Tag Archives: Liverpool One

Middle Of The Road Mum

I spent two glorious child-free hours sipping over-priced coffee and people watching in the city centre this morning as I waited for inspiration for this blog post to pull up a chair opposite me.

I watched 10 or 15 mums and dads with babies in buggies strolling around the shops and I noticed how we as mums fall (roughly) into three distinct groups. The first group is the shiny mums. The shiny mums have beautiful hair, usually long flowing locks that are glossy and lightly curled. They stay cosy in the winter sun wrapped in fur hooded parkas accessorised with aviator sunglasses. The shiny mums have the most flawless make-up I’ve seen outside Met Quarter MAC, and their nails are on trend nude and slightly pointed. The shiny children baffle me, they rock all white ensembles with non-scuffed patent leather shoes all year round and some how remain pristine for the ENTIRE DAY! How do the shiny people do it? Did I miss an anti-natal class on grooming? How I’d love to be a shiny mum. More chance of winning the euro millions jackpot.
I fall firmly into the second group which is the Middle Of The Road Mums. My kids go to school and nursery in clean, ironed uniforms with freshly washed and plaited hair, thoroughly brushed teeth, armed with packed lunches containing at least one piece of fruit (rarely eaten though) yet I still look like I fell into my wardrobe….in the dark. On weekdays I get up at 5 to ensure we’re all out the door by 8:15 yet with three hours to play with I still only manage a pair of Nikes, leggings, random tee and my parka. Yes my hair is clean, my teeth brushed and I manage a sweep of mascara….but I am not by any means shiny.
My hair is shoulder length and generally tied up, my parka is non-fur trimmed, but stain resistant Helly Hansen (I know, so 1996) and my handbag is a Cath Kidston soldier changing bag complete with a few half eaten baby biscotti and 4 open packets of Huggies baby wipes. I’ve even tried getting up earlier so I have more time to plan and look a bit more ‘together’ but my kids always sabotage my efforts by spilling Weetabix all over themselves or me, then there’s nose bleeds, baby sick and toothpaste stains to contend with. Shiny mums I applaud you, I’m about three years off getting my shit together!
I may not be a shiny mum, but its good to have something to aspire to. Plus it could be worse. The third category of mums are the ones who don’t seem to care enough or who have different priorities. Kids in disgustingly dirty buggies, not wearing a coat when its freezing cold, nappies bulging from not being changed. I don’t use the blog to bitch, everyone is fighting a battle of some description I know, but seeing these innocent little mucky faces being screamed at for getting Greggs sausage roll all over themselves by mums with the latest MK handbags and their lashes/nails done, just breaks my heart.
Kids come first right? Shiny or covered in Weetabix!
GG
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The Saturday Strop

I love being a mum, I love seeing my children playing together, laughing and ultimately fighting and pulling each others hair. My girls are still relatively young and we’ve not yet reached the demanding teenage years, although my eldest is doing her best to keep up with the big girls already! She is now forming opinions about what she does and doesn’t want to wear, and how such and such at school has just got the new Lelli Kelly’s to wear with her school Summer uniform and can we buy some? I wrote a blog not long ago about how the kids of today are so much more fashion conscious than I ever was aged 6, you can read it here

Not long after my eldest daughter was born we were photographed for the local newspaper for a shopping feature. That year I went a bit mad when I found out I was having a girl and literally blew the top off my credit and store cards. The Next sale has an awful lot to answer for as their Summer sale happens just weeks before my girls birthdays every year and I considered it a crime to not kit them out for another 12 months. I suppose you have to admit you have a problem when it makes the local news eh? You wont be surprised to learn that it was this attitude that ultimately got me into a lot of trouble financially, but that blog will take some serious thought before I make it public.

One thing I absolutely abhor about shopping with children is that the kids department is always on the top floor of most high street stores. In Liverpool city centre alone I can name and shame the following: Clarks, H&M, Boots, Primark, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Debenhams. Even my love of Next’s children’s wear has taken a beating as their kids section is in the basement, yet another lift ride to endure before being able to flash the cash. On behalf of all parents out there struggling to get through a Saturday shopping trip without having a complete meltdown, thank you for adding the saga of store lifts to our worn patience. Anyone else noticed that you end up doing at least two full circuits of all floors before reaching your destination as perfectly able-bodied, child-free people insist on clogging up the lifts despite there being copious amounts of stairs and escalators at their convenience! Arghh, it’s making me angry just writing about it. We all know that kids fashion is never going to be conveniently situated on the ground floor as it doesn’t entice enough impulse buyers, but thank the lord for the likes of Mothercare who are understandably market leaders in child friendly stores. To be fair though the Liverpool city centre store is split over two floors with no lift, but the staff are extremely helpful and I’ve witnessed them carrying many a buggy up the short flight of stairs.

Fortunately the team at the Liverpool One complex has begun to make small efforts toward enhancing family shopping. I have seen staff now casually watching the public lifts and ensuring they are available for people with prams and wheelchairs, rather than those who can easily use the near by escalators and stairs. I understand that this can be a particularly difficult thing to judge, as not everyone has a visible disability, but so far so good.

So to all the parents who can identify with this frustration, if we pool what little patience we have left maybe one of two of us could enjoy a stroll around the shops at the weekend. Failing that accept every babysitting opportunity from anyone daft enough to offer and shop like there’s no tomorrow.

Happy Shopping!

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