Reflections on motherhood...


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alcohol and motherhood makes for a bad combination

The state of motherhood is a special kind of madness.  This blog is evidence of that.  But combine it with a bit too much to drink and you get some strange outcomes...   I just had to reproduce this story in full - it's too good not to share.  This woman is ALL class.
A lactating US woman was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after she sprayed sheriff's deputies with breast milk as they tried to remove her from a vehicle, police said on Monday.
Ohio-resident Stephanie Robinette, 30, was arrested and charged with domestic violence and assault linked to a domestic dispute, as well as resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, according to the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.
It said Robinette's husband told authorities the pair had been attending a wedding when his wife got drunk and started a dispute. He said that she hit him many times before locking herself in her car outside a banquet facility on Saturday.
Sheriff Walter L. Davis III said that when police approached the car to speak to her, she yelled profanities and refused to get out.
"When deputies attempted to remove Robinette from the vehicle she advised the deputies that she was a breastfeeding mother and proceeded to remove her right breast from her dress and began spraying deputies and the vehicle with her breast milk," Davis said.
Robinette was later removed from the car and arrested after more deputies arrived on the scene.
"This is a prime example of how alcohol can make individuals do things they would not normally do," Davis said.
There's even a video:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Starting creche

Milkbaby started creche about a month ago.  Leaving my firstborn with strangers is one of the harder things I've had to do on this motherhood caper (it's right up there with going to the dentist).  The first day he barely noticed my departure, too engrossed in exploring his surrounds.  I walked down the street back to the car, eyes streaming, boobs leaking milk all over the show.   It's the latest thing I've shed tears over, apart from the cat dying.  It was like this for the first week.  Then in the second week, it was him doing the crying as he cottoned on to the fact that I was leaving him.  I managed to hold it together.  And it's gotten better ever since. Last week, on my first day of work, I got a smile and a wave.  I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised if he'd said "have a nice day at work mama!"

In my quieter moments alone, I ponder that age-old philosophical question: "if a baby cries at a creche, will his mother know?"

Then I think, "hey, I should be enjoying this 5 minutes to myself without interruption".  Even if it is just the third stall in the work bathroom.

Ah, pees and quiet.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The maternity leave TO DO list

My maternity leave came to an end last Thursday.  I am now officially a "working Mom" (more on this later).  As opposed to a stay-at-home-Mom, or SAHM in internet speak.

My maternity leave TO DO list (the optimistic version) went something like this:
  • reorganise book collection
  • sort and put wedding photos into an album and some others into frames
  • get vege and rose garden sorted
  • unpack boxes from moving (almost 3 years ago)
  • become a proficient baker/sewer/knitter/homemaker

It should have looked more like this:
  • have baby
  • sleep
  • ignore piles of washing and dirty household
  • feed baby
  • sleep
  • sleep

Needless to say, I achieved NONE of the tasks on my original and very optimistic maternity leave TO DO list.  And only achieved ONE thing on the REAL TO DO list.  ("Have baby" - duh!)

I guess everything else will have to wait until I go on maternity leave again.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Would You Rather...

Would You Rather...  was one of my favourite books as a child.  It involved all sorts of awful options.  Like, would you rather... stay in a haunted house?  or run through a field of stinging nettles?  Ummm...  Of course I was that annoying kid who was always trying to negotiate: "well as long as it was only one night in the haunted house" or "that depends on how big the field of stinging nettles was".  Seems I was destined to be a lawyer.

Lately I've been comparing horrible adult tasks to giving birth.  My darling sister sent me a coupon deal for a Brazilian bikini wax, suggesting thoughtfully that I might like to surprise the DH.  She obviously didn't give much thought to what a bald, post-partum vagina looks like.  It would be a surprise alright.  Perhaps just not a pleasant one.  But I digress.  I emailed her back: "I'd rather give birth than get a Brazilian."

And then I was at the dentist this morning, lying there, jaw and lips stretched out of all proportion, having my teeth cleaned and polished, the little grinder making that awful fingernails-down-blackboard noise thinking "I think I'd rather give birth than go through this again."  And I wasn't even getting a filling!  Or, heaven forbid, a root canal.

And I'm still traumatised by having seven-week-old Milkbaby immunised.  I think I'd rather give birth than do that again.  Or run through a field of stinging nettles.  Or even stay in a haunted house.  But those options weren't available, so he's fully vaccinated (See?  Sensible, old, wise Mama).

According to Wikipedia, Would You Rather is a party game.  I might try it at the next party I go to.  That'll be like, never.  So consider this a blog party.

What would you rather?

Getting old (and wise?)

A friend was complaining that no one took her seriously at her job because she seemed too young.

I said (helpfully, I thought) "Just wait till the shoe's on the other foot.  Like when you're giving birth and the doctor delivering your baby looks like he's about 22."

Not kidding.  When he walked in at the 27th hour and, get this, politely introduced himself, I wanted to yell "you're not old enough to be delivering babies!".  (I also wanted to yell "I don't care what your bloody name is!").
He wasn't quite as young as Doogie Howser MD, but close.

Becoming a mother is a turning point in one's life.  That's a cliche.  But overnight (and yes literally, overnight), I feel like I grew up and became "old", all at once.  Not "old" in the "a-little-bit-older-and-more-responsible" sense, but really just old, in the "I-could-be-a-Grandma-if-I-wasn't-30" sense.  I'm obviously having trouble picking peoples' ages.  My muscles, bones and other unmentionable body parts hurt (or just look a bit saggy).  I am constantly tired.  I could do with an afternoon nap (or three).  I'm sure I've got a few extra wrinkles.  And the DH, upon becoming a father, suddenly got grey hairs and an obsession for laundry.

But are we any wiser?  Probably not (though we could certainly impart a tip or two on parenthood).  A bit jaded?  I will say yes, definitely.  Happier?  I think so.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Let's have another one

The "let's have another" conversation was going to happen sooner or later.  I just didn't think it would be the DH who would bring it up.

In everything I've read lately, it's always the female wanting another child, and the male politely resisting.  A couple of examples:

Ann Enright in Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood:
"When the baby is a month old - he is so gorgeous - I come, momentously, to a decision.  I can't help it.  I just have to say it.  Of course I should bide my time, I should wait a month, or more: I should be canny about this thing, because this is an argument I feel I must win - but I end up blurting it out instead.
I say, 'I really think we should have another one.  I really do.'
And Martin says, 'I am trying to drive the car.'"

Or Eva in We Need to Talk About Kevin:
""Franklin, I want to have another child."
I opened my eyes and blinked.  I had surprised myself.  It may have been my first experience of spontaneity in six or seven years.
You wheeled.  Your response was spontaneous, too.  "You cannot be serious.""
We were having an in-car-conversation about our short-medium term plans.  I was talking about what we could achieve once I went back to work, starting with getting some of our house renos finished.  Then BOOM, the DH says, seemingly out of the blue: "And how about you being up the duff by Christmas?" (he's so romantic this one - what a catch!).
Me: Glazed-eyed silence.  I stare out the window.  My eyes water a little.  Then I let out a little laugh just in case it was a joke.  There was no laugh in response so I gathered he was serious.  So I said: "you've enjoyed this fatherhood thing then?"
DH: "Well it's been hard, but yeah I enjoy it.  So how about it?"
Me: More staring into the distance.  Brain not really computing.  "Umm, I'll think about it."  The DH obviously never read this blog post.

I'm still thinking about it.

At the risk of becoming passe, I've devised another appropriate Tui ad for this situation:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A new emotion

Let me introduce you to my new, least favourite, emotion:

[drum roll] da da da daaah!

RESENTMENT n. Indignation or ill will felt as a result of a real or imagined grievance.

Not such a common emotion in my repertoire - until having a baby.  It's one of those ones that creeps up on you, and you find yourself cursing into your decaf (yes furking decaf) about almost any little thing that just happens to set you off.

You resent having to get up AGAIN in the night.  You resent the fact that weekends now closely resemble weekdays, complete with 5.30am starts.  You resent your body for having betrayed you into thinking that you really, really wanted one of these crying, pooping, hungry things (WTF were we thinking?).  You resent the fact that you're stuck at home while the DH gets to go to work, and the DH resents the fact that you get to lounge around at home (haha) while he has to work.  You resent it if the DH gets home late from work, or wants to go out in the evening.  You resent the fact that you're the ONLY one (at the moment) who can satisfy this baby's needs (if he would just god damn well eat something it wouldn't be such a problem).  You resent the fact that you can't take hour-long showers like you used to, or if you spend longer than 5 minutes with the bathroom door shut Milkbaby screams like he's being abducted by aliens (if only!).

Then you get The Guilt for resenting the defenceless little bugger (he's just a baby after all).  Don't get me wrong, it's not all hell in a moses basket.  But if I could just have a 20 minute shower without interruption I would be eternally grateful.
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