Child v husband. Who will win? There’s only one way to find out….
WARNING - A BIT SWEARY (soz)
When child is asleep, I can’t believe I made him (I gaze lovingly at him with those Roger Rabbit cartoon love hearts in my eyes. He is amazing. He is my world)
When child is awake, I wonder why I made him (‘just stop the fuck crying!’, ‘I have nothing left to give you!’. I hate him. He is my nemesis)
When I am asleep, it doesn’t last long (It’s your fucking turn to get up asshole. Husband continues to fake snore. I know he heard me. Knob)
This child ruined my life. He took my freedom away. He made me forget I have a makeup bag. That I once had normal sized boobs and normal shaped nipples. That the shower still exists. But most importantly he made me forget I have a husband. My husband has been given involuntary redundancy for the most part. Marriage only exists between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. They didn’t tell me that at antenatal.
Re-e-wind (Craig David stylee)
Life pre baby, 8 months pregnant.
“I won’t be one of those mums who won’t let their child be looked after by anyone else. They can have him when ever they want. Simon and I still need some time to ourselves too. I refuse to be ‘just a mum’”, she said in Costa to her best friend through a mouth rammed with carrot cake (1 of your 5 a day I will have you know). I hadn’t eaten for approximately 6.5 minutes and I was wasting away.
Now, we all look back on our time before small demons and look at what we said in a kind of ‘floating out of body way’, and basically, we can see that we were all just twats. No more so than me thinking that life would carry on as normal and a baby would just slip into my cushy little life. (A life you don’t realise is cushy until it is cruelly and suddenly snatched away). After all, all your mother mates on faceboook manage to go to Meadowhall all glammed up with a pristine looking newborn baby every weekend? Right? You see them sipping cocktails in the city centre bar 2 weeks postpartum with their handsome husband quoting ‘mummy and daddy time’. Right? Christ, one of my mates managed a child free romantic holiday to Barbados a month post twatting partum!
Fucking liars. The lot of ya.
The thing is, I thought having a baby would complete my family. Simon and I had met at university, 10 years ago. We shagged on the first student drunken night out after I tempted him back to my house with the promise of several spliffs. And that is where our romantic journey began. On that fateful night we never though that 10 years later we would be married and having a little human. How grown up we had become. This baby would make us a family.
Boom. Crash. Bang. Child arrives. Your life comes tumbling down.
Never did I think that this child would consume my entire life from this moment onwards. That letting anyone else touch him, never mind look after him would cause me to come out in hives. (Remember that trash I spouted in Costa?) When Theo was born Simon saw me looking at him. ‘You’re looking at him like he is sucking the life out of you’ he said. He was right. And from then on what I thought would bring us together dragged us apart.
My poor husband. He rarely gets a second glance these days. In the early days I was mostly a zombie. Now my child is 1 my time is spent chasing him around, saving him from the plethora of items in the house that can cause him serious injury or death. (Everything then. Does anyone else's child eat rocks?)
Until 7.30pm. Then I can look at my husband. Through the cloudiness and the fog of exhaustedness he is still there. He hasn’t moaned at me that the dishes aren’t clean. That the washing is all over the upstairs floor. (I got it half way to the washing machine, promise). That the only thing for tea is half a bowl of nonspecific puree mush and a half chewed broccoli stick. He gives me a smile and I know it is ok. I am sure deep inside he is cursing my inability to move the used cup (full of coffee that inevitably went cold before I got to drink it) 6 inches from the counter actually into the open dishwasher. But he doesn’t say it. And for that I love him.
So we sit down together. Wonder who can be arsed to cook tea. And watch Coronation Street. As for us, that is a treat. We eat crap and drink wine in our lounge wear (battered joggers and a 20 year old x-files tshirt. I’m sexy and I know it). Then in the morning when we wake up, with Theo inevitably squished in between us in our bed (no he doesn’t sleep though before you ask), we are a family. And it is amazing. At the moment for our relationship this is enough.
It is true, I don't look at simon the same. He is no longer the binge drinking spliff smoking student I fell in love with. I get mad at him for not knowing that Theo likes to have an oat bar in the afternoon, and that breakfast must be between 7.00 and 7.15. That at 2.15 we name all the body parts and sing the numbers song on Baby twatting TV. But, he is something different. He is my husband who looks after us financially, and emotionally as well as he knows how to, as he too finds his way haphazardly through this mammoth boobytrapped labyrinth called parenthood (I visualise the actual Labyrinth, complete with Bowie’s too tight leggings). He loves us both. He is struggling and managing just like me. He treads carefully, not knowing whether asking me if I want a coffee will result in me busting out with laughter, or tears of pain. And it is this different husband I wholeheartedly accept. Who I still do love. And who loves me despite the mental illness that has taken over my brain called ‘motherhood’. I do love him. And I love our baby too. And I also love our new family life. Albeit often through gritted teeth.