Following on from my post about how friendships change after having kids I had a chat and waved my hands around in the air with Pippa on Breakfast TV. You can watch the video here
Despite the fact Hayley & Jack were so ridiculously good looking that I almost forgot how to make sounds from my mouth… I loved being interviewed on Breakfast yesterday about going back to work, building a support tribe, and laying out your Mum Map. Here’s a link to the clip: McPikelets on Breakfast
(This piece originally appeared in Little Treasures magazine, and is on their website here. ) Last year I decided it was time to don high heels and un-strained clothes to sashay back into the workforce. Since having the girls I’ve done part time work, but it has all been from the comfort of my kitchen table involving limited contact with other actual adults. I should clarify: part time paid work – because the full-time mum gig is obviously a major job in itself. With interviews done and an offer made, I got to revel in the the giddy excitement that comes with realising someone wants to pay for the stuff your brain does. Swiftly followed by panic that my brain might not remember how to do the stuff it used to. I gave myself a quick pep talk about how I’d grown actual humans, dammit, and have been juggling things like some kind of mashup between a circus ninja and a UN Hostage negotiator ever since, so I’d be just fine. Last time I was in an …
A few friends are pregnant with their first babies at the moment, which has propelled me into a surge of nostalgia – combing through our newborn photos, and getting teary about little socks that I can’t face giving away. My pregnant friends agree that yes, tiny clothes are gorgeous and perusing Moses baskets online is a worthy cause for reaching their data cap, but they all look at me like I’m drunk at 10am when I say, “and isn’t being pregnant just so wonderful?” Flicking through my pregnancy diary, there are tales of sore hips, exhaustion, uncomfortable nights, and all-day sickness, but I think Mother Nature suppresses those recollections so that the human race continues. Or perhaps the sleep deprivation after Tilly (my youngest) altered my brain function. Either way, the upsides of having a massive front side are dominating my memories. The clothes I loved maternity clothes, that wonderful comfortable world of elasticised waist bands and stretchy tops. Seriously, jeans that appear normal, but with little elastic inserts where no one can see? Genius! …
I shall title this photo: “Working From Home With Kids Will Be Easy” and file it under: “Shit I Said Before I Was A Mother And Now Want To Punch Myself In The Face For” (it’s a really large collection).
Tilly caught a prawn. She named it “Prawny”. Sad times all round when I broke it to her that prawns are more of a “for a few moments” pet than a “forever” pet.
Following an afternoon filling up on popcorn, M&M’s (peanut ones, chosen for the protein, obviously) and fluff off the cinema seats, I made a low-key dinner of peas, carrots and sandwiches. The five year old thought “lunch-dinner” was hilarious. The two-year-old shot me a mutinous look while making bee-beep noises as she pretended to call the cops on her hand. “Hello, p’lice?” she said into her hand-phone, “Mummy made us sammiches for DINNER, so come and take her and lock her up”. Meanwhile, her big sister wailed “Don’t take my Mum away! She’s a good mum! Beeeeeliiiiieeeeevvvve meeeeeeee!” She cried actual tears. I think we now know which child will be given power of attorney one day. She’s currently top of the leader-board for inheriting my wedding rings, too.
I heard the phrase “you check your dignity in at the door during childbirth” bandied about a few times when I was pregnant. Sure, I’d seen the antenatal class photos and thought I knew what was up (and down, and sideways, and is-that-even-part-of-a-human-body?!), but after four endometriosis operations, a myriad of tests and a round of IVF, I already felt like my dignity was that unclaimed suitcase you see going around the luggage carousel at the airport. “It’s okay – you’re growing a baby!” Pregnancy introduces new levels of embarrassment to women the world over. Maybe you opened a car door and threw up in the gutter of a busy street while in the throes of morning sickness. Perhaps you kicked your shoes off under the desk at work then found yourself unable to cram them back on your swollen tootsies when it came time to attend a meeting. It’s not unusual to burst into noisy sobs during TV ads. Inappropriately timed and completely unexpected burps that rival those of a drunk first year university …
Long car trip home. The girls pleaded and pleaded we “put on some music by Dora The Explorer!” We don’t have any music by Dora The Explorer. And even if we did, I don’t think playing it would be good for the long term stability of our family. So we put on The Gipsy Kings and told them it’s music by Dora’s Dad.
Meanwhile, in the backseat, a silent protest was underway against the parental singalong to Elton John in the front seat. Then we sang along to Roxy Music and the protest numbers doubled.