Before having two fat little cherubs under two (who expect attention and military-esque devotion to their every need 24 hours a day), I lived a life of wanton wanderlust. With fun-loving friends from Los Angeles to London, I was lost in a haze of youth and no responsibilities. Other than work, there was nothing stopping me from having constant fun. But it was becoming boring. I wanted an anchor — I craved it. And, when I had two wailing, smiling, joyful little blobs of waddling pink flesh, they became my entire existence, and saved me from one of pure apathy.
However, this new earth-mother me came with an unexpected consequence — I found myself friendless. My five closest friends were understanding and sweet, albeit less present in my life. But many others revealed themselves to be of the fair-weather variety. Once I couldn’t go out, due to the aforementioned little wailers, they didn’t want to know. The idea that I didn’t want a nanny didn’t seem to register, nor that doing night feeds and waking up at 6am doesn’t factor in well with a wine-soaked dinner.
Friends expected me to go to them, even when they know getting the Tube with two tinies would be stressful. And no one seemed to want to ask about my babies, when I wanted to gush endlessly about them (apparently people without babies aren’t as fascinated by the contents of their nappy as you are, or how cute it was when baby number two danced to Gangnam Style last Tuesday). It hurt me. I felt alienated and abandoned. Had I made a mistake? Then, one day, Astala came running in to me in bed carrying a drawing he had done. Phaedra crawled adoringly behind him, felt tip all over his face.
Astala proudly announced “Narny (what he calls himself) draw Mama. Narny love Mama”.
“Mama” was some squiggly lines so heartbreakingly sweet, I teared up. Phaedy gave me a wet kiss and both collapsed giggling into my arms, looking at me with pure love. In that magic moment, all my doubts were erased. Everything else was nothingness and it just . . . didn’t matter. I had the perfect life — two beautiful babies who loved me more than anything. It was, and is, bliss.
The transition can be hard and scary, but I suddenly felt sorry for the friends who had treated me so badly. I had it all.
Now, with a new-found group of mummy mates, both locally and online — all with the exact same struggles and issues, and who don’t question if my child flings food at their hair or care if there’s a screaming fit in the middle of street — I’m happier than ever. My real old friends have stuck by me and connect me to my old life (I sometimes forget I’m only 24), treating me to nights out that let me forget about dirty nappies at least for a minute. So, I’ve achieved a sort of perfect balance. Right now life is good. And being a mum is the best part of it.” ©Mother&Baby
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