Yet Another Mother Blog…

1 May

Yes. I’m a mother. Me! Fancy that. The wondrous, amazing, fulfilling, be-all-and-end-all of everything. My sole reason for existence. The pinnacle of womanhood. Oh, let me bask in the unbridled joy!

Or not.

I am not an Earth Mother, as the excellent @DadBlogUK once commended me for. I’m not spiritual about motherhood at all. Even the term Earth Mother makes me internally cringe and think of mums wearing tie dye and crystals, obsessed with placenta omelettes or the like. A World Of No.

In honesty, I never really analyse the emotional meaning of motherhood. I don’t feel a deep tribal bond with other mums, purely because we’ve all pushed tiny humans out of our vaginas. I just don’t care about that shit. I’m just getting on with it. I enjoy it. But…

I am not gleefully happy to be up to my knuckles in human faeces or picking lumps of vomit off of my daughter’s sheets at 11pm. I don’t take joy in cleaning splattered soggy vegetables off of my shoes or wet wiping stains off my jeans and, oh yeah, I’d rather not leave the house with regurgitated milk unwittingly decorating the back of my black jacket. If I had the option.

I’d rather my belly wasn’t the consistency of 3 day old blancmange.

I miss sleeping late.

I miss exotic action packed holidays.

I miss getting properly hammered on red wine.

I miss having a disposable income, city breaks and really late nights that are actually fun. I miss Sundays in the pub, spontaneity and having time to read the paper.

I’m not afraid or ashamed to admit I miss aspects of my old pre-baby life. It doesn’t mean I don’t love and cherish my baby daughter. It doesn’t mean I resent or regret her in any way. I don’t.

It just means I’m still me. Not just Mummy. I didn’t leave my personality at the maternity ward. My likes and dislikes haven’t automatically changed just because I had a baby. I’m still the same person I was, just with shifted priorities and responsibilities.

The way I see it, you have 3 options.

1. Completely sacrifice your entire life to parenting your kids and end up living vicariously through them and have no autonomy at all.

2. Somehow shoehorn your kids into your life with little consideration for what’s best for them and their development.

3. Continue to be the normal successfully functioning human being you always were by making sensible decisions. Aim to strike a happy balance between what’s best for your kid(s) and what’s best for you.*

* Option 3 does require you to accept that your life isn’t going to be fucking perfect. Because it was perfect before you had a kid, right? Oh.

BREAKING NEWS!
Everyone’s life gets turned base over apex when they have their first kid. Everyone feels out of their depth. Why wouldn’t you?

Months of pregnancy and the constant changes, expectations and research just can’t prepare you. Then, what is at best, the painful, bloody, overwhelming and bizarre experience of labour.

Whatever you do, you can not be ready. I was being wheeled into theatre after 2 days of labour, only to think “HOLY SHIT. I’M HAVING A FUCKING BABY! NOW! OHMYGOD. HOW HAS THIS HAPPENED? SHIIIIIIIIIT!” It was as if the thought hadn’t truly occurred to me at all before then.

So, it’s all going to be a bit tense, a bit weird and a very, very steep learning curve.

I said a thousand times “But I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing!” But what I do know now, a year in, is that if you have half a brain you just need to make an educated guess, do what seems right at the time and be willing to try something different if it all goes tits up. Which it probably will at some point.

The women who say its all amazing and wonderful are either lying, kidding themselves or psychopaths. Or they have mums or a nanny constantly on hand to help them through the brutal sleepless nights, the seemingly endless colic, the exhaustion, the emotional bulldozer that is new motherhood.

Essentially, it’s not easy.
It gets easier.
Then everything changes and it gets difficult again.
Then it gets easier.
Repeat for 18+ years.
Sigh.

Everyone has their own opinions, prejudices and advice about how you should feed/sleep train/wean/discipline your child. Take what suits you and file the rest under ‘Couldn’t Give A Toss’.

Do what YOU think is best.

Every mouthy tart has a blog and none of us really know any better than anyone else. Especially about YOUR kid.

So, that’s my first blog post. The next one will be about breast feeding. Which is pretty damned important seeing as it’s so clearly a matter of life or death which will define you as a mother and decide the entire future health of your baby. Or something.

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