Football, Childbirth, Other Halves, Sexism & Me: a Follow-Up

Just to be clear: Tuesday’s post where I questioned whether men should take their partners with them to football matches was intended as satire.

It was a direct riposte to this article on ParentDish which questioned whether women should have their partners with them when they give birth, suggesting that men “just don’t get it”.* I used it is as a template, & just reversed gender roles where I could. It was a bit tricky trying to think of an aspect of male life that is as exclusive to our gender as childbirth is to women: there isn’t one really. Football was the best I could come up with.

The ParentDish article used (presumably accurate) examples of a few men – who seem, quite frankly, to be really quite unusually stupid – who couldn’t seem to understand pregnancy & birth. Guys: you don’t need to be a Cambridge Professor of Biology to get that growing a human being in your belly for nine months then, after it’s got quite big (that’s the B-U-M-P), shoving it out of a very small exit might just be a little bit inconvenient. And maybe cause a few changes in diet & mood?

The article then goes on to imply that these cultured geniuses are representative of all men, & that women are therefore better off without the lot of us.

“Sexism: … behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Big Tick. My post was meant to be sexist.** Because the article it’s satirising is.

So let me be clear here: telling a man that he shouldn’t be present at the birth of his children is just obscene, disgusting, a disgrace.

For me, holding my new-born children for the first time was & always will be the greatest moment of my life. And I know that very many fathers feel just the same way. What right has anyone to take that away from us? To tell us that we shouldn’t be there? Purely on the basis of our gender?

This is just plain wrong.

And not because we’re men. Because we’re human beings.

And that’s really what this is all about. Whether we’re male, female, not sure, black, white,  purple, whatever our lifestyle choices – we’re all entitled to be judged equally as human beings, not through the jaundiced eyes of personal prejudice & stereotype.

And sadly there are still people who “just don’t get it”.

* Best response I’ve yet read to this: “if you feel you can’t have him there at the birth should you really be having a baby with him?!” .

** Although perhaps not sexist enough. Several people, not all of them men, took it at face value, one even thinking that the post might be a blog-hop where others are invited to link up their own stories of going to the footy with their partners. Interesting!


I’m not fat, I’m sympathetically pregnant!

My wife’s put on weight!

Have I mentioned that she’s pregnant? With twins?

Anyone who’s experienced it will know that food plays a big part in pregnancy. She’s been eating for 3 for 7 ½ months, & to start with at least, her 2 small guests  seemed to have weird taste in food.

For the first couple of months she seemed to have become a weird foodie bulimic. The growing babies seemed to need  – for her – unsusal food. The cravings weren’t too weird, but they were definitely strong.  Mostly unhealthy stuff, when she’s usually pretty good about eating lots of fruit & vege: McD’s, pop; & unusual (& often smelly) stuff like Piccalily, kippers, cockles; lots of baguettes & cream cheese. (Note: never cook kippers in the office microwave; it doesn’t make you very popular. I was made redundant soon after I did that & I don’t think it was a coincidence).

Luckily we’re staggering distance from a Tesco Express: I was going there 3-4 x a day (still am actually),  and I’ve had to make quite a few midnight runs to McD’s or the chippy.

The worst thing was that nothing stayed down, for the 1st month or 2, along with the cravings, she had  hyperemesis – severe ‘morning sickness’. She talked on the Big White Telephone so loudly that our well-meaning neighbours thought she had Swine Flu; we nearly had a big cross daubed on the door!

After several trips to the local (& excellent) 24-hour clinic, & after several false starts she finally found some medication that kept everything in check. We also had some great help from some terrific twitter people. especially @cosmicgirlie & @LuceKD.

2nd trimester she decided she needed to eat more healthily: lots more fruit & vege, less junk food. For 2 months in a row, despite 2 rapidly growing little people inside her & all the stuff that goes with them, she actually lost weight! I am often in awe of her.

In the last trimester they have exploded  – a week ago they weighed in at over 10lbs – but her healthy eating has more or less continued.

I’m a bloke. (I may have mentioned that). I’m not particularly good with food: I can cook, but I lack imagination. If left to my own devices I’ll skip breakfast & just have toast for lunch. Apart from that, I’ll mostly eat what she does. If she has junk food, so do I.

Throughout the pregnancy we’ve had several health scares; my wife’s hyperemesis was distressing. Mostly as I felt that at any time I may have to drive to the hospital or off to gather food, I haven’t been drinking so much.

So in reaction to stress, I’ve been eating. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but it seems to have gone beyond anything normal to real cravings.

Bottom line: I’ve put on quite a bit of weight!

We’re eating good healthy dinners, & fruit in between, but for me it’s a daily struggle to not grab that chocolate / those biscuits / jelly beans / whatever. And I seem to have no will-power: if it’s there, I’ll scoff it; I don’t seem to be able to eat a little at a time, & save it for later.

I’ve decided I’m sympathetically pregnant: it’s my story & I’m sticking to it!

It’s probably nature’s way of fattening me up ready for carting 2 rapidly growing little people up & down stairs, in & out of cots, buggies, baths, etc., etc. I expect the pounds will fall off! I feel exhausted just thinking about it: where’s that Mars Bar?!

title courtesy of Cartman