I met a friend for lunch yesterday. She’s my oldest friend and in fact I’ve known her since I was born. Our mums were friends so we played together as babies and grew up in the same village. After university we both moved to London and continued our friendship in the big smoke. She’s a high flying lawyer and actually one of the kindest, most humble people I know. Now we’re both back in Yorkshire and she’s a new mum too. Her baby is teeny tiny (only 10 weeks old) and he’s just delicious.
Strangely, every time I see a newborn recently I feel all squidgy and broody. If I was a hen I’d be getting ready to lay on my eggs! This reaction to new born babies is surprising, I must admit, because I didn’t have the easiest newborn and I thought it would put me off ever having another one or even thinking about it.
But yesterday I spent the whole time cooing over baby Oscar and then the rest of the day looking back at old newborn photos of Annie. Reflecting on her birth and those special early weeks. And they were so special. But when you’re in the thick of it and struggling it’s not always easy to appreciate it. Now that some time has passed and I’m 7 months embedded into this thing called motherhood, I’m able to look back on it with rose tinted glasses and a massive dose of nostalgia.
I don’t forget the difficult challenges, but I’ve certainly popped them in a different part of my brain and edited them slightly.
For example I now look back on breastfeeding with a wonderful sentimentality and every time I see a woman breastfeeding her baby I feel a little bit sad that my breastfeeding journey is over. But realistically breastfeeding wasn’t easy for me. Annie cluster fed, it was relentless, tiring and draining.
Now that Annie is on the move and she’s running me ragged I look back through my rose tinted glasses at the peacefulness of my newborn sleeping baby, when she was so small and just slept in my arms for hours on end. But actually, when I was living and breathing it I found it frustrating never being able to put her down and never being able to get anything done.
And of course women around the globe are traumatised by the pain of childbirth yet somehow they manage to forget what it was like and are willing to do it all over again!
The truth is it isn’t all rosey being a mum. But we’re very good at giving the impression that everything is rosey. We keep up appearances. Especially in today’s social media era when everything is so picture perfect. We’re not used to seeing or hearing about imperfections anymore. Everyone is running their own personal PR and showing the highlights of their lives, and in turn I think we tend to only remember the good/ positive stuff.
But I think that’s about human nature, and survival of our species. We tend to forget completely or our memory of the bad stuff fades so we can continue to procreate.
It’s never healthy to dwell on the negative and that’s the case for motherhood too. Having said that it does absolutely no harm, when you start to get broody, to give yourself a major reality check and bring your feet back firmly onto the ground.
There will be no laying of eggs anytime soon.