Alpine Mummy

A new life in the middle of nowhere


The truthful testimony of a full-time working mum

I’m a mum of three (did I ever mention that…?!). And I work full-time. Properly full-time.  Swiss full-time is 40 hours per week – 9.00am till 6.00pm, minimum, and I seem to do a lot more than that.  Plus I commute. At least an hour each way (and up to two hours on a very bad day when accidents and road works and snow and fog and other random incidents that can’t ever be predicted end up conspiring against me).


Believe me, I’m very grateful to have a good job which pays the bills and keeps us in the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed (ski passes and new bikes ain’t cheap). Plus I think it’s important for my kids (and, I have to say, my girls especially) to see me go to work, to learn the value of a job (both personally and financially), and to realise that snow is free but not much else in life is.

Living in paradise comes at a price...

Living in paradise comes at a price…

But it’s pretty tough, no matter how much I try and sell it to myself (and to others out there, pretending not to judge).

Here’s what being a full-time working mum means to me: Continue reading


Alpine Mummy’s (Totally Expert and Not At All Negligent) Guide to Parenting

Alpine Mummy should be a parenting guru. Not because she’s an expert in parenting. But because she categorically is not.

My parenting technique may send shivers down the spines of Gina Ford groupies, and cause panic in Mumsnet forums but, really, it’s all for your benefit.

I should write a parenting manual in fact. It would be a sell-out, simply rolling off the shelves, like squishy poo escaping from an unchanged nappy (more about that later). By sharing terrible screw-ups in Alpine Mummy’s usual ‘aren’t-you-glad-your-life’s-not-like-this?!’ style, this new handy reference manual would produce perfect parents everywhere, as they rush to do exactly the opposite of what Alpine Mummy does.

Our new babysitter...

Our new babysitter…

Don’t believe me? Perhaps a little taster of my terrible parenting would assist. Here are my top 10 recent parenting failures:

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10 things I wish someone had told me before I had three kids

I have three children.  Three whole, noisy, screaming, snotty, beautiful, amazing, still snotty, children.

Life has certainly changed since Christmas 2008, when Alpine Boy made his angelic appearance on this earth.  I arrogantly and naively promised myself, and others, that this new addition to our world wouldn’t change anything – that life would continue as before; that the new baby would fit around us rather than the other way round.

Ha.  So much for that.

Six and a half years and two more kids later, I’ve practically forgotten what life was like pre-sprogs.  But if one kid is life-changing, and two are chaos-inducing, having three kids is akin to crashing a bus full of monkeys into a lorry full of cats and then trying to round them all up and put them in shoeboxes.  Without strangling any of them.

I wouldn’t change my life for anything, but there are a few things I wish someone had told me about having three kids, just so I could have had fair warning….

Such as:

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Stop debating. Just be good.

The other day I was sitting in a park, on my own, daydreaming. As you do.

Well, no, not really as I do. Having three kids and a job and all (did I ever mention that?!), I find little time to sit daydreaming in the sun, with a good book and a coffee in my hand. But it was lunchtime on a workday, the kids were miles away, and I had managed to sneak out of the office for a whole hour, to sit in the sun with a good book and a coffee in my hand. Luxury.

Ray of light

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On the road with Alpine Mummy

Giving up life in the UK and moving to the Middle of Nowhere, Lost in the French Alps (my official address), was supposed to result in a healthier, more outdoors-y life, away from the smog and grime and roads and cars and traffic that is London life.

That has half worked.

The great outdoors is so much closer to our great indoors now – we can walk and ski and cycle mountains galore without needing to ever drive for more than four and a half minutes (I’ve timed it).

But recently, I have spent a LOT of my time sitting in a car – and it makes me wonder if we can ever leave the world of traffic behind us…

WP_20150124_002     Continue reading


Stress, Alpine Mummy style

Life is a little bit stressful at the moment for Alpine Mummy.  But don’t worry, being forever on the verge of a nervous breakdown makes for good reading (I hope!).

I’ve told you all about my ridiculous commute – over 1 hour 45 minutes each way, each day.  (Sorry to go on about it but it’s taking over my life!  And anyway, my friend, who had a similar if not worse commute, says the distance involved entitles me to whinge about it for the rest of my days.  So I intend to.)

But there’s an end in sight – we’re moving house.  On 6th January.  Of course – would you expect anything else from Alpine Mummy?  Moving house is apparently one of the most stressful things you can do, along with giving up your career to start a new job in a new town in a new country in a new language – and so we decide to do them both at once.  At Christmas time.  Yup._MG_5002 Continue reading

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Alpine Mummy’s carefree life…

Life isn’t exactly carefree at the moment, that’s for sure.  I leave home in the dark, at 7.23 each morning, before the kids are up.  I get home in the dark, any time between 7.45 and 8.15 each evening, just as the kids are going to bed.  Well, actually, just as the kids are successfully avoiding going to bed by joining forces (for once) to create as much noise, naughtiness and general chaos as possible.26102014391 Continue reading


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