I was completely unprepared for motherhood.
Babies should come with a user manual. Or at the very least a helpful guide on how do deal with them. Like a car manual.
You wouldn’t believe how something so small could make so much noise. The lung capacity required to scream like babies scream would make any opera singer proud.
Midwives. Health Visitors. No one really readies you for the ‘journey’ ahead of you.
Dirty nappies, sleepless nights, rampaging hormones that swing from making you feel euphoric and elated one moment to practically homicidal the next. They’re all part and parcel of new born babies.
Now, sleepless nights, they’re the worst. You could almost cope with the hormones and the random crying (I once stood in the shower after having my daughter and sobbed uncontrollably because there was the smallest amount of shampoo left!) if you could get some sleep.
I dreaded the arrival of my daughter. I remember standing in my lounge looking at my perfectly clean home and thinking to myself ‘in about 3 weeks, this place is going to look like a bomb dropped on it’.
I am obsessively neat. My friends compare me to Monica from Friends. They mock me before they arrive for dinner and ask if my house is tidy. The scowl they get in response normally answers their question.
But I hate mess. I hate fluff or dust. And if something has a dedicated home then it should be returned to it when it’s been finished with and not left on the floor, table, window sill, sofa.
Motherhood was not going to suit me I could tell.
The Girl arrived on March 16th. A whole day early.
My immaculate home was soon overrun with nappy bins, piles of muslin squares, cute toys that rattled or squeaked, car seats, prams. I could barely see the floor. I lost track of what piles of babies clothes were clean and which ones were, well, covered in sick. Any attempt to leave the house had to be executed with military precision or the whole thing was a no-go.
But I coped. Just.
She’s 3 now and I naively believed that as she got older the mess would get less.
WHO THE HELL WAS I TRYING TO KID!
She’s got more crap stuff now than she’s ever had and she seems emotionally attached to each and every piece. And it doesn’t matter if she hasn’t played with in months, I still get told ‘Mummy, it’s my favourite from when I was a little baby’.
Uh huh. Nice try Blue Eyes.
J and I recently got rid of 4 black sacks full of toys and games. We even found an arm from a Mr Potato Head that has long since seen the bottom of our bin!
And pens. All colouring pens should be washable. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud The Girl’s creativity. What I do not applaud is spending hours having to wash the carpets, the dining room table or the walls because she didn’t the like colour they were.
Which reminds me – don’t EVER leave your child alone for, I don’t know, at all, when they have wax crayons. Crayons should be illegal (note to self – start campaign criminalising crayons). J and I went to France for a week with The Girl. She was unsupervised for exactly 4 minutes. Think about it, 240 seconds. Maximum. In that space of time she coloured in 2 meters of wall, the tiled floor, the outside brickwork of the house and the shutters with purple wax crayon. Which, for the record, does NOT wash off.
So no. I’m not Mary Poppins. I don’t have a bottomless handbag. Sometimes things aren’t supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. And sometimes it takes more than a spoonfull of medicine to navigate motherhood.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way