I’ve had a bit of flack from a friend recently about my blog and my little poems on motherhood. It was via whatsapp since we each have two nippers and live in the burbs on opposite sides of London so seeing each other in person is close to impossible.
A friend of hers (in Asia, I’m international, no big deal) had seen my blog. She liked it. She asked my friend if motherhood is “as much of a giggle” as I make out.
“Ha!” said my friend to me. “You need to do something a bit gritty, the real world of motherhood”, she implored. After bearing two children, one of her friends has “bowel evacuation disorder” and next month has to do a poo while a radiographer takes a scan. As she said, no one would think that was a giggle.
The message was clear. I had let the side down.
This has made me worried. The last thing I want to do is make other mums feel like they’re not in on some massive motherhood-giggle-fest. I’m much more in to a “this has its good bits and its bad bits, so let’s embrace the good, laugh about the bad and generally try
to not go bananas to do our best” approach.
The Brightness Of These Days is about finding the brightness, whatever kind of day it is.
Hang on in there! We’re all in this together! #youvegotthis! etc
I thought I was doing ok; I’ve covered disappearing boobs (more than once), my recent beach body appraisal (ungraded) and the whole post-pregnancy hair loss horrors. As well as the full spectrum of the post-baby body/hormone juggernaut in my personal favourite This Motherhood Beast. I’ve spoken about middle of the night musings and I’ve told you that Instagram lies.
None of this is enough.
I’ve been called out and I want to do something about it.
Tell me your story!
I have a project in mind but I need your help.
Please tell me – via the numerous ways of communication the modern world permits (this blog, instagram, Facebook, twitter, whatsapp, messenger, email, archaic old text message, things I’ve not heard of) – your lows of parenthood. The really gritty bits that you might not want to publicly share (and you can email me these in confidence) and yet you feel the world NEEDS TO KNOW.
Like poo evacuation disorder.
I had never heard of this as a side effect of having babies but oh my – that lady. Whoever you are, I take my hat off to you. That is not cool. And who do you get to talk to about that? That sucks.
A physiotherapist friend once told me that loads* of women have to have physio on their lady bits after birth. An enormous** percentage. One friend has shared with me that that happened. But I have heaps of friends with babies. This must’ve happened to more of them. Yet we don’t speak about it. It’s not up there with the acceptable post-birth things we feel permitted to moan about, like leaky boobs and night sweats.
What’s the bloody point?
Well, through this little project, which I will weave into some sort of affirmative poem, at least we’ll know that we’ve all got post baby side-effects we wish we didn’t. And it’s ok to say that. It doesn’t make you an ungrateful feckless mother for not being over the moon if, because you effectively pushed a melon out of your lady bits, you can’t now push out a normal sized poo (that’s just unfair).
So, what’s mine?
Well I can’t tell you, but I’ll knit it into my poem and together we might start to feel a bit better about things.
What can a poem do?
It’s just words.
It’s solidarity and community and holy-shit-that-poor-cow-that-sounds-awful togetherness.
It’s never just words
(I like words a lot ok?).