Once upon a time I was a smug mother.
When exactly? 2009 to be precise.
Kevin Rudd was the Prime Minster, Tiger Woods was crashing into fire hydrants while his wife enthusiastically belted him with a 9 iron and my days were spent googling things like ‘Names Matt Preston gives his cravats”.
And when I wasn’t doing that I was swanning around our apartment with my first baby: making my own baby food, going to mother’s group and fastidiously filling in my daughter’s baby album with the intensity of Dustin Hoffman in a Rainman audition.
“Oh I have NAILED this motherhood gig,” I frequently said aloud to myself because I was, um, weird. “NAILED. IT.”
And in some ways, I had.
My six-month-old daughter slept often and easily.
Financially, I was able to work for myself from home doing whatever hours I chose.
I had supportive friends. A mother willing to babysit. A husband who loved being a father.
So what I’m saying, people, is that I was nauseatingly smug.
(How smug? On a scale of one to ten -, ten being say Gwyneth “Espanola por favor” Paltrow, I clocked in at 275. I was Miranda-Kerr-combined-with-Andrea-Moss-with-a-dash-of-Carol-Brady type of smug.)
But the worst bit about how I behaved back then was that deep down I judged other mothers. I judged them as foolish for not having their baby in a routine. LIKE ME. I judged them as disorganised for not having a neat and tidy home. LIKE ME. I judged them as irresponsible for not putting their kids to bed at a respectable time. LIKE ME. I judged them for not being able to keep calm and not lose their minds LIKE ME.
This is because I was an idiot with NO FREAKING CLUE ABOUT MOTHERHOOD.
Yes my baby slept but I was lucky to have a healthy baby who just so happened to sleep often and easily. Yes I worked but I was fortunate to be financially stable and to be able to work from home when and how I chose.
Little wonder I found motherhood a breeze when I wasn’t battling PND, I had just one healthy child and I was #blessed to have supportive friends and family I could call on when I needed.
Of course I realise that now but back then, not so much. I was foolish enough to think it was 8 parts me and 2 parts luck. In truth it was the other way around.
I think back to the mother I used to be and I want to send her a “Congratulations, You’re An Awesome Mother!’ card LACED WITH ANTHRAX.
Because five years and three children later and ladies and gentlemen I have turned into the type of mother I once despaired about.
Last night my two-year-old decided for the first time in history that he no longer likes spaghetti bolognese and communicated his displeasure by pegging random meatballs at our dog before tipping the entire contents of his bowl onto the floor and screaming ‘IPAD!” in a tone reminiscent of say, Kim Jong-il in an Apple store.
In my laundry, there is a load of washing that has been in the washing machine for 24 hours.