Can we allow our girls to be girls?

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

This morning I noticed a few people posting on Instagram about Kim Kardashian actively promoting an appetite suppressant lolly and at first I skimmed over it and flicked to the next post. I used to really like watching reality TV, I was a huge fan of Big Brother when it first came out and stateside I loved Laguna Beach and The Hills but I never really found the time to watch The Kardashians.

Having said that, I don't have my head in the sand and I do know who they are. Beautiful girls with a lot of money who a lot of people of all ages admire.

And I can completely see why... I would love more money so I didn't have to work as much, so I could spend more time in the gym feeling better about myself. I would love to have a little bit more disposable income so I could get my teeth whitened and laser eye surgery so I don't have to wear glasses anymore. The list could go on and I'm sure we all agree, we all have a list of what we'd do if we were given a million pounds.

Whether what she did was right or wrong isn't really the point of this post - she isn't the only celebrity /influencer/role model to endorse a controversial product. Even myself as a blogger, I've reviewed stretch mark creams and promoted various beauty products so I'm not here to argue where do we draw the line or what is right or wrong.

What I do want to do is raise awareness of a conversation I had with a lady while I was working on my dissertation back in 2011 that probably influenced my parenting style. My thesis was titled 'The Sexualisation of Young Girls within Magazines and the Media' and I worked incredibly hard on it. I went to various magazines including Teen Vogue in New York, I surveyed people in the industry, mums, children and anyone who would talk to me. I wrote to tv programmes, celebrities and read a crazy amount of books. It was something I felt passionate about - as a child, I had been bullied because growing up on a farm in the countryside had left me quite naive and during secondary school, my eyes were truly opened.

The lady I spoke to was in her late thirties and had two children, a girl age ten and a younger boy and they had a fairly typical British family life. They lived in a nice house, in a nice village on the outskirts of a North East city, drove nice cars and had a comfortable income so that she only needed to work part time and they took two all inclusive long haul holidays a year. At that point in my life, they were how I imagined I would like my life to turn out. Happy and comfortable without any money worries.

She told me something that would stick with me for the rest of my life and even then as a twenty year old without a care in the world and no descendants, broke my heart.

Her daughter had an incredible imagination and her favourite toys up until the year previous had been her dolls. She said she'd always enjoyed playing with them but had one day come home from school crying and wanted to get rid of them. Upon asking her why and what was wrong, her daughter had said the other girls at school had made her feel embarrassed because she still played with dolls and she didn't know the words to Rihanna's Umbrella.

Ironically, if you look at lyrics to a lot of other Rihanna songs now, Umbrella probably is one of the more tame but that's beside the point.

Her mum told me that she felt she had done her daughter wrong. She said she'd never hidden her from popular music but that she never deliberately exposed her to it either. Instead she'd let her little girl's instinct to play, do just that.

At the time my heart felt for that little girl so much but it wasn't until I became a mum myself that I truly realised what the lady had told me.

She never set out to protect her daughter from being sexualised but in return for not exposing her, her daughter ended up bullied and outcast from the friendship group. She was in a no win situation.

It's a story I've come back to and mulled over on more than one occasion since becoming a mum. I hope that Edie and Mabel have wonderful long childhoods where they get to play with whatever they want, however they want and have the confidence if other children tease them to tell them to sod off. I will try my very best to perform the balancing act that is protecting and exposing them so that they can be little girls for as long as they need to. But I do wonder, if I'd not heard that story, if my values or my parenting style would be different.

Guest Post | Ivanka Poku talks Postnatal Depression and Mental Health Awareness

Sunday, 6 May 2018

This past week was Maternal Mental Health Week and it seemed like the perfect time for this guest post from my fellow twin mum, Ivanka Poko who writes over at Mum's Journey. I received an email from Ivanka, explaining how she would like to raise awareness of postnatal depression and I really wanted to help.

C-Section Awareness Month | My Experience

Monday, 30 April 2018

If you didn’t already know, this month has been C-section awareness month. Since the girls were born last June, I have received lots of questions about mine and so I thought, following on from writing my twin birth story a post containing some of my thoughts might help a few people.

Sponsored | Oribel UK Cocoon Highchair Review

Thursday, 26 April 2018

I started giving Edie and Mabel baby porridge and rice when they were around four months old, as they were showing all the signs that they were after more than just milk. They were already on hungry baby milk and whenever food was around, their faces were like the heart-eyes emoji... not to mention, nothing seemed to fill them up. So after a chat with my health visitor, I gave it a go and it was no surprise they loved it. It was around about this time that Oribel got in touch to let me know that they were bringing a brand new highchair to the UK and would we like to try it out.

A Day in the Life | Photoshoot

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Amy, otherwise known as @thetriggertwins on Instagram posted a fantastic feature the other week showing a day in her life with twins and I absolutely loved it. I find it really helpful seeing what other multiple mum's get up to during their days and so I thought I'd join in on Monday and post mine (I've popped it in my highlights for anyone who missed it). I've had this post planned for a few weeks since I received the photos but I thought now seemed a fitting time to also share our 'Day in the Life' photoshoot with Angela Fenwick.

The quickest way to stop babies fussing

Friday, 6 April 2018

I’m going to try and keep this short after yesterday’s mammoth ‘going abroad with twin babies’ post. This is the best way I have found to stop Edie and Mabel from whinging, fussing or playing up in the car. If they get a bit twisty, this trick has so far always worked.

Going Abroad with Seven Month Old Twins

Thursday, 5 April 2018

I started writing this post when we first came back from holiday in January! I made a list of everything that we took and used, so not to forget anything. It does usually take me a couple of days to write a blog post now the twins are here but this one took a lot more of my time, partly because I wanted to make sure I covered everything.