I was probably the worst candidate ever for Mum-hood first time around. Like Joni Mitchel ‘I’m so hard to handle, I’m selfish and I’m sad’, and I was 35. A big old baby myself, having real babies wasn’t on my mind.
Mother Nature had other ideas.
Heading off for a run one evening it suddenly struck me: I’m pregnant! And Chupes was on her way.
Chupi was born at home, way up in the Wicklow mountains. Our wonderful homebirth midwife Ann Kelly tramped the six miles in two foot of snow from hers to ours the week before the birth just to make sure she could get there, even if the only other being getting through was the local farmer bringing hay to his sheep. Labour was fast and furious. It began at midnight and by 5 am beautiful black haired babe was here and swaddled and Mum, Dad and midwife were drinking (DELICIOUS) hot cups of tea, laced with Jameson.
Chupes brother’s arrival, Luke, was pretty dramatic too; pitching up two weeks early his homebirth midwife was in Kerry. The car journey to Clane’s tiny hospital involved three breakdowns and a midnight transfer to a neighbour’s jalopy – ‘Get sick out of the window Rosita! I’m not stopping’.
With one babe you can still, just about, carry off the hippy Mom thing, babe under arm and you are still up for anything. With two you have to knuckle down. Friends sent lists of how to organise nappies, soak babygrows, schedule naps.
I hated all of them. Not the friends, the lists. Babies are so not about lists. Yes you’re exhausted, yes you’re body is not your own anymore, yes you’re being asked to do the biggest job you’ll ever be asked to do in your life (grow a sane human being), with no recognition, no rule book, no pay, and no company, but what could be more heroic, more magical, and at the end of the day, better for you?
Becoming a Mum turns you inside out, upside down and back again, meanwhile teaching you compassion, tenderness for dependent beings, not to mention daily lessons in the criminal ludicrousness of the Patriarchy which puts War and Profit, the regime of the psychopathic Alpha Males, above everything, above Mother Earth and above all of us Mothers, and Babes.
Time to take back control!
Happy Mothers Day xxx