There are many, many things about becoming a Mum that you will be completely unprepared for. Leaky boobs, dark circles under your eyes and spending no longer than a minute in the shower to name a few. One of the biggest things for me was the first time I had to leave my baby. I was completely unprepared for how it would make me feel.
You carry them for 9 months on the inside, then they spend weeks being permanently attached to your boobs on the outside. So the first time you leave them it is really strange. Whether you are champing at the bit to get out and just have a bit of ‘me’ time (although you may have forgotten who ‘me’ is!) or whether your baby is being prized from your arms by well-meaning relatives as they push you out the door. Either way you will feel slightly lost, like something is missing. Whether you go to a bar or the supermarket, you will find yourself swaying in a gentle rocking motion, even though there is no baby in your arms, and people will stare at you like you are a complete loon (especially if rocking is accompanied by a lullaby – who me, no I never did such a thing)!
I remember sitting in the doctors waiting room, my baby left safely with my mum, and I thought I would be worried about him. Instead I felt like a piece of me was missing. There was no obvious baby bump, just a wobbly tummy where he once was. I had no buggy with my little man snuggled inside. I only had my keys and my phone in my hands, no huge bag overflowing with nappies and muslin’s. I wanted to tell every stranger in that waiting room that I had a baby at home, I was a Mummy. Instead I smiled at the woman next to me who had a toddler with her and tried really hard to telepathically tell her
“Your daughter is really cute, I have a baby boy at home, he is 4 months old and gorgeous.”
In truth she was probably concerned that she had spinach in her teeth because a random woman kept staring at her. I said to my husband that night that I needed a badge that said “I’m a mummy”. My baby had become part of my identity, and with him I had become part of a club. When I was without him I felt like I didn’t have membership to the club.
This never changed for me even as my son got older. I appreciate time to myself more, hell there are days I even do a happy dance about having an hour child free. But I still always want my badge so people know. Since having my second son I need a bigger badge, because if I go anywhere on my own I want everyone to know I have 2 children at home. And if I go somewhere with one and not the other I want everyone to know I have another son at home!
This isn’t normal, I’m British and as such I am reserved and don’t talk to strangers or make eye contact with people on public transport. But I’m a Mum now and I quite often find myself wanting to shout it from the rooftops!
For more from Life, Love and Dirty Dishes follow my social networks, or subscribe by clicking here.