Why Do Women Play The Jealousy Card?

1105

I was recently out with friends, having dinner, and while the conversation was travelling at a hundred miles an hour, darting from one topic to another, as it does when you’re one bottle of wine down with another on its way, it eventually turned to my friend’s work colleague.

“I don’t think she likes me,” said my friend.

“Why?” I asked.

“She’s always just a bit funny with me, and she never backs me up if my boss is giving me a hard time,” said my friend. “It’s like she wants me to do badly, so that she looks better.”

“She’s probably just jealous,” said our other friend. “After all, that big project you’re all working on was your idea. And you’re more senior than her. She probably hates that.”

It made me think. I hear women saying this kind of thing a lot. That another woman must be jealous of you. It’s usually said in a supportive way, when you’re feeling down and a friend wants to lift your spirits. But are we, as a result, selling ourselves short?

There’s a chance my friend’s colleague is jealous of her. Of course there is. It’s not uncommon within the workplace for envy to rear its ugly green head, and some might argue that in small doses, it can spur you on to achieve more. But there could be a bazillion (totally is a real number) other reasons too. Why do we assume jealousy is part of it?

It’s almost like we’re so keen to elevate our friend and squash the person they’ve disagreed with, we’ll say anything. But it is possible for women to just think differently about something. Envy might not play a part in it.

It’s so rare to ever hear men talk like this. Men can often have a disagreement about something and see it for what it is. Two people not seeing eye to eye. Why do women often attach an emotion to the situation?

And while I don’t think that emotion is always a bad thing (I think a good cry in the loos at work can often be the best way to deal with something, or someone, awful) it’s good to see something for what it is, and not belittle it by dismissing it as jealousy.

I’m sure that there are women who say it about me too. Last year, I had a disagreement with someone and I’m fairly sure her friends will have told her that I was jealous of her, and that I was trying to knock her down a peg or two. But I wasn’t. We just see the world very differently. And I think that’s OK – we can’t all see eye to eye, all the time. Providing we can disagree in a mature, balanced way, it’s no bad thing. Having someone challenge how we see the world is good for us all.

So whether we’re in the office or at the school gate, in the pub or chatting online, is this show of support we offer friends actually achieving the opposite? Are we contributing to the stereotype that women are over-emotional and bitchy? What do you think about this?

Image: DTTSP

Have You Heard Of The Kid Who?

DSC_0515

No, it’s not the start of a riddle, but The Kid Who is a fab independent online shop which sells all manner of amazing things. It’s the kind of site that I discover on Instagram and then lose a whole evening to browsing their store, dreaming of which things I could buy.

I’m thrilled to be working with them, over the next few months, picking out my favourite things and telling you about them. (Sidenote: Sometimes I think this whole blogging thing is too good to be true. I mean, how awesome to be allowed to select gorgeous things from a gorgeous site and then write about them?)

So what did I choose to show you…?

Well, before we get to that bit, let’s just pause for a moment and appreciate the cuteness that is the packaging that The Kid Who products arrive in…

DSC_0509

How cool? Striped paper bags, tissue paper and string, lovely little stickers that have nice messages. It almost seemed a shame to open them. But I did, and inside there was…

An OMM Design Mix and Match game – this Swedish designed game looks like it’s straight out of the 1970s and reminds me of the kind of game I played as a child. You place all the cards face down, scattered on the table and each player takes turns to select a card until you manage to create three whole people. The four-year-old has loved playing this, and has also made up at least two variations on the rules too.

DSC_0522

DSC_0540

Melvin the Luckiest Monkey In The World by Claudia Bolt – they have a fab selection of books on The Kid Who, and something drew me to this one. It’s got great illustrations and tells a lovely tale that teaches children about looking on the bright side of life. This has already become a regular in our bedtime story telling sessions.

melvin-book

DSC_0517

These OMM Design Studio Matryoshka Nesting Animals – designed by Ingela Arrhenius and part of the Studio Matryoshka collection from OMM Design, these nesting animals are sweeter than sweet. Piggy goes inside Monkey, Monkey goes inside Sea Lion, Sea Lion goes inside Polar Bear, Polar Bear goes inside Fox, and Fox goes inside Owl. Made from plastic, they’re small (Owl is 12cm tall) and tough so little kids can play without any worry of breaking them.

studio-matryoshka-animals

A Design Letters melamine cup and a You’re So Cool letterpress greetings card – I’ve loved the Design Letters range for ages and couldn’t decide whether to get myself an A cup or get some for the four-year-old’s crayons to be stored in. I might still get her some (perhaps spelling out the word C O L O U R) but I treated myself to an A cup, this time. I also picked up a letterpress greetings card which I might send to a friend, or just frame and pop up near my desk, to remind myself how awesome I am!

a-cup

So what do you think of my picks? And what are you doing, still reading this blog post, when you could be over on The Kid Who, shopping?!

• Big thanks to The Kid Who for asking me to work with them and for allowing me to select these fab products in exchange for this post!

 

Because I’m Happy #4

My series of posts on things that make me happy continues with this super summery post (as I type, it’s tipping it down with rain and I’m actually contemplating putting a blanket around my shoulders, like an actual nan). The last few weeks have been a whirl of family fun – we’re trying to make the most of the time we have before the four-year-old goes to school in September. The brilliant thing about working freelance is that I can down tools and head off for a day of fun with the family, and then catch up on work in the evening. It’s great! Here’s what we’ve been up to…

em2

Going up in the sky on the Emirates Air Line – Last week we were invited on the cable cars at North Greenwich. They’ve been there a while and it’s been on our to do list for ages. It was so much fun! We parked at the O2 (check there isn’t a huge event on before you go, as parking can be tricky on those days) and hopped on for the 20 minute round trip. You can get off at the other side of the Thames, and there are some restaurants and bars, and even a little beach there. But we stayed on, partly because we were really hungry and once we got off, the plan was to head to the Byron in the O2 for lunch! If you’ve already been on the Emirates Air Line, there’s a competition running at the moment to win a pair of Canon Powershot N2 cameras and four return tickets on the Emirates Air Line cable car – just email them a pic you’ve taken in the air. I’ve entered with the above snap of the four-year-old.

emirates1

A cinema trip – we went as a family to see Inside Out. Have you seen it yet? If not, go! It’s SO GOOD. I have to admit, having watched the trailer, I was bit ‘meh’ about seeing it, but Mr P was keen. Before we left for the cinema, the four-year-old had a little strop and told us she wanted to stay at home to play instead. We pretty much forced her out the door, with her saying “I’m going to close my eyes and put my hands over my ears, in the cinema!” (Don’t you love the drama of a four-year-old!) Fast forward to an hour or so later, and she was absolutely transfixed by the film.

It was a screening put on by Subway, so beforehand, there was facepainting and sandwiches in the cinema foyer. As soon as we arrived, the four-year-old was suddenly into the spirit of the event, getting the character Joy painted on her arm and asking the balloon modelling man for a Joy balloon. But even still, we didn’t realise how much she would LOVE the film. In fact, we all did. It’s a beautiful story and like all Pixar movies, told so well. The short before the main film – Lava – is fab too.

H&M-kidswear

H&M kidswear cuteness – we picked up this gorgeous outfit for the four-year-old in H&M Brent Cross. Watermelon shorts! We literally had to peel these shorts off her after around three days of continuous wear, so we could wash them. We went to Brent Cross for a blogger event which was so much fun. The four-year-old met actual Peppa Pig and after a bit of shopping (thanks Brent Cross for the voucher!) we went to John Lewis for lunch and a chat with other bloggers (hi Tinuke from Circus Mum and Anna from In The Playroom!) While we chatted, the four-year-old was kept busy with a bumper pack of puzzles and colouring goodies from John Lewis. The perfect day out for everyone, no!?…

Read More »

Goodbye Party Bags, You’re No Friend Of Mine

rainbow-birthday-cake

Parties are one of my four-year-old’s FAVOURITE things. Getting dressed up (or you know, choosing which Disney costume to wear), writing the birthday card, wrapping the present, running around with friends, eating cake, playing games, bringing home a bag of plastic tat…

Oh.

Yes.

The bag of plastic tat. This is where my daughter and I have differing opinions. She loves a party bag. I hate them. Does that make me a massive killjoy?

But seriously, 99% of party bags are filled with toys that give five minutes of fun and then get dumped in a drawer and forgotten about, perhaps blowing bubbles which get spilled all over a party frock or the kitchen floor, and often a variety of sugary sweets from Haribo to popping candy.

I have no real issue with the sweets – aside from the fact that after a birthday party, the last thing any kid usually needs is more sugar. It’s the plastic. The tat! My house is drowning in tat. We have clever IKEA drawers which we bought to store toys, but they’re just filled with party bag contents. Played with for five minutes, forgotten about for five months.

I know what you’re thinking. I just need to get a black bin bag and do a clear out, while the four-year-old isn’t around.

But did I mention I’m also a hoarder?

I have a real issue throwing stuff away. My thought process goes something like this: “Right, I’m doing a clear out. Everything that hasn’t been played with in six months is OUT. Here goes. Oh, but what if this is the one toy she really wants to play with, this weekend? And she asks for it. And I have to admit I’ve chucked it. Maybe I could lie and say I don’t know where it is. Oh, maybe I’ll just leave all this stuff for her to play with. The minimal look in homes is so overrated.”

I think what upsets me the most about party bags is knowing how much money and effort goes into them. The four-year-old is soon to become the five-year-old and I’m in the throes of planning her party. The church hall is booked, the paper plates are on order and I’m trying to decide whether to bother doing cheese sarnies or just go for Nutella to ensure all kids actually eat one.

Then I get to the party bag organisation. Plastic tat ain’t cheap, you know. Even shopping wisely and going to Tesco or Wilko’s means spending 25p per piece of plastic tat. Times that by five, add in the cost of the party bag itself, buy enough for 30 kids and you’re already £40 down. £40 on tat that will probably get chucked as soon as the child gets home.

So I’m stopping the madness.

This is where it ends.

I’ve decided that each child that comes to this party will leave with a slice of cake and a book. A book bought in a ten for £9.99 deal from The Book People. Yes, there’s a risk I might give a child a book they already own, but as a parent would you rather be given a book you already have (options: keep one at the grandparents’ house, or regift it) or be given a bag of plastic tat?

Am I a huge killjoy who misses the point of party bags or the instigator of a revolution that will sweep the nation? Vote now.

Image: Shutterstock

Planning My Dream Kitchen

main

I seem to have a never-ending list of things I want to tackle in my house – from repainting the living room and putting up pictures we’ve bought to clearing out the loft and re-organising wardrobes and doing a charity shop clear out. One room we’re pretty happy with is the kitchen – it’s large and bright, and opens out onto our (admittedly postage stamp sized) garden.

Our current kitchen is definitely the hub of our home – we spend the majority of our time there, eating, chatting, drinking tea. Even though I have a desk, I usually work in the kitchen. In the summer, I have the patio doors flung open and the radio on, tapping away at my laptop with a cuppa by my side. It’s at the heart of our little family – the four year old’s best paintings are up on the wall and we have framed family photos up there too.

But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming about my ideal kitchen, of course, which would be bright, airy, white with pops of colour and detail. In fact, I think it’s all about the detail when you’re planning a new kitchen – buying those accessories that will add some personality to the room. Popping up some shelving and choosing carefully what to put on them.

I love mid-century decor, so my dream kitchen would have plenty of 1950s shapes, vintage touches but also sleek and colourful. If we were to redesign the whole room and if money was no object, or if we decided to get a personal loan to cover it,  I’d go for a Smeg fridge freezer – they come in so many gorgeous colours and instantly add the wow-factor to a kitchen. Wooden or metal dining furniture would be softened with bright patterned cushions and there would be lots of plants on shelves and perhaps even a terrarium or two. Side note: there is no way I’d be able to make a terrarium looks as pretty as the one below, and I’d invariably kill everything off in a couple of months.

my-dream-kitchen

What do you think? And what does your dream kitchen look like? Please tell me I’m not the only one who fantasises about this kind of thing!

Thanks to TSB for commissioning this post – for details of how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page. Kitchen image: Shutterstock.