Pregnancy has made me grumpy.

Like, really, really grumpy.

Well, grumpIER, I guess. I mean, let’s face it, everyone who knows me is reading this and thinking, “Er, you’re already a grumpy sod, don’t try to pretend this is a new thing,” and yup, that’s totally true, not gonna lie. But pregnancy hormones have made me EVEN MORE GRUMPY, like, OMG, WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE WALKING SO SLOWLY, DO THEY HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH THEIR TIME, AND WAIT, IS THAT TAP DRIPPING AGAIN, BECAUSE I THINK I’MA JUST RIP IT OFF THE WALL IF SO, OK?

Wow, it felt good to get that off my chest.

Here are some other things I would like to get off my chest, in the form of a short (OK, long) list of some of the little things that have nevertheless annoyed the crap out of me lately:

People who keep trying to spoil my excitement over the baby/nursery,

All of those “You’ll never sleep again!” comments, plus the tendency, whenever I show someone something we’ve bought, for them to instantly go, “Er, you DO realise he’s just going to throw up on that, don’t you?” So, according to Other People, my baby will essentially be a constant, overflowing fountain of pee/poop/vomit, and I shouldn’t buy ANYTHING for him AT ALL because it’ll all just get ruined anyway. BRB, just wrapping the nursery in plastic, like a Dexter murder room – I feel like that’s the only way they’ll all be satisfied!

And don’t even get me started on people trying to scare me about stuff I hadn’t even been worrying about…

Brands who persistently try to get me to not disclose sponsorships, or work for free/a reduced rate.

This week I had a lengthy email conversation that went a bit like this:

ME: So, my rate is £XXX for a sponsored post, and that would be a no-follow link, fully disclosed as “sponsored”. I also only feature items I’ve used myself, so would have to actually try the product first.

THEM: So, we’d like to offer you £XX for a do-follow link, and it’s really important to us that it not be disclosed, as we think that looks cheap. Oh, and we can’t send the product. How do we proceed?

ME: Er, we don’t, because, as I said, my rate is £XXX plus product, not £XX, and I always disclose sponsored posts.

THEM: We think that makes our brand look cheap, though, so how about £XX for a non-disclosed post, without the product?

And it just kept going on and on like this in an endless loop, until I finally started to feel really patronised by  their attempts to convince me that it was like, TOTALLY ETHICAL for me to hide a sponsorship, and that my readers would just LOVE hearing about some random product that I hadn’t even tried, at which point I told them, sorry, this isn’t going to work for me. And THEN they replied and said, “Sorry, this isn’t going to work for us,” as if THEY were the ones dumping ME: the cheek!

Guest post requests. SO MANY guest post requests

I get at least a dozen of these every day –  although it can be significantly more than that – all from people wanting to write a post for my blog about some subject that’s totally unrelated to my blog. I have a note on my contact page stating that I don’t accept guest content, and can’t reply to emails about it (Or it would be ALL I’d ever do, seriously…), but still they come, and when I don’t reply, they’ll just start emailing me every single day to ask WHY I haven’t replied, and do I “still” want to see their awesome article about online gambling? Most of the people who send these requests can’t spell, and refer to me as either, “Dear Sir,” or “Dear Forever,” and they all claim to be HUGE fans of my blog, which is how they know y’all are coming here every day thinking, “Gosh, I wish good ol’ Forever would post something about car insurance, written by a random “freelance writer”: that IS why I come here, after all!” Hmmmm.

The way delivery people knock on my door and then run away

This week the doorbell rang while I was sitting at my desk. By the time I’d gotten out of my chair (Which, OK, took me a little longer than usual, on account of the bump slowing me down, but still just a few seconds), the delivery guy was literally pounding on the door, and by the time I got downstairs (not prepared to run downstairs while pregnant, but it still only took a few seconds), he was in the process of shoving his “Sorry we missed you, we’re going to hold your parcel hostage now!” card through the door. And this happens every single time, without fail. PATIENCE, delivery people, PATIENCE!

The Ongoing Shed-Man Saga

I just… I can’t even, you guys. For reasons too complicated – and also dull – to go into here, the Shed Man basically owes us a shed at this point otherwise we’d definitely have gone elsewhere by now. As things stand, though, we’re stuck with this particular Shed Man… which means we’re stuck without a shed, as it turns out that building sheds isn’t top of the Shed Man’s priority list.

Terry is “handling it”, apparently. I’m not allowed to “handle it,” because, in an analogy that will only make sense to Game of Thrones fans, in this scenario (and pretty much EVERY scenario, really), Terry is Jon Snow, and I’m Daenerys. So, basically, he’s all, “Look, guys, there must be a reasonable way to handle this,” while I’m just like, “BRING ME MY DRAGONS, I WILL BURN ALL YOUR CITIES!” And I will, too. I can’t, though, because, like I said, Terry’s at the wheel with this one. He tells me he’s “in daily contact” with Shed Man, and that he “has a contingency plan,” but I’m not allowed to know what it is, because in the event that Shed Man fails to deliver on this, I will stop being Daenerys, and will basically BE the dragon. And no one wants that, do they?

People who complain about people who complain about Instagram

Always in this very smug, “I am better than you, because I don’t complain about Instagram, I just complain about you complaining about it!” kinda way. Yeah, and I just complain about you complaining about me complaining about it, OK? Want to complain about THAT now? Because I sure do. #ILLCOMPLAINABOUTWHATEVERILIKETHANKS

red hair and pale skin

So.

I actually started writing this post early last week, thinking it would just be one of those light-hearted, hopefully semi-relatable things – because, let’s face it, we ALL have those little daily annoyances that don’t really matter in the great scheme of things, but which nevertheless get on our last nerve. I mean, we DO, don’t we?

Then Vegas happened.

And now it seems kind of weird and awkward to be complaining about my leaky tap when we live in a world in which someone will gun down over 500 people at a concert, doesn’t it?

But that IS the world we live in, unfortunately, and I don’t know about you, but that scares the crap out of me. And, I mean, I know I shouldn’t say it, but things like Vegas hit just a little closer to home to me, because, well, I’ve been there. I’ve been in that hotel, walked down that sidewalk. I once spent a week in the Luxor, right next door to it, and because I never did get over the jetlag on that trip, every morning I’d wake up early and watch the morning sun glinting off the glass windows of the Mandalay Bay, and I’d think how beautiful it was, in a very ‘Vegas’ kind of way. So, when I saw the news this week, my first thought was that it could so, so easily have been me, or a member of my family. My next thought, meanwhile, was that I bet many of those 500+ people woke up that morning, looked at the sun rising over the desert, and thought how beautiful it all was, just like I did. They were just like me, or you, and now some of them are dead, and the rest will possibly never get over what happened to them. And this is the world we live in now.

So.

I’m not going to re-write the start of this post, because while it would be nice to think that events like this would make nothing else matter, EVER, the fact is that life goes on, and that allowing life to go on as normal is one of the few things we can do in the fact of these terrible atrocities that seem to be becoming depressingly commonplace. In a bid to end this post on a more positive note, though, and to balance out all of the whining at the start of it, here are some of the small things that have cheered me up lately, just a little bit. Things like…

Terry’s mum getting out of hospital

OK, so this is actually a really BIG thing, obviously, but it’s on this list because, guys, TERRY’S MUM IS OUT OF HOSPITAL! She got out yesterday morning, after almost two weeks. This was her third hospital stay in the last few months, and it was a pretty bad one, but she’s strong, and she’s determined to meet this baby of ours, and while it absolutely breaks my heart to think that the likelihood of that happening is even in question, right now we’re just glad to have her home, and are hoping to keep her there for as long as possible. Thankfully, the NHS have been pretty on the ball this time around, and have managed to arrange some extra help at home for her: she was already getting visits from the nursing service a few times a week, but they’ve stepped it up to two times a day, and there are plenty of friends and family members on hand to sit with her during the day, and stay the night if necessary. It’s all unutterably hard, of course, and there’s really nothing I can write here that will sum up just HOW hard it is, but, for now, she’s over yet another hurdle, and that’s good news, indeed.

The man who tried to give up his seat for me in a bar

(Er, I hope it goes without saying, but it probably doesn’t, so I’ll just quickly add here that I wasn’t drinking in said bar, just meeting friends there before heading to a restaurant!) This is the first time this has happened, and it took me a few seconds to work out why he was so insistent about it when there were tons of other people standing, too, and then I was all, “Oh yeah, the bump!” Anyway, I didn’t need the seat, but thought it was really nice of him to offer, AND he didn’t try to tell me my life will soon be over, either!

The nurse who got really excited by my bump

While we were visiting Terry’s mum in hospital, one of the nurses came by to take her blood pressure, and her face just lit up at the sight of my belly. She was so happy for us, and it’s just nice to see people who don’t even know us sharing in our excitement right now!

A visit from a puppy

My friend Carol occasionally dog-sits for a family in our street who have a  mini Yorkshire terrier puppy. The last time I saw this pup outside Carol’s house (she lives right across the road from us) I just about peed my pants with excitement, so last week she brought her over for a visit. Her name’s Ariel, she’s about five months old, and OMGTHECUTE. Like, I can’t even deal with THE CUTE. This is a really crappy photo, because it was taken in low light, with my phone, but LOOKIT:

OMG PUPPYFive Guys

(Er, I’m talking about the burger chain, btw, not a literal bunch of five guys…) It’s funny: I’ve eaten in Five Guys a few times over the years, and have always thought it was good, if a little over-priced for a burger chain. When we were in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago, though, we ended up running a bit late, and it got to that stage where I was just about ready to eat my own arm if I didn’t get some food NOW (Thanks, pregnancy hormones!), so we stopped into Five Guys, and I have no idea if it was just because I was SO HUNGRY when we arrived, but it was basically the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Well, THAT week, at least. “This is the best thing I’ve ever eaten,” I told Terry, as I shovelled fries into my mouth with both hands, so, Five Guys, let me just admit that I mis-judged you in the past: you really DO “know fries”, don’t you?

Candy floss grapes

candy floss grapes

Have you ever tried these? It’s like, they’re grapes… but they taste like candy floss. (Cotton candy) Terry actually omitted to tell me this fact when he brought me some of them in a bowl earlier this week, so I spent a good five minutes thinking I probably had something wrong with me, until he finally said, “So, notice anything unusual about the grapes? They’re supposed to taste like…” and I was like, “CANDY FLOSS! They taste like candy floss! And thank God they’re supposed to taste like that, because I seriously thought I had a brain tumour or something…”

I’m not sure I’d want to eat a LOT of them, mind you, but still, if you fancy eating grapes, but tasting candy floss, give ’em a go…

Finally…

Doctor Foster

A lot of the shows we’ve been binge-watching all ended at the same time recently, so Terry and I have been a bit lost for something to watch lately. We even cancelled our Netflix subscription and everything, which I personally found more traumatic than I probably should have, until Terry pointed out that I hadn’t even noticed it was gone, which, TRUE.

(We’re all about Amazon Prime now, and honestly, as long as I get the new seasons of Outlander and Walking Dead, I’m OK with that…)

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, my parents recommended Doctor Foster. I initially baulked at this, because it seemed to me that it was going to be about medical stuff, and my health anxiety means I can’t be exposed to medical information without thinking I’m dying, but my parents assured me it was safe, and although there actually WAS some medical info in it that I REALLY could’ve lived without knowing, the recommendation was a good ‘un. So much so that, when Season 1 disappeared from our box-thingy when we were still only halfway through watching it, we actually paid for the DVD, just so we could finish it. We’ll be watching the last episode of season 2 tonight, so no spoilers, but if you enjoy British drama, you might just like it.

OK, I’m going to shut up now, because this was supposed to just be a short-n-sweet diary post, but, oh look, I’ve rambled on for EVER. Feel free to tell me some of the things that have either annoyed you or cheered you up this week, and then we can all be annoyed together…

28 Comments
  1. I’ve just never understood why so many people are so insistent on raining on your parade when you’re having a baby, but it’s definitely true. I’m the complete opposite, maybe it’s just because I’ve never gone through the difficult parts of pregnancy or being a parent, but a few of our friends had babies recently and I was just bursting with excitement for them! I was literally OH MY GOSH, PLEASE GROW IT QUICKER SO I CAN CUDDLE IT!!! Which is probably equally annoying actually come to think of it…!

    1. It’s SO weird: I honestly think there are some people who will be genuinely disappointed if the experience isn’t absolutely awful for us, like they’ve told us it will be! Luckily my real-life friends aren’t like that though, and have reassured me that it needn’t be as terrible as the doom-mongerers claim!

      1. My Boyfriend has just pointed out as well how patronising it is – like you haven’t thought about all of that before having a baby and you think it’s all going to be sunshine and rainbows! What do they think you were going to say – ‘What? The baby won’t sleep sometimes?? I had no idea that would happen – thanks for letting us know, think I’m just gonna cancel this whole pregnancy and think about it a bit more…!’ Some people are just so shortsighted, I’m honestly dumbfounded sometimes at how little some people think before they speak! Glad you have some well adjusted, positive people around you that will help you enjoy the experience and support you through the bits that are hard x

        1. It really is patronising. I’ve noticed a tendency for people to really talk down to pregnant women in general, though: between the in-solicited advice, and all of the “mumma”, “bubba” talk, plus people always wanting to refer to me as “mummy” or “mama” now, it’s honestly really weird – I feel almost as if they think *I’m* the baby or something. Actually, I think I feel a blog post coming on 🤔

  2. I actually regret not decorating the nursery more. You spend so much time in there, that having some lovely stuff to look at would really help.

    Oh, and sleep when the baby is here is better, because the baby isn’t inside you, using your bladder as a punch bag. Plus day naps. I’m over two years in and still bloody love a day nap.

    1. Yeah, I just want everything to look nice for him, and I’ve been getting a lot of pleasure out of planning it all. I obviously know babies make a mess, but as someone said on my last post, that’s what washing machines and cleaning products are for!

  3. Wow that non-disclosure thing from those brands is SO cheeky. Really grinds my gears. Can’t believe there are people behaving so utterly unprofessionally – or indeed being so naïve as to think Google won’t notice!

    1. I know – and it’s not particularly unusual either, unfortunately 😩 I particularly liked the fact that this brand weren’t above paying for a post, but they considered themselves too good to actually be associated with that kind of “cheap” bidniss!

  4. You’re entitled to be grumpy, if not now, when. Pregnancy and having a baby is the single most life changing event a woman can experience, maybe because you can’t imagine in advance the little and huge ways that happens. More so than getting married in which both of you are trying to adjust to your new lives together. With a baby it’s just AMAZING. At least you know your husband when you marry him, but you will be amazed at how quickly you get to know your boy. It is joyous, scary, wonderful, doubting and loving all in one.

    Sending prayers and angel healing to Soula and you all. 😇😇😇

    Cotton candy grapes are my frandson’s fav grapes and he can scoff a lot in one sitting. As to Dr Foster, while I was both desperate to see the end, I didn’t want it to finish, but now all I will say is that I hope there isn’t another series.

  5. I’ve also been suuuuper grumpy lately, not because I’m pregnant but because college is beating me up this year. Terrible professors, incredibly disorganized classes, stress level through the roof and a constant tug-of-war between the absolute fear of anxiety and the endless darkness of depression. Fun times indeed. Unlike you with babies and pregnancy, I wish people had told me how hard this was going to be, instead of the whole “YOU’LL MAKE SO MANY FRIENDS AND GO TO SO MANY PARTIES AND YOU’LL LOVE EVERY SINGLE CLASS AND IT WILL ALL BE RAINBOWS AND SUNSHINE” I got. Ugh, Here’s to hoping things will be a lot better for us next year!

  6. Haha! Love this post, Amber, and good on you for not caving and posting rubbish articles about irrelevant things. I hate it when I read a post on a blog I enjoy only for random sentences about house insurance or the like being thrown haphazardly into the middle of a fashion post. THAT is what irks me. Also, we went to see Ricky Gervais this week (brilliant) but the amount of people who got up and went to the loo during the gig was honestly extraordinary – I’ve never known anything like it (another irk). If you like British drama, have you watched Liar on ITV? It’s fantastic! Highly recommended.

  7. OMG THE GUEST POST REQUESTS!!!!!!!!! I’m getting about twenty a day and just… no. No. Are people accepting these?! Or the ones which ask me to write a blog post about a certain topic (usually Californian bedding which can’t be delivered to the UK) in return for them giving it a fleeting mention on their Twitter. WHY WOULD I ACCEPT THAT?!

    Also, pff, babies don’t make THAT much mess. We’ve never had to chuck anything out because of baby sick. There’s not much a wet wipe won’t remove.

    1. Oh, people accept them: I’ve actually unfollowed a few people lately who kept on publishing guest posts – I hate them at the best of time (I mean, if I’m reading someone’s blog, it’s because I want to hear what they’ve got to say, not some random guest poster!), but these ones were particularly odd, because they were very obviously guest posts/advertorial, but they weren’t even disclosed, so the weird shift in writing style/ tone etc seemed even more bizarre!

  8. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that seem to bring happiness in an otherwise bad world. Why can’t people just let you be happy and not try to make you worry and feel patronised. It’s great news about Terry’s mum now being at home and it sure sounds like like she has a very caring family and friends to look after her.
    You said to let you know what has cheered us up this week I just wanted to say how much your posts can cheer me up. You write in such a way that makes me laugh and feel better when I am feeling low. So please keep these blog posts coming.

  9. You are too precious, Amber, and I promise I say that with the most sincere and genuine of intentions 🙂 I loved this post, very honest. Very relatable, although I haven’t experienced that bit about delivery men (thankfully). Hopefully you’ll have much calmer days ahead xo

  10. Complainers and whiners begone! Enjoy your time and buying all sorts of things for the wee man. And I’m not sure about Jon Snow sorting out the Shed Man – can’t you get Terry to channel his inner Lord Varys?

    Glad to hear the news about Terry’s mum and best wishes to her 🙂 .

  11. The thing about babies is, they’re washable. Also, their clothes are washable. And their rooms. And their parents, And most other things they could pee/poop/vomit on. So put those adorable clothes on baby, it’ll still be super-duper cute; and if the pee/poop/vomit thing happens it’ll be a funny story to tell when they’re grown up and you’re sharing funny childhood stories about them with their new fiance*.

    *Yes, I totally did this with my daughter’s new fiance. It was awesome.

  12. The “throw up” people do know that it.. .washes out right?! So he can look cute in his diddy little clothes, puke on it a bit and you’ll, shock horror, pop it in the washing machine! Jeez.

    And the delivery men – are they Yodel by any chance? They are a nightmare for knocking and running!

    1. DHL mostly – they all seem to do it, though! As for the clothes, I’ve been wondering if other people mostly just wrap their babies in newspaper and put them in a cardboard box or something, given that they don’t seem to consider *anything* to be suitably baby-proof! (Either that or they just think I’m an absolute idiot who doesn’t know that babies poop/throw-up etc! Last week someone gave me detailed instructions on how I should be sitting up and lying down, though, so they probably DO think I’m that stupid 😂)

  13. Your life is totally not over! What is wrong with those people? I’m a writer and had so many people tell me that I wouldn’t write again until my last kid went to school. I think that was them thinking they were being generous by implying I’d ever actually get back to it. I was sure that wasn’t true but, like, what did I know? I’ve written more since I had kids and have about 2-4 hours writing time a week than I did when I technically had 2-4 whole DAYS a week. Having kids has just made me up my game all round and that’s such a good thing for me. I’m not going to lie, it’s really really hard sometimes but it’s wonderful too. It won’t be exactly the same as before – but life isn’t supposed to stay exactly the same forever, is it??

    1. Yes, exactly! It’s really weird to me, because I feel like people think I’m expecting everything to just be the same as it always was, which I’m definitely not!

  14. That is great news about Terry’s Mum being out of hospital! I really hope that her treatment is going well and that she will have more time.
    I find it annoying when bloggers write posts that are clearly sponsored but don’t acknowledge it. I have no problem with them reviewing a product but it just seems a bit sneaky to not mention that they got said item for free.

  15. Omg the Negative Nancy’s when it comes to pregnancy is something I totally didn’t expect! I’m a month from due date and I feel like I get it once a day now – from strangers even! I usually catch myself getting really sarcastic and replying with something along the lines of “yes believe it or not we know that and still made the decision to get pregnant!”. I think it really grinds my gears more because I’ve experienced loss and I just want to enjoy this baby, pee/poo/vomit and all.
    I also get irritated by the constant mention of “wow we didn’t have XXXX when we had kids and they survived” – good for you, I am so glad your kid survived. Should i throw away all the lovely baby products I was generously gifted at my baby shower because YOU didn’t have them when you had babies ??? (because something tells me you had plenty…)
    Yep, I’m getting fired up LOL

    I’ve been doing a series on my blog that is tongue in cheek about the things you learn when pregnant and many of them are based on how ridiculous other people speak/act towards pregnancy.

    1. Ohmygoooooood the “we didn’t have that in our day and we survived” people! Seriously, if they had that in their day (whatever “that” they are referring to), I bet they would have snapped it up and been so grateful for it. When I had my kids in the 90s disposables had just started to become a popular thing, and the number of people who couldn’t understand why I chose to switch from cloth nappies to disposables (very early on, because I saw the light and never looked back) amazed me. And then they’d get all nostalgic about washing lines hung with lovely white cloth nappies. Like, I bet they didn’t feel like that when they were scraping poop off them, and soaking them, and laundering them, and folding them and just generally drowning under a mountain of white flannel!

  16. (I’m so late with this!)

    There is a potential for triggering here, so I’m warning, but I found it to be quite good news so thought I should share with you also…

    Re: Doctor Foster. I think I know the information you mean because it freaked me out as well, to the point I actually researched it a bit, and can confirm: THAT’S NOT A THING. It’d be like 9,291 on the list of things that doctors would suspect with that symptom and even then only if other stuff was present. (I’m keeping this super vague unless it’s another thing you’ve noticed and I’ve forgotten about, and I don’t want to trigger you on this as well…)

    The amount of TV shows that have triggered me with information that is, basically, complete bullshit, is incredible. I made the mistake of watching “House” a few years ago (no, I’m still not sure why I thought that was a good idea either) and was triggered every episode, until I started looking into it and basically 99% of the medical facts are complete nonsense. Of course that’s not the end of the matter; I get sucked into a loop “but maybe the writers heard about that from someone so it is really a symptom and the medical community hasn’t caught up yet!!!”. Then I spoke to my neurologist (that I was seeing for a proper reason) about one of the triggers I’d had from TV and he actually laughed at it, so I try to keep that in mind when TV shows/movies talk about health! And it works like, 50% of the time, because health anxiety ain’t no quitter, but it has made some difference.

    1. It’s not about being able to clean it, it’s apparently about having to walk around with visible bloodstains while you’re on the ward – or so everyone delights in telling me, anyway!

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