Right up there with maintaining an existence in the 21st century seems to come attempting to maintain sanity, expectations and the ongoing need to get ‘more’…
A very good friend the other day commented that my notion that ‘Having a baby is quite hard’ is not a new idea, but rather the truth behind the sugar-coated pill that we are sold that ‘Having a baby is lovely and gorgeous and easy and natural and and and and…’ The latter is what we are taught to believe and not what everyone actually thinks. You only find out that it’s HARD AS ALL CRAP once you’ve actually got yourself a baby. Woops.
I have been haunted over the last few months by the fear that I have invested my whole life’s desires into the end result of ‘having a child’. It feels rather like spending a whole heap of monies on a wedding and forgetting that there is a marriage at the end of it. I spent so very long wanting ‘children’ that I failed to fully absorb the notion that getting pregnant would result in a child. Forever.
This isn’t like getting into your chosen university, or getting your most-wanted job. Christ, this isn’t even about getting married and then regretting it. Heaven forbid, but there are divorces. No such thing exists for a child. Not good ones anyway.
All the other decisions/happy accidents/dreams involve you and you alone wishing and waiting and hoping and planning and I completely failed to recognise the catastrophically huge implications of bringing a person into the world. It suddenly brings the teenage rant of ‘Well I didn’t ASK to be born’ into a whole new focus.
This isn’t the post of someone on the edge. This is the post of someone who hadn’t even realised where the edge was until she launched herself right off into the middle distance and then saw there was nothing under her feet.
I am treading water day to day playing at domestic godliness in the hope that if I keep at it, I will one day believe the self-created hype and will actually start enjoying my little creation. She is fantastically fabulous, but I can’t quite shake off the feeling that the grown-ups are due back any day now and I will get the most extraordinarily large amount of pocket money for doing a quite good job at minding her.
This isn’t a cry for help. This isn’t even a murmur. This is the typing of a person who has to believe the little voice that says that if everyone felt this way, each family would stop after one child and would no doubt convince that child not to procreate.
I need to not hear platitudes right now. I know that PND doesn’t last. I know that everyone finds it tough. What I need to believe is that this isn’t me, this isn’t parenthood and I will find joy in my new life.
That will happen in time, and lord only knows, I have plenty of that stretching ahead of me.