Why We Need to STOP Genderizing Kids Clothes. 

This week, news broke that John Lewis made drastic changes to the way they label their kids clothes. A store that once housed segregated racks of pinks and blues labelled as ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ now boasts an array of clothes just labelled as ‘Boys & Girls’. Together. As one. The first UK retailer to do this.


This. Is. Huge.

Although it really shouldn’t. This should be our normality.

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Pet Peeves Since Becoming a Parent

I admit that I don’t deal with sudden change well. For example, if someone cancels on us suddenly, my brain goes into overdrive. Therefore, becoming a parent probably wasn’t my smartest move as a sudden change in bowel movements can hinder a day completely. Nevertheless, I’m slowly learning to get on with things and take change in my stride.

However, over the past year or so I’ve come across my fair share of bug bears that I haven’t been able to control. Things that can make my day with T that little bit longer. That little bit harder.

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Thinking of the Positives. 

Last Saturday I broke my fifth metatarsal getting undressed. That’s right. I wasn’t drunk. I wasn’t trying to do anything else at the same time. I was just getting undressed. Trying to take my jeans off I clipped my foot and in between that and landing on said foot I heard a snap. Like a lolly stick. It hurt. I didn’t know whether to cry or throw up.

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“Still”

adverb

1.

up to and including the present or the time mentioned; even now (or then) as formerly.

synonyms: up to this time, up to the present time, until now, even now, yet

I don’t often rant or mind dump, but the word “still” is currently becoming the bane of my life, especially now that I’ve been back to work a few times.

Are you STILL breastfeeding?

Are you STILL doing Baby Led Weaning?

Is T STILL sleeping through?

I don’t understand why there’s this need to ask whether a parent or baby is STILL doing a particular thing? Especially when that thing is something so obviously constant; such as eating! For me, it implies that there’s an expected expiry to that particular activity, and neither me or T have reached it yet. No?

When you change the context, the word sounds ridiculous when attached to other questions. Are you STILL going to work? Are you STILL taking showers? Are you STILL eating meat? The list is endless and no matter what you attach it to, adding the word “still” sounds like you should have stopped doing whatever it was by now. Ask yourself one of those questions. How do you answer? I can bet for at least one of those questions you answered; “yes, why wouldn’t I?” And therefore it’s the same for when someone asks me whether I’m still breastfeeding T, or giving him solid food, or whether he’s sleeping through.

The answer to the last one is “not anymore”, but who cares anyway?
Maybe I’m being overly sensitive.

By all means ask “HOW” the breastfeeding is going, “HOW” the BLW is going, “HOW” T is sleeping; but not “STILL”.

Does this bother you? What activities have you been asked about and whether you’re STILL doing them?

K

My Random Musings

No Bressure

When I was at my post natal class last week, the health visitor asked all of us how we’d react to a mum in crisis. She asked what we’d say to another mum if they were having a down day or if they were doubting themselves. As expected, in response, all of us gave supportive responses. 

However, this morning we saw the arrival of #bressure (the pressure to breastfeed) thanks to the guys and gals at Channel Mum. Looking through the thread, there’s talk about those who put pressure on women about how they feed their baby. Breastfeeders (if that’s the term) are apparently acting smug about breastfeeding around bottle-feeders, bottle-feeders are apparently feeling persecuted by the breastfeeders, and don’t get me started on how the expressers apparently feel. 

Here’s my breastfeeding profile; I’m currently exclusively breastfeeding. Sometimes I don’t want to, especially as 3am or when I’m just tucking into my dinner, but have you seen the price of formula these days? Breast milk is free food for us, which is what drives me every day to keep doing it. I also hope to start expressing soon. You want to know why? Because I want to share the feeds with my wife. I want some weekends off. I want my mum to look after T so maybe S and I can go out as a couple. That may sound selfish on my part as I know there are women out there who want to breastfeed but can’t and I’m sorry, but that’s not my fault so I’m sure as hell not being made to feel guilty about how my child is fed. I won’t lose any contact with my baby by not breastfeeding, if anything he’ll gain it in the form of his mumma instead. 

You also want to know a little secret? I’ve also given T formula. I thought it may have a) filled him up a bit at bedtime to sleep longer and b) saved my nipples, but it only did the latter. There we go. 

So far I haven’t had any negativity directed at me about how I feed my baby, so why would I put pressure on another woman about how they feed theirs? It’s not right. 

As witnessed in my post natal class, we, as mums, are meant to be, and should be, supportive of each other whether we’re currently mothers of a newborn or a toddler. A new mum or mother of four! We shouldn’t be turning on each other because of how we feed our babies, but apparently we are. Stop it. The important thing is that we’re feeding our babies, right?! Who cares whether it’s straight from a boob, a bottle of boob, or a tub of formula. They’re being fed. There are women out there who are in prison because they’re not even doing that. THAT’S what we should be angry about. 

If you don’t want to breastfeed, don’t. If you can’t breastfeed I’m sorry, however you’ve still made the best decision to formula feed your baby instead. 

I’ve only been a mum for seven weeks and I’ve already witnessed debates on birth, nappies, feeding, weaning, sleeping, television, you name it. We also have enough to put up with these days in the media without a sweet little hashtag making us turn on each other. 

So for the love of lay-ins be strong and stand by your choice whatever you choose to do with your child, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We’re already doing the best for our babies if they’re being fed – it’s the most important thing full stop – not to mention what else we choose for them. 

Whether or not someone breastfed their baby isn’t my issue – it never was, it never will be. My issue is that mums are STILL defending their parenting choices! How you parent/feed/wean/sleep train your baby is your choice and no one else’s. Don’t feel the #bressure to justify yourself. 

K

10 Things I Won’t Miss About Pregnancy

Overall, I’ve enjoyed the Pregnancy. It’s an experience like no other and it really does challenge you mentally and physically. However, it goes without saying that regardless of this, there have still been some experiences I won’t miss…

SPD & Back Pain – This, by far, is my biggest pregnancy gripe. My back and later on, SPD, has exhausted me. It’s stopped me dead in my tracks and wiped days from underneath me. I haven’t been able to walk the dog as much – something I am sure the dog is holding against me – or been able to just walk around town like I used to. It frustrates me even more on days I have tons of energy and should be putting it to good use. I thought going to gym before pregnancy would have strengthened my back, but I guess nothing can prepare your body for this.

Panty-liners – Probably a little TMI, but I’m sure I’m not the only pregnant person that suffered with leakage of every kind during pregnancy.

Sleepless nights – I know, I know, I know. Those won’t go away once Fidget arrives, but my logic is that the sleepless nights will soon be because someone needs me and not because I need to pee for the fourth time or because my hips can’t take the weight anymore. I’ll have something to get up in the middle of the night for! You really do need to make the most out of sleep before pregnancy!

Being afraid to say something – I’m quite an outspoken person and if someone ever said something negative to me or S I would have no qualms about giving them an earful. Falling pregnant, however, seemed to not only put invisible tape on my mouth but I sometimes became very very anxious when I was out on my own. I don’t know why this happened, but I guess Pregnancy makes you feel more vulnerable.

The constant hunger – As someone who worked hard to lose weight, it really irked me when all the healthy things I continued to eat didn’t fill me up, and all I wanted was Peanut Butter on Toast. Pretty much until 7-8 months, I was always hungry even though I know I had eaten enough that morning.

The stupid questions – Pregnancy seems to open you up for all sorts of questions, quite personal ones sometimes – so this is certainly something I won’t miss.

Peeing! All. The. Time. And even the feeling of needing to pee and nothing coming out – thanks Fidget.
P.s. Peeing Normally!! – At 9 months now, I have to sometimes physically lift my belly to free my bladder that although is bursting to release, it can’t because someone is kindly using it as a pillow.

Hormones – Not something we talk about at home as I hate thinking (and being treated like) I’m being irrational and unreasonable purely because of hormones, but lets face it. I have been effected by hormones. Sometimes I’ve just wanted a cry for no reason. I’ve probably cried more in the past 9 months than I have in the past 8 years with S. So that’s hormones for you.

My favourite clothes not fitting me – I enjoyed getting new clothes, but I miss my old ones. The new ones are nice but they don’t suit me. I miss my chinos, my t-shirts, shirts, and jumpers. Maternity clothes have done me well, but I’m looking forward to getting back into my own style.

Being able to reach below my belly. Tying shoe laces, shaving, stroking our cats (Yes! The cats! We have two cats! Don’t be rude!), and even being able to see below my belly so I don’t trip over the dog when coming down stairs went out the window at 7 months.

Don’t get me wrong, if someone had told me or shown me how my pregnancy would be before even falling pregnant, I’d still do it. Nothing even compares to the journey of Pregnancy and if I could choose to do it all over again, I totally would – I guess I’m a sucker for pain.

K