Breastfeeding in Springtime (aka Rejoice, Non-Frozen Nipples)

It has probably not escaped your notice that I really enjoy fashion, styling clothes and generally keeping online retailers afloat throughout the year. One thing I have become slightly expert in over the last few years is adapting my wardrobe and style to allow a boob to be extracted on short notice (for breastfeeding purposes, rather than having embarked upon a new career in exhibitionism).

I’ve never really worn clothes that are designed specifically for breastfeeding; I’ve never found anything in the sort of style I would comfortably wear, and also I reckon that most ‘normal’ clothes can be fashioned in such a way as to allow for a boob to be whipped out if needed, so I’ve never been convinced by the need to buy a special dress with two layers or a sweatshirt with zips or whatever. To each their own.

But in the event that you’re interested in making the high street work for you, I thought I would take a look at what is on offer for breastfeeding mamas as spring approaches.

First up, Zara…

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Any excuse for a spending ban lapse…

Is there any ‘holiday’ shitter than Valentine’s day? I hate it. A tragic orgy of the smug, the twee and the desolate.

My husband and I do tend to mark the occasion with a card, but not usually a gift. Any time we’ve tried to make more of it, the universe has knocked some sense into us (like the first year, when I didn’t realise we were even going out and he bought me a present, some flowers and wrote a heartfelt card and I gave him a jokey card that probably had some rhyming profanity in lieu of sentiment, or the year we went out for a preposterously expensive dinner and he got food poisoning, almost immediately and grievously, or the year we went to a very boozy dinner at the River Cottage farm and accidentally left without paying…).

But. (There’s always a but in these blog posts, isn’t there?!) Despite my loathing of the day and all the nonsense that goes with it, and despite the ridiculous inconsistency of this position, I have found myself admiring some clothes online that could fall to be categorised under some sort of Valentine’s Day heading (although I would strongly recommend that you don’t search “Valentine” on the ASOS website or you will have your eyes burnt by such horrors as this or, even worse, this (neither of which is suitable for work, I should warn you).

Anyway. I hereby acknowledge the stupidity of this entire idea and simultaneously share with you my favourite ideas for Valentine’s Day dressing…

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Material Girl

I realised recently that I had slipped into a bit of a rut, in terms of my appearance, and that perhaps it was reflective of a sense of exhaustion and maybe even futility about life currently. Not in a dramatic way; just in a kids-tag-teaming-through-the-night-and-I’m-completely-knackered sort of way. And I realised that my lack of effort in terms of my appearance was not only reflecting my ennui but also feeding it. So this week I have been taking a bit more care: drying my hair rather than scraping it into a ponytail, wearing shoes other than my trusty Nikes, putting on some lipstick… and it feels good. I’ve felt more confident, eager to face the world, and that makes me happier.

I don’t want to overthink it, as I am clearly prone to do. I’ve been mulling over a post  on self-esteem, body image, and being a good role model for my children (my daughter in particular), but the soul-searching is proving a bit… bleak. So, I’m actually going to let myself enjoy the process of making an effort for a while, instead of lamenting my inability to separate my appearance and my sense of self-worth! And instead of fighting our image-obsessed, patriarchal society (I’ll do that soon though, I promise), I thought I’d share some of the things that have been improving my mood this week…

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Beans on toast

I have a confession: I absolutely loathe cooking.

I love to eat – I really, really love to eat. But at the moment, my love of eating is falling second to my hatred of getting food onto my plate.

Before I had kids, this laziness was disguised by a job that kept me in the office for long hours, enabling me to justify the purchase of breakfast, lunch and often dinner five days a week, and a husband who loves to cook, enthusiastically picking up the baton at the weekends without even realising he was doing me a favour.

Now I’m at home and there’s nowhere to hide. Continue reading