Before I start a #notallmums revolution (god help us) let me just say that yes, not all mums, but most mums to an extent, whether they mean to or not, just LOVE to 'Mumsplain'. I know that loads of you are reading this right now and you are enraged, you can’t BELIEVE I could say such a thing, but hear me out.
I found out I was pregnant around four months ago; it was an exciting but incredibly scary and overwhelming time. We had not expected our little one to make an appearance for at least another year. When I found out, I did reach out to my mum friends, and they were brilliant, mums you are AMAZING. Really you are. Each one I reached out to was full of encouragement and answers to my many, many questions.
This is where I don’t want things to get confusing. If I reach out to a man and ask for advice or help and he gives it to me, believe I am overwhelmed and gushing with thanks. Reaching out and asking for help and then receiving it is a great thing. This is not mansplaining/mumsplaining.
Mumsplaining is the overwhelming urge that everyone who has pushed a child out of their body has to tell YOU exactly how and what YOU should do with your body, diet, pregnancy, child… despite the fact you never asked. It’s incredibly frustrating and actually very rude. I know this all comes from a good place, but please think before you hand out your opinions that were never asked for, think about things you say that could be rude or hurtful to the woman you are addressing. With all due respect, most women will have a child in their lifetime. Being a mum is a very special thing, but it's not entirely unique to YOU and everyone will do things differently. Here are a few things mums love to mumsplain:
I am Vegan; my doctor and midwife both informed me that, if a Vegan diet is done correctly, it is the safest and healthiest for the baby. My blood levels are amazing, my weight is on point and I eat well, I take my prenatal, my folic acid and a few other bits and bobs.
One of the first things a friend said to me upon finding out I was pregnant was not congratulations; no, she said, "you HAVE to eat meat now." I haven’t really spoken to her since. Think about how your comments and opinions sound. No matter how well meaning they may be, it’s like me telling me you, "you HAVE to stop eating meat now," which I kinda want to do, but I'm just not that kind of girl.
What works for you and your child will not work for someone else, what worked for your pregnancy may not be another person's choice. If my doctors and midwife say I am healthy, then I am pretty sure they know a little more than you, no offence.
Prenatal Exercise“You’ll harm the baby”
“You could miscarry”
These things are lies, myths and hearsay. I am a fitness instructor. I teach yoga, pilates and aerial. Every. Single. Day. and I will continue to do so until I feel my body is ready to stop. I will stop teaching aerial at exactly five months as I feel my body getting a bit less bendy and it's a little harder to lift myself. I also am starting to feel lightheaded when I am upside down. It is all about listening to your own body, not overexerting yourself and knowing your own limits, not someone else's.
I am trained in pre and post natal exercise, so I do know my stuff. My doctor has also told me to keep doing whatever I was doing before, it’s good for my body and will stop me gaining too much weight during pregnancy which is good for the baby and reduces the risk of gestational diabetes. It is recommended everyone do some light exercise during pregnancy for these reasons, so please don’t come at me with your I’m ‘going to harm the baby’ bullshit. Me and my little bean are doing just fine.
However, I would never recommend someone do exactly what I have done with my pregnancy, my exercise and schedule is unique to me and based on what I did BEFORE I was pregnant, as everyone's should be. Wait... did I just mumsplain?
What You Should Buy for Baby...
Everyone has different tastes, different budgets, and different ideas of what they should get for their baby. Some people can’t afford a £2000 pushchair or a £200 food blender disguised as a baby food maker. Some people will have all second hand goods, some people will go all out and buy absolutely anything and everything; it’s all FINE and it is all up to you!
I personally will not get a lot of the new gadgets and gizmos. We just don’t really have the space, my parents never had them and I turned out fine. I want to use reusable nappies; it’s not for everyone, it’s just my preference. I want to breastfeed, some mothers want to use formula, as long as your baby is loved and cared for and you are all happy does it REALLY matter?! Do you REALLY need to tell me what I’ve bought is wrong? What you bought is better/more expensive? Is that really necessary? If I want to buy a few newborn outfits, which I’m sure the baby will grow out of in a few days, then let me do it! It’s my first baby and I am excited and those tiny clothes are damn cute. Stop pissing on my parade.
For all you mums out there reading this, you are doing a great job. I’m sure I will mumsplain at some point too, we all will. BUT I am going to try my HARDEST to wait until I am asked for my advice and opinion before I dish it out.
About the Creator
Born and Bred Londoner, Mother to baby Roman and my two pooches, Plant Eater, Yoga and Aerial Teacher + Learner, Music Maker... was once in Game Of Thrones, was once a Penthouse Pet, used to win awards for getting naked.