15 March 2017

Feature: Beauty and Wellness

Every fortnight we will have a feature from Mallory from (@the_parlour_hackney) on Instagram. 

Mallory is the founder of The Parlour, Hackney and will be talking about beauty and wellness for us and how to juggle this with a child attached to you! 

Here is the first instalment and enjoy. 

Bad Mum? I’m a Terrible Mum.

Today my daughter fell down the stairs.  That’s a bit melodramatic – she lost her footing while navigating climbing down two steps and slipped backwards.  She did land right on the back of her head though.  I keep telling myself that’s the place you’d want your kid to hit their head if they had to.  She’s grown so much recently and is really quite agile, strong and resilient (so says her mother) and I got complacent.  It’s making me feel sick.  She seems to be over it and I’m not so sick that I can’t manage my locally roasted artisan coffee (I’m rolling my eyes too, it’s okay) but motherly guilt always seems to be present, even through the coffees. 

My usual position is to be mindful: acknowledging the guilt and then saying ‘fuck off guilt’ and just roll with it what makes us all comfortable.  To wit: as I write, E is asleep in a sling gingerly suckling on my boob.  She’s eighteen months.  Don’t judge me; it’s that motherly guilt at hearing my child upset which has led me to choose the path of telling guilt to fuck off.   Unlike hitting her head, though, I really don’t think this is going to mess her up.  In fact, I love these moments of quiet where I provide everything she needs.  So, maybe it’s actually motherly selfishness?  It’s a minefield.

Anyway, I digress.  The real reason I have written is to discuss all the things I – and probably you too – do with a toddler hanging off of you.  It’s not so very different from me still boobing my eighteen-month old to sleep.  Hear me out: letting your kid hang off of you while you [insert task] comes from a place of love, guilt, selfishness, and not just walking but running down the path of least resistance.  Because Christ, who has the time or the energy for anything different?  And when the fuck else are we supposed to put our make-up on?!

I’d love to know what you all get up to with your kid wreaking havoc in the background and/or on top of you.  Below are the usual things you will see me doing while E harasses me: 

Morning Routine

I think I am probably most permissive for this routine.  It’s very important to me to go through my ablutions.  I think it’s important for anyone who values this sort of thing and it shouldn’t be infringed upon lightly.  My morning ritual is often a delicately choreographed ballet of an up and down, dive bombing sticky fingered toddler and me strategically sacrificing certain cosmetics to the cause of keeping E occupied.  You will note the various items spread about the place in a household favourite – the cosmetics treasure hunt; the breastfeeding while attempting to make myself look half human; and the sacrificial ear buds and jewellery (as my Other Half says: ‘it’s a good thing I never buy you expensive things’) all over the floor while E tries to climb on me and I photograph it.

Somehow I get my shit together.  I manage two serums (one and two – alternating days), snail mucin essence (highly recommend, will discuss in another post) moisturiser, SPF beauty balm, foundation, highlighter (and because I am in denial that it’s still wintery, a bit of bronzer), blush, brow brushing and a bit of lipstick if E hasn’t grabbed it off the table and/or I’ve managed to wrestle it off of her.   There’s nothing I can do about my hair so I don’t try beyond curl specific shampoo/conditioner/cream once a week; it looks a bit crazy but that’s reflective of my life so I go with it.


Dressing deserves a category of its own.  When dressing it is important not to flash the boobs or I will be harangued into ‘feeding’ (quotation marks because E is not feeding in these circumstances, she is boob cuddling™) and it will take an extra twenty minutes to leave the house if we go through the motions.  Sometimes it’s lovely, most of the time we need to leave.  Instead E will ‘dress’ herself.  In my knickers.  But hey, it works.  If we’re in a rush to leave it looks like a frilly knickers thief has burgled us (so, always) but at least I got dressed and my coat is the right side in (true story – one day it wasn’t.  all. day.)


I often exercise at home in a bid to save a bit of money and just get it done with as little faff as possible to keep myself ticking over until I get a few hours to myself on a Saturday to go to a class.  However, this often means that I will be holding E for most of it.  She could be happily playing but as soon as I start doing squats she’ll be absolutely desperate to be picked up.  Often I relent – I look at it as an added challenge to have an unstable 10kg weight while working out.  Push-ups and donkey kicks are made doubly challenging as she climbs onto my back and bounces around.  Seriously though.  It takes a lot of core stability and correct alignment to do exercise while holding your kid!  This one maybe you should try. 

Preparing any food (in this case grinding my coffee for breakfast)

Sometimes, no matter how ridiculous the circumstance, E needs to be held.  I think she’s just nosy.  The morning I took this photo was no different.  I was grinding coffee beans (manual grinder – I’m cheap) and had to hold her at the same time. There is no silver lining benefit to doing any sort of food prep with a nosy toddler hanging off of you.  It is hard.  It sucks.  It often results in E lying on the kitchen floor whining while I chop sweet potatoes and half laugh at her/half reassure her. 

We all have our limits though.  I am sure more than one of you are appalled at this list.  Does it mean you’re a Bad Mum if you do as I do and shrug your shoulders at the ear buds and underwear scattered around your room?  Am I lazy? Too lax?  I try to think of it more as a philosophy: in child rearing as in life, I pick my battles.  My friends always describe me as very tolerant and relaxed.  I don’t know if that’s accurate – I think it’s more that I feel it’s important to look at the big picture.  To end on a trite note: don’t sweat the small stuff, you can always pick those ear buds up.  


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