Things no-one tells you about being a grown-up

March 12, 2016

Love Heart sweets - grow up

No-one ever really *feels* like a grown-up: When I was younger my friends and I often used to quiz our parents about when they felt that they were, officially, an adult. My friend’s dad always used to say that even on their wedding day he felt like it was all an elaborate game. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I really see his point. it’s not that I don’t feel old enough – some days I feel about 80 billion, with the eye armour to match – I just often feel like there must be some kind of a more responsible person around. Somewhere.

And everyone is basically winging it too: Life, motherhood, anything really – everyone makes it up as they go along (I reckon).

That a proper bra fitting is life-changing: Seriously! I didn’t get a proper fitting till my very early 30s, and it was amazing. One of my clients at the time was a major bra retailer where they are so skilled they can fit you by eye, and when I went to try it out for myself it turned out I’d been doing bras wrong for years. You always have a narrower back than you think. Having ones that fit properly changes everything. It sounds really trivial, but is not at all.

You can make your own decisions, but your mother was (usually) right – Oh, the heady freedom of buying your own brand of butter and bread when you go to university…it all starts there. As a grown-up you can go to bed when you like, but your mum was right – it is better to get an early night (and early night does not mean faffing on your phone until midnight. Note to self).

It’s OK to buy your own flowers, and you really should: Although nothing beats having flowers bought for you – especially the meaningful, romantic ones, and you should always be that girl on the tube with a giant bouquet and an even bigger smile at least once –  you should totally buy them for yourself. Nothing’s more cheerful and cheap than a £1 bunch of supermarket daffodils. It’s that time of year, so you should buy loads.

The brilliance of the post-birth vagina chat: Motherhood is a great leveller for social barriers, especially where the things you’d previously considered embarrassing are concerned. After giving birth, smear tests are a breeze. And you now think nothing of singing, loudly, in public, or walking down the street doing dance moves in full view of stationary traffic (with a child, obvs). Most of the time, you’re too tired to have any shame. I lost count of the amount of times I went to breastfeeding clinics or baby groups and knew all about the really intimate details of childbirth – all the gory glory, stitches and all – within minutes of meeting other mums. And it’s a topic you’ll always revert back to with your mum friends once you’re half a bottle (glass) of wine down, along with your post-birth sex life *ahem*. It’s a very instant intimate camaraderie, and it’s great.

But why does it take motherhood to stop all the uncomfortableness? Why is it that women often feel embarrassed to talk about really intimate health-related things, even when you’re a grown-up?

Canesten has launched a campaign to urge us all to get comfortable with talking about the often slightly #awkward topic of female health, and make sure everyone in empowered with all the information about their own bodies and the knowledge of how to take care of them (there’s also a new website with lots of info about the whole weird and wonderful world of intimate bits).

To celebrate the new campaign, I’m giving away a £25 John Lewis voucher. Just use the Rafflecopter widget and leave a blog comment below to tell me – what topic have you ever been embarrassed to discuss? It ends at 11.59 on Sunday 3rd April.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More posts…things no-one tells you about new motherhood, pregnancy, the third trimester and life with two children and two new competitions over on TalkMum – win 5 x 3 months’ supply of Pregnacare and a SwaddleMe bundle.

This post has been supported by Canesten, but all words and thoughts are mine, as always.


  • Tracy Nixon

    March 12, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I have had 6 babies and I suffer from Crohns so have had all my bits poked and investigated both inside and out and talking with both family and professonals about my bowels, poop, and other things people might find embarassing! I no longer find those things embarassing to discuss but if my mum wants to discuss private stuff about her and my dad then I do get embarrassed!

  • Paula Readings

    March 12, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Leaking Nipples.. It happened when i was going out, didn’t realize at the time that happened a few days after giving birth as i did not breast feed.

  • iain maciver

    March 12, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    waterworks problems

  • Tracey Peach

    March 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve been talking about bowels since I was 16, so to be honest not much embarrasses me now 🙂

  • Jennifer Haden

    March 12, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    anything to do with bodily fluids…eek!

  • Sandra Bald

    March 12, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I found it really embarrassing to discuss forms of Contraception in my early 20’s

  • Alica

    March 12, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    I have to be honest and say nothing embarrasses me! I can literally talk about anything which I suppose is no bad thing 🙂

  • lindsey stuart

    March 12, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    My ingrown toe nails, I thought I had some kind of fungal problem because my toenails were so thick I was very embarrassed however it was a relief when I was told I had ingrown toenails on both big toes 🙁

  • Sinead ORourke

    March 12, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    hairs on my legs.

  • Nicki Evans

    March 12, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I used to be embarrassed talking about childbirth until I has a baby myself.

  • Steven Appleton

    March 12, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    The operation I needed up my bum!

  • ashleigh allan

    March 12, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Anything to do with going to the toilet!

  • claire griffiths

    March 12, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    i used to be embarrassed talking about anything intimate until i had my kids

  • Kerry Locke

    March 12, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    You should never feel embarrassed about talking about anything … especially if you have children.

  • Susan Lloyd

    March 12, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    My ibs. I’d much rather say I feel sick than need an urgent toilet trip.

  • Hazel Rea

    March 12, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    I used to be embarrassed about discussing anything vaguely intimate – then I had two children and after that nothing embarrasses me now!

  • Alison

    March 12, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    I had a Bartholin’s cyst and quite embarrased about going to the doctors about it.

  • claire woods

    March 12, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Found it hard to go for a smear test.

  • rebecca beesley

    March 13, 2016 at 1:14 am

    totally love the idea of buying yourself flowers! Sounds silly but periods are a topic that STILL embarrass me.


    March 13, 2016 at 1:43 am

    After I gave birth I need to empty my bowels, it hurt some much. It turns out that during labour, due to straining that much I tore inside..hmm explaining that to a male Dr in my teens major awkwardness! however he was cool about it at the time lol

  • ruth robinson

    March 13, 2016 at 2:11 am


    1. Yasmine choudhry

      April 3, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      Women issues

  • Nancy Bradford

    March 13, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Anything to do with private parts with my mother. I could talk about it with friends but not my mum.

  • Mummy Fever

    March 13, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    body hair

  • Lynn Heath

    March 13, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Toilet and bowel movements!

  • Michaela Hannah

    March 13, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    As a teenager i found it really embarrassing to discuss periods

  • Sarah S

    March 13, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    I find it a lot easier now to talk about excessive sweating. I found something that calms my pitts down so I don’t nervously sweat more while talking about it lol

  • Claire D

    March 14, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Monthly periods

  • Rebecca Mercer

    March 14, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Thrush always used to embarass me but since having kids, nothing much embarasses me anymore

  • karen cowley

    March 14, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Contraception but since having my first baby nothing embarrasses me now

  • aaron broad

    March 18, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Nothing, I try and get it out the way

  • emily omara

    March 18, 2016 at 7:24 pm


  • Kathy Cakebread

    March 19, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    intimate health emberasses me

  • Nicola Lynch

    March 19, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    I’m have Crohn’s and used to be embarrassed about talking about bowels etc, not anymore after 20 years of talking about it and countless tests and ops!

    1. Andy Kadir-Buxton

      March 20, 2016 at 6:48 am

      Ayurvedic massage of the stomach region has been used for thousands of years in India for stomach complaints. If you have been diagnosed with IBS then simply massaging your stomach firmly from right to left when you open your bowels will come as a relief from the pain of trapped wind.

      If you can afford it, then it has been found that colostrum can also minimise they symptoms of the IBS, colostrum is produced by mammals for help in digestion, amongst other things, in early infants.

  • clair downham

    March 20, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    nothing really

  • Heather Haigh

    March 20, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Anything to do with going to the loo.

  • Sarah Archibald

    March 21, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    it depends who its with. I could talk to my partner about anything, literally anything.

  • Layla Thomas

    March 22, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Not much embarrasses me after 2 kids..

  • Theresa Parker

    March 23, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I was a total price….until I had three boys…now nothing embarrass es me!X

  • Laura

    March 23, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    I am all about buying myself flowers and totally winging it 🙂 I still don’t feel like a grown up though

    Laura x

  • Angela Kelly

    March 24, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    My mental health…

  • Caroline Cordery

    March 24, 2016 at 9:13 pm


  • Emily Clark

    March 26, 2016 at 12:23 am

    I used to be scared about talking about my mental health. But I’ve learnt it’s something that people really like the chance to discuss!

  • Alison Johnson

    March 26, 2016 at 12:49 am

    I’m no really embarrased talking about anything. I think it just depends on who you are talking to.

  • amanda walsh

    March 26, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Peeing when I cough!! Should of listened to the midwife about those pelvic floors!!

  • Nicola

    March 26, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Before having my little girl talking about anything to do with private parts would have been am arising now it’s not so much!


    March 27, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    When I first suffered with thrush although after 4 children there is nothing I’m embarrassed talking about

  • Monica Gilbert

    March 28, 2016 at 12:14 am

    I’m not embarrassed taking about breastfeeding, which is something I never thought I’d do.

  • Greig spencer

    March 28, 2016 at 11:23 am


  • Rachel Butterworth

    March 28, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Bladder problems.

  • Kay Panayi

    March 28, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Too much wind

  • Polly

    March 28, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    After four kids I’ve no qualms at all taking about my lady bits ?

  • Michelle Cheeseman

    March 28, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    When younger it would be contraception and sexual health.

  • Sarah Anguish

    March 29, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Contraception, after each baby I cringe at having that conversation with my GP – it’s like telling my parents that my husband and I have sex (obviously they know this but I don’t need to tell them out loud)

  • Jayne Townson

    March 29, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Anything to do with sex or the toilet.

  • jemma dwyer

    March 29, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    metal health problems

  • Stephanie Coals

    March 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Periods and contraception

  • Jessica Howliston

    March 29, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Periods and post pregnancy pains!

  • Jo Hutchinson

    March 29, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Anything to do with toilet habits.

  • Cheryl Price

    March 30, 2016 at 5:04 am

    A weak bladder problem, might not sound much but sometimes even walking is a problem

  • Becci cleary

    March 30, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Having wind after a C-Section…. I didn’t know it was normal ???

  • EJ Dunn

    March 31, 2016 at 9:28 am

    I’m actually far more embarrassed discussing my mental health than my physical health. I think a lot of people are still judgemental.

  • EJ Dunn

    March 31, 2016 at 9:34 am

    I would put it towards the Michael Kors Jet Set Item Tote Bag

  • chantelle hazelden

    March 31, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I would say anything to do with sex always ends up embarassing me.

  • Lauren Old

    March 31, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Always get embarrassed talking to the doctor about anything!

  • Kristyn Harris

    April 1, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Piles! Ouch! *Cringe*

  • jude dysart

    April 1, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    umm, anything down below

  • Sue Bowden

    April 1, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Not a lot these days x

  • jessica cook

    April 1, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    nothing! don’t keep things bottled up be open 🙂

  • Sheri Darby

    April 1, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Very little these days

  • Debbie Preston

    April 1, 2016 at 9:18 pm


  • Caroline Signey

    April 1, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Since having children, nothing!

  • sharon cunningham

    April 1, 2016 at 11:26 pm


  • Lisa Jones

    April 2, 2016 at 12:18 am

    My hairiness !

  • Susan Trubey

    April 2, 2016 at 6:19 am


  • Laura Pritchard

    April 2, 2016 at 9:14 am

    I used to be embarrassed to talk about my faddy eating habits but now I’m just honest about it.

  • Rachael Walton

    April 2, 2016 at 10:18 am


  • Victoria Prince

    April 2, 2016 at 10:29 am

    It used to be periods! Though these days nothing really embarrasses me – been there, done that, life!

  • Alison Macdonald

    April 2, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Female masturbation 🙂 always a little bit uncomfortable discussing it!

  • Donna Foxall

    April 2, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Piles in pregnancy 🙁

  • Susan B

    April 2, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Bowels. Who wants to hear about someone else’s bowels?

  • Emma Walton

    April 2, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I found it a little difficult to talk about sex with my GP.


    April 2, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Crohns disease sadly runs in our family so poo and bowels are a regular topic of conversation. The sex life of my parents is where I draw the line though!

  • Jennifer Rhymer

    April 2, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    When I was pregnant I often had an itch ‘down there’ and would just buy over the counter Canesten. I told the pharmacy I had discussed it with the midwife, which I hadn’t!

  • joanna butler-savage

    April 2, 2016 at 3:51 pm


  • Jill f

    April 2, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Anything to do with the private bits

  • olivia Kirby

    April 2, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Toilet business!

  • Hayley Colburn

    April 2, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Talking about bowel movements and gas etc embarrasses me a little still


    April 2, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Nothing really, bit its embarrasing when you fanny fart

  • Samantha Atherton

    April 2, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I don’t think I’m really embarrassed at all to talk about anything body related, after all we’ve all got one and fundamentally they all work pretty much the same way.

  • Zoe Warren

    April 2, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    IBS symptoms. Not anymore though, takes a lot to embarrass me now!

  • Emma Ferguson

    April 2, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Definitely talking about bowel issues e.g constipation

  • Helen Gilbert

    April 2, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    The older I get the less embarrassed I am.. being happy and healthy is more important

  • Angela Williams

    April 2, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    talking about stress incontinance

  • Jayne K

    April 2, 2016 at 10:00 pm


  • Rebecca Smith

    April 2, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Periods/smear tests anything around that region. that all changes once you’ve had a child!

  • Andrea Johnson

    April 3, 2016 at 12:05 am

    periods will always be gross

  • Michelle Wild

    April 3, 2016 at 12:31 am

    Everything till I had a child.

  • Nat Thomason

    April 3, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Stress incontinence but I’m used to it now hope to have an op 🙂

  • Kirsty Woods

    April 3, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Nothing bothers me, i can talk about anything

  • Allan Fullarton

    April 3, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Nothing, it doesn’t bother me.

  • liz ferguson

    April 3, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Nothing really!

  • Pauline Dring

    April 3, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Depression is hard to talk about because a lot of people think you should just get on with it and make out everything is just fine.

  • lia sturman

    April 3, 2016 at 11:37 am

    about bodyhair

  • Dale Dow

    April 3, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    sexual relations after birth

  • Pauline Black

    April 3, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I don’t really get embarrassed about anything. I’m quite open about most things. !

  • MichelleD

    April 3, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Anything to do with going to the loo!

  • Cerys John

    April 3, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Not a lot 🙂

  • Rennene Hartland

    April 3, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Nothing i can say that embarrasses me

  • LoobyLee

    April 3, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Anything to do with lady plumbing

  • Sheila Reeves

    April 3, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Used to be embarrassed talking about getting Thrush, there was a lot less info about it when I was young & I was worried what would be said if I discussed it

  • Tracey Belcher

    April 3, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    I have not really struggled with discussing anything as yet – but i am sure my time will come


    April 3, 2016 at 6:56 pm


  • Sara Owen

    April 3, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    I used to always get embarrassed talking about smear test

  • Karl Borowy

    April 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    toilet stuff or death

  • Jackie Rushton

    April 3, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    I am embarrassed to talk about sex

  • Keri Jones

    April 3, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    I’m not really embarrassed to talk about anything. I used to be embarrassed to talk about UTI’s. I used to get them a lot when I was younger and I heard someone say they were a result of lots of sex. I was a virgin at the time, lol x

  • Kay Broomfield

    April 3, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Money. I think it’s vulgar when people start discussing who earns what and who owns what!

  • Matt Brasier

    April 3, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Nothing really!

  • Dawn Wilkinson

    April 3, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Talking about sex with anyone but close family and friends. Some people seem to want to tell me allsorts.

  • Natalie Crossan

    April 3, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Sex :/

  • Jacqueline Roberts

    April 3, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Talking about money I hate it, think it’s something you should keep to yourself.

  • Fletchmagic

    April 3, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    It has to be haemorrhoids or bladder weakness in the first two weeks post birth …. still all worth it!

  • Claire Ward

    April 3, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Issues with heavy periods

  • Louise Fairweather

    April 3, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Another one for periods here. Never liked talking about them.

  • Vickie Jackson

    April 3, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Discharge! And bodily fluids…. Even now it still gets me a bit embarrassed :/

  • Karen Howden

    April 3, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Not really embarrassed about talking about anything. Topic at work last week was my dogs testicles

  • tracy sinclair

    April 3, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    I was always embarrassed to talk about the time of the month problems, still am in a way, my own mother never talked to me about them when I was young, actually never, so I think that’s why, though I’m not as bad now, since I’ve had kids x

  • Leanne Bell

    April 3, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    The lovely symptoms/effects that come with being pregnant x

  • Leila Benhamida

    April 3, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    The subject I am embarrassed to talk about is my prolapse. I neglected the advice giving by the midwife of pelvis floor

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