1) There is so much washing
So, so much washing. All the washing.
2) You’re skint.
You’ve done swimming, steam trains, soft play, lunch dates, the zoo. You’re brassick and you’ve still got to rustle up spending money for your hols and the pound’s fucked.
3) Your internet pages look like this
4) Your recycling bin looks like this
Booze. Coffee. Comfort food.
5) Your evening looks like this
Happy holidays, dudes!
I always think I feel a cold sneer of disdain for my home county, the home county of Kent. But tonight I drove from my childhood home to a wedding of a school friend across the Weald.
I drove the routes my mum took me on when she was teaching me to drive. I sang along to Pearl Jam as I zipped past oast houses and black-beamed wonky cottages and dog-leg turned through narrow high-streets and I remembered as I drove.
I remembered school bus journeys and house parties and long summer evenings and GCSE exams and cider nights out and bunking the train and living for friendships and how it all feels like a different person who is still the absolute essence of me.
And when I got there, it was like a bit of that old me woke up again. I chatted to women who I hadn’t seen since we were teens on the seafront. I gossiped with friends who I never see but still feel I know.
And I barn danced. I stripped that willow and do-si’d that do.
I didn’t take any photos tonight but if I had you’d see me, hair flying, face grinning, feet tangling and me spinning and spinning and spinning until you couldn’t tell if it was me or the teen I once was.
I normally keep clear of controversy when it sparks on insta and twitter. I choose my battles and stick rigidly and narrowly to them (yeah, I’m on to you gender inequality- you better run.) but the hoo-ha over Unmumsy Sarah Turner’s post that dared to suggest ‘fed is best’ boggles my mind.
I combination fed William (nipple confusion is bullshit). It worked. He was happy. He’d take a bottle from his dad and I could still feed him to sleep. It worked a dream. He was fed. It was the best for our family.
Alex? I’d lost my mind. I kept being told to ‘try harder’ but I knew, I knew, he was tongue tie but the referral came too late. He was on the bottle. And he was fed. It was the best for our family.
And do you know what? Breast-feeding is a feminist issue. It’s another way that women are made to feel they’ve ‘failed’. It’s another way in which fathers are distanced and disenfranchised. It’s another way that women are discouraged from leaving the domestic sphere (it’s a lot easier to work, go out, drink and be merry when you’re not a leaking bag of hormones with a baby dangling off you). And, judging by the explosive reaction to Sarah’s innocuous enough comment that ‘fed is best’, it’s also another excuse for the media and parents to pit women against women.
I am sympathetic to women who found feeding easy and can’t understand why others don’t. My mum always thought women who complained of period pain were being a bit soft because she’d only ever found it mildly uncomfortable. I am intolerant of people who say they have food intolerance (wheat gives you tummy ache? Fart and get over it!). I still partly think people who have hay fever are just being weak. I am not sympathetic because I find having periods, eating wheat and being around pollen a breeze and have been known to do all three at the same time- take last week’s picnic for example. It’s the same for breast feeding- if you found it easy, I get why you may resent other mothers not doing it but BACK OFF.
I live by Amy Poelher’s wise words: ‘fine for her, not for me’. It’s the toughest gig of them all but ultimately, all parents are just doing their best so step away from the comments section, log off the internet, jump down from your high horse and go and smell the roses… if your allergies will let you.