Old Wives’ Tales and Why I Sometimes Feel Like Frank the Pug

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Perks of being a mum to a young child are having a lot of down time around the house. Even though I am so busy all the time, I have never watched more telly. Especially, since my social life has diminished and my weekend antics now mostly revolve around who cleaned up the biggest poop and “Can you believe the baby just said daddy?”. Even though to an untrained ear it probably sounded like a load of gibberish a-da-da-ta-taa.

So the other day, I watched Men in Black again. I forgot how much I love that cheeky little talking pug, Frank. Talk about dog on a mission.

There are days, where I feel like an extraterrestrial in disguise. When I was pregnant, I felt like the whole world was staring at me like I was from another planet. I was working nearly up to the end and people seriously treated me like I had an exotic disease or completely blanked me (I am looking at you, commuters on the train!)

My favourite part was though when suddenly everyone was coming out with stories and tips for us. Oh, the old wives’tales! And the relief you could see on their faces after they had shared their baby story with you, like they waiting for you to pat them on the back. It was like passing the torch to the next generation.

I have often wondered since when it had become acceptable to find poor pregnant women and scare them with such old wives tales? It starts so innocently, you don’t even see it coming.

This one time, I was out with some family for coffee and cake. I started tucking into a lemon muffin, minding my own business, when our auntie exclaimed to me in horror: “You shouldn’t cross your legs, because the umbilical cord can get wrapped around baby’s neck!”, and she didn’t stop there. She went on to say that she couldn’t believe no one has told me that. So, apparently, it was one of the first things you were told back in the day. Frantically, I uncrossed my legs and made a note never to attempt to strangle my unborn child again.

Another gem for me was when a work colleague (she shall remain unnamed) told me that giving birth was like squeezing out a really big poo, you just have to push very hard at the end. Seriously, how do people think this is what you want to hear?!

Looking back now, I can laugh about it. At the time though, when you are trying to adjust to the physical and emotional changes that are happening in your body, and everyone looks are you like you are from another planet

It astounds me still, how a bump suddenly becomes public property. And once your little one is born, the advice doesn’t stop. I think you just learn to trust your instincts more and find your own way.

Have you come across any odd piece of pregnancy advice or old wives tale? Comment below, or take it to Twitter@fabulousmummy1!

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