The right side of 30?

I was in my new office last week, where I sit on a bank of desks with 3 other women. I thought, maybe (ambitiously) we were all around the same age…until I got to know them a little better and realised I was simply the wrong side of 30 to join in with their banter. 

The “fittest guy in the office” discussion left me cold when I realised the person they were referring to was a teenage looking boy I had actual maternal feelings towards.

I’m simply no longer attracted to slightly scruffy, slender hipped, chest hairless man-boys with directional hair. Bring me that roughty-toughty bloke nudging 40 that’s digging up the road out there and I’d be putty in his big ol’ man-hands. 
The flat, leather hush-puppy style shoes all of them were wearing, and discussing breaking in techniques for are apparently now must-have fashion items. My dad used to wear them in brown, and whilst I coveted Kickers for school, I was forced instead, into these, heinous calf thickening clodhoppers. I detested them with every fibre of my being and, like navy cardigans, duffel coats and other school uniform items from the 80s, I wouldn’t be seen dead in them now.
Leather satchels complete with name tag holder on the front: see above. Had one, coveted a Nike backpack and will never let a satchel darken my doorstep again. 
Friday rolled around and the 3pm Spotify playlist was put on. A “Requests please” chat window popped up on my screen. “Great!” I thought but I decided to hold back to sense the tone before diving in with some Friday afternoon classics of my own. I’d been burnt whilst working at TimeOut London where the music was all by bands I’d never even heard of and my music choices were reserved for times when everyone needed a good belly laugh. Luckily here the music was recognisable and my request went down well, however it sparked a discussion about what it reminded everyone of. For me it was my first year in London as a working girl of 22. For the majority of the office it was the first years of junior school and for one it was “when I was 8”. To quote my TimeOut colleagues “*facepalm*”. 
They all went to get ready for the night ahead in outfits stashed under their desks and came out in a bronzed haze of perfume and eyelashes in metallic shorts-over-tights, culottes and all manner of outfits that I clearly missed the fashion update on. I squeezed my pudgy, pregnant feet into my commuting flats and headed home to my family where my outfit for the evening was pyjama bottoms and comfy slippers and my company was my roughty-toughty husband whose man-hands were deftly managing a BBQ. 
Surely right side of 30 is the side where I wake up on Saturday morning, complete many productive tasks before breakfast time and am ready and out of the door by 9am? But any smugness is ruined for, due to the wonder that is pregnancy, I bet I feel more bloated, nauseated and have a far worse headache than the ones still in bed at noon. *facepalm*

Clothing a pregnant Inbetweener 

Yes you’re past the 12 week mark and you can tell people you’re expecting – but there’s this awkward period around 14-18 weeks when you have what, to you, is a “mini bump” but if you’re like me, you also have a layer of “storage” everywhere else, thus making the “bump” less obvious. Now, this is annoying for 2 reasons. Firstly, you have probably grown out of all your pre pregnancy clothes (if not, get the hell outta here!) but you are not yet big enough for your uber preggers gear. You’re definitely not yet at the stage of “Im so enormous I don’t give a Buxton what I wear as long as it covers me” and you’re possibly still at the grasping at straws “I can probably still wear these bigger jeans in the back of my wardrobe…I’m pulling…I’m pulling…I’m…doing…up…the…button. I’m in! I’M IN! Er…they’re ripping…aaaaand I’m crying. Again.” stage. 

So here’s the dilemma, what do you use to cover your ass for the next month or so until your belly looks like a bonafide baby bump and less “is it bloat? Is it a bad outfit? Do I give up my seat to her or am I risking a punch in the throat?”. 
Well today I went shopping for that very outfit. In my case it also needs to say “thank you for giving me a job for six months you glorious people, I promise I haven’t forgotten everything  I ever knew about how to do it and I definitely promise I haven’t got that sexist “baby brain” thing which makes you act like an uber moron. Oh and sorry I was late, I forgot my laptop and had to go back for it and then I got the wrong train…ha ha”. 
So, with the toddler at a 2 hour settling in session with her babysitter, and my incredibly specific outfit in mind, I ran (really) to the only shop on my high street which stocks maternity clothes and started searching (through the 2 solitary rails hidden in the corner on an entirely different floor to the women’s clothes). 
My choices were “Fashionable Cool Pregnant Woman”: khaki skinny biker jeans with knee ridges, tight belly hugging jumpers with see-through lace panels, patterned parachute pants, shorts (SHORTS!!) and bodycon dresses. 
After a quick flick through that rail, becoming more and more horrified as as I progressed (SHORTS?!) I swiftly headed towards my rail which I entitled “Fine! I’ve Completely Given Up”: black leggings that go up to your chin, huge jumpers, huge t shirts, huge dresses, huge bras, huge tights and huge knickers. 
I put them all in my basket and huffed to the till. The young, fashionable man at the till painstakingly folded each item, getting to the huge bras and huge pants and taking extra care to shake out their full volume and fold them out as one would a duvet cover. 
The whole sorry episode left me so disheartened that I did the only thing left to do. I went home, put on one of the massive outfits (oh the comfort!), ate an entire jar of pickled onions and nursed my indigestion through two episodes of one born every minute.