What I want to write is that being a parent is an incredible journey. What I want to write is that there’s nothing better than holding your baby for the first time and knowing you’re responsible for his or her life and to a great extent knowing you’re responsible for how they turn out. What I want to write is that it makes your life 10x better.
But I can’t in good faith write just that.
I’d be lying if I said being a parent didn’t have great moments. But honestly I think I could have done without it. Don’t get me wrong I love my baby to death. And in a time when we were both in danger of physical harm, I put her safety before mine. But being a parent is incredibly hard and thankless.
The first time I held the daughter, I didn’t feel love or tenderness I felt overwhelming fear just soaring through me. That may have been the morphine but I’m pretty sure it was fear. After having 10 months to come to grips with it, I was suddenly terrified. So terrified that I had the nurse take her away for the first few hours So I could calm myself. I had a penchant for ruining anything good in my life so why would this be any different? Why did I deserve to fill up this blank slate? What if she turned out to be a serial killer And it is all my fault? Or what if she didn’t believe in feminism? Could I really survive creating something so stupid? Well my mum survived despite how I turned out so I guess I could.
You know that thing women say about how you forget about the pain soon as the baby is in your arms? Total horse shit. You definitely remember it. For at least six weeks, every time you pee, laugh or fart you remember it.
For the first maybe 4-6 months, your baby doesn’t have a personality really or do anything so it’s like having a doll that you have to be really really careful with. And you will occasionally get sprayed with pee, vomit or shit because babies are assholes.
But despite all of that I would not trade this for anything. I will tell you first hand that no one will ever love you as plainly or unconditionally as your baby will. No one will be as excited to see you every time you walk into the room even if you’ve only be gone for 5 minutes. She has taught me what love is in the way God truly intended. And you probably will never love anyone else this much either. But then I’ve also felt this way about cake and vodka so maybe don’t take my word for it.
One of the great things about it is how much closer my mum and I are. She did this shit 4 times and since we turned like 12 all we’ve done is give her shit. Every Time my daughter keeps me up all night, I send my mum a long message telling her I think she’s amazing and thanking her. Not only has she been immensely supportive but she’s clearly super woman because she had four kids, worked and got another degree. I’m here with one and half the time I can barely get through the day.
You have to literally teach babies everything. How to suck, how to sleep etc. Horses and shit whose babies can do all of that soon as they are born do they have two heads? It is exhausting. But I live for her. I don’t even remember what my life was before her. (Just kidding I remember. Lots of free time. Lots of wine and waaaaay less shit. Like how can you be so tiny and shit so much? Where do you even store it?)
Some days I don’t want to get up and she propels me to (it’s usually 5.30am and apparently babies think this is an appropriate time to start their day). And when I’m drowning and at my breaking point, all it takes is a big smile and a tight hug and problems don’t exist. (Pictures from women with amazing breasts also help but that’s neither here nor there).
So here’s to learning on the job and hopefully not messing her up.