In the abstract I suppose there’s nothing much wrong with wondering why tampons should not be free. At the moment the crux of the campaign is more to have the ‘luxury’ tax removed from sanitary wear (the tampon tax), so taking that a step further and making them free to all women might seem a strange concept. Especially to a young man who not only doesn’t have to shell out roughly a tenner a month on things to shove up his orifices before binning them, but probably doesn’t have to pay for food, rent or laundry either, since he lives at Hotel des Maman et Papa. (I’m guessing here, but it seems unlikely that someone this ignorant is allowed out on their own, never mind that they’re able to earn a wage sufficient to keep a roof over their head).
Please don’t let the title of gender neutral gift ideas for 1 year olds put you off reading this. It doesn’t have to mean that you buy everything in yellow and rigorously avoid anything with even a hint of polarity to it. I just like to offer suggestions of toys and gifts that will do for either girls or boys, especially as, at only one, they’re still so fluid in their play and haven’t succumbed in any way to societal expectations of what’s appropriate. So if you have a grandchild, godchild, niece or nephew to buy for – or even if you’re struggling to think of something your own child will enjoy this Christmas or for their first birthday, perhaps this will help.
So this weekend we tried out camping with kids for the first time ever. In days gone by it was something The Man and I did quite regularly. We used to volunteer with a youth organisation, so as well as personal camping trips to Wales and the Peak District, we would accompany Duke of Edinburgh expeditions to do spot checks, waypoints and basically make sure they knew how to pitch tents, cook porridge and not get up to any mischief. The most fun was taking the new recruits out on Initial Expedition Training as it was far less hardcore and they would have such a good time.
Have you seen the Twitter hashtag Not okay (#notokay)? I came across it via a friend’s link on Facebook and clicked through from a mixture of anti-Trump sentiment and prurient curiosity about other womens’ experiences. Yes. I admit it. I was smugly voyeuristic as I read through horrifying account after horrifying account, each of them summed up into a neat 140 characters or fewer, because I was one of the rare, the lucky few, who had never been assaulted.
It’s about this time of year that the internet explodes with back to school stuff. Everything from advertising the latest shoes/pencil case/bag to “must have” lists from know-it-all mum bloggers (totally me next year!). I can’t join in with these, though, because this year it’s not ‘back to school’ for us, but ‘first day of school’.
He’s totally ready for the experience, as am I (especially after 6 weeks of summer holidays, believe me!), but there’s still a part of me wondering how on earth my little boy is old enough to be at school. I think the hardest thing to adjust to, however, is actually going to be the permanence and rigidity of the whole thing. I’ve been a Stay-At-Home/Work-At-Home -Mum since before he was born. For the whole of his life I have had complete flexibility over his timetable and can do what suits me, him and the family. Even at preschool I could whisk him away if we wanted or needed to and he spent the majority of his time with me.
This post is a response to an open letter I saw on Huffpost about making mum friends as a new mum, especially to her opening paragraph (see quotes below) which is just so wrong I was inspired to counter it in the hopes I can reassure even one new mama who feels lonely and out of her depth.
Making friends as a mom is hard. Real hard. Hard like trying to go to the bathroom while holding a screaming newborn, hard. Hard like trying to walk your dog and push the stroller, hard. Hard like trying to eat and breastfeed at the same time, hard. I think you get the picture, it is pretty stinkin’ difficult.