I have managed to keep my son alive in the world for twenty eight weeks now. I feel very accomplished. However nobody gives you any awards for this massive achievement.
In fact for the last few days my social media news feeds have been chock a block with articles about how modern women are choosing to remain child free. I have been told to ponder the huge carbon footprint that my mini man will leave on the world and to kiss goodbye to my money and relationship.
I can confirm that after you have a small person arrive in your life that it does change your sexy fun relationship into a much more sleep deprived, vomit encrusted, catch a cuddle where you can kind of deal. However we are both aware that this will not last forever, and when the tiny one finally relinquishes his scratchy, vice like grip on my breasts, we will abandon him with a willing grandparent/friend/kindly stranger and run off for a night to eat slowly, enjoy each other naked and then sleep for at least eight uninterrupted hours.
It will be glorious. We are looking forward to it. I think that we can keep on loving each other in the meantime.
As for money, I think it is hilarious that you thought we had any before we had our baby! We are used to being skint! I can cook up a storm using Tesco value ingredients, and all of the money that we used to spend at the pub now pays for nappies so we are pretty much exactly where we were before. I have never lived the high life so I am not feeling like I am missing out. I would never have been foolish enough to spend hundreds of pounds on anything other than a car, the dogs would just eat it anyway.
The carbon footprint thing is valid. I looked into reusable nappies, but the chemicals that you have to use to clean them seem to cause a whole other issue for the planet so they may not be as world friendly as people would have you believe. I also have three fluffy buddies that live in my house, a bin full of poo and bleach would only have one outcome. Three very ill or dead dogs. So I am using evil disposable nappies. I love them. #sorrynotsorry.
I do however buy preloved everything for my baby. His clothes have all been dribbled on by other multi chinned mini men. His jumper has already been jumped in. His pushchair has been the chariot for my best friend’s daughters before him. He grows so quickly that I see no point in spending stupid money on thing that will be in our house for around three months. He is clean, entertained and happy.
I do find that things regularly confuse me about child rearing. I should have done an engineering degree first so that I could easily assemble and operate all of the many things that come with having a baby. If it wasn’t for you tube videos and a lovely friend coming to my rescue, I may still be stuck on a hill with my baby after applying the break on my pushchair and then being completely unable to release it again.
I saw the health visitor yesterday who informed that at six months my baby should apparently not be eating pureed food anymore. No now I must give him everything that I eat, except honey, and that he will learn to eat by choking. HER EXACT WORDS. I experimented yesterday with a baby banana flavoured biscuit, the results were that all of his milk feed that he had just slurped out of my body, came rushing back out of his body all over him, me and lovely biscuit donating friends sofa. Followed by the bit of biscuit that had been lodged in his throat.
Having a baby is worrying (if he sleeps for more than two hours I find myself standing in the hallway, peering through a crack in the door to see if he is still alive), tiring, the sleep thing is true, I miss sleeping so very much. My body image has gone from being one where I am very confident to one where I worry that by the time that my offspring has finished with it, I may not be quite so happy with it. Most of the little bits of time that lovely boyfriend and I get to spend together seem to result in us both falling asleep on the sofa by accident.
There are also all of the other parents to contend with. Most of them are awesome and welcome you into the club with a big jar of coffee, a bottle of gin and a bumper pack of baby wipes. These guys are your friends and will happily field exhausted phone calls at half six in the morning (they are obviously already awake too) to give you advice on what they did when Tarquin had eaten a dog chew/seemed to be turning into an extra from the exorsist/had grey poo or any other random issues.
There are a strange breed of pushy/competitive parents that must be avoided like the plague. As soon as you see that smug smile followed by a wry “Oh, isn’t he doing that yet? Vanessa had done her PHD by the time she was four” or similar sort of statement, my best advice is to remove them from your contacts list and pretend that you didn’t see them when you were out shopping. They are hateful people who make it their mission to have you sat at home staring at your beautiful child wondering if they are somehow not quite good enough.
Even though I am tired and confused most of the time, I miss my pre-baby sex life and I miss rum so very much, I would not be without my tiny person. I love him more than anything else in the whole world. I would cut off a limb for him if I needed to. As strange as it will sound to the child free people out there, you really can’t get it if you haven’t got one. There is no simulation for feeling your baby practice kickboxing in the womb. The process of childbirth is like nothing else, you feel like you have earned that little life. The first time that your little person smiles at you is worth every stitch.
I can’t wait to see how he turns out, what his voice sounds like, what his favourite colour is, what his best dinner will be. For every area of my life that has changed or become limited from his arrival in my life, I have gained a new part of my life that is totally worth it.
So screw you child free doubting Thomas out there, all is not lost in our house. You enjoy your child free sexy life. I will have someone to move me into an old peoples home and make sure that the staff don’t steal my pension. Then we will see who has the last laugh.