So the Tiger is just passed the 6 month mark. I’ve written a scattering of mum-baby posts on here (I’ve just checked….it’s just 2 but ok fine whatever) and I have just slithered, crawled and eeeked past this small, but notable milestone with my baby girl. I thought I would write a quick post about a few, mainly lighthearted things, I have learnt over this time immersed in the big motherhood.
I STARE @ OTHER MUMS LIKE AN ABSOLUTE WEIRDO.
Not in a judgey way. Just in a nosey, thoughtful and inquisitive way. I know the struggles and the troubles that can come with this journey….things that I never knew or understood before. I NEVER would have looked at a mum and baby before, mainly because….kids…yuk ; but also I had zero interest or common ground with them. Now it’s a whole different story. I often find myself checking out other mums (in a non-sexy way)….. and thoughts cross my mind such as : ‘how many has she got?! She has THREE holy shit. HOW does she do it? WHY couldn’t I do that? I wonder if her births was traumatic? What’s that thing hanging on her pram and do I need one? Why is she choosing that porridge over that one what is this secret porridge knowledge she has?? I wonder if we could be friends? Why has she got nice hair and makeup on and how does she look so fucking put together when I can’t even find matching socks?’ etc etc etc.
I also find myself staring and wondering if we could be mum pals. Now THAT sounds cringe but I think that I have conceded and I finally realise that yeah...mum pals could be really good. I did NCT and met some lovely people and I would have definitely hung out with them , discussing leaky tits, sore vaginas, husband irks and the rest but they are all now over 3 hours from me. So I’m both staring inquisitively and eyeing up potential pals that I can pounce on and talk baby crap with.
I AM A SELFISH PERSON.
I kinda knew I was a selfish witch. I always have been. Not in it’s entirety : I mean I am very generous with certain things, mainly material, but when it comes to my time, being on my own , doing MY things…I like to be able to do what I want, when I want. Something I can no longer do. All of my time is now planned around Margot and it’s still quite difficult to allocate time slots of my day to actually doing things. We are getting her into a routine, but sometimes it simply doesn’t work out / she won’t sleep and I’m left panicking about all the shit I haven’t been able to do. I’ve had to learn a lot about myself and my faults, and I think it’s something most mums will face. I’ve
had to become more relaxed about these things, and I’ve found ways to work around it and basically be less of a selfish witch. Yeah.
MUM’S COMPETE. AND IT’S BULLSHIT.
I just read on Facebook the other day ‘my daughter is *XX months old* and she can do this, that, this, that, this, that, people can’t BELIEVE how advanced she is’. Why do mums always go on about how their baby is doing so well (better than others obvs), or developing so quickly, how they can talk at 6 weeks old, walk at 7 weeks and high five at 8 weeks old. An exaggeration but you get me.
I find it all a bit bizarre and I get you are proud of your prodigal baby but should it be this brag-inducing, snobby and competitive?
I also found this VERY weird competitiveness when I was reaching out to people to talk about my birth experience. I found quite a few who would like to talk over you to tell you how THEY had it 10 x worse than you, ‘oh you had a c-section though, aren’t YOU lucky!‘ kinda vibe. You know the types that if you went to Tenerife they went to Elevenerife. Definitely never knew this was a thing, but it appears to be. It has taught me though to be mindful of perhaps talking to others about their experiences and not to be *that* person who butts in and turns the conversation to me. Swings and roundabouts. BUT MY ROUNDABOUT GOES FASTER DARLING!
I’M NOT *THAT* ALONE.
I have felt very alone. Maybe I’ve been bleating on about it and you know what: I’m allowed to. I have zero family within 8000 miles, no mum, no dad, no grandparents and it’s felt very tough for me. I felt it a lot in these first few months. Particularly in the first few weeks when you are in that black hole of recovery, lack of sleep, learning how to do baby things, keep yourself afloat and survive this crazy time. Having no one to help, pop over, pick up the pieces when they are smashed, cook for you and make you a cuppa or help you clean up a bit….things I would have VERY much have appreciated in the first few weeks post-birth. It was tough anyway and I think made a little tougher that I had no family to reach out to, pick up the phone to or have come and help me when I was struggling.
I missed my mum. I missed asking her for advice, the questions, her birth experiences and it made me really sad. I often sat and cried about it...I still do.
BUT, and here’s a big but(t) : friends and even strangers have been so SO caring and unbelievably supportive. I can always ask a question to anyone I know online, Whatsapp or wherever and I know I have handfuls of people who will help and support me as much as they can. Whilst I don’t have that family network, I have other things and that is ok. There is lots of classes / mum and baby things I can do in my new area so I know I will never feel alone, or have to be alone.
I DID NOT NEED THAT MANY BABY CLOTHES….or those newborn trainers.
The PILES of clothes I have already boxed up waiting for a) attic storage b) to give away is ridiculous. Some of the newborn stuff she didn’t even get around to wearing and it makes me sad! You forget about outfits, some are bought too small and some only get worn once before they grow out of them and it’s such a shame. I really didn’t dress her up in *proper* outfits regularly until she was maybe 4 months old+. They look cute, yes, but they really aren’t functional and let’s be honest babies don’t really wear shoes now do they. I try with Margot, they come off or are in her mouth within minutes.
One piece of advice if you have never had a baby and may do…..just buy loads and loads of sleepsuits and vests. That’s it. SLEEPSUITS AND VESTS OF ALL SIZES.
I CAN’T / DON’T TREAT MASELF ANYMORE.
Ok not that I often *splurged* on myself except the occasional (35) pair of trainers and all the makeup launches that I definitely did not need BUT man alive babies are expensive and I definitely have to be more careful with money, spending and budgeting. I now find myself thinking so much more about buying stuff for myself and I stop pre-purchase, really question if I need and and then more often than not…I don’t get it. In some ways it’s actually been REALLY good. As in, I have not spent more than probably £200 – £250 on beauty in the last whole year, I’ve curbed my spending massively and it’s actually reinforced how ridiculous my spending habits, particularly on beauty, were before. I sometimes used to spend that amount and more in a month. On shite I did not need.
Now I kind of have to think if I spend that money on me or if Margot needs something…..bigger clothes, warmer clothes, cooler clothes coming into spring, new toys, a high chair etc etc. Man, she’s a buzzkill.