I’ve been observing myself recently. Generally I am very much locked inside my own little head, in my own little bubble. Do you know how it is? You are just plodding along thinking What on earth am I cooking for tea, and did I submit that brief at work, and what on earth shall I buy so and so for Christmas and SHIT did I lock the front door.
Generally my own little brand of madness trots on merrily and I think and mother my way through the day without stopping and really observing myself or my surroundings.
But of late, observe myself I have, and it has been quite telling indeed. What it has done is thrown into sharp relief just how much of a Mum I am these days. I know that sounds ridiculous and you are probably thinking FFS Sian, he’s just turned four, how can you only just be realising that you’re a Mum??!
But what I mean is that there are various habits and reactions and trappings to life these days that seem, to me at least, to be uniquely those of a Mum. I imagine they ring true for lots of other Mums. Or not. Either way, here is my take on the trappings of motherhood:
1. Ikea is a credible choice for a day out with your child. Ikea is bloody brilliant. A million things to look at/break for both you AND your child, soft play, indoor play space, Mr Whippy, quirky toys, a plethora of stuff you had no idea you needed, tiny pencils, and a restaurant blessed with an air-con system that SIMPLY MUST pump SWEDISH MAGIC into the atmosphere because your child will eat whatever the hell you put in front of them. We are going tomorrow. I cannot wait.
2. Your standard reaction to ANY type of emergency is to grab a baby wipe.
3. There are approximately ONE MILLION raisins in the bottom of each of your handbags.
4. You rock. Somewhere, in the numbing eternity of those first few weeks of holding a baby on your shoulder all night and all day, you have pre-programmed yourself to rock in any situation that finds you standing stationary. Chatting to a colleague at their desk? You’re rocking slowly-slowly-back-and-forth. Drying your hands under the dryer? You’re rocking. Standing by the slide at the playground. Rocking. Stirring pasta. Rocking.
5. You attempt to burp adults. James has now accepted that, fairly frequently, I will absent-mindedly reach over and rub his back.
6. Your attitude to body fluids is disgusting. Your previous self would watch how you deal with your child’s various drips and howl. You happily accept a snotty kiss that deposits a clump of neon green snot straight into your mouth. You scrub poo out of pants without gloves on. You wipe noses with your sleeve or worse, bare hand. You slosh wee all over yourself while emptying the potty. You scoop gigantic turds into the toilet without even batting an eyelid.
7. Buying clothes for your child is more exciting than buying for yourself *wails*
8. You are so accustomed to unseasoned food that, on the rare occasions that you eat out, you spend the entire night alternatively chugging litres of water because your body has no idea how to deal with the salt and then weeing like there is no tomorrow.
9. You hide in the cupboard under the stairs and stuff chocolate into your mouth whilst calling no sorry sweetheart, Mummy forgot to buy the Chocolate Buttons over your shoulder.
10. You chop your own food into tiny pieces.
11. You never go to the toilet alone.
12. Anything more than one glass of wine (and I mean ANYTHING – THE MEREST SNIFF IS ENOUGH) has you snoring like a nuclear drone and then cutching your head and staring longingly at your bed for 12 hours while your child smashes a Spiderman into your forehead and emits toxic farts.
dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused