Long Live Lazy Mums

I was reading Northern Monkey's post about the imminent arrival of her niece and she touched a nerve and I ranted for a bit, and when I paused to take a breath I came back here to start writing. This has been something that has been lurking in the back of my mind for ages so it's the perfect excuse to vent.

What is it with mums today? They give birth and pretty much in a couple of days they are tottering around on heels, showing new born baby off in the brand new pram. The Viking and I were queuing in Boots when the baby in front started to exercise his lungs. Newly birthed babies have a particular kind of cry, it's not the fully fledged waah of a 6 month old, they almost sound like a cat mewling. This baby was certainly in his first month, and Viking couldn't understand why I was tutting like a maiden aunt.

The more I think about it, the more I think that mum's aren't encouraged to enjoy the speciallness of the experience of having a baby. Everything is geared to getting her 'back to normal', which to me is both downright daft and bordering on criminal hypocrisy. There is no such thing as 'normal' when you have a baby. They change your body and your life. I feel nothing but sorrow for the women who work so hard to 'get back to normal', who then spiral into depression because their version of normal can never live up to their expectations.

Being pregnant puts great pressure on a woman's body. For 40 weeks, hormones prepare her body for the assault of labour, ligaments and muscles are softened so the pelvis and coccyx can give way to let the baby through. The woman carries however much the baby weighs and probably the same again in amniotic fluid. A solid night's sleep in the last weeks of pregnancy is impossible with junior tapdancing on your bladder which seems to have shrunk to the size of a walnut. Labour is called labour because it's bloody hard work. While there are some women who drop children like shelling peas, mostly, it can be long, painful hours.

So having gone through all of this and then thinking about breastfeeding, some women want to climb back into their skinny jeans and parade their baby about like a winners cup to all and sundry. I think they're mad. I stayed home in bed for a week. A week of trying to rest, to get used to this small, grizzling bundle, who ideas of his own about everything. My husband dealt with the house and other stuff. My midwife strongly advised me not to climb up and down the stairs unnecessarily so as not to strain my joints. I lazed in my jammies, seeing only the in-laws for a short time at first, then after two weeks friends were invited round and invited to leave quickly so as not to tire me and subject my little one to too many germs.

It was special time. It was time that I'll never forget. I slobbed around in sweat shirts and jogging bottoms watched my baby boy air his bare bottom in front of the gas fire.

I don't mean to make it sound too rosy (pardon the pun). It wasn't. There were sleepless nights, sore bits, sore nipples, short tempers, lots of icky nappies, not to mention flabby tummy and stretch marks. There was no expectation of me and from me, that it was anything other than what it was. No tummy 'snapping' back, no parade. No pressure to conform to the motherhood as portrayed by Posh, Mylene Klass etc.

Long live lazy mums, who enjoy their babies, take the time to get to know them and also take their time to enjoy and learn about the changes their babies make. Long live lazy mums who give their bodies the time to recover from pregnancy and labour, who don't try and rush the process. I don't regret being a lazy mum, it was a special time.

Comments

  1. At four days old our twins were being wheeled round Tescos...not because of any external pressures though...but because we both fancied getting out of the house, and some shopping needed doing, so we killed two birds with one stone...

    This was nothing to do with getting back to normality...our girls were (and still are) very special...As parents of not one but two sets of twins we felt special...Tescos did nothing to dilute that...in actual fact the (inadvertant to us) reaction of other shoppers reinforced that feeling...

    This was 19 years ago...

    I have to be honest and say I think you're way over-reacting...and for what it's worth so does my better half... sorry!

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  2. cogidubnus ~ fair enough.

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  3. The feminist in me despairs at the whole media 'back to normality and back in shape asap' thing, the pressure to cope effortlessly and the exemplary celebrity mother lifestyles upheld as something to aspire to (conveniently not mentioning the nannies, the personal trainers, etc etc not available to the rest of us).

    This outlook is symptomatic of our now, now, now, no effort required, 'look what I've got' lifestyle, but I know which I'd prefer and it sounds like you and boy had a fabulous and special bonding time together - it's a shame it's almost unheard of to do something like that nowadays.

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  4. Years later and he's still a small grizzling bundle, with ideas of his own about everything eh?

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  5. Damm! Just heard I am now a grandfather for the second time, (the second of the elder set of twins to produce)...

    Bugger...

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  6. NM ~ I'm not sure I'd be tempted to 'get back to normal' now, even if I had an army of nannies etc. I just like the thought of wallowing in motherhood.

    Viking ~ pretty much! :-)

    cogidubnus ~ congratulations! Granddad.

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  8. Yeah... Everyone knows mums are lazy.

    Like bollocks they could ever even have a choice to be lazy ;)

    Making time for the single most precious thing in your life? Sounds about right to me.

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