All mums – whether new or not so new – deserve a night out, right? ???
Whether that’s a night on the town, a nice meal out with a friend, or sipping coffee in a café solo, we reckon it’s SO important for all parents to have a bit of downtime every once in a while.
(Note: we say ‘night out’, but that could just as easily be a ‘night in’ while the kids are being looked after elsewhere, ‘cos we all know there’s no such thing as a ‘night off’.)
That’s why we were particularly irked to see Ferne McCann, 27, get such a backlash over a boomerang GIF on Instagram – showing her clinking a glass of Prosecco with fellow celeb mum Becky Vardy, while getting ready for the National Television Awards.
The innocent-enough clip was a snapshot from her first night out sans baby since welcoming daughter Sunday Skye in November 2017.
“I couldn’t even talk about this last week, because it upset me so much,” Ferne told MadeForMums. “Those who follow me, and follow my social media, know how much time I spend with Sunday.
“We literally are inseparable. I just completely love everything about her, but at the same time, it is important to take time for you, and enjoy yourself.
“That was my first night out and the press… put a dampener on a fantastic evening.”
So, what was all the fuss about? Well, Ferne’s Instagram story showed her clinking the Prosecco glass, as if she were about to take a sip.
It was later followed by a snap of her breastfeeding baby Sunday, which sparked a series of judgy stories in the media – some even implying Ferne was doing shots of ‘harder’ alcohol before feeding ?
But, as Ferne told MFM during a chat at the MadeForMums Awards judging, you should never judge an Insta story by the order it’s in:
“One, you don’t know the order [I took] the Insta stories, two, I never actually drank a shot, and three, it wasn’t a ‘shot’, it was a glass of Prosecco,” she said.
And, as we all know only too well, a night out with pals involves loads of prep – especially when you’re breastfeeding.
“I expressed my milk. The preparation that goes into it – even for something like [the MFM judging day Ferne brought Sunday to], or to bring her along to the NTAs.
“My mum and her partner drove me in, they hung around for hours so I could get ready. My mum was on hand to look after her, and I expressed milk which takes time. It’s tiring.
“It was made into something it wasn’t, they made out that I was shotting hard alcohol and then breastfeeding my baby. Don’t make out that I’m a bad mother. It was a negative story.
“I got in at half 10 that night and cuddled into bed with her, and had a lovely evening. The next morning, I woke up to that.”
The whole thing was particularly upsetting for Ferne because, as she rightly points out, breastfeeding can be challenging, stressful, painful and downright hard work for some new mums.
And sometimes, the last thing you need is *comments* from other people.
“I say, ‘whatever works for that mum’,” Ferne continued, going off on a very relevant tangent. “Funnily enough, I’m mixed feeding now, but what amazed me is just how your body can produce breastmilk.
“I gained such a respect for my body, that your female body can feed your child. It’s just insane, but going through that is hard work. Very hard. You have to get over all the – oh God, the pain! You have to get past that stage.
“To get to breastfeeding, it was a marathon, and to then be slammed – it’s off-putting for other mums reading that.”
We know that struggle all too well, so we can totally relate to what Ferne’s saying here. It’s not helpful for anyone to see ANY mum get judged for how they’re feeding, or for enjoying a bit of me-time.
We’re all just doing our best by our babies, at the end of the day ?
Images: Gary Moyes Photography