Alpine Mummy

A new life in the middle of nowhere


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11 Things Never to Admit to Your Kids

I’m not one of those parents who routinely ‘lie’ to their kids to keep them in order. Not out of any sense of moral wellbeing, but mainly just because I’m no damn good at it. Lying, that is. (Or keeping my kids in order, come to think of it.) I simply can’t come up with elaborate tales to get them to eat their carrots or to not say rude things about people in the supermarket, and look like I mean it.

But that doesn’t mean I’m an advocate of telling the truth at all times. No way.   There are certain things you should never tell your children, no matter how true…

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Alpine Mummy’s Motherhood Challenge

I must say, I have been very surprised not to have been nominated by ANY of my Facebook friends for the pervasive yet insidious Motherhood Challenge.

I’m hoping this is because they know I despise any ‘challenge’  which involves smug mummies insensitively posting impossibly beautiful photos of impossibly beautiful offspring – the kids smiling happily and throwing neither tantrums nor knives at each other; the photos skillfully Instagram-filtered so you can’t see snot on sleeves or bags under eyes.

I suspect that’s not the reason. But hey, let’s not delve too deeply into whether people think I’m a great mother or not…

Instead, I’ve given-the-hell-up waiting, and have nominated myself. So here are the five photos that make me proud to be a mum.

Alpine Boy is always willing to help out

Alpine Boy is always willing to help out, isn’t he just adorable?!

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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).

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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


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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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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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On the move again…

I start full-time work tomorrow. Gosh.

Midweek Alpine Mummy fun will be no more. Gone are the days of frolicking in the mountains on a Monday afternoon, or cycling round the lake on a Wednesday, or spending the entire day eating cake and drinking lots of tea with other English mummies every Tuesday (and Thursday. And Friday. And… OK – I do more cake-eating and socialising than I do mountain-frolicking and cycling. Life is tough).

I think I can cope with having to wear vaguely presentable clothes every day, rather than the knackered jeans and holey t-shirts that have become my usual uniform (on the days I actually get out my pyjamas…). I can probably even cope with brushing my hair every day (I got it all hacked off on Friday to ease this pain), and I am certainly looking forward to speaking to grown-ups about things other than sick, poo, sleep, poo and sick. (Forget career aspirations – I’ll just be proud to get through a day without threatening to put my colleagues on the naughty step, or absent-mindedly spoon-feeding my boss at lunchtime…)

Anyway, all that will be fine. What I’m not looking forward to is my commute. I live about an hour and a quarter away from Geneva. More (a lot more) at peak times. I am working a full day. Every day.  I will never (and I mean never) see my kids if we stay here.

So the Alpine Family are on the move again… But where to?

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Secrets and lies

The other night I awoke to strange whisperings coming from Alpine Boy’s room. Pulling my ratty dressing gown around me I shuffled to his bedroom door, and was amazed to hear the following coming from within.

Now it all makes sense… every last bit.

I jotted it down, word for word, to pass on to other parents who, like me, are at the end of their tether and wondering why their kids are such brats. Here it is, take note; now the secret’s out, parenting will be a piece of cake…

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