Summertime, and the livin’ is easy….Unless you’re a parent.

For clarification, when I use the term ‘Summer’ in this post I mean it in the real summer sense, not the British sense!

The back end of last week saw the temperature SOAR. It was 25 degrees at one point and positively GLORIOUS. It was so glorious I saw fit to chill my red wine and that only happens in extreme warm.

I LOVE Summer. It’s my absolute favourite season.
I like that the sky is blue, I like that the grass is green.
I love hearing the birds sing, I love feeling the sun on my face and warming my soul.
Lack of body confidence aside, life is always better when the sun shines.

The adverts give us a Summer to aspire to.
Leisurely strolls in the sunshine, kids looking at nature in awe, sitting in your perfectly manicured garden reading or eating al fresco.
Apero with friends. Wearing light, floaty outfits looking cool and feeling comfy.
Skin with a healthy glow and hair that is effortlessly shiny.
Life is amazing, you feel amazing, you ARE amazing.

These advertisers clearly aren’t parents.

A summer walk with children isn’t a glorious stroll.
It’s carrying bags full of snacks and entertainment.
It’s sweaty little hands trying to prise themselves out of yours.
Summer walks involve loitering in direct sunlight a little longer than you’d hoped.
It’s stopping for drinks of water every few steps.
It’s finding a nice spot under a tree and then spending the next hour chasing down your toddler who is determined to escape.

It’s a wasp trying to get in the snacks.
It’s the eldest complaining she isn’t allowed out of your site when her friends are.
It’s having enough, gathering everything and everyone back up and lugging it all uphill ending up at home a big sweaty mess.

The perfectly manicured garden is actually sloped, the grass is dying and there’s no outdoor seating.
It’s not sitting in the sun reading books and relaxing.
It’s ages filling the paddling pool (that has a deep end thanks to the slope).
It’s providing ice lollies and drinks.
It’s settling down to enjoy the sun while the children frolic in the paddling pool.
It’s getting shouted at because when you put an ice lolly down in the paddling pool while you play, it melts.
It’s getting an earful because there’s a leaf in the pool.
It’s telling them repeatedly not to run and jump into the paddling pool because they’ll slip.
It’s plucking them out because they ran and jumped and slipped.
It’s getting a towel and heading inside after 20 minutes because ‘it’s a bit wet’ and ‘there’s water in my face’.

A light and floaty summer outfit on me looks more like a wedding marquee has come loose and floated off on the breeze. They are also impractical when chasing children.
You end up wrapped up in maxi dress and falling over or the smallest will wrap himself in it whilst you’re still wearing it.
Light and floaty is also a lot more fabric to wipe hands, faces and noses on.
Summer outfits are also light colours attracting more child led muck.
Rather than light, floaty and cool I spend the summer months covered trying to hide my fat elbows, knees(seriously, who the hell has fat knees? Me is who) and bingo wings.
Slowly cooking in dark colours because they’re more ‘flattering’.
Teamed with the red glow I’m a catch.

My skins healthy glow is actually a face full of freckles and a touch of sunburn.
I am completely aware of the need for sun cream but sometimes by the time I’ve lathered the children and gathered up all their crap I completely forget.
I know, I know I’m lax.
As for the natural shine of lustre of my hair? Well it’s actually a big greasy mess, it’s grows a fantastic amount in the heat, but outwards instead of downwards.
It ends up scraped back, my face is so huge it blends into my neck.
My ‘Summer’ ready body (that’s not been summer ready since 2008) has birthed children.
Yes, I bear the badges of creating life but, rightly or wrongly, I’m not comfy flashing my badges.
I feel far from amazing.

I still aspire to the summer sold to me in adverts and, given the temperatures of last week, it’s time for me to get back on a diet, trawl the internet looking for suitable and flattering clothes, get the wine in the fridge, find a nice bistro set and whack Ella on the stereo.

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