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?

 

 

Bad Mum on Tour!

What do you get when you put seven girl friends into a house for a get together, add copious amounts of gin, a laptop and a credit card?

Answer – A hangover from hell and the realisation you’ve all booked a three-night break in Majorca for later that year!

That’s what happened to me back in January and five months later I found myself on the beach enjoying my first ever girl’s holiday at the ripe old age of 40. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t plain sailing getting there. First up I had to break the news to my husband…eek! Would ‘the drink made me do it’ work? Or maybe, ‘it was peer pressure’. Whatever I said to him I knew it was going to go down like the ending of Game of Thrones…not good!

The reactions in my house went a bit like this:

Husband – sighs and shrugs head, then silence (errr, does that mean you are ok with it then???)

Son – unfazed, doesn’t even look up from playing Roblox on the iPad

Daughter – exclaims “Yey! Does that mean we can have take-out every night you are away and eat Haribo’s for breakfast? Sick!”

The icing on the cake really came though when I found out later that day that the girl’s trip only bloody fell on the same weekend of my mother in laws big birthday party, so now I had joined the club of Bad Mums, Bad Wife AND Bad Daughter in Law!!

Despite the huge amount of guilt I felt in the lead up, I held on to the mantra that ‘life is too short’ and sometimes it’s about putting yourself first, which as a Mum, we rarely get to do.

And, oh my god the trip was a revelation – firstly by realising that as soon as we got to the airport, it was just me I had to look after.

I could browse duty free without having the other half bugging me about the amount of time I’d spent trying on a lip gloss on and I could go for a wee when I wanted to, not because my little boy had asked me to take him to the toilet for the umpteenth time.

It was like a whole new world, one where my name was Michelle, not Mum.

Things I did on my trip…

  • I bought an ‘unmumsy book’ (Irvine Welsh’s Dead Man’s Trousers) AND I got time to read it.
  • I got a full 9 hours sleep and lay in past 7am!!!
  • I sunbathed
  • And the only hard decisions I had to make was should I get a sangria or a gin cocktail.

Don’t get me wrong I missed my kids and husband incredibly (they will be reading this) and I face timed them every day but getting a part of me back meant the world.

Sometimes as a parent we often forget where the real ‘us’ went. I’m not suggesting you all go out and book a random girl’s holiday (cue hubbies everywhere coming after me en masse) but what I AM saying is it’s ok to be ‘the real you’ every now and again.

So, take a few moments after reading this and think about something you used to do before having kids. What did you really enjoy, and not what you think you should do now you’re a Mum.

Maybe it’s rediscovering your passion for music, dancing like no one is watching or buying a pair of killer heels that definitely don’t come with a Mum tag

Oh, and one bit of advice before I sign off…don’t take your credit card out when drinking gin, you never know where it might take you ; )

Till next time,

The Big Bad Mumma (also known as Michelle!) xxx

 

 

 

World B***** Book Day!

March…when spring has sprung and yes Mums out there…when World Book Day dawns once again!

March 7th is etched into my calendar, staring back at me laughing as time runs out for me to get my thinking cap on and come up with some kind of creation for not one but two of my children.

Anyone else out there feel my pain??

In the past we’ve done The Wizard of Oz – (school summer dress, hair in plaits, a pair of red shoes and a teddy bear pretending to be Toto…my little girl was 5 at the time, she knew no different). The following year we recycled the school dress idea by me convincing her that Matilda was the way to go (after realising the night before that I had NOTHING for her to wear – a lifesaver as all she did was wear the dress, put a bow in her hair and carried a Roald Dahl book – voila!). Then last year we were given a life line as the school decided not to do the whole dress up thing (I cried so much…not!!)

But now it’s 2019 and I have two children at school, which is double the dilemma.

God help those who have 3, 4 or even more to sort out. You see it wouldn’t be so bad if everyone was at the same level of inadequacy as me but there’s some parents who are just genius at these sorts of things and actually make their OWN costumes. Oh yes, I’ve seen a kid come in as a wardrobe for (you guessed it) The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and a child as the witch from Room On A Broom come in complete with a replica of the actual broom along with a home-made cat, bird, frog and dog on it (I mean…seriously).

There’s no real regulations about who they come dressed as though is there?

I mean do you think World Book Day could be accepting of a comic character? Might I get away with the recycled Spiderman outfit or the PJ Masks jumpsuit my little boy has worn only once after screaming the shop down that he wanted it ‘more than anything in the WHOLE world’?

The mischievous Mum in me wants to send him in all different (50 to be exact) Shades of Grey – I mean that is a bestseller isn’t it? It might make for a good discussion around the teaching staff ; )

But no, here I am contemplating how I make my little girl into The Ice Monster (a Walliams favourite) and my little boy into Zog. God knows how I will fair with that!

Answers on a postcard to Harrassed Mum, 1 Gin Needy Way, Helpsville.

Good luck to all the Mums out there in the same boat as me xxx

 

Kids and Shopping DON’T mix!

There’s a saying that people in the TV industry like to live by – never work with animals or kids! I think there’s a lot of sayings you can apply to parenthood and I recently found that ‘never go shopping with the kids’ should be right at the top of them.

It was meant to be relaxing family stroll around what was left of the sales at the Trafford Centre but from the moment we got there stress levels had exceeded boiling point and the kids were bored as soon as we walked from the car park!

So, what do you do? Well after the kids inhaled the food supply from my Mary Poppins bag in less than five minutes (club biscuits, crisps, fruit shoots-all gone) the only other thing to try was splitting them up. Husband and daughter go one way – me and my 4-year-old son, the other – trying to give each other half an hour’s grace to browse successfully. Not a bad plan…right??

Wrong!

I had just picked up a well reduced dress that would possibly have turned me from scummy to yummy mummy when my son says the words that have all parents sighing up and down the country.

‘I want a wee!’

His legs start shaking, it’s obviously a race against time to make sure he gets to one.

So, it’s goodbye to the dress and hello to the loos.

Any Mum of a little boy will understand when I say, ‘the aim is always the problem’ and try as I might to get ‘Mr Winky’ pointing down the toilet bowl it was clearly facing upwards. At this point I’m saying to him…

‘Good boy, push Mr Winky down so you can see it go down the hole’

‘But I like Mr Winky spraying’

‘Yes, but it’s a Selfridges toilet sweetheart, just put it down’

And then it happened…

‘I want a pooh’

Christ!

I’m now squatting down opposite him holding his hand as he sits on the loo trying to push it out. Time is ticking and my precious half hour shopping time is dwindling fast.

Just as the pooh finally drops Mr Winky decides there’s more wee to come…in my direction.

Yes, that’s right, my coat is soaked, my face has sprinkles of wet on it plus he’s also managed to drench his jeans that are down by his ankles (don’t ask).

‘Mummy, Mr Winky was naughty wasn’t he?’

I hear sniggers coming from the cubicles to my left and right.

His wet jeans in my hands I sheepishly leave the cubicle with son behind, realising everyone in the ‘posh loos’ knows what’s just gone on.

My son is now as happy as Larry, I however have realised Mary Poppins has failed to bring the change of clothes in her bag so we spend the next 10 mins at the hand drier as new people come in thinking I am a rubbish Mum for having their kid stand there in his undies.

Dead on the 30 mins being up we emerge from the toilets to meet husband and daughter, grins on their faces and shopping bags in hands.

‘Aw, did you not find anything to buy?’ asks Hubby.

I looked down at my son, back in his jeans, smiling up at me.

‘Don’t ask…’ I say through gritted teeth.

Never. Shopping. With Kids. Again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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