I have an odd habit. When I’m sick with flu, that low grade flu that you can’t really pin point and if you’re a mother go into denial about. I continue with my every day running around life. I’m grumpier and not quite myself and always look a bit pale and peaky. My flu solution is that I find myself (quite unconsciously) at the MAC makeup counter asking for a lipstick. Something different, something that will give me a lift. Inevitably I end up with a bright pink, that certainly gives me a shot of pizazz.

Five shocking pink lipsticks later I feel better. It always works. It’s taught me to never underestimate the power of a dash of lipstick to lift my spirits. Never underestimate the small things in life that make a big difference. So up there with my daily Cappuccino (s) is pink lipstick.

On a more serious note. This mummy denial that I have when I’m not feeling well is not healthy. Especially for the Princes. Because I don’t take time out, and keep functioning on high Magimix speed, I feel like sodden mulch, and I snap. Read SNAP, as in SHOUT, LOSE IT, generally NOT COPE. For me the worst feeling is shouting. That feeling after shouting is like doing yoga on a moldy, smelly yoga mat. I am filled with Macbethian guilt.

All perfect mothers, who don’t ever lose it with their darling angels, stop reading now. For the rest of us earthlings, the best advice I ever received, with regard to making a mistake, like becoming completely overwhelmed and shouting is, “It’s not about the mistake, it’s about what you do after you make the mistake.”

No mother wants to shout. No mother wants to hurt her children ever. I do when I’m completely overwhelmed and my senses, due to flu or sleeplessness, are overloaded like Eskom’s power stations. Watching for our triggers is important. Flu denial is a problem. Time out is the solution. Taking twenty minutes to rest (yes in the middle of the day if possible) is necessary. And if you can’t do it for yourself do it for your children. Mother’s who don’t feel well aren’t useful to anyone.

I’ll try remember, next time I find myself at a makeup counter asking for a shocking pink lipstick, that maybe I should be going to bed instead.