Healthy eating

We had a lie-in yesterday. Of approximately 20 minutes. This was because there was no school choir. Before you rejoice, it was postponed until today. Apparently there is research out saying working moms are more likely to let their kids watch tv and eat bad food so in solidarity with all working parents, we cuddled up round the telly and watched "60 most dangerous animals", my current favourite programme, after breakfast.  Yesterday it was the turn of the duck-billed platypus. Last week it was hippos and I will never look at a hippo in the same way again....more

Illustrated notes

My partner went to Spain on Friday so I was in sole charge of the girls all weekend. Not the perfect time to watch "Stepmom", a cheerful story about a mum who is dying of cancer saying goodbye to her kids and handing them over to their stepmother. Big girl daughter shuffled down in the middle of the film after having a bad dream....more

An historical week

We have had a bit of a historical week. Firstly, it was my birthday and I am reaching an age where my birth seems like some sort of historic event. Then we spent Sunday at the Imperial War Museum in London because rebel daughter is studying the second world war. My birthday celebrations went very well. We took the girls swimming, bought some knock-down bargain shoes, after I flirted briefly with the idea of high heels and a complete change of look before trying a pair on and falling over, and hit the charity shops for some children's books....more

Equal pay for equal work

Last week I did an interview about how women can succeed in a man’s world. We had discussed why women don’t succeed - their reluctance to promote themselves, their belief that if they work hard they will be judged on merit, their perfectionism. They were all qualities which are remarkably familiar. The problem is all these qualities appear to be inbred in girls. ...more

First week back


Becoming anti-social

I arrived at the weekend like a washed up rat and not just because of a downpour on the motorway on the way home on Friday. I'd done a few late nights and I was feeling about 100. Not, perhaps, the best conditions to go to a tracksuit party with lots of young people [ie younger than me]. First, of course, we had the usual routine of getting all the kids up and doing the washing, cleaning out the guinea pig [I seem to have been nominated for this role. I had a funny feeling this would happen when we got him], etc. ...more

Dreams and illusions

I don't usually dream. Mainly because I am too tired to dream. However, the night before last I had a very vivid dream. We had moved to the 20th floor of a block of flats which had sliding full-length windows all around it and no balcony. I was alone with three excited children determined to open the windows. Typical. I never dream and when I do it's something horribly worrying. ...more

Pet hates

If my life were a Disney movie, which I am very glad it is not, the moment when my oldest daughter turns to me with her big brown eyes and pleads for a pet of any kind would melt my heart. Instead I find myself reeling off a list of reasons why we should not have a dog/kitten/snake/lizard/deer. The dog is a hard one to turn down. All films with children include a dog. Even orphan Annie has a dog. A dog is man’s best friend. How can I say no to a dog? ...more

Flexible vacations

It is perhaps in the summer vacation that the true benefits of flexible working become most apparent. I’m not sure what it’s like in other countries [but would love to know], but in the UK children have six weeks off school. ...more

Acting: the main skill required to be a working mom

I am very glad that I was big into acting when I was young. I took a performing arts course after university and I think it has finally come into its own since I have become a working mom. ...more