September 14, 2010

Tribal Wives - Living Nicely on the North Shore

This notion has gone a bit viral in the blogoshpere. Originated in the UK, recently adapted by Lori who wrote about Wives in the Burbs of the norwest, and then Good Golly Miss Molly, who shared her take on being a tribal wife in Shazzas in the South West. Now I feel it only fair to give you an insight on how Tribal Wives exist on the Lower North Shore.


It is all about the 4 bedroom federation house. North Shore mummies take their real estate very seriously. It is preferred that you do your own renovation and take on the role of Project Manager throughout the year long process. During this time, you may rent a little place nearby so you can keep your eye on the tradies. The renovation will involve a lot of trips to visit tap wear shops and tiling outlets. And for some reason you think that spending $4000 on a bath is totally normal. Because your neighbour has the same one and it is amazing.

The garden also needs to reflect your sense of style, so you fork out another $20,000 for Peter Fudge to come over and design it for you, and recommend a decent gardener to maintain it, a and pick up the waste from your labradoodle.

And in the end you will have a showpiece, a place to hold champagne afternoons and kids birthday parties. And your walk in wardrobe and heated towel racks will have paid for themselves in no time. And if you have a pool even better. Your prefer to furnish it with the help of a designer from Jimmy Possum. And a 2 car garage is a must. Paint the whole bloody thing cream inside and out and you are done. NEXT!


Now it gets a bit tricky because it is hard to guess a North Shore Mummy's age. If you are a size 10 or under, you drop the kids off to school in your Black BMW 4WD wearing black 3/4 leggings, spanking white trainers and a pale pink gym top. In the cooler months you may add a white puffer jacket with fur around the collar. And a cap. Because you are off the the gym. If you are over a size ten, same jacket with jeans. And if you are over a size 16, you just should not be here.

Quite often you will see a mum doing the school drop off with a big bandage over their nose. This is because they have had problems with their sinus and the surgeon at the Mater thinks a little cosmetic correction may assist.

Your hair is long. You wear real diamond studs every day. You favour Witchery, Country Road and Marcs clothing. You are neatly waxed at all times. You buy a new pair of long boots every winter. You finally know the layout of Chatswood Chase since the renovations and are absolutely thrilled that Ralph Lauren is now there. Your face gleams with the assistance of regular facials and your cosmetic dentist has done marvels to hide the stains on your teeth that comes along with your 3 cup a day skim latte habit.


Polite and often tinged with a South African or English accent.

Things acceptable for discussion include your renovation, how busy you are, your kids, holidays, your recent tiff with your neighbour and how unreasonable they are and new and interesting shops your have discovered.

Off limit topics include, but are not limited to, money, how much you paid for your house, cosmetic procedures that do not have a mystery underlining medical benefit and justifying to others why you chose to be a stay at home mum. Swearing is saved for your husband and is only used in the privacy of your own home. After the kids are in bed.

You prefer calling rather than texting and are always there to pick up your kids after school, have a goss with the other mums, and take your children out for a baby chino and banana bread.


The day is long and arduous and you must find time for yourself. You have a mani/pedi "French Thank You". You have a massage. You get a facial. You take the labradoodle for a brisk walk with your iPod. You meet your girlfriends in Mosman for a light lunch and a glass of Riesling. You swear silently when your financial wizard husband calls and says he has to take an important client out to dinner at Spice Temple. 

You marinate some free range chicken and eat with the kids, finishing off the wine. You arrange a menu plan. You play tennis. You are crap at tennis. You get a tennis coach, and as I am led to believe in a few instances, you begin a raging affair with tennis coach. You plan holidays. You bake from scratch. You host a Tupperware Party.

Renovating, Decorating, Redecorating and the 40% off Country Road Sale.

So there you have it, my exaggerated but mainly true take on living life on the Lower North Shore. I could keep going but I fear the Puffer Vest Mafia might track me down and take me to the Oaks for an intervention. And for the record, I am a size 16, Drive a 10 year old Mazda and I rent. Why am I here? Keeping it real.

What is the tribe like where you live?
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