It sounds so clichéd but its true when people say that the things that excite you after having a baby will be worlds apart from the things that excited you before. If I can just paint a little picture for you – When my husband and I first started dating and would hang out with friends on balmy summer evenings, nothing would delight the boys more than if, when popping a top off a beer bottle, said top accidently ricochet off a wall and ended up in a bucket ten feet away. You get the picture?
See during those days, we had time to wait for things to amuse us. If we’d had a less than interesting night out with a friend, it was no problem; there was a bottle top only moments away ready to delight! Nowadays, as expected it’s the giggles and self-accomplished squeals from baby that delight.
But seeing as I’m all about setting the precedent of absolute honesty here in regards to my mothering let me get another one of those nasty forbidden truths out there. Jammed right between absolute adoration and completely voluntary servitude for my daughter, is the undeniable urge to run screaming from the room never to be seen again.
As I explained to some friends the other day, a lot of the time I have an overwhelming desire to…well….be really, really drunk. We’re talking best-friend-holds-your-hair-back kinda drunk. And so it got me thinking- I either need to call my brother who works in drug and alcohol rehabilitation or there is something else at play here.
I think it would be too easy to assume it’s about “having a break”. With a bit of extra thought, I think it’s more accurate to say it has more to do with responsibility. With a husband who is now largely unavailable because of rather fantastic work commitments, I find that the charge of care has fallen solely to me.
Yes, yes, boo hoo I can hear you say (especially those of you well over your child rearing years who I generally find the most unsympathetic variety of bystander); it’s just that I genuinely can’t remember what it was like to have myself all to myself. When my body was my own and so was my time.
These days, the time I have to myself is always threatened with the possibility that any minute my daughter will need me. No TV show is really ever enjoyed and no shower is taken without the rather disturbing psychotic paranoia that you can hear a baby crying. Even now, as I sit here writing while baby sleeps, it is at the cost of all the things that will make the next four witching hours run more smoothly; preparing bottles and food, getting a bath ready, preparing my dinner, doing the washing etc. So you see that every activity has a proverbial payment; everything always comes at the cost of something else or is threatened to be interrupted.
Let me just clarify- it’s not WHAT I do with my time that bothers me (I don’t know why but I’m a born homemaker), it’s WHEN I do it. Because my day is no longer my own and my life is completely dictated by another human being; a darling little girl who I have decided is either asleep or awake and attached to me.
Most women seem to find this gig a bit easier than I do. Half the time I stare in wonder as they seem to negotiate nap times, meal times and sleep routines better than I. From the moment my daughter slaps me in the face to wake in the morning or as she did this morning for a little treat, stuck her fingers up my nose; it seems to be a marathon of sorts till bedtime (my little bundle of joy sleeps
with her mama who has decided that sleeping babies in cots must simply be a fable).
And I love it. Most days. Like on Monday when I saw my darling in a music class, grasping the use of a wooden guiro. Or Tuesday morning when we went out for breakfast and shared some poached eggs like two little ladies out for tea.
Wednesday though, had I been less responsible, I would’ve been searching for the bottle. Like I’ve said before…work in progress.