‘When is she going to realise she’s not the first woman to ever have a baby?’
‘Oh god, I hope she doesn’t do loads of pregnancy content now – that’s not why I follow her’.
‘She used to be really fun and cool on social media and now it’s just baby, baby, baby.’
‘HOW IS SHE ONLY FIVE MONTHS PREGNANT, HOW HAVE WE GOT ANOTHER FOUR MONTHS OF THIS?!’
The above are all sentences I’ve heard over the past year or so. Sentences I’ve probably heard, chuckled, rolled my eyes at and gone ‘OMG I know, right?’
Because us women love to judge each other, we love to have an opinion on each other, to have a say on everything from the shape of someone else’s hips, to the way they do their eyebrows, to the way they raise their children.
And it’s this concept of judgement from other women that scares me the most about becoming a parent. That maybe I won’t relate to my audience anymore, but more than that – that maybe I won’t relate to my friends anymore.
I’ve got no doubts about my ability to be a parent – I know I’ll be OK. I know I’ll be able to change nappies. I know I’ll be able to wake up for night feeds. I know my baby will be looked after.
But what I’m unsure about, is the person that parenthood will change me into.
The person who pregnancy is already changing me into.
Because I quite like the person I was before any of it. I liked that you’d associate me with leopard print and red lipstick and Pornstar Martinis and cats and Harry Potter.
And that girl, well that’s the girl whose blog you followed. That’s the girl that for whatever reason, you maybe thought was cool too.
But this version of me is different whether we like it or not. I cannot, no matter how stubborn I’ve been about it, remain exactly the same as before, as if nothing has happened. As if this pregnancy, and this baby, were just a cold or virus or something.
Because actually, what my body is going through and the changes that my brain and life are going through, are monumental. They’re all-consuming and actually, it’s really fucking hard to try and think of blog post ideas, of conversations to have with friends, that aren’t ‘hey my nipple started bleeding today so that’s lols’.
And I am under no illusion that pregnancy is nothing compared to motherhood. When I actually have a real-life child trying to take a snooze on my chest, how am I going to bring myself to talk about anything that isn’t ‘BUT HAVE YOU SEEN THIS LITTLE SLICE OF DELICIOUSNESS I’VE CREATED? JUST LOOK LOOK LOOK LOOK’.
I’ve spent the majority of my pregnancy so far shouting to anyone who’ll listen about how I don’t want to change who I am too much. About how I want my life to still look like my life.
Mostly because y’know, change can be really fucking terrifying can’t it? Especially change that means giving up things or people that bring us joy.
I’ve always considered the phrase that people always throw at parents-to-be ‘your life will never be the same again’ to be a negative one. As if it’s a threat. And I guess it’s easy to see it that way when it’s usually followed by lines about lack of sleep and never going to the toilet alone.
But I think it’s meant to be a phrase that best sums up the fact that there are no words to explain parenthood to someone who hasn’t yet experienced it.
That one day you wake up and your entire universe shifts – but that actually a large part of that shift is absolutely bloody wonderful.
I can’t second-guess what it’s like to walk into this new world, the same way I couldn’t second-guess what pregnancy would be like.
So it’s hard for me to really understand or to know who I’ll be once I come through that other side.
Whether I’ll still feel like the Hannah I was before, or whether I will become a version of myself that is completely removed from who I am now.
And so I can’t tell you what that means for the person you see on this blog and on my social channels. I’d like to tell you everything will be the same, that I will still be the same girl that you have followed for the past month, year or three years, but I can’t promise that to you because I can’t promise that to myself.
Maybe I will never again see the point in posting about a £12 pair of Primark boots without posting about them being ‘great for mums on the go’ in the caption – heck maybe I’ll never see the point in posting about a £12 pair of boots because CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT THIS NEW BREAST PUMP ALL OVER THE INTERNET.
Or maybe the Hannah of pre-baby will still exist in all her glory and she’ll be blabbering about the boots because actually, I need other things that excite me that aren’t even remotely related to being a mum.
I’m as clueless about 2018 Hannah as the rest of you.
But if you don’t wanna stick around for the ride, that’s a-OK with me, there’s no judgement of WHY YA UNFOLLOW ME coming from this gal.
We change and we evolve and we move forward with our lives and we can’t expect other people to just cling on alongside us. My readers will change over the years in the same way that my friends have changed.
Post-baby Hannah scares me, but bloody hell, I’m excited to meet her.