Alpine Mummy

A new life in the middle of nowhere


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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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Eat, Poo, Love

Well Alpine Baby is here! Our beautiful girl made her way into the world at the end of March, bringing with her a sense of family completeness, total happiness, and constant sleeplessness.

She’s already a true Daddy’s Girl – with a headful of dark brown hair she looks nothing like me or either of my other children, and I’m constantly waiting to be stopped in the street and accused of kidnapping her whenever Alpine Papa’s not with us.

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The nine circles of hell (otherwise known as… pregnancy)

 As Alpine Papa will attest, I am not very good at being pregnant.  Not at all. 

You know those people who glow their way through pregnancy like a sunbeam, with nothing to slow them down except too much damn gushing about how they “luuuurve being pregnant” and “isn’t it amaaaaaazing”?  That’s not me.  Not at all.

Don't get confused - that's a sunbeam, that is, it's not me...

Don’t get confused – that’s a sunbeam, that is, it’s not me…

Alpine Papa is no help.  I don’t think he believes any of the suffering I am genuinely going through to bring this beautiful new life into the world.  In fact, when I moan (admittedly for the 40th time that day) about how crap being preggars is, he immediately takes great delight in pointing out how desperately I wanted to be pregnant each time, and how I would whine any time anyone I knew would dare get pregnant before me.  “Ooooh , it’s not fair”, he mocks (apparently that’s how I talk).  “So-and-so is pregnant, how come I’m not pregnant? I want to be pregnant. It’s not faaaaaaaair.  Why can’t I be pregnant? I want to be pregnant!”.

I would like to point out, though, that he is wrong.  Very.  I have never said “I want to be pregnant”, or moaned about not being. I have often whined about the fact that I want another baby and I want it now.  But that’s entirely different.  I have never had any desire to be pregnant. Why would I? It’s rubbish.

Hell in fact.  Nine months of hell.  Must have been what Dante had in mind.  Here are my nine circles of hell:

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5 blog posts I could have written. But didn’t.

Well going back to work certainly changed my life.  I only work three days a week (albeit in another country twice a month, with a 6-and-a-half-hour commute).  It’s not much at all, really, but it’s as if a little Time Fairy has sneaked into my life and brazenly stolen all my ‘me’ time.

I used to have ‘me’ time, I’m sure.  Maternity leave last year now feels like a perfect dream (though I’m sure it wasn’t always) – gallivanting up and down mountainsides with a baby on my back and a camera round my neck.  I had time for stuff like that!  And I still managed to cook fresh meals for my family, clean the house (from time to time. A bit. OK, let’s not exaggerate…), see my friends, and even write blogs.

The good old days

The good old days

(I’d love to know what that damn fairy has done with it that time.  If I found her stash I’d make a fortune.)

These days I’m lucky if my children get to eat pasta pesto or fish fingers less than three days in a row.  I haven’t seen the sofa for a good few weeks – I think it must be buried under that pile of jumpers, books, DVDs, toys, handbags and letters from school demanding lunch money, but I couldn’t be sure.  Despite the constant running of the washing machine and the fact that the house resembles a laundry, no one’s ever got anything to wear, and I’m so disorganised in the mornings that Alpine Boy regularly goes to school without gloves or a hat.   Usually when it’s -10°c .  I’m such a great mum.

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And I have no time to write blogs!  The little ‘me’ time that the Time Fairy has begrudgingly left behind is generally spent crashing on the sofa propping my eyes open with matchsticks – I’m in no fit state to talk, never mind write.  (I just want to mention that it’s not pure laziness on my part, all this exhaustion… there’s a real reason, see below…).

So my lack of posts recently (ok, for months) doesn’t mean I’ve got nothing to say (as if).  Au contraire, mes petits, I’m sure you all want to hear about my exciting life of working, washing and not so much walking!

Here are the ‘best’ bits then.  Here are 5 posts that I would have written had I been bothered/had the time: Continue reading


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Alpine Mummy’s new life

My recent (rather lengthy) bout of writer’s block has been caused by the overwhelming stress of  hiring (and then almost immediately firing) a crazy, irresponsible, spoilt, arrogant and quite frankly useless au pair…

A hungry Alpine Girl just looking for someone to look after her

A hungry Alpine Girl just looking for someone to look after her

Or rather, it’s down to me being so traumatised by the whole event that every time I try to write about it I just can’t get it out.  I wanted to do a “hilarious” look at the stress she caused our family: amusingly recounting all the crazy things she did in the 6 days she was with us (yep, 6 days!!! and she only worked for 3 of those days!).   It was going to be called “50 reasons to fire your au pair (and these ALL happened to us!)“.  I was not having a problem finding 50 things to list, that’s for sure. Continue reading


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Top 5 Alpine Mummy moments

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Oh dear.  It’s been ages, hasn’t it?  Over a month in fact, since my last post.  And it was going so well!  (But don’t say I didn’t warn you – quote:  Not sure how long the blog will last (I was never very good at Dear Diary when I was younger…) and I’m sure it won’t be that interesting, but here goes!”.)

So, I hope you all missed me?!  My inbox has been inundated with concerned inquiries about where I might be and when I’m going to start blogging again (ahem).  So I’m feeling a bit of pressure here – perhaps you’re all expecting stories about how I’ve been wrestling wild wolves in the mountains; or how I’ve been lost in 2 metre-high snowdrifts having trekked back from the chocolate shop in a snowstorm; or how I’ve been cross-country ski-ing my way through the Alps with just a baguette in my bag and a baby on my back.

Sorry.  Nothing so exciting has been keeping me from my updates.  I’ve just lost the habit.  And not much has been going on really, so the habit stayed lost.  And when something interesting did happen I was usually up to my neck in pooey nappies or snotty tissues and so never found the time to write.

So I’ve decided to do a Top 5 things that have happened in Alpine Mummy’s life over the last two months post.  Catchy title, no?

So, here you are, pop-pickers, in at number 5:

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