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The phrases I won’t miss as I say goodbye to mat leave…..
1. Make the most of it – enjoy every moment.
Let’s be honest. Just between us, away from the judgemental eyes of the rest of the world. We know the truth.
It is impossible to enjoy every moment.
There are of course the Instagram moments. The moments where everything is right. The moments where family life is perfect. The moments were happiness surrounds you, wraps you up and physically warms you.
But these moments do not happen every minute of every day.
There are other moments.
The moments when the baby, the child, your pride and joy, the apple of your eye, becomes a screaming, snotty, savage wreck. Those moments are not enjoyable. They are survivable. At best.
There are moments when you, the parent, the one who planned to take it all in your stride without stress, the one who vowed to stay calm and relaxed becomes a sobbing, sighing, snivelling wreck. Those moments are not enjoyable. Those moments are the times that thankfully the rose tinted glasses of remembering forget.
2. It’s only a phase.
A Phase. That period of time that could last anything from 5 minutes to 5 years -hell let’s be honest, a phase could be 55 years, who knows?! And therein lies the problem.
A Phase – when you are in it, is eternal. There is seemingly no end to A Phase. There is no-one who can give you the reassurance that it will all be over at 3pm two weeks on Thursday. There is no way of knowing when the end is. The worst thing about A Phase is that before it ends, another phase starts. They don’t even have the decency to tag team (heaven forbid there should be a break in between) – they actually overlap, high-giving each other and basically laughing in your face. Phase after phase afterphaseafterphase.
3. I hate to say this, but you do look a little tired. Do you think you are getting enough sleep?
The simple answer to this, obvs, is – no.
I look tired? I look tired?!? You might want to see how I looked before the trowel of eye-saver-de-puffier-bag-losing-shadow-shrinking-glow-inducing cream that I ‘patted and massaged’ into the contours of my sockets this morning. What the actual fuck. Pre-child I didn’t even know my sockets had contours. And then of course came a bucket load of touché eclat – the second form of defence. (the first form of defence is always red lippy. The third = dry shampoo).
Anyway, I digress. What this comes down to in actual fact is your definition of ‘enough’. I have found that by changing mine. Narrowing it. Shortening it. Lessening it – in fact yes, if we classify 4 hours as ‘enough’ sleep then I am getting ‘enough’. Honest.
4. Oh! You are going back to work! How will you cope?
Again in the interests of honesty – I don’t really know but I reckon it will work itself out. I’m one of those awful people who enjoys their job. I’m not going back to work with dread or fear – simply put, I like it. That said, I haven’t missed it – I have loved being with Rita. I’m not daft though, I always knew I would have to go back to work – money doesn’t grow on trees after all. So, I will cope. Provided I can get my shit together in the morning and get out the house on time. I reckon it will be fine.
Having said that, getting my shit together and getting out of the house is s pretty mammoth task and now there is someone else’s shit to sort too. I can feel a list coming on…
5. But who will look after Rita? (When you have a go back to work)
Well I reckon by 9 and a half months she should be pretty much self-sufficient.
Really???? What do people think the answer would be?
I have employed a baby hippo to come round and sit in watching Dora with her?
I’m going to smuggle her in a bag with me to work and hope no-one notices?
I’ve got her a job in Tesco, she needs to earn her keep???
No. Surprisingly enough we have a child minder. Not nearly as exciting as the other options but there you go.
6. Is she good for you?
(Again) Really? You are asking if my baby is good – like, all of the time??? Have you ever met a baby before?
There are times when yes she is angelic, calm, giggling, joyous, entertaining and a pleasure to be with. Then there are other times. When she’s not.
I suppose it depends on your definition again – I mean, she is not out stealing cars, running amok in the local community. She doesn’t have an ASBO neither does she swear at us. So on reflection actually yes, she is ‘good’.
7. Aw look at him! Look at his little smile – he’s smiling at me. Isn’t he adorable? And look at those big eyes, isn’t he beautiful? What a happy little chap he is – he seems so pleasant and content. What a head of hair he has! Such a lot of hair for a baby. What’s he called?
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