You won’t be like Binky … beware ‘reality’ TV mummy diaries

I am a big fan of Binky and I love to escape into the scripted reality world of ‘Made in Chelsea’, watching young, nubile, supermodel types supping champagne whilst I shove fistfuls of space invaders into my gob and neck merlot out of a tumbler. It’s pure escapism, so far removed from my life as a stay at home mum. And I was thrilled to see that Binky is with child. Congratulations to her.

However, something about it being on that show made me uneasy. The same uneasiness I get when I see adverts for Sam Faiers Mummy Diaries.

The uneasy feeling is one of wanting to shout at anyone watching the programs who hasn’t experienced pregnancy and motherhood first hand:

THIS IS NOT REAL! 

Maybe people aren’t as stupid as I take them for but I know a lot of young people aspire to be like these reality folks and it worries me that they are seeing a glossy perfect version of pregnancy and family life with a strong filter that will put ideas into their heads like “ooh, that looks lovely. I should do that. I can be just like Binky.”

Except you won’t. Not at all.

I fear the version of pregnancy and motherhood we are going to be projected on Made in Chelsea will be about as realistic as a Chicco advert. 

What we won’t see on Made in Chelsea, I can almost guarantee is:

  • Binky gaining four stone in pregnancy weight that she won’t be able to shift for four years after the birth of her child regardless of how many Zumba classes she does at the local leisure centre
  • Binky crying her eyes out on the toilet trying to have a movement whilst singing wind the bobbin up for the sixth time in a row to stop the child from crying
  • Binky struggling to cope on tax credits and frantically selling everything she owns on eBay just to be able to afford the wine she needs to get by
  • Binky calling JP a complete c#ntwaffle in the middle of the night for not hearing the baby and for ruining her life
  • Binky typing “should I LTB because he forgot my nipple pads?” onto mumsnet at 2am in the morning
  • Binky feeling overwhelmed and unwelcome at baby groups, struggling to make friends and only socialising with her cats for six months after the baby has been born
  • Binky arguing with a health visitor for implying the baby is behind in his development because he can’t pick up a raison with his pincer grip
  • Binky’s crusty bleeding nipples
  • Binky only being able to holiday at a child friendly caravan holiday (Hell hole) site 
  • Binky losing most of her friends and feeling utterly isolated
  • Binky shoving a dreadful sausage bap into her mouth at the soft play satanic cesspit (do they even do soft play in Chelsea?)
  • Binky buying peppa pig yogurts and only being able to get her child to eat potato smiles and fish fingers

What I think we will see is a beautiful, scrumptious, glossy, perfect version of motherhood and pregnancy – which I for one will be watching and enjoying as much as I usually do.

But I will take it with a pinch of salt, a bag of wotsits and a glass of red.

 

Do not feel any pressure to have an erotic labour

When I was twelve, at the puberty milestone (a stage of growing up, not the local pub) a lady came to our school to talk to us all about tampons.

I can’t remember the speech she gave and as a lady in her thirties now I’m wondering how she stretched it out into a speech but I do remember the boxes of free tampons she handed out.

I couldn’t hold mine as I had all my fingers in my ears, loudly humming the tune to Grange Hill. But I do remember seeing one and being absolutely petrified.

As the lady told us calmly about how to use them I gave her a suspicious stare and told myself there aint no way in Hell anything like that was being inserted anywhere near me. Was she crazy? I felt much the same way when we went on to learn about penises the year after.

So you can imagine how I felt when someone told me where babies come from.

Last week I sat down to watch a lady on ‘This Morning’ talk about how she had an orgasmic erotic labour.

I thought I would hate her. Not my type of woman, I thought. But I didn’t hate her. I listened with interest, munching on my popcorn as Philip Schofield carefully danced around the intimate details of a lady having an orgasm during an erotic labour as though he was casually asking about the new series of Home Fires.

She seemed nice – and it’s lovely that she had such a lovely experience. Good for her.

At the end of the interview Phil asked if every woman had the potential to orgasm during labour (I’m paraphrasing) and the lady remarked on how there was a culture of deep imbedded fear around giving birth – which was the problem.

I’ve heard similar things before – that it’s what our bodies are designed to do, that we should breathe the baby out, that it’s oh so natural – you just need to be calm and at one with yourself.

Why am I writing this? Do I have a point? Well, I just wanted to say to anyone out there who may give birth in the future –

please don’t beat yourself up if you’re not the type of person who can achieve orgasm through giving birth.

Please don’t feel any pressure to make your labour erotic. Some people just aren’t that type of person – and that’s really ok.

I was terrified when I was induced. I was not the type of person to do hypno-birthing (more like hippo birthing in my case). Still now I would rather watch the human centipede part two rather than watch a lady give birth. But I got through it – twice.

There wasn’t a single stage that could have become arousing. I was under fluorescent lights, projectile vomiting, swearing at my partner to get me a bastard epidural in between listening to ‘I’m every woman’ on my iPod. To be honest I find it hard to ‘get in the mood’ under normal conditions, even imagining Michael Buble’s new Christmas album sometimes leaves me cold. It wasn’t sexy – it never was going to be – for me.

I’m not that type of woman. And if you’re not it’s ok.

There’s enough pressure nowadays for us to have a natural birth, to enjoy it, to treasure it, to do it drug free …

I don’t want anyone to feel added pressure to take in an Ann Summers goodie bag and a Barry White CD.

If you can do your labour, as she did, at home, in the dark, with her partner, all mermaid like – I genuinely applaud you – if you just aren’t built that way – I applaud you too.

 

 

Farewell my baby years

Mummy's Writing Darling

I have a niggling feeling

now these years are drawing to a close

I should have counted every one of your lashes

and felt the softness between your toes

I should have spent less time eye-rolling

when you’d never settle in the night

spent those hours staring at your shoulders

in the silence, by candlelight

I should have done less complaining

about the mess around our home

left the unimportant chores

to trace wrinkles around new bones

I should have smelt the skin behind your ears

enjoyed hours stroking tiny heels

bottled the sound of your innocence

stopped the time turning wheels

I should have been present in every second

not sighed relief when you slept

I should have cradled your head when it fit in my palm

tasted every tear that you wept

I should have spent more time bare

and felt your flesh against mine

Oh my precious last born

becoming more precious than the first time

It seems it’s my turn to be the baby

As I say farewell to these baby years

you’ve slipped through my fingers

and I can not see you, my babies, for all my tears.