I started writing this 2 days ago;
I am awake again. It’s 5am and I’m sitting on the bed with 2 sleeping boys opposite me. I’ve been awake since about 4, Elliot waking me every hour for milk and then at 4:30, Dylan joined us with a snotty nose and therefore: snoring/ breathing loudly.
I went to bed at 11am after having gone through another load of emails, so that has given me about 5 small bursts of 45 minutes-each sleep so far. Today shall be a bleary-eyed day, but it’s okay, I’ve had many of the such, I cope and I do love my babies.
I love my babies.
This baby thing, my goodness. You start with wanting to get pregnant and from that wish, right there, starts the story telling. The fantasising, the dreaming. The ‘how it’s going to be when I have a baby’ dream, the ‘it’s going to be so beautiful‘ kind of stories you tell yourself. I remember once seeing a photo of one of my old boyfriend’s mother. In the photo she was walking through some woods with a toddler by her legs and she looked so happy and beautiful. And I remember wanting to be her. That beautiful, young, happy, light woman, with a toddler by her legs in the woods … Stories.
And then you get pregnant (or not, but that is another -painful- story) and you tell people who have had babies, and they are happy for you and they nod knowingly, but they don’t tell you. Oh sure, they tell you that parts of it are hard: the sleep deprivation for one and you may have trouble breastfeeding, or ‘oh those terrible twos – ha ha‘, but no one tells you that having children is like being hit by a fuck-off truck changing your direction in life deeply and permanently.
No one tells you, clearly, that if you are big on freedom, control and making your own choices then having babies is probably going to fuck with you a little. And no one tells you that the babies -depending on your chosen parenting style- will simply start to rule your life; where you go (baby groups, playgrounds, child friendly restaurants – certainly not the cinema), what you do (puzzles, silly faces, change nappies, push the swing, clean the vomit of the carpet), what you wear (nothing pretty for banana puree, puke and snot will reach your clothes almost the moment you wake up), how you wear your hair (bunched up or short cut -only), what you watch on tv (cbeebies – kipper the dog – teletubbies or waybuloo) and so on and so forth. You are no longer the number one priority in your life; they are and what they say goes. Ok, that’s not entirely true, but you get the picture.
And then, it reshapes your relationship with your husband/ significant other. With the birth of your children; you both will be reborn. I don’t mean that as beautifully and metaphorically as it sounds. You are literally being shaped into a new person and into a new relationship. If you don’t process your stuff/ feelings well, having babies can really rock the core and foundation of what you have together, so keep talking. Keep talking.
And then, you work through it all. You keep working at it all. You keep spilling out love if and where you can. You keep giving cuddles if and where you can. You keep going, you keep doing, you keep trying. You keep surrendering and trusting (as the beautiful Connie so wisely described in her recent birth story). As my beautiful husber often says: ‘this life, it has chosen me’. And so you can’t not ride this crazy wave of parenthood, it chooses you and that’s that. That’s it, that’s that; you gotta ride it.
And I do, because I love my babies. :) I do.