Andrea Mara

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Fair weather mother

It’s 8.30pm and I’m sitting in my garden as I type. The doors are open behind me, and I can hear the noise of tonight’s World Cup match. My husband is waiting until full-time, then he’s going to run to the supermarket for some mid-week supplies. And maybe some ice-cream. As you do, at ten o’clock at night.

But when it’s warm and sunny, everything is possible.

Like eating dinner in the garden. Like sitting in the sun making loom bands with the kids, instead of cleaning the kitchen. Like letting them out on their bikes, instead of sending them to bed. Like treating them to ice-cream again today. And doing all of it without shouting.

I’m definitely a fair-weather mother; I’m far better at the parenting stuff when the sun is shining. Soaking up rays trumps everything else – there’s little that can’t be put on hold by a determined sun-seeker. And when washing and sweeping are pushed aside in favour of sitting around in the sunshine, the stress levels go down. There’s no need to shout – we’re not rushed, we’re not stressed. I become chilled-out-mum, and after a few funny looks, the kids get used to this new version of me.

Tomorrow morning will be the same (because of course a run of four blissful sunny days means it will be like this forever right?) – the brightness will have everyone smiling in a most un-morning like way, there are no school books to pack because homework is now over, and traffic will be light. So no rush, no stress, no shouting.

We’re all happier when it’s sunny, and it’s infectious. None of the usual rules apply.

Leaving work early is acceptable, rolling up trouser legs is normal, lying on grass is reasonable, eating ice-cream is obligatory.

A barbecue is suddenly a perfectly fine midweek dinner – the only time it seems logical to eat a burger, three sausages and some chicken skewers in one meal. The kids are delighted because nobody’s talking about green beans, and they can have ketchup on everything.

Playtime is longer, bedtime is later, and there’s still no shouting.

I think all this good-mothering has earned me a glass of wine – you’re allowed to when it’s sunny you know, even on a school-night.

Imagine if it was like this all the time…

office mum :  blue sky

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