Figuring out the Me Week

My husband (aka Twomimidad i.e. TMD) and me have made an arrangement that we both are allowed one week of “solo holidaying” when Mimi #1 was born. Actually, we already had this agreement before the Mimis, but, as with so many of our old habits, we had to re-evaluate that rule as well and came to the conclusion that we wanted to keep that custom.

In the pre-Mimi-era this usually meant that he went flying his models (no, he’s not throwing Heidi Klum off a cliff, I’m talking about radio controlled gliders (Segelflugzeuge to my German speaking friends))  somewhere in Europe for a week, usually combined with a competition, and I went to the mountains. I had been going to the mountains a lot when I still was at Uni, before I met my TMD, and I was resolved to keep that up since the mountains have always been my kind of sanctuary.


PizPalü2 (2)

I was up there, right in the middle, a loong time ago. Thought still makes me smile.


Pre-Mimi vs. Post-Mimi-Me

However, when the Mimis were here, it was a different story. I’m not going to give a speech on how much children change your life, let’s just say they do. And a lot of what formerly was a big part of your life will just take a backseat. You can probably have a say in the prioritising but a lot of your old habits just have to give. Full stop.  Also, I’m not going to pretend that I was really fit before I got pregnant the first time but I was still fit enough to get prepared for the mountains in 2-3 months leading up to “my” week.

The four burners model

Now, at the moment, this is not the case. If you’re following me on Facebook you probably have read about the 4 burners theory, and how I was sharing that “health” (i.e. fitness) is currently the burner just barely burning at all. Which is partly due to the busy life and my own priorities where I usually chose to be with the kids or have lunch with my workmates above going for a run or a swim (i.e. I chose “friends” and “Family” above “health”). Now you could blame me for that, and believe me, sometimes I do myself, but in the end I decide to prioritise what makes me happiest. Though, probably, a bit more of the “health” bit wouldn’t hurt in all honesty. It partly is also due to the fact that I am a lazy person. Really lazy. I’m talking proper couch potatoe here. So I’m just going to say that my participation in the Gigathlon this year will be a bit of a stretch (just the Swimming!!!)

Spoilt for choice, really

So this year, for the first time in basically 4+ years when I’m not pregnant or have a small baby, I’m going to get have my “me-week” back. TMD already took his by going to the Lofotes (Norway) in June to -yes you guessed that right- do some flying with his friends. So in the months and weeks leading up to now I had thought that what I craved for would be a Yoga retreat somewhere at the beach in the mediterranean (I do Yoga once a week regularly, the only thing I’ve managed to keep up through everything and which has truly saved my sanity and my back with the lugging around of the children).



The one thing I do know is that These Three will be absolutely fine without me for a week!


I always end up at the same place – so there’s probably a reason behind?

As you have probably gathered from my Instagram feed (that’s by the way the best way to keep up if your so inclined, since I blog very irregularly) we have been to the Engadin in June. And also I have been to Wengen (Berner Oberland) with work last week. And I suddenly realised that the mountains are calling me again. I hadn’t heard them for a while since I was probably so busy with the babies. Also, since I was probably giving myself so little space for “me” when I actually was there in the mountains. Because that’s just what happens when you have babies, your “me” suddenly shrinks into a very small space inside of you. Best you can do is to make sure to check on it from time to time so as to not let it die because, the older the children get, the more space you will get again for your “me”. Just in the way that I mostly can now take a shower when both Mimis are awake without having to hop out dripping with shampooed hair (though I did that just last Wednesday, so I’m not completely there yet!). Or in the way that, slowly, you feel less bad leaving your husband or your Mom alone with the kids for a longer period of time. Such is the blessing of the babies becoming children. Now, I know the Mimis will need me, a lot, for a very long time still. But the immediacy, the urgency with which you ALWAYS have to be right next to them slowly evolves into something a bit more relaxed. And thank God for that since I wouldn’t be able to keep up that level of service forever!!!

Beach vs. Mountains

So while researching on Yoga retreats at a beach, I realised that what has been always my personal kind of meditation are the mountains. The days of walking. The listening to the trickle of glaciers and how they grow quiet in the night when everything freezes again. Walking off when it’s still dark and seeing the sun come up on the mountain tops.



Feels like flying, doesn’t it? (View from Piz Languard)


I’d like a five star Hotel up the mountain please. Oh, and I’d like to be the only guest too…

So there will be some mountains in my “me-week” this year. Though to what extent I am not entirely sure yet for various reasons. First, my un-fitness which will make more demanding routes unpleasurable. Second, my resolve to not stress myself out during that week. And with that the wish to get a nice, comfy bed without people snoring next to me such as is the case in mountain lodges (SAC Hütten). Third, my feeling that I just don’t want to talk to a lot of people during some days which sort of excludes going on a tour as I used to, with a bunch of strangers and a mountain guide. I have to talk so much EVERY day at the moment that not having to talk is what I’m aiming for.

Talking about being spoilt for choice

So we will see where this leads me to. I believe it will be a combination of long-ish hikes to a lodge followed by some nights in a nice Hotel with a good SPA, great views and a comfy room where I can read a book in peace or just stare out of the window. Or write a random blogpost about life (and not about kids). I have no idea how that turns out. I have no idea if I still have the ability to just be by myself for days on end (something which I used to love and celebrate). All I know is that I feel I’m on the way to rediscovering a piece of me which I thought I had lost, and that alone is worth taking that leap of faith. And I know I am so lucky to be able to have a whole week to myself to just do as I please. That’s, in itself, the biggest blessing of all.

The Gift of the Now

I have one day per week which is “Mama-Tag” where I don’t work. Well I do “work” but not in the office obviously. I mean, anybody who tells me I was taking my day “off” when I’m with the Mimis is met with my incredulous stare.

But I’m getting distracted here, so the point I’m trying to make is that on this particular day of the week, I hardly even look at my mobile phone. Or think about my life. Or think in general. Apart from when the Mimis are taking their nap (a fact for which I’m still very grateful). It is not hard at all to “not be online” on that day. It feels completely natural because I do not really get the chance to be off, in the sense of “not to be present”.

The Mimis, and kids in general just do not tolerate absent-mindedness. Of course with small kids everybody knows you cannot be too far away physically, but also they will not tolerate you being absent emotionally. They draw you to the present with so much power that you will not be able to withstand. You have to be THERE with everything you are, with your body, soul and spirit. And this is a gift.

Kids of course are the true masters of presence. A sort of your personal Obi Wan to teach you how to just “be”. If you watch kids playing (which I could do for hours), they can get completely absorbed in it. And very happily so. They are in a good place and they are just there with everything they are.



“If we’re IN the puddle it’s almost as if we ARE the puddle, right?”


I think that I am getting worse at focusing on one task for a longer period of time as I grow older (or just more tired?). Just because, at the office, there’s always new e-mails, chat requests or calls coming in, interrupting me. So I have grown unaccustomed to concentration for a lengthy period of time. And also, since my life is just so full of things to do I find it difficult to stop rattling down my “to-do-list” in my mind whenever there’s a chance.



If only I was this concentrated at work …


But on Mama-Day I usually do not have a chance to do any of these things. I have to be there with my whole being, because anything less will not be enough to the Mimis. (well, sometimes actually I should be there twice because they both want ALL of me and those are the moments when I usually just want to run and hide, but that’s another story). It draws your mind and your body together to this moment at hand and this makes you, for a short time, a whole and present person. And this to me is one of the greatest gifts and teachings of parenthood.

23 Levels to Insanity – Leaving the House with Two Toddlers

Plan vs. Reality

I originally planned this post with the title: the seven stages of insanity. Turns out, it takes 23 steps instead. Oops. I might still be dreaming of summer when all you needed to do to leave your house with kids is to put some shoes on them *sigh*.

This literally went down at ours last Sunday, when TMD and me decided that, in the effort of keeping our children healthy, we really needed to go outside, even though weather was miserable. Here I present you with “the 23 stages”:

  1. TMD and TMM (aka “the parents”) decide to leave the house right after lunch, so we can get some fresh air and daylight into the Mimis before they go for their nap. Nice plan, right? When this intention is shared with the Mimis, it is not met with undivided enthusiasm by Mimi #1. The words “stay inside” and “play” might have been uttered. They were ignored.
  2. “The parents” come to the conclusion that raingear is the appropriate thing to wear on that miserable day. Frantic search for the trousers ensues. We find 2 trousers in the size of Mimi #2 and none for Mimi #1. They must be at nursery. Damn. We source some extra insulated ones so TMD decides Mimi #1 does need to take off her leggings before putting them on. This is not met with enthusiasm either.
  3. In a concerted effort, we try to put shoes on their feet. Mimi #2 complies and sits down have her feet put into her shoes. Mimi #1 would (spot the conjunctive) be perfectly able to put the wellies on herself. She doesn’t though. Instead she decides to throw the very dirty wellies (which have been kept out there for a reason) from the staircase into our entrance. Our entrance looks like a freshly ploughed field.
  4. TMM hoovers the entrance with the handhoover since otherwise the mess would just spill into our lounge in no time. Especially as our “entrance” basically is slap bang in our living room.
  5. At the same time TMM (keyword “multitasking”) searches for scarves and hats and puts them over or on the Mimis heads. Since she didn’t pay attention (multitasking again..) Mimi #1s snot (she’s had a cold for four days now) ends up on the scarf. TMM decides to ignore that.
  6. The parents put jackets on the Mimis. And zip them up while walking behind them (a key skill in winter). Also “the parents” manage not to zip into the Mimis chins. Always a bonus.
  7. Mimi #2 grabs hold of her doll’s pram and insists on taking it with her. TMD ushers her out the door into the staircase (note: we have not yet left the house).
  8. Mimi #1 screams because the fit of her hat is not satisfactory due to her ponytail. TMD takes hairband out. Mimi #1 now can’t see much but seems happy.
  9. Mimi #1 decides she needs to take her balance bike along.
  10. Mimi #1 changes her mind and now wants to take her kickboard.
  11. See point 8.
  12. See point 9.
  13. TMD randomly puts on his jacket and shoes and walks out to open the house door. His shoes are even dirtier than Mimi #1’s wellies.
  14. TMM takes broom to quickly clean staircase. We have great neighbours and would like to keep it that way.
  15. TMM realises she needs to put on some clothes too. Takes out random, hopefully warm bits of clothing. Quickly thinks it would be great to wear her beautiful and comfortable Hunter wellies which are in the cellar. Too far away. Wears her 10 year old non-descript trekking shoes.


    Mimi #2 taking “the Phantom Baby” for a walk

  17. No, this is not over yet.
  18. The parents decide that since they would like to go for a walk further than 50 metres, they will take out the trailer too, just in case.
  19. They take the trailer out of the garage. The tires are flat.
  20. The Mimis decide they want neither doll’s pram nor kickboard.
  21. TMD tries to air the tires with “help” (see my post on when helping isn’t helping).


    A little help is guaranteed to slow things down make you happy, right?

  22. TMM stowes kickboard and pram away in the garage


    And why again did we have to take these out? Mimi #1’s standard answer to these questions is: because.

  23. We put the Mimis in the trailer and actually LEAVE.

BTW: Mimi #2 fell asleep about two minutes after we’d left the house which wasn’t according to our plan (see 1.). So we half-jogged around the block to put her in her bed in hopes of a naptime break for the parents. Needless to say she decided to sabotage this plan and after 1 hour of indoor playing, TMD left again with the kids for the playground. This was what it looked like when they came back. Pure, adorable evil, I tell you.


If they weren’t so damn adorable, it would really be exhausting. Oh wait, it actually is.

 I’m hoping we’re not the only ones failing miserably at the attempt to leave the house fully dressed in a coordinated manner?

Actually, if you want some sound advice, check out my friend Alexandras blog (she’s a mother of twins, so she’s playing in a different league althogether!).

Happy, sane week to all of you!

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The Sick-Child-Competence-Gap

Originally I wanted to write something at least partly intellectual and controversial on working Moms. However, I a.) somehow lacked inspiration and enthusiasm and b.) was sabotaged by TMD (my very own, sometimes more, sometimes less dear husband) who suggested a hot topic which we had the pleasure discussing last night at around 1 p.m.

Bed-time talk of the other kind

And that, to my childless readers, is a lot less exciting than it sounds. Since you will find out if you have children, bedtime is sometimes the only time you find yourself talking to your spouse about – wait for it- the children. There might have been other talk in the bedroom in a very distant past, but these times, my very dear friends have definitely gone. Gone for the next at least 15 years I am slowly realising. Because if you’re not talking, you’re sleeping. Full stop. After all, we’ve got two kids (yes, there’s a reason, why this blog is called TWOmimimom!)

So what was going down was the following: Mimi #1 has been hoarse since Sunday. And was coughing like an old mating walrus. Signs which could indicate that later that night you will be freezing your nose and other vital bodyparts off, whilst holding your wheezing, well wrapped child on your lap waiting for the night to be over (for those not familiar with the scenario: Pseudo-Croup, an inflammation in the throat which can cause breathing difficulties. Main thing is: keep calm and try to get the child breathe cold air. Outside or fridge will do. In most cases it starts around 11 p.m. and is over around 4 a.m.)

 One of the worst nights of my life

Last time this happened was a good year ago, when Mimi #2 was around 4 months old and TMD had buggered off – as always- to Wales for a spot of flying. This, so far has been the worst night since I had kids. Thank God I had a friend with her daughter staying over, and even though I didn’t wake her up, it still was a huge relief to know that if I had to rush to the hospital, she would be there to care for Mimi #2. I did not sleep that night. And the night after (I had asked my Mum round, as always). I slept on the carpet in the childrens room because I wanted to make sure Mimi #1 was ok. Fun fact of course: By Monday when TMD came back, Mimi #1 slept through again.

 That shared Mom-wisdom

The thing which saved me in that first night, is that when Mimi #1 was still very little, I had a befriended mother of three over who had told me about symptoms and what to do. And those of you who do not (yet) have kids and are reading this blog, you will now also know what to google for if this happens. Because you already read this with your minds and eyes open. And things like that just stick. WHEREAS, and here we come to the point, TMD up to last night, still had not bothered to read up on this. Even though Mimi #1 had had another bout of pseudo-croup last autumn when TMD was in fact around.

“We” as in “you”

So when he asked me yesterday at 1 p.m. “what do we (love the WE in this) do again if it IS pseudo croup”? I had a minor melt-down (not in the teary but more in the shouty way). Followed by me whining: “This is why I feel that I’m always the primary caretaker, the last in the lane, basically the plankton in the food chain”. Because in these moments it feels like after me there’s just nobody else to ask or make decisions.

Crawling back…

So even though I’ve been bragging in my last post, on sharing responsibilities, I have to admit that when it comes to sick children, that probably is just an illusion I gave myself. And that’s just how it is. Dads are incredibly competent when it comes to playing games. Being the fun entertainer, including, of course the classical winding up thing before bedtime.



Entertainment Departement clearly lies with TMD


It is about keeping up, Dads

Of course Dads can live up to that knowledge, but somehow mothers have a head-start even before the children are born and to complement that, Dads show serious lack of enthusiasm in doing so. We mostly learn from our friends, and Dads seem to not talk about sick children (come to that anyway, I still have no idea what men talk about because after a night out with his mates, TMD doesn’t even know if these mates have new girlfriends?!). Which does not mean that Dads cannot acquire these skills, but they have to do so actively. And so they should. Which is why, apparently, TMD has spent some of his workday researching on pseudo-croup. And had the nerve to brag about his newly acquired knowledge this evening.

Now question is, should I do some praising for this? Well yes, I probably should. In a very OMMM – Jesper Juul – encouraging- guiding- him- along- way. Not saying I did though.

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P.P.S: TMD, I hope you know that -notwithstanding The Gap- your the bestest Mimi-Dad ever. Seriously.


When helping isn’t helping

As a caveat: this post does not contain ANY meaning- or helpful parenting advice. Just an honest opinion. And a drinking confession.

The famous Swiss expert when it comes to raising kids is Remo Largo. For those of you who are Swiss and who have kids, I believe that 99.9% of you have purchased the book “Babyjahre” and yes, it is great and true and helpful in real life (something rarely true for any of the advisory books about parenting. Well, not as if I’d read many of these to be honest. We just make it up as we go along). One of my friends summed the book up as follows “he basically says everything is normal, since all kids are different. And that grass doesn’t grow faster when you pull at it”. All so true.

What he also says is that you don’t necessarily have to always “just” do childfriendly actvities. Rather involve the children in your daily chores and tasks around the houshold, as what they really crave is to do as the adults do, to imitate and be part of the things which happen.

For me this is great news in the sense that it is not deemed necessary that I enter the seven circles of hell every day (i.e. things such as daily visits to the playground, or, much worse, softplay areas.

What it means though is that you should involve kids in stuff like folding laundry, cleaning the flat, cooking, etc. Sounds great, right? Have you ever tried it? I would like to illustrate my point with the short video below.

No. It is NOT helping. It is actually just testing my patience. And that’s the harmless version of helping, as anybody with kids certainly has experienced. Folding laundry with a toddler? “HA” is all I say to that. It is more like a folding contest, where you have to prove your lightning-speed folding-technique whilst the toddler proves his equally fast unfolding-strategy. It is exhausting. And not beneficial to mother – child relationship if you’re asking me. At least if you don’t wont to fold that one basket of laundry for all eternity.

Cooking with kids is another great topic. We love doing that because it keeps them busy. HOWEVER, you must calculate on average 2 times as long for the cooking at at least 4 times as long for cleaning. Mimi #1 can be involved in baking stuff but will eventually end up covered in flour. Or dough. Most probably both. (I recall the Gnocchi making attempt last Sunday which is still vivid in my mind, Kudos to Twomimidad for going that extra mile). Mimi #2s arms are still too short to reach from the Triptrap (the #1 kid-seat in Switzerland) to the kitchen worktop. So she’s left to play with the cutlery drawer (most of the time we actually remember to remove the sharp kitchen knives, bonus points to us if we do) throwing all the cutlery one by one on the stone kitchen floor. Bonus points to the parent who manages not to step on a spoon and fall over!

I am certainly already looking forward to all the x-mas cookie making, will need some meditation before AND after the activity I believe. But all in all, I would rather clean my kitchen for an hour (or even two) than going to an indoor playing area on a rainy day. At least I can pour myself a proper drink whilst cleaning in peace, when the kids are in bed. And that -my friends- is always a killer-bonus!


The brave adult keeping the kids busy in a pedagogically meaningful activity was actually my Mom. Yep, she’s fearless! (and no, I have no clue on what amount of chocolate was consumed in the process)