longer tie my own shoelaces, I decided that I would attempt to put on some fake tan prior to the arrival. I look back in disbelief at being naked in the bathroom trying to reach my legs enough to tan them and getting myself in all sorts of positions in pursuit of having no white bits. After a lot of huffing, puffing (and sighing), I actually managed it.

But what came next was not in the plan…

Tanned from top to toe I take my heavily pregnant self to bed only to lie down and hear a ‘pop’.

‘Did you hear that’, I asked my husband? ‘No’, he said barely looking away from the telly.

‘I think my waters have just broke’.

I got up out of bed and ‘gush’ there was a steady stream of liquid coming down my leg. It wasn’t the thought of me possibly being in labour that was freaking me out though it was the fake tan streaking down my legs at a rate of knots!

I think it must have given the midwives the best tale to tell after I rang the hospital to say my waters had broke and ask should I come in. I confessed I was covered in fake tan and wondered if I needed to shower it off-  to which she stifled a laugh and said ‘oh no love keep it on, it might be a long time yet so at least you can let it develop’.

I certainly got some weird looks as I rocked up looking like David Dickenson to the labour ward. And yes, as you might expect, to top it all off I needed monitoring which meant 2 stickers attached to my chest that were later taken off (along with the tan in that area). My glamorous pics were to no avail but I was lucky enough to have a gorgeous new baby and clearly should have known better.

As I look now at the bottle of St. Tropez I have before me I smile…well there’s definitely no more kids for me on the horizon, why not take the plunge one more time. What could possibly go wrong???

Cue Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ‘Umpa Lumpa’ music…

 

 

It’s a Girls World!

Why is it that your children always seem to break the most expensive items you own or dive straight in to wreck those prized possessions that you love the most? It’s right isn’t it…I can see you all nodding your head along as you are reading this. We’ve all been there, from the stain loving blackcurrant juice spilt all over the new sofa, to them smashing a special vase as they ‘play fight’ in the living room. You go through all the emotions from horror, to anger, to guilt for shouting at them and then you spend a fortune trying to replace items only for it to happen again not too far into the distant future!

I distinctly remember going through all those emotions when my daughter was about five years old.

It was the day she decided to give herself the makeover of all makeovers when her school friend came over for a playdate.

A VERY expensive playdate it turned out…

As I recall I’d done the ‘good mother’ thing of giving in to my daughters pleas of having a friend round and spent ages dreaming up activities for them to do  – from building a den, making bracelets, colouring in Disney Princesses and had even bought a packet cake mix so I could show off my culinary skills and bake with them!  Within five mins of her friend arriving my well-prepared role was redundant though as they ran upstairs to my daughter’s room, giggling and chatting like two old women.

This ‘playdate’ thing is quite easy I thought – I really shouldn’t have got so stressed, what had I been thinking?

I poured myself a celebratory brew and sat down to watch a bit of telly, one ear firmly on the girl’s giggles, the other on Loose Women’s gossip.

And then it happened…the laughter stopped. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

As a parent, you know what that means – one thing – mischief has begun!

I flew up the stairs two at a time (Jess Ennis has nothing on me) – BANG – I opened the bedroom door…EMPTY…where were they?

Bathroom? (Where girls LOVE to go in pairs-something they never grow out of even as an adult, right?) …EMPTY.

There was only one room remaining and as I realised which one it was, the blood started to drain from my face…

OUR BEDROOM!!!

I slowly opened the door to be greeted by two clown faces smiling back at me.

I wanted to laugh but then I looked down at the open make up bag and carpet covered in foundation, glitter and lipstick and then I wanted to cry.

Yes, with the lack of an 80s Girls World in our house (if you are of a certain age you will know what I mean by this), she’d gone straight for the jugular and given herself and her mate a makeover from my brand-new MAC collection. She didn’t even touch the Collection 2000 eyeshadows or the ancient Estee Lauder lippy. At least I can console myself in the fact she’s got good taste.

I don’t think this will be the last time she raids Mums make up bag but back then the girls were swiftly taken to wash their faces clean (as best they could caked in 3 layers of an array of colours and sparkle). And then it was ‘home time’ when the playdates parents rang the bell for pick up. Of course the friend mentioned their makeover as the first thing out of their mouth but like any ‘good Mum’ I laughed it off – ‘oh it was fine, nothing really’ (just a hundred quids worth of make up ruined in an afternoon).

So, as I find myself putting on those rose coloured glasses now and again as my daughter races to double digits and I pine for the times she was ‘oh so cute and adorable’ I will remember these moments and store them up to get my revenge on her by retelling them to future boyfriends, her 18th and of course at her hen do!

A Mums got to do what a Mums got to do right?

 

 

Normal Service Resumed!

In honour of the parents who have survived the school holidays…(just) I thought I’d share a few things that you will never hear come out of a parents mouth at this time of the year. And if you do hear them, I promise to run naked around Manchester in disbelief…although trust me, after all the sweets and kids’ leftovers I’ve succumbed to over Summer that wouldn’t be a pretty sight!

Quotes you’ll never hear come out of a parents mouth:

  • “I wish the kids were off for another week.”
  • “It was so easy getting the school uniform this year. I loved the words ‘out of stock’ coming up when I went to order it online.”
  • “It’s ok darling I’ve just shouted so loud for you to wake up that the neighbours have come round. You stay in bed, we’ve still got 5 minutes to make it to school on time.”
  • “You’ve lost your new coat on your first day back, that’s amazing we expected it in the first week but not day one…what an achievement!”
  • “Yes of course you can sign up for swimming, gymnastics, football club and drama classes, me and Daddy don’t have a life and we have an endless pot of money.”
  • “I can’t wait till you get your first project to bring home so we can spend every night getting involved making things out of loo roll and cereal boxes.”
  • “You want Lelli Kelly school shoes like Amy?  Why don’t we buy you 5 pairs, one for each school day…they are so cheap compared to your George from Asda ones.”
  • “No gin for me tonight, I’m going tee total!”

So here’s to normal service resuming, at least until the October half term…

 

 

Potholes have a lot to answer for…

It’s been one of THOSE DAYS…

It all started off quite well. I’d managed to put my knickers on the right way around and drunk at least half a cup of coffee before it went cold – you could say life was sweet. For once I WAS that Stepford wife, I’d put a wash on before leaving the house and I was taking the terrible twosome (aka the kids) to a play centre as a motherly treat. The sun was even shining, I should’ve known from that omen something was bound to go wrong.

Kids in the car. Check.

Snacks packed to avoid the centre’s overly priced tuck shop. Check.

Drive down the main road. Pothole. F***!!

I hear an almighty clunk and then I panic. ‘What was that Mummy?’ That, my inquisitive 7- year old is a big hefty hole in my purse (that’s what I wanted to say but I took a deep breath and pulled over). Phew, no sign of real damage. Relief.

Stepford Wife is back in the game.

We’ve got Dua Lipa on the stereo (god knows who she is but my little girl seems to know every lyric), and my little boy is happy getting to grips with the Chupa Chups lolly that I know I will regret giving him later.

The play centre was a dream; no nose bleeds, no weeing in the ball pool, and I was only asked once by my 3-year old son to slide down the snake that really wasn’t meant for a 30 something.

I survived. I am invincible. I spoke too soon.

I came out to a FLAT tyre. Not just a FLAT tyre, a totally wrecked one! The good news was we were right next to a Kwik Fit – the bad news was I still had the kids in tow. To be fair I still had snacks to bribe them with and the saviour of an iPad. But then, it happened. Whilst stepping out of the waiting room to inspect the replaced tyre I suddenly heard my name booming over the Tannoy system and the words  “could you come back in, your son is exposing himself in reception”.

Oh. My. God. I ran inside like Paula Radcliffe in need of a wee – and there he was waving his ‘winky’ proudly about, laughing.

He’s got his winky out…in Kwik Fit!!!!

‘Put it away’ I said frantically whilst pulling up his pants.

‘He’s NEVER done that before’ I insisted as the other customers smiled in disbelief.

My daughter was laughing, my son was laughing, I was as red as a beetroot BUT the winky was back in its box. What a day!

So, spare a thought for me next time you swerve to avoid those pesky potholes, thanks to them I’m to be forever known as ‘the woman whose son waved his winky in Kwik Fit’.

@BadMumsClubUK  www.badmumsclub.co.uk

 

 

 

Can someone let me in PLEASE!

I remember teaching my Nanna how to use the VHS recorder when I was about 9 years old. Remember video recorders? I used to think ours was really cool as you pressed the eject button and the video came up out of the top like a spaceship (I was a very imaginative only child).

Fast forward to now and my days thinking I was super clever blur in comparison to what kids can do at just 5 or 6. I caught my 7 year old daughter in the garden last week looking like she was talking to herself only to discover when I asked her that she was ‘vlogging Mummy’ and could I say something into her iPad that would be entertaining so she could get ‘followers’. I don’t know what happened first, my mouth gapping wide open or me taking the iPad off her to check she wasn’t actually posting these for real to the whole of cyberspace. Thankfully she was just playing make-believe but where have the days gone when that meant dressing up in a costume or pretending you were a princess or superhero?

And then there’s our 2 year old son, who has discovered how to close the front door and lock it. How did I discover that, you ask? Well as Tuesdays are bin day where I live I was doing the routine of taking the rubbish bags out, with my little boy looking on as I went in and out of the door. Last bag dumped I turn to head back in and the door is shut. Not just shut…locked!

He’s locked the door…how’s he locked the door? He’s 2? I’m in my bright pink dressing gown. I have no make-up on. The key is on the other side of the door. And there’s not one window open. Argh!!

I push open the letter box.

Me: Let Mummy in the house? I can’t get in Darling.

He looks vacant, like I’m not there. He can sure as hell see me, I’m wearing bright pink!

Me: (Little louder) Come on sweetheart, I need to get in. Can you turn the key?…no don’t walk upstairs…come back. COME BACK! No, no I didn’t mean to shout, don’t wee on the floor (we are potty training right now). Just come towards Mummy.

He slowly walks to the door head hanging down.

Me: Now put your hand up to the key…

Son: I can’t reach it Mummy.

Me: (Through gritted teeth) Yes you can (you bloody locked me out in the first place). How about you turn the key the other way and when I get in you get a Haribo?

He looks up, stands on tip-toes and slowly turns the key in the door.

Bribery…it never fails, but who would have thought Haribo could open doors!

So here’s to all the clever kids who keep us on our toes on a daily basis. Stressed? Me? Never! That’s why our next Bad Mums’ Club meeting combines wellbeing and a bit of ‘you’ time now the kids are back to school (cheers all round)! Hope to see you there…if I can just figure out how to get out of this damn shed…

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