This weeks topic is by no means a reflection of how anyone has treated me. It’s more about how I feel. How easy it is to always feel one step behind the crowd. Not that this should influence how you live your life but it’s always nice to share similar experiences with those around you.
Pre motherhood I was what they call a typical “binge drinker”. I didn’t go out every weekend but rather once or twice a month. This is behaviour that I wouldn’t encourage. Especially for my younger readers. At the same time though, I do believe you only live once. Sometimes you have just got to throw caution to the wind. Anyway, this type of life was great, carefree, the next piss up to look forward to, and plenty of like minded individuals around me all looking forward to the same thing.
But then came the babies. One by one I slowly lost all my drinking buddies to the wonder that is pregnancy. Suddenly people wanted to go for chilled out meals so they could fill and nurture their ever growing baby machines and have some relaxing conversation amongst family and friends at the same time. This was all great as I consider myself a foodie so I love meals out. But what about “Wild Cassie”? She was having to quietly take a back seat through no fault of her own and watch everyone else settle into their new lives. Happily married I wasn’t exactly a wild child but I needed to know that the once a month binge and a giggle was round the corner. All I could see was someone metaphorically packing it all away in a big box and putting it on a plane destined for “sometime in the very distant future”.
I had no maternal instinct in me. My hubby is fabulous with kids. I knew we would have kids, because that was the done thing wasn’t it. The moment we were married we were constantly asked when the babies were coming. The pressure was growing. I was so happy for everyone around me falling pregnant, but I just didn’t have that definate feeling that I wanted it for myself. There was far too much uncertainty involved and what if it ruined what myself and hubby had together. I constantly took mental notes from those around me about what to do and what not to do as a parent and a wife that had recently become a mother. I started to think about what kind of parent I would be. And discussing it with hubby, I found out we both had the same ideals of parenthood.
It was a very uncertain time of “we’re trying”, “no we’re not ready to try”, “let’s try” , “are we both sure” , “we’re definately trying”. To the outside world though we both mutually portrayed this picture of not wanting children for a long time so as not to put any pressure on ourselves. We had seen others tell the world their plans only for Mother Nature to not allow it to go quite as intended and for us we felt this would be too much pressure to have a captive audience waiting on our every sexual encounter.
After 8 months of trying, and might I add becoming completely consumed by the idea, we became pregnant. Many were actually surprised and asked if it was planned being as we had put on this marvellous display of not wanting to be parents. If only they knew how obsessed we had become with the whole idea in those 8 months.
So rather fantastically my sister who is the same age as me was also pregnant and we would literally text everyday. She was further down the line than me by 5 months but was spot on with predicting each stage I would go through. Even down to what consistency my poo would be. Both my sister in laws and three of my close friends had also not long had babies along with an abundance of people I worked with, even my hairdresser! I was suddenly part of the group again. All with the same interest, same topic of conversation and we all knew what each other was going through. My pregnancy made some of them reminisce about their own pregnancies with some broody for more.
Then when George was born although I chose some different styles and approaches to those around me, the mutual “I know what you’re going through” feeling was still there. We were still a group of mothers talking about sleep deprivation, feeding, nappies, body demolition, relationship struggles and emotional triumphs and setbacks. I still remembered wild child Cassie’s days but I didn’t miss them whilst I was part of this group. And with a new baby came a socially acceptable ticket to attend all these groups and places I had never been to. After all I didn’t have to go to work anymore so I filled my days meeting like minded mummies with similar age babies and this fabulous community started to open up around me.
Then suddenly people started to fall pregnant again. Suddenly there were people that had two babies. Now not having two babies myself, I can’t comment on how different it is to having one but let me tell you how it appears to me. It’s very different. It’s harder. Almost instantly I was back in a minority. Surrounded by people whose lives I couldn’t join in with. I knew what it was like to be pregnant, but pregnancy with a toddler in tow is another world. I knew what it was like to have a newborn but a newborn with a toddler in tow was a different world. And by this point some people had returned to work. I returned to work for three months but decided it wasn’t working for our family so I quit to become a stay at home mum. So I couldn’t empathise with knowing how that felt either.
So here we are. Standing at the edge of a path with two branches. The one to the right takes me towards wild child Cassie. No longer breastfeeding and with George fully content spending time with Daddy and other family members, I could very easily afford a few mischievous nights out as the old, young Cassie before she became a mother. And indeed I have a few of these nights on the calendar. The path to the path to the left is a fast track back to the group. Two children. Another pregnancy. A sibling for George. It’s what we both want and we can’t decided when the time is right physically, financially, emotionally for George. All I know is this path leads me back to understanding what everyone around me is going through.
Watch this space to see which path I choose. If indeed it is a choice?
Until next time….