It wasn’t so long ago that the thought of motherhood filled me with dread. Not only dread, but also a general disbelief that women would put themselves through so much physical pain and discomfort, sleep deprivation, and financial strain only to lose their identity and ability to be recklessly selfish.
Eight months ago, my little girl Miss P arrived into the world. The time since then has stretched ten-fold, so much so that I barely remember life before her. I blame sleep deprivation.
People often ask me how I’m enjoying motherhood. Most times, they are asking out of politeness, but I think those who knew me before Miss P are genuinely curious how a [self-described] fiercely independent woman is coping. I suspect they are hopeful that I’m loving it and that I can’t imagine a love greater than the love I have for my child, and thus proving that I was totally wrong about motherhood!
It’s true that the mother identity seems to have consumed my other identities. Most of my social interactions now are with the lovely ladies in my mothers group. With my friends who have children, we spend more than half of our conversation talking about our kids. And since I’m with Miss P for almost all of my waking hours, small talk with the strangers that we meet also revolves around children.
In all honesty, about 80% of the time with Miss P is tedious, monotonous and exhausting. I spend a lot of that time just willing her to sleep, or to sleep longer. I’m sick of singing Old MacDonald Had a Farm over and over (especially mind-numbing since I can only think of 8 animals). My favourite time of the day is when she wakes up in the morning, all happy and smiling in her cot, but then quickly I’m counting down the hours until her bedtime. Thankfully, Miss P doesn’t cry a lot, but when she does I often have absolutely no idea why and I despair at my own helplessness.
The other 20% of the time, I think that she is just the most gorgeous thing that I’ve ever laid eyes on. When she giggles, babbles, tries to eat my nose, or is sleeping peacefully, my heart feels like it will explode with so much love.
I guess this is what people rave on about.