Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

WHEN Your Lifestyle Changes [...]

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

WHEN Your Lifestyle Changes [...]

Article excerpt

Byline: COLUMNIST CARRIE CARLISLE

WHEN your lifestyle changes dramatically, the way friends react to you is the first thing that shifts.

You become a different person to them. Even if you feel like the same one inside.

A girl I used to work with is due a baby the same time as me. Also her first. Seems there are two camps you can choose to reside in, when it comes to planning for impending parenthood.

You can either obsessively embrace it. Join every class going. Read every forum post on mumsnet. Investigate every piece of baby equipment on the market, with the kind of thoroughness that Chief Inspector Morse would be proud of.

Or you decide it's all beneath you. That there's nothing more boring than mums-to-be talking about which nappies to use. I thought I'd be in the latter group.

Honestly, I'd spent so many years hearing pregnant girlfriends mock these mumsy mums. How tedious they found their conversations, proclaiming that they'd not ceased to become intelligent professional women just because their uterus was temporarily occupied by a miniature human.

I listened for years to pregnant peers deriding fellow expectant mothers. But now I am one, I can't understand for the life of me why they did it.

And even worse, did they truly mean it? Were they just saying it to me because I was single and childless? Did they really think I would judge them negatively for wanting to shop for fluffy pink baby grows? Or analyse the various merits of dummy vs no dummy for newborns? Just because I wouldn't have fully understood their new fears and concerns doesn't mean I would have dismissed them. At least I hope not. Though I've got a few unfortunate memories to the contrary.

Staring bewildered at my friend of 20 years whilst she cried over needing a Caesarean section, devastated because she felt she was missing out on the experience of childbirth.

Me of absolutely no use because it seemed like a stupid thing to get hung up on.

How many of those incidents reinforced this need for my pregnant friends to play down their pregnancy experiences whilst in my presence? So anyway, the lass I know due to sprout her sprog the same time as me has taken immense pride in wanting nothing to do with the pregnant mummy brigade, telling anyone who will listen how boring it is. …

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