THE KIDS

Little cherubs.

Great bundles of joy.

The apples of our proverbial eyes.

Sure, all of these things are true, when you don’t have them for longer than an hour at a time. But as soon as you make the mistake of offering two, sore-eyed parents a weekend off from their little ones, this opinion soon changes.

As they wave you off with a wild smile and prosecco already in hand, you should start saying your goodbyes. There’ll be no brunch buying, coffee drinking and gallery hopping for the next two days. Say hello to toilet stops, cartoon binges and game playing. Get used to question answering, knee plastering and “are we there yet?” ringing in your ears. Your weekend slowly disappears before your very eyes. Your time is not your own anymore. You are not number one. Not only is this a wasted weekend but your entire life is changed forever. You call your friends in case you don’t make it out alive and give them all your next of kin, just in case.

No, I’m not being dramatic. It’s just that this weekend confirmed something to me: that even as I edge closer to 30, I am not ready for children yet. Now, don’t get me wrong, these are two of the most pleasant, well-mannered children I have ever met. They don’t moan. They’re easily pleased. They get on with each other. They are intelligent. They like to have fun. Basically, they’re the type of children that those who have given birth to squealing spawns of Satan are jealous of. Almost too good to be true. Which is why I couldn’t understand why it put me off having kids so much.

But I’ve come to realise that, basically, I’m just too selfish.

Prior to the weekend, the subject of kids had come up quite a few times between me and my girlfriends. We ignorantly proclaimed that we could handle kids now that we’re at the ripe old age of 26 and 27. We discussed names. What they would look like. How we would discipline them. We pictured our lives not changing very much (which is just plain stupid). We spoke about how we would carry on as normal, wearing the same clothes and being able to maintain manicures and waxes, just with a baby attached to our boob. No big deal. We wondered what people were complaining about.

All of the parents reading this are probably laughing at our ignorance.

And after this weekend? I’m right there with you.

But above anything else, I am left wondering how people actually do it. Parenthood, I mean.  After those few hours spent looking after little ones, 11pm felt like 4am. I didn’t reapply my lipstick once. I didn’t want a drink, I just wanted my bed. I don’t think Ryan and I spoke for most of the weekend, we just took it in turns to take toilet trips and made eye contact only to say “it’s your turn”. AND THIS WAS ONLY TWO DAYS OF PRETEND PARENTHOOD. Imagine what we’d be like if the stork came and dropped one off prematurely- screwed is the only word I can think to describe it.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the first time I’ve looked after little ones. In actual fact, I have been surrounded by them my entire life. Cousins. Second cousins. Pupils. Family friends. The list goes on. I actually find kids funny, I like the questions they ask and I somehow enjoy their company. But do I want one by my side from now until forever? Hell no. Well, not yet anyway. I guess sixteen rounds on an ice rink, a few messy food stops, a Disney film or two and a ring stuck on a child’s finger saga will do that to you.

So, parents of the world, I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before and I’d like to take this opportunity to say it again, I salute you. You are Gods, Goddesses, angels and miracle-workers. You are magic-makers and dream weavers and to those of you who manage to parent whilst maintaining a functional relationship, applying make up and ensuring that you’re wearing matching underwear each day? You’re not even human.

I’m off to watch Netflix in bed with snacks. Yet another one of my favourite past times that is just impossible with children.

THE COIL

large (5)Yep, you heard it right.

Today I’ll mostly be talking to you about your very own vagina whilst oversharing with details of my own.

Still reading?

Good.

The Coil is a birth control device that is implanted into the Uterus, making it an “inhospitable environment” for baby-making. Now, I do understand that this might not sound like a particularly appealing option for many of you, but I can assure you that it is far more desirable than the prospect of changing the nappies of something that looks a lot like that bloke you met in the Bussey Building nine months ago at 4am on a Tuesday.

The Coil is, to me, a dream come true.

Hear me out.

For years, I have tested pill after pill, I’ve grappled with condoms and have considered trying the implant, until I heard about The Mirena, that is. This name (thankfully) sounds a lot more genteel than The Coil, which is the only thing that caused me to investigate the method further- and thank God I did. Although, as it turns out, you really shouldn’t google anything medical, particularly when it comes to your lady bits; there are a great deal of scaremongers out there and tons of inaccurate information on offer. So, after much scrolling and filled with doubt but an unrelenting curiosity, I turned to the most trustworthy of voices: my friends.

I don’t know whether it’s a mid-twenties thing, but so many women around me are opting for the coil. It seems that more than ever – despite our financially stabler and ever more capable minds – we want to make doubly sure that we have children when we want them, as opposed to when mother nature tells us to. So yes, that is why many women these days are walking around with a piece of plastic in their womb. This, in theory, sounds bloody awful, but in reality it’s heaven. Not only do you free yourself from tiny tots, but – in many cases – from tampons too. Yep, you heard me: no periods. Ever. Well, for some of us anyway. As I say, it all depends on the person and which coil you opt for, but it’s a likely possibility. Of course, you may continue to have periods, but then again, you might not. You might get hungrier, but then again you might eat less. You might hate it, but then again you might love it. Birth control is, and always has been, a roulette unfortunately. Unless you just stop having sex, then it’s pretty foolproof. But that kind of defeats the point, doesn’t it?

I’m not going to lie, having it fitted is no picnic. But it’s no war zone either. There’s no blood, no guts and limited pain (well, nothing you can’t handle anyway) and it’s over in about fifteen minutes. And if you have the right doctor (which I really did; she was amazing and I would recommend her to anyone) then it will be a walk in the park, or a jog around one at the very least- with the aid of paracetamol of course.

At 17, “the clinic lady” planted Microgynon in my hand and shoved me out the door, banishing me to months of a bloated tummy, a spotty chin and low moods. At 26, I am more aware of my body than ever, I know what does and doesn’t work for me and I feel confident enough to tell the professionals so. And so should you, whatever age you are.

Please don’t think you’re restricted to condoms or the godforsaken pill when it comes to preventing pregnancy. Don’t settle for heavier periods and adult acne and PLEASE, whatever you do, do not give up on birth control altogether and risk it with “rhythm methods” or “pulling out” (sorry for being so explicit but it’s important that this is clear). There are tons of options out there for you ladies and you will find one that works for you. It’s just a matter of doing your research and testing them out.

If, like me, you react badly to hormones – think bad skin, fat hips and moods that swing farther than Tarzan on a proverbial vine – then this form of contraception might just be for you.

You’ve probably heard horror stories about complications which probably date back to the 70s. Or blokes saying that they can feel it when you’re doing it. They’re lying. No one’s willy is that big. And there are risks with anything you do.

Take it from me, the coil – or IUD, as it is known as today – truly is a revelation.

Free your womb and remain worry-free. Except for Herpes. Always worry about Herpes.

Have a great weekend.

*Disclaimer* I am not a doctor. The only authority I hold over this is that I have a Uterus. I told you, birth control is a roulette. This is just an option.

The Fairytale

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When I was younger, I, like most little girls, believed that all fairytales consisted of a man, a woman and a wedding (not to mention ugly step sisters and the ability to converse with animals). Now I’m not so sure.

Although I am arguably one of the most capricious of girls who have never been sure whether the prospect of domesticity fills me with fear of fancy, I think I have finally come to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter. Just the other day, when I was feeling like boys and babies were my destiny, I stumbled across an ex-lover. I say stumbled across, we arranged to meet. At 1am. (You’d think it were a booty call until I told you he’s happily been in a relationship with a girl for two years). But as I walked towards him and a bottle of red, I felt as though we were back in 2008 all over again. He reminded me of a time when I had finished school and was unbothered about working full time in a dead-end job and had travels and university to look forward to. Once we’d finished the bottle, we went for a stroll and ended up in a twenty-four hour restaurant where we gorged on expensive chocolate cake and sipped on wine until 4am: its nights like this that make one feel as though they’re in a black and white film. But it always makes me wonder why this can’t be my normality and trips to McDonalds be few and far between? Perhaps they are for some people, but not me. I felt like I was featuring in a fairytale for one night only.

But then I got to thinking; this isn’t the only time I’ve been swept off my feet. People have bought me the most beautiful pairs of shoes, surprise visits have been sprung on me at Christmas time, I’ve had candlelit suppers cooked for me, and have been, shall we say, attended to after too much tequila by someone I barely knew. I count each of these, and more, as moments that constitute chapters in my very own fairytale. A 21st century fairytale yes but a fairytale nonetheless.

Lots of people worry that I get too easily carried away with chasing the magic, but happiness is my heroin, and I guess they’re right. So I just smile, sing a song out of context and wait for my fairy god mother to bring me some Prada. I believe that every girl has a glass slipper and whether you find someone who fits into the one you find, or whether you find someone to slip it on for you, don’t be afraid of it shattering on your quest. Some of the biggest mistakes are the most beautiful. And sometimes people aren’t meant to find something that fits perfectly.

Although I haven’t quite worked out whether or not the end of my story will culminate in marriage and babies, as long as I have a few tales which start with that magical, ‘Once upon a time’, I’m sure I’ll live happily ever after.

The End.