Sometimes I think motherhood is bit like that first party you go to as a teen. It’s all new and exciting and the highs are oh so high. Then something kind of weird or crazy happens and the lows are like a gut drop. And really, parenting and partying offer little to no sleep.
And if parenting is a party then I arrived to it early. In 2015 at the age of 32 I essentially pushed a watermelon through a keyhole, so to speak, before my pack had even planted the seed of parenthood.
And I’ll be honest, being the first in the group to become mum was, at times, kind of sh*t.
“My emotions are like a flat line,” and other things pregnant people never say.
Life is full of dramatic differences when it comes to folk. Just look around you. There’s the one percenters with their wealth while others struggle to feed little mouths. There’s the eco-conscious who pick up the litter of the less conscious. There’s those who prefer their tea as deep in colour as their soul and others we dare not speak of.
But there’s no greater difference in life, or between us humans, than those who have children and those who don’t. And that’s simply because there’s no way in this world that you can understand what the hell parenting is like until you’re right in it.
It smacks of the supercilious, right? It really doesn’t mean to be. Hell, parents would gauge out their own eyeballs and sacrifice them to the parenting gods if it meant their child-free former contemporaries could truly understand what they’re going through.
And let me tell you, that divide is even bigger when you’re the first in your friendship group to have a child. The first to go through pregnancy and wonder what the hell is going on with your body. The first to go through child birth. The first to manoeuvre through fears that sound silly so remain silent.
Before giving birth to my son Max, I stupidly thought I was ready. I had been forewarned by mammas I bumped into (sometimes quite literally) about how my world would turn upside down when my baby arrived.
But after giving birth something far scarier happened. My world stayed exactly the same. It was me who was tumbled, twisted and turned in the turbulent transformation from a woman caring only for herself to a woman who had to ensure the continued life of something as small as a bag of flour.
And my friends tried. They were thoughtful and caring and really quite wonderful but they just didn’t get it on the most basic level. Well, how could they relate to the horror of a blood clot the size of a dinner plate falling out your vagina a few days after birth when they’d never been through it.