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Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.

Things That Irrationally Annoy Me…

If ever people wonder why I lost all my followers, show them this post. Because I guarantee there’s something to annoy everybody.

Equal opportunity offender me.

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‘Me Too’

Today I went on a ramble on my Instagram stories which I have since deleted as I made no sense and no point. I’m not good at getting my ideas across verbally, I have to write it down. I do it with arguments, with apologies, with important phone calls.

I’m a writer, not a talker. Always have been.

I was talking about the Me Too discussion that’s been dominating social media. If you haven’t seen it (where have you been?) women who have ever been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted, to any level, are sharing the simple phrase ‘me too’.

At first glance this seemed like a simple, accessible movement, that would allow us to try and share just how wide the impact of male sexual dominance and force is across the board. It is showing the world that no matter who you are, you have probably been the victim of sexual abuse, verbally or physically, and probably from a man.

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Self Care and Supplements

You spend nine (ten) months carrying your baby. You watch what you eat, you’re careful not to overdo it, you make sure you rest. You know that the priority is the baby, and tell yourself the baby is ok as long as you are.

Then that precious cargo enters the world, and exits your womb. Suddenly self-care is the last thing on your list of priorities, your needs are bottom of the pile and that’s the way it stays for longer than any of us would like to admit.

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The Question Not to Ask

There’s one question that will always rile me up regarding babies. It’s one that is thrown at you constantly, especially by women of a certain age. It seems to be the go-to question when people don’t know what to ask.

‘Is he a good baby?’

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Anxiety and Fashion

Anxiety has always battered me. The ways it has done so has changed and transformed over the years but in one way or another it’s always been around, beating me down and ruining parts of my life that should be great.

From crippling panic attacks as a teenager that ruined my school years, to the inability to trust in relationships, to the gut-wrenching belief that I am a terrible mother – anxiety has been the underlying reason for all of my biggest doubts and fears, and has in turn ruined opportunities, friendships, relationships, and, at certain points, my life.

-TRIGGER WARNING- contains photos of extremely questionable fashion choices.

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That thread, nastiness and transparency

So by now I assume we’ve all heard about That Mumsnet Thread. I imagine a lot of you are like me and spent way too long ignoring your kids to read it, because who doesn’t enjoy a hate read? (I am convinced this is the answer to Piers Morgan and Katie Hopkins having so many followers on Twitter). There was a level of nastiness that genuinely made me gasp – if you’re going to insult the physical appearance of a child on the internet you are worse than a giant slug that has managed to get indoors – and no matter how many times it was denied an awful lot of it sounded like jealousy.

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Equal Siblings

Some people say that once you have one child adding another isn’t all that different. Those people are liars.

Having your family grow from three to four is a massive change and affects all of you, physically and emotionally, in endless ways. It’s a steep learning curve for everyone and any rhythm or routine that you had previously perfected gets rather dramatically flung out of the window.

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Breastfeeding – a second try

When I was pregnant I wrote about my previous experience of breastfeeding and how it had left me terrified to try again. I had a huge response to that post with so many women telling me they felt the exact same way, which was in equal parts comforting (to know I’m not alone) and depressing (to realise so many of us had had such similar, difficult experiences).

I was always going to try again, yet I was determined to put less pressure on myself this time. Turns out that lack of pressure was exactly what we both needed to find our feet with this feeding malarky.

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Water Birth, Danny Devito, and still no stitches: My Second Birth Story

If you follow me on any form of social media you might have figured out I was more than a little bit done with being pregnant by the end…I had tried everything. And nothing was working. I had accepted that I was just going to be pregnant forever and welcomed the cankles as just a part of who I was now.

We’d had weeks of false starts, days of contractions leading to nothing.

Turns out watching the Foos destroy Glastonbury was the key.

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