Hello! We are Mary and Lisa. We are – as our tagline says – mid-lifers and we’ve developed Not Those Mums as a way of waving a flag (often white in surrender) for those ‘memory challenged’ menopausal mums among us…
Friends since meeting at a London primary school aged nine, our love of reading followed us out of the school library (where we were appointed ‘book monitors’) and into the real world, where we both found jobs working on magazines. Starting out as secretaries, then editorial assistants, we eventually worked our way up to become writers/sub-editors on a host of popular women’s titles, even working on the same magazine at one point. It was everything we’d dreamed about doing way back in the classroom…maybe with a little less snickering behind our hands – but with just as much interest in playtime.
Once upon a time Mary worked in a bustling magazine office (now turned into luxury Southbank flats). She flitted from women’s mags to glossy interiors tomes and ‘yoof’ titles – her favourite was Mizz magazine in the Nineties, where she got to flex her fiction muscle writing short stories (usually involving ghosts, in homage to her beloved Misty mag in the Seventies). But she wasn’t a corporate sort, who wanted to smash the glass ceiling – wasn’t that type of gal, see, never really interested in being the boss. So when kids came along she jogged on for a bit but then felt guilty leaving them; equally guilty fleeing the office at 5 to go pick them up. So she quit, letting those littl’uns eat away at her brain for quite a looong time. Mary’s passion was Words and fonts and arty things – which is why, a few years later she jumped into an illustration course and is now never happier than when she’s finding ways to combine these passions. (Don’t get her wrong, she’s passionate about her kids too, but their noise levels don’t invoke the same deeply meditative effect.)
The start of Lisa’s passion for magazines can be traced back to those hazy, long summer days in the late Seventies, early Eighties, when she would often be found lying in the park devouring her big sister’s racy Cosmopolitan magazine and her own favourite, Smash Hits. While learning all the lyrics to Boomtown Rats and Blondie on her Walkman, Lisa loved nothing more than enhancing her sunny day reading with the Cosmo beauty editor’s tips in mind; so while lounging atop a tinfoil blanket (it was all about the tan), she slathered her body with baby oil (zero Sun Protection Factor) and squeezed lemon juice on her hair (to get those coveted Farrah Fawcett beachy highlights). Just before her 20th birthday, to her delight and with wonderful serendipity, Lisa found herself writing the beauty pages of Cosmopolitan as Assistant Beauty Editor. She gave up the lemon juice and Sun-In for organic hair colouring from a swanky Soho salon but even to this day, some 20 years later, the tan remains – albeit from a bottle.
Alongside three grown children, a stressed husband and disobedient Labrador, writing and beauty still feature highly in her life via her wellbeing and beauty blog Glowology aimed at the fabulous over-40s.
So, that’s us. Now, what are we about? What do we mean by Not Those Mums? Well, we are not those mums – you know, the ones with newborns and toddlers who are all about sleepless nights and pureeing broccoli and agonising about school places. We’ve been there, done that and give a virtual high five to those that are still there. Good luck! We are now beyond the era of permanent yoghurty stains on our shoulders (we still have sleepless nights though – the teens make sure of that!). We are also not those mums who are super organised and tiger parentish (we’re far too lazy and CBA – teen speak for Can’t Be Arsed). We are also not just about mummy issues. First and foremost, we are women who appreciate intelligence and wit, and hope to bring you posts and thoughts on people and events that inspire and delight us.
Welcome to Not Those Mums!