An accidental what?

I’m going to be honest: I’m not entirely sure whether I made up the term “willow-weaver”. Googling ‘willow-weaver’ produces as its top hits Youtube tutorials on basket-weaving. However, it’s a concept I have had in my mind for years, perhaps the result of something mis-heard in childhood. I have long known what a willow-weaver should look like: a true hippy in the 1980s style, baggy jeans and flowers in hair. In terms of what they do, the defining characteristics of my invented willow-weaver have always been associated with parenting: they do things like use cloth nappies, and plan – or hope – for an experience of childbirth which actively avoids the wonders of modern pain relief such as epidurals.

I do not have flowers in my hair, and the closest I ever got to baggy jeans was a pair of (awesome) flares in the 90s. However, towards the end of my pregnancy with my daughter, I caught myself pre-washing a pile of reusable nappies in between adding phrases like ‘please do not offer me an epidural’ to my birth plan, which I was working on in concert with my doula, and I realised that I had become an Accidental Willow-Weaver. I chose the term as the title of this blog to capture my amused surprise at how far the expectations that my younger self had about parenting have been overturned by the reality.

So, this blog won’t tell you much about basket-weaving, but, if you’re the kind of person who never thought you’d be the kind of person to use cloth nappies, or wear your baby in a woven sling, or use essential oils as a ‘comfort measure’ in labour, but find yourself doing it anyway… well, maybe you’re the kind of person this blog might be of use or interest to.