At Home Column - Happy Birthday to Me!

Apparently I look like a monkey and I smell like one too! This is what my kids told me as they sang out on my birthday morning! Then, as is the tradition in our house, we all climbed into my bed and I opened my cards and presents. I love this- it’s a great excuse for another cuddle with the kids.

My parents call me at about 8am to sing ‘Happy Birthday’, and this is as far as I got with replaying family traditions, because what happened next has not happened before. Mum was talking about us going round for a birthday tea, then she said “Just think, 38 years ago today I was in the hospital having you!”

“Erm, Mum – I’m 37!”

“No you’re not! You’re 38 today!” I couldn’t believe she was even arguing with me about it. But she insisted I was 38, because she said she was 62.

“Mum, you’re adding another year to my age! Don’t wish my life away!” I know after you turn 30 that it’s easy to have to think for a minute when someone asks your age. It doesn’t seem to matter as much after 30 than it did before then. I’ve had moments where I’ve had to really concentrate before answering as I couldn’t recall whether I was 35 or 36, but my own Mum has never got it wrong before!

She started working it out – determined to prove me wrong, but when she did the maths she realised that I was indeed 37. So then for some reason that I’ll never know, I got all indignant and said how I’d never forget MY daughter’s age! It’s like no matter how old and supposedly mature you get, you can still act like a brat with your parents. I’m sure when I’m 62 I’ll have times where I need my daughter’s young brain to refresh my memory, but I’m really hoping I won’t need help to remember those things that a mother doesn’t forget. Like your child’s date of birth or their weight when they were born.

Anyway mum redeemed herself. She offered to babysit that night so hubby and I could have a night out. Parents of young children will know, you don’t get many occasions to go out as a couple without the kids, so we made the most of it by doing a ‘double header’ at the cinema - two movies, back to back! The last time we did that was in 1994 at the Odeon on Kensington High Street when we saw Pulp Fiction and Leon before getting the number 52 bus home. This was before we got married, living in our one bedroom flat in London, with a carefree lifestyle – we didn’t need to plan our time, we could go out on a whim. This time life has certainly changed. The preparations were part of the daily juggle and involved putting kids into pyjamas before we left, furnishing them with a drink, favourite teddy bear, instructions to Grandma to put them to bed BEFORE she gets stuck in to Downton Abbey, a round of kisses, cuddles and “We’ll be back before you know it”. It took us 20 minutes to get out of the door, and ironically, do you know what films we saw?

The Change Up followed by ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’!

I write a fortnightly column for At Home - the Premier UK celebrity and lifestyle magazine, and this one appeared on their site a month ago. Do visit At Home and leave me a comment on the post there so they get to see your opinions too!
About the Author
Nadine Hill is a busy working mum (“Is there any other kind?!”) who has a fascination with time management which borders on the obsessive! She loves to find more effective ways of doing the daily juggle whilst enjoying the journey and has lots of practise through raising her two children, managing her small business, being a best-selling author, running her home, public speaking and finding time to get to the gym! Nadine’s ambition is to help busy mums claw back a bit of ‘me time’ so she shares her tips with at home in these fortnightly columns and her own life stories on her blog- Juggle Mum.
She also micro blogs on Twitter where she is @Businessmum. You can learn more about Nadine at

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