Motherhood so far

Meet Joey Castle, the coolest baby in the ‘hood

I am one month into this whole motherhood caper and wow. It’s one of the few experiences I have had where all the cliches are true.

I feel like a hermit crab with no shell, all soft and vulnerable. Also very hermit-y as I rarely leave the house. The weird thing is that I actually like it. I don’t mind not going anywhere or doing anything very much, something that has come as a huge surprise to me.

For the first couple of weeks, I was in a golden bubble made of sunshine and love. Imagine your heart has turned into buttery mashed potato and your brain is addled in Champagne – it’s akin to that.

And then the visitors slowed down, my mum went home and the flowers died.

Then I hit a bit of a wall. The thing about having no hard shell to protect you is that when things go wrong, as they inevitably do, it goes straight to your heart like fast-acting poison. It hurts worse than usual, and because you’re not getting more than three hours’ sleep in a row, best case scenario, you don’t have a foundation of calm to retreat to.

Everything gets a bit shaky.

And then I look at Joey’s face and everything is OK again.

Motherhood gives you the most incredible sense of purpose. Moment to moment, you know exactly what your priorities are. Feed the baby, burp the baby, change the baby, settle the baby. It’s technically really boring but you are too tired to feel bored, and too in love to feel anything but lucky.

What’s also cool is that your body does wonderful new things. It’s like finding out what that weird gadget in the second kitchen drawer actually does. Your breasts and nipples serve a purpose beyond filling out a bra. Your metabolism goes into overdrive. Your uterus contracts back to its original size and your wounds heal with remarkable rapidity. There’s a sense that this is what your body is supposed to do and you’re guided by instinct, something that is both fascinating and a huge relief.

Motherhood is a new adventure on uncertain seas but the view is breathtaking.



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