I’ve said it a million times: mamas are superheroes. What I appear to have forgotten is that this is more of a metaphor than a statement of fact to be taken literally. The last 24 hours have proved to me that while my mental strength, emotional capacity and physical stamina are pretty damn awesome, they are not in fact, infallible. There is such a thing as ‘too much’ and, as I sit on my sofa feeling like a 300-year old woman with concrete blocks for legs and a stomach full of drawing pins, I’m feeling a little foolish.
I’m 23 weeks pregnant today and over the weekend I flew alone to Copenhagen with two suitcases, a buggy and a two and a half year old. On Friday, we trekked around a theme park and rode all the rollercoasters they’d let a two-year old ride (which was a surprising, and somewhat worryingly, large amount of them). On Saturday I spent the day cycling a Christiania Bike around Copenhagen – not my smartest move – and then on Sunday I flew back laden down like a pack-horse and starting to feel a little frayed around the edges. This was following a massive week at work during which emails and proposal writing had taken priority over sleeping.
Suffice to say, I was behaving as if I’d never met a phone-booth I didn’t want to do a quick-change in and as if my accessory choices were more cape and costume and less half-eaten oatcakes and nappy bags.
Consider me told. My lesson is well and truly learned. As strong and capable as I am, or like to believe I am, I am not actually a superhero. I’m not Iron Mama, Supermama, Captain Mamerica, Wonder Mama…I do get tired and hurt and sometimes I can’t do everything and while I secretly knew that all along, I didn’t want to believe it.
Now though, unable to lift my daughter, or my handbag, I’m coming to terms with the fact that it’s ok to say, ‘No. I’m not quite up to trekking up Everest without oxygen today. If you don’t mind I’m going to put my feet up, wait until lunchtime to wash and spend the day vague-ing out in front of some shitty sitcom. KK?’ It’s totally ok to say, ‘Erm I’m going to leave you to do the laundry and the vacuuming, if that’s ok because, frankly, I’m completely shagged and the thought of even standing up makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon.’ Of course, you can dispense with all the poetry and simply say, ‘No. Not today. No thanks. Laters.’
So, for the next few days, I’m hanging up my cape and kick-ass…and kicking back. And perhaps you should too?