Today I popped into Mothercare – for no other reason than my bladder is not what it used to be and its the only shop left in the world where you don’t have a panic attack for taking a piss for free.
As I was getting back in my car to leave I saw a lady who was struggling to get her pram out of her boot I could see she was on the verge of just reversing over it – meanwhile her baby was having one of the best newborn meltdowns I’ve ever heard.
Do I do what everyone else in the carpark is doing and pretend I can’t see her and drive off – or do I try and help her. I decided to try and help…
….This 23 year old beautiful girl was having a massive ‘What the Fuck have I done?’ moment…she’d stormed out on her boyfriend because he hurled the word ‘depressed’ at her in an argument…she decided to show him that he could go fuck himself and clean the house that he keeps moaning isn’t tidy enough….so off she went with her 8 week old baby boy……
….Only she started driving and realised she had forgotten nappies…and spare clothes…her baby had then done a thunder shit through his vest & his babygro, which was now on the car seat ….he was desperate for a feed and because of his screams her boobs were now leaking through her bra…so she had driven straight to Mothercare – because somehow the thought of buying him new clothes and herself breast pads then trying to change this shit covered baby and clean down a car seat whilst he was screaming with starvation in front of a shop full of people was better than going home and facing the feeling of being even more of a failure to her partner.
I got it. I got every single bit of it.
I remember Betsy arriving when I was 22 and turning my whole world on its head…
I remember feeling like I was failing every single day…
I remember never experiencing anger like it at everyone but her…. for being asked why I hadn’t managed to run the hoover round, or when my mum started moaning about my dog being full of germs and getting too close to her, or my mother-in-law for asking why her cradle cap hadn’t cleared itself up yet….all the people that assume you’re ‘just coping’ and cannot fathom out why when they ask you what they deem to be a ‘simple question’ it sends you over the edge.
Then there’s all the helpful diagnosis that everyone starts throwing about between themselves that they think you can’t hear from the next room- that you’ve got ‘a bit of PND’ and you need to see a Doctor.
Anyway, back to today, So I marched into Mothercare and bought breast pads, nappies and an vest and I went back out to the car and we nailed sorting the baby together – we scraped the shit out of the car seat with wipes (its amazing how many of life’s problems a pack of wet wipes can solve) ….we then sat in the front seats of her car and she latched her baby onto feed whilst we chatted about how fucking hard it is to be a mum and how much our partners can be utter wankers at times and we giggled about how a human of that size can produce so much shit….
It became clear to me this girl just needs some love and support….from everyone around her….
She needs to be able to sit on her bathroom floor and sob to the point she’s being so dramatic she’s hyperventilating about how she’s ruined her whole life, then half an hour later when she is crying with laughter at Gavin and Stacey she needs her partner not to ask if she thinks she could be Bipolar.
Her family need to listen to her breakdown about the fact she feels like broken glass is slicing her nipples off every time she latches the baby on to feed – she feels like she has no life as he has been stuck to her tit for the past 2 months since he came out of her fanny which is also now ruined for life….they DO NOT need to offer to go to Sainsburys and buy her a box of SMA because they think its clear ‘breastfeeding isn’t for her’.
When her partner walks in from work and sees last nights dishes still piled in the sink it isn’t an ideal time for him to mutter the words “What’s for dinner?”, instead he needs to just wash up and tidy round – then offer her some food; this newborn 7lb bundle of joy she’s birthed has taken every bit of her energy today – she hasn’t even had time to make herself a cup of tea let alone turn into Nigella at dinner time for his needs…and he needs to not be a dick & meet the lads on Saturday night….yes it would be fun to go and get shit faced…but there is plenty more Saturday nights for the rest of his life – I get she is an absolute cow to be around 99% of the time – but her whole body has gone to shit, her life is now controlled by another tiny human and she doesn’t have the choice to get dressed up and go and get smashed with her mates so watching you getting ready for a night out is going to make this shit situation a whole lot shitter.
There’s every chance she’s going to lose her mind if her mother-in-law arrives one more time and comments on the fact the baby always seems to have that dummy stuck in his mouth…which HER SON never needed…..she doesn’t give a shit right now if he’s sucking on that dummy at his 18th birthday party, she hasn’t had a shower for 6 weeks without getting shampoo in her eye because she’s having to sing baa baa black sheep to this child who’s screaming again for absolutely no reason whatsoever whilst he’s wedged beside her in his rocker in-between the toilet and the sink because she can’t cope with the ‘mum guilt’ if she’s in another room.
At the end of our chat I said to her that this is all so temporary….one minute you’re at the Doctors being dramatic because your 6 month old has a rash on her neck…then what feels like 5 minutes later you’re back screaming for antidepressants for yourself because the same child didn’t get her primary school placement and if she attends the school the council have given her you’ve convinced yourself she’ll be running the streets with a gun and robbing grannies by the age of 10…then you get to where I am now….following my almost teenager around in my car and checking her school bag and phone – praying never to find what I’m looking for although I don’t even know what that is….
….so yeah, we worked out together, it’s hard…whether your baby is 30 minutes old or 30 years, they are your baby…for life…and once they come into this world everything’s changed….forever, but each stage you feel that you will never get through is temporary, so don’t let it break you 💙