Kerri Moss Beaumont tells of the joys of being a mother of four who also manages to enjoy life to the max
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were at an end of summer barbeque. We got chatting to a glamorous couple in their early 30s and we were asked: “So when do you guys plan on cracking on and having kids?’’ When we replied that we had four children, under the age of seven, we were looked at with utter disbelief.
In fact, I personally was challenged by the dashing young chap, as he really couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that I had physically carried and given birth to four children. So there you have it folks, one of the best compliments around – to be told you look like you don’t have children. After all, who wants to look tired, worn out, frazzled and caked with mango puree? Um, not me.
So the inevitable question of: ‘How do you do it?’ came out and we managed to boil it down to two things. First off, we have fun. In fact we have fun whenever possible. Whether that means going out and dancing a few times a month in nightclubs that cater for 20-something hipsters or having dinner parties and turning the kitchen into a disco, or going to a silly West End musical, we put fun at the top of our relationship agenda. Life can be serious enough with bills to pay and school fees to lose sleep over. Put date night in your diaries at least twice per month. Mandatory stuff.
Secondly, I put myself first. As a woman, this is paramount. Because, in case you haven’t worked it out yet my dear, you are the heart and soul of the family. You hold it all together. It’s like you are the “Mama glue.” Now, I’m not dissing the boys here, but let’s face facts – the Wife, the Mother … well, she really is the Boss. And too often, once women have children, we get overwhelmed by this new ‘Boss’ position and respond by putting everyone else first.
But I think this is the wrong way of going about things. By putting yourself and your inner-diva first, you have the best chance for tackling day-to-day life. Consider it like your armour. You wouldn’t go out to battle without your gear on, so don’t even think about hitting the school run unless you are feeling at the top of your game. If you aren’t at the top of your game, you become a drain. It happens quickly and sometimes without you even having any idea. All of a sudden, you are two sizes bigger, wearing tracksuit bottoms and drinking too much white wine to console yourself.
So ladies, to make sure you’ve got your armour on – go to the gym, keep yourself in the best shape possible. Eat right. Treat yourself. Dress with flair. And don’t forget the reason why you fell in love with your husband. This will keep you feeling the love and feeling sexy. Keep a little note in your underwear drawer along these lines, and make sure that you don’t lose sight of who you are. Be yourself first, wife and mother second.
It’s a circus out there, so do yourself a favour. Take the challenge, and walk the tightrope. Sure it’s a little dangerous. But by looking at things from a different perspective, it’s easier to look down at the three rings of chaos and laugh. Oh, and then and go and have some fun. Your children will thank you for it.