I’ve been thinking about how I was ‘before parenthood’ a lot lately…
I’m not really sure why… Maybe because a lot of my friends are starting to have babies, or maybe because mine don’t seem to really be ‘babies’ anymore. No. With one having just started school, writing her name and singing nativity songs (oh yes… constantly… *twitches a bit*), and a small one who spends most days punching me full force in the areola, whilst eating a Peperami and demanding episodes of Twirlywoos… the night feeds and tiny yellow nappies seem a distant memory now.
But despite how hazy the memory that was ‘me’ without small people is… I’m pretty sure I was a bit of a dick.
Not ALL the time. Obviously.
But when it came to how I felt about people who had kids, I’m actually pretty sure I was a total dick.
I just had no idea. No clue about their lives. No understanding whatsoever about how insanely hard it is to juggle life as a parent, still have a sense of self, and keep your shit together on a daily basis. But then I was in my early twenties; wearing push-up bras, could shower and shit freely, and generally thought of leggings as something you only wore with jumper dresses on a Sunday to have lunch with your parents…
I honestly feel pretty guilty about how incredibly judgemental, twatty and outright dickish I was when it came to people around me who were parents. But HOLY FUCK do I get it now…
When I think about the pre-conceived ideas I had about never feeding my child anything I hadn’t home cooked, never swearing in front of them, and basically revolving my perfect life around my perfect little people that I made with my uterus whilst actually sleeping at night and drinking lattes because how bloody hard could it be right?!? Yeah…
I was that person cursing the mums and dads I worked alongside for having to leave on time to collect their children from nursery or school, I was that woman in the pub on a Friday lunchtime wondering why someone would bring their baby there, I was probably even Litttle-Miss-Judgey-McTwatty-Pants who glanced over at the tantrumming toddler placated only with a bag of crisps and rolled my eyes… It makes me cringe how deluded I was… And how wrong I was.
Perhaps it’s just the circle of life… You spent your twenties mostly concerned about which shoes to wear out on a Saturday night, and whether you have a handbag and the right nail varnish to match… I also complained I was tired. A lot. For which I’d like to go back in time to visit my former self and punch myself in the face several times for. Which will have the additional benefit of giving me some preparation for the TGV (toddler-generated-violence).
I just wanted to remind myself that I get it now. I’m sorry about being a dick. And I’m definitely not a dick anymore.