Sometimes I feel like I unintentionally hold a trump card around other parents and pregnant people. When the war stories start to come out in conversation, people (sometimes) defer to my apparently superior brand of kid chaos and pregnancy horror. And I always always feel really wrong about this. I still remember being a first time mother of one. I still remember that inadequate feeling, the post natal sadness, the newness of the fun and that awful feeling when you’ve listened to hours of screaming, you’ve tried food, cuddles, milk, dummy, teddy, patting, rocking, music, white noise, new nappy, a bath, a play, a song and all that’s left is to yell WHAT???!!! WHAT DO YOU WANT??!! And then recoil at your own reaction. The mother guilt. Ahhh the guilt. Someone once told me that motherhood, is guilt. She was damn right.
A friend and his lovely wife were over for a visit a few weeks ago and I suspect that she may have been having a not so fabulous pregnancy. She hinted at it and we got talking about being pregnant with twins. I told the Target story and the not being able to climb stairs or walk anywhere story and then she kind of clammed up about her experiences. I felt really guilty that again, my story had trumped someone out of theirs. And sadder still that this is her first and she should be milking that sucker for all it’s worth (sorry about the unfortunate pun). And enjoying or whinging as much as she pleases.
My point is, I have twins but I do not have any trump card. If there was anything I’d want my mother friends to know it’s this. That your experience is your own and no one else’s. That motherhood is hard (at times) no matter how many you’ve got on the boil. That the first can be just as much of a challenge or delight as the seventh. Although, may I just say, that if you are having seven kids….seriously sister, what the hell? That situation is not even going to fit in a people mover. Don’t get me started on the Octomum.