I am thrilled to have this post to share with you all today written by my best friend Katie…and yes before you ask double the Katie’s really is double the trouble!
Before you’ve read this article you’ve probably already had a strong opinion on this topic if you’re a mum and you have social media accounts. Personally, I find it a very important and completely ignored area of mental health. The pathological damage that is possible from viewing the lives of others from their (very carefully) edited perspective is so dangerous. My name is Katie, and I’m your guest blogger today.
A little background on myself- I’m married to a head chef and mum to two boys: Theodore, aged 2 years 7 months, and George, 4.5 months. I take motherhood very seriously, and nearly completely lost myself in it all after having Theo. The Unmumsy Mum blog really, truly helped me to see that there is NO SUCH THING as being a perfect mum, having a perfect pregnancy or perfect marriage. Katie (of ‘Mama Says’ genius) is my best friend and I’m so proud of her honest blog on motherhood.
If you are a blogger, you have a responsibility to your readers. Is a woman reading your blog and comparing herself to you? YES SHE IS. In every way. If your reader is already undergoing intense personal struggles, one flippant comment could be the catalyst to a downturn in her mental health. Now, I’m not saying this is the bloggers fault, but mindfulness is key here.
Other points about pregnancy that I feel are important:
Sex: your partner will probably be frightened of hurting you/the baby/the bump freaks him out etc. So you wont have as much sex as normal. Most men think their penis is so big it will poke the baby and you seriously can’t talk them down from this! Mega lolz. If it’s so then high five! If you read that someone is having loads of pregnant sex and this is your first pregnancy, believe me, that’s some freak-show shit going on there.
Stretch Marks: first baby I didn’t get any until 36 weeks, second baby, I got loads. I used the oils and yadda yadda yadda, but if those little fuckers are coming, there’s no stopping them. Who gives a shit? I’ve had two big healthy babies and those stretch marks are literally the least of my worries. If your partner finds them unattractive, leave him. Asshole.
Birth: after planning a natural birth and breastfeeding, I ended up with 2 C-sections (one emergency and one necessary due to size of baby). I felt and still do feel so judged about this. I was not ‘too posh to push’ or frightened of the pain. Birth isn’t a competition and having the quickest, easiest delivery doesn’t mean you ‘win’. You aren’t better than someone who hasn’t had a natural delivery. Do what keeps you and the baby safe, and what you are comfortable with. These things don’t always go to plan. That’s ok.
Baby Weight: you’ve just spent 9 months growing a person, housing it, feeding it and then delivering it. You may snap back into shape, but you may not. If you don’t (hi there! Me either!) this is NORMAL. I can 99% guarantee your husband will still want to have sex with you and wont notice extra lumps or bumps. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t deserve you. Leave him. Give yourself a year to get the weight off, buy cheap, bigger clothes from Primarni and chill. You just had a baby! So many women can’t and would love to have baby weight. When you’re having a bad day, just tell yourself that.
Motherhood: best thing ever BUT. If you find it hard, wonder what the point is, hate the baby stage, miss going out getting mad with it, scream into your pillow with frustration when no one is around (me on Monday just gone), cry and miss your flat tummy like a lost lover, that’s NORMAL. Just because ‘Kaz’ from high school puts pictures on of her and the kids baking every two minutes and constantly talks about how ‘ace’ they are and is always smiling, it doesn’t mean it’s true. If it is, she has no personality and the IQ of a dick head. More likely, she’s losing her shit with them over the tone of the lilac royal icing and screaming at her perfect kids over the mess on her engineered oak floors. Baking with kids is awful awful awful. Buy a sponge cake for £1 and let them decorate it. That’s fun. Letting little Jimmy loose with the golden syrup is one step closer to the edge of madness.
So. This may help, it may not. Just always remember that if you share your life, you have a responsibility to be honest and truthful. I’m not suggesting you tell FB about your husbands erectile dysfunction or the fact that you actually have a favourite child (if you do, you shouldn’t. Awful person that you are), but don’t pretend you find pregnancy or motherhood easy if you don’t. Share your real feelings, and have a laugh about it. Katie (Mama Says) and I say THE most heinous things to each other and scream laughing about it. A problem shared and all that. And if you do have social-media-Mum-wankers on your friends list and they bother you, unfollow them. Simple.