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LIFE The Confessional

What I miss about living in London (and what I don’t)

leaving-london-lifebylotte

Beautiful Wisley Gardens – a 15 minute drive from our new place

I’m going to be honest with you, having to blog is quite painful right now. Mostly because I am currently trying to write 10,000 words per week of my novel, which means five evenings a week I’m doing 2000 words. I’m having Wednesdays off as that’s when I go to do my session at the Faber Academy. Sunday is my Day of Rest (the only day that Oli doesn’t work, and so the only day we get to spend as a family). So having to open the laptop again today is a little bit depressing, but I don’t want to stop blogging because I do so love the sound of my own voice. And I’m sure you lot do too (heh heh).

(On a sidenote, trying to write 10,000 words a week, last thing at night after the baby has been bathed and put to bed, and I’ve cooked my own dinner, is quite challenging (read: exhausting). I am slightly regretting my over-enthusiastic target. However, I know that if I don’t stick to it I won’t finish my first draft by the time Oli finishes his show. So, onwards till my fingertips fall off and my brain is completely fried, etc etc).

But that’s not what this post is meant to be about. We’ve been living in the new house for a good three months now, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the things that I miss about living in the Big Smoke (does anyone call it that these days?). So here goes, as always, being completely honest…

  1. The shops. This makes me inordinately shallow, I am aware. But I miss living near good shops. We were about a 20 minute walk into Wimbledon town centre from my old flat and it really had most of the things you needed, thanks to the wonder that is Elys department store. There was also a massive M&S right next to my flat, full of lovely baby clothes (plus ready-meals for lazy days), as well as a Mothercare and a Dunelm Mill (yes I lived by a retail park, yes it was ugly, yes it was bloody useful). Where we are now has a decent enough town centre (big Sainsbury’s) but it’s all very chainy and depressing – Next and Monsoon and places like that that I’d never go in (retail snob). It also has a teeny Debenhams. Debenhams is the shittest department store of all department stores. I’m sorry, but it is. Who actually buys Debenhams clothes? Someone must do, but I am still bewildered by why they would.
  2. The transport options. The tube is disgusting and overcrowded and filthy, but my god, is it convenient and easy. I was about five minutes from the tube in my old flat, and I also had buses galore outside my doorstep (this also had its downsides obviously) and could get to Oxford Circus in 20 minutes. As well as this, I could walk to Wimbledon and get on a different tube line AND the overground, so transport options were plentiful. I can’t overestimate how important this is if you’re travelling into town on a regular basis. It just makes life SO much more pleasant when public transport goes tits up, as it invariably does.
  3. Deliveroo. Deliveroo deliverdon’t round here. (I am a little less upset about this after reading that they are shit to their staff.)
  4. Indie restaurants. We have Pizza Express, GBK, Wagas, Carluccio’s – all perfectly serviceable for a quick lunch. But there’s nothing that special on our doorstep – nothing unique, no interesting new cuisines to try. There IS however an awesome chippy, which we have been to about 97 times since moving in.
  5. Public services. No, not dodgy loos or telephone boxes. But things like the doctors and dentists. For all its faults, London seems to be pretty well catered for when it comes to your health. I could walk to both my doctors and my NHS dentist from my flat, and both were excellent. Since moving here I’ve been looking into finding a new GP for us all and most of them aren’t taking new patients – as for NHS dentists, it’d be easier to find a Labour voter. Surrey people seem to like paying for the dentist. I don’t understand why.  I am so cross about this, in fact, that I’ve decided to carry on going to my old dentist for now. If this is immoral or illegal, then please tell me off in the comments (not sure I’ll care however).
  6. Uber. I suspect Uber does operate round here (just about) but the price of a cab home from central London would be about the same as our weekly shop, rather than the £15 or so it used to be.
  7. Oyster cards. I should have put this one up there with trains really. But in order to get into town now I have to buy a paper ticket! It’s so quaint! It’s also very confusing, what with off-peak this and super off-peak that and restrictions on what time you can sneeze at London Waterloo… We’re just outside zone 6 out here, so we also have to shell out more than £20 for a one-day travelcard. Ouch.
  8. Last but very not least – my friends. I miss my London pals. Most of my friends are still London pals (although hurrah for school friends who live near where we’ve moved to!). A few London mates have moved out, like us, but many of them are still in town and lots of them are in SE London, which is a proper trek from me now. Sniff.

BUT do I regret it, despite all this? Absolutely NOT. Here are just some of the things I love about living out of London…

  1. The space. This counts for about five points up there I think. We have space! We have a big garden. We have a front garden. We have a garage. We have off-street parking. It is so lovely not to feel hemmed in on all sides by people and buildings and traffic. It’s the most freeing, stress-releasing thing ever. Big thumbs up.
  2. The air quality. It is awesome. I walk home from the station and maybe one car goes past, and I realise that I can’t smell drains or fried chicken or diesel fumes. OK, so it’s not quite the Scottish highlands, but I really think it’s made a difference to the way I feel.
  3. The people. There are less of them which just makes everything more peaceful, and hands down, people are politer. People in London are so busy, so stressed, so ‘in the middle of something’. Here, people take time to smile at you, hold doors open, have little chats with Daph. It’s so strange, in fact, that first of all I found it a bit unnerving. But whenever I take Daph to Sainsbury’s we get stopped by the cashiers, or little old ladies who want to find out how old she is (and try to make her wave, which is embarrassing, because she usually blows them a raspberry instead). But it just feels so much friendlier as a community. This has surprised me a lot, because I always thought London had a great community feel, but I guess that was just pockets of people in amongst lots of transient people who were just there for work or whatever. So it never felt quite like this. The neighbours here are all very friendly and came round to say hello as soon as we moved in, but they are polite enough to keep their distance too.
  4. The proximity to my folks. OK, this one is a bit niche, but it’s lovely that I’m now only a 20 minute drive from my parents. It’s made babysitting opportunities much more frequent (hurrah!) but also means we don’t have to sit in terrible traffic every time we want to visit them.
  5. And on that note, the traffic. It has its moments round here (school rush hours etc) but mostly it’s A DREAM. Wimbledon is basically a 24 hour car park. I could easily spend 25 minutes driving a mile and a half. I wish I was exaggerating, but if you’ve ever sat going nowhere fast on Kingston Road you’ll know I’m not.
  6. The proximity to parks and stuff. And the countryside. And the motorways. All pretty self explanatory – because we don’t have to negotiate London traffic to get anywhere, everything’s a lot more accessible.
  7. The quiet. You can hear a bloody pin drop outside our house. It’s insane. And on that note, have I mentioned that cul de sacs are AMAZING? Everyone should live in a cul de sac. It puts your quality of life up by about a million percent. As well as your Amazon Prime expenditure (my ‘safe place’ = my front porch).
  8. The hedgehogs. We have hedgehogs in our garden. NEED I SAY MORE.

So yes, that’s my little round up. I’ll probably think of a million things to add to this later but for now I’m off to have my dinner. Hope it’s helpful if you’re trying to make a decision to move out of London or not. I will say that without Daph as a priority, we probably would have stayed in Wimbledon, but I’m so glad we didn’t because I really do prefer this way of life now. Call it old age, call it tired of London, tired of life, but I think there’s something really important to be said for slowing down the pace a bit, taking time to appreciate peace and quiet. It’s made a huge difference to my wellbeing.

LIFE The Confessional

One and done?

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A couple of people I know who had babies around the same time as me have recently announced that they are expecting again. I have to say, when I found out, both times I was incredibly shocked. The idea of having another baby so soon (or what feels like so soon) after Daphne is terrifying. But as well as feeling shocked, I felt a little jealous. Perhaps it’s something about being pregnant, that kind of special status you get, and the amazing load of feel-good hormones that come with newborns.

When Daphne was first born, within weeks I was thinking about having another baby. I actually said I definitely wanted another one – I loved her so much, and it was such an addictive feeling. I remember telling friends that I’d be happy to do it all again soon. Fast forward a year, and I have changed my mind so completely and utterly that it’s kind of scary. Obviously I still love her so much – in fact, a lot more – but I am no longer under the influence of those new mother hormones and am instead ravaged and slightly beaten by a whole year of sleep deprivation.

There is nothing like sleep deprivation on that kind of scale really. Before Daphne was born I knew I was in for a few months of being pretty tired, but I had absolutely no idea what the reality would be like. And how unbelievably difficult it would be – definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my entire life. It affects everything – your relationship with your partner, your self-esteem, your health, your happiness… your weight! That’s not to say that it isn’t worth it, because of course it is, but it’s still so awful that I can’t imagine putting myself through it willingly again.

Of course, maybe I’d have a better sleeper the next time around. Maybe my next baby would be those so-called ‘easy’ babies that sleep through at nine weeks, breastfeed like a dream and have laid-back, sunny personalities. But what if they don’t? What if they’re even more difficult? What if my pregnancy is just as complicated or even more complicated than last time? I don’t think I have the mental strength.

I’ve never been the kind of maternal person who planned on having 2.4 children etc etc.  Children were always a bit vague in my mind – a hazy idea that I hoped would happen at some point. So I don’t have that over-riding feeling that our family isn’t complete unless there’s four of us. But by the same token, it’s hard to say definitively that I don’t want any more kids. The truth is, I really don’t know.

None of this matters really – if you don’t know the answer, live with the question etc. Both Oli and I are slightly old for first-time parents, but this isn’t enough of a worry to make me think I have to get on with it, or make a decision right now. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about, following my friends’ news, and also because we’ve started packing up some of Daphne’s baby bits – not just her clothes, but bigger things like the Perfect Prep machine, her nursing chair, the Jumperoo, her bouncy chair etc. And I’m not sure what to do with them. Sell them, or keep them just in case? They’re in the garage at the moment.

I always thought having two children seemed like a sensible idea because then your little one always has someone else to play with, and I can’t imagine life without my sister, but then someone reminded me that siblings don’t always get on, and sometimes they fight just as much as they entertain each other. And of course, from a parenting point of view, two kids means twice as much attention, twice as little sleep, twice as much money… Is it perhaps better to focus all our efforts and energies on one, especially now that having an only child is becoming increasingly more ‘normal’? Will it be better for Daphne to have our undivided attention? I love our little band of three, and I don’t know if I can face being pregnant and having a newborn again. But then will it be sad for Daph in the future not to have a little companion, and what about when we’ve shuffled off our mortal coils? Who will love her as much as we do?

I’d love to hear what other mums think about this issue and how you’ve decided (or not) how many children is right for you… it’s such a fascinating decision. If you fancy sharing your thoughts, please leave me a comment here or over on Facebook.

BABY ON BOARD LIFE The Confessional

Them vs Us

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Another controversial post for you today… It’s something I’ve been thinking about ever since I got pregnant. And something I perhaps shouldn’t confess to but, you know me, I like to be honest. And overshare. And tell people things that are best kept to myself. Hmmm.

But, anyway, it’s Sunday after all. Confession time. Here goes: before I got pregnant I used to view women with children in a rather unsisterly way. I don’t know what it was, but a part of me thought they’d kind of failed the feminist movement somewhat by conforming to biological stereotypes rather than going out there and changing the world (I am aware of how ridiculous this sounds, it’s not like I was changing the bloody world either). But I thought they’d taken the ‘easy option’ by choosing motherhood over furthering their careers. And I was aware that lots of women did manage to further their careers while becoming mothers but they seemed to be in the minority and seemed to spend the entire time banging on about how hard it was, which just struck me as showing off.

It may sound absolutely insane. Like I said, it was just a small part of me – I’m not completely inhuman, I did also understand that they were sacrificing many of their wants and needs for the future generation. But I would roll my eyes if I was on a train and heard two mothers chatting about some aspect of their child’s care as though it was the only thing that mattered. I’d get irritated if I heard them complain about how tired they were (you CHOSE this life, I’d think, very uncharitably, suck it up). I’d hate the women with pushchairs in shopping centres who’d ram past me to get to where they wanted, completely oblivious to my existence. I’d tut out loud at children having tantrums in supermarkets. I’d do a SATC Samantha at badly behaved children in nice restaurants. I’d inwardly judge women who decided to be stay-at-home mums with fierce prejudice. I’d even be a bit pissed off if a pregnant woman without a bump yet barged past me on the tube to grab a seat.

I know, I know.

It really did feel a bit ‘them vs us’ – the childless (or childfree as I liked to think of it) versus the mothers. How horrible of me. But I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like this*.

If I’d had a difficult day at work, I used to think how easy mothers had it, being at home all day watching This Morning and online shopping. HA! One thing I have learned: there is nothing mentally harder than being at home alone all day with a young baby. Single mothers have my utmost respect.

One of my friends said that having a baby is like joining an epic worldwide club. A club of overtired, empathetic women. It’s so true. You suddenly feel sorry for the pregnant woman on the tube who knows she has to grab that seat because at ten weeks she feels lightheaded standing. You offer her yours gladly. You feel deep sadness for the poor woman trying to have a nice meal out while containing a bored hyperactive toddler. You wish you could help. When you see a woman pushing a hooded pram with grim determination you notice her eyebags and stained leggings and you wonder how old the baby is, and how much sleep she had the previous night. You want to reach out and hug her and tell her that it gets easier, it really does. When you hear women chatting about childcare, you feel great relief that you’re not the only one going through such things and often end up joining in (motherhood is a great way of getting talking to ANYONE!). You feel these women ARE you, they belong with you, you GET them and you like them even if in your former life you would have had nothing in common. It is actually one of the best bits of motherhood – this sudden deep solidarity with other women.

I wonder why the old me felt so scathing of mothers. I wonder if it was jealousy, or some kind of defence mechanism. I always worried that I wouldn’t get around to having children and that I’d regret it long term – was this my own survival instincts prepping me for the future? Telling me somehow that that life was crap, that I’d had a lucky escape? I don’t know. I do know I feel a bit ashamed now. It doesn’t mean I don’t look back on my old life and think, god that was a great life, I had so much freedom and time and opportunity. In many ways I miss it. I miss being one of the childfree. Because without a child, you ARE free. I am aware of motherhood’s limitations. I don’t think that there’s a clearcut winner in the ‘having a baby’ versus ‘not having a baby’ life choices. Both have their difficulties, both have their advantages.

But at the same time, this new empathy, this new KINDNESS and respect for others that I’ve developed since having Daphne. That’s something I didn’t expect, and something I’m so grateful for.

I guess the short version of this post is: motherhood has made me a nicer person.

* It may be that EVERYONE feels like this before they have kids, in which case, I feel much less sociopathic. 

BABY ON BOARD LIFE The Confessional

The Fear

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‘Oh god, don’t leave me here with HER Daddy!’

Tomorrow, Oli is leaving for Edinburgh, where he’ll be staying for just over a week. He’s going to be doing a show at the fringe with the wondrous Chad Lelong – a reinterpretation of David Bowie songs – if you’re at the festival and fancy popping by, then you can find out all the details here.

But this post isn’t really about that (sorry Ol). It’s about me (so far, so predictable). You see, it’ll be the first time I’ll have been left alone with Daph even overnight, let alone for a week. And I have a confession: I am absolutely terrified.

I’ve known this week was coming up for months – I think Oli agreed to do the festival back in January. But it seemed so far away and I thought as Daph would be one it would be OK. I assumed by now we’d have a really lovely easy routine and rapport going on, and of course it never occurred to me that she would still not be sleeping through the night every night. *bitter laughter*

At present, I know I’m a spoilt cow because Oli is around a lot in the day – he works evenings obviously and so I’ve always got help with the childcare. I’ve never had to be a traditional mum, stuck at home all day on my own with a baby. I get to say things like: ‘Can you just hold Daph for a sec while I pluck an errant chin hair/straighten my hair/have a twenty-minute toilet break?’ I’ve got used to the lie ins that I get every morning (I think I mentioned in an old post that Oli and I struck a deal – I do all the night feeds, and he gets up with her in the morning so I can catch up on sleep). I usually wake up about 8am. But this week, I’ll be doing the night feeds AND getting up at 6am and giving her breakfast and then looking after her all day until she goes to bed. I am afraid. Very afraid. Of the following things specifically:

  1. Bathtime. How will I coordinate running the bath/ getting her ready/stopping her from drowning while she’s in the bath while I turn around and grab her towel? We have a SYSTEM goddamit: Oli gets her ready for her bath, I give her the bath, he watches her while I get all her towels ready and then I lift her out of the bath and bring her to him to get her into her nightime nappy/pyjamas. Then I read her a story and give her her milk and she goes to bed. It works! It’s a process! If one of us is missing, it’s no longer a process; it’s a health and safety violation.
  2. Mealtimes. These are my most hated of all parenting duties, due to Daph’s rather fussy nature (read: tendency to scream and squirm and try to climb out of her highchair after one mouthful of food). And I will have to do all of them. Worse still, I will have no one there to distract her/pull funny faces while I try to shove food into her unsuspecting mouth. And how am I meant to prepare the actual food when if you leave her in her playpen for more than about ten minutes she goes batshit crazy?
  3. Playtime. I guess I am a terrible mother because… *whispers* … I find playing with my own child monumentally dull after about twenty minutes. Oli is BRILLIANT at playing with her, and comes up with voices, names and characters for all her animals etc etc. All I have managed so far is voracious quacking as I squeeze her rubber duck in the bath (which barely even registers a response, truth be told, let alone a smile). I feel so ashamed but I just don’t know HOW TO PLAY. I love her to death – I think I’ve got loving her down to a fine art and have mastered the art of cuddling and kissing her and soothing her when she’s sad. But more than ten minutes of stacking bricks that she just knocks over in favour of barging towards my handbag/mobile phone/any hard surface on which to bonk her head and I just want to stick her in front of Teletubbies and hide behind my laptop. I try reading to her, but she just yanks the books out of my hand and closes them. Apparently trapping Mummy’s fingers in the pages is more fun than watching Mummy point out where Mr Tickle is.
  4. Going to the toilet. How. How. How.
  5. Having a shower. The only time I’ll be able to do this is when she’s having her first nap at 9.30am. But on Thursday I have to go to work and my mum is going to babysit. So again, how, WHEN am I meant to have a shower before leaving for the office? At 5.30 before she wakes up? When I’ve probably been up at 4am anyway. Maybe the answer is NEVER GOING TO BED.

I so wish I was better with children – I’ve never been very good with them, and much as I adore my amazing little daughter, I find spending long periods time with her now she’s older and more aware (and more opinionated) really quite challenging. I know you’re not meant to admit that, but I hope I’m not the only mother out there like it. I love the days when Granny comes over and I can sneak off and waste some time doing fun adult things like, y’know, replying to my emails. Or writing blog posts. The most challenging thing by far about being a mother is not having time to get things done. I hate that it takes four days to fold the washing because any spare second is spent firefighting the essential chores like emptying the nappy bin (you don’t want to leave that overflowing in August; LESSON LEARNT).

I am not complaining – I mean, it’s hardly a hardship to be at home with my child like many mothers up and down the country whose partners work abroad. But I AM scared. I think this week will be an interesting learning experience for me (and Daph, poor mite). I am hoping it’ll turn out better than I expect. I’ve arranged trips out for us every day, to make sure I don’t go insane with loneliness. But I’m frightened. I hope that doesn’t make me a horrible person. Wish us luck!

BABY ON BOARD Baby updates LIFE The Confessional

One year baby BODY update!

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Me five days before I gave birth…

I wasn’t sure what to call this post, or indeed, whether to write it at all, but it’s been niggling in my head for a week or so I decided to just do it. Please skip if it’s not your kind of thing, but for those of you who are curious about how having a baby changes you physically… read on. I love a good overshare, me. I also love reading these kind of posts because pregnancy affects everyone so differently – I find it fascinating.

So, deep breath, here we go…

body-update-lifebylotte

Me back in May. Not much has changed since. Note the frizzy hair…

My weight

Daph was born a year ago and I am kind of perversely proud to say I have not lost all my baby weight yet. Shock horror. I haven’t actually weighed myself since we moved because we’ve lost the bathroom scales somewhere in the melee, but you know how you know your own body… I would give a rough guess that I currently weigh about 9st 9 (on a good, non-period day, first thing in the morning after a wee). I’m 5ft 7 just to put that in context for you. When I got pregnant, I was about 9st 3, but I was actually the lightest I’d been in a while because I’d been on a bit of a fitness kick and had been going to the gym a few times a week for about six months. Earlier that year, I was about 9st 7, and that was probably my base weight for a couple of years.

So yes, I am not back down to 9st 3 (I was nearly 12 stone at my heaviest when pregnant!). I wanted to get back to 9st 7 but I haven’t even managed that. I have mixed feelings about this to be honest. I think – if I wanted to – I COULD get back down to that weight relatively easily, by doing a few runs each week. I started running earlier in the year when Daph was younger and weirdly I was less tired (somehow smaller babies are less tiring because despite the night-wakings, they’re less demanding during the day and nap a lot). But I gave it up when I started working again, when she was about five months old. Now when I get some time to myself I have to do my freelance work, and exercising has definitely taken a back seat.

Interestingly, when Daph was first born I was desperate to lose ALL the baby weight and really worried about it, but, now I can honestly say I don’t care! It’s quite liberating. The only part of me that really wants to lose the extra pounds is the part of me that sees myself in jeans, as they’re not as flattering as they were, but otherwise I am quite happy floating about in maxi dresses. The extra weight is all across my thighs – the inside of my thighs mostly, and a little bit on my tummy and arms. It’s not terrible. And on that note…

My tummy

The good thing about having a long back is that you also have a long tummy. Which means it usually looks pretty flat – there’s plenty of space to spread out the fat y’see. I also have a tummy button that goes in a lot which helps it to look flatter (blimey, this is a weird blog post). So my tummy actually looks pretty normal at first glance. I didn’t get any stretch marks (thankfully) when I was pregnant and the skin isn’t loose. What is different, is the – now excuse me here cos this is also a bit weird – texture of my skin on my stomach. It’s kind of squishier than before. I guess, it’s because it stretched and it’s now fatter, but I think it’s actually also cos my abs separated and I am fairly sure they haven’t joined back together yet. I think there are exercises I can do to sort this, but I can’t really be bothered to be honest. Maybe if we go on a bikini holiday next year I will do something about it. The main thing is that my tummy is pretty much the same as before, just a bit… softer.

My general shape

My mum doesn’t believe this, but my hips are definitely wider than before. You know how they stretch a bit when you are pregnant thanks to the ligaments relaxing? I really don’t think they go back – fitted trousers and dresses I wore before I got pregnant just don’t look quite right now (and no, it’s not just the extra weight – I can tell the difference). My waist is also less defined – that whole area is a lot more ‘square’. But it’s not terrible. I feel a bit more ‘mumsy’ shaped and dare I say it – middle aged?

Oh and my feet. My feet are still bigger. Not swollen any more but bigger, and most of my pre-pregnancy shoes are now uncomfortable.

My boobs

As you may know, I didn’t breastfeed really – just pumped for six weeks then gave up. After I stopped pumping my boobs shrank back pretty quickly to their previous size. They look the same now as before, honestly, but they are pretty small and inoffensive (I fail the pencil test) so maybe that’s why. I reckon they’re a bit lower than before, but that’s probably ageing more than anything else. I don’t know if boobs change more if you ‘properly’ breastfeed, would be interesting if anyone wants to share!?

My hair

This is the weirdest and most annoying thing. A year later – my hair is still not the same. It’s still darker (although I noticed my first few greys coming in – AAAAAH!) and even more weirdly, I seem to have developed a strange kink on one side. At first I thought it was the way I was wrapping my hair in a towel, but no, it turns out it’s actually gone a bit curly on one side. My hair has always been poker straight, and now if I leave it wet, it goes into a really unattractive wavy mess. Annoying.

My down-belows

Yikes, I can see my mum reading this and thinking I’ve truly lost my mind. However. I can confirm that all is functioning as before in this respect! No discernible changes AT ALL, despite my second degree tear. Your body is designed to give birth, and seems to make a really decent job of recovering from it. Or maybe I just got lucky. Either way, there’s been no leakage (SORRY!) or problems of any other nature… *stops talking before everyone I know disowns me*

Baby brain

Has gone! Hurrah. Apart from being eternally knackered, I feel my brain has returned to its previous level of functioning. If anything, I reckon it’s better – I’m certainly better at remembering things, multitasking and all that jazz.

What else what else… In general, I look older. A lot older than before. I am pretty sure this is all down to lack of sleep however, and not the baby per se. Oh and y’know I’m 35 now so it was to be expected.

So there you have it. My most navel-gazing post to date. Literal navel-gazing. I can see loads of you rolling your eyes and sneering at the sheer self-absorbedness of it. I may be full of regret at publishing this. But I think the point was really to say that yes, my body is different from before and no, I don’t actually care. I know all that gubbins about seeing your body differently after you’ve given birth sounds annoying but it’s SO true. It does put stuff into perspective. It does make you respect it more. It doesn’t stop you wanting to eat ice cream and sugar all day to cope with your three hours of sleep. But one look at the little person you made, and their PERFECT BOXFRESH skin and PERFECT SOFT hair and it’s a sacrifice that feels both completely natural and well worth making.