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Life with Lavendar in London town

Friday, 24 June 2011

Motherhood: It's Not all Apples.

When I was six months pregnant, I registered myself for an NCT Early Days postnatal course. Mistakenly thinking it was a course about childcare, I who had only changed a nappy once in my life pre Dragon, thought I would need all the help I could get.

Turns out I should've read the fine print. Early Days is actually a course for the mother. I quote my course leader:

Post birth, all the attention is on the baby. How is the baby? What should I do with the baby? Well what about the mother? She's going through a lot too. But no-one really asks about her. This course is for the mother. A place where she can discuss and examine how motherhood is impacting upon her.  After all, when a baby is born, so is a mother.

Great!  I thought. I'm in the right place.

I looked at all the faces around me and wondered what their stories were.

It turns out that most of their stories were the same. Shiny, happy love stories. Blissed up with baby stories. My life is complete stories.

It really pissed me off.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: The Veneer of Motherhood.

Is this what a good mother does? Dress identically to her children? Freaky.

Of course we all love our babies. Otherwise we would have killed them all by now for the torture of those early days/weeks/months. Let me tell you, the ONLY thing that keeps a baby alive when it allows you no sleep,  tears the skin off your nipple with her mouth, screams for hours at a time, ad infinitium (insert your trauma here), the only thing that keeps that baby alive is LOVE.

So it's a given that we love our babies.Would dive into a burning lake filled with vomit for them. Would throw ourselves in front of a stampede of mating brumbies for them (insert corny cliche here) 

But ladies, until that time comes when we must face the brumbies, let's do ourselves a favour and tell it like it is. I don't care how you put it. Changing twenty nappies a day is not blissful. Say it aloud. No-one is going to cart you off to the looney bin. Social services isn't going to come knocking. You are not a bad mother.

You are normal.

Going through a very normal, albeit, brutal rite-of-passage towards becoming a parent. The very core of your identity is shape shifting and that's gotta hurt at times.

But don't tell me its all fairy floss and rainbows. Just tell the truth.

1 comment:

Shivani said...

so totaly agre with u. i wonder why people give me the strange look, or even worse, the silent treatment when I make the tiniest of complaint about being tired or wanting some normalcy back. Am i supposed to forget that I was a successful outgoing fun loving individual and adopt th role of a dull, no personality housewife, just because i have a baby? well done u for writing this!