What Not to Say…

to a Pregnant Woman.

People say weird shit to pregnant women. Every other human who’s ever grown a child with their body, knows this to be true.

So in the spirit of everyone getting a long a little better, I’ve decided that the rule to live by, should you find yourself talking to a person “with child”, is to not say anything you wouldn’t say to a non-pregnant person. Here are some examples:

  1. Do not tell a pregnant person she looks fat. Would you tell a non-pregnant person they look fat? No. (Or at least I very much hope not.) I’m presuming that anyone who throws this kind of insult at a woman who’s probably already feeling weird about their body, is actually trying to say, “your bump looks bigger.” If this is the case, I suggest the ol’ faithful “you’re blooming.” Everyone knows this is code for “oh my, you’re expanding at a rate of knots,” but the fact that it implies you’re opening up like a beautiful flower and that yes, you may be the size of a small fishing vessel, but it doesn’t matter because you’re growing a human (which is a frikin miracle), makes it all okay.
  2. Do not comment on how much a pregnant person is eating. Unless you’re a medical professional, in a medical situation, I don’t think it’s a good idea to comment on the amount that someone is eating, especially if you think that amount is a lot. It might be that you see this lovely pregnant woman at the same time every day, the time in which she has rewarded herself for all her hard work (and pregnancy is bloody hard work) with a cupcake and a packet of crisps. The rest of the day she might be quaffing highly healthy smoothies and homemade vegetable soups, you don’t know! And even if you did, it is precisely zero business of yours!
  3. Do not comment on what a pregnant person is wearing. It’s not always easy to get dressed when every day you wake up and are a little bit bigger than the day before. Your wardrobe all of a sudden consists of about ten items, somehow you have to dress for work and leisure using just these ten things and all of your tights and pants feel like they might ping off at any second, hurting people as they ricochet around the room. So when you finally dress yourself and go out into the world and someone says “gosh, that’s a bit tight, isn’t it?” it can feel pretty hurtful. You would never say this sentence to anyone not pregnant, unless you’re related or have known each other at least three years, have seen each other wee, cry and possibly throw up. So don’t say it to a pregnant woman, she might just say it back!
  4. Do not laugh at a pregnant persons’ birth plan. If someone, in all seriousness and sincerity, told you their five-year plan or their holiday plans or their marriage plans, would you laugh in their face? Probably not. People plan their weekly shop, they plan for Christmas; they plan every event in their lives from the mundane to the remarkably important, so why do some people think it’s ridiculous to make plans for the single most significant life event that can ever happen to anyone? Plans don’t mean “this is definitely going to happen this way” and no pregnant woman’s birth plan means “this is definitely going to happen this way.” We may have baby brain but we’re not stupid. Our birth plans are how we would like things to go, based on months of research and serious contemplation. We are aware that things might go differently on the day. Telling someone not to plan for birth because it might not go to plan, is like telling someone not to plan their wedding in case it rains. Yes, your dreams of getting hitched under a beautiful canopy in a stately home garden may be somewhat dashed when a minor hurricane rips off the roof of said canopy, but you get married somewhere else in the lovely stately home and the outcome is still something resembling what you always hoped it would be. Also, based on the correlation between a birth in which a mother feels out of control and unprepared, and post-natal depression, I don’t see why we’re not all encouraging mothers-to-be to think about how they would like to give birth. And with the tendency for people to tell you how harrowing childbirth is, we’re somewhat staring down the abyss here. If you laugh at someone’s birth plan, chances are you’re laughing at a very nervous woman who needs your encouragement and not your derision. Think about that.

I do find it a bit odd how people treat pregnant women and it’s been a bit of a surprise to encounter all of the above. I think the rule of not doing/saying it to a pregnant person if you wouldn’t do/say it to a non-pregnant person is a pretty good rule to go by. For example, and this hasn’t happened to me (yet), you would never place your hands on a stranger’s tummy, but I’ve been told that this happens an awful lot to pregnant women in their last trimester.

What we’re doing is a great privilege but also, we’re getting stretch marks, our skin might be mottled and a lot hairier than usual, our boobs are becoming unrecognisable, we might be in serious pain or discomfort, we might be throwing up three times a day, we might be shitting ourselves at the life-changes afoot. Be nice. It might make a real difference.

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Baby Steps…

…Back into the World!

The timeline for recovering from a breakdown is not a finite thing. It’s different for everyone. For me it’s taken a good two years (and by a good two years I mean nearly three) to get fully back in touch with the real world.

There is a buddhist saying that new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. In my last blog I mentioned that I had lost a contract. Whilst this was very upsetting at the time it prompted me to go out into the big wide world in search for new employment. For the first time in two (nearly three) years I found myself employed in a place that was not my house. I now have to leave my safe home office and venture into the real world at least two days a week and surprisingly enough, I’m loving it!

-New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.-- Lao Tzu (1)

I’m actually almost enjoying the days I spend not in my sheltered little office more than the ones I do. Well not all of them…

Last Monday I arrived at my place of work and had to open up for the first time. To make a short story relatively shorter security alarms AND panic alarms were set off, a fundamental piece of security equipped became irrevocably lost, causing two call-outs from two separate security companies, a whole recalibration of systems and the arrival of some mildly annoyed/amused policemen. All this happened on the same day that a kind passer-by informed me that my arse had been generously displayed to the park during my walk to work. My large M&S skin-tone knicker-ed bottom. Knickers that would put Bridget Jones to shame. Needless to say that when I got back home I had a very large sherry, a big cry and was in bed and fast asleep by 8pm. But the next day I was fine again.

So that was not a great day and one that wouldn’t have happened had I been in my home office. However, I’d take one terrible day like that if it means I get all the other perfectly lovely days I’ve had working in a place where other people are. I actually like being round people now. Even the ones that I don’t know! I really never thought this would happen. I thought that I’d be cooped up in my home office for the rest of my working life. That this would be the only way I’d be able to earn a living.

Despite all this I am glad that I’m not working away from home full-time, the days that I am working from home are really good recalibration days. The down days are as important as the up days. My advice to anyone else recovering from any kind of mental health breakdown would be to take baby steps. Sometimes it takes people two months to feel ready for the world again and sometimes it takes people five years. The important thing is to take your time and do it bit by bit. I’ve taken a couple of big steps forwards only to have to take several back again. This time I took some tentative steps and now I’m pretty excited about all my work! It’s a lovely, scary, odd, fun, tiring, but most of all hopeful feeling.

It all begins with one step

A Shit Day…

…To Look on the Bright Side

So this week has been a really shit week. It all started with cat piss. Cat piss is the worst kind of piss. Even after you’ve soaked (literally soaked) the whole area in pure bleach you can still smell it for about eight years after you’ve cleaned it all away. My cat, Nunney (I didn’t know that was a euphemism for vagina when I named her that btw) went through a phase of pissing on the kitchen surfaces, right next the cooker – hygienic. This has resulted in the cupboard where I keep MY PLATES smelling like cat piss for months on end. I finally thought we’d solved the problem by various different methods and have gone without pissy plates for about a month. But oh no, I went away for one night, ONE NIGHT on Friday and to punish me Nunney started pissing on the bloody kitchen surfaces again.

Continue reading “A Shit Day…”

What Would…

…Miss Fisher Do?

In my quest for mental peace and stability I have come up with many different mantras from many different schools of thought and whilst they have all helped me in many different ways, one is helping me over and over and over again.

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For those of you who don’t know what Miss Fisher is, go to Netflix. Go there now. NOW. And watch it. If you like 1920s fashions, strong female characters with gumption and tenacity, and some light-hearted murder, then this is the programme for you!

What Would Miss Fisher Do helps you answer questions when you either don’t know the answer or you do know the answer but feel weirdly guilty about the answer, mostly the latter, for example: Continue reading “What Would…”

#FashionFridays!

It’s been AGES since I did one of these! I spend my life dressing up as things/people and every now and again I like to record these dress-ups in the form of a #FashionFridays blog. This is one of those occasions! img_3958 Continue reading “#FashionFridays!”

Tips For…

…Working Out.

Now this isn’t going to be one of those blog posts where I talk about how I make my own vegan energy bars and get up before 7am everyday to run 7 miles before showering and covering my body in raw organic coconut oil. I really wish it was, I would LOVE to be one of those people but I’m just not.

This is a blog post with a couple of tips on how to drag your arse to the gym if you’re a “I’d rather stay in bed and eat cheese” kind of gal (or guy) like me.

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Forget Halloween Costumes…

…Teenagers Are The Truly Scary Ones.

At the risk of sounding odd, I find teenagers fascinating and frightening in equal measures. I seem to be always driving somewhere when they’re walking home from school and watching them (from the safety of my locked car) is so interesting. During my mildly stalk-like behaviour I’ve noticed a couple of things about young adults, (mainly how early they seem to finish school these days. I was driving home from the supermarket at 2:15pm today and kids in uniforms were walking home! 2:15!), things that caused me to compile a list of advice for all teenagers.

Continue reading “Forget Halloween Costumes…”