Sometimes people ask me what motherhood is like. I’ve tried numerous ways to explain it. Today, I was gifted the perfect description. Motherhood is realising that the cat vomited on the bed three days ago and you didn’t even notice. Unfortunately this is not an analogy.
How can you not notice?!, you’re probably screaming at your laptop screen.
Because my attention is always being hogged by the baby. The baby waking up. Oh, now it needs to sleep again. Oh, fuck, it’s awake. I swear it only just went to sleep. The baby needs milk. Where the fuck have all the fucking bottles gone. Okay, baby, shush shush, mummy is making milk. Do you want to play in your jumperoo? No? Okay, the Ferrari walker? No..? Um, do you want to sit in your cot? Oh definitely not. Okay, mummy will make milk whilst holding you. Oh, wow, this is kinda dangerous. Baby, please stop pulling on the kettle cord whilst I’m pouring it. Right, we have milk! Is that yummy? Great! Good boy.. Oh, shit, the baby vommed. Chuck me a muslin cloth will you. Oh well, it was nearly bath time anyway so let’s just throw you in in your clothes and kill two birds with one stone. Okay, darling, time to come out! No crying, come on now, we’ll have bath time again tomorrow. Shush, shush, baby. Shush. Baby, please. Let me put your pyjamas on. Okay, one leg. And other leg. No don’t pull the first leg off! First leg again. Baby, no! Stop kicking it off. Oh fuck it, you can sleep in your nappy. You must be overtired. Let’s have some nice sleepy sleeps shall we?! We’ll just lie down here… What do you mean you’re too overtired to sleep? How does that even work? But… surely… if… you’re… tired… you… want… to… sleep… Okay, baby, I’ll read you a story. Oh no! Did my lion’s roar scare you? Wow, maybe A Level drama did pay off after all. Oh, baby, mummy’s sorry. Shhhhh. Shhhhh. That’s right, sleepy time. Good baby, good baby. Just close those little eyes. There we go. Oh fuck, what now? Oh did Daddy make a noise. Oh dear, silly daddy. Silly daddy is going to get a fist to the throat if he does that again.
And so it goes on. Endlessly.
When I do have a few moments, standing in the house looking like I’ve emerged from a week long drug binge, my vacuous stare taking in the horror of my surroundings with a mixture of disgust and numbness, I try desperately to make it look like we don’t live in a festival campsite, collecting up empty cans, stepping over strewn bedding and hosing off various streaks of vomit. And then I collapse into a heap and feel really bloody proud of myself for having survived another day. So proud that sometimes I cry tears of joy. I’m pretty sure it’s joy anyway. Either that or despair.
So yeah, the cat threw up on the bed three days ago and I didn’t even notice.
Welcome to motherhood.