When I was in my twenties and imagined myself one day with children (which, to be honest, was rarely ever), I saw myself raising tiny free spirits. They would have long, tangled hair, and always be covered in dirt and paint. We’d kind of ‘make up’ the rules as we went along. I’d talk to them like adults. They would be raised vegan (which I was, in my twenties – now, breastfeeding, I am mostly-vegetarian-but-inhale-any-food-in-sight-because-MAKING-MILK). Above all, my kids and I would give NONE OF THE F*CKS about what people thought because our lives were our lives, and we lived as we want to.
Oh, you sweet, naïve girl.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I started to realise that people liked to make comparisons.
“You’re much bigger than my friend. She’s six months pregnant too and she’s TINY.”
“When did YOUR baby start kicking?”
“I wouldn’t touch anything from a take-away store when I was pregnant with MY baby. I wouldn’t want to take that chance.”
“How are YOU planning to give birth?” (Um, either from my vagina or, failing that, from a big cut in my belly, thanks.)
My baby wasn’t even here and already I was starting to feel like maybe I would excel in one area and fail in others.
Birth, too, was definitely a competitive sport.
“TAKE ALL THE DRUGS. That’s what they’re there for!”
“TAKE NONE OF THE DRUGS. You’ll enjoy it more if it’s natural!”
“I had the hardest birth because I was in labour for so long, it was exhausting!”