Profile for Annabelle Charbit

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Girl Talk: I’m A Pregnant Women In A World Without Chivalry

This is an old chestnut I know, but it needs to be dealt with once and for all. Someone please explain to me why pregnant women are left standing on buses and trains, whilst able-bodied men sit back and pretend not to see them?

As a member of the “club” myself, I have yet to be offered a seat by a man. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Can You Ever Truly Be Happy For Someone Else?

When I told my best friend I was happy for her because she was pregnant, it couldn’t have been further from the truth. The truth was that her announcement ruined my day, my week and my self-esteem. It added pressure to my already pressurized mid-30s brain and kept me awake at night with images of celebrating birthdays, alone and bitter, while everyone else basked in the warmth and love of their self-made families.

A few years later, when I was pregnant, I felt too guilty to announce it to my single friends. One night, as I finally plucked up the courage to pick up the phone and share the news, I said to my husband, “Watch, as I ruin someone’s day.”

He looked at me in utter confusion. “What are you talking about?” he said. “They’re your friends. They’ll be happy for you.”

“There’s no such thing as being happy for somebody else,” I shrugged, and he looked at me like I had just announced that I was a psychopathic flesh-eating robot. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Breaking The Cycle Of Bad Parenting

We love to blame our parents for all sorts of things. It’s their fault that you’re still single. If only they hadn’t made you wear corduroys, you might not be so self-conscious today! If mom had been less hard on your schoolwork, then you might not be failing to get that promotion. And, oh Dad, why did you make me write so many thank-you notes? Now everyone mistakes my politeness for insincerity. And so on …

But if truth be known, the snippets from childhood that we blame for our adulthood failings may not be the correct ones at all. If you really want an accurate demonstration of what your parents were like as parents, then life does offer you a second chance to recapture their parenting skills. All you have to do is wait until they become grandparents. It is unlikely that their parenting skills have changed in the 20 to 40 years since they became parents, and you will be flooded with stark memories and realizations as their parenting successes and failures are revealed through the way in which they interact with your children. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Why The Third Trimester Is The Best Trimester

I know all the baby books wax on about how the second trimester is the most amazing, because you’re high on estrogen and so horny that you’re likely to sexually assault strangers in the street. That your husband can expect a lot of sex out of you at this time and that you’re simply a joy to be around. Yes, that’s what the baby books say.

And perhaps that is the case for many women, but right now I would like to give credence to a group of women for whom the second trimester is not a three-month-long rave party. Rather, for these women the third trimester is where they finally come into their own, find inner peace and start to truly relax and enjoy their pregnancy. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Let’s Be Real — Pregnancy Hormones Will Drive You Mad

So pregnancy is supposed to be the most exciting time of your life, right? Yet, you are going bonkers. The train is late, the new office chair you ordered won’t be delivered on time, you just ran out of cereal and the deli is closed. This is so cataclysmic that you are seriously considering throwing yourself off a bridge here and now, because how can you possibly bring a child into such an inefficient world?! And furthermore, how will you even cope with a baby, when your husband has to physically restrain you from assaulting the clerk at Gap because they just ran out of your size in maternity jeans?

Some women sail through their pregnancies with nary a misfiring neuron, but if you have ever felt the churning anger that splashes the backs of your eyes and temporarily blinds you, or the black futility of depression, where the mere thought of rising from your bed fills you with horror, then you know what it feels like to be hormonal.
Keep reading »

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