8 Things Every New Mother Needs: Where’s My F**king Medal?

New MotherhoodI don’t know about you, but after I gave birth, I expected some serious adoration, praise, and general worship. A small eulogy on the wonders of my cervix or a small (cushioned) pedestal would not have gone amiss. However, like most women who give birth in hospital, it was quickly made clear that as a new mother I was not, in fact, a goddess, but part of a prime consumer market.

Most rites of passage involve symbolic gift giving, and so it is with hospital birth. You will be visited by men and women in strange outfits who will proffer words of wisdom and hand you … The Bounty Bag.  This is a plastic bag containing a disparate collection of ‘goodies’ supplied by various companies who, make no mistake, do not love you. Sorry, but they just want your baby bucks.

This demented version of the frankincense, gold and myrhh story usually consists of some leaflets about formula breast milk, a free nappy, some leaflets, a pot of Sudocrem, some leaflets, baby wipes and some leaflets.  And just in case you are in any doubt about your new role as Queen of the Laundry, there will also be a sample of washing powder. WASHING POWDER!!!!!! What is this? 1952?

SOD THAT! This is what should actually be in The Bounty Bag:

1. A medal. This should ideally be forged from enough quality gold that it equates to the value of lost income over a lifetime that every mother experiences.

2. A big vat of chicken soup containing all the nutrients a new mother needs. Also, several laminated copies of the recipe to be handed to friends and relatives with the words, “Do not arrive on my doorstep without tupperware filled with this.”

3. Another laminated sign aimed at parents and in-laws that reads, “No advice necessary. You have already shown me all you can about parenting.”

4. A tube of Touche Eclat and the sort of mirror Dorian Gray might use.

5. Gin

6. Some sort of wank machine for your partner, or alternatively some “Closed for Business Until Further Notice” stickers that fit nicely across your newly arranged croissant.

7. An electronic sanding machine to run over your nipples thereby toughening them up for breastfeeding.

8. Gin. Oh God, have I said that already?

What have I missed?

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12 thoughts on “8 Things Every New Mother Needs: Where’s My F**king Medal?

  1. It’s funny, in South Africa those goodie bags are IDENTICAL – so many leaflets! We still have that little pot of Sudocrem, 7 months later – that shit lasts forever! I’d say that some really nice, professional-quality, super-expensive shampoo and conditioner should also come in those bags – because having nice hair can make you feel good even when everything else (skin, boobs, stomach, veiny legs) looks like crap. And taking a shower was the only time I was alone in the month after Ava was born – so best make it luxurious.

  2. You are of course absolutely right in what should be in a Bounty bag! Only additions I would make is a smart phone so you can tweet your way through breastfeeding and a thermal insulated coffee/tea cup so it can be consumed luke warm rather than cold.
    Excellent work 🙂

  3. I would ban those stupid doctors who think it is a good idea to discuss what kind of contraception you will be using about one day after giving birth. Not exactly high on ones list of priorities at the time. Oh yes, and the ‘Pampers lady’ who would clip clop in her high heels through the ward at about 7am, after yet another night when none of us new mums slept – a baby would wake howling, like every half hour or so – chirping ‘Any newborns? Any newborns?’ in order to give them a goody bag. If I’d had the strength, I would have nutted her.

  4. That bag of rubbish is just an insult to the injury of birth! They should add a large bar of chocolate (will need it for the slog of breast feeding), a weekend away at a spa, vouchers for nursing bras, a years free supply of coffee, tea, cakes at Starbucks, a laptop, a box set of a series of your choice, fully paid up subscription to host the new blog that will inevitably come, a personal chef, a personal masseur, a years selection of porn for the husband. God I could go on……

  5. Love it!! I gave birth at home with both my babies and I still got that rubbish bag. I opened it with glee thinking it would have fabulous goodies in it rewarding me for the great accomplishment I just achieved 🙂 how disappointing it is, you would think some decent luxuries would be in there – bet its contents are organised by a man so we get potentially ‘useful’ things rather than what we actually ‘want’ lol 🙂 (no offence intended there before I get told off :))

  6. Laminated instructions to your partner to the effect that:
    1) He must bring you breakfast and/or chocolate in bed every day for the whole of his paternity leave;
    2) He must buy you a damn good present as a reward and thank you for pushing his new heir out of your ‘croissant’;
    3) He must say “thank you” and “well done” and “wow, you’re bloody amazing – I could never have done that” at least three times a day, for as long as it takes to become annoying.

    Love the post – please get a job at Bounty!

  7. Ha ha. I kept all the leaflets in a folder with all of my stuff for my son and found them when he was 1 and 1/2 and wondered what had possessed me to keep them, baby brain I reckon. I think you need some nice body lotion/hand cream, chocolate and a selection of laminated vouchers to givwe to people to ask them to do chores for you e.g. I will aloow you a whole hour alone with your new grandson if you do the ironing for an hour for me in return, you can bath your nephew if you do the washing up!

  8. I would add: The revelation of a new word – suggestions welcome – to describe the sheer exhaustion that occurs in the post partum days, weeks, months. A very very very loooooong word that no man will ever be able to pronounce, and will never have permission to utter.

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