‘‘Get your big girl pants on, we’re going for a ride!” proclaims Emma Skeates, authour of Confessions of the Menopausal Mayhem Mother, a book that is drenched in honesty, joy and sometimes desperation, but always delivered with Emma’s hilarious take on life as a woman (*coughs) at a certain age…A must read for everyone and I mean everyone… especially men!
Here is the story of a girl (that would be me) who had a plan. A life plan. Like all good, normal plans, mine went horribly wrong so, rather than trying to compete with the perfect people in the world, I decided to write about my daily disasters and cataclysmic catastrophes and make the rest of the menopausal world feel a bit more normal.
I hope you enjoy every moment of my excruciating embarrassment and endless “where’s the evaporation button” moments. Here is an idea of what you are in for…
Today I WILL be a fabulous mother and I WILL be happy and fulfilled and NOT feel like a total failure at every aspect of my life. Thank the Lord I did all the shopping yesterday… except for the milk. No milk. Ok, panic not, no need to hit that wretched supermarket again, we have a wonderful garage on the other side of town where no-one knows me and they sell milk.
CBeebies was swiftly switched off, kids bundled into the car and off we headed. This is going well, no tantrums, no crying, I look at the passenger seat and I’ve even remembered my handbag, this is fabulous. My headache isn’t even too bad. Things were finally looking up and I was NOT in fact the walking disaster that I had now had tattooed across my forehead. I was smiling, oh my god, I was actually smiling. The sun was out and everything was going to be ok.
Life was like that, small things can make you feel wonderful and even smaller misfortunes can send you into the depths of despair. It’s the price you pay for living one day at a time, refusing to look at the big picture and what the future holds.
Run into the shop, purchase the milk, with YES YES YES, my wallet! I remembered my wallet. This was all too much. Upon exiting the forecourt shop, I jumped into the car and instantly felt there was something slightly amiss. Ah, I knew it, this was too good to be true A timid, lady’s voice said:
There it was. Reality. This picture wasn’t right. But for some reason my instant reaction was to sit quietly behind the wheel of the car and take stock slowly and breathe. After what felt like hours, which of course had only been seconds, I looked to my left and there sat a very smart, really smiley lady with a distinct look of… hmmm, what was it… yes, indeed it was, pity in her eyes. I replied very quietly- “Hi. I’m in the wrong car aren’t I?” I felt my breath quicken with that awful falling feeling of, no, not again. Very, very slowly, in order not to raise too much alarm, I looked to the car to my left which contained my two little girls staring at me from their car seats. Funnily enough, they didn’t look scared, or in any way surprised (they had learned from an extremely young age, that their mother wasn’t quite, how shall I say, normal and that their upbringing would in fact involve many more of these awkward situations).
“Please tell me it is at least a similar model and colour to my car?”
“Take a look love, oh and don’t mind the husband, he laughs at everything.”
I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t in more of a panic. I was a stranger, I had entered her vehicle, got into the driver’s seat. I could have been a violent hijacker, so why was she so calm and yes, there it was – she was actually amused.
I very gingerly got out of the car and stood back to see that I had in fact got into a top of the range, black Mercedes estate, which was neatly parked next to my bashed up bright blue Astra. I was still wearing my pyjamas and my dressing gown. Her husband was at this point on his haunches having some kind of ‘episode’. Ok, he was helpless with laughter which made the whole incident even more excruciating. I thought things couldn’t get any worse until I spotted all the Shell staff had witnessed the whole event and were also enjoying my embarrassment to the full.
Never has a drive off a forecourt been so painful. I have done the walk of shame more than once where I have accidently put diesel in a petrol engine and had to wait for the AA etc, that had nothing on this. I had wanted a discreet little half litre of milk, no-one would notice the PJ’s, it was almost dark. The worst part? They were Hello Kitty pyjamas… I was 38 years old.
Being menopausal does NOT mean our lives have to stop. These are NOT the twilight years, they are the HARVEST of our lives. We worked blooming hard to get here, it’s OUR time now and we need to enjoy every moment. We live longer post menopausally these days than pre so let’s make hay whilst our sun shines and have the time of our lives!
Confessions Of The Menopausal Mayhem Mother by Emma Skeates available from Amazon £9.99