The Smart Phone Generation.

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Jack and I recently went to a Jessie Ware gig, as I stood there, bloated with my hair everywhere I looked around at the perfectly preened early twenties looking ridiculously cool, the first dates and the pints of beer, and, for the first time I felt old. And fat. And pregnant.

We were stood at the Hammersmith Appollo and as Jessie Ware came on stage it didn’t matter. I love live music. It’s my favourite, and she did not disappoint, she was mesmerising. What did disappoint was the audience. We were standing watching a powerhouse musician sing the songs she had written and the viewing public were so easily distracted by their mobile phones. As soon as she started to sing a song that wasn’t a high tempo hit the girls surrounding me were lost into the glowing light of Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, WhatsApp and IMessage. In this order, on a loop. I wanted to take their phones and stamp on them. Fair enough, take a photo, but this was incessant, really distracting and downright rude.

On the way home I moaned at Jack and expressed my concern about this generation. Yup, I am old. What is it going to be like when our child is twenty one? How can you get lost in the moment with an artist if all you are worrying about is how many views your Insta story has got and if the right person knows you are there.

That weekend we went to visit my parents, and as we were eating our Sunday dinner the conversation was not floating my Dads boat, I could see his mind wondering and then his mobile phone came out. I challenged him, “errr, Dad we’re in the middle of dinner?!”. He argued he was looking up a song that was playing, no different to looking at a record cover. I kind of got his point, but it had nothing to do with what we were talking about. Twenty minutes later, his phone comes out again, I asked him what he was doing and he started laughing as he informed us he was looking at an AVOCADO KNIFE. WHAT THE ACTUAL.

I’ve picked on my poor old Dad here, but I think most people are guilty of this, me included. It was during this visit that I understood that living through the a mobile phone screen isn’t generational at all. It’s a sign of our times.

For our babies sake I hope and pray that the balance restores itself. I wonder if our obsession with our phones and social media is extreme because this technology is so new, it’s novel to have a PR tool for our lives. To be easily distracted and entertained one hundred percent of the time. Fifteen years ago the internet was dial up, that is no time at all for us to adjust to the magnificent power we have at our fingertips. To be everywhere all of the time.

As I continue on the journey to becoming a Mother, of course I worry about the danger of the internet, the lack of control, the trolling and the catfishing, but these things happened to an extent already. It was teenagers having a fondle instead of sending a photo, it was half of my school year sneaking to the park to drink vodka, insisting to their parents they were having a sleepover at a friends house. It’s not the same but there are definite parallels. What worries me most is our children missing out on life and genuine feeling; going on a date, listening to music at a gig uninterrupted and sneaking out with their mates without a parent being able to track them down on Find My Friends. These life experiences and bolts to independence certainly made me the person I am today, lessons learned and memories made. I want my children to have the same thrills and excitement when breaking free into adulthood as I did. Because, it was so much fun.

Taking my New Body Clothes Shopping

Last week was the first time I experienced shopping for clothes with a semi bump. I still look like I’ve had one to many cakes but the bump is starting to take shape and I’m sure it will be “proper” in the next week or two.

We are off to a wedding next weekend and I had absolutely nothing that fitted me. Jack and I had a rare day off together in the week. I work shifts so am often galavanting around mid week, taking advantage of the not so busy shops. It was a real treat that Jack had a days holiday to take. We took the opportunity and went into London. After an AMAZING lunch at Spiltalfields, where we consumed masses of melted cheese in a tiny cheese shop, Androute. We actually stopped and spent time together, it was long overdue and I loved every second. If I had known what the next hour would have in store we might have stayed for another drink. But no, I had a great idea.

We headed to Oxford Street, where, I was confident there would be a plethora of suitable maternity options for the big event next weekend. How wrong I was.

Maternity tights. I needed them and I needed them immediately, the non maternity version I was wearing were cutting my vagina in half. “It’s ok”, I thought, “I’ll find them straight away”. Nope, it took ages.

The first surprise I got was that many of the shops maternity sections were in separate shops out the back, we literally had to walk out the front of the shop and go round to the separate Maternity door. I’m over sensitive at the moment and it made me feel like the dirty secret the clothes shops were catering for. The second surprise I got was that they were TINY, with not a lot of choice. I fully understand the beauty of online, but I’m no fashion guru and have no idea how to dress this new body of mine. I wanted to try stuff on. It really took me aback. Now I’ve had time to reflect it does make sense, it wouldn’t be viable to have massive maternity sections, but I wasn’t prepared for it to not feel like the normal, shopping for clothes on Oxford Street experience.

In the end the only shop that came through for me was H&M. Amazing bras and tights, (thank you very much) and I managed to find a respectable dress to wear to said wedding. And all for under fifty pounds. Thank goodness.

Feeling a sense of relief we headed to Soho, where I immediately changed into my fabulous new tights. Going on to have the most wonderful time with some of my oldest friends celebrating a birthday. It was the first time Jack and I had been out and I hadn’t felt like falling asleep standing up since we found out I was expecting. It really lifted my spirits and although the clothes shopping experience was fairly frustrating, I know I’ll get the hang of it. It didn’t nearly ruin our day and I discovered the amazingness of a mocktail, this revelation has literally made my life. And please- Mums out there- any tips on dressing my baby bump would be gratefully received, I can’t continue to wear my dressing gown pretty much all of the time. 😉

Who Runs The World?

Still white men in suits or women trying to be white men in suits. Annoyingly.

When I fell pregnant I couldn’t fault my boss. He has been nothing but supportive throughout.Worryingly it is some (not all), but enough of my peers who silently disapprove of my inconveniencing them due to my pregnancy, and these people are mostly WOMEN.

One of my wonderful friends said to me today, “it’s like being pregnant is a hobby that women have”. And that is exactly how I have been made to feel. We went on to discuss, and forgive me if I’m wrong, that having a baby is making our future, that it’s quite convenient when they grow up to be pillars of society, make changes and save lives.

I can tell you now, feeling like you can’t put one foot in front of another and wanting to vomit every hour is inconvenient for me too, Janet. So get over it.

I hope that these attitudes change quickly. With amazing movements like Times Up and International Woman’s day I see the most wonderful empowering posts that fill me with joy and make my heart soar.

But then I go back to work and have to deal with the attitude because I won’t do some of what I used to. Because I won’t risk my baby and I don’t bloody well feel like it- it will probably make me sick on my shoe. And that breaks my heart.

Nothing will move forward, nothing will change, until us ladies, the ones on the ground, in the shops, restaurants and offices, the ones living our normal, boring lives, not the ones on the red carpet, step up and have each other’s backs.

The Top Ten Things That Took Me By Surprise in the First Three Months.

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  • The bloating is unbelievable, I blew up like a balloon almost straight away, and not in the neat tight mini bump way that I had seen in images online and in magazines. But in a watery, wobbly way that made all my clothes very tight.
  • I actually felt quite sexy, despite the bloat. I imagined that as soon as I was pregnant I wouldn’t be interested in any of that shenanigans, actually it was quite the opposite.
  • My mind turned to mush. I had heard the phrase “baby brain” but nothing could prepare me for the ridiculously small amount of information that I retained. It did prove a little embarrassing at work, especially when entire meetings that I had held I re-scheduled because I had forgotten that I had them in the first place.
  • My relationship with my husband has flourished. I saw a different side to him, he is always so laid  back and calm, but I saw a little protectiveness from him that I found really attractive. He is so kind and caring, being in this new situation together reiterated how wonderful he is.
  • I got scared that I would be lonely. This is something that still follows me around. My family live 100 miles away, my role in my friendship group is the hostess with all the wine, who stays up until the sun rises and never says no to a party. I was worried that my friends wouldn’t have a place for me being wobbly and sober. I still worry about this. However I do now accept that the people who really love me won’t go anywhere. I have removed the pressure I put on myself to keep being all things and it does feel better.
  • It is really hard to keep it a secret and 12 weeks feels like a lifetime. I did tell a few of my closest family,  friends and colleges early on. I needed their support, and, heaven forbid something went wrong I would need it then too.
  • The exhaustion was real.
  • I thought I would worry about money a lot, but all of a sudden it didn’t matter. I now have this c’est la vie attitude towards it. Maybe that’s stupid, but I am sure we will work it out, like millions of families before us have.
  • How little contact you have with medical professionals. You don’t need it, but in my mind the biggest thing ever has just happened to me, and you see someone once between conception and 12 weeks. I don’t know what I expected but I did feel quite at sea without the reassurance that everything was OK.
  • People get REALLY excited. I had friends download pregnancy apps and my Mum post me three Panettones as I mentioned to her once in passing I liked it. It is a really nice feeling that your nearest and dearest care so much.