Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Challenge of Being A Cool Mum

Granny I'd Like To.... What?
The teen turned fourteen last week and all was well.  She abandoned the idea of a beach/Southsea common party in favour of a very modest little gathering round at our house.  It was just lovely, as I got to keep an eye on them, but didn't have to be involved in everything as they  all stayed in the front room and I hid in the dining room with the food (no pig bone gelatine silver balls this time, bleurgh) and the baby.  Once the baby went to bed, I was able to let my hair down.  Mutton dressed as spam territory or what? Well, they were playing Just Dance on the new Wii and it looked like a lot of fun.

I was an embarrassing fool, shimmying like a geriatric hamster on speed, but luckily the teen has got passed her "Mum, stop it will you?" stage and now encourages me to let out my inner goof ball.  The teen, she is a goof ball too. Is it wrong to "shake it like a Polaroid picture" together?  Or to try (and fail) to do the "running man?"

 What's wrong with attempting to robot dance with a fourteen year old?  Is it bad that my favourite dance move is stolen from Johnny Bravo? Stick your butt out and pump those arms! I have sprung that move on the whole of Southsea, from Little Johnny Russells to The Wedgewood Rooms and everyone finds it funny.  But I can't help feeling that I am getting to the point in my life where it is just a little bit "sad."  I don't want to be a muttony mother and so I have abandoned band t-shirts - because the teen has started wearing them, but I still love fashion.

I spent my younger years trying to look older (damn those youth preserving Asian genes) as I really did feel quite ashamed when people would say, "You don't look old enough to have two children."  Even though, back in Sarawak, twenty one is not such a young age to have been settled down.  A generation ago, it wouldn't have been a problem either, but the other mother's I was networking with when the older two were born were at least a decade older than me.  People made judgements, I know they did, because I did and still do too.  So, I've always had to work really extra hard to bring the children up nicely even though I just wanted to let them run wild.  It worked, they both remember to say "please and thank you " most of the time.  And they are both recipients of academic scholarships.  The teen recently received an honorary Arthur NockScholarship in recognition of her outstanding academic progress during Years 7 and 8 of senior school.  I just hope she keeps it up and  that I don't embarrass her.

I'm a moody Scene kiddddd

But now when people say "Oh, you don't look old enough to have such grown up children," the paranoia has crept in.  I am sure they are saying it out of politeness because they think I am dressed like a wannabe wacky "scene" kid and am sporting more make up than Jodie Marsh's dressing table in an attempt to look younger.

Molecular structures really get me going
The eleven year old is mildly autistic, but he was always just treated as a naughty child. I know that teachers and other parents would look at my son's behaviour and then look at me, and presume that I was young, lower class, uneducated and dare I say it?  Foreign looking, so they presumed that that was why he was the way that he was.  But stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, I knew it couldn't be down to nurture because my daughter was continually top of the class and attending one of the finest academic schools in the country.  I knew it was down to nature and I had a fight to prove it.  We've got there, but it's hard to stay true to yourself.  It's hard to prove yourself in a world where people are expected to conform and judgements are made based on looks and class.  To top it off, I write like an adult and I am well spoken, but I talk like an American teenager with a British accent, "You know like, I was walking down the street and I saw this like car, and in it was my Mum like and she was like, "How are you?"  And I was like, "I'm fine, like, how are you?"  Like, like, like, like, what?  I wish the like habit would just like off! Aaargh.  I am trying very hard not to talk like that any more, but it's very hard, when did it creep so readily into our language?

There is a very fine line between cool mum and sad mum.  I don't want to be either, I just want to be a good Mum, who has a good relationship with all my children. That is the hardest challenge of all, to be a friend, but to be firm and fair.  The best way to do that is to surround your children in love, give them plenty of encouragement and try to help them to empathise with other people.  Actually, no, that is not the hardest challenge of all, the hardest challenge of all is trying to get a kid with Asperger's to show some empathy!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Cath Kidston Sale - Get some cheap shabby chic in your life

Cath Kidston Ltd.

Every girl loves a bit of shabby chic in their life and Cath Kidston is the queen of interior must-have design. Of course now her beautiful prints have extended beyond cushion covers and lovely handbags.  You can get stunning dresses and fabulous tights.  the collection is amazing - perfect for the coming Autumn/Winter months you will want to embrace every item with their jewel rich colours and gorgeous detailing.

Navy Flowers Doris Dress £95

Purple Flowers Doris Dress £95

Navy Flowers Jane Dress £95

Crochet Daisy Tights £12

If you're looking for the perfect present - check out her jewellery - loving this watch pendant - and a very affordable price at £42 - it's on my Christmas list.

Small Pocket Watch £42

London Charm Bracelet £35

As is this adorable London charm bracelet - get all patriotic with a Union Jack and a wonderful crown.

Cath Kidston Ltd.

Winter Meadow Weekend Bag

Feeling a bit tired of the ubiquitous blue floral Cath kidston print?  update your bag with this bang tidy brown winter floral number.

Want to buy a gift for the friend who has everything?  You can't go wrong with this stunning blue arran scarf.  She will love you forever.

Don't forget to check out the sale items - everyone loves a bargain and you can get all your Christmas presents at a bargainista price.  Update your kitchen, bathroom and bedroom with Cath Kidston now.