When I initially wrote this, it was a rant. I was frustrated, so much so, that V read it and couldn’t really understand it! So here is the slightly modified, toned down version.
This is a post I don’t really want to write, but it makes me so upset. I think we need to work on it and I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling it.
When a first baby is born, a mother is born.
I cannot begin to explain it to you.
Perhaps you have forgotten.
Perhaps you have never known it.
But it is.
It comes with love and cuddles and warm, toasty feels.
Oh, all the feels I tell you.
But it also comes with clothes that don’t fit.
A weaker body.
A lumpier body.
Sleepless nights because you can hear his voice ringing in your ears.
Coupled with early mornings because those nuggets love sunlight.
It comes with little hands on pyjama pants that won’t let go. Because every couple of minutes they need a cuddle.
It comes with a less stimulating lifestyle.
Often a lonely lifestyle.
A demanding voice who wants what he wants and wants it now.
And we try. With so much patience. We mums try not to lose it. Try to keep it together, try not to hurt them and love them boundlessly.
Perhaps you might say, “Well why did you choose it?”.
For life of course. For life. And it’s not that we regret it.
But it’s simply that knowing it was coming,
or being in the dark about what it would be like
doesn’t make it any easier to stomach.
But you know what makes it hard?
You. My darling family. My darling friends. You.
When you call and it’s inconvenient to ask about my day.
You just want to see the baby move on Facetime.
I’ve seen this stuff all day. I might want some adult conversation. I want to hear about your day and with any luck, it will sound so interesting to my diaper, feed, sleep filled ears.
But it’s not about me (like the most of the day).
It’s about you, watching a baby move, hearing him coo, taking delight in his smile.
Because that is all you see.
You fail to see me. A kind person (I like to think) who is holding the phone, sending you updates and doing my best to keep the both of you connected.
That person, that mum, needs love and affection. Just like that child.
Yes me. Yes, any new mum. Any mum actually.
And you know what makes it hard?
Every time a mum complains about her child and she gets shot down. “He’s just a baby!”. “You need to be more gentle.” “It’s not that hard.” “It’s not a big deal”.
You know what. It is. Because no one I know has been with this ray of sunshine the way a mum has. So at the end of the day, he’s just a baby and I’m just a mum. I’m being as gentle as I can, even on the days that I’m falling apart and it is bloody hard. You either don’t remember or you’ve never done it.
And the truth is that most mums can take the criticism and the feedback.
I’m sure we all do, in serves.
We just absorb it and when you turn around, we might shed a tear or let out a sigh. We’re polite, you see, even when it hurts us so much, we don’t want to hurt you.
Be the ray of sunshine I need to make it through the day.
Because you can give all the love in the world to a child,
but if you don’t love his mum,
then that love doesn’t mean much to him.
I know it.
I’m my mother’s child after all.