Having kids? Darling, it’s going to be a walk in the park.
I would like to dedicate this post to my husband, who cannot wait to prove me wrong and show me how hard parenting can be.
It happened. As a firm believer that “kids only happen to other people”, I never thought they would “happen” to me. I cannot say I was ever too fussed about having humans popping out of my vagina, but there must be something in the female brain that suddenly switches around the 30th year, when we start to think that populating the Earth is the one and only things we should concentrate our life on. So here we are, almost 9 months pregnant. The stars aligned and I, too, became to human submarine.
It may not shine through my article, but I am actually extremely happy about this. More so now that I know I am carrying the superior side of our species: a young female. I won’t go into how much I wanted a girl.. not only because I feel totally fearful of small penises. Not even because of the fact I grew up with a sister, and many female cousins around. I think secretly every mother wants a daughter. We have this strange feeling that our days will be filled with jewellery making, and crafts. That the biggest dilemma each day will be the choice between tutu skirt and a princess outfit with tiara. Finally we will be able to justify buying cheesy pink stuff. Ahh rainbows and unicorns unite!
Whilst the belly grows and the kilos pound, you start fantasising what the life of your future family will be like. My husband had the benefit of experience, when raising his daughter, for me it’s all new. I am heading to a country, the language of which I do not speak, but I’ve heard so much about it, I practically could draw a map.
The journey starts with your friends: you tell them all, and initially everyone is excited. The second time around, when you mention anything pregnancy related, the ones who are a) childless or b) single, already roll their eyes thinking “here we go, she’ll never shut up about it now”. Then your friends start falling into two distinct categories: your soon-to-be ex friends, through no fault of any of the sides involved, who have no kids, and those who do. The childless friends suddenly feel like someone you don’t really know, even when they were the closest people you had for years. The balance restores fortunately, as the parents group fills that gap more than adequately. All this happens before you even hear your first “push!” It’s an amusing experience. I personally felt quite literally “dumped” by my single, childless friends, as this was more convenient now than ever, since for the time being, I won’t be frequenting the parties we used to enjoy together, and as a “bigger me”, I just won’t look as good in their Instagram photos. Certain chapter of my life has been closed forever.
As I sit here, on my sofa, eating anything within my hands reach, I cannot help but wonder: what will this new life bring?
What you will mostly hear from other parents is two things: “it’s rewarding” (rarely) and the staple of parenting phrases “It’s the most tiring you will ever be in your life. Ever. You will lose your dignity, you will argue with your partner, the smell of poo at the dinner table won’t phase you, you will be a walking zombie, you’ll forget about make-up and become a slob living in your onsies.” I listen to all this with a smug smile, just like millions of to-be-parents before me, thinking: “Yup, this happened to you, but it certainly won’t happen to me. I have my shit together.”
They also moan about the lack of time and the ability to party, or even simply go out without the nappy bag. I have my theory on that too. I have spent my teens and 20s at a one, constant, amazing party. Life was a champagne bubble and I can safely say I got it out of my system.
I don’t crave going out and know for sure it won’t be an issue as in the last two years there wasn’t a single moment, when I wanted to go and get shit-faced on the dance floor. Granted, it’s all fun but I don’t miss it at all. I have learned to keep my mind busy without any sort of stimulants, and it’s exhilarating. I love evenings in a good restaurant, with interesting company, but for those occasions, one can surely find a babysitter.
I secretly judge people who cannot pull themselves together after they had kids, thinking “you wanted it, you brought it on yourself, if you cannot deal with pressure – don’t have kids”. Sometimes I also do that less than secretly. I am not famous for being the fun auntie all the kids want to play with. I find other people’s children annoying. It’s a rare occurrence I actually like other kids. I get rash when someone uses phrases like: “Ahh, they are only kids!”, whilst their offsprings run around my table in the restaurant. I secretly despise all the pictures in my Facebook feed depicting someones toddlers smothered in baby food: “who the hell finds this cute?!” My maternal instinct is pretty undetectable to others, but somehow I am convinced that my kids are going to be different. “They surely are going to be smarter, polite, quiet, a bloody delight to have around!”
I often walk into the empty baby room with half of the Mamas & Papas stock lying around, with everything in order, clothes separated in the hand made baby drawers according to age: 0-3 months in the first one, 3-6 and 6-9 in the other two. Everything is in order, ready for the new arrival. How can this be so damn hard? Kids allegedly sleep 18 hours a day. I will have more than enough time to carry on studying my Spanish and maybe read all the books I downloaded on my Kindle, neither of which is baby related.
We don’t have to wash nappies anymore, everything is disposable. We have baby jungle chairs with music and vibrations, to save ourselves carrying our kids around the house to put them to sleep. There are machines to express milk, if you fancy having a drink or simply getting your husband to wake up at night and leave you sleeping that bit longer.
We haven’t got any family at our doorstep, to drop our newborn, when we suddenly fancy a tipple, and just like millions of other people out there, who decided to embark on this journey, we are in it all alone, but I have no doubt we will be fine. It will be a walk in the park.
Image credit: Amanda Kern