Mummy on the Edge
Families NW Mag
Angelina Melwani on career changes, work/ belly balance and a plan for her dotage.
In my previous life I worked in Marketing for Clarins. This was ideal for me because I really knew it was the best plant-based skincare on the market. I was very good at my job which consisted of copywriting (thinking up lesser-used synonyms for “radiant” and “flawless”); planning and buying national advertising (negotiating impossibly fantastic deals with magazines); print buying and proof-reading (I once pulped thousands of promotional invitations that I had signed off which stated “Receive a free lipstick lipstick…” whoops); ordering staff uniforms (producing a complex algorithm predicting backside-growth trends); overseeing the customer loyalty scheme (never once plugging my friends’ names and addresses into the database so that they received free products directly to their home) and other Really Important Stuff.
I gave up my job (causing much wailing from my sisters and mother) after I had Midi-Me because at that time there was no obligation on employers to provide a part-time work option. I freelanced for a bit and then decided to start teaching Sing and Sign because the video (TAPE back then!) had worked so well for us and I knew it would work for others. (See, there is a theme here: Successfully doing things that I believe in - it's why I never lasted selling advertising for Rectum Radio.) After I left my job, there began an official period of mourning. Dark times, dear reader. My beauty routine changed from Clarins: Gentle Foaming Cleanser, Yellow Toner for Normal to Dry Skin, followed by Multi-Active Day Cream and Night Cream to Pampers: Baby Wipes.
Having enjoyed a dramatic career change myself, I always find it fascinating nosing into the careers of the many parents that come to my classes. Most recently, I have met Deepa who holds down a high powered job in finance, whilst launching bloomandbeyond.com, whose most interesting products to me are these “Shrinkx” belt-things that mould you back into shape post-partum, when your bones are still malleable, your back in need of strong support, and your muscles in need of squashing back together. I have heard of cultures in South East Asia and South America using ancient-style wraps successfully for the same purpose.
Twelve and a half years ago, I had an emergency C-section and after perusing the Bloom and Beyond website I discovered that the name for the physiological legacy I am left with is “The C-shelf”. It is surely too late for me to invest in the “Shrinx Belly” or the “C-Panty”, and to be honest I just tuck my C-shelf into my high-waisted Agent Provocateurs and forget about it. But I have a plan for my future which happily lets Midi-Me off the hook, too. Y'know how wig-makers buy hair from long-tressed Indian ladies? I'm going to sell my C-Shelf to Donatella and she will use it to make a handbag that she will gift to Angelina Jolie (she would totally carry it - vials of blood hanging around her neck and all that) for PR purposes.
Picture it: Angelina wearing Angelina. In exchange, (and in order to avoid a huge inheritance tax bill for Maxi-Me,) Donatella will give me something money cannot buy (unless you are a Kardashian or Real Housewife of Beverly Hills or similar): a lifelong place in the world's first Versace Care Home (Weekly complimentary Rhassoul Mud treatments to combat saggy skin; A coupé of franciacorta with your nightly Xanax; Adonis-like men serving Locatelli on Wheels; Swarovski-encrusted zimmer frame; gold logo-embossed loo-roll...) In 50 years, the popular sibilant tongue twister will thus become “She sells C-shelf on the C saw”
In the meantime though, I must take better care of myself. My beauty routine no longer includes baby wipes. And this week, while Midi-Me is off with her year group to Bude in Cornwall for a week (abseling, high-roping, swimming in a freezing sea pool, unable to contact me), will I be pining for her and wondering if she's alright? Erm... Yeah... A bit. But mostly I will be rocking with delight as I check in for an achingly glorious Special Offer Two (-TWO!) Night Taster Break, at Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa, pinnacle of spa experience in the UK. A place I oft wrote about but never stayed at, in my Neolithic, pre-C-shelf period.
More from the edge of Ragdale Hall coming soon at mynotesfromtheedge.blogspot.com. Twitter @appleina
Angelina runs Sing and Sign award-winning baby signing classes in Harrow, Bushey and Rickmansworth. www.singandsign.com.