I know it sounds pretentious, but you never know what means to be a mum until you try. But it is not what I want to say. Of course you do not. How to explain someone who never experience it the taste of the chocolate, the smell of the rain or how it feels to fall in love. Remember «Meet Joe Black» movie – when the Death tastes peanut butter first time? One friend told me the delivery is not as much about a birth of a child but mostly about a birth of the mother. Probably it is true. And it is what I want to talk.
When you do not have children yet and you see young parents – you sympathise with them. They do not sleep enough, but look so happy. And it is really harmonious. It is a happy tiredness. And now I know how it works. You got this small bucket with your daughter in the hospital and directly feel you have a duty of care. How I know what to do? How to do not harm out of ignorance? How I know what she wants? Why she cries? My heart breaks. And I do not sleep, of course. Because she suddenly does not want to sleep. And you just think what your fault is: lack of milk, wrong way of breast-feeding, she wants you to joggle her to sleep on or maybe she has a pain. Lots of suffering. Just terrible. And I thought I was ready to this. But you simply cannot be 100% ready. I do not how it is when you have a second or a third baby. But when you have your first… The first night me and her alone I asked her a million times: why you cannot speak? She is your little baby! And she wants something from you. But how can you give if you totally do not understand what she wants! Or maybe she just simply wants to scream!?
Or when you start to have a milk. OMG! Breast-feeding is painful firstly. It is like small vacuum cleaner sucks your breast. And you do not know if it will be always like this. Thanks God, no! But each day after you have more and more milk. And you smell of milk all the time. If you clothes become wet and you do not have time to change, then you smell of spoiled milk. If it got wet at night – you sleep in this and do not care.
And yes, your appearance and clothes. It is my favourite «bonus». She is in your hands just felt asleep or she threw up on you. And you need to change your clothes, but to do it quick. T-shirts, jeans and skirts. Not being coupled? Creased? You are kidding? Let’s keep it anyway. Making your hair in buns. No cosmetics, I use only highlighter – to cover up the swelling around my eyes. Manicure? Hairstyle? Makeup? And you will loose the hour of time you suddenly get when she sleeps! Time flies and you can spend this hour to:
- sleep also;
- eat without the baby in your hands;
- relax and have a cup of tea;
- clean the house, because you did not do since long time (Marc thinks it is all fine around anyway);
- wash or iron clothes, give water to flowers etc;
- do your business – write emails, fill the docs etc;
- and self-care.
Most of time to tae care about myself I quickly have a shower using scrub when stay there or having a mask when brush my tooth. It is a question of a priority. Maternity teaches you the sense of priorities.
Also I though that to be a mum means to walk in the park with the stroller. To seat and read a book, to write something while she sleeps, to put your head up in the sun, to drink something fresh and to take a photo of her waking up. I tried it a few times. Surprise! It does not work – she does not want to sleep. She wants to eat (or drink?) all the time. It is +35 in Vienna. And you need to breath-feed her there in the park sweating all over. And it does not take in our case 20 mins. She wants eat now, then she does not, then again she wants. I am just having a nervous breakdown. The book is waiting for me. But I give up in one hour and we go home.
Gases. So awful word! She cries and eats all the time – it calms her down. Our pediatrist told us unexpectedly he can do almost nothing. He suggested the medics, but effect is unpredictable. I could not understand how it can be like this. Why nobody can tell what to do with it to help. But after I realised «one can always make one’s entertainment». And we still fight with it. We try and watch, and try again. Sometimes we do not sleep too much. Sometimes she is in our hands all day long. But what to do? She is our little girl.
Sometimes when I breast-feeding for 2 hours and she cries and asks more. I think that a maternity is a great lesson of patience. I find myself wanting her to finish quick to have time to do lots of things. But the minutes spent with her, with my little baby girl, will pass away really quickly. And I will remember my impatience, how I try to run from her to clean the flat, to do my business… Why not then take it easy and enjoy this time? Her lying in my hands, looking at me closely, pulling my hair, scratching me, smiling, making strange sounds. It’s one-on-one, all alone in the whole World with the scent of milk.
She falls asleep on your chest. And to move her somewhere (like her bed) is almost impossible! From this gravity I have backache. But suddenly she smiles in her sleep. And I call Marc to watch. She sleeps and we like two idiots admire her. When she grows up and I find time, I will visit a doctor to fix my back, to beauty salon to do something nice with my hair and to have manicure and pedicure, I will start to have a hairstyle again, I will do jogging in the evening, I will wear dresses and have make up. But now my little princess stole my time and teaches me to enjoy the moment. So… If you see me happy but ugly – do not be in shock. It is the birth of the mother inside of me.