Clementine Ford has made an entire career out of bold candour and unapologetic honesty. Her words do not beat around the bush, nor do they submit to a world that expects you to be tactful and sparing.
And being a mother hasn’t hindered her desire to be transparent and honest. A new mum to a ten-week-old baby, Ford has written a beautiful but blunt post on Facebook detailing the reality of being a new mum while juggling work.
After explaining that since her baby was born ten weeks ago she has launched a book and embarked on an interstate tour while still staying true to freelance writing obligations, Ford explains that although she appears to “miraculously” be juggling it all, her reality is far from what it seems.
“I’ve had a few women mention to me that [undertaking all this work] is somewhat miraculous with a newborn. And I worry that I might have created the impression that I’m finding it easy or ‘blitzing’ motherhood. So this post is about dispelling those illusions,” she began.
In her signature well-articulated but forthright manner, Ford also details the inherent loneliness that can come with being a new mother.
“The beautiful, intoxicating smiles I’ve learned to grasp onto like a lifeboat can so quickly turn to red eyed wailing and then it’s just me out there, adrift in the ocean with nothing but sea around for miles.”
And about all those things she bought in preparation for the baby? No thank you, says baby, I’m not interested in the hundreds of dollars you spent preparing for me, writes Ford.
“Before I had my baby, I bought a number of things that I felt sure they needed – indeed, felt sure they’d love because my friends babies do. What a waste. Sleep hammock? Hates it. Baby swing? Nope.”
More than that, it was how her body responded to the birth that left her most surprised.
“I expected childbirth would do a number on me. Stretchmarks, swollen cans, ruined core. What I did not expect was that my pelvic floor would be so fucked from labouring that I’d need to wear pads until it was restored to health to stop from wetting my pants every day.”
Ultimately, though, her post served one universal and underlying purpose to dispel the idea that she was thriving in this early stage of motherhood.
“I don’t want it to look like this is easy for me, because it’s not. I have days when all I want to do is run away. There are moments when I listen to my baby crying and feel so tired, so bored and, dare I say it, so uninterested that I can’t even describe it.
“To all those mothers out there having a rough day, I’m right here with you. This role ain’t easy.”