The main subject of conversation carries on on the news this week over boring Brexit and boring babies made an appearance too – after David Bowie’s son Tweeted about how mindless it is being a new parent.
Dare I mention Brexit?
I won’t go into details because if you are anything like me you’ll be getting sick of hearing the people who are supposed to rule our country behaving like bullies in the playground. I don’t take sides as I try to avoid writing about the two things I don’t get involved in, which are politics and religion. But really I find the strong arm tactics and the way it has all been done worrying.
To think they will tell us how to live. I don’t know about you, but if it were children in the playground carrying on like they have, I would give them all a crack on the backside. Oh, but wait a minute, didn’t they all say that’s not allowed. I won’t carry on ranting or I would write a book and I am impartial and don’t want to offend Brexiteers or Remainers, so I will be quiet. But no one can tell me that the whole carryon hasn’t made us the laughing stock of Europe!
Boring Babies and Boring Brexit
Anyway, back to reality and the mundane business of our lives where we put our left foot forward and get on with things.
Jane was telling me about David Bowie’s son who had posted a Tweet on the joys and pains of being a parent. It rang a chord with her after hearing me going on about the same subject over the years. He said what is obvious to me, that nobody can prepare you for the highs and lows of being a mum or dad and he went on to say that there is a lot of hard work, isolation and all the rest. It was on the news a few days ago, you might have heard it and thought the same!
I was interested to see that some people thought he was awful for not saying that being a dad was ‘perfection’ or that everyone should welcome being a parent and never see the bad side. Well, I’m all for what he said. Being a parent is a shock to the system, especially for me when my daughter was born many, many years ago. (Jane: steady on, I’m not that old!)
When Victorians ruled the earth
Looking back you would have thought she was born in Victorian times it was so archaic, along with the treatment and everything else. I went to a supposedly first class hospital, specially for women and maternity, which people came to from all over the place. I can only say I was treated very badly and as a consequence nearly died. Although I won’t bore you with details, I now realise I was suffering from PTSD that carried on for donkeys years because it wasn’t a recognised condition back then. It just about ruined our lives as we tried to muddle through on our own, not knowing what the heck was wrong with me.
That aside, and I won’t witter on (unless anyone is interested, if so let me know), I so agree that after you bring your baby home it’s to a world changed beyond recognition to the one you knew.
As I was so very ill the first two weeks, I never really bonded with her at the time. It wasn’t until we finally got home that I realised I would kill for her if need be, which I suppose is what most people feel who love their children. I was ill for a long time afterwards. Derek only got 2 weeks holiday a year which he’d taken when I came home and had no more to take. There was no allowances for fathers or paternity leave or anything in those days. Then I was left to it and although the bond and love was there, I never ever bargained for what it was like. I was juggling a baby with projectile vomiting, dislocated hips and a benign neck tumour, which I had to do loads of pulling and tugging with every day, to a screaming baby.
Monotonous and lonely!
The thing that hit me most was the loneliness. After working full time and having lots of friends, I went to being a housewife with a baby that screamed non stop for the first three months. It was hell, I can tell you.
I can fully understand how he felt when he spoke honestly about his feelings that now I know were perfectly natural, but didn’t back then. I think it’s a shame that so many people were so critical of him. Mothering comes gradually, not at a gallop I think, and no one can comment until they know what that person feels like.
I was so lonely that I used to push Jane about in her pram all over the place in the afternoon, just to bump into people to talk to. There was only the local clinic where you could go once a week to meet and talk to mum’s who were feeling exactly the same. There was absolutely nothing in those distant days to give help, no chat places to go to, nothing so it was a case of grin and bear it. So if any new mums out there think they shouldn’t have thoughts on being a mum who can get fed up, you aren’t on your own.
I loved and still do love my daughter to bits, but I wish I had been better prepared for the raft of emotions that I went through, along with post natal depression. It does get better as time goes on, although I remember the need for a long time for adult conversation. After all you can’t talk to a baby about Brexit very well can you, and imagine the surprise if you got an answer back!
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