IKEA is perfect for parents; it’s cost-effective when you’re having to shell out for the endless list of kid-essentials—and its cheap ‘n’ cheerful selection means you can revamp the children’s rooms without breaking the bank (or suffer a coronary when one of them decides to turn their cupboards into a Jackson Pollock tribute). On the other hand, IKEA is also pure hell for parents. Its manic crowds and STUFF EVERYWHERE is enough to spark an agoraphobic breakdown in even the most seasoned of shopper. Add having to chase your offspring through this chaos and you’ll wish you’d never heard of the place.
It’s impossible to have it all. Even if you’re single and unencumbered by any responsibilities further than your career aspirations, there is no such thing as work/life balance. Having children–especially when they’re under five– makes this even less so.
Smartphones may have been the most gamechanging invention this side of the millennium, but their influence over our lives–particularly family life–hasn’t been entirely positive. So the growing call to counter digitised distraction, and save our relationships, comes as no surprise.
We can all look on in self-loathing envy as a newly minted (super)mum jogs herself svelte–with baby in tow; while the rest of us can barely trudge to closest corner shop for a rescue bag of Wotsits, and wipes to clean up the spit-up curdling in our hair. The bright side is that baby-jogging isn’t that effective a workout. (Ha.) That is, if you’re doing it wrong.
The mummy tummy, jelly belly, muffin top, mama pouch–the distinctive hallmark of a mother; and one pesky bit of ‘afterbirth’ to avail yourself of. The very fact of its stubbornness has left many a mum in a state of euphemised surrender: be proud of the implicit power behind the pooch aka just wear the elasticated pants already and learn to deal with it.