Mum About Town

Emma is a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger and online marketer. When she’s not writing, she gets down with her Smalls, bigs-it-up with Him and swans around London reporting for her blog.

FOMO free (for this month only)

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 22 January 2015
Have you noticed how positively amicable everyone is in January? Is it because we're all in 'this club' of the longest, toughest, coldest, greyest, penniless month together? Or is it simply because no one is possessed by that green-eyed monster, aka suffering from a lethal case of FOMO*?

Going out and ending up on a dance floor is so very non-January that we've all (temporarily) softened our desperate fear of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And this makes me wonder where on earth this need to be at The Party comes from... I mean, it is just those modern day insecurities rearing their ugly head or are we never content to just be present, right here, right now?

I think it all comes down to good old fashion confidence. And while insecurity is curiously appealing, and even a little charming, it seems only to be so when someone else is wearing it. So if vulnerability makes friends and drop dead gorgeous seems to be ridiculously alienating, who is having the most fun?

Of course Instagram and its constant scrolling fuels all this FOMO, magnifying the desire to be with the cool gang. But, as I mentioned, we've managed to drop our fears for the month so snap yourself in your pjs and repeat after me: snug is smug**. I already have.

*fear of missing out
** for a limited time period
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Should we tell the children?

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on Thursday, 15 January 2015
'How much have you told the children?' I was asked at the end of last week as I read the front page of The Times newspaper.

I shrugged. I had managed to ensure that neither of my Smalls had heard a peep about the terrorist shooting at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. I honestly had no idea how to broach the subject.

But I wondered if I was wrong: should they know a little of this atrocity? Just to begin to understand how wrong and evil co-exist with us in this strange, sometimes disturbing world?

Listening to the radio and flicking through their weekly issue of First News, our 10 and almost 9 year old do take a healthy interest in world news. But a volcano erupting on the island of Tonga is much easier for them to grasp than these acts of terrorism. Or maybe some news items are just easier for us, as parents, to rationalize?

A positive message might have been to have told them about the million people who marched through Paris demonstrating how the world will stand united again terrorism. Or I could have focused on the importance of freedom of speech. But instead I shied away. Because there just aren't enough answers as to why twelve innocent people had to die.
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Refusing to Resolve

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Friday, 09 January 2015
Can I crawl out from under my rock? Have you all stop yapping about your dreary New Year's resolutions? Or have I been hiding so long that you've already starting breaking them?

Let me tell you a secret: a resolution is surest way to fail at whatever it is you are desperately trying hard to resolve. All those being 'mindful' while they juice like a new year ninja are just setting themselves up to fail at the first hurdle (month) of the year.

Instead, I'm offering challenges for 2015. Mark Zuckerberg (aside from running the world's largest social network) is challenging himself to read a new book every other week. And we're not talking Judy Blume here. Certainly not, each book chosen will have an emphasis on learning about different cultures, belief and histories. The man is even more of a rock star than I ever imagined.

And, just to clarify, none of my challenges will involve kale, liquid lunches or abstinence of any kind. So although I might try to eat less bread and butter, my instructions to self absolutely won't be enforced in any way.

So, I'm challenging myself to NOT resolve this year. Other than trying to be less offended and aiming to procrastinate a little more, I'm ready to coast vow-free and utterly flawed into the new year.
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Busy, are you?

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Busy, busy oh so busy.  Quite literally the buzz word of today.  Even out trumping ‘stressed’ and ‘exhausted’, I feel like I can’t cross the road without someone telling me just how extraordinarily SWAMPED they are.  

How are you? I ask my neighbour.
MANIC! She screeches.

Fancy a coffee? I text a friend
Can’t.  Totally slammed. Is the answer.

But I’m as guilty as the next with my OHHH-SO-BUSY retorts.  And strangely it’s nothing really to do with just how much we have on our plates.  No, we’ve all officially joined the Busy-Team where the only answer is busy.  (A bit like the banana game but less funny.)

Of course competitive busy, as a sport, is now also on the rise.  Could you possibly pick up my kids from school reads a recent text.  I’m just SO busy! Now, how does the texter know that they are honestly busier than their recipient?  Who could possibly be the judge in this frantic, breathless rush?

Working mums, those with terribly tiny toddlers, small business owners, CEOs, others with no childcare, no PA, no helping hand… I wonder if we really are busier than our predecessors or whether we just complain a lot more?  Perhaps it’s simply our default setting and someone this Christmas needs to turn us off, unplug the busy lead, let us cool off and then power us up again?

Put up your hand if you’re going to join me as I duck out the Busy Cult.  Let’s face it; it’s dull, heightens stress levels and is definitely not an appropriate answer to any polite enquiry.  Let’s redefine the narrative and promise not to air our busy linen in public.

Shaking up Christmas shopping

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 11 December 2014
In all honestly, I’ve no time for Christmas shopping this year. Nor patience either. Besides, everyone I know keeps telling me that they don’t want anything anyway. Of course, the high street tells me otherwise, winking at me through their twinkly, festive shop windows, and Black Friday hit our screens like a ton of discounted bricks. So the plan is to add a little more precision and logic to my Christmas shopping task.

In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that there’s a proper strategy to my purchases and – generous old me – is prepared to share my gifting rules:

1)     any present needs to fit in a stocking, which in turn needs to fit in a suitcase as we are travelling into the festive season.

2)     All items MUST be something I would have bought anyway regardless of any babe in a manger.

3)     the Smalls are not allowed to write a list for Santa and she is busy with a new job, an old job and lots of carol concerts to attend

4)     no plastic anything this year…

5)     at least two items must look and feel like books.

6)     A little money will be given which can be saved, donated or spent – the decision is theirs (and I’ll try not to judge)

7)     He can have a good old fashioned wet, sloppy kiss and maybe even a lie-in.

And now I feel relieved. I can tick Christmas Shopping off my to-do list.



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