Commuter Conundrum

I’ve had loads of requests for this post – so many of you have DM’d me asking me for tips and hacks for how to survive a marriage where one commutes. I hope you find this as useful as I find my own advice.

Pied-a-terre

Basics first- a small flat in the City. Jeremy has his little two-bedder near the office where he crashes four nights a week.

Live Near the Train Line

I made it clear I wasn’t willing to be chauffeur for the 6am train so J just takes his road bike down the hill to the station. Ideal for everyone!

Make the Weekends Count

After a full on week managing the au pairs and scheduling ski trips, I need my weekends to count. That’s why I always book in an hour’s Me Time for each day that starts with an S. (See my previous blog Remunerate to Rejuvinate)

Family Time

Having a parent who is away from the family home most of the week can have a long term effect on children. This is why Jeremy and I never let a weekend past without texting them even though they’re not meant to have their phones at boarding school (don’t tell!).

Me making time for the family

I’m a Best Seller!

You guys! You are the absolutely best! Thank you again for all your preorders of my book- Parenting: Learning on the Journey.

My editor just phoned whilst I was at the salon- I’m in the bestseller list for the Mumpreneur section!!!

Guys!!!!

I cried so much I nearly had to blow my nose in public- totally overwhelmed!

Just finishing up one of my last chapters- Luxury Interiors: from curtains to colonics.

Eek!

So psyched!

Summer Hols are Here!

Don’t you just love the summer? The smell of the hay being cut in the back field, the Aga finally being off, the vindication that you were right to buy a house with a pool. Glorious!

This summer is super special because Jeremy and I have both taken breaks from work so we can finally spend time together- something we rarely do. We’ve taken advantage of the kids being in Tennis Camp for the fortnight (check it out- http://www.tennisandbunkbeds.com/brutal – #afflink) and we’ve packed the Landie and heading off to Norfolk. Can’t wait! More in a post to follow!

See you on the other side, guys!

J&I love our pool- but can’t wait to have a real rest

Book Progress

You lovely lot! I’m so delighted how many of you have preordered my novel Parenting: Learning on the Journey!

I have been busy tip-tapping away in the summer house but the thing that really takes the time is research.

For my chapter If I Were You I have gone undercover at a local primary in Chipping Chowden to see what real poverty is like (it’s rated ‘good’ by Ofsted 🤦🏼‍♀️). I also interviewed our most recent au pair to get her perspective but reading back through my notes she was actually pretty evasive so that was rather a waste of time. I also tried to interview Jeremy for a dad’s perspective but he said he wasn’t qualified to comment.

I am absolutely loving using my brain again- just yesterday I spent over an hour coming up with a metaphor for childbirth and couldn’t have enjoyed myself more!

The ‘fruits of my labours’ !

FAQs: from me to you

As I writer, I like to take risks. That’s why I’ve turned the typical FAQ post on it’s head. As a parent, I don’t like to take risks because it’s not my life I’m gambling with (it’s my children’s).

So here are a few questions I’ve got for you- just thoughts and qs I’ve had on my mind recently.

1) Birthday Parties

Ambrose says birthday parties should be budgeted at 25% of monthly income. He says it’s basically school policy and people will laugh at him if it’s not adhered to. Have others heard this? Or is it another example of his enterprising spirit?

2) Teacher Presents

Parents are collecting a fund for a gift for Nectar’s house mistress. My question is, the money’s being collected by a woman with god awful taste- can I step in? I don’t want my name on any old gift. This woman drives a battered old Volvo for pete’s sake!

All input appreciated! Thanks as always!

Three Reasons Why I Love Summer

At first glance, summer can seem like a nice idea but a tricky reality- ageing UVA, au pairs returning home, school holidays- but I just embrace it and here’s how.

Book a Holiday

We always return to the same resort. The food is exquisite and the kids just adore the onsite summer camp. Julio the resident masseur is basically godparent to our children and has hands to die for. And he once told me I have the buttocks of an Olympic shotputter so of course I think he’s divine!

Organise Play Dates

Because our home is grade three listed, we couldn’t install an outdoor pool – a source of tension between me and Jeremy the ThinkofTheOriginalFeatures- as you can imagine. Anyway, we are so lucky because plenty of our children’s friends have got fabulous facilities. When all the darlings come racing home from boarding, we only see them for a few short days before they’re rushing off to Sebastian’s or Fiona’s or Charlie’s or whoever has the leisure facilities suited to the weather!

This reminds me, I must chase up the planning permission to convert the wine cellar to a cinema…

Me Time

I talk more about this in the book but, as a feminist and a woman, I know I must tenderly nurture my soul. Put on your own life mask first, sister! I like to keep my term-time routines the same over the holidays to ensure I can continue to be the cog that keeps this family turning.

Update: exciting news!

Hi guys! Sorry I’ve been so quiet on here. Thanks for all your lovely messages.

Exciting news- I’ve been working on my book! It’s a parenting manifesto. It’s called Parenting: Learning on the Journey. I include recipes for my fertility-boosting chai seed porridge, reviews of the best pregnancy spa treatments and tips on how to have difficult conversations with your cleaner. It’s a manual for motherhood as well as being my vision for raising the next generation. Will link below for pre-orders.

It all came from a really exciting place of change in our little family. We were completing our annual review and writing our family vision statement (see chapter eight for deets) when Jeremy said he’d noticed I seemed to harbour some resentment towards him and his career. And although I am more qualified than him (#doublefirst!🙋🏼‍♀️) I wouldn’t have said ‘resent’ was the word. I do, admittedly, feel a little under-utilised – especially now Ambrose is back in mainstream education/private school.

So- my Mission Statement for myself was to write a book to impart the wisdom I’ve gleaned from experience and instinct.

Super excited to be sharing this with you guys. And thanks again for all your DMs. You guys rock.