When I received a letter from the health visiting team saying they were coming to visit, I'm not going to lie, I had a semi nervous breakdown.
It seems whenever my children are involved I immediately seize up and think that every professional is judging me and making notes on how inadequate I am as a mother. I just can't help it.
I spent the day before she arrived throwing paint at my lounge walls, spraying bleach over everything, and sobbing that no one lifts a finger in this god damn bastard house!!!
But it turns out there was no need to worry. Because my health visitor is clearly insane. And as I sat opposite her plastic smile, as she balanced on my wonky couch that is being held up with two books, I found my mind wandering as to whether health visitors had to go through specific role plays to determine whether they had the correct patronising nature that is clearly needed for the job. And throughout said role plays do they have to touch on a list of requirements that I imagine include the following;
1. NEVER address someone in the first person. Always the third.
"And how is Mum feeling?"
"Does Mum have a birth plan in place?"
"Is Dad looking forward to the arrival of baby?"
It's important to make 'Mum' feel as though she no longer has a name or an identity, in fact she is so insignificant as her former self that she is now spoken to as though she were not even in the room. Pair this with a soft spoken voice and a condescending smirk.
2. Use strange questions to trip Mum up. I particularly enjoyed the ones I was asked at my recent visit.
"What does baby look like?"
Erm.....I'm not...sure? She hasn't come out yet?
"Yes but how does mum imagine she'll look?"
Like her brother? I don't know.
“Yes but does she have hair?”
I'm not sure how to answer this question
"Ok, moving on! What is baby like?"
Small? Squidgy? A baby? What's the deal here? Are mums now required to already know their child's facial features and personality prior to birth?
"Yes, but when Mum and Dad talk about Baby, what do they imagine her to be like?"
I'm not sure, we haven't really talked about it. I don't think it's sunk in for 'Dad' yet that we're having another baby!
Which brings me to the next point
3. Be deadly serious about every word that is spoken by Mum.
*shakes head sympathetically*
“It's really important that Dad is involved in the pregnancy as much as possible. You might want to think about having these conversations with Dad. Perhaps Mum and Dad could sit on the sofa together whilst touching Mums tummy and discuss the questions we've just been over?”
Or…..you could just kill me .
4. Just as you have driven Mum to the depths of despair and have her at her most vulnerable, you need to strike while the iron is hot
"Does mum feel low, depressed or have any feelings that her life is pointless or worthless?"
Well, I didn't!!!......however! Now you mention it!!