How Not to go Stark Staring Mental!

By Tanya Grant

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A day in the life of the stay-at-home mum…

Leisurely breakfast, Yoga, Loose Women/Jeremy Kyle, nails/highlights, coffee with friends, kiss my babies goodnight, salsa with friends, bed.

Sorry – that may not be strictly accurate.

A day in the life of an ACTUAL stay-at-home mum

6:30am Child #1 gently wakes you by jumping on your head “MUMMY!!! WAKE-UPPPPPPP! QUICK!!!!” No luckily the house isn’t on fire – Playhouse Disney has rebranded to Disney Junior. Boiled egg, uniform ironed. Book bag rifled through “Oh yes, I have to go in dressed as a bee today, I forgot”. Letter from the bank. Filed. Unopened.

Child #2 refuses to get out of bed…enticed with tea and removing the quilt. Another egg. Dishwasher loaded. Coat, water bottle, sunhats. Car battery dead. Jump start. Road closed, diversion. Traffic from hell. School gates. LUNCH BOX!! Back home, lunch box retrieved, delivered

11am Sainsbury’s. Pension day so the grey army is out in force and moving…so…slowly. 15 bags worth into the trolley, onto the checkout (HOW MUCH??), into the trolley, into the car, out of the car, into the cupboards. Kettle on, brew made. Phone goes…mother-in-law presents her new list of to-dos. Tea cold!

1.30pm change beds, hoover, toilets (WHY CAN’T THEY GET IT IN THE BOWL!!) 2 loads of washing, ironing.

2.45pm school run, Gymnastics/football clubs. Out late. Subs overdue.

5pm homework, 3 arguments, dinner “I HATE carrots”, “just eat them or you’re getting no pudding”. Damn it – there is no pudding. 2 more arguments.

Husband home: “had a nice day? I wish I didn’t work” Grrr. Another dinner – this time posher. Seriously – Nigella can do one! What is quinoa, anyway?

7pm-9pm Attempted bedtime, 3 stories, 1 lost bear, 1 tooth brushing refusal, 1 bottom wiping Mexican stand-off.

10pm Sky+…”ooh what shall I watch?” Too late – football’s on “but you get all day to watch your programmes”.

10:05pm You are snoring and dribbling on settee. Nuptials??? Are you having a laugh??

Tomorrow - the same. And the next day…and the next day……..

Let’s add some pressure into the mix. You are SUPPOSED to be 1 stone lighter.  And wearing fabulous clothes (with no dinner or sick on them).

You are SUPPOSED to be sexy…and go away for girlie weekends, and hen dos.

You miss work. Work was orderly, with ready-hoovered carpets, comfy chairs and coffee machines. And nice skirts and shoes that matched your bag.

Remember nightclubs? No? Do they still have those?

The Truth!

Everyone is the same. You are not finding it more difficult than everyone else.

Everyone is struggling, but lots of people pretend they aren’t.

When you go to your friends beautiful house – TRUST ME – they cleaned for 3 hours to make it look like that – it doesn’t usually. She is lying!

Being a mum is HARD. Being a working mum is just as hard. A whole new set of “Arrrghhhs!”

Here are our Top Mum Tips (that you won’t find in any parenting book):

#1 Stop being so hard on yourself. It doesn’t help and it will only make you more worn out.

#2 Go to bed an hour earlier. Watch telly in bed. Especially comedy.

#3 If you think the well meaning health visitor/mother-in-law’s advice is a load of rubbish – it probably is. You know best. You are Mum.

#4 If he house is a mess – it doesn’t matter. No 80 year old wishes they spent more tme cleaning.

#5 Accept ALL offers of help. Always. People like to help. If it is not offered, ask.

#6 Do not sign up to extra stuff. There are plenty of other people that can man the tombola/make cakes/organise the Fun Run.

#7 Mark out one morning/evening a week on the calendar as MUM’S BUSY. Never negotiate this one. Use that morning to do what you like (and if you decide to go out, you do not need  to say where you have been – makes you mysterious and sexy). I like Sunday mornings, but whatever works.

#8 Do not cook everything from scratch. Yes, I know you can. But don’t.

#9 Have the shopping delivered. If you flutter your eyelashes a bit, they will bring it right into the kitchen.

#10 Please try and get some regular exercise into your life. It will make everything better. I will tell you everything I know about this next time. (And yes, I know you are tired and your husband gets in late and you haven’t got any trainers. But trust me. We will sort that all out.)

You are amazing – you are working really hard. We salute you.


Tanya Grant runs Wiggle Waggle – who offer a training and great-value license package for people who want to run music & movement classes for young children and their grown ups.  No expensive franchise fees, no geographical restrictions – Wiggle Waggle strive to make everything they do fair, valuable – and to help people succeed.

Classes fit brilliantly with family life and provide a fun, healthy way to earn a great income. 

You can be up and running in a few weeks and work in a way to suit your life. (And get all the cuddles you can handle!)

Please visit 

Licenses currently available for Wiggle Waggle Music. 

(Tanya also runs Zumba and BodyJam adult fitness classes.  She describes this as a hobby that has just got out of hand!)


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  1. I love your post…provides a humourous way of looking at motherhood. I am going to update my blog later today (after taekwando class) about my day. What with my younger son falling off his scooter headlong into a nettle bush (and a bad reaction to it too) on the way to school. This was after planning my day to a T to get urgent work done!! It is a crazy life being a mum but I love it all the same.

  2. Couldn’t agree more!!!!

  3. Glad you approved/sympathised/understood!
    Watch out over the coming few weeks. The fabulous will be featuring our next few articles that really focus on you – and specifically, the fit, gorgeous and healthy you that you deserve to be.
    Unashamedly erring on the fitness side of things, I hope there are some
    nuggets you can use that will help.
    If, in the meantime on a one-to-one basis, you have any fitness/weight loss, parenting questions or concerns (I have loads of children, some of which are all growd up) then I am happy to give you my personal 6 eggs, please email and I will answer each and every one.
    In the meantime…keep on keeping on.
    Go YOU, you yummy mummy!

  4. Fab post, thank you for sharing. Love your tips. It’s so easy to put ourselves under unnecessary pressure and to not bother taking any time out. I have just pencilled in ‘gym and coffee with friend’ onto the calendar for Monday. That should set the week off in the right direction :)

  5. Brilliant article, brought back unfond memories! Will pick being a working mum anyway!! Keep ‘ em coming, Tanya!

  6. Great post. I also have to fit in running my own business from home as well as all the above! I know quite a few childless women who think I spend my day watching soaps on the sofa – I wish. When they become Mum’s they’ll finally understand!

  7. You get to SLEEP IN until 6.30am??????!!!!!!!!

  8. I couldn’t agree more!!! Story of my life!!

  9. This all seems too familiar, I’m currently trying to work from home with a Toddler jumping up and down on the sofa next to me, my living room looks like an explosion in a toy shop and the cats are screaming at me coz we’ve run out of cat food-again!