Days after having her daughter Rosie, Megan Gale left the newborn at home and ducked out for “a quick dinner date” with her fiancé Shaun Hampson.
The model, who had “about 10 minutes to get ready”, posted to Instagram a photo of her and AFL player Hampson ready to drive somewhere “three minutes” away from their house.
“Missing our babies but so important for parents to have some couple time when/if they can grab it,” wrote Gale, who also left son River, aged three, at home.
Yes, it is. A dose of adult conversation – invariably about the kids anyway – and a meal uninterrupted by a shaking bassinet is just what the obstetrician ordered.
Especially when one half of the couple has given up brie and booze for nine months, then delivered a human into the world, then dealt with the simultaneous arrival of hospital visitors and a milk supply.
Before she left Rosie and River with their “experienced and capable” grandmother, Gale “bathed, dressed, fed” and put the baby to bed.
She also expressed “enough milk for two feeds just in case”.
In other words, Gale did everything to make sure Rosie was in safe and loving hands, was full and happy and wouldn’t be irreversibly damaged by her parents leaving the house for a parma and pot.
But that wasn’t good enough for the self-satisfied, probably jealous, fun police who passed social media judgement on Gale for having the temerity to go out without a wailing barnacle.
That’s right. It seems that some people believe when a woman gives birth she still shouldn’t separate from her baby.
She shouldn’t go out and laugh over a wine with her partner, tired to her bones but exhilarated beyond belief by the new life she’s created.
She shouldn’t start finding her way back from miraculous incubator. She should be a martyr to her motherhood.
✨27-9-2017 2.39pm ✨ Hard to believe a week has passed since we welcomed our precious girl into the world and our lives. This photo was taken exactly a week ago while I was enjoying my first cuddle with her. She is yet to be officially named but we're getting close. 💖 @shampson_
A post shared by MEGAN GALE (@megankgale) on
So when Gale came home from the October 6 date and found comments on her post from “ignorant, judgemental people”, she defended herself with an edit.
(Just herself, by the way: the armchair haters didn’t include Hampson, as much of a new parent as Gale, in their sniping.)
“With River I barely left the house for the first six weeks, out of fear, out of guilt,” she wrote.
“And I lost a little part of myself and also developed what I now feel was a mild case of post-natal depression.”
She added: “Your comments don’t upset me, they just make me smile and make you look nasty.”
Gale’s good grace in the face of being told like a child – just after she’s done the one thing that surely stamps anyone as a fully-formed adult –how to run her family is fabulous.
At the Melbourne hospital where my children were born, there was a semi-official policy that new mothers checked their babies into the nursery and went out for dinner the night before they went home.
The meals were fast, the conversation was fragmented and the plastic hospital wristband a distracting reminder of the absent infant, but it was a lovely way to dip back into the post-pregnancy world.
Hours after having her second baby, a friend rose from her hospital bed and compered a comedy show. I couldn’t have done that – way too mired in joy and good drugs to think about being professional – but I tell her story with pride.
The point is she was in charge. She decided what worked for her and her family. So did Megan Gale– congratulations to her on showing her children early what a strong mother looks like.