Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Wobbly but Naked - Embrace it!

I love being naked. Just gimme some hot, hot heat and I’ll strip in a jiff! Are you beach ready yet? Or are you a quivering mess of bodily self-hatred, meekly prodding at your orange peel thighs with an increasing feeling of dread and horror that as the temperature sores you will be forced to bear these bad boys to the big bad judgey-mc judgepants world?

Well I am here to tell you…. DON’T BE THAT GUY!*

*(girl…probably).

I want to tell you that it doesn’t matter! No one REALLY cares what you look like. At the beach no one really will be scrutinising your love handles or baulking over your muffin top. Everyone is far more interested in what THEY look like! So be the winner and say STUFF it….and get those chubby bits out!

On honeymoon in Sardinia. No fucks given. 


It will feel weird and scary to begin with…. It’s natural to feel like you’re being judged when you do something new…but remember, there’s probably NO ONE actually watching and the rewards are ace! Be BRAVE! It’s the just first hurdle you need to get over. Just pop that t-shirt off and sit back, relax and realise no one has any fucks to give about it. Least of all your kids who see you as a MUMTRONor DADTRON.

Embracing the chub. Showing OFF the chub even


Once you’ve done a bit of flesh baring…you’ll realise how BRILLIANT it is. It’s so freeing! Next step…get in the sea or in the pool and whip off your bikini top. Ok so I’m not advocating doing this at the local swimming baths…perhaps if you have a private pool with your holiday villa or choose a bit of sea that’s empty… the feeling of free boobies in the water is a joy that can rarely be reproduced! I’m sure it must feel similar to lightly bobbing testes in the undulating swell! Lovely!  

Topless a step too far? Well ease yourself in. Perhaps just try lying in your garden with more bits out than you’d normally share with the world. And build up to being naked or MORE naked from there. Only YOU can be the orchestrator of your own bodily freedom!

Ooh I’m starting to sound like the Gok Wan of blogging! Except I haven’t mentioned “empowerment, darling”… yet.

OK so seriously, I know it’s easier said than done…. I’ve already stated that I like being naked. My parents were always naked around us. It wasn’t even a thing to them. (Much to my horror as teenager, obviously, but I got over it). They weren’t crazy naturists…I think we went to a nudist camp when I was 6 months old but that was as far as their public nudity foray went. And for cripes’ sake, it WAS the 70s!  Everyone was hairy and naked at some point in that decade! So I think that just gave me a lack of self-consciousness about nakedness from a very early age.

Me, naked at 6 weeks old!


I wasn’t an overweight kid or teenager so perhaps I may have been more self-conscious if I had been. However, in my early 20s I put on a lot of weight. I was no longer acceptable as a naked / scantily-clad person in public. But although I knew my body was disgusting to other people (and to be fair, I felt it was disgusting too) it didn’t stop me going to the beach and wearing a bikini or going swimming regularly.

It’s not that I think I look amazing. I don’t walk around in hot pants and crop tops. I do dress to hide some of the wobbliest bits and enhance the less wobbly. It’s just that, when I get somewhere where I want to be naked (pool, beach, back garden).... it's like a switch goes off in my head. An “I don’t care” switch. And out it all comes!

Also it’s sometimes the more practical option…. I often do the housework naked on the weekends because I get too hot and then have a shower and dress afterwards. Common sense innit?

I am the same around my kids…. They will see me naked forever, unless it makes them feel uncomfortable. I don’t intend hosting birthday parties in the buff but you know what I mean. I want to be as good an example to them as my parents were to me.



So you see, you could be doing it for them too! Teach them to not be ashamed of their bodies! Hooray!

Now how about it? Put down your tea, gingerly step out into the back garden and fling off that top! YES! FREE THE BOOBIES!!! And then come right back here and tell me it doesn’t feel amazing!!!!! Go! NOW!!!

*wiggles naked boobies and wobbly belly*

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Is Comparison The Thief of Joy?

After the events in Manchester this week I’ve been thinking a lot about comparisons in life. At a time like this you can’t help but look for deeper meaning in the universe....and for me part of that is about comparing what I have with what others do. When scary events shake your sense of stability in the world… families and friends devastated for the rest of their lives for daring to go to concert and have fun…. It's inevitable to feel grateful for your life and the life of your loved ones. The horror and sadness you feel for the victims and their families and the gratitude and relief you feel for your babies/partners/siblings/parents/friends will be overwhelming. As the clichéd memes proclaim, you WILL want to hug your loved ones a little closer.




So that’s a comparison. Obviously. A positive comparison, right?

But, hang on. Aren’t we taught that "comparison is the thief of joy"? Cos according to good ol' Teddy Roosevelt it is!

How can that make sense? That’s exactly the type of comparison that gives us perspective. Surely it’s serves a perfect tool to keep us grounded when things are going a bit cray cray?

Well. Comparison can also be a harbinger of doom too. There have been several articles in the media about how social media is making us saddums because most people only post the heavily filtered highlights of their life. And if you constantly compare your life with those who you perceive as more successful or rich or ….whatever it is that you want but don’t have….. (In my case thinnyness!) Of course you are going to feel a cavernous emptiness and worthlessness that will be hard to crawl back out of.

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a coveter. I like a good covet. I’ve previously admitted a (now-not-so-secret) morbid fascination with The Kardashians. I love watching their wealth. I know that’s a truly vulgar thing to admit but I looooove seeing their life style. Their perfect make up, their non-moving faces, their pristine, maHoooosive houses, their endless holidays and trips to restaurants, their huge cars, their lovely, straightened shiny hair! It makes me want all their things! I want to have endless holidays and perfect hair and fake skin! It makes me strive to be better disciplined in my eating and exercise, it makes me want to present a smarter appearance to the outside world…If I could tap into just a little bit of their glamorousness….wouldn’t my life just be a teensy bit better?

It’s a common thought process: if I just had a BIT more money, if I was just a BIT better at eating healthy, if I just did a BIT more exercise then then then….

Personally I have been finding it really hard not to wish away the time until my youngest is in full time school. We’re on our knees with childcare fees and every month it’s a financial struggle. So sometimes I can’t help but compare our situation to others who don’t seem to struggle so much financially.

But I’ve recently had an epiphany. Yes I just used that word….but it’s true. I’ve realised, finally, that I might never ever be happier than I am right now. I might be thinner and we will very probably be in a better financial state, but who knows what else might accompany that? We are all getting older, the world is seemingly a bit shakier….. Who knows what could happen? Illness and death are inevitable parts of life and our family won’t escape that. So who cares if you’re rich and thin, then? Right now my family are healthy and happy. We can afford the mortgage (we HAVE a mortgage) and we can eat and drink. I am surrounded by love. I couldn’t be luckier. If my life never gets better than right now then that’s 100% fine by me.

Because compared to families suffering from grief and loss, my life is the epitome of perfect. That comparison is not the thief of joy.


Masses of love to the people of Manchester. And if, you know, you want to like…. Then do just hold those dearest a little closer tonight. XXXXX

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Panic & Anxiety: Welcome To Hell.

As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK, I thought I’d write a bit about my experience of anxiety and panic attacks. I know that when I was in the height of my panic disorder it was a great comfort to me to talk to people who knew what I was going though. It’s a pretty unique ordeal and for fellow sufferers: I feel your pain. Or more specifically, your fear.
If you have never been in receipt in the delight that is a panic / anxiety attack, let me attempt to describe what it feels like to the uninitiated:
Imagine you’re just going about your day. You’re doing something fairly innocuous like sitting on the bus or doing the washing up. You’re not thinking about anything in particular, nothing sad or happy or anything. And every so faintly…. you feel a difference. A little miniscule change in your perception. You start to feel, apropos of NOTHING… like something is not quite right, like something’s a bit sinister. Now you’re starting to feel cold, creeping dread trickling up your arms and into your chest and stomach. You start to feel sick and your mouth goes dry. You’re starting to feel very, very scared but you don’t know why. If it was a static level of fear, one that stabilised, then perhaps you could cope but it’s not. No way. Not a chance. Your fear levels are rising at a rate of knots and ain’t nothing gonna slow that train down. And you know this. It’s only going to get worse. That’s the clincher. As soon as you feel the tiny bit of “odd” that you felt only moments ago, you knew you were on a downwards spiral to panic hell. You’re only going to get more and more scared until you feel like you are going to pass out, have a heart attack and / or die. Within minutes you’ve started to hyperventilate, you’re dizzy, disoriented, you could be experiencing real chest pains from the restriction of oxygen to your lungs, you’re disassociated from your surroundings and totally locked into your own head where your mind is in free fall.
I’ve stated here that you KNOW it’s only going to get worse but of course not everyone’s anxiety DOES develop into a full-blown attack (fear of heart attack/collapse etc.) …. But really, the fear 0f that happening is still the same. The creeping, cold, sick feeling of dread when you’re feeling anxious means that at any point you FEEL like it’s going to escalate into the freefall madness. Which means you feel permanently locked into state of fear, like you’re crossing a wobbly tight rope which could flip you into panic oblivion at any second.
It’s the worst feeling in the world. And I’ve experienced a LOT of feelings. I’m not being dramatic (unusally) when I say, it feels like you’re in hell. It’s something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. To spend every waking hour feeling sick, loose-bowelled, shaky, light headed and in permanent fear. Of nothing. It also makes you feel like an idiot.
Because the problem with society’s acceptance of mental illness is that not everyone gets it. Not everyone understands that it’s not something you can just pull yourself out of. In much the same way as when the black cloak of depression lands on you, almost nothing can lift it. So there will always be some people, and I’ve met a few, who really DON’T GET IT and that will make you feel like shit. IGNORE them. Ignore them safe in the knowledge that what you’re suffering sucks to hell and just by surviving and getting through the day, when you feel like that, is awesome. Because there were a lot of times I felt suicidal because of it. This is my main reason for writing, you need to know you are not alone.
Anxiety has been with me my whole life. That was something I didn’t actually realise… I don’t “feel” like an anxious person…. I don’t see myself as one of those Jane Austen style lily-livered ladies who swoon at the drop of a hat! I am a loud, arguably obnoxious, confident woman! So, until a random therapist I saw in Australia pointed it out… I’d NEVER have thought I was. Of all the counselling I’d previously had, no one thought to mention that it was something I was always going to have (because I’d always had it) and was part of my personality. All she did was ask me what my first experience of feeling panicky was. Well that was easy…. I pinpointed a time in Infants school when I was new, watching a play; then another time in Junior school being stuck in an assembly line and suddenly there were a whole list of incidents from my life were I had reacted (irrationally) with anxiety. Not obvious times when you’ve hurt yourself or lost your parent in the supermarket. But odd incidents which perhaps didn’t necessarily warrant the fear they generated in you at that time.
So it WAS true. The blunt Aussie doc was right. I WAS AN ANXIOUS PERSON. WAAAT!
That thought was terrifying to me. I could NEVER escape it. That’s the pinnacle of fear for most anxiety sufferers… you will be like this FOREVER.
Buuuut. That’s not *strictly* true. You see, at the moment, I very, very rarely get anxiety. In fact, since a small bout when my 3-yr. old was new-born, I haven’t had a prolonged period of anxiety for nearly 7 years. I know I am not free of it long term but right now, I am good. It IS possible to live without it blighting your everyday life. And when you’re right in the thick of it, you really need to hear it. You’re going to be ok. You really are.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Reasons for my “Blogxit” and Dipping my Toe back in….

Just before Christmas I made a decision that surprised even me. I decided to stop writing my blog. I actually cried when I made that decision too. I felt bereft. I had to give up the one creative outlet I have. The only thing in my life right now that’s just for me. But my reasons were sensible. I was getting majorly stressed out with organising everything in my life, kids, work, Christmas, family, social life, finances. So much so, that I’d organised a session with a local mental health charity to help me find some clarity. Something had to give and the only disposable thing in my life at that time was the blog.

Christmas is usually a quiet time for me with the blog. I’d actually gone really hard for the last few months, making YouTube videos, guest posting on LOADS of other blogs, doing Facebook live videos to ram up my reach, flogging, flogging, flogging.

It made my head explode, constantly thinking about my stats. This is a side non-bloggers probably think very little about but is actually a vital part of your “success”. It’s not just as simple as write a blog, publish, the end. You have to promote it; you usually have to schedule that promotion on all your social media platforms; You sell your soul tweeting all the big parent blogger hubs on Twitter, secretly praying you’ll make the Mumsnet blogger’s front page or be featured on Tots100 / Britmums etc.; you join “linkies” where you comment swap with other bloggers to increase your page views; you like and comment and share to DEATH everyone else’s stuff FOREVER in the hope that they return the favour. It N E V E R   E N D S. Seriously you could spend ALL your waking hours doing promotion. And still not really get anywhere.

For me , it had become quite an egotistical pursuit too. I had a buzz when a post did well or if a pic or status got lots of reach/shares/likes/comments. I’d become addicted to this buzz and was trying more and more ways to increase this exposure (in the way a junkie needs more and more to get high!) …under the flimsy guise of wanting to be “discovered” for my brilliant writing but a bit because I wanted people to laugh and me and tell me I was funny and clever. I did Facebook live broadcasts from the bath, I’d film vlogs and coax my cute daughter into them to boost viewings! What?! I exploited my own child to quench my megalomaniacal desires! I JUST WANTED YOU TO LIKE MY FACE!!!!!!

 But I knew it would be quiet in the direct run up to Christmas because there would be too much to do IN REAL LIFE. So when I made the decision, it was still a bit tentative in my mind. Could I really just give it ALL up? I’ve spent almost every waking hour for the last 2 years thinking at some point about the blog. What to write next, what to promote next, where I want to go with it, how can I improve it, should I re-design it (I am awful for changing the format, I must have re-designed that goddamn page about 5000000 times…. I’d never be able to maintain my own “brand”…I’d be bored of the logo within a week!).

And I’d made sooooo many really good friends. I’d just recently joined such a lovely little FB group of girls I didn’t know super well to begin with but very quickly had me crying with laughter on a regular basis. I had a local “tribe” (look, I know tribe is such a twatty and exclusive word…. I have no further explanation, that’s just what it is!) And then there are the friends I’ve made at events and speak to all the time and most importantly I have a handful of what I would call blogging bezzies…who I can talk to about anything at any time and even meet up with IRL!  But what now? Do I just delete them, unlike all their pages/profiles and “ghost” them? Bit harsh!

Of course I’d never do that. I not ACTUALLY a total bitch and I’d miss them desperately. But what would I do now?
 Well, up to this point in this post, was written in February with “blogxit” fresh in my mind. I’m now (in May) picking up where I stopped writing: I was enjoying the freedom to do NOTHING in the evenings and not feel guilty or read books…. I was LOVING not being a slave to social media. I started using Twitter as a purely social vehicle not a link dumping site and have had actual conversations on there!

I’ve been totally present when I’ve been out with the kids, not thinking about live vids or Instagram pics. That’s a massive bonus and one I will never give up.

But.

I’ve been flailing around. At first all the free time in the evenings felt ace. The lack of pressure was such a relief. But then I began to realise that my time was now being swallowed up in the evenings by Candy Crush Soda Saga and other MUCH more embarrassing games. I was doing NOTHING constructive. Nothing creative. I wasn’t cooking more or writing all the things I thought I would. I was doing nothing and feeling AWFUL and GUILT stricken. I’m wasting my life. I am wasting my brain but I can’t seem to shake myself out of this existential crisis!

So this week I’ve been toying with the idea of writing and publishing again. I’ve lost count of how many ideas I’ve had for posts. But I just know I’m letting my brain atrophy if I don’t. I DO feel like a massive flipping drama queen, flouncing out of the internet and sheepishly coming back with my tail between my legs!

However, I’ve made a pact with myself. I am to engage in NO social media promotion other than basic link dumps on my FB & Twitter. Nothing else. My Instagram will remain a haven of gorgeous interiors and pretty pics and my friends hopefully won’t hate my relentless self-promotion. (We’ll see!).  You see, if I write it down here, I have to stick to it, right?

So anyway. This bitch is back. For a bit. I don't know. I can't commit. Aaaaaargh! 

Don’t hate the playa, hate the game! 


Thursday, 17 November 2016

How Clean is YOUR House?

I often wonder how clean other people’s houses REALLY are. You see, I am an awful mix of complete neat freak and terminally lazy. I think people who often have WAY too much going on in their heads often have neat-freak tendencies. If I can “just sort this room out” then my brain will be all calm and my thoughts will be in order. Perhaps it’s a sign of an anxious person. “I got all these things to think through AND a stinky, messy pit to clean up…GAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” Actually. That does sound like me.



And I like my house to be clean. REALLY clean and tidy at ALL times. But it isn’t. And it never has been. Even before I had kids. Even when I only had one cat or even when I lived abroad and had NO cats. It was never, ever shiny spick and span. Because as with everything in life, my expectations do not meet reality.

So then I wonder how clean other people’s houses are. Because I am secretly weirdly competitive about stupid things like this. Now, I am not talking about the super messy, life’s-too-short brigade where stuff is everywhere and no fucks are given. And just for the record, I have NO ill judgement of that either. I don’t care if you live in a pit. And I do envy your no fucks given attitude too. Because if I had that attitude, I’d either have been chasing the dragon, or have had my brain entirely re-wired. My MO is worry about everything at all times and that includes the state of my house. It’s not necessarily the best MO.

I am talking about the ones whose houses are relatively clean looking and tidy, as much as they ever can be with small kids involved. So usually one room, at least during waking hours, will resemble a jumble sale but that’s NORMAL. But how often do they really clean their kitchen floor, change their sheets, wash the towels, dust the shelves, hoover, scrub the bath? Do I do it enough? Sorry, I mean do WE do it enough? Is it weird to ask? Would you tell the truth? Is it normal to care? Is it a feminist issue?! OK that last question is a bit of a red herring.

The reason I got to thinking about this is two-fold. Firstly, I do have a cleaner who used to come fortnightly and now comes once a month. And the 5 minutes after she has left are the cleanest my house will ever be and it’s BLISS! But she’s MIA at the moment and I’m having a moral (if not, an excruciatingly middle class) dilemma: do I look for a temporary replacement or do I section off a big chunk of our weekend to get it done? And I am spoilt enough to REALLY not want to do this! I spend most nights bashing away on social media / writing / filming / editing / promoting and 4 days a week in work and the rest of the time parenting. I don’t want to clean. But I want a clean house! WHAAAAAAAAAAT!

Secondly, and this is apt, whilst we were all out ignoring house work last weekend, I stumbled upon the fantastic and seemingly anachronistic 70s book “Superwoman” by Shirley Conran. Its preface stating “Life’s too Short to Stuff a Mushroom”. I had actually picked it up to scoff at its outdatedness…. Who gives a monkeys about being a domestic goddess these days?! Pah! GET with the times, love! But then I actually started reading it and I was HOOKED! It’s ace! It’s witty, and funny and SO handy! A million tips on everything to do with running a house, from making your own washing liquids to weekly budgets and shopping tips. Having done a little background research I’ve discovered it was quite trailblazing publication. It was aimed at the emerging working woman who had little time to dedicate to cleaning her house.

Of course it IS vastly dated in that it suggests you never ask your husband for help, even if you ARE cutting corners a bit in your domestic duties! My reply to THAT is here. But some of the tips are fantastic! This is a good one:

Clean one room at a time because you can stop right there if time runs out or you get bored. Stop half an hour before you had planned, because then you won't be too exhausted to clean up properly.

So true! My normal cleaning mode is “OMG so and so is coming around in 10 minutes and I need to vacuum the whole house and clean the bog at LEAST.” By the time the person has arrived I’m a sweating heap and in need of a rest, and they have to make their own coffee!

But one big thing I took from the book was the LEVEL of cleaning that was expected, daily weekly and even annually. I mean, do you take down your curtains every spring and have them dry cleaned? Do you EVER hoover your sofa or mattress? (This is a weekly job apparently). Is part of your weekly routine to clean all the cupboards out and the fronts and dust all the high bits in the room and door frames?! How the bloody hell did women ever get anything done if this was a guide to skipping corners! How is taking down ALL YOUR CURTAINS skipping any corners?

My thing is, if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it! Cupboards need cleaning when something spills (including fronts); curtains need cleaning if some outside force has interfered….spillages / mould / cats; cobwebs get dusted at BEST when I can be bothered. I’d LOVE to have someone else do all of those things for me weekly but even I know that this is beyond reasonable.

But as I said before, I am weirdly competitive. I need to know if we’re normal or if we’re scumbags.

So. In 2016: How clean IS your house? What are your weekly routines? I need to see if our level of cleanliness meets acceptable standards. Comment, Facebook or Tweet me. I NEED TO KNOW, like NOW!!!!!


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas For Parents.


It's that time of year again, just after Hallowe'en, where thoughts turn from spooky masks and bonfires to something more festive and sugary cinnamon tinged.... Yes. My favourite time of year ladies and gentlemen. I am almost feeling SICK with excitement. 




A popular thing to see in magazines, sunday supplements and online publications, are gift guides. And I've had a brilliant idea *she notes, modestly*. I have come up with an ALTERNATIVE Christmas ideas list for parents. These are ALL things I would pay through the nose for. Every single item on this list is a must-have for parents. And without further ado, I shall introduce the items. 

"Calm Waters" Spray

Calm Waters spray comes in three delightful flavours: Bedtime, Bathtime and Mealtimes. It's a lovely, gently scented spray to use whenever things are starting to get juuusssst a little fraught at those potentially problematic times of the day. Just one little spritz from this clever little chap and those ridiculous tantrums will fizzle away to nothing, leaving a calm and serene time to be had by all. RRP: Don't care, just bung it in the trolley. 





Stop The Fight Lipbalm

A cheeky little stocking filler, this clever lipbalm, once slathered on the crusty lips of your dearly beloved offspring will immediately pacify even the fiestiest of performances! No more hair-pulling, eye-gouging, nail-digging, face-scramming, head-punching scraps between little snotty-nosed Clarabell and spitty-faced Tarquin! They'll be a thing of the past with this superb little nub! Gender neutral colour to abate the fussy little so and so's. RRP: OMG where have you been all my life?



School Run Sweeping Brush

An utter essential for all parents of school aged children. Just pluck the little blighters fresh from their pit and pop them in front of this fabulous brush. One big sweep out the door and they will be fully clothed, watered and fed ready for the school run. Bonus upgrade for the monstrously disorganised amongst us: a nifty little attachment will also pack lunches, find dog-eared homework, miscellaneous costumes, sign permission slips and remember the ten thousandth request for some charitable cause. RRP: Hell to the yes. We'll take the upgrade, STAT. 

Guilt-Free Babysitter Voucher

How about an evening of guilt free childcare for his n hers / hers n hers / his n his pleasure? This amazing voucher will allow you to have an evening unfettered by the worry of returning the favour, sticking to weird terms, early curfews or even the dreaded small talk upon your sozzled return as you struggle to remain upright and sober at the end of your fantastic guilt free night out. The voucher will enable the babysitter to simply evaporate the minute you arrive home, allowing you to collapse face first into your bed with no worries that you've said something inappropriate to the poor bugger. Again. RRP: I'll take all you've got and I'll buy the business. 

Lastly but by no means least, the most hallowed of all wishes for parents this Christmas....

Gift Card for 8 Hours Sleep

A gift card which entitles the proprietor to a solid, uninterrupted 8 hours of gorgeous, plump, sweet as chocolate sleep! No bed sharing, no snoring, no screaming kids, no overly amourous/needy pets, no expectations of half arsed fumble. Just sweet, sweet sleep. Upgrade to the deluxe 10 hour edition exclusive for parents of infernal, nocturnal creatures. RRP: Priceless.

So there we have it. A collection of the most sought after presents for all parents this Christmas. See your local dealer for stock levels. I imagine these will sell like hot cakes! Happy shopping! 

UPDATE: Now with added video version of the post at the bottom! :) 







Friday, 21 October 2016

Periods Suck.

Periods. We've all had have 'em. Well those of us who are (cis) ladies. And for most of the men I’ve met, you’re pretty familiar with them too. What you men are not familiar with however, is the awfulness that is periods. Except for having to endure the mood swings of your partners, treading on eggshells and possibly extra chocolate-buying once a month.

YES, PEOPLE, I AM WRITING ABOUT PERIODS!


Periods have also been in the news recently for a couple of reasons. The free-bleeders protesting the tampon tax; the candid interview that a Chinese swimmer gave at the Olympics where she mentioned she’d been on her period (but it was not to blame for her performance); And the fact that more and more companies are now offering woman paid “Menstrualleave” to optimise their productivity in the work place.

But I know for most of us It’s still a very “eeeewwwy” inducing subject and I’m pretty sure that includes MOST men. And I understand why. It IS grim. It’s a grim event that often makes us ladies hyper paranoid about personal hygiene and body odour. Let’s face it, it’s a disgusting odour.

It is as baffling to me as the fact that we have to IN THIS DAY AND AGE endure 9 months of *gestational hell, that we still get to suffer the indignity, emotional roller coaster, grossness and outright pain every month for the majority of our lives. WHY? Why has there not been some brilliant, side-effect free procedure that kicks these things into touch until they’re needed? I am beginning to seriously resent them.


*I didn't have very good pregnancies and admit this is not everyone's experience! 

I was lucky in that mine didn’t start until I was 13. But when they started, boy. I knew about it. They were pain city. Sharp as needles stabbing pains right through my lower abdomen. I would have to go and lie in the sick bay with a hot water bottle on a regular basis and that might be the only time I was grateful my formative years were spent in an all-girls school.

But you grow up, and you find ways to cope that make your life more “liveable” just like the cringe-inducing Bodyform adverts of the 90s implored you to do. I found painkillers that worked and switched from “perfumed” pads to hide-it-away tampons. Side note…. Perfumed pads? Gagfest more like. Nothing is gonna make that smell more pleasant, buster!

I have also spent my entire adult life, whilst not duffed up, stuffing Evening Primrose or Star-flower oil down my gob in an effort to ease the symptoms. Doctors actually used to prescribe them to me before they started to regulate alternative medicines but I still know 100% they make my hormonal life better. And actually, save a few really rough occasions, I didn’t have an awful time of it through most of my adult life. A bit of pain and some wild mood swings but nothing that majorly affected my everyday life.

Until I had kids. Wow. I was in no way prepared for how awful they would become post kids. Pain….oh god the pain. When it’s not a dull ache that feels like your lower back is trying to split apart from your torso, then it’s a bloated feeling of cannon balls rolling around your lower abdomen. Or the very worst… (graphic description warning)…. Lead weights being attached by wires to your lady flaps pulling down, down, down….ooooooooow! Or, just the normal stabby-needle in the ovaries. Take your pick.

Then there’s the mood swings. For the WHOLE month. Tears over NOTHING. Actually weeping in complete confusion because things are brilliant but you just feel SAD. Terrifying anger that makes you feel like the biggest, most impatient, hell-fire bitch. But also totally justified in your ludicrous irrationality at least until the hormones sending you mental settle and then the guilt. The awful guilt. Or just the wobbly, anxiety feeling that stuff doesn’t feel right. Again for no apparent reason.

The days when it’s actually arrived and you feel sick, woozy, dizzy, clumsy and weak. It’s hard to concentrate. You just want to lie down in quiet room with a hot water bottle and make it go away.

Finally the grossest bit. (Squeamish, look away now) The blood. The bleeding through the super tampons in half an hour, the acute paranoia of going out in public without layers of pads and tampons etc. etc. It feels like the world is falling out of your foof. And it sucks. Big time.

And thanks to the fourth wave, it’s being discussed more openly now than ever before. I know it has to be a conversation too. It’s why I’ve written about it. The tampon tax is completely absurd and there is definitely an environmental impact too. I don’t know how I feel about freebleeders, I get their point but I am still pathetic enough to be grossed out by the hygiene issue. And I shamefacedly admit this is why I won’t try using a moon cup either. The thought of fishing it out, not spilling it over my clothes and washing it in the work toilets' sink is a step beyond for me right now.

I've written this whilst completely incapacitated by one. I've had to cancel uber fun plans which involved wine, good friends and family. I don't take kindly to this kind of inconvenience. It's made me a pathetic, sofa-bound, weepy baby today with no boozey fun to look forward to at the end of the day (because it makes me pukey whilst I'm bleeding). 

But we need to keep talking about them anyway. Making them less taboo, try to get over the grossness factor and realise that they affect a lot of women’s lives, a lot of the time. Periods Suck. There I said it. 

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