Picture the scene. It’s Six forty five on a Saturday morning. The house resembles a subsidiary of the Eccles and Hulme tip. It is a bomb site. It literally looks like we were up all night with six thousand of our closest friends and their newborn babies enjoying an all night sit in feeding rave. There are three milk bottles on the arm of the sofa, slowly beginning to curdle. There are sleep suits and vests, miniature trousers and jumpers and dummies and wipes, tea towels and bibs splattered in every direction of the once tidy room. Man sized socks stuffed down the side of the fire place (I’ll kill him). Towels directly out of the drier sit forgotten in a pile on the kitchen work top, there are dog biscuit crumbs all over the once-blue but now grayish spit up stained, living room carpet. It’s like the dog feels too good to eat in the hallway and insists on carrying his tiny bone-shaped biscuits, one at a time, in to the living room and munching them on the carpet where he can watch the show. His version of a doggy TV dinner, if you will. The show, of course being a bedraggled and smelly overweight woman, her hair tied back with a pair of old knickers, sitting like a creaky kneed elephant on a crusty old sofa. The baby’s breakfast is all over her top, she sits squinting through one contact lense (didn’t have time to put both in) while clutching a cup of coffee like her life depended on it, and a squirming baby. Mickey mouse is on the TV in the corner dancing and prancing around inviting his viewers to ‘come inside, its fun inside’
‘Oh bugger off’ she mutters under her breath.
Because really? What does Mickey know?
It’s me, by the way, as if you hadn’t figured it out. Im the overweight dumbo wannabe, currently sitting on the sofa with Addison, watching Mickey Mouse attempting to locate his club house. Addison evidently loves Mickey and is kicking and flailing about like an over caffeinated octopus. I got up at 5.45 this morning, with the intention of getting some much needed house work done while the baby slept, but find myself, like I usually do, sat catatonic on the crusty vomit stained (once magnificent) sofa, staring avidly at nothing in particular while devising a few choice places Mickey Mouse can stick his clubhouse, and reminiscing on what I thought motherhood was supposed to be like. Back in the ‘innocent and naïve’ days.
I’m not in a bad mood. I’m just exhausted. Being awake at five forty five on a Saturday morning is not what I signed up for. Leaky boobs, fat thighs and sleepless nights is not what I signed up for. 3 stone overweight, losing hair from my head like an oversized malting Alsatian with creaky, broken knees is not what I signed up for. All my beautiful clothes being stretched to within an inch of their lives, walking round with more muffin top than a Greggs outlet while my size 10 jeans slag me off behind my back (I hear them every time I reach for my leggings) is not what I signed up for. I need to contact the motherhood union and explain in no uncertain terms this motherhood lark is not as easy as countless celebrities promised me it would be on the covers of glossy magazines.
And I have help. (I mean in the form of my other half, not an army of servants. And he is actually, as much as I hate to admit it, really rather good! Don’t tell him I said that.) It really makes me wonder how single mummies do it. Fair play and utmost respect to each and every single mother out there in the ‘mummy club.’ You are unsung heroes. Really you are. It also makes me wonder how teenagers manage. There is no way at the age of 17 I could have done this. Every time I see a young teenage girl walking down the road I have to fight the urge to run up to her and scream in her face ‘DON’T HAVE SEX!! JUST DON’T! YOU WONT ENJOY IT YET ANYWAY! HE WILL NOT ‘LOVE YOU MORE’ AND YOU COULD END UP LIKE ME! LOOK AT ME! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LOOK! (This is the point I would whip out my flappy belly and destroyed flower for all the world to see) ENJOY YOUR LIFE! FORGET SEX!’ but the sad fact is a lot of young people in my area get pregnant and have babies so they can get housing and not end up on the street. That is the country we live in, but Im not getting in to that.
So what did I sign up for? I signed up for a gorgeous basket ball bump, 10 months of people treating me like the queen, a perfectly short and painless labour, a perfect little pink bundle which slept right through, any weight I had put on would obviously drop from my chubby arse immediately, leaving me waif like with gorgeous thick, full hair. I would also clearly have the perfect little girl who I could dress in pretty pink outfits and show off while the paparazzi, so amazed at the beauty of my bundle, would swarm around me, making me millions and we would live happy ever after. (I always wondered what it would be like to be famous and this was my daydream after all.) But alas, I am not famous. At all. Unless you count that one night at the Chinese karaoke where I fell off the stage and exposed my breasts to an entire room of cheering and slightly drunken business men.
So imagine my surprise when I did not have the perfect basket ball bump, but instead I piled on fat everywhere! I piled on fat in places I didn’t know existed. On a bad day, up until the 32 week stage and depending on what I was wearing you were hard pressed to even see the bump I had so desperately wanted to show off. (And then came 32 weeks and I began to resemble Mr. Greedy.) And then the labour. Oh god, don’t even talk to me about the labour. My waters broke on Thursday the 2nd of April and 65, yes sixty five hours later I still hadn’t managed to push the little monster out. I can’t talk too much about this. I truly believe I am still suffering with some sort of post traumatic stress disorder. I do remember though at the time, legs spread, gas and air in hand, 63 hours in, shouting at my other half ‘I have present traumatic stress syndrome. I do. I need some counseling NOW!. Never mind a doctor, Get me a therapist!’ to which he had had the audacity to reply that he understood. Really? REALLY?
A close friend who recently admitted she is pregnant, asked me while we were having lunch last week, what labour felt like. Now this is dodgy ground. I remember asking this of many mums when I was pregnant. I remember thinking, if they told me I could prepare myself mentally. But the stock answer always seemed to be ‘you’ll be fine’ or ‘I can’t remember’.
At the time it really wound me up. I felt like there was some sort of conspiracy! I wanted to yell ‘I can handle the truth just tell me!’ But I have to admit, when my friend asked me, I finally understood why I had been lied to. Because honestly? You don’t forget that pain. You may not be able to describe it, but you don’t bloody forget it. I just couldn’t do it to her. So I muttered, (looking everywhere but in her eyes) ‘It’s not that bad. And it’s really quick in comparison to the REST OF YOUR LIFE, you’ll be fine, I can’t really remember. Just enjoy being pregnant.’ which may have been a lie but in my mind was a lot kinder than ‘It’s absolutely horrific and excruciating. The stuff horror films are made of, imagine your worst nightmare, double it and while you’re at it try to imagine shitting a watermelon out of your bum hole, ring sting included.’ Or as my cousin summed up six hours post birth last week ‘if the pain had got any worse I’m sure I would have died’ (In this instance I feel the truth would definitely not have set her free)
I also signed up for a girl. So when Babywoo finally decided the time was right and made a bid for freedom, I was shocked to see, she’d had the nerve to show up with a willy! I had a boy! No pretty pink outfits for me. Football, mud and worms, that’s what little boys are made of, that’s what I was destined for! Bloody football, mud and worms.
But oh god he was gorgeous. A squirming mass of gorgeousness lying in my arms, grabbing my finger and staring up at me. The absolute most amazing, breathtaking moment of my life was seeing him for the first time. My other half and I had discussed prior to my labour starting, do you think you will cry when you see the baby for the first time? The response he had given me was ‘Me? Cry? I haven’t cried for years, I doubt it.’ Enter stage right a blubbering lump of mush who goes by the name of daddy. (or ‘dick head’ on the odd occasion too.) He was crying like a little girl. He cried more than I did! The midwife had to shout his name twice to remind him to cut the cord.
So I suppose it’s not all bad. I suppose this motherhood lark, albeit one great big challenge (banana crisis included) is hugely enjoyable. And I suppose the weight will drop off eventually. And I suppose if I have to, really have to, I can smile my way through the sleepless nights and the five forty five on a Saturday morning get ups.
But I do wish sometimes magazines like HEAT and OK! would stop printing these stories of what motherhood in an ideal world is like, then maybe I would have been slightly more mentally prepared. Although saying that, I suppose if they did, the human race would die out. Because I suppose you have to go through the crap you didn’t sign up for to truly enjoy the moments you did sign up for.
Like tomorrow we are going swimming for the first time and I can’t wait! Addison has just gone down for his nap. Ive had a shower, tidied up a bit and feel a little more human. My other half and I are sat admiring him while cuddling up on the sofa. He’s hugging me with such lovely closeness. The mother of his baby. I’m the mother of his son! How special am i! It’s nice to get some mammy and daddy time too sometimes. We are so lucky. A happy, healthy, beautiful little boy and I…….what’s that ? Sex?
You have got to be kidding!