Updated: Aug 20, 2021
October 2nd - 2018
“The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable.” - Lane Olinghouse
I have wanted to write for the longest time, but as a full-time mamma my days aren’t even interesting to me, let alone anyone else. “Baby brain” is getting in the way of me holding a thought for more than a millisecond, and I feel so emotionally exhausted it’s difficult to muster up the energy to even begin to articulate what’s going on inside of me.
Being a mother is hands down, without a doubt, indubitably the most challenging experience I have ever had in life. Most of the time I look at my daughter in awe, and cannot resist the temptation to pull her in for a squeeze and a sniff. Other days, I quite honestly feel like sending her fast post to her grandparents in Italy. I feel so overwhelmingly desperate for a day off, to re-gather my self and screw my head back on straight.
Now when I see smug looking pregnant women wandering around stroking their bellies I feel this urge to run up and warn them. Like sista, spend the next days/months reading, having baths, going to movies, napping on the sofa, doing everything you love to do, including relaxing while you have a poo, because shit is about to hit the fan. Quite literally.
I bumped into my nosey neighbour this morning who has this uncanny way of exiting his door at the same exact time as I am. I’m usually stumbling out trying to get a heal in my shoe or fumbling with laces, while dropping keys, and throwing rice crackers or a bottle of milk at Anna to coerce her into the pram quietly. This morning was no exception, although I think Anna was squawking louder than usual and I had her doll (bubba) under one arm, and nappies falling out of my jacket pocket. He asked me how I was. I peered through my untamed hair to say, “I’m alive”. “Well that’s something!” he said far too enthusiastically, “I’m off to play the organ at the funeral of a 45 year old woman who dropped dead waiting for her husband to bring her a cup of tea in bed. Count your blessings girl!” he said skipping off. I knew he was right, but I must be honest. As I watched him toddle off in his annoyingly jolly mood, I visualised myself tripping him up. I wasn’t in the mood for counting my blessings, I was too firmly rooted in my shit fit.
I look at my old life, and those living it with great confusion. What once felt important now feels incredibly trivial. On the rare occasions I flick trough Instagram, I stagger away from it feeling slightly baffled. Has it always been like this, or has everyone gone stark raving mad!? I‘m no longer convinced there is a purpose for me to be a part of it, other than to laugh at @hurrahforgin who is doing a stellar job at truth speaking, and making me pee my pants slightly with her incredible sarcastic battered mum humour.
I miss my yoga practice. My shoulders and neck are so tight from previously breast feeding and now carrying 10 kgs around in one arm while preparing food, or post pram meltdowns, that I wake up with tightness and numbness in my fingers. When I do make it onto the mat, I am at the mercy of a one year old. I’m as good as a jungle gym. I have animal jigsaw puzzles piled up on top of my belly during ab exercises, I am utilised as a tunnel in dolphin and down-dog, climbed on during bridge pose, hugged and smooched for an inordinate amount of time during up-dog, and have my hair tugged, twisted and torn during Savasana. I also have a lot of toys to navigate around on my mat and was almost beaten into concussion with two wooden maracas in the weekend. It’s hazardous.
I miss sleep (although I get a hell of lot more than I used to), going to the toilet alone, preparing food without a child clawing at my legs wanting to be picked up, having something non baby related to talk about, shopping in a shop rather than online (I am failing miserably at shopping online), and I miss my mum. That’s the thing about having a baby. It appears that no matter how a relationship is between mother and daughter, there’s this unspoken understanding after bringing a human being into the world. Like shit Ma, I totally get it!
I don’t mind saying that I think my mum is getting great pleasure from watching me get my own back. Any comment I make about Anna locking me at eye level while dropping her food onto the floor, or mention of Anna’s insatiable desire to resist whatever she feels like she’s being forced to do, my mum begins to purse her lips, her eyes grin and she does this “mmmmh reminds me of someone I know…” thing.
Yup, if you want to see all your personality traits mirrored back at you, have a child. When a partner mirrors that stuff back at you, you can live in denial and call them a prick. In the reflection of your own child, there is nowhere to hide.
I can’t keep my clothes clean for more than half an hour. Find rubber fish in my PJ drawer, and light fixtures/heater knobs in the washing basket. I tidy one mess and find a trail of destruction leading to another one. I have almost lost an eye during a teeth brushing coaching session, and have been jarred by the experience of having a tiny finger rammed to the back of my nasal passage. I live on cold scraps of food in a bid for my daughter to eat the biggest, most nutritious meal possible, and I have developed a sixth sense. You know that sense that mothers have where they know exactly what is going down on the other side of the house? Yeah I have that. Super sonic hearing, x-ray vision and clairvoyance rolled into one.
I’m currently addicted to podcasts. I came to them on a quest to stimulate my brain and now can't get enough. Today I delved into Happy Mum Happy Baby and one of the mums, who after sharing her challenging experience being a mother, had the best way of describing the love for a child. “It’s like constantly having a crush on someone” she said. It is so incredibly true.
Despite the derangement, I’m crushing hard.