On Wednesdays we wear pink!

Since becoming pregnant, starting this blog AND as yesterday was ‘Mean Girls Day’ (I’m late!!) – I’ve been reflecting on sisterhood. It’s a buzzword for some people (I used to be one of those people…) but it can be a buzz with a sting!

Sisterhood is defined as: ‘An association, society, or community of women linked by a common interest, religion, or trade’.  I see it more simply, as having each others back and being kind to each other. It sounds simple enough right? Then why is it such a struggle for so many females?

Before having a really difficult pregnancy, I was much more selfish, less sensitive and much harder on my fellow females. I’ve been lucky enough to have 2-3 really, really special female friends at all stages in my life. However I always felt more contention than comfort from large groups of girls. To me, men have always been more straightforward, less bitchy and more relaxed – So I’ve felt more comfortable in male company. I am 100% guilty of having said things to and about other females that I REALLY (!!!!) regret. On reflection it was largely (consciously or subconsciously) because I was jealous, felt threatened or wanted to agree with someone else who was saying it. So in fairness, I probably haven’t always give out the ‘sisterhood’ vibe that I wanted to get back. #LessonsLearned

Having been unwell (and over sensitive) for the past nine months, I’ve really strongly felt the impact of other women. On one hand I’ve been really shocked and hurt by some of the attitudes and comments. The general lack of sympathy around having a pregnancy related illness and the snubs when discussing having a hard time have been surprising. Comments included:

  • “You should be grateful you’re so ill – wouldn’t it be worse if you couldn’t have a child!”
  • “What do you mean you’re not enjoying it (being pregnant) – Don’t be silly / what’s wrong with you? – It’s the most natural thing in the world”
  • “You’re not STILL off work?”
  • “You have such potential – You’ve really made the wrong choice having a baby”
  • “I was more able than you – I never had one sick day, I just got on with it”
  • “So good that you can take sick days isn’t it – You must be loving it”
  • “What do you do all day?”

Some of these haven’t been said with malice – just lack of thought. Other comments (even around writing a blog) have been much more direct:

  • “So cringe it’s embarrassing”
  • “Shouldn’t have got pregnant then should you – too late now”
  • “You’re just not cut out for it (motherhood / pregnancy)”

Etc. Etc. Etc….. These comments have come from a spectrum of females, some with children, some without. Exceptionally senior professional women, female friends, acquaintances, family members, sales assistants in shops, colleagues. Women I speak to daily and women who don’t know me at all.

More importantly, the kindness and support of some of the ladies around me has meant more than they will ever know. Surprise bunches of flowers, texts when I wasn’t able to respond, understanding when I couldn’t meet up for weeks on end or had to cancel last minute – The list goes on. I’ve also had some really lovely feedback on blogging from very unexpected sources.

The positivity and understanding from the ‘ladies I like to learn from’, has helped me deal with the more challenging attitudes and has totally changed my outlook. YES, bitchy comments do still hurt (what are people gaining from being horrible about someone else?) but I can think about them differently now. The women who have helped and encouraged me, (and will hopefully influence the sprog – if it ever arrives!) have made me stronger and an all round better person. I am so grateful to have these influential females in my life and they inspire me daily.

Although it’s been a long and difficult nine months, I have genuinely learned so much, grown as a person and will certainly act differently in future. Through setting an example, a number of amazing women have encouraged me to believe in and actively promote #sisterhood.

 

Hot Mess!?

38 weeks pregnant and I have hit an emotional brick wall. I am a total hot mess. Psychotic, anxious, sad, resentful – The long list of positivity goes on.

I understand its natural, I understand its hormonal and yes I understand I will eventually feel differently….but that doesn’t make it feel any less real or vile!

My pregnant friends say they feel similar, one cried because there was rocket on their salad. The pregnancy apps (god like authorities on all preggo related issues) say its fine, its normal. BUT ITS NOT FINE and IT DOESN’T FEEL NORMAL!

I consider myself to be a logical, practical, almost ‘black and white’ person. One of my key strengths is cutting through bullshit and thinking in a balanced and reasonable manner. I am a direct (bordering on blunt!) person who can put emotions aside and make difficult decisions. This is the me that I am familiar with.

The me who sobs hysterically and inconsolably for over three hours because the bed sheets need changed is a little less familiar – and a lot more uncomfortable. The bed sheets are always changed weekly on a Friday. Lets keep it real – this is clearly not a big deal right? I still have the ability to be objective – I’m pregnant, I’m going to be emotional… So why is it so difficult to write this and to talk about how dreadful it feels?

I know I am blessed! I should be really happy, my very difficult pregnancy is nearing an end. I should be excited to meet the baby soon – We are so close to the finish line (38 long weeks!!). HOWEVER ….the critical importance of changing the bed sheets over rides all logic. No one understands how desperate the situation is. How can everyone be so blind and selfish to this plight? Nothing can fix this situation – NOTHING!!!!

I alone understand the repercussions of the sheets not being changed IMMEDIATELY – No one else gets it and no one can help fix it. If the sheets are not changed all else is pointless. How can I have a baby in these circumstances? If I can’t sort the sheets out, how can I be responsible for sustaining another human being?  The whole thing is obviously a massive mistake,  its too late to change anything and everyone is doomed – Especially me and the sprog. ALL HOPE IS LOST!

Cue hopeless sobbing and potential screaming or GBH if anyone tries to help – or alternatively if they don’t try and help…

This is just one of numerous meltdown examples from the past week. Said meltdowns can be triggered by having to make previously easy decisions (what should I wear? what will I make for dinner?) not having the opportunity to make decisions (I have no choice! I’m being trapped!) being alone (no one cares, everyone’s so selfish!) being with people (I need space and time to myself!!) etc. etc. etc.  I’m already huge and exhausted, crying for hours on end isn’t helpful – Why is my mind screwing me this way!?

My usual tricks of being positive and re-framing have failed me. I cant go into solution mode when there isn’t really a problem in the first place. So I’m pacing it out….I’m trying to embrace being a hot mess and trying not to be too hard on myself.

I’m also REALLY hoping sprog comes sooner rather than later!!!

Middle Ground Mummy!?

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You do You! #repost

Month 9, week 36 or day 252 of the long and rocky road of my pregnancy! It feels like I’ve been pregnant for 100 years. I cant clearly remember my pre-preggo life anymore BUT still cant quite picture my new life – post sprog. So what does one do in a life limbo? #BLOG

I’ve never blogged before, so bear with me – Hopefully I will get the hang of it. I’ve never been a mother before either, so bless the baby, it will have to bear with me too!

Having had a difficult pregnancy to date, I’ve struggled to find strong common ground with traditional yummy mummies. I haven’t had the pregnancy ‘glow’ I was promised (try spots and dry skin instead!?) It hasn’t been the ‘most wonderful’, ‘most natural’ feeling, or a time when I was able to ‘just get on with things’. Instead, I’ve had chronic migraine for over five months and a complete and total inability to function like a normal human being.

I’ve had very little empathy from yummy mummies but I still love the concept. Fair play to any female who looks that good when bloated, hormonal and sore – but its not not real life for me. Its great to have an ideal for Pinterest purposes but it can create unrealistic and damaging expectations. Why am I not living in a Valencia filter town house, still at the gym every week, with perfect hair and a pre-planned baby wardrobe stuffed with designer gear!? I must not be doing it right…..

Despite my longed for pregnancy not being what I expected (or what the films promised me!?) I don’t quite fit in with ‘yucky mummies’ either. I do love gin, I do love wine and I’m a huge fan of chill wear… but I’m also a big fan of a ‘re-frame’ and trying to keep it positive too. I love that the yuckies #keepitreal but I want to keep it both real AND realistic. Constantly highlighting issues and generally portraying motherhood as a total hassle (when you clearly adore your children!) could become a negative cycle.

The ‘gin o’clock’ theory and the ‘picture perfect mother’ seem to be at opposite ends of the motherhood spectrum but both have pros and cons! I admire any mummy brave enough to do AND to share what works for them. We should encourage each other and put labels and camps aside. I don’t think one concept needs to fit all and doesn’t fit me. Everyone should do what works for them – guilt free! I don’t think I will be a yummy or yucky – I plan is to steal with pride from all camps, and be a #MiddleGroundMummy.

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There is no right way! #repost