You’ve had a baby. You are a new person. Somewhere deep down inside, the old you still exists but honestly, there’s not much time for her. She’s blissfully unaware of the realities of motherhood and frankly, you don’t want to remember her because it’ll make you pine for a time when you were sleeping till lunchtime, watching Grey’s Anatomy box sets all day and drinking until you couldn’t remember your own name.
Well, you know what? You should make some time to get together with her. It may seem like a bad ‘down-the-rabbit-hole-will-I-ever-come-back’ idea, but it’s not. It’s a good idea. It’s not without its downfalls, but all in all, it’s a great idea. A necessary one.
Whatever your old self was like, find something that you used to do (and love doing) and now can’t and make time, every now and again to do it. I wish I could say that my thing was facials, or massages or something holistic and wholesome but it isn’t. I used to enjoy a social cigarette.
INSERT SHARP INTAKES OF BREATH AND DISAPPROVING TUTTS HERE
I was on Twitter the other day and a momma-blogger admitted to having a really tough day and cracking and buying a packet of cigarettes. She was, as one could have predicted, blighted by responses from smug, self-righteous, Twitterers who basically made her feel like the worst mother in the world.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD…let’s get a little perspective. We all know smoking isn’t good, we all know getting drunk isn’t good (mostly because looking after a baby with a hangover is the worst kind of torture known to man) but we all also know that being a jumped up, self-righteous, judgemental little troll is worse.
I have the occasional cigarette. I guess I wish in the ideal world that I wouldn’t and for a long time after having my Small I didn’t touch a cigarette but every now and again, when I am out and away from the baby and when I know that I’m not going to see her before I’ve changed clothes, showered etc., then yes, I may indulge in a glass of wine and a cigarette or maybe even two.
Don’t bother with the trolling comments – after ten months of realising the depth of judgemental attitudes when it comes to parenting, I have become impervious to strangers who think they know me better than I know myself, or who think they know how to raise my Small better than I know, or that they know how to raise her perfectly. I’ve already felt the guilt and the worry – it was exactly the same guilt and worry I felt when she slept in her own room for the first time, when she was given formula for the first time, when she had a small piece of icing from a cake for the first time, when I put her in the car and drove her somewhere for the first time. It’ll be the same feeling of guilt and worry I’ll feel for the rest of my life whenever I do anything.
But, I did it because it’s a teeny-tiny gift from my old self to my new self that she gives me with a little wink and some wise words: ‘You’re a good momma. Don’t forget it.’