As parents, we have a lot on our plates. And sometimes, the only way to get through it is to have a lot on our plates, literally. (Well, I say plate – who can be bothered getting a plate out of the cupboard?).
But after Christmas, it’s the time when Mums everywhere - who have been subject to stress, dealing with flexible bedtimes, child boredom, rows about screen time and cabin fever tantrums for two whole weeks - decide to punish themselves even further.
They turn up to the school gates with their Baileys bellies encased in Lycra. They vow to drink green smoothies, take up running, give up drinking and cut out sugar. (HAAAAA!) Some people even sign up to Weight Watchers, so a woman called Shirley in a draughty church hall can prod their particulars and teach them how many points there are in a Curly Wurly. (3, in case you were wondering.)
Either that or we’re reading alarmist Internet articles called ‘XX Reasons Why You Should GET HEALTHY OR DIE.’
What’s the point, though? You’re great as you are, and here’s a random number of reasons why. Don’t go changing…2015 is your year!
1. Your muffin top is the best bouncy castle ever
OK, so it might now be less of a muffin top and more like a lard landslide, held in by the sheer force of the rivets on your jeans. But kids love it. Just this morning, my child was moulding it like play doh, with a completely absorbed and content look on his face. It wobbles, it bounces, it’s fun! Forget the truckloads of toys they got for Christmas – Mummy is essentially a giant interactive inflatable. Don’t try to hide it under a long top or dissolve it with exercise. Instead, put some googly eyes on it and call it ‘Bob.’
2. Sugar is a GOOD THING
Every article you read from now until summer will warn you that sugar is bad and in everything, from bread to wallpaper paste. If you touch it, you will be obese and in your grave by February. So you try to cut down, then start hallucinating Hob Nobs by 3pm, and no amount of cacao flavoured Paleo bars are going to sate that craving. Give in, because sugar makes you happy. A life without cake is a life wasted.
3. You don’t need a new job – you already have one
At this time of year, people like to rethink everything about their lives, change their behaviours, break their habits, get new jobs and do something. But you already have the most important job of all. Making sure that children stay alive all day. Ok, so the pay is shite and the hours are even worse, but you can’t quit. So have a biscuit instead (See reason number 2).
4. Forget evening classes - you’re always learning
It’s tempting to want to improve your mind, even though science would agree that it’s far too cold in January to use your brain. So instead of signing up for that French class or NVQ in plumbing at your local college, remember this. Motherhood is a constant process of learning. You find out all sorts of things every day, like the speed and velocity of a baby boy peeing into your eye (physics), working out how to split 6 fish fingers between 4 (fractions), and the plot of the new series of Broadchurch (Narrative Structure in Contemporary Drama Module 2).
5. You don’t need a new look
Resist the urge to get a new wardrobe in the sales and a brand new hairstyle. The sales are actually full of cowprint leggings and neon bandeau tops that have been gathering dust in the stock room since July. What’s more, your hairdresser has just come back to work after a fortnight of drinking prosecco, and has completely forgotten how to use the scissors. Wait until Spring, or you’ll look like a skinhead pantomime cow in Magaluf.
6. You also don’t need ‘mumresolutions’
You know: ‘I resolve to listen to my child’ and ‘I will never tell him/her to hurry up because our time together is so precious’ and ‘ I will always make time to play with them even when they’re trying to pull my legs over my head because they think I’m a Transformer.’ Your parenting technique of shouting at them from the other room is FINE, OK?
7. And whatever you do, don’t give up booze
Ah, booze, the elixir of life. Give this up and you will be a wild haired, screaming banshee, crashing around the kitchen and dropping everything. Ironically, a bit like when you’re drinking it. So what’s the point in giving it up? That’s logic, that is. The kind of delicious, wine flavoured logic that will get ALL of us through January unscathed…