Riona O Connor - The Unnatural Woman

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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Dull Dull Motherhood

Yesterday I was so terribly bored I ate four Cadburys cream eggs. FOUR. 

I love my life, I love my husband, I love my baby, I love my family, I love my friends and I love my fledgling down-in-the-trenches-with-the-other-new-mummy friendships. But holy shit I’m so bored sometimes.

It’s not the sitting around twiddling my thumbs kind of boredom. I wish I had the time honey! It’s the monotonous treadmill-like boredom that is the endless routine of caring for another human being 24 hours a day and having zero time for myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I think my son is God like and unmatched in his glorious wonderfulness – he is without doubt the best thing that’s happened to this desperately wobbly woman. But STILL, cleaning his neck cheese, feeding him, entertaining him and trying not to eat my own eyes with the moaning, lets face it, is not that interesting all of the time!!! I long for distraction, scandal, something to get excited about other than how many poos were done in a day! I just hadn’t prepared myself  for this aspect of motherhood.  It’s something I need to address as my son really is rather bloody awesome and I don’t want to give him a bad rep so early on!  So, on the evenings I’m not melting from brain numbness, I’m going to take advantage of this newfound 7pm bedtime routine and do something other than exhaustedly watching Coronation Street while drinking Baileys*.  Henceforth you are presented with some motherhood discoveries. 

You can’t win, so don’t try. 

No matter what you decide re feeding, sleeping, clothing, bathing or travelling with your baby, someone will be doing the opposite.  There will be opinions.  Big, shouty OPINIONS about how what you’re doing is so SO wrong and very VERY dangerous.  Your baby is too hot, too cold, too loud, too quiet, too clingy, too demanding, too whiney, too hungry, too fat, too lazy, too distant or too needy.  Watch out Moms!!! Your tiny baby is manipulating you!!! Clever clever babies who haven’t yet figured out how to wipe their own arses are as we speak, Stewie like, pouring over graphs deciphering how best to get what they want out of their weak, guileless mommies.
  Bastards!!!  I find myself still looking for reassurance from others about how what I’m doing is OK, and the vast majority of the time, all I get is wonderful support and encouragement.  But of course, like a bad review, it’s the dodgy comments you remember, ruminate on, have arguments in the mirror about before attempting outrage then finally descending into defeated, needy tears.  So, like Arnold Schwarzenegger says, ignore the bad reviews and feck the feckers who are judging you.  At least that’s what I imagine someone who rose to the top in three careers while still being a bit of a shit in real life yet we love him anyway would say. 

Something will tip you over the edge. 

Now, you might be nailing this motherhood thing. You might be swanning about to classes and groups, with a fed, clean, non crying baby, no vomit on your jumper and fresh knickers on. You might, ladies, just MIGHT be feeling pretty good about keeping your helpless little newborn alive for so long. You are spinning a million plates in the air and you are working your cellulite-ridden arse off to keep them there with a smile on your face. The thing is, when you are using all your energy and concentration up spinning plates, when a fork is introduced it can go tits up pretty quickly! My fork was a spider. I have arachnophobia like you wouldn’t believe! I was keeping my shit together magnificently until I encountered a David Guest like spider in my kitchen. In that its so wrong looking you run away confused, crying and screaming, making deals with the devil if only he’ll never let you see that image again. I ran all the way into London and sat, shaking in the safety of the John Lewis café with my 8 week old baby until friends came to rescue me from myself. Your fork could be anything! It could be your bathroom flooding, an unkind word, or even a KIND word. It has been known for something so little to send the knackered-haven’t-slept-in-months-and-I-don’t-know-what-silence-is-anymore-and-this-all-consuming-responsibility-is-hitting-me-like-a-20-stone-weigh-in people among us to break the fuck down. So, put some fresh knickers on (or at least turn them inside out), step over the piles of crap on your floor, hug your baby and move on. It’ll happen again and WE’LL BE FINE!

Your entire life is now ‘Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade’

You began parenthood like any good flashback. All the crap bits are edited out. You are fresh faced and dewy eyed, full of hope and idealism. This wonderful treasure pops into you life and the need to worship and protect it is strong. Before you know it – even though everyone told you this would happen – you are SHOCKED to find that this treasure leads to lots of screaming and poo where sleep is a non starter, not unlike being in the zoo, if it were on a train perhaps. A fast moving train that never, ever ends. Imagine the constant NOISE and the overpowering SMELL. You now realise that you will do anything, absolutely anything to find the Holy Grail of how to get your baby to Not-Cry-Ever and How-To-Sleep-Through-The-Night. The first bit of your journey is a lovely one. You are catapulted smack bang into the city of all consuming love, the Venice of new born baby adoration. Never mind that you spend half your time in the stinking sewer surrounded by rats. It’s VENICE for crying out loud. You can’t be pissed off at Venice! Yet despite wading through hours of sewer poo, your journey doesn’t end there, oh no. It’s gets worse. You’re suddenly in Castle Nazi and baby is head Nazi, in charge of your every move. Even your suave, capable James Bond of a parent is helpless in the clutches of this little Hitler. You attend a book burning for baby books as there are too many of them, and they all say something different anyway, but even then it doesn’t end. You’re so sleep deprived you feel like you’re floating in some weird air ship of tiredness hovering above a world which you are completely disconnected from. At the end of your tether you find a mecca to this grail - in my case this was Mummy and Baby groups! You follow every clue to The Grail to the letter, sometimes falling into empty voids of despair gripping the sides of reality for dear life, or trying to decipher the crazy language with a gurgle alphabet that baby speaks or taking leaps of faith into the great abyss of gut instinct. Finally, FINALLY you arrive, sweaty and breathless with nothing left to give but your heart and soul and …… YOU’VE DONE IT!!! You get The Grail. Your baby has spent a whole day with no moaning and has slept through the night!!! Oh sweet, glorious sleep! Thank you world!!!

Wait… whats that noise?... It’s the middle of the night… NO! You’ve pushed it too far… You’ve dared to TELL SOMEONE that baby slept through the night and didn’t cry once…. 1am : Waaaah. 3am : Waaaaaah. 5am : Waaaaaah. 6am : MORNING MOMMY, Waaaaah! That’s right, everything starts crumbling and tumbling down all around you. Everything you have learned on this journey is redundant, over, caput. Baby is starting a new story, a new leap, he’s rolling, soon to be crawling and soon to be walking. It’s a whole new ballgame. Let's just hope it’s not as crap and alien riddled as the last Indiana Jones movie was...

*I reserve the right to watch Coronation Street while drinking Baileys at least once a week. Sometimes you need to numb your brain with adult mush as well as baby mush.

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