When it comes to parenting, everyone has an opinion. Even people without children have an opinion on everything, from when (and how) you should wean to the importance of establishing a routine early on, their sleeping position and the clothes they’re wearing. Nothing, it seems, is safe from criticism or someone’s prying mind.
Motherhood is a total game-changer. I kinda knew that before embarking on this crazy, beautiful and messy journey though. What I didn’t anticipate fully was exactly how life would be different from before. Being a mum has brought with it a few surprises that I’ve been loving.
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Although 20 weeks isn’t exactly a milestone age (we’re way past three months and quite a bit short of six months), now feels like as good a time as any to share my breastfeeding story so far. I predominantly breastfeed but use formula every day, so hopefully there’s something here you can relate to however you’re feeding!
Both before and during pregnancy, I practiced yoga on and off for about 10 years. It’s something that I find chills me out, strengthens my core and makes me more mindful of my posture. I was made up when I realised it’s also something I can do with my baby.
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Assuming he is cisgendered, my baby boy will grow into a man. As a white male not living below the poverty line, he’ll enjoy a certain set of privileges not bestowed on everyone. Being a parent, it’s my duty to raise a good human, and being a mum of a boy, it’s my duty to show him how to treat women. This is my ‘open letter’ to him on that subject.
Life changes when you have a baby, no one would quibble with that. I’m not saying you have to lose your entire identity as you take on the role of parent, but certain things will change. Some changes are definitely for the better, others I’m not so sure. Here are just a few things that now feature in everyday life that were never there before.
Since becoming a single parent, it hasn’t been the stigmatisation we face that has been my biggest bugbear. I know that exists in buckets in the media, amongst Conservative politicians and society in general. But much more noticeable to me has been people’s pity. No matter how innocent and well-meaning it is, I’d like to take this opportunity to say (in the politest possible way) that single parents, unless they expressly ask for it, don’t need sympathy.