Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Whitney was right, the children are our future.

Since mid January I’ve been attempting a weird hybrid of the Marie Kondo ‘Life changing magic of tidying’ and The amazing Organised Mumcleaning method and; spoiler alert- it actually is life changing. I have cut the criminal amount of crap in our playroom to a manageable level. We have reduced our rainforest of paperwork to a few files which is a massive relief. Mr L and I spent part of Valentine’s day at the tip – true story and, I am on first name terms with the ladies at the charity shop. I have sold lots of toys, games and clothes that the girls have grown out of and the money has gone to my marathon charity- Wellchild.

Having a cleaner, tidier, emptier house feels nice. Knowing where to find things saves me time and stress and I am a less shouty mummy which we are all happy about.

Considering which items “spark joy” has led to a serious reduction in both random clutter and kids crafting efforts but it has also made me acutely aware of the sheer volume of waste packaging which exists and, if our home is anything to go by, the insane amount of plastic and paper we use and discard on a daily basis.

People do seem to be thinking more about waste, recycling and climate change but, ironically, the pace of change is glacial and the people making the biggest noise are the kids which fills me with equal levels of hope and shame.

Our throw away generation with our demand for cheap products, disposable fashion and convenience are responsible for the global crisis we now find ourselves in. Governments have ignored the issues and it is only now, now children are literally taking to the streets to protest that we are beginning to take notice. Greta Thunberg, the 16yr old Swedish girl who speaks so passionately about the crisis and has been protesting each Friday since last August, has brought a new awareness and urgency to the situation. Her parents must be so proud. So often it is left to children to show adults how to behave, the art of what is possible and the power of words; Malala Yousafzai is another incredible example that springs to mind.

If we all commit to making some small changes the effect will be more than the sum of its parts but, we are way beyond small changes now. We need BIG changes. We need BIG companies to evaluate what they can do reduce their waste, their carbon emissions and we need to all recognise that our obsession with stuff has to stop.

We need to buy less, drive less and use less.

Companies like Jo Malone need to consider their recycling policies- offering a refill service or allowing customers to return empties doesn’t devalue a brand. It means you value your clients and recognise your corporate social responsibilities. Last week, fed up of waiting for a change in policy I took my candle jars, room diffusers, soap dispensers and boxes to the tip for recycling. 😞 it’s better than landfill but recycling still takes energy and creates waste. Reusing is better, refilling stations would be better. Waste Not Want Not in Birkenhead Market can do it. You need to step up. We all do.

As ever, Matt Haig is able to articulate this brilliantly:

I know that’s uncomfortable. I know it’s not what people want to hear and I appreciate that it requires us to make changes and it is a pain in the ass. It requires less time and less planning to jump in the car for a 2 minute trip as opposed to a 10 minute scoot but, needs must. Our children need us to step up, to pay attention to their protest and to make changes. Plus; there are so many positives that come out of doing things more slowly- we talk more, notice more and engage more.

What changes are you making in your home to make a positive difference to the planet? We’d love your top tips.

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A sort of Poem for my sister (who is 40!)

Soraya, Soraya Soru.

I have written a poem for you*

When someone has been in your life for the whole of your life, it is difficult to effectively articulate just how much they are a part of you. How deeply entrenched they are in your path to this point. It isn’t a given that just because you have a sister you’ll like each other and you’ll grow up to like each other more. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be lucky enough to find yourself a friend for life but, for me at least, this is absolutely the case.

This poem doesn’t all rhyme.

I’m not even sure if it is a poem in the truest sense of the word but anyway, here it is, as per request. It is a love letter to you, my darling sister who has my back, always.

I hope you know that I’ll always have yours.


40 years ago today you popped out mums sunroof to say ‘G’day!

Into the warm Australian sun you opened your eyes to a life time of fun.

Daddy held you in the palm of his hand

(and realised then you’d never be naturally tanned)

Mum was bowled over by her bundle of joy

(She still is today- though you sometimes annoy!)

From a geeky girl too shy to speak,

Whose 3 times tables made her weep.

Who played a Gnat in the school play

And didn’t ever get her way.

Who ripped a hymn book and did a wee,

Who had blue glasses so she could see.

To the wonderful woman you are today,

Wow, what a journey, what can I say?

(and here is where we move into the non rhyming bit)…

You are the fabric of my childhood.

All of my happiest memories have you in them and I am proud to call you my sister. You should be proud of the person you are too;


As beautiful inside as you are out you keep many independents afloat simply by being so willing to get your brows and lashes and bikini line done. A true heroine of small business!

Seriously though; I don’t know anyone that has a bad word to say about you. You are kind, caring, compassionate and a true forever friend to so many.

The fierce love you have for your family is obvious and Peter, Amy, Alf, All of us- are lucky to have you.

family photo yellow dresses

What I am trying to say Soraya is; (and apologies again about the lack of rhyming)

You are the best sister I could ever have hoped for. Every single little quirk which makes you you, makes me smile…. and occasionally roll my eyes! Hanging out with you makes me happy (usually). You make me more sparkly and silly and who doesn’t need more of that in their life?

For those that don’t know you know you (if you know what I mean), it would be easy to focus on the fizz, the frocks, the fascinators and the fabulous array of shoes (and they really are fabulous!)

Soray and PV Tux

soray wedding fagan

But this is really just the handbag stuff.

Sure; you might have more social engagements than Meghan Markle (12 weddings in 12 months is a particular high!) Your God Child count is higher than the birth rate of some small countries but; that is simply because you mean so much to so many people. They know they can trust you and that you will be cheering them on. You are the person people trust with their deepest fears, their scary secrets and their amazing achievements. That’s not a privilege afforded to everyone.

I adore the zest for life you have.

You welcome people into your life with open arms and an open mind. You forgive people with an open heart and you are always ready for fun.

xmas pudding soray

You don’t get to 40 without facing some adversity and life hasn’t all been plane sailing has it?

Whose is?

You love people, you lose people and we all have to learn to adapt to the holes that they leave behind but adapting isn’t forgetting. You have a little piece of every special someone you’ve ever loved locked inside your head and heart- they’ve all had a part to play in the person you are here in this moment and for every moment going forwards.

daddy and grandma


I am so happy that you have your family unit and that me and my family are able to be such a close part of it.


cheseter zoo all kids m and v

I am so glad that you are always up for an adventure and don’t take life too seriously; I can not imagine a day when you’ll be too old for a day at a fair or a dip in the sea and I hope I can always be there grabbing a selfie with you.

sis selfie 2

mum, me and soray sunnies on.jpg



Happy Birthday Soray. Here’s to many more.


 *sort of…your name isn’t great for rhyming to be honest!


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