The madness of motherhood
While licking the pesticides off a cucumber during a long car journey before feeding it to my son I realised that my life had reached a new low.
That’s just a glimpse of the depths to which I have plummeted since giving birth 19 months ago. I have travelled miles in the quest for organic milk and veg and sugarless yogurts; heaven forbid he should eat like the rest of us.
I have ordered everyone in our home to be silent while he settles to sleep and sent angry text messages to my husband if he so much as steps on a squeaky floorboard while I’m putting Littl’un to sleep.
My neurosis knows no bounds.
The takeaway delivery man daren’t knock on our door at night… he knows I’ll have my nose up against the glass waiting for his arrival, lest he wake our son.
When our son was newborn I routinely let him sleep on me because I was afraid lying him in the cot would wake him. I have climbed into the cot to shush Littl’un to sleep and breastfed in backbreaking positions. And 19 months on I still walk miles every day, whatever the weather, to get him to sleep during the day because I can’t do what ‘normal’ parents do and make him sleep in the cot.
And don’t get me started on the concept of ‘letting him cry it out’ at night. I cannot conceive of the idea of leaving our little boy to scream, though I’ve read all about the benefits.
This was not how I envisaged motherhood. I thought I would be calm and that life would slow down enough to allow me to take stock, take a deep breath and be composed. Instead I’m constantly drenched by rain, ingesting pesticides, pulling muscles and I am usually sleep-deprived.
I can only imagine that a rush of hormones turned me into this crazed, wailing, anxious banshee. But the moment doesn’t seem to be passing.
I have nervously watched and over-analysed every cough, fart and splutter. I have read and re-read every textbook I can find and tried to find a glimmer of sanity from ‘normal’ parents.
Even after my most stressful days in the office in my former life I managed to switch off, kick back with a glass of wine and forget about work, but full time mum means just that. There’s no let-up.
A friend recently described a family holiday as: "same shit, different place" and it’s a sentiment I can relate to.
But despite the neurosis I’m happier than I’d ever imagined. The up-side of having a child far outweighs the worry and I’m learning to embrace the madness. It seems that nutty is just the new me.