I’m sat here. I’m trying I get some work done, a bit of writing in the hour or so I have left before I need to collect Oscar from preschool. Because I have nowhere comfortable to work at home and because the walk to preschool and back doesn’t make going home worth it, I’m in a local coffee shop. Who am I kidding I’m in the ice cream shop. And doing what I do every week.
When I came in the place was empty, but a group of three obviously very new mothers have just come in. They’re probably NCT or antenatal group friends. I remember doing something similar when I had just had Oscar. They chat excitedly about sleep and feeding and house prices (well this is Surrey after all). The pride in their little ones and their new status as mamas clear. And it makes me sigh.
I remember bits about Oscar being this small. I remember going for coffee and being able to drink a whole cup with my girls without Oscar making a noise. I remember the excited chattering about how much sleep we’d had, the latest things our babies had done and about this whole new world we were just starting discovering.
But I also remember how hard it was. The panic in all of our eyes when we were unsure of what was going on (which was much of the time), the lack of sleep, the fear, the dread that we, that I, was getting it all, all wrong.
I remember mothers, experienced mothers, telling me to enjoy how portable my baby was at that age. I just remember thinking they were barmy! Thinking ‘look how much stuff he needs. How is this portable?’ But they were right. He was. I could just pick him up (along with a bulging changing bag) and just go. Anywhere.
I’m sat here listening to these women (one of who has pretty impressive mascara on, and coordinated clothes! Who is this super woman?) and I want to tell them. Yell at them, to enjoy this time. Tell them that whatever they’re doing they’re NOT doing it wrong and to just enjoy it. Enjoy the meet ups, relax in the company of other new mamas and bask in the ignorance of what’s to come. I think perhaps that’s what I miss the most. The ignorance of how hard this journey was going to be.
I could, but I won’t. They wouldn’t listen even if I did. Why would they? I didn’t.
They say first time motherhood, when you have nothing to do but love and look after your baby is wasted on the scared, fearful and unconfident first time mother and there is truth in those words.
So here’s my plea to you. Mama’s enjoy your babies, because they won’t be babies for long.
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