As I finally whisk Coco off to sleep (in other words finally gave up on the coffee and chat that I was meant to be having with the other mums at mothers group) I get home and use all the sleep props I shouldn’t be using and she slowly and blissfully closes her eyes. I feel like this is my first baby. I’m acting like this is my first baby…trying all tricks up my sleeve just to sit out at a coffee shop and pretend I’m normal. I should probably just give in and do what my baby demands instead of insisting I can sit out at a cafe and drink a latte. I try the boob, I try sophie (you know everyone loves sophie), I stand up, I sit down and face her out, back in the pram, the boob again, nope not doing it, the bottle….anyway you get the jist. Im a third time mum for gods sake how do I not know what I’m doing??? I feel like a complete imposter mum. I’ve grown back all the doubt and indecision in my course of action to have a quiet, content but emphasis on the quiet, baby. Truth is I’m a third time mum winging it with the best of them I haven’t winged it this much since Cleopatra rocked the first winged liner back in the day.
Right she’s asleep…I must get these thoughts out of my head and in black and white, surely I’m not the only new not new mum that feels this way??? Am I a complete fraud?? Did I even raise these other two children that I now religiously drop and collect from school a hundred times a week?? I scramble to find a pen and paper as my macbook hasn’t seen a charger since the start of the third trimester when I decided I should ‘give myself some time off’. Which jeez I was right too as its so nice to be able to use your hands for things other than holding, burping, nappy changing or even just to lift a glass of “water” (insert wine) whilst holding your phone simultaneously. In fact I so underestimated this job of being a new mum (third time round I might add) that I even lined up a few jobs I could do whilst “my baby sleeps” bahahahaha who was I kidding cos you know there are jobs you can get done in a 45 minute sleep cycle…the exact time it takes to do absolutely nothing! Jests…there are most definitely not.
I over enthusiastically packed away my maternity clothes at 4 weeks thinking that was the last I’d see of them only to embarrassingly have to get them back out again at 4 months having realised I have replaced the loss of minutes sleep with the same in calories and apparently now have a four month old food baby as well as a 4 month old actual baby. I’m glad my friends have had the grace not to mention anything even though I announced I was ‘back in my jeans’ and now said jeans taunt me from the back of the wardrobe where I threw them in a rage. I don’t even know how it happened given that the last actual meal I ate was a 10pm order off truffled fries and a hot chocolate from a hotel room service menu when all the kids finally gave in to sleep so I could devour it all on my own. No I don’t like to share and yes I like to gorge myself in private thanks very much. I have been existing on takeaway lattes and leftover popcorn shunned by the kids in my attempt to give them ‘healthy’ snack options so seriously is this a just a cruel twist of fate metabolism??? Is it??? At least I had the presence of mind to buy a nice pair of maternity jeans I must have known deep down.
I look round at last night dishes, the three ikea bags of clean washing to get folded and put away, the overflown into a further ikea bag laundry basket to be done, one pile of thrown on the floor cardigans and jackets, one unwalked sad looking dog, two half emptied suit case, a banister that seems to have spawned 4 hats, three rucksacks and a small growth of discarded clothes and I look longingly at something that used to be my desk but now is just where I chuck the things that don’t have a home…and I question my decision to write this blog post…surely there is something in that list that is more pressing than this at this precise minute. However I might manage to squeeze in some one handed instagram shopping later I saw this cute bib that she just has to have and I can justify it because its for the baby! This is of course not the first time I’ve suffered imposter syndrome I’m an old hand really like when I’ve started every new job ever I am highly qualified at talking myself out my own abilities…ever had that feeling? I became the queen of affirmations just to remind myself I have a brain in my head after I had my first baby not to mention to remind myself of what my own name is! With my second I was so hyper aware of losing my sense of self I was back doing weddings by the time she was 4 weeks old what was I thinking…
And then that’s when I hear it… the squawk, it actually startles me, and I remember I’m not fraudulent at all as I’ve heard the same bone tingling squawk many a time before and remembered how it can jolt you awake from the deepest of 50 minute sleeps. I remember the feeling of starting the cycle again…and wondering when I will ever again sit back and wonder what to do with myself…and that my friend is when you are a fraud no longer. So I pluck out her little swaddled body, I kiss her pukey little face, look into her pools of love eyes and I know for about half an hour maybe an hour everything is fine and fraudulent or not she is relying on me so I’ll fake it a little bit longer….first, third, fifth or whatever….we’re going to make it whether you faked it or not xxx