Good old Gwynnie Paltrow. When the chips are down at least we can rely on Gwynnie to tell us working Mothers how to manage our days, and to share with us how she 'copes.' Brilliant. Now I know where I have been going wrong all these years. For those of you who aren't familiar with Gwyneth's life guru website - it is called 'Goop.' In it she shares her tips on oh, where to stay when one holidays in Spain, or what fancy restaurants to eat at in London - we'd have to re-mortgage our houses to eat there, but hey, that's just a little stop off cafe for our Gwynnie. She shares such delights as to what movies we should watch - suggested by her buddy Steven(as in Spielberg) and what music to play at our soirees courtesy of Sam (Ronson). In between advising on 'bowel elimination' and how to de-tox (using an uber expensive brand she loves) she has time to model her key wardrobe looks per season (Stella McCartney always features - such a snip Stella's gear - a mere £400 for a blouse) and how to rustle up great meals - such as home made sushi for our kid's organic, gluten free, toxin free, flavour free meals. Hurrah!
Her latest mail out nearly made me wet my pants. She and Stella talk about their manic days as working Moms - Gwynnie's included fitting in a workout, baking cupcakes, lots of busy phonecalls about the gyms she runs and exhausting herself into a sweat by trying on lots of clothes for various swanky dos she had coming up. Phew! Not forgetting the crisis as the coffee maker was on the blink! The horror!! How does she manage it - with someone else collecting her kids and babysitting them that night (whilst they played on their i-pads - what else would they play on for christ's sakes?)and no doubt personal assistants/housekeepers to go along with her team of stylists etc?
Have a look: http://goop.com/?page=newsletter_vn&id=most_recent
So in the spirit of things I thought I would compare mine:
5am Baby wakes. I feel like a zombie as I only laid her down 5 mins ago. Ok, at midnight the night before, but it feels like 5 mins ago. Feed her, burp her. Will that burp outta her so I can lie back down in a sweaty heap for another ten mins. She burps.
Then vomits all down my shoulder, back, the bed, sheets, pillows and herself. She smiles. By 5:30am she is tucked up in her Moses basket and I am stripped naked, changing into another obligatory set of crap clothes. Jeans that are held together at the top with a hair bobble - the old 10 pounds plus refusing to move post baby.
6am She cried - I jump up like I am on fire - but she is still sleeping. Good trick. She plays this one on and off until 7am when Sproglet rushes in asking me an important question about a film we saw a year ago. Morning has indeed broken.
7:30 Sproglet is watching TV refusing his cereal and demanding pancakes. Not home made I add. We have one left in a pack, past it's sell by date - I give it to him anyway. Sproglette is howling. She has a dirty nappy. I change her. Mid change she grunts and low and behold she has crapped in my hand. Nice. I dash to get a clean nappy only to return to discover she has weed on my bed. And herself. 3rd outfit change for her and it aint even 9am. (Very Gwyneth).
8am I am in the shower washing baby sick from my hair. Sproglette is watching me from her chair, squished into the bathroom as it is my only way to get washed. Sproglet then comes in needing a poo. Fab. He mentions that my tummy is still big. I feel great.
8:15 Sproglette decides to kick off wanting a feed. I have 15 min to get on a maternity pad, some knickers, grim clothes and dress my son too, not forgetting a quick spray of the nit repellent as his school has them again. I shove baby in the pushchair, my wet hair gets a quick blast with the dryer and I drop some conjunctivitis drops in my eyes. I look hot. Not. Sproglet has crazy hair, his school clothes look like they were never ironed and he drops in that he needs something urgent for school - like a costume or other.... We get our winter coats etc on and discover it is pissing down.
We race up the hill to school and I drop Sproglet off. He looks like a drowned rat. I possess no coats with hoods so my hair is stuck to my head. Glad I dried it earlier. Get home and house is a state.
9 - 12. Do laundry. Do laundry. Fold laundry. Do some more laundry. Oh and just for a change - do laundry. Discover shower is leaking, put away breakfast dishes and then try and eat some of my own. Too late - Sproglette has awoken - needing feeding, changing, cuddled etc.
12 - 1 Try to email folk, wonder where on earth I will ever get a job again, look at bank balance and feel faint. Worry about the bills that just arrived, the fact I have 10lbs to lose until I can wear more than 2 pairs of jeans in my wardrobe ever again, notice I have two new spots and a whole fleet of new bags under my eyes.
1-3 Pray Sproglette will sleep so I can sort PE kit/swimming kit/ unload dishwasher/plan meals/food shop/make meals/clear out fridge/reply to letters/emails etc. She doesn't sleep.
3:15 Marching up the hill again. What fun. Still raining. Collect Sproglet, get told off by the teacher for not remembering to bring a donation for some event or other. Slink off home after making 'chat' with the other mothers who look at with something somewhere between pity and disdain. Sproglet dumps everything when he gets home and demands TV. I suggest we bake cookies. He makes a face. Sproglette cries. I turn on the TV. After an hour I insist he plays - so I end up being 'the baddie' in some Ben 10 drama he concocts. I am blasted with guns and lazers. Holding a baby.
Somewhere between 4-7 I try and make dinner. usually with Sproglette in a sling thing. She sleep, I chop, cook garnish and shovel in my gullet as quickly as humanly possible - delighted with my stir/fry or chicken in parma ham with a side of veggies etc. Sproglet makes a face and wishes he had pasta. He takes an hour to eat 4 bits of chicken and 3 noodles and two bits of cucumber. Just as I am bout to eat said dinner, Sproglette wakes and howls. A neighbour calls to ask why the bins haven't been collected, something in the oven burns and Sproglet bites his tongue by accident and has a meltdown. I eat one piece of chicken (diet diet diet joy!) before I need to feed Sproglette.
I decide to do bath time. I run a bath - as the baby sleeps. Get my son it in. Just as he is splashing around - she wakes. I dry and dress him with one hand. I feed her a bottle and read him 2 stories and the same time. I realise I have needed to wee for 4 hours and not had the chance. Sproglet finally slumbers whilst I try and prepare everything for the next day - hunting for a matching sock for at least 30 mins and clearing up ben ten toys - after almost losing a toe standing on one. Feed the baby. Lay her down. She again refuses to sleep. I try and drink a cup of cold tea.
Around midnight. After walking up and down my street like a lunatic with a buggy - baby slumbers. I peel off skanky clothes and throw myself into bed, my head racing with the things I didn't do, the shampoo I forgot, the person I was meant to call (two weeks ago). The thank you letters I still have to write for all my daughter's newborn gifts.
5am Baby wakes - and repeat the above.
See, my and Gwyneth - identical lives eh? Oh yes, I used to have a full time job as a script editor on the biggest drama on British TV - regularly pulling in 9 million viewers. It wasn't stressful or nothing. I ran the house, was 9 months preggers, looked after my son and have a husband who works crazy hours opposite to mine. So I totally get how stressful it is trying on frocks and going for dinner with the girls Gwyneth. I simply am in awe how you manage it.