Is motherhood the new Everest

If motherhood were an NCEA subject in the middle classes it would have achievement standards whereby anyone not receiving an excellence would immediately be removed from the gene pool.

As I watch the last of my close friends flap home from Europe to reproduce I am amazed at how monumental motherhood has become.

Too busy to breed, we were the generation that forgot to have babies. We travelled, drank rather a lot and came home at about 38 and realised we’d better get busy or we’d have no one to pass the fabulous skills and knowledge we’d acquired, on to, like; where the best bars in South East Asia are and how to leave a lover in 5 different languages.

It’s odd then to watch my mates armed with baby Einstein CDs and a library of expert opinion, fly into motherhood with all the unruffled self assurance of a seagull into a pane of glass. These are women who’ve run hotel chains, and suddenly decide they need a specialist’s guide to raise their own offspring.

Motherhood has become deeply competitive in wealthier circles and for some unfathomable reason almost entirely humourless.


Motherhood everest

The more earnest you appear to be, the better you seem to fare on the motherometer.

I’m still stinging from the ray gun looks when I suggested at one coffee morning that I’d found gin and cough medicine a great tonic for getting the little one off to sleep which was a blessing seeing as she had seemed pretty restless now that I was off the heroin. I was joking. Honest.

After a baby ‘workshop’ where they’d waved silk scarves and got the babies doing cartwheels to ‘stimulate’ their vestibular system she rang in tears saying she’d also been trying to follow some book which sounded like it should be re-titled “Every Fascists Guide to Motherhood”.

Stressed because her baby didn’t follow THE ROUTINE (which prescribed when ‘Mother’ had to take a shower and what kind of curtains baby had to have), she was now feeling guilty about hair follicles in the child’s ears.
It had to stop.

Throwing her a copy of ‘Mummies who Drink’ I advised stopping the coffee group and starting a vodka circle.

While other babies may love controlled crying, (which in my experience consisted of hours of the baby crying uncontrollably), ours had been spawned by rank individualists, and therefore have their own agenda.
Work with it.

Being 12 weeks old, it was unlikely baby was about to defect from her jurisdiction anytime soon by joining a Chinese circus so the need for a double handspring was minimal. Her vestibular system will be sufficiently stimulated by hanging bat like in a technique I like to call “Commando Breastfeeding”. This is where you run home from work, leap the back fence and either breastfeed while getting everything ready to go to your second job or latch baby on while you drive there. Don’t look this one up. It’s not in any books.

As a paid up member of badmummy.com I passed on the list I’d written to myself when I was trying to pass myself off as a Mum until the real one showed up:

1. Never admit to not knowing how many weeks old your baby is or what milestones they have supposed to have galloped past. Make it up. Don’t say your baby sleeps through the night when they are only 3 days old. It’s bad form.

2. When you go back to work and the guy at the cafĂ© asks; “What did you have?”, say ‘a boy’ or a ‘girl’, instead of biting his head off for forgetting the espresso order.

3. When your child comes home, clicks her milo cup against yours, and says ‘Cheers Bro’, and these are her first words, then pretends to smoke her crayons - find other home care arrangements.

See? It’s a snitch.

Trust your instincts. Burn the Books.

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