Alpine Mummy

A new life in the middle of nowhere


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Only as Good as Your Latest Success (or: Alpine Mummy Learns Not to be Smug)

A couple of months ago, nearly three years to the day since we took our first hike as a family of five, we finally saw a tiny glimmer of light at the end of that baby-carrying tunnel.

Since moving to the mountains five years ago, we had never gone for a hike without at least one child on at least one of our backs. And a bag (or few) full of STUFF.

Climbing every mountain, fording every stream… the hills were alive but the going was slow, what with the increasing number of kilos strapped to us.

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Bag ‘n’ Baby – Apline Mummy the Packhorse

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All New Boots and No Trousers

When Alpine Boy was born I was starry-eyed and naive. It was only months and even years later that I started to realise I’d missed a trick, when other mums would casually query what present Alpine Papa had got me for giving birth.

“Eh?!” I’d respond, before finally noticing those enormous hunks of diamonds  painfully weighing down their earlobes. Apparently that’s what other husbands buy you for harbouring an ever-growing being inside you for nine months and then pushing it out of somewhere delicate (and never-quite-stretchy-enough).

I got bugger all.

(Apart from this little beauty…)

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Introducing… “Alpine Mummy’s Hikes With Kids”

When we moved to The Middle of Nowhere in 2012, it didn’t take me long to work out there wasn’t much in the way of ‘entertainment’ for the kids (Alpine Boy then aged three and a half; Alpine Girl six weeks).

No soft play centres?!? No baby cinema?!? Bugger, now what?!

Answer?  Hills.  Lots of ’em.

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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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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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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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