My mother came to London to help me when I had my baby. She arrived a few days before I was due and for a short time we were able to enjoy uninterrupted high tea and take tourist snaps around the city. I was fat and happy. My mother was beyond excited. She was about to meet her first grandchild.
I never thought having a baby would change my relationship with my mother. I didn’t see any of it coming. I’ve always loved my mum but there have been some dark times when we haven’t been on the same page.
After a shock teen pregnancy, I thought that we kind of grew up together. We joked that she was Eddie in Absolutely Fabulous (although she doesn’t drink). She was the fun dramatic one and I was Saffron, the bossy responsible one.
My mother with my newborn son. (Post continues after video).
My mother was there in time for my labour – 27 hours of it. She’s had five children so she had plenty of experience to help guide me through the marathon. In all of her pit-stop pep talks she was able to pull me into “the now”. She transformed into a Zen-like birthing guru, she was a sound and tested religion, she knew all, and was the calmest most enlightened being I had ever met.
My partner and I would have been so scared without her, we would have been so lost. It was her experience I trusted. From the moment I started labour, my mother just did everything right.
What’s confusing is that my mother isn’t normally a calm person. Her idea of relaxing is some kind of activity – like large abstract painting. Most days she loses her keys and you can tell because she’ll make the sound you make when you see a car accident – a massive gasp. I always think something serious has happened. I fall for it every time.
So with Mum, it’s high-drama with toffee-making fails for the school fete but she’s actually excellent in a crisis.