Mothercare Expectant Parent Event – Glasgow, 21st June

I’d heard great things about Mothercare expectant parent events, so was delighted to find one taking place on Wednesday 21st June.

As a natural sceptic I thought it might all be one big sales event, designed to promote the products Mothercare have on sale. And whilst there was of course a bit of that, I couldn’t have been more wrong about the night.

On arrival there were drinks and nibbles and friendly staff to explain exactly what was there on the night. All of the staff were really helpful and interested in our situation and needs, rather than just giving a pre-planned spiel.

Highlights included:

The other half trying on a baby bump

His initial reaction was that it was just like he’d eaten way too much but as the event reps added in more weight and got him to walk around, he conceded it wouldn’t be that easy to deal with that all day every day.

Finding out that baby on Board signs are actually indicators for paramedics

I’d previously thought this was just people’s way of either showing off or expecting otherwise irrational drivers would instead take care upon seeing the sign. Instead what I learned was far more interesting and useful. If you affix the baby on Board sign to the left of the rear window, paramedics will rush to that side in the event of an accident. It then is much more beneficial than I ever thought to have one of these signs, and to ensure your child sits on the side it’s displayed.

Child first aid
As someone who can barely bumble through adult first aid, the stall was one of my priorities over and above the talks. Very useful tips for first time or nervous parents about helping a baby or child that’s choking or having breathing difficulties.

There were many more highlights of the night, including 10% off vouchers for

attendees, plus a further 10% off Tommee Tippee products on the night. Not to mention a goody bag containing a glow in the dark Mam soother, breast pads, and cute pregnancy photo cards from Tommee Tippee.
I’d strongly encourage any expectant mother to attend, whether or not you’ve had a child before. If you don’t learn anything from all of the experts on hand, you’ll at least walk away with some discount vouchers which can be used at a later date.

 

Should dads-to-be receive Father’s Day gifts?

One observation I’ve made over the last year or two is that mums-to-be seem to now me catered for in the mother’s day market.

From Clinton’s to card factory, there was a choice of happy mothers day mum to be cards. It’s fair to say I also noticed this more prominently on social media with more and more friends having babies in the past couple of years.But now it seems that dads-to-be are muscling in on the action too. Card, stationery and gift shops are now starting to populate shelves with dad-to-be cards and gifts, and social media is awash with cute graphics and e-cards.

I mean, you’ve literally got a lifetime of mother’s and father’s days to look forward to from next year, so why not wait till the bundle of joy is here to give you it in person?

Growing a baby is hard

It did strike me as odd that you would get a mother’s day gift for someone who isn’t yet a mother. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cute and cheesy to put things like “thanks mummy can’t wait to meet you, love from bump” on the card but do we really need to also lavish them with gifts?

In fairness, growing a baby isn’t the easiest thing to do, and granted it’s a sweeter deal for some than others. However, all women make sacrifices to grow a child inside them, be it alcohol, a favourite food, or simply the body they’ve come to know and love. So I guess it’s fair to be rewarded for that.

In contrast, we could question what a man has done over the same period to deserve a thank you from bump. I mean, without him bump wouldn’t be here but unless he’s picked up his fair share or additional share of the housework (which he absolutely should), been run ragged at midnight trying to find obscure ice creams or soothed a hysterical mum to be thought a wildly emotional phase, I find it hard to justify the whole gift thing here.

Practical and useful for baby?

To me, if you insist on getting a fathers day gift for dad-to-be, it should be something that’s not only a cute reminder of your journey into parenthood, but something that will be practical and useful for baby. Maybe you can get a matching daddy/baby t-shirt and baby gro set? Or perhaps a keepsake that you both can treasure?
Maybe it’ll be something you envisage daddy using/doing – a nappy bin he’ll have to empty or feeding apparatus he’ll need when you’re not around.

When baby is still in the cooking stages, it seems like there’s so much more you could be doing, celebrating and ultimately spending your hard earned cash on, over a present for someone who hasn’t spent a day of their life being a parent as yet. So, sorry to my baby-daddy-to-be, you won’t be getting anything extra from me or bump today. Except maybe brunch, but that’s only coz you’re on night shift.

Things I refuse to do just because I’m pregnant

Everyone is different and for some, pregnancy is all about sharing every moment with anyone who will listen. For others it’s a tumultuous time, experiencing symptoms and side effects they’d rather not talk about. For a fortunate few, pregnancy is a breeze, meaning life can continue pretty much as normal to a certain extent.
However as times change and social media becomes ever-popular, there are now certain expectations or nuances we come to expect from mums-to-be, not just on public platforms, but all across life. It seems that people are all to quick to make judgements no matter what you do, if it’s the norm or not. Well, I’ll tell you right now, here are the things I refuse to do just because I’m pregnant! (If I do, you have permission to slag me to oblivion)

 

Post a picture of the inside of me on Facebook or any other social media

Aka sharing scan pics at every opportunity. I didn’t like sharing pictures of the outside of me for most of my life, so not going to start showing you my uterus and inhabiting foetus, let alone have it as my profile picture.

Make big announcements about how pregnant I am or what I’ve experienced
I’m well aware I’m not the only woman to have ever been pregnant, and to be honest, there hasn’t been much to experience so far – I appear to have a very lazy child. Aside from this, nobody in the world apart from expectant mothers and midwives count things in weeks. 27 weeks is too much time-based maths for anyone to care about. And at any rate, it just reminds people that there are at least another 13 pictures of a belly to look forward to.

Bang on about what I’m doing for baby/going to do for baby
Every maw went pram shopping at some point. If there’s nothing of value to add to that tale, other than the fact I bought a pram, is it really any more interesting than showing you a post of my dinner? Also, I might want to have a birth a certain way but that doesn’t make it better or worse than anyone else’s choice and it certainly doesn’t mean it will happen that way on the day, so what’s the point in announcing it on social media for everybody to put in their own two cents?

Stop living my life if it poses no threat
It’s sweet when people think I should no longer be exercising the way I’ve been used to for the past few years, but if Serena Williams can win a tennis grand slam carrying another human the whole time, I’m sure I’ll be fine with a wee bit of cardio and stretching, thanks. Similarly, if it’s not heavier than my handbag, I can probably still carry it. And don’t get me started on going to pubs and gigs. I didn’t run into the moshpit before, chances are I’m not going to receive a wayward punch now!

Play the pregnancy card for the sake of it
Admittedly, this has come in useful when avoiding clambering into the back of 3 door vehicles, but in fairness that was always difficult at my height/build! It would be easy to just cop out of things like popping out for milk, doing the housework or even ducking out of much-dreaded plans, but what good would that do me and bump in the longterm? Laziness is not a habit an expectant mother should feed! That being said, if I’m yawning my head off in public or struggling with the vaccuum, I’ll probably just give up.

What I will do:

Share ridiculous experiences that people may relate to or might give people a chuckle.
A kid peeing on the doctor? Mortifying and hilarious in equal measure! Having a breakdown at the top of a hill in Italy because you need a wee? Inevitably funny for those not involved.

Share things that people might find useful (a bargain, a tip about a certain product and so on. I dare you to show me someone who doesn’t love a bargain)

7 Annoying Social Situations IBS Sufferers Face

*this post was originally written on an old blog site of mine in 2016, and I moved the content here when that site was deleted.

 

So I have IBS. It’s common and it’s rubbish and I mostly think it’s just a lazy term used when doctors can’t be bothered to find out the actual cause of your body’s daily battle with food. Not only are there such delightful symptoms like severe abdominal pain and a ballooning stomach, but there’s the added joy of having to do the things that are considered by many to be social no-nos.

Unbuttoning your trousers in public

No, I’m not intending on getting done for indecent exposure, and no I’m not doing a sexy striptease at my desk – sometimes those jeans/trousers I put on in the morning just simply don’t fit me by 2pm. Imagine eating your biggest Christmas dinner; you’re super full and super bloated. In the comfort of your own home you can change into PJ’s, but for us IBS sufferers who can get this feeling after 2 bites of any given lunch, the next best thing is undoing that top button. Otherwise the circulation may be cut off from our mid-region and we’ll be turned into sausages.

Eating at inappropriate times and places

Little and often tends to be the best way to cater to my IBS. That may not be the case for everyone. However not eating can be just as bad as eating the wrong things, sending your body into overdrive when you do eat. So, sometimes I can be *that* guy on the train with my smelly/delicious food, or I may have to whip out some snacks from my bag at the park, pub, in a meeting. It can get awkward and inappropriate, but I’m your girl if your stomach is rumbling as you wait for a bride and groom to finish their 3 hour photoshoot.

Deliberating longer than is necessary over a food menu

Shout out to all my waiter/waitress friends – I know how much it sucks when tables take forever to order. But sometimes we have to practically proofread the menu to make sure there’s no known IBS-aggravating ingredient in there. Apologies to all those we IBS-ers dine with, we anticipate your hangryness.

Breaking wind in public

Sorry to totally bust the myth, but some girls do fart. Moreover, they even burp! A lot of these girls (and a lot of boys) have the luxury of saving their own body noises (and sometimes smells, soz) for the loo, or whenever they are alone. But with IBS, a fart can sneak up on you without warning. There’s no holding that baddy in, and honestly, even if we could we wouldn’t want to. That’s just more pain and grief we don’t need.

Having to have the awkward pregnant conversations

Ok, so this one doesn’t apply if you’re a guy, but many of the lady IBS sufferers will know exactly what I’m on about. Don’t get me wrong, my IBS belly has gotten me a much needed seat on a packed and sweaty tube, preventing me from inevitably fainting. Yet I’ve been offered a seat more often than is comfortable, looked at knowingly and even glared at in a pub for drinking with what isn’t even a food baby, never mind a real one, causing my belly to protrude. If we’re lucky, this is where it ends, but in Glasgow where strangers still talk to each other in public, there can be a “when are you due” conversation for which you either have to invent a mythical baby to save any embarrassment, or attempt to explain the truth without mortifying the stranger.

Pooing in public loos

OMG I poo! It’s disgusting, I know. While we’d all like to pretend we don’t poo and it doesn’t smell, unfortunately that just isn’t the case. And for some IBS sufferers, there are times where there’s just no getting away from it. When nature calls, we either gotta go, or try and wait it out and end up in more agony later on.

Fighting for your water

Water is my constant saviour – if I don’t have constant access to some then there’s always a fear that my mouth will dry and stomach will flare. This means I almost always have water on my person, desk or in my car. But sometimes you’re just not allowed water – ask any airport security person! Or festival/gig security, nightclub doorman…. the list goes on. So, sometimes we’ll hold up the queue when we fight for our water (not in an airport, I don’t have a deathwish), wait while the bouncer checks whether it’s alcohol or water or some sort of radioactive poison, and then possibly not even get it back anyway. We apologise in advance for your inconvenience.