Five Minutes on Validity

You all know that I have A LOT of thoughts when it comes to children and making children and growing children and having children and raising children etc etc. 

So this is a bit of an update around my thoughts on the validity of womanhood when it comes to children. The next step in my odd little journey along the road of adulthood if you will (You'd imagine I'd be getting it right by now...)

I just want to clarify in advance that anything I say is by no means someone without a child digging out those women WITH children. Quite the contrary. Mothers are INCREDIBLE. There are times when I look at my sister and think "HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS?!?" (Usually when she's covered in green stuff that could have come from literally any part of my niece) Plus, I would never judge any decision someone else has made when it comes to their body, lives and offspring - It is simply none of my business.
When we TALK about things, we start to realise there are people out there who have been thinking about the same things but with different experiences, which I, for one, find incredibly useful. I want to be tolerant, I don't want to be entirely wrapped up in my own understandings based on just how things make ME feel. Strangely enough, being angry doesn't make me happy and because I'm the kinda chick who rarely tells people when I'm offended or upset by their actions, the anger quickly transforms into an overwhelming feeling of loneliness. 

So I went on instagram and I talked about it. I talked about how I regularly feel that I'm somehow not seen as valid or included in society due to my choice to not yet have children (If at all). I mentioned the number of times I found myself excluded from events and invites purely due my childlessness. About how not being a mother somehow suggests that you're lacking in wisdom, experience and ability. 

And the response was phenomenal. 

I received hundreds of messages, from women at all stages of life, sharing their experiences, feelings and some truly incredible advice. And all of a sudden I wasn't alone. MAGIC RIGHT?!? With this in mind, I'd really like to share (with permission) some of the words that impacted me the most. So if you're in a quandary, WE CAN ALL BE IN IT TOGETHER. 

www.theemedit.co.uk

There seems to be some wider assumption that a family has to include children, but I'm really big on "Family" being whatever you make it. My immediate family is my husband and me. And the cats obvs. Families can be you and your parents, it can be you and a friend, it can be you and your case of stick insects. Family for me is the tightest circle of living things you have wrapped around you and I am incredibly fortunate to be close to my parents and sister who will always be family. 

As for "Selfish" UGH, this is one thing that really blags my swede. Firstly, not's let forget that not everyone is child-free through choice. Plus, what's selfish about not having children? Why is emotional labour only valid when it's directed towards the under 16s? I care SO deeply for the people in my life and I'm generally too busy doing all of the things I do in a day to be selfish, its a wonder if I've washed my hair nowadays...

www.theemedit.co.uk


"Focussing on your career". As if this is the only way to justify not having children. As if the only important things in life for a woman are work or motherhood. Why the heck are we having to justify our existence in this way? We exist because we do. Why the sudden need when we hit our mid-20s to take on some kind of societal role...? 

I had an interesting professional discussion around flexible working recently - Flexible working is incredible and has facilitated so many women being able to balance a career and childcare, but try and use it in any other way beyond child-based emergencies you may find yourselves coming up against issues. We've all been there; It's quite rightly deemed vital that a parent-child relationship is facilitated by the workplace, but the relationships we have with our partners and friends (Which at times are life-saving) are given short shrift. 

And it's not just the people without children who notice the difference:
www.theemedit.co.uk
I find it kind of selfishly comforting to know that new mothers recognise the difference in the way that society treats a woman with children, but, more importantly, it is so vital for us to be reminded that mums (particularly new mums) seek out other mums for support and its not unfair to assume that quite often this support is enhanced by experience, experience someone without a child simply doesn't have. And that's ok, I wouldn't ask a doctor for advice on how to cut my hair. As long as we're not muscled out completely. I may not know about colic or nappy changing (At least not that I'm willing to admit to...) but I am an incredible listener, I'm great at pulling stupid faces and I will sing and dance for anybody who needs those particular services at any given time. 

Two of the most striking comments that I want to leave you with are these:
www.theemedit.co.uk

Why are those of us in doubt feeling even a little bit obliged to do something that doesn't enhance our lives in any way? In most basic terms; We're not on the brink of extinction, the survival of the human race isn't dependent on people who are already quite happy adding to the population.

Part of me knows that some of you will be thinking  "Ok, we get it, you don't have children, get over it" and I can understand why you would. But it is SO important to me that we continue to have these conversations because if they've helped the likes of me as much as they have, they may help other people. So let's keep them going. 

We need to stop believing that not having a child makes us any less important. Or that our lives are any less full. We are valid, we are important, we are whole.

Please feel free to share some thoughts in the comments or over on my insta.

Em x

Tis The Season To Sparkle with Simply Be

Every year, I start the festive period with the following vow to myself: This year, I am going to NAIL every party look that comes my way. With this in mind, I've linked up with Simply Be to help you Sparkle this season. 

www.theemedit.co.uk

So here are some of the questions that the gorgeous Simply Be customers have passed our way, have a read, it may just help you to nail this year's festive looks:

'My Body shape is weird. When I wear a body shaper, my stomach sticks out. What is the best shapewear to give me a good shape, especially when I'm wearing dresses.'

I mean, I have to start by saying NO body shape is weird. If you have a body, it's shape is a body shape. I think what you're saying is that your body doesn't look how you want it to look. So my first, very inexpensive bit of advice is to GET USED to your body. Look at it in mirrors. Take photos of it at different angles. Just get used to it, so what if your stomach/bottom/thighs/arms stick out?

My tummy has always stuck out so I'm guilty of squeezing myself into all kinds of palavas to try and change or enhance my shape over the years. Though there's nothing wrong with this IF THIS IS YOUR CHOICE, I spent years not fully enjoying Christmas meals or events because I'd lost the feeling in my bottom. And don't mention trying to go to the loo...

www.theemedit.co.uk

I'm now a big fan of wearing a slip with a built in bra under a party dress. It stops static clinging or ruching whilst still allowing you to do all of the things you need to do. Plus there's no need to layer things up or overheat because it does all the things you need in one item. This Magisculpt multiway slip is billed as being "Firm Control", and although it keeps my parts in place, I'm still comfortable and happy I'm not being squished. Plus it looks sexy as heck and I'm COMPLETELY here for this. 

www.theemedit.co.uk

"I've just started a new job and the Christmas party invites have just gone around. I'm the curviest in the office, what could I wear that would minimise this or should I just accentuate what I've got?"

Again, there is no obligation for you to do either. You would be exactly the same marvellous person whether you were wearing a parka or a string bikini. My advice is that you wear something you are comfortable with (I don't mean pyjamas) and most importantly, that fits. This is not the time to be squeezing yourself into your favourite party frock from ten years ago (The one that barely fit at the time...) I say this as someone who has done this and has spent the whole night feeling rubbish

For me, this is the time of year for sequins, sparkle and glamour and I love being able to go the whole hog without giving what anyone else is wearing a second thought. It's Christmas for crying out loud!

www.theemedit.co.uk

The simple and, dare I say, foolproof wrap style of this dress makes it a no brainer for any festive event. I don't even know where to start with the sequins but I can't imagine it looking anything less than incredible on anyone who wears it. Plus it needs no ironing so you can leave it in your bag all day, optimising your glamorous entrance. Pair it with simple, strappy sandals (Of a sensible stumble home height!) and you're good to go. 

Just remember, when you're at the party, don't let one single comparison pop into your head. Other people can look smoking hot without taking away from how incredible you look - Just make sure you tell them how lush they are and accept all the compliments that come your way!

www.theemedit.co.uk

Look guys, if I can offer you one bit of advice, it's this. Just enjoy yourself and if all else fails, grab a mince pie, a glass of bubbly, a mince pie and be your own glitter ball. 
Em x
This is a sponsored post and contains affiliate links - All view are my own.

Your New Fashion Hero - Unique 21

I'm here with a sneaky little fashion post aren't I? 
I know, I know, I'm as blown away as you are But here it is and I would like to introduce to you: Unique 21.

Plus Size Leopard Print
Leopard Blouse: Unique 21
Jeans: Second Scripts
Boots: Next 
We all love a new plus size brand don't we... Well, I *say* new, Unique 21 have actually been knocking about for a while now, albeit previously on other sites such as Simply Be (Where I bought this rather fabulous blouse) and ASOS. They've now launched their HERO range on its very own site, bringing us bright co-ords, snazzy blouses and sparkly knits. 


I think we can all agree that"Jeans and a nice top" are the most useful thing you can have in your wardrobe so being able to extend my options in this department is always very much appreciated. It seems like Unique 21 are going to be a good call for simple well made styles in different colour variations. 

This leopard print wrap shirt is ideal over a pair of skinny jeans, it's an easy to wear, throw on item that would work just as well down the pub as it would in a cocktail bar. I haven't practiced doing backwards rolls in it yet (that's what I do on nights out now, who knew?) I feel like it would be perfectly possible. 


Where the range is currently quite limited, I am told that this is set to increase with more options becoming available in the larger sizes (It currently stops at a 26...) which, as you can imagine, I am very much looking forward to seeing. 

I also ordered a purple pussybow blouse* which is absolutely perfect for work with a good pair of cigarette pants so be sure to keep your eyes on my insta for more...
Em x 
* Denotes gifted items for review - All views are my own.