Keeping Up Appearances


Today I have a guest post from the lovely Vicky over at Tactical MummyVicky lives at home with her husband, Pickle, the dog and two cats. The name ‘Tactical Mummy’ comes from a conversation Vicky had with one of her very best mummy friends – she knows who she is. At the time, Vicky was bemoaning Pickle’s refusal to eat anything except beans on toast. Her friend confessed that that very evening she had resorted to feeding her son a ‘tactical’ peanut butter sandwich. To Vicky, that was what being a Mummy was all about. We all of us strive for perfection, but sometimes, along the way we fall short of our ideals. But if we see these moments, not as failure, but as a way of ensuring the survival of both our sanity and our little ones, then employing these tactics is surely a vital part of the immeasurably difficult but wonderful job of mummying? And this is how The Tactical Mummy was born.

Here is Vicky's post about Keeping up appearances as a Mummy:

Your hair looks nice,’ declares Daddy, out of the blue.
Mummy looks at Daddy slightly askance and then briefly glances at her phone to check it’s definitely not April Fools’ Day.
She can’t remember the last time she did her hair properly. She thinks longingly of those days when she spent a good hour in front of the mirror: carefully straightening, teasing and applying swish products from the upmarket salon she used to be able to afford. They are no more. Now it’s a quick rinse under the shower if she’s lucky and straight into the ‘mum bun’, which is in fact a fashion statement in itself. Or, rather, a complete disregard for any kind of fashion and instead a statement that Mummy is Too Tired, Can’t Be Bothered and Has Stopped Caring.
What do you mean?’ asks Mummy suspiciously.
Daddy stutters slightly.
I mean, it looks less, you know. Frizzy. Less like pubes and more naturally wavy.’
Mummy feels a bit sorry for him. She would be upset, except that she herself is perfectly aware of the peculiar wispy bits that seem to have developed, sticking sideways out of the side of her head, ever since the Pickle made his appearance. The problem, Mummy thinks to herself, is that not that he referred to her hair as pubes, but that he is indeed correct.
Mummy wonders when she actually stopped caring.
When exactly was the point at which she decided that she could quite happily wear ten-year-old Bridget Jones knickers and ripped jeans? (Not trendily ripped, mind you, but ripped due to the number of times she has knelt down to change the Pickle).
It’s not that she doesn’t care about what she looks like – she just doesn’t have time to care. And if she allowed herself to actually care, then she probably wouldn’t leave the house at all and would be swigging wine far before the sun descended over the designated yard arm (which seems to vary considerably, depending on the number of Pickle-tantrums in a day, anyhow).
In some ways, it gives Mummy a certain level of freedom. No one expects her to look wide-eyed and bushy tailed, with make-up carefully applied, nor do they expect her to sashay down the pavement in the latest bang-on-trend outfit. As long as Pickle is dressed perfectly from head to toe in Baby Joules, Mummy knows no one is really going to care if she arrives in an old sack.
Sad though it is, Mummy feels that there is something satisfying in knowing that someone else always comes first. For the first time in her life, she is more concerned over someone else’s appearance and well-being than her own. And because she is basically entitled – nay required – to dress in the Mum Uniform of leggings, t-shirt and baggy cardy with milk stains, why on earth go to all that bother of applying mascara?
Mummy does feel slightly sorry for Daddy though, who probably did not sign up to be with someone whose hair resembles pubes, has a slightly baggy mum-tum and whose idea of dressing up for the evening is basically wearing clothes that does not have yesterday’s banana smushed into them.
On balance, she thinks it was pretty nice of him to find something to complement at all.
Mummy smiles, ignores the pube comment and says ‘thank you dear’.
Daddy breathes a sigh of obvious relief. What he doesn’t know is that Mummy is also secretly planning to hit the hairdressers and the high street the very next day, armed with his credit card and a copy of Vogue a childless friend accidentally left behind the last time they came to see Pickle in his Baby Joules. One really does have to draw the line somewhere, and Mummy feels that having your hair compared to pubes is probably it. 

*Mummy would love to know how you deal with those peculiar post-baby wispy bits and whether your own appearance has become second to that of your baby’s since giving birth.

Thank you Vicky I'm sure a lot of you Mummy's can relate to the post baby wispy bits, I still have some 2 and half years later.

You can find Vicky over on the following pages: 

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  1. Utterly brilliant! I can definitely relate to this, being much in need of a haircut myself!

  2. Oh Vicky, pubes really? Did he say that? I wouldn't have been so forgiving! And the wispy bits, I just live with them sadly. Mich X

  3. Omg LMAO 😩 "Less like pubes and more naturally wavy" ahhh I think its nice mummy decided to accept the compliment daddy found but I could imagine that having children and finding time to doll up like you once did is a hardship.

  4. ha ha, great post. really made me smile and nod along x

  5. Oh my goodness haha!! I would be SO upset if my husband described my hair like that! I think I need to lighten up haha! x

  6. Oh my I would fly off the handle if someone said that about my hair Lol. It did make me laugh though x

  7. Errr...less like pubes what a backhanded compliment! I wonder what my other half thinks about the way I look a lot of the time I'm so lucky his vision is terrible!

  8. Firstly, what a brilliant description... "less like pubes"... Man, my OH would tear my head off for a comment like this... Secondly, I think both my OH and I have been in this state for a while now. Getting "dressed up" just isn't something we do anymore...

  9. I can't relate to this directly but I can totally see it through my mum! I'm one of four - I'm 21 and my youngest brother is 4. So she's been in full mum mode for about 25 years!!!

  10. 'Less like pubes', erm, what?! I would have totally gone off the rails at him, even if it was meant to be a backhanded compliment. ♥

  11. Chris would be in major trouble if he said this to me...

  12. What a great guest post! Jeez it can be hard to keep up when you become a parent - I think I went nearly a year without having a haircut - simply did not have the time

    Laura x

  13. Urgh I've been through the same thing. I had a part at the very front of my hair by my fringe. It was like a mans haircut. Razor sharp and short where it wasn't regrowing. I even tried changing where my fringe was but nothing covered it. Loved reading this x

  14. Haha! That was a good one. I just can't stop laughing about the pubes. I would agree with Gareth, I think there will come a point that we no longer dress to impress.

  15. Haha! Love the pubes comment!! I don't think I would have been so forgiving either!!!

  16. Definitely relateable as a mum it's so hard to keep up up with getting your hair done ect.


  17. That is something my hubby would say and yes, I'd have to agree! I would spend hours perfecting my look before kids, now its just a case of throwing on my mum clothes and hoping for the best!

  18. Haha yes he really did say this!!! Glad you all enjoyed reading it and I'm also glad that I am not the only one to experience the odd post-partum wispiness!!!