There are so many things I love about having a baby. I’m not going to get into that now, but consider this my disclaimer:
I hereby declare my undying love and adoration for my son, and no children were hypothetically harmed in the making of this blog post.
Right, now that that’s off my chest, there are times when having a child makes life damn near impossible.
Yesterday, while driving to friends for champagne brunch, we realised that we had left Carter’s nappy bag at home. We were too far gone (read: lazy) to turnaround and go back to retrieve it, so I had to go into Pick n Pay and buy a whole tin of formula and a new bottle. Thank god the friend we were visiting has a baby of her own, so she didn’t actually die of gagging when Carter shat in his nappy, with such velocity, that the turd spilled out of his bum, into his clothes, then travelled out of said clothes, smeared onto their kid’s Bumbo seat and all the way up his body. Of course we had no cloths or towels on us, so I cleaned him up using spit, a wet wipe and a fleece blanket. Have you ever seen shit on a fleece blanket?
So yes, parental error and in no way my 5 month old child’s fault, but having a baby means remembering 40 hundred things all of the time. And when – 5 months prior – you could be as selfish as Eskom’s electricity supply, suddenly remembering all of these things comes as a massive lifestyle change.
This got me thinking – and silently applauding – every other parent out there, for there are things that become just plain impossible when you have a child.
Dating. Single parents OHMYGODHOWDOYOUDOIT? A friend was telling me about a lady she works with, single mom to an 8 year old, who has recently started dating again. Can you even imagine if I was single and had to go out and meet people? First of all, I would have to go out. As in willingly leave the house when the TV was mere meters away. What, do I leave my child alone with a bowl of water and bag of snacks? What would I wear? I still rely heavily on maternity leggings and nursing bras. Would I have to shave my legs? Now, imagine the conversations on this imaginary date:
Him: “So, read any good books lately?”
Me: “No. But I sometimes Google “Is this much wine bad for me” and “How to effectively drug your baby to sleep”
Him: “Er, Ok… what are your hobbies?”
Me: “I adore napping, but am generally too busy washing and sterilising items around the house. Sometimes I take long walks… with a screaming infant and 2 lazy bordering-on-obese-hounds”.
Then, there’s exercise. I posted a casual ‘Hey, I’m interested in yoga class’ on my Facebook page the other day, and berated myself almost immediately for doing so. What was I thinking? When on earth do I think I have time to Namaste when I should home pureeing butternut and bathing my baby. At this stage of my life I’m more ‘mama’ than ‘meditation’.
Then there’s money. Or lack thereof. My savings account has had a life size nose Frida inserted into it, and been sucked dry. I’ve spent my money on fun things like crèche, working mom guilt gifts and high chairs. Don’t even get me started on the pool fence quote I got last week. *Signs up to sell an organ*.
Sleep. This is possibly the one I miss the most. Yes, laugh away, I realise that for the first 4 months of my babies life when I gushed about “how easy it was” and “how much he slept” that you sat there thinking “just wait”. Gloat away people, for I now have egg (and dried snot, tears and drool) on my face. For my baby who shall be named, no.longer.sleeps. I have narrowed the list down to a small 65 reasons as to why this could be happening.
This then means that at work I become the biggest fucking bumbling idiot. People walk in a wide berth around “Crazy Kate” in the corner. Some days I have such brain failure that I’m surprised I don’t wee in my skirt because I’ve forgotten to go to the loo. Just last week I tried to use my computer mouse for close to 10 minutes before realising that it was my makeup compact.
Lastly, and I think this is a universal biggie – is that having a baby means you love something more than anything, yet hate yourself. I avert my eyes when I see myself in the mirror, I moan about the bags under my eyes, I joke about my stretch marked limp boobs and I starve myself to the point of tears to try and lose a little bit of the flab. I would never talk to a friend the way I talk to myself, so why is it OK to talk to myself that way? I should high-five myself while yelling “Well done lady, you made a human!”
However, for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction (FYI – that really should be Newton’s first law, it totally trumps the others). Just as the tide comes in during the day, you can bet your broke fat ass that it will also go back out.
Carter will start sleeping again, I will lose the weight, single parents will meet someone so wonderful that they will want to introduce their kid to them and slowly but surely your bank balance will fill up.
But those bags under the eyes? Those will never go. Because, fuck you genetics.