#InHerWords: Parental Advisory, what no one tells you about being a new mom

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So you get pregnant, and everyone’s like Congratulations and how beautiful you are. The world sees you through goo-goo eyes, and you fall for it and think what a Goddess you are and how amazing your life is.

I won’t lie – being pregnant is awesome. Random strangers go out of their way to help you. You constantly get free shit, and there’s always a chair offered. You can eat as much as you like and there’s no pressure to do anything.

Then the baby comes out, and those VERY SAME people are the ones giving you the eye when bubs on the plane. Or smirking while you breastfeed. Worst, snickering at your parenting skills – not so much a goddess anymore.

 

I have always been proud of being able to create a life that was on my terms. But, suddenly, my carefully curated life was road kill. Run over by a speeding truck of baby routines, breast pumps and sleepless nights. I had a life. A career. And then, in the span of the year it took my kid to be able to sleep all night, I got irrelevant.

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I have no idea how to use emojis. Snapchat is confusing. I’ve never re-grammed in my life. I lost three iPhones in two years – at least one dug up somewhere in my garden by a bored one-year-old. It’s like I went Snow White for two years, and when I woke, the world was like, ‘YAS, ftw, tbh, alien face (WTF???? That I still know.) I need a consultant every time I’m on Instagram.

True, you could get a nanny and just move on (and no judgment on any mama that does). I couldn’t or didn’t want to, but I get it. A day of sitting at a desk, with a deadline, and a room full of adults? Sounds like a vacation to me.

Ok, I guess it made me a better person, and I learned the meaning of real, unconditional — fuck it. I’m so bored of this story. It’s not true. You don’t need a child to evolve. I stopped meditating once the kid came. Now, I practice yoga under the shower. There are no unselfish motives to have a child. And, there are no unselfish children. No amount of hugs, kisses, general cuteness can make up for the exhaustion and frustration that comes from bringing up a child.

Don’t say I never warned you.

It gets tougher every year we become more nuclear and gender neutral. It takes a village to raise a kid. But, we don’t live in those close-knit communities anymore. Forget about calling the grandmother. Nani’s too busy out to lunch or at her yoga class or on holiday or whatever she needs to do, to make up for all the time she lost on you. Touché.

Forget about the man, too. We were brought up to believe we could have the same life our male counterparts do. And we do. We do it better, even. But, it’ll only last till you become a mother. No matter how gender equal your relationship is — you the one with the boobies, lady.

And so, overnight, there they are on your shoulders: the colossal, immensely heavy, weight of Gender Roles.

You can’t work as much.

You look terrible; your clothes don’t fit;

There is a faint smell of poop following you everywhere.

Worst, you’re SOBER.

Meanwhile, your man will have his chest out all month. He’ll get high fives and back thumps like he did something. He will think it’s perfectly reasonable to go out partying with his friends. It’s the 40’s all over again, except you now have the right to look gross if you want.

All I’m saying is: get into it with your eyes wide open. Your impressive studio apartment and job created just for you? Be willing to give it all up. There will be no more spontaneous flights to Berlin for a party or even just staying home and doing nothing all day.

Yes, it will all be over in a couple of years. But the world moves so fast – it will feel like an eternity. Just don’t say nobody warned you.

On the plus side, you get to live in your pyjamas. 🙂
P.S – I love you, pookie. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

Simrit Malhi
Written by

When she isn't trying to tame her two dogs, one cat and three year old human; Simrit writes and teaches permaculture on her organic farm in Kodaikanal. Avocados, feminist politics and Biomimicry are her current obsessions. Follow her at maaliwalli.tumblr.com

3 Comments

  • Carol Anderson

    Love it. Well done for being straight to the point in yet a loving and kind manner xxx

  • Bill

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Exceptionally well written! http://yahoo.net

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