An Honest Update
It’s been quite some time since I wrote, well… anything really. Some days Milo won’t free up either of my hands rendering writing impossible, other days I look like Waynetta Slob’s less fit sister and can barely walk in a straight line, let alone fashion a post. Now he’s been on the planet a few months and become a tad less needy, I can finally sit down and attempt to get some work done while he jumperoos the shit out of life.
The last six months have flown by. I stopped for a second to change into a slightly less manky nursing bra and Milo seems to have become half a year old. He’s currently learning how to sit up, food’s now being introduced (we gave in a bit early. We could feel his eyes burning into the sides of our heads like a particularly violent lazer beam whenever we ate dinner), and we’re settling back into a routine.
I do want to make this post as honest as possible though because I think it helps a heap if ‘mummy bloggers’ (hate that label by the way) all rise up together out of the baby sick and shout about the good as well as the bad. The knackering as well as the life-affirming. The totally shit as well as the amazing. It can make a difference (I think anyway) in helping you feel as though you’re coping as best you can.
Even while I write this, Milo’s squawking like a recently castrated sea lion in his jumperoo. He wants to be picked up, for no reason, and I’m trying to type like a normal human while ignoring him. On Instagram however, I just put up a really cute photo of him with our dog Gus, looking all adorable, with a cheery caption to stress how much of a brilliant life I lead. Because no-one needs to see reality on Instagram folks! It’s all about the clean and white.
Now obviously, none of us are stupid. We all know that just out of shot of each well-filtered photograph is all the crap you swept out the way. You can slant your hand all you like, we all still know there’s probably a chipped fingernail there somewhere. And that smile your baby’s wielding? Probably stopped the second after you took the photo. But it’s fun to pretend for a minute that you’ve got your shit together & that you definitely had a shower that morning, and didn’t Febreeze your top or dry shampoo your hair to death. I often get comments like ‘oh you always look so *insert compliment*’, ‘oh I’m so much worse at *insert something* than you!’ but honestly, we all have our off days. We really, really do.
So, I thought today I’d address something that I’m pretty crap at. I haven’t hugely suffered with the tiredness and got used to that pretty quickly. Which is a good thing really because Milo breastfeeds 5-6 times a night and we co-sleep. I haven’t struggled with having little time to myself, I wanted a baby and I knew (and was happy) that my life would need to adapt. Both Greg and I agreed early on we’d just try to keep up our usual adventures but include a baby, and that’s how our lives work. If Milo can’t come along, we don’t go. I didn’t struggle with stretch marks. Lost the baby weight easily.
The one thing I do struggle with however, is not being insane.
Not being that mum who wraps her child in hypoallergenic oxygen because cotton wool might not be safe enough.
I’m not hugely fussed if Milo comes into contact with germs etc. We have three dogs who lick their own balls, bums and dead rabbits so I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep everything as sterile as I’d like from the offset, so I’m a-ok with that. I’m happy for other children to stick their snot-ridden fingers all over Milo’s face and he can roll around the floor ’til he’s as happy as all the Larrys.
But I massively struggle with letting him out of my sight.
Greg and I *do* go out. We went to see Michael Buble 5 weeks after Milo was born (yes, we like his music thank you very much. It’s croony). We’ve been shopping and left him in the very capable hands of his grandparents and we’ve hung out at the top of a tree at Centre Parcs while his aunty trotted off with him. But anything other than that and my mind whirls into overdrive.
‘I could take Milo out for a walk if you like?’
No thank you.
“I could drive Milo into town if you want?’
Hmmm. No thank you.
‘Go away for the night! Have a break! We’ll take care of him’
This is absolutely in *no* way an indication of the people in my life. My family and friends are dreams and 100% not likely to go all Karen Matthews and hide Milo somewhere until a ransom’s handed over. They’d take care of him, I know they would. But I can’t get past the mental block that says, ‘No Susie, you’re the best person in the world to take care of him, so keep it that way.’ A big issue is letting him in a car with anyone else, because if there’s a crash and something terrible happens, I wouldn’t be there. And even typing that, I’m aware how unhinged I sound, but it’s the way my brain works at the moment and by jove is it annoying.
Ordinarily, I’m very relaxed, very calm and a bit worryingly laid back about everything. Greg and I both don’t really tend to get too stressed about anything and prior to giving birth to Milo we talked about how much we weren’t going to let becoming parents change us. And in most ways, it hasn’t. So now the realisation that I’ve turned into an overprotective psycho’s come to my attention, I’m fighting a constant battle between my heartstrings and my common sense. I need to train myself back to thinking ‘Oh that’ll be nice for my son to go swimming with people who love him’ and not ‘Right so, someone wants to take my son to the swimming pool which is a few miles away so that involves going in the car where there could be a crash. And would they notice if he was looking cold in the pool? And what happens if someone jumped on him? And then they have to travel back to the house which involves going in the car again and just OH OK NO I’LL TAKE HIM SWIMMING.’
So there we have it, that’s my struggle. My motherly instinct is working *much* more than it needs to and I need to serve myself a huge dish of calmthefuckdown vindaloo and get back to normality. Where a child can go in a motor vehicle with a competent adult and a woman in a house doesn’t have a breakdown ’til he returns safely.
If you fancy letting me know what you’re finding a bit crappy in motherhood then tweet/comment/write in the sky using a plane. You’ll make me feel better and it’s always nice to share isn’t it? (Unless MRSA’s involved. No-one needs to share that guys). I’ve really started to feel like mummy hood’s a big club and I genuinely really enjoy mini-chats about the boring day to day stuff that I can’t discuss with other people if I want them to stay my friends. So throw all your stuff at me and lets celebrate the rough with the blooming bloody marvellous!
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