Though Caroline Corcoran – whose son and her both have July birthdays – will accept that a lifetime of beer garden birthdays is a fine gift for a mother to give to her child…
“Having a baby in summer is great!” they told me and in some ways, they were right. Getting up at 5am is easier when you convince yourself that it’s the start of the daytime rather than the middle of an endless, freezing, grey night in January. When you do go out, you can get ice cream. Plus what new summer mum doesn’t thank the gods of TV scheduling for providing June’s edition of Celebrity Big Brother which she can watch and follow no matter how sleep-deprived and shell-shocked she is?
But here’s what’s not so great…
1. Every wasp is a terrifying dangerous beast, akin perhaps to a lion
There I was, in the park with Louise from NCT thinking ‘Yes! I’ve got this! Maternity leave and we’re feeding our babies in the outdoors and I have brushed my hair and life is good!’ And then a wasp perched itself on my baby’s tiny, pale forehead and it was essentially like an aeroplane had landed, on fire, with terrorists, in my living room. Louise and I looked at each other like ‘Did you have a chapter on this in the baby book?’ and I hopped around endeavouring to remove the lion/ wasp beast whilst trying not to antagonise it. And yet my fellow park-goers were just eating their bloody Pret wraps like nothing had happened.
2. The parasol, the bloody parasol
There’s probably a YouTube video that went viral of me doing buggy fit a few weeks after giving birth, before I had learnt about such things as sun shades and you know, perspective, and trying to huff my way round the park while rejigging the parasol on the pram each time we changed direction (a lot. Pretty much constantly). If I was smug about making it out to buggy fit/ wearing trainers/ the lovely sunny morning, all smugness quickly faded. There were tears and a vow that ‘that’s it now, I’m just staying home.’
3. The unrivalled fear of baby sunburn
18 degrees, approximately five minutes in the garden and all of it under shade and I could convince myself that my son’s red cheek – you know, the bit right where he’d been leaning on me – was the start of a terrible case of sunburn on his perfect, brand new little face. Arguably some hormones were still at play here.
4. How do you keep him shaded in the sling?
Don’t even tell me it involves the bloody parasol again.
5. Trying to get it together to shave your legs? Ha ha ha
Hopefully at some point in life you will be able to have both a child and a shaved leg but right now, that’s a lot to expect. Maxis are in this summer aren’t they? And, um, tights?
6. Going outside is a right old hassle
If you have a baby in spring, by the time summer comes round you will be ready to go out into the lovely weather. If you have a baby in summer, you will spend it inside thinking it seems like a lot of hassle to go outside because you can’t take the breast pump, your dressing gown and last night’s Love Island, AKA your crew.
7. You just kind of… miss it
“Right! I’m ready to go out! What are we up to? Can we book a table in the beer garden? Mine’s a large rose! What’s that you say? It’s October? Ah.”