Friday, October 05, 2007

A tale of three mammies

I’ll admit I have a new addiction for celebrity gossip. I’ve not gone quite as far as subscribing to ‘Hello’ and ‘Ok’ but if things keep going the way they are I imagine it will only be a matter of time.
As a journalist and writer I’m nosy by nature and I like seeing pictures of celebrities caught out with no make up on or flashing a bit of cellulite. It helps me feel just that little eeny bit more human as I rattle out of the house with the look of Wurzel Gummidge about me on the average morning.
Of course there are times when my hunger for celebrity gossip doesn’t make me feel so crash hot. When I see new yummy mummies stroll about back in their skinny jeans looking like they just stepped out of a salon, I can’t help but cast a downward glance at my sagging boobs, be-stretchmarked tummy and thunderous thighs and feel like giving up.
You see the boy is nearly four. (Every time I say that I almost convulse with shock, by the way - he still feels about three minutes old). For the first six months of his life I staggered about in comfy tracksuit bottoms and T-shirts with a look of the undead about me. I wouldn’t dare flash my midriff to anyone in case they got lost in the folds and (almost) four years on, I’m still not prepared to flash a bit of flesh.
I was comforted therefore to see pictures of Charlotte Church - former wild child - who recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl Ruby and read about her birth experience. Ms Church wasn’t one of those celebrities who sported an eeny bump and opted for a scheduled section. She blossomed all over, piled on weight and gave birth in her living room (in a birthing pool, mind) while watching the rugby. Her waters broke in the car park of B&Q and she described the pain of labour as “outrageous”.
She is now revelling in motherhood and has no plans to return to her wild ways. She is also refusing to fall into the celebrity trap of spending the first weeks and months of Ruby’s life slaving it out with a personal trainer and eating mung beans washed down with celery juice so that she regains her figure quick smart. "I think it's sad when people get obsessed with all of that,” she said this week. “I'm pretty happy with the way I am and I bagged Gavin so I can't be doing that badly, can I?"
Her transformation from ‘Crazy Chick’ to earth mother is refreshing and a stark contrast to the other celebrity mums filling the column inches at the moment. Both Britney Spears and Kerry Katona seem to be on track for self-destruction if they keep going the way they are.
With rumours of drug abuse, excess drinking and God knows what else following them around like a bad smell I feel heart sorry for them. Then again, I guess I feel more sorry for the kids. Now I know from first hand experience that being a parent is tough. I’m struggling with the boy’s transition to nursery at the moment and over-analysing every comment from the staff to see if he is behaving or becoming the class hood. I feel that every bold wee thing he does - as three (nearly four) years old tend to do - is a direct reflection on my parenting skills so I can imagine that having your parenting skills analysed by the world’s media and countless readers and viewers must be excrutiatingly difficult. But then again, both these women really could make an effort.
Falling out of cars with no underwear on into the glare of a the paparazzi’s flash bulbs isn’t ever going to win you a parent of the year award. Nor is talking openly about dabbling in drugs and leaving your children for weeks on end to go on promotional trips and then not being able to locate them. Both Britney and Kerry’s (we know them so well I feel I can refer to them on a first name basis) children are very young and I can’t help but feel that irreperable damage is being done by these ongoing antics. The old argument that they are too young to remember doesn’t cut it with me.
My soon to be four year old still blanches with fear when I mention a trip to Dublin - so devastated was he that his darling mother left him for two whole days during the summer to promote her book. “No mummy,” he cries, “Don’t go to Duv-lin. Stay with meeeeeee.” And then he sobs his heart out, for about 10 minutes, and snotters everywhere and I have to promise him mammy is never, ever, ever going away again, even for five minutes, and if he wants I’ll actually phone the hospital and see if they still have the umbilical cord so we can be reattached. And that’s only a wee trip to Dublin not an obsession with being famous, getting trollied and spending weeks at a time living it up away from my wain.
If you want to be a parent - be you one of the ordinary people like me, or a celeb like Britney - then be a parent. Part of the deal is that you put your kids first. When you decide to have children you lose your right to party like it is 1999, or focus entirely on your own goals.
Your children need you like they will never need anyone or anything else in their lives again. And I know that childhood really does pass in the blink of an eye. Take a leaf out of Charlotte Church’s book and hang up your party shoes for now. Trust me, you can have just as much fun sitting on a floor singing ‘Row, Row, Row The Boat’ and the hangover isn’t half as bad the next day.

1 comment:

Pretty Boy Floyd said...

Hey, I think life's better when you stop worries about how do you look, comparing yourself to celebrities.
Just my 2c, best whishes to you and your baby :D

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