GE2017: 6 things we’ve all thought at some point…

polling station

Ah, the 2017 General Election, it’s been described as ‘the most important in my life time’. I mean, it was called that by the woman who called it and wants to be elected Prime Minister but, you know, it is probably actually quite important.

And I think we all know that. At least I hope we do. Seems like there’s more choice than before, when the parties all seemed like they were basically saying the same thing and their leaders basically looked like the same man at different stages of the aging process…

ccb

Three men? Or the same man slowly aging?

Still, it’s been a bit shit of late, hasn’t it? You know, the world? So in an effort to do the ‘there’s more that unites than divides us’ thing I thought I’d pen a hilarious post on the election’s hottest issues… But I couldn’t be bothered so I wrote this instead… bad dum bom cha!

No, but for serious, like: while it is no secret who I’ll be voting for on Thursday, this post hopefully has a wider, humorous appeal. So whether you’ve made up your mind before it all began or are still not sure who to vote, I’m sure you but needs a laugh.

*subliminally messages: ‘vote labour vote labour vote labour’ – you can’t see this but it is seeping into your psyche…

Nah but seriously, here are 6 things we’ve all thought about at some point during this campaign… haven’t we?

1. Something about Corbyn’s appearance

It will not surprise anyone who’s ever read my blog before will not be surprised to learn that I love me a bit of Corbs; what can I say? all that “funding schools and paying nurses a decent wage” shit  but even I spent months longing to take him to a decent barber and sort that scruffy beard out.

Comedians up and down the country have been trying to come up with the best one liner to describe the just-not-quite-statesman-like feel of Corbyn’s appearance. My personal favourite comes in a Rants and Bants YouTube video which states “he looks like divorced geography teacher.” I mean the words nail and head come to mind!

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn: The People’s Divorced Geography Teacher

And does anyone else feel a little swell of maternal pride when he turns up on telly with his tie done up properly nowadays? No? That one’s just me then…

2. Something about Theresa May’s shoes

may shoes

Dem shoes tho…

There are various things you may have been thinking about Theresa May’s shoes during the election campaign:

‘Oooh, nice shoes…’

‘Her feet must be killing her in those, put on some flats dear!’

‘Isn’t it great that a woman can enjoy fashion and still be taken seriously in politics?’

‘They look expensive.’

‘Why is everyone always going on about her bloody shoes?’

On her scintillating, charming and not at all robot-human hybrid simulating One Show appearance, May herself even boasted that one young woman told her that her shoes “got me into politics”… I mean, really? Because, like, don’t get me started. I mean shoes got you into politics… I mean, who even are you? I can’t even…

That said, I do love a nice shoe…

I can’t help thinking, though, how someone who buys shoes like that so regularly, perhaps as a way to ‘treat herself’ can really get what it’s like to know be able to afford one decent pair of shoes for a job interview. I mean, Corbyn’s ‘divorced geography teacher’ look isn’t going to get him on the cover of American Vogue (still can’t quite believe that happened)  but I like the idea of having a Prime Minister who sees Marks and Spencer as the posh place to buy a suit, rather than Saville Row as the normal place to but one… But I digress! What else have we been thinking…

3. Hold the phone: I’m in love with the co-leader of the Green Party!

This just in: the co-leader of the Greens is a silver fox.

dreamy greens

Hot damn! I don’t know about the planet, but my climate is certainly changing…

Jonathan Bartley is eloquent and dashing, although I’m not gonna vote Green there was a moment there, staring into his beautiful, earnest eyes when I wavered. #JokingNotJoking

I mean, come on ladies/gents who are inclined that way… Amirite??

4. That whole ‘strong and stable’ thing was a mistake.

We live in the age of hashtags, memes and auto-tuned YouTube videos that turn awkward soundbites into catchy, humiliating ditties – now is not the time to say the same thing seventeen times in one interview/speech. I mean, your veins could run blue with Tory sentiment but surely we all agree on this one. A case in point:

5. ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION!!!

“Well, I recognise the importance of (INSERT ISSUE HERE) and there are many causes of (INSERT PROBLEM HERE), but what we’ve said is we’ll look at (INSERT ISSUE HERE). But what’s important is that you can’t have the growth that supports (INSERT ISSUE HERE) with a strong and stable government and this election there is a choice…”

*screams into pillow*

It’s not just Theresa May, though during the last ‘debate’ she was particularly spectacular in her evasiveness so much that I tweeted this:

And then there’s that remarkable, eviscerating ‘interview’ with May in the Plymouth Herald that says it all.

6. Something patriotic

Oh yeah, lefties have patriotic thoughts too!  As an adopted Mancunian who grew up near Woolwich and travelled through London Bridge everyday for many years as a teenager, I’ve been pretty moved by recent horrific events. And I love my cities. And I love Britain – I frickin love it. If for nothing more than the genius hashtags that came about after each attack: if you want some top-drawer stoical humour just search #BritishThreatLevels, #ThingsThatLeaveBritainReeling or #IsisClaims.

You’re welcome.

But yeah, we’ve all felt protective and angry and proud of our home I think. So that’s interesting and sort of comforting… In a weird way. #OneLove

So, is it just me… or were you thinking that stuff too?? Let me know in the comments section, start a lively debate on my Facebook page or tweet me @aileenaquinn. Oh and… REMEMBER TO VOTE!!!

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P.S. If you’re as yet undecided in which case you might like to use this nifty tool to help choose.

P.P.S. *NB: or you could just vote Labour, all the cool kids are doing it.

It’s my pussy and I’ll cry if I want to…

 

This fucking guy?

 
Buckle up, this is a sweary one…

I don’t know what I find more enraging right now, the hateful bile that spews forth from Donald Trump and the loathsome people emboldened by this victory, or the barrage of overwhelmingly privileged ‘liberal’ white men telling me that I’m naive to be in shock that this guy won, telling me to stop moaning and “do something”, telling me it’s all the left’s fault for not ‘making the argument’. Fuck you. 

You know whose arguments and experiences are under-represented and under-valued time and again? Women, ethnic minorities, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people and every other group whose safety and rights have been threatened by this result. 

So may I suggest it is you who are the navel-gazers? May I suggest that your ‘doing something’ could be to shut up and make some space for those who don’t shout quite as loud as you? May I suggest that you consider the expression of fear and anger is not the same as ignorance or naivety? May I further suggest that the patriarchy and white privilege are ingrained in our lives that you are actually enacting them both right now without knowing? 

  
When you deny the place of emotion in a debate you place it an exclusively cerebral sphere – one that is very difficult to fully inhabit unless you can go untouched by all the destabilising bullshit. 

So, congrats, you wrote your opinion piece on how to organise while the rest of us were experiencing the fear and empathy that comes with knowing a modicum of what it is to feel vulnerable (and I acknowledge I really do only know a fraction). Now shut up and listen for a minute!

I will not be shouted down from calling out racism and misogyny when I see it writ large in this way. When people hear a candidate call Mexicans rapists, call for an all-out ban on Muslims entering the country, deny that there is a problem with unarmed black men being killed by the police and do/say nothing when they are endorsed by the fucking Ku Klux Klan; when they hear him continuously assess women on their appearance and willingness to submit, and openly brag and sexual assault; when people see this and make the decision to STILL VOTE FOR HIM, because they think America needs “shaking up” or out of their own self interest, then however thoughtful and kind and well-meaning they may otherwise be they are also prepared to overlook this hate speech, this promise of descrimnation: it doesn’t matter enough to them. 

That is racism, that is misogyny. It is homophobia, it is islamophobia. It just is. I’m not demonising, I’m calling a spade a fucking spade. My Nan was a bit racist and homophobic, she was also generous and kind and polite, but she was a bit racist and homophobic too.

No one is saying that half of the US electorate secretly wants to reinstate segregation or uses the N word casually I the privacy of their own home, but it seems to me that some would rather not admit to the malignant undercurrent of racism and sexism that has allowed this shitstorm to occur. They are uncomfortable with naming the prejudices that are so blatantly at work here. And if this is the case then I might suggest that it is them who are naive and living in their own privileged bubble? 

A lot of people are racist, a lot of people are sexist – these people aren’t all poor, or white, or men but they do exist in their millions and I will be as angry as I like about it. I won’t shy away from using those words because they will offend and alienate people, I will scream them from fucking rooftops if I like because I’m enraged, and you should be too. I’m sick of those who have the power to speak not having the guts to call this bullshit out – the right aren’t afraid of offending people and they seem to be doing okay.

Look western society in the eye and see white supremacy and misogyny at every turn, then tell me to stop being so naive. I fucking dare you.

‘Calm down dear!’ Mansplaining Brexit.

It’s almost two weeks ago now that a few colossal bellends managed to persuade half the country that voting leave would ‘stick it to the man’ whilst also making the NHS filthy rich. Sigh. A lot has happened since then. Mainly, two of most colossal bellends of them all have sort of just thrown their hands in the air, said ‘well, it’s nothing to do with me’, and then sloped off to write newspaper columns and go to dinner parties with their other Brexit-proof friends.

But it’s not them I want to talk about. Of course Nigel Farage is a cowardly plasticine-faced liar. Of course Boris Johnson is an over-privileged nonsense-monger who wouldn’t know a working-class protest vote if it pissed on his pasty. These truths were pretty self-evident to me from the outset, so this has been more of a confirmation than a disappointment to me.

nigel face

Ole plasticine face in all his glory.

The leave vote was a disappointment. A huge one. A heart-breaking one if I’m honest. And not because if will effect me in any real way; I’m a white, educated, employed British national who owns a house – I’m pretty Brexit-proof too. No, it’s because it just fucking sucks. But you can read about why it sucks on a million other blogs, so I’m going to talk about something else that got my goat in the aftermath of vote leave…

Like many people who feel passionately about the value of multilateral diplomacy, diversity and the free movement of people, I was pissed as hell on the morning of the EU referendum. Accordingly, I took to Facebook and I think I think I spoke for many with my succinct status update, which went something like “fuck this shit.” That’s all I had to say at that point. Luckily though, others step in where my usually verbose nature failed me.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, enter the mansplainers. When others get angry or sad about Britain voting to leave the largest economic and political union of democratic states in the world, thank goodness for the voices of reason, those who tells us to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off; those who have no time for, you know, emotional reactions. *barely conceals rage*

They were all over the place! Everywhere I looked there was someone telling be to calm down! And no, they weren’t all men, but they were all mansplainers as far as I’m concerned.

Also, they were mostly men. White, British, privileged men. Left wing and feminist too, but still, like, sooo privileged. If that describes you then, you not, sorry but not sorry. Cos you guys need to know when to shut up sometimes, you have the floor for your entire lives, learn to pipe down occasionally.

There were three key arguments made by the mansplainers, and they went something like this:

“Calm down guys, it’s not helpful to call half of the country racist.”

Oh, isn’t it? Blow me down with a feather! There was I thinking hurling accusations of prejudice around at time of obvious division was a bloody brilliant idea! I mean, isn’t the best way to get across your differing political outlook just to shout ‘NAZI!’ really loudly at someone from across the street? It’s not? Awkward.

Of course this particular pearl of wisdom died down within a few days. You know, what with all the racism. 

The thing is that, as is usually the case when people dole out wisdom from on high, there was an abject failure to see the point. Leave voters weren’t all racists (I haven’t met anyone yet who thinks that they were, either), but the leave vote was seen as a win by racists; an implicit legitimisation for the shocking minority of bigoted, Britain-first garbage that has been rearing its ugly head since. Sorry leave voters, but shit just got real. This is the consequence of supporting a campaign that used refugee-fear as a persuasive tool. Deal with it.

nigel racist

The EU has failed us all, by taking in refugees. FFS.

“I think this a major lesson for everyone – social media is DESIGNED to be an echo chamber that reinforces your own biases.”

Yes, someone actually wrote this. On Facebook. Sigh. To be fair to the anonymous mansplainer there was a caveat about their own failings in this area but still, give me a break.

I saw  a lot of this around and about the place; the idea that the reason that we were all so shocked was we just listen to the ‘echo chamber’ of social media and treat it like a representative poll. Well, if you do that then – brace yourself – you are a moron. There’s a reason they’re called Facebook friends and not Facebook representative-samples-of-the-UK-population.

I wasn’t shocked because all my Facebook friends were voting remain (in fact I put an ironic status up about this before the vote and got mansplained to then, even after I’d explained it was a frickin’ joke!) I was shocked because the polls were close and I guess I just expected in the end that people would be cautious and vote for the status quo. Duh.

“One response is to simply throw our hands in the air, yelp in despair and give up. This is not an option. It would be irresponsible…”

This one comes straight from the pen of Owen Jones, who I usually love and largely agree with, but since the referendum result have found ever so slightly grating.

How lucky are all of us defeatist losers to have a figurehead like Mr Jones to shine a light in our darkest hour? I mean, I was literally going to give up on any idea of opposing social injustice or celebrating diversity ever again. I was just going to sit in my house and eat crisps and watch Love Island (which, by the way, will not be half as sexy when they can’t get Spanish visas anymore and have to film it on the Isle of Mann, brrr).

But I can still yelp in despair. Let me yelp in despair Owen!

“Okay, can the privileged white men on my Facebook feed stop lecturing people about ‘not demonising the disenfranchised’. Let us be angry for a day and stop being patronising fuckwits.”

Hmm, this may have been me. But I stand by it!

The very fact that there are so many people confusing the anger of Remain voters with some sort of haughty, middle-class disdain is pretty rich. I’m not saying that there was no class divide in this referendum – so please don’t mansplain the stats to me in the comment section, pleeeeaase – but what I am saying is that if all working-class people in all areas voted leave then how the hell would Scotland, Northern Ireland, Liverpool, Manchester and London boroughs like Newham have voted for remain?? How I ask ya?

I wonder if it ever occurred to the mansplainers that they were actually imposing a view on the ‘disenfranchised’ just as much as Farage and Johnson were. You don’t speak for them either, dickwads! And neither do I. I speak for myself, and myself is angry and confused and saddened by almost everything in the British media right now. So there. Now leave me alone and go and tell a woman how to put up a shelf or something.

_____________________

What do you think? Have you had the referendum mansplained to you one too many times? Or maybe you totes agree with the quotes I’ve put on here. Have your say in the comment section, tweet me @aafew or hop on over to my Facebook page.

Of home births and hero worship.

Recently, it’s really struck me how we all (or at least those of us who spend too much time googling shit and carry around an abundance of middle class guilt) aspire to a certain kind of birth. Pain-relief free, in a birthing-pool and, ideally, at home. The natural way.

(Incidentally, this line of thinking partly started because of the whole Helen-home-birth storyline on the Archers, which has since paled into insignificance).

Before I go any further I should say – if you did give birth at home, then props to you. I ain’t no hater.

But I do feel like women who manage to do it all ‘naturally’ receive a particular, celebrated status. They are sometimes talked about in a way that I rarely hear women who had assisted births being described. “Such a hero”, “amaaazing” etc.  And I don’t think that status serves anyone. Because, for one thing, it dictates how you should feel about your labour. At home with no pain-relief? You should feel good! In hospital with an epidural and some ‘assistance’. Bad. Obvs. Continue reading

28 times we hated Rob Titchener a little bit more…

rob evil

Public Service Announcement: This man is the actual worst**

Is The Archers sending anyone else into a borderline-panic-attack state recently? Seriously, this shit should come with a trigger warning.

In fact, trigger warning. This post contains reference to eating disorders and domestic and sexual abuse. Sigh.

Catching up on Friday’s episode of The Archers, I was physically shaking. The Rob and Helen storyline is car-crash radio at it’s best/worst. It just gets more and more disturbing, yet I can’t look away. Actually, I might have to, it’s not good for my mental health.

So, in order to excise some of this trauma, I thought I’d share my anger/grief/fear with y’all. I’ve been on Twitter, so I know I’m not the only one with #RobRage. Please enjoy this rant/romp through some of the highlights of Rob Titchener’s most hateful moments. (put the kettle on and settle in, we’ll be here for a while). Continue reading

How to lose your baby weight.

how to lose your baby weight‘Baby weight’: should it be an actual thing? Should it be something we talk about and focus on? Is ‘baby weight’ a helpful idea/turn of phrase in any way?

When you become a mother it is very likely that you’ll feel your body is not your own for while. I mean the whole being-in-labour thing is enough to make most of us feel a bit odd, what with the world and his wife regarding your nether-regions with clinical disinterest for 24 hours. Then there’s the fact that you have a tiny human attached to you boob/general person all the time. (Like, all the f*cking time). Anyhoo, the whole newborn scenario is not exactly going to make you feel like you’re bringing sexy back or anything, and that’s totes normal, so, like, don’t worry about it.

Added to all this body-consciousness is the concept that you have some ‘baby weight’ that you must lose sometime soon. Because that is what people do, right? By people, I mean Victoria Beckham and Jessica Alba and Kate ‘The Duchess of Cambridge’ Middleton. You know, the kind of people who can afford a nanny for each child, personal trainer and chef. And the kind of people who get followed around by cameras ever darn day of their lives… I mean, I can’t think how/why they do it…

At first this whole issue may not bother you, but give it time. I have written previously about the few months of grace after giving birth where I could look in the mirror and think “yeah, my body looks different and that’s okay”, but then the inevitable happened and I looked in s three way mirror and tried to buy jeans. Foolish woman. Suddenly it dawned on me that I really did need to shape up! And by ‘shape up’ I mean lose weight and look thinner, obvs. I need to shed my baby weight.

But did I? Do you? 

Now, I’m not saying that women don’t put on weight when they’re pregnant. I’m obviously not saying that, because that would be straight-up wrong and silly. I’m not saying that women don’t put on more weight than the 6-10lbs their baby weighs either (again, wrong and silly). What I’m saying is that the whole idea of ‘baby weight’ has a certain, well, weight to it. It has an expectancy that at some point you really need to get your act together and return to your ‘normal’ body type. Like your body has just gone wrong for a while and it needs a gym membership and 10-day juice cleanse to get it back on track.

But what if – and bear with me because this is a pretty out-there suggestion – what if growing a person in your womb, going through major hormonal changes and having the skin around your torso stretch, like, a lot, means that your ‘normal’ body type has changed? If that’s the case then isn’t the idea it’s all just ‘baby weight’ that needs to get gone a bit, well, unrealistic. What with having to look after an actual tiny helpless human and everything, I just don’t think this expectation is one we should be putting on ourselves.

And while we’re on the subject, what body shape are we trying to get ‘back’ to anyway? The way we looked before we had kids? You know, that pre-baby physique that you’d always been so happy with and never wanted to changed in any way? Hmm… Ain’t hindsight a bitch.

Actually, I think most of us want to have the body we wanted to have before we were pregnant, not the one we had. There’s still part of me that wants to get ‘back’ to my ‘ideal’ weight. This weight was not the weight I was just before Bubs was conceived, on no, it’s the weight I was when I was 24 and vegan and went running regularly and was yet to become quite so fond of Sauvignon Blanc. Incidentally this was also the weight I was when lots of people volunteered their unbidden opinion that I was too skinny. Sigh.

The fact that half of the women we see modelling clothes we’re supposed to wear are teenagers doesn’t help here. I mean, what if we’re not all supposed to have the figure of an adolescent girl whose boobs have just ‘come in’ for the rest of our lives?’

I’m just asking.

Having a baby, whether you give birth to it or not, is going to change your lifestyle. You will be exhausted a lot of the time and less able to just ‘pop to the gym’ (apparently that is a thing that people do) whenever. You will most likely eat more quick and easy food, which usually means more frozen pizza.

And so what? I mean, maybe that’s just okay. It’s obviously not okay to eat chocolate for breakfast every day and live a sedentary lifestyle, but any parent of a toddler will know that the option of a sedentary lifestyle is but an illusive dream.

(Just as an aside, I think all parents of toddlers should, by rights, have really toned arms. Who’s with me?)

Bodies change. That is an actual scientific fact. So what if we just let them? I don’t mean what if we all become morbidly obese, obvs, (wrong and silly), but what if we don’t try to ‘get our figures back’? What if we try to love the skin we’re in, generally eat some vegetables, make sure we move about a bit, and also drink some gin and eat some chocolate?

Sure Victoria Beckham is the skinniest four-child-bearing mini you’ll ever see, but as the paparazzi aren’t particularly bothered with my everyday movements, maybe it just doesn’t matter that much if my arms wobble a bit. Maybe that’s even.. Nice.

Dear Reader, I am so sick of this crap. I am so tired of being surrounded by women on expensive, extreme diets, or talking about how ‘bad’ we were on holiday (i.e. we ate lots and enjoyed it). I am SO sick of all this body image stuff getting into my head and making me crazy and unhappy and stopping me just enjoying my ridiculously blessed existence!

So, I am turning over a new leaf, I am going to try to live a healthy lifestyle because I don’t want to die of a con colony heart failure when I’m 55, and if doing that means I lose a stone then I will be ecstatic (not gonna lie) but if I don’t, I am really going to try to feel good about myself anyway. Because why shouldn’t I? And why shouldn’t you? 

If you need further inspiration, check Amy Schumer’s acceptance speech at the Glamour women of the Year Awards. Nothing to do with baby weight, but the line 47 seconds in is priceless!

  

Always Check the Eyelashes: Your CBeebies Guide to Gender.


Ah, Cbeebies. A land filled with possibilities. Where lions and zebras can coexist as equals and trainee knights befriend cave-dwelling trolls. Where every community – even small Scottish fishing villages – is a multicultural, wheelchair-accessible beacon of diversity. Surely, this is the utopia of which we all dream?

I do love CBeebies. In fact more than this I attribute a good proportion of my parenting sanity to its existence #nojokeofalie. I love that they show women being scientists, fitness instructors, bus drivers, pirate captains, minibeast adventurers, post officers (is that a thing?), nurses, nursery teachers, cooks, stay at home mums… Ahem. Well, you get the picture.

Yes, in the realm of humans the confinements of gender have (almost, sort of) been stripped away, huzzah to that! However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. I mean, we need some stereotypes, right? Otherwise how will girls find out that they’re supposed to be pretty and bookish? Or boys that they are headstrong and brave but ultimately a bit annoying??

More importantly, how will our youngsters learn to tell the difference? Imagine, a whole generation growing up not being able to tell whether a fictional character is supposed to be a girl or a boy? It would be chaos, people. CHAOS!

But fear not, Dear Reader! For I have deciphered the CBeebies gender-coding system (it doesn’t take a genius) that will have you sorting your Peters from your Lilies in 4 easy-to-follow steps. Disseminate this PSA widely, because God forbid we couldn’t tell which Cloud Baby is supposed to be a boy! Continue reading

All My Single Mummies!

(Dear Beyonce please don't sue me for using your image: I'm trying to be nice.)

(Dear Beyonce please don’t sue me for using your image, thank you please.)

It’s Mothers Day so by rights I should be reclining on a chaise longue, having a foot massage whilst eating peeled grapes. But I’ve got something to say! (no surprises there then)

Firstly I’d like to big- up all mums. Birth mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, god mothers, people-who-aren’t-called-mothers-but-maternally-care-for-many-others. You all rock.

But as I was lounging in bed this morning, being brought brekkie by my lovely Hubs (and Bubs who has no idea what day it is and just wants to eat my croissant) I realised that there were probably some Mothers Days when my mum didn’t get any of that. She was a single parent and when I was four-years-old I doubt I popped down the shops for a bouquet of a Sunday morning. Maybe other people did stuff for her. I imagine my Dad would have marked it in some way now and then (he’s lovely and they are together now so don’t go making assumptions #It’sComplicated). And she had some kickass friends who were totally my extended family growing up. (seriously guys, when my mum had tonsillitis and I was a baby they made a 24-hour rota and took care of use both, hurrah for friends!).

Still, we were lucky in ways that many single-parent families aren’t, so there must be a lot of women waking up this morning to no card, no flowers, no cup of tea. Just a hungry child and a pile of washing.

Continue reading

Sex A.D. (After Delivery)

so hot right now

Have you had a baby in the past few years? If so, how long after the birth did a midwife start talking to you about when you could/couldn’t have sex? I think I got about 24 hours before someone asked “Now, have you thought about contraception?” I think I answered, probably with something like “Erm, no, erm…*adjusts small person attempting to breast feed*”. A more genuine response would have been  “Have I thought about contraception? HAVE I THOUGHT ABOUT CONTRACEPTION? And frickin’ kidding me??”

Yes, I am aware that it is very responsible for hospitals to explain to women that they could potentially become pregnant straight away and that breast-feeding is not a guarantee against baby number two popping up on a scan in 12 week’s time (was that a collective shudder I just heard?). But, seriously, 24 hours after Bubs was born a more pertinent question would have been “do you think you’ll consider ever having sex again, ever in your entire life?” Because, let’s face it ladies, there’s nothing about pushing out a tiny human that makes you wanna welcome a fella into your lady garden any time soon, now is there?

Weirdly, though, I have heard stories from multiple midwives about couples being caught ‘at it’ on the post-natal ward. Yep, that’s right, on a ward, behind those flimsy blue curtains. And they say romance is dead! All I can think when I hear about this is “WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?” I mean, forget the psychological element, my first day of motherhood saw me walking around with a bag of my own pee. It’s just not practical, now is it?

Next time I had ‘the talk’ it was when I was being discharged by the community midwives. Same question again: “Have you thought about contraception?” I think I laughed this time. She was well aware that I had infected stitches (over-sharing?) and a particularly screamy baby. We both knew that this was a box-ticking exercise. (no, I did not intend that to sound like a joke from a carry-on film).

Actually, due to the afore mentioned stitches, I was also advised to wait until they had healed before resuming bedroom antics. And, you know, I was pretty okay with that. A lot of my friends had assisted births or caesareans and so were in the same boat. I’m pretty sure none of us minded putting off the hanky panky. At all.

Now, my friends and I don’t actually talk about our sex-lives; come on people, this isn’t Sex in the City. Still, every now and again one of use would hint at their, shall we say, lack of enthusiasm and we’d all laugh knowingly, then move on to more talk of puke, dribble-bibs or other such highbrow subjects.

Depending on your experience of labour (I haven’t met anyone who loved it yet, tbh), I’d say there is a sliding scale of how weirded out you feel by your body A.D. (After Delivery) It goes from, well-that-was-super-intense to oh-my-freakin-days-whose-boobs-are-these to AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH. Many of us spend a good few months (longer?) feeling our bodies are not our own. So it’s no wonder we aren’t feeling that up for it.

And must give a shout-out to the partners here too. Watching your loved-one give birth may be awe-inspiring but I imagine it is also pretty darn gross! I saw Robbie Williams on the Graham Norton show a while ago and he said “it’s like watching your favourite pub burn down.” Now, obviously Robbie Williams is a dick who prefers to live tweet his wife’s labour than, you know, actually be there for her, but I think he’s probably illustrating a wider issue. I mean, once you’ve seen that you can’t un-see it. Ever.

But I haven’t even got to the best part yet. The most effective form of contraception that arrives after the birth of your first child: That’s right folks, it’s your first child!

bubs CRYING b&W

Screaming babies: nature’s contraceptive.

 

A little baby sleeping inches from you bed, or indeed in it, every night isn’t exactly an aphrodisiac. In fact, let me rephrase that. A little baby not sleeping inches from your bed every night; that’s the real kicker. When our little ones do eventually drop off at 1am after hours of coaxing and rocking, our priorities tend to be capitalising on a two-hour window for sleep, not having a quicky.

This is all perfectly reasonable, but after a while, if we’re not careful, the guilt starts to creep in. However feminist you think you are, there’s probably some 1940s-BBC-RP voice in the back of your mind shouting “Women of Britain: Do you duty!” It’s nonsense of course. Your duty is to look after yourself and your baby and, hopefully, stay sane in the process. Any partner who doesn’t understand that needs a punch up the bracket I say!

Looking at the NHS website, though, it would seem some women do feel rushed into sex before they’re ready. Why else would the page on episiotomies feature sentences like “If sex hurts, it won’t be pleasurable”, well, that isn’t something that should need saying! Even more worryingly it goes on “If penetration is painful, say so.” I mean, bloody right you should say so, but I would hope the bloke would notice too!!

So, just in case there is anyone reading this post who hasn’t read the NHS website or had other women to talk to, I just need to let you know a few things:

If you don’t feel like having sex after your baby is first born, then don’t worry THAT’S NORMAL. Still feel the same two months later? That is ALSO NORMAL! Still feel like it after a year? Well, to I’m sure that’s pretty normal too, but you might wanna talk to your partner (or someone else) about it, because if sex was fun B.C. (before children) then surely it can be fun A.D.  (It can be, don’t ask me how I know, my parents might read this).

But, basically, your body, which by the way has produced an actual human being, should be respected and given the time it needs to heal. So should your mind for that matter. It seems weird that this is a thing that even needs to be said in 2015, but it probably does, so I’m saying it.

 

What’s your experience? Has labour put you off sex for life? Or maybe you were the ones getting jiggy on the post-natal ward? Whatever you think do get involved by commenting below!

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Speaking of housework… #WickedWednesdays

Whether or not you feel a guilt-inducing obligation to do the housework due to your own indoctrination by the patriarchy, the chores have gotta get done. That, however, is difficult with a toddling person around. If they don’t want to be played with or picked up, then they inevitably decide to follow you around attempting to eat all of the crumbs and fluff and dust you’re attempting to sweep up. *gag*. So what to do?

This household’s ‘life hack’ (does anyone else detest that phrase?) is to pop Bubs into our hiking baby ruck sack – Yes, we’re that kind of family #NationalTrustForLifeBitches – This usually works a treat as he’s close to you, but not close enough to snatch the anti-bacterial spray from your hands. And, any way, he is now in the perfect position to enjoy a good hair-pulling session!

Sometimes, though, it feels slightly neglectful. I am basically ignoring him whilst tricking him into thinking he’s involved. Mum skillz!

One morning I went to the mirror to make a token funny face at him before continuing with the tasks at hand, but he was asleep! How long had he been in that neck-cricking posture? I shall never know. But, hey, at least I’d emptied the dish-washer!

Bored much?

Bored much?

 

 

 

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