An Open Letter to Sanitary Towel Companies

Dear Sanitary Companies

I have noticed a rather disturbing new trend over the past few years, a change has occurred to sanitary products and it’s one that I find rather unpleasant and very disturbing.

For those who are not yet fully aware, you may or may not have noticed your olfactory orifices triggered as you wonder past the sanitary product section of a shop. Without warning, it hits you, a heavy headache-inducing plume. “What is that overpowering smell?” you may have asked yourself. Perhaps you shrugged it off as a passing fellow customer or a mass spillage of all laundry detergents in the vicinity at the same time. No. You would be wrong. The truth is, for some curious reason, a large proportion of sanitary towels now smell like my Great Aunt Nancy, well known for her massive breasts and overuse of terrible perfume!

I take serious issue with this new approach to ‘sanitary scenting’, in the first instance to the implication that women on their period smell at all. I can tell you this much, I have never ever smelled a woman on her period. The overpowering strength of the perfume in sanitary towels though, seems to suggest not only that menstruating women smell bad, but that they smell so malodorous and fetid that it is necessary (perhaps even a kindness to others?!) that they be immersed in alternative pungent scents to keep their deep, dark and bloody secret hidden.

Perhaps for a very few it may be an issue, but following careful hygiene would be enough to solve this, not wearing heavily perfumed panties! This message that women smell when they are on their period is shaming, untrue and unnecessary. Perhaps the scent was added to clear up any questions on sanitary products being a ‘luxury’ item? I just don’t know. Perhaps you can enlighten me as to why a thick bouquet needs to protrude from my knickers for one week of every month? Maybe you hope that people will smell the perfume, recognise that my crotch now only smells like their Gran when I’m bloated and emotional and will rush out to purchase me chocolates and painkillers to support me through this tempestuous time?!

I wish I could believe that your intentions were good, that girls and women were at the heart of this decision, but I don’t. I think that as a business you wondered hard at how you could keep your products fresh, new and modern and that you concluded that the best way to take more money from the female sex was to make them feel ashamed and embarrassed. These products tell girls that they must hide their ‘period smell’ with heavy perfume, that people will notice if they don’t. What does it mean if people notice you are on your period anyway? Why must this be hidden? I cannot even fathom.

I urge you, I beg you, to give up this ridiculousness. Don’t sell me something I don’t need or want. After spending 15 minutes today searching the aisle for something unscented (unsuccessfully!) I have decided that my vulva and I will be taking our custom elsewhere until this nonsense changes!

Regards

Bethany Evans

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Going out? The buggers know!!

Due to not living close to family my husband I have had limited ‘us time’ since the arrival of our bundle of joy, well that and general exhaustion! I’m not usually one for going out loads, I enjoy the comforts of my own home, make up free and wearing pyjamas comfortable clothes day in and day out, but as our beasty approached 7 months I felt the desire to actually leave the house, just the two of us, sans baby.

The perfect opportunity arose with an invitation to a wedding reception.  It was in my husband’s home town so we had willing Grandparents to babysit too.  Sorted.  A new dress was purchased for the occasion and we packed absolutely everything to ensure things went smoothly, cuddly bunny, dummy, blankets, bottles, black out blind. It was a simple plan, I would do hair and make up late afternoon (much time was required for this due to lack of practice) we do the usual bedtime routine and get the munchkin into bed by 7pm leaving enough time to put our clothes on and go. Brilliant. Easy.

Except it wasn’t.  Our bambina decided that arrival to the in-laws was the most perfect time to get sick! Not just a little bit snotty sick, oh no, this was fever, nose snot so thick it could be mistaken for treacle, complete loss of ability to sleep, nursing strike, proper full-blown poorly sick. Therefore before we even started our evening out I was sleep deprived, covered in baby gloop and now anxious about going. No amount of make-up was going to hide the deep bags under my eyes although I discovered snot can work to your advantage when trying to style hair, who knew?! Needless to say, our evening out that night was brief and for me at least, sober. Boo!

It’s OK I thought, she’s got that out the way now, time to try again, so I planned a date night with the bestie in Bristol.  This time the Husband could stay at home and make sure that a settled night was had by all.  Once again though, my little monkey decided the previous night was the best time to pull an all-nighter! Bleary eyed I made it out, I had a lovely time but by 11pm I was ready for my bed with a belly full of fine Italian food and wine. Yummers. I patted myself on the back for being sensible about not getting too drunk.  The child however (who had in fact slept peacefully for her Father while I was out) clearly felt that I deserved a late one, just like the old days, and decided to wake for a lengthy period in the early hours.

I took to Facebook for a good old whinge (like you do), only to discover that my friend’s child had done a very similar thing.  She was due to go out for a nice evening with her husband, but before they left her son had fallen and created a rather fetching hole in his head. Dinner was off the cards.  It seems that I am not alone in having my well-earned evenings out sabotaged by my mini-me!  They seem intent to either prevent you going out at all or at least pull off some kind of outrageous stunt that ensures you feel utterly horrid and guilty the whole time you’re out.  I have learned that this is a well acknowledged (yet to be named) phenomenon amongst parents alike.

How about ‘Sababytage’? That could work… “Oh man I was going to join you for drinks last night but I was sababytaged, sorry”.

SABABYTAGE

Noun:

 Any plan spoiled for any reason by your own juvenile offspring

The question is how do the buggers know we are going out and why are they so determined to sababytage any chance of fun we may have?!  I do NOT have the answer to this, but if you do please let me know, or better still, tell me how I can leave the house for a night out undecteted by the beasty…I need some Gin!!

A little more detail

I decided to start writing this blog on a whim one Thursday night. I enjoy reading articles and blogs and thought I would try my hand. The problem is I have no idea where to start. I have an idea, but not a clue on how to make it interesting or useful for other people.

The idea is to find effective ways to make the more monotonous components in life a little more pleasant. How can I minimise the time I spend keeping the house together so I can spend more time with my family? What things have we used that have changed our lives for the better? What things can I do to just improve my general sense of well-being? And how on earth do I judge that?!  Most of all I hope to try some new things and have some fun doing it.

I’m thinking perhaps I can break the blog down into categories:-

  • Material items – what objects do we use that make life a little bit better, what was not worth investing in?
  • Actions – what things do I do personally or we as a family do that make us feel happier?
  • Hacks – what tips and tricks have we learned that simplify annoying tasks

I will try and share my honest opinions and give balanced reviews. Obviously not everyone will agree with me, and that’s OK. I would definitely be interested to hear what others think, what advice they have to share, perhaps I can try some of them out.  I imagine that over time the blog will evolve and it’s true purpose will become clear to me, until then, please have a peruse and let me know what you think.

The Beginning

As a 32-year-old new mother to a (mostly) lovely 7 month old daughter, a wife, a nurse and an owner of 4 cats I have decided to take a moment of reflection on my life.

What I looked like last summer through the hazy eyes of Instagram.
What I looked like last summer through the hazy eyes of Instagram.

I have lived a pretty nice life, and as you can see above it has culminated in some really lovely things. I have been struck however, particularly since having a baby, by how there is a big expectation to have and do it all, and do it well! Work full-time, mother full-time, wife full-time, be free, be sexy, be natural, have fun, be careful, be thrifty, be thoughtful, be kind, do the best, be the best.  I’m not entirely sure where this pressure comes from, a general source of ‘others’, the media, from myself?

I am often shocked and surprised by the amount of debate that surrounds every single parenting decision that is made. It seems people and ‘the media’ all have an opinion about everything. The way you feed your baby, the amount your baby sleeps, how you dress your baby, the way you wean your baby, how you transport your baby, where you take your baby…and the list goes on. Overwhelmingly what I notice is the strong sense of guilt that arrives whatever you so choose to do. It seems you are damned if you do and your damned if you don’t.  Well sod that!

I have decided that what I need (and maybe what we need?) is to treat myself better, more kindly. I hope to find a way to achieve everything i so desire.  I think perhaps starting with a little step back to take a moment to decide what I actually want to do, and how best I can do it would be wise.  That is where this blog is going to come in.  I’m going to take my time to assess the daily details, what helps me to achieve my goals, what helps me through the days, what makes me feel good, what makes me feel better. This will include how I feel, how I look, how I manage my daily tasks at home, at work and out and about. Hopefully I can learn which stuff to ditch and which to keep, use and develop. I shall graciously share my discoveries here, and maybe, if we’re lucky, it may help you too.