It’s 6.30am and I’ve just flipped the pillow back over to the cold side. It feels utterly delightful and so comfortable, making me want to stay there all day. Of course this notion is nothing but a dream. In reality I’m only fooling myself and being lured into a false sense of security by my snuggly bed. But this beautiful moment is going to be fleeting and I’m going to appreciate every last second of it because I know what’s coming next.
Mama? Who is this Mama you speak of? Is he talking to… to me? Sometimes for a split second when I wake up, I forget that I am indeed the Mama. I suppose a combination of confusion and disorientation is to be expected when you’re a 30 something woman getting woken up by a high pitched scream at the crack of dawn. Nonetheless my
momentary memory loss soon passes. I become fully aware of the fact that in order to make that adorably cute (yet piercingly loud) noise stop, I must go to the other room and pick that noise up.
Cold side of the pillow farewell. It was amazing while it lasted. We will be reunited soon. I’ll be thinking about you all day I promise. Don’t forget about me. I love you. For now I’ve got to be Mama.
Suddenly the cute little screamer has become two cute little screamers and I’m carrying one under my arm while the other clings enthusiastically to my leg. We gather up everything we need, bottles, cups, teddies, soothers…socks. All the hundreds of items that we need to start the day and could not possibly leave behind. This is not the ideal way to move around a house and it’s certainly not the best way to descend the stairs. But I got this. I’m Mama.
I used to think of a house as four walls. A series of rooms. Somewhere to keep your belongings, to relax, to live. However since taking on my motherly roll, a house has become much much more than just that. My house, like myself, needs it’s coffee. It needs to take things one step at a time until it’s fully up and running. Don’t get me wrong a house still represents all of the things that it used to pre parenthood but now it’s different. My house is like a machine.
My days are often a series of processes. Washing, drying, folding, picking up, putting away, heating up, cooling down, opening, closing. These are some of the steps involved in making things run smoothly. The house even sounds like a machine. Sometimes I wonder why my mind is foggy and then I realise all I can hear is some combination of the washing machine, dishwasher, kitchen fan or kettle.
When things get too loud sometimes I step outside. Breath a breath of fresh air and calm my chaotic mind. Sometimes. Most of the time I try not to cry, stick in a pair of wireless earphones, blast some Chaka Khan and remind myself of the fact that “I’m Every Woman”. And then I move on. Because I’m Mama.
But every day isn’t like this. Sure some days are even worse. A lot of days are so amazing. The days when nothing goes to plan but you don’t even care what happens. The times when the pressures of motherhood aren’t amplified a million times over and stressing you to the breaking point. Those are the days we live for.
On an evening as I sit down to my cup of tea and mini crossword on the phone my mind wanders back to the nights when time wasn’t a factor. In my early twenties time was but a concept only thought about when wondering how long it would take me to get ready. To magically make an alcopop disappear and meet my ladies for some shenanigans.
Nowadays the evenings are all about time. What time will we get the kids to bed? What time will we finally get sat down? How long will we be scrolling before we decide what movie to watch on Netflix? And then how long until I inevitably start dozing off to sleep during that movie…
Of course I get those magical nights where all the stars align. The kids go down to sleep like a dream. When us grown ups are feeling energetic and we might actually stay up past 11. Those nights where we can pretend for a moment that we are our old (younger) selves. Sometimes Mama needs a night like that.
But whatever life has thrown at me that day, good or bad, if I’m absolutely wrecked tired or have managed to stay up past midnight without turning back into a pumpkin. I know one thing for sure. I’m going to be laying down in my snuggly bed. And most importantly flipping over to the amazingly wonderful cool side of the pillow.
Because Mama is most certainly done for the day.