- New survey found mothers barely have any time and money for pampering
- Women who are not mothers are more likely to buy clothes for themselves
- Four sets of female twins, one in each set with children and one without, compare their very different lifestyles
In fact, according to a new survey of more than 7,500 women, mothers barely have any time and money for pampering.
The report, by childcare.co.uk, an online social network for parents and childcare providers, reveals that women without children spend nearly double the amount of time pampering themselves compared to mothers.
A third of childless women say they spend up to two hours a day on their beauty regime compared to only 17 per cent of mothers, who spend much less on products. And when it comes to fashion, women who are not mothers are nine times more likely to spend £100 a month on clothes for themselves.
Meanwhile, non-parents work much longer hours than colleagues with children — which takes its toll on their looks. But does this really have as much impact as they think?
Here, in a unique experiment, four sets of female twins, one in each set with children and one without, compare their very different lifestyles. So, can YOU tell who’s the mummy?
Sheena Jeavons, 31, works in customer service. She is single and lives in Gravesend with her twin sister Susan. She says: 'Though I’ve been told by friends that I can pass for 28, if anything I look older than my twin Susan.
I’ve done shift work since I was 16 and was out partying in my late teens and early 20s while Susan was the sensible sister, settling down at 17 and later becoming a wife and mum.
I’m also larger than Susan. Until three years ago my diet was dreadful. I was in an unhappy relationship and let myself go: I was a size 24.
Sheena Jeavons, 31, (left) works in customer service and her sister Susan Ewing (right), who is a full-time mother
When I split up with my partner, I moved in with Susan. I’d planned to move to Mum’s, but it proved impractical for work, and it was Susan’s husband who offered. Since I’ve moved in, her good eating habits have rubbed off on me, and I’m a happier size 16.
When we were teenagers, we fought like cat and dog. Though we are identical twins, we’re very different characters. She was always the popular one, while I was quiet and shy.
Today, we’re incredibly close. When she decided to start a family, I can honestly say there was no part of me that felt I was being left behind or envious. I love Amber and Alex as if they’re my own.
She’s an inspiration to all mothers: even when the children were babies, she managed to look good — much better than me!
I’d love to have children of my own, but I’m not going to settle for just anyone. It may take time. I look at Susan’s life and she’s so mature and level-headed whereas I never plan ahead. Yes, I’d love to be more like my twin at times.
Susan Ewing, 31, is a full-time mother. She lives in Gravesend, Kent, with husband Tom, 32, a surveyor, and their children Amber, nine and Alex, four. Susan says.
I don’t know about our looks, but I certainly feel older than Sheena. I feel wiped out most of the time, whereas she’s got such a relaxed life, with no one to worry about but herself. I even find myself running around after her, too, like a third child, since she’s been living with us for the past three years!
If people see Sheena and me out together with the children, it sounds awful but many assume that Sheena is the mother because she’s a bit heavier than me. But she doesn’t mind. If anything she’s flattered that my kids look so much like her.
I’ve been larger, too. I went up to a size 14 after meeting my husband but lost it with WeightWatchers, and am determined to keep it off. I have no time for the gym but try to do workouts at home.
Having said that, I think I look good now. I take care of my skin using lots of creams and scrubs. I’m sensible when it comes to diet and I don’t smoke and only drink on rare nights out.
I love having a tan, though (a real summer one, not a sunbed), whereas Sheena’s really strict about applying sunscreen, so she’ll probably hang on to her youthful skin longer than me.
I sometimes look at Sheena’s life and think it would be nice to be child-free just for a couple of days. She’s more sociable and has lots more friends. It’s the constant worry that wears you out, wondering what they’re up to. But I wouldn’t change my life and if that means a few more wrinkles, then I’m happy with that.
Kelly Beament, 40, is a single mother to Leo, five. She lives in Essex. She says:
If anything, there are days when I look at my twin Georgina and she looks tired. I may be a single mum but she’s got a very stressful commute into London and a busy job and that can show in your face. If I ever mention it, she gets a bit upset but I know she takes it on board because she ups her exercise and improves her diet.
I take care of my appearance and both of us get people saying we don’t look 40. Motherhood hasn’t changed my shape and I’m still slim with an hourglass figure.
Kelly Beament, 40, (left, the mother) and her twin Georgina who works for an investment bank
Men put my age at nearer 30, which is lovely. I do take care of my skin with regular facials and good skin products. I don’t drink or smoke and my next challenge is to train as a yoga teacher. I’m pleased to say that when I look in the mirror I can’t see many wrinkles at all. I’ve never been mumsy with my style and always make an effort with my clothes.
I’ve never ever envied Georgina’s life. She may have the luxury of a weekend lie-in, but I absolutely love being a mummy. What I really want is for Georgina to have a baby, too. That would be amazing.
Georgina Beament, 40, works for an investment bank. She lives in West Sussex with partner Matthew Davies, 39, who works as a senior data analyst. She says:
When I look at Kelly, I don’t think she looks a day older or younger than me and she’ll probably say the same. But I can’t see any difference facially between us.
We both look after our skin, wear good make-up and use St Tropez. Lots of people tell us we don’t look anywhere near 40. At a size 10, Kelly is one dress size smaller than me but that’s probably down to our different lifestyles.
She’s had an incredibly stressful few years with the break-up of her relationship and being a single mum whereas I’m in a happy relationship, and more relaxed when it comes to eating and exercising.
We’re amazingly close and there’s definite telepathy between us. When she was about to have Leo, I was at home and felt a sharp pain in my belly.
Ten minutes later my mum rang excitedly to say that Kelly’s waters had just broken.
When she first had the baby I admit I was slightly jealous that it was no longer just about me and her. I could see a bond between them and I envy that. But that soon passed when I also saw how exhausting motherhood was.
But I’m 40 now and would like to think I could still have a child, so we can be ‘twins’ again in every way!
Tarryne Cooper-Collins, 28, is a deputy care manager. She is single and lives in Watford, Herts, with her four-year-old son, George. She says:
Rushing around every morning getting my son ready for school I’ve barely time to think about my appearance. I used to love clothes and make-up before, but now my priority is leaving the house on time.
When I see my twin Jade in her work clothes, all nice and tidy, with beautifully groomed hair and perfect eye make-up, it’s like looking at the old me, through a time lens!
Tarryne Cooper-Collins, 28, (left, the mother) and her twin Jade Cooper-Collins, who is an art director for a magazine publisher
Jade is a lot more ‘on trend’ than me, and would never be seen dead in half the clothes I wear. She has more disposable cash than me, but, hand-on-heart, I’m not envious. She’s worked so hard to get where she is.
Despite the fact we’re identical twins, there are differences. Jade’s got nicer eyes, perhaps because I’m often tired. Our figures have always been different. Jade is curvier with wider hips and her bust is bigger.
That said, even though I’m a size 10, my belly is flabbier than Jade’s and my boobs droopier — that’s pregnancy for you! I don’t feel I’ll ever be ‘a babe’ like my sister again. That bothered me for a while, especially because I’m single, and would love to meet someone else.
Although I adore being a mum, there are moments when I envy Jade simply for her free time. We get to meet up around once a month, if that. My life is so repetitive — work, school, home, bath, bed, tidy up, sleep. I have to plan ahead, so I envy Jade’s ability to be spontaneous.
Having George has brought Jade and me closer. We didn’t get on in our teens and when she left home to go to university, we led separate lives.
Sometimes I look at her now and think: ‘Gosh, you’re nearly 30 and you haven’t got children yet — if I were you, I’d be panicking!’ She’d probably get cross if she heard that, not that it would sway her. But I do hope she has children one day.
Jade Cooper-Collins, 28, is an art director for a magazine publisher. She is single and lives in Tooting, South-West London. She says:
I’m actually the older twin by 12 minutes and when Tarryne and I didn’t get on as teenagers, our mum used to joke that those were the best 12 minutes of my life. We are much closer since George arrived.
Tarryne possibly looks a little bit older than me from day-to-day, simply because she doesn’t have as much time or money to spend on herself. Whereas I can spend time dyeing my hair different colours, wear make-up every day and spend more on skincare, her main priority is George.
She rarely wears make-up or does much with her hair. My lifestyle is more focused on myself. I eat healthily, don’t smoke, and go to the gym. I love my nephew dearly but I also love my independence.
Claire Hutchins, 49, works in a shop and as an exam invigilator. She lives in Swansea with partner Peter, 51, a web designer and her 13-year-old son, Luke. She says:
Being a mum made me look years older than my twin Louise in the initial stages. I put on 3st during pregnancy and thanks to sleepless nights I looked worn out while Louise was still a slim, and fresh-faced size 10.
It spurred me on though, and I worked hard to get my figure back, with Louise helping to look after Luke so I could go for a run. Today Louise and I are both size 10 and look more like each other than ever. People are always getting us mixed up, which we love.
Claire Hutchins, 49, (left, the mother) and her sister Louise Jenkins works in sales and admin. She lives in Swansea with her husband Brian
I’m a keen runner, I do martial arts and Louise and I play golf. Even our skincare routines are similar: we don’t use any expensive moisturisers — only Lidl and Nivea — but try to look after ourselves.
My fashion sense did change when I became a mother. I used to dress much smarter, particularly for work. Today I am very casual. Louise has always been a spender.
Louise will be the first to admit that she struggled with me having a child at first. Although she’s never wanted children, she didn’t like that fact that I couldn’t put her first any more. Today, however, she is the most wonderful auntie. She loves my son as her own and he’s very lucky to have someone who is like a second mother to him.
Louise Jenkins, 49, works in sales and admin. She lives in Swansea with her husband Brian, 51, a retired firefighter. She says:
When you’re a twin, people are always going to compare you. We look so alike now that even I sometimes catch a sight of myself in the mirror in a shop and wave, thinking it’s Claire. But in the early days of motherhood, you could tell which one of us had just had a baby. She looked so exhausted!
I remember turning up at the hospital after she’d given birth and the nurse said: ‘Oh your sister is going to hate you.’ I’m glad I got my twin back, and we look the same again.
Style-wise, we’re both very casual, although Claire probably started wearing flatter shoes sooner than I did. She was a busy mum going to playgroups whereas I was still in a uniform, working for a bank.
It might sound cold but I never wanted children. Even when Claire was pregnant, I felt a little bit squeamish about something growing inside her.
I think Claire is an amazing mum, so strong and down-to-earth whereas I’d have been a terrible mother, I’m so neurotic.
When I first held Luke, it felt so natural. I’d never held a tiny new-born before, but I can honestly say there was no yearning twinge. And also he felt like mine as well ... we were used to sharing everything.
But Claire is right. In the beginning I did struggle with no longer being her number one. Our relationship felt different — it must be a twin thing. It passed. Now we’re closer than ever.
I have to be careful what I say, though. Occasionally, I’ll spot a new wrinkle and ask Claire: ‘Do you think I’m looking old?’ and she’ll say: ‘Well you must think I look old, too, because you asked that while you were also looking at me in the mirror!’