My adventures into Motherhood
Now that Sofia’s started to have some visitors, I’m beginning to notice something weird amongst our friends. I know our friends to be intelligent, engaging and amazing people, but I’ve noticed that when I start to describe my new life, I usually get blank blinking and nodding and smiling. The enthusiasm and agreeance is all there as our friends lovingly support us, but I can tell – they just don’t quite get it.
Maybe it’s because we’re now completely obsessed with boring things like poo colour and baby gadgets, but I also think it’s because they don’t yet have kids. Through no fault of their own, they just can’t imagine what it’s like to be a parent. No-one can, it’s something you can only begin to realise once you’ve taken the journey, and despite any of my graphic and honest descriptions – it’s just not possible to fully understand such a life-changing event unless you’ve been through the same thing. We’re the first amongst most of our friends to have a baby, especially amongst our London-living expat kiwi friends who have all come over here for the Big OE, enjoying travelling around Europe and making the big bucks. We were doing that, living the dream as DINKY’s (double income no kids yet) and so we had acquired friends at the same life stage as us.
Now everything has fundamentally changed for us, but to our friends we’re still the same people whom they would naturally invite to birthday celebrations at clubs and dance-all-night parties. Part of it is my fault; I remember being pregnant and optimistically ensuring my friends that of course, I’d still meet up with them and we’d go out! I imagined a fantasy life where my baby would have no trouble fitting in with my plans and would boldly go wherever I wished to drag them. My life was still all about ME. But I’m rapidly coming to terms with the fact that my life now revolves around Sofia, her safety and comfort needs come before my own, and her feeding and sleeping schedule dictates exactly what I can and can’t get done that day. I still haven’t mastered taking her out of the house, which requires military-style tactical plans and is really not as simple as most people think it is. Here’s a conversation with one of my mates:
Me: (proudly proclaiming) “I took Sofia out of the house for the first time the other day!”
Mate: (scoffs) “Don’t you just bung her in the pram and go?”
Eerrrr, well, no mate – you don’t.
I’m very thankful for my ante-natal group, all of whom have been warm and friendly and willing to share their experiences which has made me feel so much more normal. And once I’ve gotten the hang of getting out and about, I fully intend to make the effort to join some Mums&Bubs groups in my area so I don’t become a social outcast who loses the ability to string polysyllabic words together in a comprehensible sentence, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to make some new friends too!