Ask Grainne | Can you still call it baby weight if your ‘baby’ is 7 years of age?

Need parenting advice that doesn’t read like you joined a new age cult? Ask Grainne for the unvarnished truth about modern Irish parenting.

Dear Grainne,

Can you still call it baby weight if your ‘baby’ is 7 years of age?

I know I am not the right size for my height. Pre-kids & husband I was skinny (I still have old clothes in my wardrobe to prove it). I walked everywhere. Ate only what I wanted to eat. Slept when I was tired and went out dancing most weekends. Post kids/marriage I am surviving on endless cups of coffee and sugar. I know that being overweight isn’t great for me health-wise, but, I was thinking I would just tackle it when I had some ‘me’ time. Like when pigs learn how to fly.

Last Monday while doing the drop off at the school gates one of the new Mum’s asked me if my daughter knew that she was getting another brother/sister? She took my current weight for me being pregnant. I turned pale, nodded politely and left (vaguely thinking about a diet). Now, however, it’s gotten worse because I didn’t tell her I wasn’t pregnant (just fat). She keeps hounding me at the school gates about when my due date is. How far along I am etc

How on earth do I get myself out of this? Yours.
Carlow Mum of two.

Dear Carlow Mum.

You let yourself go a bit.

Put the chicken nugget down and stop feeling sorry for yourself! You can call your excess fat whatever you like! I’d personally call it I grew two humans in my body so fuck off.

Meeting an asshole at the school gates is not uncommon. It is a Mecca for the tired, overworked and under-appreciated. Sound familiar? Parents who have been reduced to talking about child-related issues and oven cleaner. You want to get rid of her? That’s easy, just ask her to mind your kids after school for say a week. Use the time to sleep, read, or do a Zumba class if that’s what you are into. Within the week she will be avoiding you. Her conversations will change from your imaginary pregnancy to whispered warnings to others to steer clear.

Now, after your restful ‘me’ time thanks in no small part to the free childminding, call your pals. You remember them? They are the girls you spoke to three times a week and danced till dawn with. The ones you dropped the day you pushed out your firstborn. Call them and beg forgiveness. Arrange a night out. With any luck, you will find a scrap of your old self on the sticky dancefloor.

Dear Grainne,

Evolved Dads and double standards

I work in a busy office in the city centre. My day ends officially at 5.30pm. Or at least that is what it said in my contract when I took the job. This leaves me 25 minutes to run from the office to my kid’s afterschool a few streets away. My kids place closes at 6pm sharp (after which they have a cash fine which increases every ten minutes your late).

None of my colleagues get it. When I pack up my desk and log off at 5.30pm they call it ‘going home early’.

Worse. Lately one of my male co-workers – let’s call him Dick – has recently started to collect his child from another nearby school on a Friday. He leaves earlier – at 5pm – and instead of telling him off for mitching the entire office treats him as some sort of superhero. Why is Dick an ‘evolved father’ when he leaves early while I am ‘not a team player’ when I go to leave on time?

Yours, Disgruntled office worker

Dear Disgruntled Office worker,

Dick is a hero!! I mean come on, he gives his wife one day off the school rush a week! Imagine what that feels like. One day when she does not have to rush through traffic, make excuses to her colleagues and boss for leaving work. He is the embodiment of the “new man”. Maybe he even cooks the dinner and throws a load of washing in when he gets home.

Why do you have to leave EVERY day? Where the fuck is your sperm donor? Let me guess, he can’t leave work early! Stop taking your frustrations out on poor Dick!

About Grainne: Proudly known as a bitch by her nearest and dearest. Surprisingly still married to the father of her three, only slightly dysfunctional children. Has opinions about everything.

*Disclaimer Grainne is not qualified in any way to answer your problems. She doesn’t do feedback but if you want you can leave a comment below or email her at [email protected] We can almost certainly guarantee you she will NOT get back to you, but, one of her cousins who helps her might.  Alternatively, you can stalk them directly Twitter: @Triona_Campbell or @KearneyRoisin or both.