Inappropriate laughter and a bit of a moan by Rhianon

I caught myself doing it again this morning; poised at the mouse, ready to click on 'pay now' for the gorgeous, black turtleneck maternity dress I am obsessed with. That must be the fourth time this week, and I realised then that this obsession is fuelled by my own self-pity from these awful first few months of pregnancy – I feel like I deserve it.

[advert:mpu] Even my three and a half year old dear son has noticed a change in me, watching The Iron Giant, his current favourite movie, he slipped off to fetch me some toilet paper for my snotty sobs and said quietly don't cry mummy, the robot's okay in the end. My apologies if I've just ruined the ending of this wonderful film for you, but you see my point – surely it should be me comforting him? But, with my partner still studying full-time, one wage just doesn't cover the frivolities of an £80 dress that I'll wear for 6 months. In fact, that's roughly a week's (subsidised) childcare for my son.

There must be some cheaper way, I thought, to make myself feel better. I began by rummaging through parenting sites to get some ideas, and stumbled upon a very satisfying thread of posts on things people never tell you about pregnancy. Yes, there was the nausea/sickness, the weird cravings and the tiredness, but that's just the tip of the iceberg! What about the piles, the pimples, the nosebleeds, the leg cramps, the Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, the SPD, the 'crotch zingers'. Oh, and the heartburn, the flatulence and the smelly pee? Or how about the irrational rage when someone pats your bump and tells you how big you're getting, or how you can never buy or eat a snack without someone around you remarking on how you're eating for two?

I added a few of my own and I feel better already. I learnt you can get Gaviscon on prescription from your GP and I got a homespun cure for piles. I'll set aside 20 minutes to do it again tomorrow. And I guess that's my point; it feels great to share some of these and other parenting moments, to know you're not alone and to have a giggle at things which get you down. But best of all, it's satisfying to be able to be so honest, to pour out some of the things I might never admit to my friends and family, to have a license to moan or to laugh inappropriately, and to hear that some people are thinking exactly the same as me.

So be brave! Register here! Start a thread, post a question, give some advice, share some news or make someone laugh with your parenting experiences. Pop in daily or every few weeks and you’ll see there's always a group of people who’ll listen sympathetically.

I, for one, will be posting a blog once a week and I look forward to hearing from you all on our boards, too.

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