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Following on from the last entry. Of course, we also like talking about babies. While certain members of the broadsheet press (see Observer Woman last week), apparently suffering from terminal lack of empathy, might find this irredeemably dull and offensive, we like talking about babies because having a baby is a completely life-changing experience and frankly, it’d be weird if we didn’t ever talk about it to our friends. Especially within the first few months, when your world is turned completely upside down.

To couch it in terms that such journos might understand, imagine if you had a really important new job, and didn’t discuss it at great length with your bezzy mates. Or were in a terrible car accident. Or fell head over heels in love with a fantastic guy. Or, I don’t know, you went to a really, really GREAT bar (at last, a comparison they might understand). They might think you weren’t really their friend anymore, that you didn’t want to share the important details of your life. And if your pals seemed unbelievably bored by the details of your amazing new job or boyfriend, perhaps even slagged off the fact you’d talked about it a little bit too much, say, in a newspaper column, you might then reassess that friendship. Possibly. Or just think they were incredibly self-obsessed and not-very-nice people.

To be clear: Just because we are mothers and talk about our babies to a greater or (hopefully) lesser extent, doesn’t mean we have all transformed into brain-dead, lactating cows with no outside interests. Even we get bored by other mothers talking about babies sometimes. Guess what? Some people are just boring, parents or not.

And on the subjects of baby websites. Of course, there are all sorts of websites dedicated to babies and motherhood, some of them catering to the kind of ordinary mother you’d never perhaps want to be. Big deal. There are also plenty of websites variously dedicated to music, literature, automobiles, hardcore porn and lots of other subjects you might or might not be interested in. No-one’s forcing you to read them if they’re not aimed at you. Complaining about the fact they exist is akin to complaining that not everyone in the human race fits your criterion for being a worthwhile, interesting person. I don’t like canoeing, should I then complain that someone on a canoeing forum made a comment that I didn’t quite relate to?

By the way, we’re the first to admit that the media seems a bit too obsessed by babies, and fertility stories and older mothers and ‘can-wimmin-have-it-all debates’ these days. Is that our fault? Or is it, I don’t know, the fault of the newspaper journalists who endlessly commission these features and force the issues down our throats so that we’re left in a cycle of endless maternal navel-gazing?

Perhaps the fact that these childless-by-choice female journos are sensitive about the fact that everybody seems so baby-obsessed is a) A function of their age – most of their friends inevitably have kids now. Get over it. b) Made worse by the industry they work in, as described above. c) The fact that secretly they are haunted by whether or not they’ve really made the right choice. (We sympathise with this as they wouldn’t be human if they weren’t, to some extent).  On the evidence, seems like they’re even more baby obsessed than we are.

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I’ve always found the words ‘mum’ and ‘mummy’ a bit cringy – they’re just, well, so mumsy. It took me a good few months to associate the term ‘mummy’ with myself (OK I’m still getting used to it). And even now I sometimes wince. Let’s be honest, the very fact the word ‘yummy’ had to be stapled onto the word ‘mummy’ to begin with, suggests our culture reckons that usually they’re not.

But at some point during your baby’s first few months you realise a fundamental change has happened, not so much to you, as to others’ perception of you. While you are pretty much the same person you ever were, albeit a bit tireder and with slightly worse hair, to the man (or woman) on the street, you are defined by your ‘mumminess’.

I’m not sure exactly when I had the uncomfortable realisation that, when I walked down the road, strangers no longer saw a young woman (OK youngish) who coincidentally happened to be pushing a buggy with a small person inside it. They saw a mother, and that was it.

But while new mothers are famous for boring single friends to tears by droning on about breastfeeding and nappies and the price of childcare, the truth of the matter is that we don’t just want to be mummies. We do, desperately, want to talk about other stuff. We want to start sentences that don’t begin with the words ‘I’m just checking little Felix’s nappy,’ or ‘I’ve just got to finish giving Grace this bottle, then we can go.’

We were a person before we had children, and dear readers we are still that person. It’s just that all the other thoughts and worries and passions we had before have had to jostle along a little bit so some new thoughts and worries can fit into our heads as well. Think of our brains as an extremely crowded Tube carriage. On the Central Line. Think about your own brain during the first flurry of love, while perhaps you also have a really important meeting at work to prepare for. That’s our brains, all the time.

But we still love seeing our single friends and indeed our married friends without children. And let’s be hones, while we do love, love, love talking endlessly about our children and all their infinitely fascinating little habits, we – or certainly the mummies I know at any rate – also particularly love not talking about them . We love talking about books and films and fashion and politics and music and new hot restaurants (even if we probably won’t go to them).

In fact all the things we talked about before we had children. Funny that, us still being the same person isn’t it? With basically the same interests, the same personality and the same sense of humour, just some new interests and concerns too. Who on earth would’ve thought.

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This blog is currently dedicated to stuff new mummies like. As opposed to stuff mummies of teenagers like. That's because we don't have teenagers yet. Give us a few years though. We're told it goes pretty quickly...

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