Yesterday, one of my best friends got some absolutely awful news. When your best friend sounds like she needs a shoulder or two, then you get on a train and give her your shoulders.

Which is why I find myself sat on a train heading north, allowing daddy and little duck to have some bonding time. 

And of course all of the most appropriate songs start playing on my Spotify.  Proper tear jerking songs.

Goddamnit Spotify.  

Almost A Year

When I found out I was pregnant with Emma, I joined an online pregnancy support group, and I met some wonderful women.
I’ve met a handful of them, however there are three of them who have become my closest friends.
We talk every day, we laugh, we’ve cried, we’ve text, spoken on the phone, visited each other, sent gifts and cards and we’ve all been there for each other.

We made a plan to meet every 6 months at least with all of our babies, and well if some of us could meet up more often then great.

We first all met up on the 22nd of July 2013, when our babies were 4/5 months old.

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We met up again today, 6 months later.

We ate, we laughed, we played and it was great.

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Friends. Or Not.

This time in 2 weeks I would have finished my first shift back at work.
I’m anxious if I’m honest.
Anxious about leaving Emma.
Anxious about going back to work with people who bullied me.

It’s not an option to stay home any longer, maternity pay is rubbish.
£136 a week will not pay my rent and council tax, much less pay electricity, cover my loan repayment and put food on the table.

We’ve worked it that I will work an early shift Monday to Friday and The Husband will have Emma in the mornings and lunchtime, and then he will go to work once I’m home and likely to work the weekends. It’s not ideal but it beats paying out almost £250 a week for childcare.

Whilst I’m anxious, I’m also happy. I work in a role where I mainly provide customer services and some of the people I work with are absolutely lovely.

Over the last 6 months there have been days where I’ve felt incredibly alienated. People I thought were friends have dropped off the face of the earth. Some of the mummy friends I have met online have turned out to be not very nice people. Some have been brilliant rocks and I wish they didn’t all live so far away from me.

Going back to work means I may make some friends. And I’m realising that at 29 years of age, the fact that I’m talking about needing to make friends is incredibly sad and pathetic.

People’s priorities change, my close friends have all had babies too, so whilst we don’t talk/see each other a often as we did before babies, when we do speak/meet up its like no time has passed. I wish that diaries were more in sync, but alas these friends live far away too. I guess that’s what happens when you get married and move to the other side of the capital. Maybe one day that will change, who knows.

Today is a day where I feel very alienated. Realising that the people I thought were friends, are just mere acquaintances, if that.

The worst part? These “friends” are the ones I put a lot of effort into, always there when they needed me, always on the other end of the phone. Yet now they don’t even bother responding to messages.

I hope that when Emma is growing up that she has solid friendships. It’d break my heart 100 times over if she ever had experiences such as this one that I’m experiencing now.

Guess I just need to pull my big girl pants up and throw on my mama armour.

And buy more books.

Parenthood, Friendships and Socialising

It’s funny. When you’re pregnant and then when you become a mother, you discover who your friends really are.

There’s that saying, “good friends are those who you don’t see regularly but when you do see them you can pick up and carry on as if no time has been spent apart”

The moment you tell people you are pregnant, there’s a hubbub of congratulations and excitement. Then people seem to think you’re fragile and things change.

Beforehand you’d get invited to nights out. Weekends away. Dinners in semi-fancy restaurants.

Then it stops.

It’s as if being pregnant means you’re no longer allowed to do such things.

Instead whilst your friends go out and have fun, not inviting you (mainly because they assume you won’t want to go, they assume you’re feeling sick or tired) you troll Internet pregnancy and parenting boards looking for people in the same situation as you so that you can bond.

So for almost 9 months, you slowly begin to lose touch with those friends.
You see Facebook statuses, tweets, photos of their “adventures”. You wonder why you weren’t invited. You feel a bit upset, hormones are raging, you have a cry and then you feel angry. Then? You stop caring. At least for a little while.

Then d-day comes and you have your baby. You make your birth announcement and all of a sudden everyone comes out of the woodwork.

You get lots of congratulations and excitement, lots of messages asking when people can come and visit. People wanting to come and hold your new baby.

The same people who only weeks/months before simply stopped involving you in their social life/circles. Who only rarely sent you a message to see how you were. Who very rarely responded to your messages.

The first few weeks of having your new baby is a flurry of visitors. People invite themselves to your home for new baby cuddles. Then it tails off again. As the weeks go by, you get less visitors, less messages, less phone calls.

These same people carry on with their lives. You carry on with yours, getting to grips with a new baby.

Again, you don’t get invites to go to the pub, out for a meal. Instead you see photos from nights out, Facebook statuses, tweets.

When you jokingly say “where was my invite then?” People uhm and ahh, unsure of what to say and then finally come out with “I didn’t think you be able to because of the baby”.

You don’t get invited because people assume you are too tired/ can’t go because you have a baby now/ don’t want to go.

As if having a baby, being a mother means that you can now no longer attend social functions. As if being a mother suddenly means you are no longer an actual person. With feelings.

Well, here’s the low down, from a new mama.

It hurts.

Just because I am now someone’s mother and have the responsibility for a child, doesn’t mean I am not a person, who on occasion needs some adult conversation, interaction and occasionally a glass of wine!

Don’t stop inviting me out because you think I can’t/don’t want to go. Don’t assume. You know, your assumption may be correct. I may be too tired and not want to go. I may not have a baby sitter and so cannot go. But I’d like to be asked. To be invited, instead of feeling excluded.

Remember that. Remember to continue to treat your friend like a friend after she announces her pregnancy and has a baby. Otherwise you may find that one day she won’t be your friend anymore.
Eventually she will stop trying, will decide to stop asking herself what she did to be treated the way she was, and she will just walk away.

R-S-V-P-E-C-T

There is nothing more exciting to a new first time mama, than celebrating the upcoming birth of her baby with her friends and family.

I’ve always wanted to have a baby shower and my mother in law and 2 sister in laws, graciously helped me plan it.

There is nothing more disappointing than inviting 40 of your friends and female family members to it, only to have 8 people turn up.

I decided to set up the invitation via Facebook, 2 months before the shower. 10 people simply removed themselves from the event, didn’t bother to say “thank you but baby showers aren’t my thing / I can’t make it”.

Out of 22 people, 9 of them let me know in advance that they couldn’t make it. 13 didn’t bother responding (despite follow up messages) and 2 who initially said they were coming, just didn’t show up.

One person even accepted and then 6 weeks after accepting and saying yes, publicly said they hadn’t been told about it.

I’m not going to name and shame, you all know who you are. I’m disappointed but not surprised, I’m often let down, so it’s just one more event in my life where people I consider family and friends have let me down.

It seems that in pregnancy you find out who your real friends are. You make that announcement and people who haven’t spoken to you in years start sending your FB friend request and asking how you are. Whereas some other people completely ignore you.

Whilst I appreciate that others lead busy lives, and my pregnancy and upcoming new arrival is not as important to everyone else as it is to me and the Husband, the least you can do, as my friend, is to take 1 minute of your busy day/life to reply to me and say “sorry I can’t make it”.

It’s common courtesy and politeness when invited to a party/christening/shower/wedding/BBQ/other social event to at least inform the host if you will be attending or not.

I want to thank the 7 ladies (I was #8) who came today, with gifts and smiles and hugs. Thank you.

I want to thank my mother in law Ana for the baking treats and letting me use her home.

I want to thank my sister-in-law Sophie for helping with games and setting up and keeping the pooch and kitties occupied and out of the food, and letting me take over her home on her day off.

I want to thank my sister-in-law Tash for making the stunning cake and helping me do the food.

It’ll be interesting to see how many people come out of the woodwork when Flump arrives. How many want to see photos and visit and get newborn cuddles.

Please don’t expect me to show you the same courtesy as you’ve shown me.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

It’s been 68 days since my grandad lost his battle with cancer. Life has gone on, grown a bit more and people have carried on with their lives.

I’m 33 weeks pregnant today and suddenly incredibly sad that my grandad won’t get to meet my Flump. I’m sad that the husbands grandad who passed away 4 1/2 years ago won’t get to meet our Flump.

I’m sad that so many people across the world are fighting this horrible disease. I’m sad that so many people have already lost their fight. It’s not fair.

Today my friend posted a video to a mutual friend who is battling cancer, she is also pregnant and due (like me) next month. I sent the same video to another friend of mine who is undergoing treatment.

I truly and honestly wish with all my heart that they win. That they stay strong and positive. That they kick cancers ass. They are both strong wonderful women. They deserve to win. Everyone with cancer deserves to win.

FOR SALE : one pair of used panties

Ok, so the blog title is a lie. I’m not actually selling my worn panties. Although based on the research I just did, it seems as though I’m in the wrong job! Apparently there’s a market out there for used/worn/soiled/musty/wet panties. Whatever floats your boat I guess.

My best friend and I have some really bizarre and strange conversations. We have done since we were 14, which is why, I guess, that we’re such great friends. We can talk about everything and anything and not worry about being judged or ridiculed.

Tonight’s conversation was about jobs. Finding stuff that we really want to do and stuff we really enjoy. I jokingly said she should become an Ann Summers rep, or write erotica, or even became a phone sex operator (they make big bucks!).

I watched a documentary on phone sex operators and most women do it from home, and can make a fair amount of income. Think about it, you spend all day on the phone, you can catch up on your ironing whilst telling someone that you’re not wearing any panties and that you’ve been a naughty girl and need to be spanked. It seems that some men pay big bucks for these types of phone calls. So essentially you’re getting paid to stay home, in your pyjamas, catching up on your ironing and making the odd moan of “you like that?” down the phone. Easy money I’d say. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’d laugh my arse off, I’d totally do that kind of job.

Anyway, I digress. I told my friend that she could probably sell her used panties on eBay. It seems that there’s a market for that too. Mind you, I’m not surprised, if there’s a market for men who want to be sat on by 300 pound women, then why not dirty panties. I even found out that there’s a market for used underwear that’s been squirted with breast-milk. Mommy issues maybe?!?

Think about it, you can get some really nice feminine underwear for as little as £1. (it’s not like you plan to wear it for a long time anyway) You wear the panties,and then someone buys them. On my research I found a woman in the UK who sells her used under garments for £23 a pair. There’s a profit to be made here. And it cuts down on laundry, because you won’t need to wash your pants. You just pop them in an envelope and mail them off.

Somehow I don’t think either of us will change our careers from what we’re doing now to selling our dirty panties on the Internet, but in this economic climate I guess it’s an option.

Imagine explaining that job on your CV.

The Pact

This morning I remember a teenaged pact I made when I was 16 with my best friend. We both made a pact that if we were both unmarried at 40 then we’d marry each other, because lets face it, gay marriage should be legal by then.

Fast forward 11 years and it’s likely our pact won’t ever need to be fulfilled. I’m married and she’s in a long term committed relationship that will most likely end in marriage.

However, at 16, I thought it’d take a long time for the government to allow same sex marriages. In many cases same sex marriage is legal and has been for quite some time. In other places not so much, and that’s a real shame.

People who love each other should be allowed to marry regardless of who they love or their sexuality. I for one fully support same sex marriages and believe everyone should be allowed the chance to marry whoever they like.

This week it was announced that Kim Kardashian was divorcing her husband of only 72 days. Her multi-million dollar wedding covered 2 tv shows and countless newspapers and magazines. what a shame that some people can throw a lavish wedding ceremony only to have their marriage dissolve in less than 3 months. Yet same sex couples who have been together for years on end aren’t allowed to marry.

Maybe that will have changed by the time I’m 40, if not hopefully before then. In the meantime keep campaigning. It will happen. One day.

Friendship

Have you ever stopped to think about how long you’ve been friends with your friends?

I don’t think of myself as old, after all I’m only 27 and that’s not very old at all. 95 is old. But when you look at your friendships and you realise how long you’ve had them then it really hits home.

My friend Sasha, I’ve been friends with her since I was 10. I am 27. That’s 17 years! Although we don’t live near enough to each other to visit on a regular basis, we keep in touch via email. She lives 7,000 odd miles away.

Then there’s my friend Angela and her sister Melody. We have been friends since I was 8. That’s 19 years!! Next year will be 20 years! 20!!!!! Saying you’ve had a friendship for 20 years absolutely astounds me. They live in Ohio and Colorado respectively, even further from London. I miss them dearly.

Toni, my first friend when I moved to London at the age of 12. 15 years ago. 15 years is a long time.

Then there is Kerry. We’ve been friends since we were 13. That 14 years. That’s more than half our lives.

Then there is Beth. I’ve been friend with Beth since I turned 18. Nearly 10 years. She’s one of my dearest friends.

These women have been my close friends for almost or more than half of my entire life and slowly but surely, over that time they have become more than my friends. They are family. They are my nearest and dearest.

There isn’t a day that goes by in my life as it is, that I don’t think of them.

Some of them are married, some have kids, some have bought houses, some have worked hard at their careers, but all of them have remained my friends and will do so until I die (which hopefully won’t be anytime soon!)

I can’t wait for the day when I can tell my kids/grand-kids about these women and how they’ve shaped my life and helped make me the woman I am today.

Girls, I love you all and I will be your friend always.

I’m sorry to say you have an addickshun

It’s been ages sinces I’ve seen one of my best friends, and we went out last night for “curry and a pint” and had a right old laugh catching up and what not.

She does make me laugh, and she’s probably the reason…in fact I KNOW she’s the reasons all my A* predicition grades when out the window and we only got A’s and B’s.

I remember this one time, we both joined ranks with these boys in our English class called David and Mark. We thought it’d be extremely funny to buy some superglue and stick money to the floor. We started off small, you know the odd 10p here and there and eventually we progressed up to pound coins. (I’m pretty sure we wasted at least 5 quid) It was hilarious (if a bit mean) watching all the 1st and 2nd years try to “discreetly” pick up the money in their variously styles… until one day we decided money wasn’t fun anymore (it does get boring watching the kids try to pick up money that’s stuck to the floor) so we glued a ruler to a desk. (which was oh so naughty but oh so funny) I think after that the novely wore off, so we stopped and did some other pranks, which involved body shop lipbalm but I won’t go into it…. Kerry knows.

anyways – we went out last night and caught up and I have decided she has an addiction, and she agrees. but it’s not a bad one (well not too bad!) so I suppose it’s ok. LOL.

Other than that didn’t really do much else.

p.s if you ever go to the hungry horse pub/restaurant DON’T have the chocolate brownies with icecream. ew!