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Switch Off by Angela Lockwood

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Part III Regaining control

My aim in writing this book was not simply to reinforce everything we already know. We all know we should eat healthily, move more, sleep more and do work we love. These messages are delivered to us through newspapers, television, the internet and the conversations we share. I can recall sitting in a cafe writing on my laptop (thank you cafes with free wi-fi, by the way, you rock!) when the table next to me was taken by a group of mums with their small children, all (mums and children) dressed head to toe in activewear. They parked their prams, extracted their children and sat them at the smaller table next to theirs. They proceeded to hand each child a tablet (the computer kind) and offered them the choice of a babycino, smoothie or juice.

As a side note, I can remember in my pre-children life being appalled by the idea of a babycino — who would give their children coffee, even a small one? — before I learned that a babycino is actually not a mini latte but simply frothed milk with a sprinkling of cocoa on top, or if you're lucky a dash of chocolate topping.

The mums duly placed their order, and once the three two-year-olds were happily (and silently) playing Candy Crush on their own iPads, one of the mums opened the conversation: ‘I can't believe how tired I am!'

So started a half-hour, three-way conversation on the pitfalls of motherhood, coping with small children at home, trying to stay fit, finding time to hang out with friends and grappling ...

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