Tuesday 6 August 2013

A case of 'motherhood'.

(Albie 2 months old)

A friend came round with her daughters today so they could meet Albie. She asked me if everything was going okay and I said 'yes' because I didn't think it appropriate to talk about breasts in front of children. She then went on to relay her own experience of breastfeeding her eldest daughter (said eldest just sat there with a nonchalant look on her face - she'd been in this position before and it wouldn't be her last). It made me think back to when my own mother used to talk about my menstrual cycle with her friends over the phone, as though it were as trivial as the price of eggs in Tesco. This is the same mum who gets embarrassed when her own mother talks about pantyliners in public. And I guess that's how it goes; one minute you're discussing your child's teething problems and the next you've broadcast to your neighbours that your daughter is cutting out sugar to see if it regulates her periods and stops that bout of thrush. I've no doubt I will have made it onto my parent's church notice board: "please pray for Lisa's cracked nipples".
I am starting to see my identity slowly ebbing away and being replaced by a new 'motherly' persona. It feels like this is happening through no fault of my own - like it's inevitable. I'm fighting it as though it were some sort of disease - I wasn't very careful and I caught a case of 'motherhood', so stay away before I start wiping your face with my own spit and forcing you to eat your greens. I sometimes wonder, though, at what point I will feel the urge to give in, to give up, to admit defeat and start discussing my son's toilet habits over the phone. Damn it, I think I already did.

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