Middleagedmum.com: turning up the heat

A while ago I wrote about how I was always hot and wasn’t sure if it was just me, or a symptom of my age. Two years on and things are just getting hotter and hotter and not in a good way! My own little personal summer has turned into a gap year in the Ethiopian Desert and I’m simply too hot all the time.

The recent warm weather hasn’t helped, as I’ve been desperate to wear Autumn clothes and refused to acknowledge it wasn’t actually necessary to wear thick tights, cosy sweaters and lace up boots. Combine that with the fact London transport also decided to ignore the outside temperatures and turn the heating on the buses up to ‘stuffy’ and I haven’t been looking or feeling my best.

Now that its turned colder I feel better, but everyone else is moaning about the cold and are attempting to do things like ‘turn the heating on’ – whats that all about? Teen daughter is always cold and comes down in the morning wearing regulation skimpy vest, sweat pants and Uggs, shouting ‘why is that door open, its freezing in here, everyone else has the heating on’. To which I reply, ‘it’s for the dog to get out’ (which of course it isn’t, as he is snoozing on the sofa) and ‘anyway put a jumper on, or move around a bit, it isn’t even cold’. She stomps off to climb back into a bed laden with 2 duvets and electric blanket, muttering ‘you’re such a freak’.

She has done a survey with her friends to see who’s mum likes the heating on and who doesn’t. The results are an insight into who’s too young for the menopause, who’s in the thick of it and who’s out the other side. Most mums of a similar age to me, like to keep the house nice and cold and these are the mums I like to hang out with and not drink wine, as it makes us wake at 3am with the fear – another meanopause symptom. Teen daughter would like to live in a house where there are lots of sisters, a very thin glamorous mum, fairy lights everywhere, the tv constantly tuned to E, no visible men and the heating turned up to full 24/7! A bit like the Kardashians but in Hackney. Dream on baby, this momager is more likely to re locate to a (freezing cold) feminist, hippy commune in Scotland, than move to LA – can you imagine how hot I’d be there?

It seems I’m not the only one feeling like this, as where I work as a consultant has its fair share of women my age and they feel the same. We enter meetings saying ‘ phew its hot in here’ and proceed to take control of the heating dial. When the young designers, wearing thin sleeveless summer dresses complain, we pretend we haven’t noticed and mutter things like ‘put some clothes on’ under our breath!

Here lies difference between our generation and the younger one when it comes to temperature control. They have grown up with central heating and if they are cold, they simply turn the heating up, rather than put a cardi on. If like us they had grown up with the horror of running across freezing cold floors to the toilet during the night, waking as a student to leap out of bed to turn on the fire and diving back till the room got warm, or or the nastiness of extracting a frozen tooth brush from the side of the sink, they might think differently. When we were cold, we put on an extra pair of socks and wrapped ourselves in a travelling rug – ah those were the days!!

I find nothing more suffocatingly claustrophobic than spending time in a double glazed house with the heating on full-  the atmosphere is stuffy, it makes you tired and sluggish and everyone is always ill! When it’s really cold, I love building a big open fire, to create a warm homely warm atmosphere in the living room – leaving the rest of the house freezing – but creating a central cosy hub in the house.

Perhaps when I am out of the other side of my personal summer I will feel the need to turn up the heating, but until then I’ll be fiercely guarding the temperature dial and watching the TV in my underwear – FREAK!


  • Love it. I sometimes work in an office full of young things and I resist saying “is it hot in here?” (it usually is) to avoid getting the look.

    And I thought the 3am thing was just me. Thanks for that.

  • Cathy says:

    The other morning in Central London I noticed that I was the only one in a short sleeve top and a cardi. Everyone else was wearing a jacket or a coat, some with scarves. I like to think that it was because my cardi was cashmere, hem, hem.

  • Elaine says:

    I go swimming in the sea at lunchtime and then I’m freezing for the afternoon and make everyone keep the windows closed while I sit in my coat- blissfully cold! My daughter gave out to me recently for not turning on the heat saying ‘you’re as bad as the menopausal aul’ ones in work’.

  • Louise says:

    If it’s any consolation my (rather yummy) vet has the same thermostat battles with his young female staff – he was complaining about it when I was there the other week! Though maybe not for the same reasons (but he is the right age ;)

  • Monix says:

    That made me spurt my coffee over the monitor and keyboard – so funny!
    Yes – in a studio with young designers all still in their summer clothes (but opaque tights because they are all obsessive as to how “fat” their legs are (they’re not – they are gorgeous but won’t believe it…)) I’m to one with a beady eye on the themostat – but then I’m the one that pays the heating bill.

    Monix (is the 3am thing really connected to the pint of red wine I drink in the evenings? Damn!)

  • Same in this house, and same teenage daughter! Dismayed to find out long-dark-nights-of-the-soul connected to the wine though – what a dilemma.

  • I’m not quite there yet – still in the angry phase – but nobody told me about not being able to drink wine. That’s just not on!

  • gillian taylor says:

    Whilst trying not to sound like some sort of raving alcoholic the very worst thing about the Meanopause was that is simply had to stop drinking wine!!! The second was that even though I stopped drinking I didn’t loose a single solitary pound – how sad is that!! However it does all pass – I am no longer so boiling hot at peculiar moments and hurrah I can raise a glass or two or rose again without suffering the three o’clock blues!!!

  • Jane says:

    oh dear seem to have touched a nerve here with the wine thing . We have no actual evidence that its what causes us to wake at 3am but personally I notice a difference when I dont drink. Going to ask an expert on this one and get back to you.

    Glad to hear I’m not the only hot one though (and not in a good way!!) Jx

  • amanda says:

    I have stopped drinking wine now for about 3 months, and I am feeling much much better for it. I no longer feel poisoned and I do not wake up with The Fear at 3.00am so much. I also don’t feel that horrible sluggishness in the morning, even after one (large) glass, I have swapped to G&T and feel much perkier. No weight loss tho, but that’s all linked to that pesky menopausal fat thing….Ax

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *