One day, when I was pregnant with our first, I was waiting for an ultrasound in the hospital, I sat there with a lawyer (I know, she was in my birth class), a mother in tears because she was being put on bedrest, there were others, coming and going, pacing, trying to get their babies to turn for a better picture.
We were from different places, different spaces and ordinarily may never have met, but we were all there together, one. A sisterhood. Our state, equalised us right there in that hospital. We all needed and wanted the same things.
I felt that ‘we are one’ sense quite strong that day and every time I walked through those hospital doors. What happened next is mostly a hazy fog for me…6 years of broken sleep will do that to you, we are JUST getting things right in the sleep department now. Praise be.
I digress…the sisterhood, the motherhood, the neighbourhood. Some days parenting feels so isolating. It’s especially intense in those first months as a new mum. And because I know I’m not the only one who has struggled with these emotions, I really wonder why mums in the playground often don’t say hello, or look me in the eye. I’m fairly sure most of us would rather be somewhere else, but we love our kids. Maybe I’m giving off weird vibes? Maybe I have food on my face, who knows.
I must say though, on becoming a school mum, at first I was terrified, sending my baby girl ‘out there’, where I couldn't control what she would hear or see, trusting she would be kept safe 5 days a week, 6 hours a day. I remember talking to her fresh white school socks, feeling jealous that they would get to be with her all day, asking them to look after her. I actually wrote them a poem and posted it on Instagram, we all process differently.
What I didn't expect to love about the school mum thing, is the community I would come to know. The great equaliser has me chatting with a doctor, a lawyer, an author, a journalist, a scientist and more, almost every morning and afternoon. Sure, they are quick chats, but it does make up most of my social life at the moment. I love doing the school run for this reason.
No matter our backgrounds, we are all juggling, struggling, smuggling vegetables into meals, drowning in laundry, to do lists, lunch box anxiety. It’s good to know you’re not alone. And you’re not. I hope you feel that and if you don’t, try bailing up a co-mum or dad in the park this weekend, just make sure your face is clean.
“Across everything, on top of nothing.”