Why the smart mum always runs away from weekday invites

My worst nightmare is the weekday invite. I hate it when people invite me out on a weekday, and while they may be offended my constant refusal, let me explain to the non-parents why this is not an option.

It is a Thursday on Planet Parent.

Officially 1 more night left of being a sub-human.The weekend is near, and I cannot wait.

I hate weekdays. I really hate it.

It is like an endless cycle of doing stuff. The checklist is endless.

Get up after hitting the snooze button 3 times and drag your ass to the shower. And the day’s checklist starts:

  1. Buy more toothpaste.
  2. Have another polite conversation with your domestic worker, and ask her to please stop sticking the mysterious blue item in the wash with the white towels.
  3. Scratch that – buy new towels that are blue. That is easier than loosing the person that lovingly cleans your house. Cleaning yourself is not an option.
  4. Hatch a plan to buy the wonderful cleaning angel a gift, so she knows I love her.
  5. Remember to write down the list of stuff to buy for my new exciting dinner recipe!
  6. Zumba tonight, remember the gym bag
  7. Toddler needs more clothes at Gran’s, remember bag that was packed yesterday

Shower done! Find something to wear that does not require heels. Heels are the enemy! Changing your shoes when driving wastes about 10-15 minutes of precious time. And who has time to waste?

Realize you have a meeting and now have to wear the evil heels. And so it begins…your day. A day filled with mini events both good and bad.

  1. Do you hair, as in…. REALLY do your hair, since today you cannot just tie it up – due to the stupid meeting.
  2. Locate the make up, cover up all dark circles and MAC yourself into a human being.
  3. Add make up touch up items to your handbag.
  4. Remove any kiddie items from  your handbag, no one needs a repeat of toy monkey falling out in the middle of a presentation.
  5. Put shoes on toddler
  6. Deal with toddler tantrum over the fact these are the wrong shoes.
  7. Take the toddler to pee.
  8. Calmly tell the toddler that the toilet will not swallow them.
  9. Distract the toddler with a toy in order to get all items ready for the car.
  10. Pack the car
  11. Go back inside to get your precious bundle, and discover that she wants to watch “Barbie and the Secret Door” AGAIN!
  12. Explain she can watch it at Gran.
  13. Deal with the tantrum.
  14. Get tears and boogers all over you dress.
  15. Grab some wet wipes for damage control before stupid meeting
  16. Strap toddler in car seat and distract with car toys.
  17. Sit in traffic for 30 minutes.
  18. Hand toddler over to your wonderful, fantastic, irreplaceable mum, while thanking God that you have her in your life
  19. Get asked by toddler: “Why do you have to go to work?”
  20. Bite your tongue and realize: 3 year old’s do not know what “economy” means.
  21. Feel guilty about being a working mum. Beat yourself up mentally while you sit in traffic for another 30 mins
  22. Get to work and get the “look” from the single, polished girls who are judging you for arriving at work so “late”.
  23. Spend the day rushing between meetings and emails and running a department.
  24. Try to be as efficient as possible and show no sign of weakness.
  25. Sneak a few calls to baby and hubby.
  26. Find my working mum friend and sneak in a bitch session. Feel better that you are not alone
  27. Rush out the office at 5pm.
  28. Ignore the looks of annoyance from said single, polished girls
  29. Get to gym in time for your class.
  30. Decide you have to cut down on the sugar and carbs.
  31. Run out the class and rush to fetch toddler.
  32. Sit in more of the beautiful Jo’burg traffic.
  33. Deal with toddler deciding Gran’s house is better your house.
  34. Bribe toddler to come home.
  35. Sit in…YES YOU GUESSED IT….more f@#king traffic.
  36. Get to the store that opens till 8pm (Thank God!)
  37. Find out that the shop does not have the fancy bullshit ingredients, in the fancy bullshit recipe you decided to try. Acknowledge that this was not a good time to become Nigella.
  38. Use lots of profanity, and then decide to make some pasta.
  39. Try not to feel guilty that you made pasta again.
  40. Find comfort in the fact that the toddler enjoyed the store experience.
  41. Get home and unpack the kid and everything else from the car.
  42. Get supper on the go.
  43. Take some time to just love your tiny, little person.
  44. Feel the relief that comes with hubby arriving home. Feel even more grateful when he takes over babysitting and sets the table.
  45. Serve dinner and relax
  46. Enjoy NOT TALKING about your day. Talking about your day is not an option. Leave work at work. Talk about anything else.
  47. Finally unwind because it is just the 3 of you. Let the stress monster go.
  48. Bask in your supreme intelligence, over having rejected all weekday dinner invites and eat a chocolate.

The sisterhood of stretchmark cream

I was pregnant. Yes me, the same girl who has a few sets of Hello Kitty pajama’s.

My friends continue to focus on their careers, and do trendy things that I cannot do while pregnant. There they were frolicking around in smokey places with people who get shit faced and discuss politics and social issues. I was reading baby books and expanding….rapidly.

Unfortunately I was not the basketball mum. You know the type – skinny with a basketball under their top? Maybe I could have been; but I also did not do any preggy bellies and other exercises designed to keep you fit when pregnant.

The thought of exercise made me more tired than I was already was. So as my body and love for chocolate expanded simultaneous, I was naturally become concerned with the most dreaded word in pregnancy.

STRETCHMARKS!!!! (cue scary musical score)

This is why I was canvasing my local pharmacy in search of creams and potions to ward off this evil curse.

Ok maybe it’s not a curse, but let’s face it. Every woman wants to be the smug one saying “I didn’t get any stretchmarks” as she shows off her flawless tummy, and prances around the beach in a bikini.

Society has created the stigma and consumerism had made us believe that we have to buy in to perfection expectation that they have created.

And here I was happily buying into it right now. Oils. Lotions and some herbal potions. I am happily and frantically clocking up a giant bill that will in fact make no difference to my genetic make up. I will only discover this in about 3 months and 5 days. But right now every bottle symbolizes hope and success!

What was really unexpected in my frenzy of magic lotion shopping, is the advice that appears so unexpectedly!

Usually shop assistants have the look of disdain on their faces. Disdain at the store, their job and the human race that frequents this place. Usually you have to approach them with caution and politely request assistance. Whereby they look down at your hopeful face and say something like: aisle 3.

But today my world has opened up!

I may not be “popular” anymore. I was sulking because no one ever invites me out anymore. Just because I am going to say no; doesn’t mean the bitches need to place me in pregnant exile.

But who cares! The mums are talking to me. The pregnant ones. The current mums. Even the ones who have kids with kids! And they are dispensing advise faster than cat videos go viral.

“Use the tissue oil creme AND and the pure tissue oil”

“Swop to a richer body lotion”

“Make sure you soak often”

“Don’t scratch!! What ever you do….never ever ever scratch”

I followed this advise like a religion. Devoted for once to something besides watching TV.

36 weeks in. And not a stretch mark in site. I was so ready to brag.

Then came the waiting for baby to arrive. 40 weeks and the kid was still procrastinating. My stomach was so huge I switched on mentally on went on auto pilot.

My husband however saw the lines appearing. He said nothing of course. He has a good sense of self preservation.

But eventually after 3 days of my labour starting and stopping which landed up in emergency c-section; I met my princess. Life was beautiful.

Until….. I finally saw my body again. There they were – the damn stretchmarks.

After all that time and money!

But somehow it only mattered for a few minutes. And it didn’t matter one bit.

There is life after being sexy and fabulous. There is being sexy and fabulous with some Stretchmarks.

More importantly there is the sisterhood of stretch mark cream. When I see a frantic pregnant woman in the pharmacy,  I give her advise and guidance in the store. And I know that even though it may not work, she will be ok with it. Because she is a mum now, and she is part of a sisterhood that can only be understood by someone who has real compassion for the giant change you entering into.