When Lily was born, I was adamant that I would keep her off social media and keep our lives mostly private. This is coming from someone who has consistently over-shared wanted to tell stories their entire life. I have kept journals for as long as I can remember (mostly never to be shared), had various Tumblrs, Live Journal accounts, and have been obsessed with taking and sharing photos ever since my family owned a digital camera (a 4 megapixel 1.5KG brick of a thing). Even as a kid, there was something so exciting about mum buying me a $10 disposable camera to take to school camp so I could record and share memories. It’s a part of who I am and I’ve realised I’m not going to suddenly be some private, introverted, put together person simply because I pushed a baby out of my vagina. In fact, it’s probably quite the opposite.
I truly believe that happiness shared is happiness doubled, but a problem shared is a problem halved. Since becoming a mum, life is lonely. I am the first of my friends to have a baby, and I find it really hard to make new friends as it is, without the restrictions that work-from-home-mum-life brings. I can’t go out like I used to; I haven’t been apart from Lily for more than 4 hours since she was born, and none of my friends can truly understand what my life is like now. I’m not saying my life sucks one bit – I wouldn’t change anything for the wold, I love being a mum and I feel like I am literally carrying out my purpose in life, but my need to connect with other people hasn’t gone away and I want to share the ups and downs with others that understand how REALLY UP and REALLY DOWN they are.
When something super exciting happens, like your baby rolls over, or sits up, or says mumma for the first time, I want to shout about it from the rooftops. I’m proud of my babe and I’m proud of the fact that these little milestones, those special cuddles at 4am or the smile on her face when I pick her up from her crib in the morning are tiny little signs that I’m not fucking this whole parenting gig up, no matter how much I feel like it some days. I want to share those moments and feelings with people that get it, and I also love to hear about others little cherubs as I find babies and children fascinating. I love it. I also love other women and am amazed at what we can achieve. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – if there is a god, they are a woman.
It’s also reassuring to read about another mum that is on the brink of a breakdown from sleep deprivation, joking about having a wine because they made it to midday (Yes – I have been there… I was sipping the wine as the clock struck 12. I think she was 8 weeks old). It’s not that I get any joy knowing that other mums out there find this motherhood gig really damn tough some days, but it makes me feel less alone and crazy. It reassures me that I’m not a bad mum because I had the fleeting thought of throwing my baby out the window, or in a moment of frustration I screamed at my baby to just GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP like some crazed wild animal. Some posts I’ve read in a moment of need have literally made me laugh-cry-sigh-fist-pump and I can’t really put into words how much that helps some days.
When Jay gets home from work one of the first things I do is sit down with a wine and watch all the insta stories from the day. He joked for a while that it was a bit sad, that I was ‘catching up with my mates’ (with a bit of a saracastic tone…) on my phone, but fuck it, it’s not sad and I’m definitely not alone otherwise there wouldn’t be hundreds of mummas out there just like me, either only following other mums or following and sharing their own shit too. Welcome to the new age, y’all. Instagram is our new Plunket group.
I have found solidarity and such a strong sense of community in the online mummy blogging community. It’s easier to strike up a conversation with someone over a screen than it is in the supermarket. It’s nice to vent and joke about sleep deprivation and spew, teething and sleep training, solid food and the benefits of a pull up nappy with other mummas that understand – all from the comfort of my couch. We can also laugh about saggy tits, being excited about showering, stretch marks, and the other non-mum-related stuff like clothes, hair, make up, health, what’s a good TV show on Netflix to binge watch. Working from home means I’m literally at home 95% of the time, and the only friends I really get to see these days are the ones that come to visit me (and god I am so thankful for them being here for me and continuing to be my lifeline to the outside world – you know who you are xoxo).
So, here I am. I’m not going to promise to write on schedule, I just want to share some stories and thoughts to connect with others and document our lives as they speed by. Lily is one in just 8 days, which is crazy to me because it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s been a year. Some days and nights do feel like an eternity but here we are, about to count Lily’s age in years rather than months, and it all feels like it’s moving too fast. This is my way of slowing things down, recording the good and the bad, and connecting with the outside world when I literally haven’t gone outside in three days. Even if nobody ends up reading this thing (quite likely let’s be honest), that’s chill, it’s mostly for me anyway. But, if by chance I end up writing anything that makes another mum feel less alone, makes her laugh or cry or smile, then that’s awesome. And who knows – maybe I can make some friends too.
- A xxx