Before I had Squidge I thought I had a reasonably realistic idea of how my life would change after having a baby. As it turned out I overestimated how bad some things would be; yes, sleep deprivation was brain numbing but I coped far better than I thought I would.
There were some things that I was adamant that I wouldn’t do –
Buy too many toys
Spend a fortune on baby clothes.
Dress Squidge only in blue.
Worry about going to baby groups if I didn’t want to.
There were also some things I was determined I would do –
Continue to go to my counselling sessions.
Go back to work after six months.
Try and read to Squidge every day.
Give him a wide variety of foods to try even though my mum say she did this with big Squidge and he turned out to be a really fussy eater.
I’ve not done the things I said I wouldn’t and I’ve managed to do the things I said I would. However, since Squidge arrived I have done many things I never thought I’d find myself doing.
Brushing baby sick out of my hair. Repeatedly.
Having to mop breast milk off the floor after bending down to pick up something I’d dropped without putting my bra back on.
Going to the baby aisle in the supermarket every time I shop, whether Squidge actually needs anything or not.
Taking quite so many photographs and printing just about all of them to put into a photo album.
Singing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ over and over again just because it makes Squidge smile.
Putting on a rather ridiculous amount of baby weight; not so much when I was pregnant but when I stopped expressing and breastfeeding and carried on eating as though I was feeding triplets.
Checking under the living room rugs for pieces of toys just lurking and waiting to make me slip and break my neck.
Going to the loo with the door open so that I didn’t have to take Squidge in with me but also so I could keep an eye on him and stop him destroying the house.
Hanging mountains of tiny clothes out on the rotary dryer and then standing back to admire my work.
Repainting part of the nursery wall after Squidge painted a midnight Jackson Pollock-esque art installation in explodey poo.
Spending hours untangling Squidge’s favourite mobile after he pulled it down and tried to eat it.
Cleaning a tide line of poo off the sides of the bath.
Mopping the floor almost every day due to the continuous river of dribble emitting from Squidge.
Being used as a human tissue by a small child who then screeches every time I try to wipe his nose properly.
Listening to Enya every single night from across the landing in a vain attempt to get Squidge to stay asleep. I can sing the whole album from memory and he’s only been listening to it for a week.
Putting Squidge in the bath fully clothed because it was less messy than trying to get him undressed first.
Making a wall out of toy boxes to try and keep Squidge from emptying the waste paper bin all over the floor.
Putting a dummy in my mouth after it had been firstly in the mouth of a snotty baby and then on the floor of the local Subway as Squidge refused to stop yelling without it and I’d forgotten to pack a spare.
All things I never thought I’d find myself doing, baby or not.
The truth about motherhood, according to me.