Five Parenting Rules

 

Gaze Adoringly at Your Husband

In all the inconvenience of pregnancy and an emergency c-section it can be hard to prioritise the father but you simply must. During Ambrose’s birth (DS 6YO), I was careful to spend the lulls between contractions appreciating Jeremy. Even now, every time J reads them a book or butters their toast I realise how lucky I am.

Always Look Fabulous

Jeremy thought I was joking when I asked him to stop at Tanya’s Salon in Chipping Camden when I was four centimetres dilated but I knew the post-birth pics would last longer than the pain. It was the right choice and from then on I have endeavoured to always look perfect: even put fresh make-up on just before bed.

Wear White

When pregnant with my DD (Nectar, 9), I used Google images to create my aspirational post-birth outfit mood board. The rule is simple: summer baby? wear white linen, winter baby? wear white cashmere. I even bought a cream sofa to perch perkily on.

Smile 

Everything makes me smile. I smiled when Nectar stormed out of our family craft session. I smiled when Jeremy spent £4000 on a road bike. I smiled when Ambrose got expelled from prep school for lighting his farts. Mothers smile so I’m working on making mine beatific. Although I must be careful of wrinkles…

 

Judge Other Mothers

Motherhood is a minefield but luckily I’ve found the perfect way to parent so I can confidently say everyone else is wrong. If anyone is struggling with anything to do with raising children, just ask. You’ll know it’s me because I’m the one rolling my eyes in Waitrose or tutting in John Lewis.

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Me looking fabulous in white whilst I lay next to my fabulous husband dreaming about my fabulous children. #blessed #keepsmiling

What I Got For Christmas

As you know, I’m totally against the blind consumerism of Christmas but many of you have been asking what my DH got me for Christmas.

As I’ve mentioned, I really just wanted precious family time but, just in case, I sent Jeremy an email with suggestions and web links.  I think he just forwarded the whole thing to his secretary because he bought me the lot. I think that’s a bit thoughtless, actually.

So, this is what J got me:

1) Cashmere cardigan (in cream)

2) White Company pyjamas

3) Designer bag (it’d be tacky to be specific but just keep in mind it was VERY expensive)

4) A weekend’s flower arranging course in London

5) Tiffany heart bracelet (actually wanted the necklace)

I put a great deal of thought in to Jeremy’s present and in the end commissioned a rather large oil painting of me. It’s a tad racy but I’m pleased with how it looks. Jeremy says he’s going to put it in the London flat. I was rather hoping he’d put it in our entrance hall.

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How I Celebrate NYE and How You Should Too

Because I never drink or stay up past 10.30, my family have to do NYE a little differently.

Every year, Nectar, Ambrose, Jeremy and I put on our most expensive outfits, fill up our best crystal glasses with San Pellogrino and see in the new year at 9PM. We sing, laugh and have sparklers in the garden. It’s great fun.

By 9.30 I like to be in the bath, face mask on and musing on my resolutions. The children and Jeremy will curl up with a film and sometimes walk to the top field to watch the fireworks across the Parish. Jeremy says it’s his favourite part of the year. I think it’s irresponsible: late nights are catastrophic for Nectar’s complexion.

This year was just as delightful but I’m pleased to say the kids were in bed by ten. I bumped in to the local landlord on my run this morning. He asked if ‘Jez’ was feeling rough this morning. I think he was being sarcastic. People in the village envy our clean lifestyle. 

My Beauty Regime

First, let me start by saying I am naturally blessed with good genes so my make-up tends to be minimal, but a few of you have been asking how I look so flawless so here goes!

My first secret is water: I fully commit to drinking over five litres a day. I buy specially filtered water from my local whole food shop. With water you get what you pay for so cheaper bottles tend not to have such a high electrolyte count. 

My next secret is sleep. I’m so blessed because my children have always slept straight through which is lucky because the nursery was always on the top floor of the house and I couldn’t be running up and down two flights of stairs- however good it’d be for the glutes! Before I go to sleep, I douse my pillow with lavender extract and listen to a relaxing app called Sounds of a Quiet Office at Work. Jeremy says all my essential oils make him queasy and that’s why he often sleeps in the spare room. 

So that’s it really guys! Genes, water and sleep! That and at least three hours a week at Tanya’s Beauty Salon in Chipping Camden: she’s a magician.

Five Ways to be the Perfect Host

The Welcome
If like me you don’t want your guests wearing shoes in the house (they play havoc with the shag pile), then offer them slippers to wear. I keep a stash of hotel slippers for guests. I tend to put the ones from Le Manoir at the top.

Atmosphere

I think candles are essential in creating a welcoming atmosphere. Jeremy once said our home was ‘lit up like a bloody Princess Di vigil’. I thought that was a lovely thing to say. I like to buy candles from Jo Malone put them where everyone will notice. 

Food

Some of you might be aware that I have a severe gluten-intolerance. I will be doing a FacebookLive chat about it next week-stay tuned for dates.

Anyway, all my dinner party meals have to be gluten-free. I don’t eat sugar, processed carbs or garlic either so you might think I’d be limited to what I can cook but you’re so wrong! The last dinner party we had for Jeremy’s clients I wowed them with a caulirice bake.

Conversation

I always try and keep things light: the various achievements of the children, the problems with finding progressive private schools, what’s new in piano tuition and so on. Brexit was a real worry for me when hosting this year, but luckily all our guests have been in agreement on that topic!

The Goodbye

For some reason, our guests never seem to outstay their welcome and most of the time they’re putting their shoes back on by 9.30. I like to give them a momento of the evening and so give each guest a jar of my signature homemade medlar chutney as they leave. Actually, the gardener found three jars of it when he cut the hedge last week. Must remember to ask the children if they know anything about that… 

The Sisterhood

Some people think that, because I’ve married a fabulously wealthy man and dropped out of the rat-race, I can’t be a feminist and that just makes me angry. I hate women who judge. 

Yes, ok, my nine year old DD plucks her eyebrows and wants to marry a footballer when she’s older but I have done everything in my power to parent gender-neutrally. 

I guess it just really makes me feel judged when other mums hate on me for letting Nectar wear make-up to school. I mean, everyone knows being clever is never enough. You’ve got to look the part, too. I think maybe they’re jealous because their daughters are ugly?

Anyway, all I’m saying is that we’ve got support each other. Us women have to stick together!

Just a gentle reminder to my gorgeous readers that I moderate comments and any remarks about ‘bra-burning’, ‘MILFs’ and any use of the ‘c word’ will be deleted. Thanks guys!

Being Honest

I think people can see my life online and think it’s perfect all the time but it’s important to let my readers know that I’m just like you: sometimes I question whether this is the best use of a First Class Honours degree, sometimes I wonder if homeschooling is such a good idea, sometimes I find life in the Cotswolds claustrophobically twee.

So, rest assured, dear reader, that just because I’m blessed with a big house, no mortgage, pneumatically perky breasts, two perfect children and a bespoke kitchen, I don’t have an au pair to help or a personal trainer (at least, not one full time), I’m severely gluten-intolerant, the cleaner regularly cancels on me and the wifi can be reliable in the far field.

I’m just like you.

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