The Mum Plan 1 – The Manifesto

This week I launched my newsletter, The Mum Plan. You can subscribe to receive next week’s one on this link and if you’d like to know what you’re going to be getting before you sign up here’s what the first one looked like:

The Mum Plan Part 1 – The Manifesto

The Mum Plan

You may not even remember you signed up for this newsletter from me, dear Samantha. I tweeted about it a month ago and then, well, I’ve done an abysmal job of promoting it since then. There’s also a good chance you have no idea what The Mum Plan is as my description of it thus far has been sparse to say the least.

Here, dear reader is an explanation.

The Mum Plan comes from something that only recently became clear. The reason this thing only  became clear recently is that the first eighteen months of being a mother were, for me, a haze. At my best friend’s hen do six weeks after my baby was born I thought, ‘oh the fog in my head is clearing, I think I feel normal now’. Cut to her wedding another four weeks after that, ‘I was an idiot at the hen do to think I had everything under control but now I do’. Cut to my birthday six weeks after that, ‘now I really am back to normal’. This cycle continued in a loop until about March this year when my daughter was older, I was back in the swing of attending my day job and generally felt like ‘WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME IT WOULD TAKE SO LONG TO FEEL LIKE MYSELF AGAIN?’

In the run up to having a child, especially a first one, all you’re getting spoken to about and educated on is how the baby will come out of you. People ask about your birth plan, you’re told to print it out, to tell your partner to make sure they help you stick to it, to think about it hard. There are loads of things wrong with this. Firstly, that you don’t have a huge amount of control over whether you kid comes out to plan or not. The baby is in there, it has to come out so hoping for the best is really all you can do no matter what the bullet pointed laminated list you dish out to the midwives like party favours says. Secondly, birth, compared to the time dedicated to raising the child, takes no time at all. It’s over in a blink of an eye compared to the next eighteen years of actual mothering you will be doing. We allow ourselves to be distracted by the painful day or two of labour and, most of us, fail to plan for ourselves past that point. Step to the front of the stage The Mum Plan which is about planning for the woman and mother you want to be for all that time afterwards (and some frivolous things too).
Box Set Binge

A hot topic on my NCT What’sApp group, even two years down the line when we’ve less kid stuff to check with one another about, is what’s good to watch on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I’ve just binged the third season of Jane the Virgin whilst my dear husband was in the extremities of this dear country filming people about to embark on diets (it’s his job, not a fetish, at least that’s what he says).

Jane went through pregnancy and then the first year of her child’s life at the same time on telly as I did in real life. Therefore I feel an affinity with her, despite her being a fictional character and her pregnancy being thanks to an accidental insemination.

Treat. Yo. Self.

This section will generally feature things I think look good and cool. However due to a Lulu Guinness sale habit I could only just afford I have cut myself off from internet shopping until pay day. For now enjoy this (free) clip

Good links (promise)

I’ve just sent in my next lot of Mush Guides for me to bother you all with soon. However this one about being ready for a second baby only went up the other week despite me writing it a while ago.

Even not including mine, there’s literally hundreds of good guides on Mush so if you want to laugh and read about parenting stuff go to the main page and explore

A New Essex Girl was what led me to this newsletter, not really any time for doodling amongst writing and my day job at the minute but the archives are still worthy of a LOL even if I do say so myself


NEXT TIME: The Mum Plan 2 – Knackered

Things have changed

My daughter is napping. In the few weeks I have been a mother I have learnt there is lots that can be achieved in these brief periods of rest. Like putting away a wash or making a cup of tea with ninja levels of precision so no rattling teaspoon wakes her or buying a strapless bra and some support knickers. It’s the last one I’m doing today.

I’m in Brent Cross, in the Marks and Spencer changing rooms. A saleswoman is asking me if I want her to leave so I can take off my top in private. As she’s going to see me without my t-shirt on, and in my manky maternity bra once she comes back, I tell her not to waste her time and to stay. Before giving birth I would never have felt comfortable doing this. Now, I don’t care who sees me naked. This body grew a person, this body is a fucking miracle.

After my boobs are measured with minimal fuss, the saleswoman drapes the measuring tape around her neck. Her elbow nudges the handle of the pram. We both startle, expecting screams which mercifully do not come. In a whisper she tells me my new, huge bra size and that this glut of bosom shall be short-lived. My soon-to-be shrivelled breasts are mentioned as a warning not to spend a lot of money on something I will get little use from. She leaves to get a selection of low priced bras and pants. Alone in the dressing room I wonder if she is a mother too. 

Tiptoeing back inside, the saleswoman hangs a selection of beige undergarments on a rail next to the mirror. I am handed a bra and a pair of size 16 support pants to try on. She turns her back whilst I put on the bra. In the interests of hygiene I have to force the pants over the ones I am already wearing. 

When they are on I look at my reflection, “These aren’t sucking me in at all.” My stomach is no flatter in appearance, it stays the same empty yet flabby belly it was before. “They’re too big. Maybe I should try the 12? I would have taken a 10 or a 12 before I had her.” 

“Well that was before, wasn’t it?” Her eyes slice into mine before drifting to my belly and back to my face. “Things have changed.”

The woman tuts to herself and clears the rail of too large pants. Her elbow whacks the side of the pram. Whimpers of waking folllow straight afterwards before turning into shrill screams. The woman is right, it’s not like before.