Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Welcome to the Mothership
It has been over fifteen months since my son Brendan was pulled and dragged into the world in the early hours of a surprisingly warm September morning. Fifteen of the most amazing, terrifying, fulfilling, and frankly mental months of my life.
When I was pregnant I planned to keep a diary of my experiences of motherhood. I imagined myself sitting at the dining table with my new-born swaddled in a Moses basket next to me. I'd be sipping a hot mug of tea (decaf obviously) whilst pouring my thoughts and feelings into my laptop like a little stream of precious nectar. My baby would coo and snuffle. I'd look at him and smile, and he'd gurn a gummy smile back before closing his eyes and falling into a perfect sleep.
Okay, okay, you can all stop laughing now.
Because as it turns out motherhood is really rather hard. At the beginning you're lucky if you manage to find your way out of your "at home clothes", which to be honest barely fit you anyway. Later, when sleep deprivation has a firm grip on you, you can't even fill in a repeat prescription form at the doctors, let alone string together a sequence of words that forms a coherent and meaningful sentence. Leaving the house just once a day becomes a goal, rather than a matter of course.
You and your partner will communicate in monosyllables... that's when you remember to communicate at all. Eventually a fault line will give and you'll have the most phenomenal argument about breadcrumbs and kitchen worktops and you'll throw slices of toast at each other before slamming some doors and waking up the baby you've just spent three hours trying to get to sleep.
And so my laptop gathered dust (along with everything else in the flat) while I focused on coping, and as the weeks and months passed I coped better and better. I got into my stride a little, tackled the cleaning (every now and then), the laundry (every damned day) and ventured forth with Brendan into the big wide world of baby sensory groups and NCT coffee mornings.
I met some amazing women and recognised the same look on their faces as on my own. I laughed with them, cried with them and on a couple of occasions got blind drunk with them. We all coped together, convening throughout the week to share our daily anxieties and joys.
Fast forward fifteen months and here I am on a train to the office. I work part time now and have re-entered the real world relatively successfully. And still I've yet to write a single word about it all. Until now.
And so I hope you enjoy my musings, little snippets of my new reality. If you've got kids I hope you find something to relate to. If you haven't yet, probably best to ignore everything I say... It's a doddle, really!