The Secret Saboteur inside of me

mummy's writing, darling

The Saboteur

Sometimes I watch my boys playing with their toy blocks. The eldest will carefully place one on top of the other, strategically, methodically. In a couple of minutes he has created a perfect tower, strong and steady. Then, like clockwork, the youngest will bound over and smash it to bits. The saboteur!

The bricks fall and they both giggle at the hilarity of this process. I understand the youngest’s urges, I really do.

The problem is it’s not so hilarious when it’s your life you’re destroying.

Part of my depression over the years has included impulsive behaviour and a sort of self sabotage – especially when my tower is strong and steady. Everything going ok now? Great – what can I do to royally feck it up?

It is usually when I am at my most successful or happy when I can choose to topple my life over.
Diets – I sabotage them all. Relationships – I can walk away and not look back. Jobs – I can be Head of English one minute and the next minute not. Even writing!

Great writing opportunity? Ooh let’s set fire to the pages!

It usually follows a pattern of being strong for a long time and feeling the fight or flight creeping up on you. And for me I guess my impulse is to always fly. (One day I’ll fly away, leave all this to yesterday).
However, there is one thing I have never sabotaged or felt the need to – and that’s my family.
We are a team, a unit. My boys keep me striving, they keep me looking up, breathing and trudging through the quick sand. I would never stamp on their sandcastles. My irrational impulses stop right there.

And yes I might sometimes shout at my husband “Well if you don’t want to be with a nutcase then maybe you should marry someone else!” But he knows I don’t mean it – and he tells me everyday he loves me for my oddities.

I learned something astounding this week too. You might have been impulsive, you might have thought the damage had been done – but if you admit your mistakes and do a bit of damage limitation – colleagues, friends and even employers can surprise you.

And slowly, you can start building your tower back up, only higher this time.

Charlotte Tilbury – the mummy make over edition

Mummy's Writing Darling

So picture me (me!) sat in Harvey Nichols, Leeds after closing time, a glass of prosecco in my hand, watching a professional make up artist equipped with the Charlotte Tilbury make up collection, making a goddess like model even more beautiful than she started off.

Well that’s all very well … but I’m not Kate Moss – I’m a mum. I’m thirty five and I have had four years now of uninterrupted sleep.

Any questions? She asks.

YES! I say, pumped up by my Prosecco and my empty stomach.

“Say you’re a mum, a new mum even… and you have about three minutes in the morning – and you can only afford three products, what would you recommend?”

She didn’t skip a beat:

Mummy make over
Charlotte Tilbury – Just three products

I then gave her an option of two more products, she chose:

Now – for me I would add just two more essentials (because I have so many Charlotte Tilbury products I basically believe I know more than the professionals) : the brow pencil (without brows I look pretty ridiculous. Once I have my brows drawn on I can face the outside world.

Lastly – the Film star bronze and glow. If you’re going to buy one thing – just one – I would go for this. I have actual make up savvy teenagers asking me “Gurrrlll …. where you get that highlighter?”

It’s a bronzer and highlighter pallet – simple to use and makes your dead face resurrect from the dark side.

 

Mummy's Writing Darling
Just five products – Charlotte Tilbury Make over

I have been obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury make up and skin care since this time last year when I booked myself in for a make over with Leanne at Harvey Nichols, Leeds. I can honestly say I have never looked better.

Since then I have bought most of their collection – I don’t spend much on clothes, shoes, but my face – I have spent a small fortune.

I prefer Charlotte Tilbury to brands like MAC for example because it’s so subtle, so classy and I genuinely feel like it makes me look my best. I think it makes any woman look her best – without changing them or hiding their face in layers and layers on caked on make up.

And trust me – I know it’s super pricey compared to some, but my magic cream lasted a year, I still have half my foundation left, half my wonder glow left and my film star bronze and highlighter is still going!

Maybe you can’t bear to part with your money over the products – but it is definitely one for your christmas list.

Now ….. here is a sneak peak at their Christmas collection. Husband… Mum – I hope you’re reading.

Harvey Nichols Leeds
Charlotte Tilbury make over on a goddess model

 

Charlotte Tilbury
Clay mask and prosecco – plus my goodie bag

 

Charlotte Tilbury Christmas
The new eye pallet with four looks, Day eye, desk eye, disco eye, date eye …. they are yet to introduce a mum eye ….

 

Harvey Nichols, Leeds
A selection of Charlotte Tilbury Christmas gifts

 

Charlotte Tilbury Christmas gifts
The Charlotte Tilbury Advent Calendar

If you pop to Harvey Nichols in Leeds have a browse … even one product can transform your mornings.

Ask for Lauren and say Stephanie sent you – she will sort you out!

I was gifted a goodie bag for this post.

What it feels like to be intimidated by a man

mummy's writing darling

On my way home from work yesterday the news was on in the taxi. The continuing news about the Movie Producer rumbled away in surround sound before the driver angrily switched it off. He announced,

“If these women didn’t want this to carry on then they should have said something at the time! Look at them all now coming out of the woodwork!”

“mmm…” I offered out of politeness. Politeness; sometimes our downfall.

“I think it’s hard when a man is so powerful and intimidating…” I continued.

He continued to disagree with me all the way home and I tried to block most of it out because that very day, at the age of thirty five, a mother of two – I had been intimidated by a man to the point it had made me cry – at work, in front of an even more powerful man.

The man, who was significantly taller and wider than me had been rude, passive aggressive and continued to express his displeasure at me being there. My back was to him, and his colleague (bullies are always better off with an ally) as I heard him talking about me, disgruntled. I daren’t turn around.

In that moment I hated that I was five foot three. I hated that I was wearing flat shoes which made me sink even further into the ground. I hated that I was blonde – I imagined them looking at me like I was some dumb girl. I felt like I had zero status.

Out of God knows where I found myself complaining about him to his manager. There wasn’t any courage in this – it probably came from myself finding more and more truth falling out of my mouth the more stressed and exhausted I get nowadays.

And then I knew they were coming, I felt the heat in my neck. I choked and there they were. Stupid tears. Always letting me down. Always making me look even weaker than I am. The man looked horrified.

What the man in the taxi, another large in stature older man, could never comprehend is how it feels to be intimated like that.

I told the taxi driver a man had made me cry at work to which he replied:

“my daughters wouldn’t let a man do that … they’re strong.”

Unfortunately I am not that strong. I could fight a lion for my children … but myself? On a bad day – I would lie down and let it start at my feet.

The little girl in the photograph was told to say yes, respect her elders, respect her superiors, always be polite. Too polite.

The news over the last few weeks has made me think many things. The most honest and disturbing thing being – I can’t say if that movie producer had asked me to get into his hotel room with the aggression he did to that model on the recording –

I’m not certain I would have had the courage to have said no.