Embarrassed – Interview with Hollie McNish

Embarrassed || Spoken Word by Hollie McNish

I shared this spoken word poem a few days ago and my feelings have not changed. I still think HELL YES every time I watch (maybe 15 times no OK maybe more like 20).  I can relate… as I fed my oldest in many bathrooms and corners. To the point when I couldn’t find a place to hide I wouldn’t nurse at all I resorted to a bottle. Yet with my second according to the words of many friends ” we have seen it all”

That’s why when I listened to this poem I had to talk to her. Ideally I would have loved to sit face to face and maybe given her a hug or two, or maybe even three. I would have probably listened to her and had been so focus on her and her words Hollie may have felt was just a tad bit creepy. Yet sadly she is located across the pond. So had to settle for writing back and forth. Which even to her answers I would screamed in my head “HECK YES!”. Some of those screams may have exited my mouth.

Now on to the interview… Thank you again Hollie!

Who are you and what do you do?

My name’s Hollie and I’m a person, a woman, a mum, a girlfriend, a daughter! I write a lot of poetry and read it out for my job now. I also look after my daughter, tour and don’t sleep much anymore.

Where are you from?

From Reading, South of England, with a Glaswegian family, mum and dad both Scottish.

What do you do for fun when you are not writing?

I play with my daughter, go to the park, make soil castles, trampoline, football, read, see friends, go dancing.

When did you start doing spoken word?

When I was about 24 – I wrote poems since I was little and had about 300 in various books but didn’t want to share them with anyone until my boyfriend forced me!

What Inspired you to write Embarrassed?

Sitting on a toilet feeding my daughter staring at the toilet door which had a poster for a local hiphop night with a girl in a gold bikini the size of a marble. All good, but made me think, fuck this, why the hell am I sitting in here. It stinks and I feel like shit for something I know is a good thing to do.

Do you NIP( Nurse in Public) now? Why were you nursing in the bathroom, was there an incident that caused you to feel like you had to? (question credit going to Mandy)

From insecurity, embarrassment, because I had a few comments made about staying at home. I did a gig – on the poetry judging panel for a young persons competition and had to feed my daughter in the break – she was 2 months old and it was my first gig after birth. I was in a back room, away from the audience but with 3 other male poets, also judging, in the same room, on the other side. After I fed her, one of them said “I think it was too early for you to do this – and he was the guy that bloody booked me for the gig cos they’d once again ‘forgotten to get a female judge!!!”.

I am confident about some things, but not about parenting so much. When I was on my own I used to go hide – when I was with my partner, mum etc it was completely different. I fed my daughter partially till she was 2, I don’t anymore cos she prefers watermelon and apples now!! And yes, I did feed her in public a lot – cafes, restaurants, at festivals – though never completely comfortably, which annoys me still.

What words do you have for nursing moms who may feel uncomfortable nursing in public due to what others may think?

If you want privacy because you just do want privacy, don’t feel bad. But remember that all your insecurities are only their since companies came along. And most people who look at you are not looking in a bad way, they’re just looking, glancing, whatever. They’re probably thinking good things. I think I too often assumed people were looking in a bad way when they weren’t. The more you do it, the more other people will do it too.

Photo credit Kim Leng Hills Photography
Photo credit Kim Leng Hills Photography

Hollie You have any moms including myself who want to tell you THANK YOU!

Check out more of Hollie HERE


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