Saturday, 6 October 2012

Smug and proud

G&T - 2yrs 10mths   M - 1

OK, I'm going to say it. I'm going to stand up, take a deep breath, and admit it. My name is Amy, and I'm a smug mummy.
I was reading a very funny blog recently about the snobbish mums spotted rummaging in their Cath Kidston change bags and turning their nose up at soft play cafe food, when I stopped mid-guffaw.Only the previous night, I'd been online perusing the Cath Kidston website for a bag to carry M's things in, to match the one I already have for the twins' bits and bobs. Had I become exactly the kind of mother I'd been laughing about? I do talk about my kids a lot. I boast about their achievements. I honestly believe they are the cleverest, most beautiful girls out there. And the lack of nutrition in those cafes does worry me... Yup, no doubt about it, I am a smug mummy. But is there really anything wrong with that?
I used to have a somewhat glamorous life, with a somewhat glamorous magazine job, a somewhat glamorous London pad, a very glamorous dishy husband... I talked about my work, my friends, my social life. I was probably quite interesting. Now I'm a classic baby bore. I'll tell anyone who'll listen about G's latest incredible memory feat, T's impressive drawing skills, M's stunning walking and talking... And that's not the worst of it. I talk about poo. A lot. Whether it's dismay how many times M's filled her nappy, or delight at T's perfect potty training, I just don't know how's it's come to this. Well, no actually I do. This is my job now. My crazy, unpaid, over-worked, fabulous job. I have nothing else to talk about. Or get excited about. I have a Cath Kidston change bag (or two) because it's just so darned pretty. I used to but great new handbags to go with my outfit or my mood, and now I need to transport spare clothes and nappies, there's no reason why I can't do it with a little style.
I remember buying the twins a new buggy when theirs started to fall apart when they were about one. I simply fell in love with a red sporty City Jogger from John Lewis. After I'd seen it, nothing else would do. I then found the same buggy on for nearly £100 less. No-brainer, right? Well, no. It was black. It just wasn't the same. I was actually mid-huff with my husband over his refusal to pay the extra before it dawned on me that I was being ridiculous. Of course we bought the black one and I still love it to pieces, but that little twinge remains. Because it's all I've got.
I heard a woman on Radio 4 recently (oh yes, I now also listen to Radio 4 a lot. And I bought a pestle and mortar. And I just started a button box) berating the big groups of mummies cluttering up her local cafe. I used to be one of those mums, meeting my NCT friends for our weekly coffee and chat. But I bristled at the interviewee's venom. We weren't yummy mummies swanning around, lounging our days away. Those meet-ups were a lifeline. They were human contact with like-minded people who would not only listen to those endless stories about poo, they were genuinely interested in the contents of every nappy. We were all figuring out this motherhood thing together, and the support got me through some pretty tough times. Becoming a mum is a huge change. You have to give up so much of yourself. But there's no reason a little of the old you can't shine through.
I used to express myself by having fabulous handbags or sleek stylish outfits or to-die-for shoes. Now I put all my energy into my girls, who emerge in adorable ensembles and prettily coiffed hair, while I stick in a rough ponytail and grab my trusty old trainers. But flashes of the glamorous journalist still sneak out. I bought proper fancy dance trainers when my old ones died, even though all I manage these days is a weekly Zumba class. I treat myself to expensive moisturisers and serums, even though nothing can truly hide my epic lack of sleep. I have a flashy buggy and a Cath Kidston change bag addiction. I might be a baby boring smug Mummy, but I'm no worse than the magazine boring smug journo I used to be. So I shall continue to boast and crow and generally go on and on about my bright, brilliant, beautiful girls. My name is Amy, and I am a smug mum. And I don't care.