Settle down and let me list you some of the ways in which parenthood has changed me. This is not an exhaustive list, if I done that you would be exhausted reading and I would be exhausted typing and getting myself whipped up into some form of wild soap box feminist ‘lets all unite’ frenzy, ain’t no need for that kind of behaviour on a calm afternoon.
1.Standards – lowered or non existent
I’m not meaning the ‘I’m never give my child sugar’ and now I supply it intravenously kinda standards, I mean all standard – baby, food, life, beauty, hygiene…
Mornings BC (before child) when a little like – wake, quick shower, nestle down in front of the mirror naked to apply mascara while thinking about my outfit for the day, straighten or curl or spend sometime doing my hair, have some breakfast, brush teeth, pick an album to listen to, pop in headphones and off to work.
Now it’s wake at 6am, zombie walk through to Jess tell her ‘no, it’s too early’ lie her down, zombie walk back to bed. Wake at 7 to a less than friendly Jess growling she wants up, get child, feed child, feed child again, barter with child that it’s not the right time for a fucking biscuit (that bloody word, biscuit biscuit, biscuit!), clean explosive smooshed shit from child, sniff test her, dress child, put paw patrol on TV, change it to peppa pig, get child’s toothbrush, wait for her to finish milk that she’s been drinking for 30 minutes, brush teeth, argue about what shoes she will wear, shoe wrestle Jess and done.
Me – sniff armpit, deodorant, dry shampoo hair and high pony tail that grease ball, curl eye lashes that are covered in previous day’s mascara, sniff test floor clothing, put it on even if it fails test, brush teeth, let Jess brush my teeth and we are done.
Most mornings I look in the mirror and think, really? Then I check the time and think I’ll be lucky to get out the door never mind look wonderful, I look and smell acceptable as long as no one comes withing hugging distance.
BC I would never dream of having day old mascara on my eyes or more than one dry shampoo day, I was never the best dresser but I certainly never turned up to work with random stains on my top!
It’s not just me with zero standards, Dave is kicking about in his only pair of jeans that are being worn so much that have a hole at the knee (which is quite fashionable these days). We aren’t fussed about our lack of standards, which brings me to my next point…
2. IDGAF (look at me keeping up with all the kids)
Honestly, I give zero shits about most things. Things that would give BC Kirsty the horrors like VERY noticeable greasy hair, dirty clothes, peeing with the door open, mess, embarrassment, bodily functions, speeding ticket, responsibilities – I don’t give a fuck.
There are so many more important things to make room for in my brain, more important stuff to worry about. I genuinely don’t get embarrassed or care that I look like I’v been dragged through a bush backwards most days. If the drama isn’t regarding Jessica’s health or happiness then chances are I don’t care.
You would think with this attitude I am the most relaxed laid back person to join the parenthood clan…
3. I made new mates called Depression and Anxiety
These guys are the uninvited guests that won’t take the hint and piss off. Instead of letting them roam the whole house, I try my best to contain them to the basement.
This is the biggest change in me after having Jess, I think it started very shortly after her birth in 2015 and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to live with these new guest (hence starting a blog).
The biggest problem with these guys is they change my perception – no one gets me, I’m worthless, people are better at ‘life’ than me, I’m such a pest – coupled with an impatient, knowing these thoughts aren’t right and I want it stopped kinda mind makes a rather frustrated and moody Kirsty.
These guys want a four way relationship, but Dave and I aren’t so keen, it can place strain on us from time to time. Luckily through therapy, honesty and understanding on both our parts, the visitors escape less and less from their dungeon and when they do we all meet for a cup of tea. Occasionally that tea party turns into more of a rave and those guys are the DJs controlling the show. When it does happen it’s short lived with Dave bringing me back to reality and helping smuggle those little shits back into their box.
4. I want to hug and help everyone
Well done to all the parents. I mean that, whole hearty. I have the greatest respect and admiration for parents. When people say its tough, it’s an understatement. I remember in the hazey upside down first few weeks after Jessica’s birth I wanted to hug every mother and father I seen pushing a pram and tell them how amazing and strong they are. Those people that have kids (or just one) and manage to keep their shit together, not only that but make it look fun, are my heros!
Mums are awesome, not in a sexist mums are the best way, the mother grew that child and got it out her body one way or another. I never saw BC how truly amazing mothers are, I certainly do now! Mums go through a lot, as does the partner yes, but the mums ride is bloody terrifying and lonely at times.
Birth was a bit overwhelming for me, then came breastfeeding a child that LOVED the tit and HATED sleeping. It was wild, no wonder depression and anxiety moved in, plenty of room at the inn. Alot of women find it hard for one reason or another, I feel almost compelled to reach out to new mothers, I don’t want anyone to feel the way I did.
5. Bitches still got it, coz bitches decide she got it
There are numerous posts, blogs, funny lists of how your body will change after a baby – most of these I was tagged in by smug mothers that knew what shit was about to go down.
I have a kind of IDGAF, worried pre-baby comparison, I’m too tired, love, it is what it is view to my body.
Ultimately my body is what it is, unless I want to go the gym or a plastic surgeon then I’ll like what I have. I don’t agree with the philosophy that I have ‘tiger stripes’ or that I earned them or they are a reminder…a reminder of what? My child? She’s right there, beside me, on me, practically back in me, she never leaves me and when she does I’m pretty sure I will stalk her to the point of annoyance. I’m unlikely to forget my child, I don’t need a reminder.
To me calling anything that was a result of pregnancy/breastfeeding/birth (not in that order) as a reward or reminder makes it an addition to you, something you are forced to accept even though you don’t want it. My stretch marks, changed boobs and *ahem* vaginal area are what they are. It is what it is. The marks don’t bother me, it’s the extra fat I accumulated whilst eating like an insatiable horse during pregnancy that bothers me, again, not enough that I care. If more people cared less than no one would entertain how a woman’s body changes during pregnancy and we wouldn’t see stretch marks or saggy (saggy, I hate that, a boobs is a boob, big, small, firm, saggy, lopsided all perfect boobs) boobs anything other than normal.
The only body change that pisses me off is my reduced bladder control and by reduced I mean I can no longer jump, bounce, laugh too hard or hold my pee in for longer than 30 seconds. Do your kegels.
6. I don’t judge
BC I thought I done my best not to judge people but I would find myself saying ‘oh I would never let my child get away with that’ or ‘did she look in the mirror before leaving the house?’ not now. People do what they do and who am I to put my nose in.
You wanna feed your kid a diet of cheese? You wanna co sleep with your kid till it’s 3? You wanna shave half your hair off? You wanna let you kid scream it’s way round the store? You wanna supply unlimited snacks so your kid doesn’t scream round the store? You wanna stay at home with the kids? You wanna work full time? You wanna clock watch until it’s an acceptable time to get those kids to bed? Go for it.
You gotta do what you gotta do. Parents are all in the same boat, the keep the child alive and happy boat. Why judge other people for how they keep their boat afloat? You will either upset them, making them question all their parenting abilities or the more likely scenario is they will snarl telling you to do one. Then they will proceed to bitch to everyone and anyone about how much of an arsehole you are with your ‘perfect life’.
I don’t offer unsolicited advice either, people hate that shit. Don’t do it.