“Why are you being so selfish?”
Why? Because I can. I can be as selfish as I like. Well, I could before I had kids. That was the old me talking. People are inherently selfish, it’s in our nature, but once you are a parent you have to become somewhat selfless and it’s a big leap. Or rather an uncomfortable adjustment.
It starts when those two little blue lines peep out of that tiny window of opportunity. Two little lines which tell you, you are ‘with child’ and all previous carefree abandonment must come to an end. *insert dramatic screeching of breaks*. Au revoir. C’est la vie, mon amie. It was good while it lasted. We had a good run, didn’t we?
The changes to ones lifestyle are immediate. No more cheeky drinkies on a school night. No more staying out until the sun comes up. And that is just the start of things to come, because as soon as that babe arrives in this world, all pinky and new and covered in stuff from your insides (sorry), you transform from chief demand-maker to number one, doe-eyed, adoring slave. There is nothing you wouldn’t do to ensure things are to the precious-one’s liking. Boob on demand or bottle to hand. Rocked to sleep in exactly the right figure of eight motion – don’t you dare sit down, Mummy. I only like to sleep while you’re standing.
Babies and children are demanding. They’re like little, tiny rockstars. They all have a rider. Some are modest, just one cuddle and a pat on the back will do before nu’nights. Others are a bit more high maintenance. Others are Sir Elton John. Their room must be exactly 19 degrees, 6 ounces of milk (to be offered only by Mummy – while standing), two songs, three rounds of Ewan-The-Blooming-Sheep and finally Mummy laying on the floor with a broken arm so as to bend at an unnatural angle through the arms of the cot and stay in contact at all times.
But do you know what? All of that is fine because babies and children are meant to be selfish. Their survival quite literally depends on it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow but it’s just not our turn anymore, parents. I’ve had my fair share of outlandishly selfish moments, just ask my Mum or the Bearded Manc. Actually, scrap that idea. I might not like the answer and prefer to live safely ensconced inside my world of ‘ignorance is bliss’. It’s lovely here.
There will come a day though, in the future, when both of my stunners have left home and I will be left to wonder what on earth to do with myself – aside from sob uncontrollably because I will definitely be that mother. I will miss their demands, as unreasonable as they can sometimes be (like this afternoon when Posey wanted me to hold her but at 13 months, couldn’t verbalise that she didn’t want to see my face whilst being held, so kept swiping it in the other direction. Sorry luv. My face is kind of a non-removable part of my cuddle). I will mourn the days where they needed me so completely.
But on that day (that I can’t yet stand to think about), The Bearded Manc and I will mix up a little cocktail, give ourselves a huge pat on the back for raising two incredible humans (for I am in no doubt that they will be fantastic adults), have a little dance in our kitchen and start making plans for us, again.
So. Selfishness. Do not fear. We haven’t broken up, it’s just a temporary separation. A hiatus. I will be back for you and on that day we will get on a train. No particular destination, for we could go anywhere, it wouldn’t matter. But for now, leave me to bask in the glorious light cast by my little rockstars. They’re calling me and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.