Since having my beautiful baby boy I have been blessed with a happiness more powerful than anything I have ever been experienced. I have also been more exhausted than I ever thought I could handle, I’ve had more aches and pains than I thought I had body parts, and had more Earth shattering realisations than I knew I needed. But here’s the thing; I don’t want to talk about it.
I do not need to revisit how tired I am every time I see you. I do not want to talk about the intricacies of the relationship I have with my partner now that there is another person involved in everything we do. I do not want to talk to you about how gross nappies are, or how painful feeding can be, or how babies like to change their routines at the drop of a hat. No, I don’t get enough time to myself at present – would you like to come over and take my baby for a walk so that I can get some painting done? Didn’t think so, so don’t rub it in. And the mountain of washing is huge, cleaning the house is a full-time job, sometimes my baby does cry, and actually I like my post baby body.
You know what I do want to talk about?
I’ve been going to this thing at the library with lots of babies and mums and they have bubbles! How’s your sister? I was just given some new-to-me books to read to my baby and they’re honestly so cool. I would love to hear a joke! I was listening to a man talk about feminism and how men from his generation were taught that it was okay to objectify women and that society as a whole needs some serious self-reflection to rid itself of this frame of mind. What’s going on in your life? America is having some serious issues right now – have you seen what that president’s up to? I would love it if you got me a glass of water, thanks! Did you manage to get through that new Netflix series yet? Look at this thing I’ve been coloring in! Look, he rolls over/grips things/smiles when he sees me/supports his own head/is trying to crawl/is so goddamn cute/has new clothes/loves his orange ball/is an absolute charmer!
There are actually another million other things I have thoughts about, too. And I do seriously appreciate your patience while I try to recall what they are! But I don’t want to walk away from socializing feeling like I have a hundred problems. I don’t. I’m happy.
I don’t even think you know you’re being a negative ninny. I don’t think it’s even particular to new parents – you’re probably a downer to everyone. Misery loves company right? Stop picking at scabs and focus your energies on the pleasant things in life.
And the next time you unpromptedly try to get someone to wallow remember this little ditty; you’ve got to accentuate the positives, eliminate the negatives, and latch on to the affirmative, don’t mess with Mr In-Between…
Disclaimer: I don’t mean you, tired Momma/Papa! I know how tired you are, I know how hard it is to make friends in this weird parenting world we’ve jumped into. Don’t hold back on the chats, we’re in this together!