Summer in London is by far my favourite day of the year. There is no doubt that it elevates the spirits of all Londoners by at least 45% meaning that they go from sociopathically unfriendly to merely indifferent. Which is always nice. Of course, this doesn’t apply to Londoners on the tube when it’s hot. They get worse – they turn feral. And they smell even worse.
But parenting in the sun takes real skill. Firstly, you have to cram all your Small’s summer memories into one day, which basically means you have to instagram the shit out of everything. As a friend of mine says, ‘If you don’t ‘gram it, it didn’t happen.’ So, in the space of eight hours you need to get the ‘naked in the paddling pool’ shot, the ‘face covered in ice cream’ shot, the ‘daisy chain crown’ shot, the ‘running in the park in a pretty dress’ shot, the ‘eating outside’ shot usually accessorised with a disposable BBQ and a tomato ketchup stained top.
As if that wasn’t enough, you also have to find time to instagram your own sexy ‘sunnies and #mumbathing’ shot that isn’t displaying hairy legs, ghostly white limbs, knackered toenails and a garden that looks a bit like The Hunger Games just took place there. So, after you’ve shaved and fake tanned and slapped on some polish and mowed the lawn, then and only then, can you pose artfully for your #summerselfie. Let’s face it, the power of the filter is strong but it won’t mow the lawn for you.
Then let’s talk about the money you’ll spend. To ensure maximum joy for these precious wakeful hours in the sun you’ll head out to Homebase and spunk a small fortune on the following: BBQ, charcoal, firelighters, paddling pool (last year’s had to go in the bin because you just shoved it in the shed when it was wet and manky and you’d rather buy a new one than risk having to get your Smalls a tetanus shot first). You’ll add a sandpit and probably a load of plants and flowers that you’ll be so certain will look great in the garden. Even if you do get around to planting them, you didn’t envisage that you’d have to water them EVERY damn day and frankly between the thirty nappies, the two laundry loads, the ironing, the bed making, the cooking, the washing up, the sweeping, the snot wiping, the tear mopping, the tantrum managing…the last thing you need is another thing to keep alive so, they’ll die. It’s easier that way. Best not to mention it again.
Simply put, summer in London is magical but manic. Sun-drenched but stressful and ultimately, much like everything else, a shit load of work for mamas. At least you can enjoy the light evenings with some booze in the garden…if you can get the Smalls to bed while the sun’s still up of course.
So, with that in mind, I hope you all had a great summer.