I learnt to lie pretty damn quickly after my first baby was born.
I hid so many eye rolls as grandmother after grandmother patronised me, telling me how quickly time would pass, and how I would grow to miss the red raw nipples of breastfeeding, the torturously long, sleepless nights and the putrid, pungent smell that assaults the nostrils when changing many, many nappies.
Watch: Explaining nipples to my baby. Post continues below.
I silenced so many outbursts as more grandmothers exclaimed how wonderful my husband was for….changing a nappy. I mean, honestly, is that all it takes for a man to be a good parent? The odd nappy? Noted.
The lying enabled me to maintain my halo.
It was important to me to remain shiny and perfect. All mothers are angels and I had to be one of them.
The more I lied about how happy I was to be a mother, and how awesome my husband was as a father, the quicker the halo slid down towards my neck and began to tighten.
I was miserable. Having a baby was awful.
Mother's group meetings made me feel like a hellish monstrosity. Women, dozens of them, dressed well, who matched their hair ties to their socks spewing toxic positivity disguised as one-liners and hashtags (#mumlife #newborn #bliss) all began to highlight just how much of a failure I was.
More lying. Eventually not speaking the truth filled me up with resentment. Body, ruined. Breasts, like veiny melons. Brain, mush. Career, forget about it. Vagina, seen better days.
More babies came. More lies. More resentment.
Being in charge of a house and four children sharpened my control freak tendencies. Everything was micromanaged to Mary Poppins perfection.
Except when it wasn’t, and the house looked like a set from an apocalyptic movie scene where no one is sure what they are eating, the latrine is overflowing, and someone is bleeding out.
My husband could do nothing right. He had an income to earn and a career ladder to climb. He annoyed me immensely when he strolled into the house and asked, “What can I do to help?”.