To my dearest,
As we get older, the natural progression is to get married and have kids, meaning that friends become a slightly smaller aspect of our lives. I think about my friends now and of course I love them, I really do. I make a real effort to see them and spend time with them… we catch up and laugh over shared stories, but I feel like we don’t really know what happens in each other’s lives. There’s a thing with adults where there’s always a bit of a facade.
It makes me think of when we were young. I don’t think I so much as had a crap without telling you about it. We shared everything, often in Egg Language, whether the other person wanted to hear it or not. And now I am beyond excited that my gorgeous friend will soon become an amazing Mummy (and I desperately hope that your love will eventually manifest itself in the form of grey leather elbow patches).
So here are my pearls of wisdom, all the things I think you should be warned of before you embark on this amazing experience. It’s just for you, based on my extensive 4 and a half year’s experience of rearing 1 low maintenance child… You’re welcome. Love you lots like Jelly Tots (IDST). xxx
- I’m sure you have been told that labour hurts, which is true. So don’t listen to those weirdos who say it’s a life-changingly euphoric experience. It isn’t, it’s horrific. HAVE AN EPIDURAL. Anyway, the pain is one thing. But then there’s the complete lack of dignity too. You may recall from an earlier blog post that not only was I essentially fisted by a friend’s Mum, but also a Doctor actually sniffed the gusset of my knickers. A few hours in and you will be totally accustomed to flinging your legs akimbo for any Tom, Dick or Harry who opens your curtains (if you’ll pardon the pun). In hindsight, that’s kind of really not OK.
- Once you’re home after pushing a human from your fadge, things aren’t actually much rosier. Your foof hurts (and bleeds) for ages afterwards. Oh, and about 3 days after you give birth, your ‘milk comes in’. That basically means that your tits look and feel like a breeze block. They’re heavy, uncomfortable and mean that you won’t get comfy enough to sleep… although baby’s probably doing a good job of preventing rest anyway. Then, once all that’s over, for the rest of your life, you’ll be fighting your bladder. You’ll wee when you sneeze. And laugh. And go trampolining. But I’ve noticed that when I’m about to sneeze, I automatically clench my pelvic floor now so I’m sure you’ll learn to do the same. Finally, you might always be a bit fat, assuming you don’t have a squillion pounds to spend on a Personal Trainer and dietician. Even if you manage to lose weight, you’ll always have the ‘Mum paunch’. Clearly as a chubber, I’m no expert… So if running, spin class and Zumba work for you, that’s brilliant! If you find time, you’re a bloody genius.
- Nothing will prepare you for how absolutely crazy you’ll be. You’ll watch your baby sleep for well over an hour without realising it, just making sure their chest is moving up and down. You will constantly envisage horrendous accidents when you carry your baby downstairs or get in the car, you won’t be able to cope with any sad news stories about children, and you will find yourself consulting Dr. Google 17 times a day and making excessive unnecessary trips to A&E. You’ll feel guilty about every decision you make. And not just the big stuff like going back to work, I mean the tiny irrelevant stuff too, like what time she goes to bed and what she eats. And you can’t win (against you). You’ll always hate yourself. Sorry.
- You’re never on your own. Even when you poo. For some reason, my little Delight will gladly walk in on me on the toilet, in the shower, anywhere. But when Daddy’s enjoying a dump, he’s allowed to do so in peace. It gets a bit much at times. Especially when you’re trying to do a load of washing with a tiny person clutching your cankle. The absolute worst time however, to have your offspring as a noisy shadow is when you’re hungover. There are no words to describe the pain… You’re sitting on the bathroom floor in nothing but yesterday’s knickers, hugging the toilet, wretching away… and an irritatingly loud voice shouts “What are you doing Mummy?”. And there’s no sleeping it off, unless you can nap while someone shoots you with a Nerf gun and turns your face into a train track. The most ridiculous thing about never being alone though, is that if you do manage to steal just a few precious moments to yourself… you miss them. It’s pathetic.
- You will never be patient enough. There will always be a stupid, tiny, ridiculous thing they do to piss you off beyond belief. Whether it’s crying, taking too long to put on their shoes, talking too much, or generally just being there. It sounds awful, and it feels awful. You scream something completely non-sensical like, “FOR THE LAST TIME, GET YOUR FINGERS OUT OF YOUR BUMHOLE!”, then look at their devastated little face and feel horrendous for not letting them just do whatever they want whenever they want. Then in 2 minutes you’ll lose your rag again. Hence the term… Mum Guilt.
- Most importantly, it’s the BEST thing in the world. Never forget how lucky you are, and what a fantastic job you do.