Working Mum: Being a parent IS being middle-aged
By Tabitha Ronson
As I ticked them off one by one, I groaned at the emerging picture of myself.
Yes, I enjoy an afternoon nap. Yes, I choose comfort over style. Yes, I am a member of the National Trust. Yes, I prefer a cosy night in to a night on the tiles. And, yes, I have been known to make up a flask of tea for a day trip.
According to a recent survey, commissioned by healthcare provider Benenden Health, it's official: I am Middle Aged.
Although I am a fair way off hitting 53 - the age at which, according to the survey of 2,000 adults, we now consider the start of middle age - the tell-tale signs are there.
I looked down at the Magic Puzzles app I'd been absorbed in for the past hour, a tricky 550-piece picture of a jaunty piano-playing cat. Surely not?
The more I read of the survey and the signs of middle age, however, the more I thought it could apply to the vast majority of my friends, most of whom are working parents.
Afternoon naps. Yes, I crave them but with only the weekend on which to grab one and demands of the mini-mes social calendars to facilitate, they are as rare as painite.
Comfort over style. Sprinting here and there, from the school run to the daily commute and then back again, in times that could rival Usain Bolt, the order of the day is more pumps and scrunchie than vertiginous heels and a sleek up do.
Membership to the National Trust. Forget history and culture, the Trust's properties provide the perfect settings to let the kids run wild, burn off that never-ending supply of energy.
Night in or out? It's a no brainer. By 9pm, most of the working parents I know have either nodded off on the sofa in front of the TV, oblivious to the pool of drool dripping from their mouth, or are battling with the Mount Everest sized mountain of washing and ironing.
Day trip flask of tea and other comestibles. An antidote to that "are we nearly there yet?" whining.
It's official: parenting brings on middle age.
Working Mum, turning back to my Magic Puzzles app for solace.