Tuesday 30 September 2014

How to name your baby

baby naming, how to name your baby, birth, pregnancy, giving birth, baby names, cute names, funny blog, parenting, parenting blog, mother diaries

Naming a baby: a task that little girls dream about doing one day – so much so that they start collecting mental notes of good baby names from the first time they play with a doll. So, you've found out you're pregnant and you start working through the 1001 baby name book, complete with highlighter pens and a notebook. You never expected to come across so many hurdles over something as simple as a name. Well, here are some rules you should know about before you announce your choice of baby name to the world:

1. Be original.
After all, you don't want your child to be the fifth Ellie in the class, that will do no good for her self-esteem, right? She will need to feel unique, so you scour the internet for 'unusual baby names' and realise that in order to be original you also need to call your baby something like Jardinella. You try it out on a few people and are greeted with raised eyebrows and very opinionated lectures about why it is not a good name. Best to play it safe...

2. Follow the trends.
So you decide on something a little more 'normal' and risk having an unoriginal baby name. It's the sacrifice you need to make to have more chance of people cooing over your baby rather than giving you blank stares. So, you search in the top ten baby names and decide to call your baby boy the number one boy's name on the list. Unfortunately this is too predictable for many people who reply with "Oh, another Oliver" and you decide you need a happy medium.

3. Note names to avoid
After going from one extreme to the other you decide you'd better name your child by a process of elimination. You can't call your baby after your granddad if your husband's granddad is still alive too – he might not be too pleased at playing second fiddle. You also can't call your baby after any other children you know already, especially naughty ones. In fact, if you have any relatives who work in schools you best check with them that your baby is not going to remind them of the class clowns first. Oh, and god forbid you pinch your best friend's favourite baby name....

4. Thou shalt not steal
As we know, most women have always had ideas about what they will call their children and woe betide you if you happen to have the same name choice for yours – you will have a fight on your hands. Don't just think that this applies to female friends who are trying for a baby – no, this applies to all friendships, regardless of relationship status, age, or whether they may not have children for another ten years. What, you picked Alfie?! But that was my baby name. Word gets around that you stole Kelly's baby name and no one speaks to you for a while. How could you stoop that low?? How could you??

5. Consider your name carefully.
What would the shortened version of the name be? What will they get called at school? Does it go well with the second name? Have you thought that a second name of Esther may not be such a good idea if you're calling your little girl Polly? Have you written out the initials? Have you said it really fast? Read it backwards? Read it upside down?? You never imagined naming your baby was such a scrupulous process.

6. Bargain with your partner
You think you've finally got your baby name approved by the majority of your friends and family but your partner is just not buying it. He or she would like something completely different to you, so you have to place bets or create a sort of reward chart to earn enough stars to name your own child. Either that or you threaten them at gun point, which is probably not advisable if you plan to be a respectable parent. Though the real test for respectability is in what you name your child, of course.

7. Tell everyone your name.
You need to run your final name past everyone to check for any last minute things you hadn't thought of about your baby name. And it's a good job you did because you simply hadn't considered the negative connotations of the initials for Neil Oliver Bromley. The problem is, everyone has a completely different opinion. Some will love your baby name, others will hate it. You literally can't win.

Naming a child is potentially one of the biggest tests of your life; you will either be regarded as having no taste whatsoever or risk subjecting your child to a lifetime of bullying. Or, you could just not give a crap what anyone else thinks and name your child what the hell you want... now, there's a thought. Happy naming!

Thursday 18 September 2014

How are you feeling? Expectations on expectant ladies.

pregnancy, how are you feeling?, how to feel when pregnant, what to expect when you're expecting, mother diaries, anti natal depression, anti natal

Telling people you're pregnant provokes instant questioning; like how many weeks along you are, whether you'd like a girl or a boy or if you've seen the latest offers on stretch mark cream at the pharmacy. The main question you get on an almost daily basis is "how are you feeling?" which can often leave you feeling that there are only a select few correct answers to choose from. Finding out these correct answers happens by trial and error; by sympathetic faces, glowing smiles or raised eyebrows. If you're pregnant for the first time, here is a guide to the things you are expected to feel during your pregnancy:

How are you feeling?
Although this is an unpleasant side effect of pregnancy to say the least, you can't go wrong with saying you feel a little sick. You will be greeted with a wealth of sympathetic faces, all offering you their perfect solutions for morning sickness and a ginger biscuit with your tea. Although you may find the advice somewhat unhelpful, take it and run because it will be more helpful than the reactions to any other response you will give.

How are you feeling?
Saying you feel fine will provoke a number of bitter and twisted people telling you to 'get ready' for when you will feel sick (because surely you can't go through the whole pregnancy and feel no hint of sickness or discomfort, right?). Then you get the people who had horrendous morning sickness themselves telling you how incredibly lucky you are, leaving you feeling like you're the world's most unjust person and you end up apologising for feeling fine.

How are you feeling?
Telling people that you feel tired during pregnancy is like opening a can of explosive worms. Tired?! You don't know the half of it! You will be bombarded with comments about how tiring your life will really be once you have a baby who keeps you up all night and you'll wish you had never opened your mouth.

How are you feeling?
Like baking cakes and knitting cute little baby booties
People love to see expectant ladies absorbed with motherhood; sampling pots of colour for the new nursery, spending hours of research into which buggy has the best power steering or reading books that will turn them into the closest thing to childcare perfection since Mary Poppins. So go and join a knitting club before rumours start out that you're an apathetic parent.

How are you feeling?
Although the majority of women feel overwhelmed at some point during their pregnancies, vocalising this seems to be a taboo subject. What, you mean you're apprehensive about something as blissful as motherhood?! Maybe the majority of people forget just what a whirlwind it is to be a parent and, despite the highs, it is perfectly understandable to feel a little apprehensive now and again. If you don't feel like dancing around the room at the thought of rocking a screaming, pooping and vomiting machine all night I won't judge you for it.

How are you feeling?
Despite how incredibly stereotypical it is to be emotional during pregnancy, this never seems to make it publicly acceptable to burst into tears after seeing a picture of a cat kissing a dog on Facebook. It's so cute, I'm welling up just thinking about it. But the real problem happens when you do have reason to be emotional and everyone simply responds with "Aw, bless you, it's just your hormones." ...No, actually, it's because my house just burnt down.

So who knows what you're supposed to be feeling right now? No one. Nobody will have any idea what a tiny person will bring to your life, or how much you will change. Don't worry, in a few years' time you will be armed with plenty of parenting advice to bombard the next expectant mother in line. But please don't.