The New Normal
They’re wild, these early days. I was going to call this post ‘One Month of Mum’ but really, a month wouldn’t do it justice. It didn’t take a month to work out what I’m doing, while at the same time, at almost 2 months, really, what the fuck am I doing?
The baby wakes you up at 6am. You spring into action, change them, get ready to feed them, you know the drill. Your eyes are dry and heavy, your limbs on a slight delay, everything feels heavier, like trawling your body through an incredibly thick treacle. A viscosity you’ve never known before. You prep the bottle, whip out the boob, whatever it is- and 2 minutes into the feed, the kid’s fast asleep again. This goes on for 2 hours. Great! Except they’re snoozing on your chest, and you haven’t the heart to move them. Well, at least you’re awake enough that you won’t fall asleep with them on you.
“I know, I’ll take a walk. Me and the buggy, we’ll head out and get some steps in. I’m used to walking, it’ll be nice to move my body and not feel absolutely fucked at the end of it. A nice, easy transition back into fitness.” But somehow, even at this glacial pace, your legs are weak. Your brain says go, and your body says slow. It’s difficult matching them, this isn’t what you expected at all- you’re not even on a hill, and you’ve only been going for 10 minutes! You knew there would be some work involved, of course, you just had a baby. But, you kind of thought (perhaps naively) that just getting from A to B wouldn’t be so hard. You take the shortcut, go home, and sulk a bit.
Out and about, there’s errands to run, even in this lockdown. You hoist the buggy down the front step, prepared for anything this time. You’re dressed for the occasion, rainmac and sunglasses packed (and raincover and sun shield for the kid, of course) and multiple changes of clothes and feeds in the changing bag. You hope you’re tying your adventure in with the Long Sleep, but on the off chance that it takes you longer, or the baby doesn’t want to play ball (as is their prerogative), you are READY. And lo and behold, the rains come and the baby wakes. You need somewhere with shelter and a seat, and during a lockdown, that’s hard to come by. You can’t wait until you get back home because the kid has been asleep for hours, and is now screaming bloody murder- you know that hunger is real. The only place you can find? A graveyard. So you park up, wrap the baby up nice and tight, and feed, while your partner opens his jacket over you both and acts as a human windbreak.
It’s unique, but yet somehow, still normal.
Your baby hasn’t shit for 3 days. Not a huge concern, but he’s beginning to get fussy about it. His little belly is hard, he’s squirmy, and he doesn’t seem to want to bend very much. You start massaging farts out of him, and contorting his teeny body in an effort to coax the bugger out. You hold his arse up to your face and take a big inhale, to check and see if it has made an appearance at least 10 times a day.
You didn’t think you’d be sniffing peoples bums to check if they’d pooed themselves, but this too, is now normal.
You catch a sight of the faces you’re pulling at your baby, and the absolute stream of high pitched nonsense that is flying out of your mouth. You used to sing karaoke, drunk atop a table- now it’s Twinkle Twinkle for the 12th time in 5 minutes because it’s got your babies attention.
Yep. Normal. (You still do the drunk singing though, just maybe a little less frequently these days.)
You know this has all been in an effort to coax out those smiles, so you keep going, like an absolute lunatic- only for her to turn to her dad and beam instantly.
Yep, annoying, but welcome to normal.
You realise your life is fucking weird now, but we’re all doing it. So, as it turns out, weird is pretty god damn normal.
Tell me about your new normal!