When you have a baby (actually from the second you announce that you're pregnant) people offer you advice. What you should and should not been doing, what you should and should not be eating, what you should be buying and every other little nuance of child rearing is talked about at length. You find that what used to just be your life has now become public fodder for discussion, from friends, acquaintances and anyone else who might make some kind of passing eye contact with you in the street. I found all this information really hard to take in. It just made me feel like there was some secret mummy club full of women who knew what they were doing and how to look after a small person and I wasn't in it.

Having this small noisy little person in my house was difficult on so many levels. Not least of all because I had felt him growing inside me. I had felt his kicks and hiccups and I had waited for daily reminders that he was moving and growing inside me. Now here he was in front of me, he belonged to me and I was responsible for him but I felt like I had absolutely no control over the situation.

I began to wonder when I would feel like I was in charge again or at least know what the hell I was doing and be able to plan for what would be happening next. People told me over and over that it would take time, around twelve weeks to get into some kind of routine. Then I would feel more confident in what I was doing. But that deadline came and went and I still felt like I was just treading water and I was just so very, very tired.

In the first few weeks of my child's existence we were too scared to take him out in public. I was so worried that we would get to a shopping centre and he would cry and people would stare and I wouldn't know what to do and then I would be a failure and it would be public. So I went for walks around the block instead. I'd rug him up and put him the pram and just walk.
I looked down at his small little body, with his delicate features and tiny little hands and wonder what life had in store for him. I wondered what he would be like when he grew up, what would he look like, what would he achieve in the world. Then one day a little while after that twelve week mark I looked down at his little face and I didn't feel so disconnected anymore, I still didn't feel in control of the situation but I was not unhappy that I was his Mum. It was the very first time I had felt like that and it was amazing.

I did eventually take him out in public and it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined. The shopping centres were filled with light and sound and noise and one little woman with a small baby in a pram was hardly even noticed. My biggest problem was establishing where the baby change rooms and feeding rooms were situated in the centre and once they were found it wasn't as daunting as I had ever built it up to be.


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