‘Just you wait,’ says my friend’s sister to her shortly before she gives birth, ‘just you wait till you feel the hate.’
‘Feel the hate? What are you talking about?’
‘The hate. The hate you’ll feel for your husband.’
‘I’m not going to feel hate for my husband. I love him.’
‘Yeah, yeah, I love my husband too. This is different. Just you wait.’
Skip three months to life with a non-sleeping, colic, premature baby born in a country where they know no one and have no family…
A desperate phone call to her sister in the wee small hours of the morning…
‘I’m feeling the hate. Oh boy am I feeling the hate.’
Gregory has been working 7 days for the past few weeks, which means I have also been working 7 days for the past few weeks.
And I’m doing it all for him.
I’m a regular Fairy Godmother, working each day to make his dreams come true.
So, in remembrance of yesterday’s father’s day – which Gregory worked – I would like to honour Q’s father with a list of grievances that are the foundations for making me feel the hate…
· Cloth nappies. I still can’t bring myself to abandon my environmental post, but it can be a dark, lonely place with the lid removed and my arms submerged elbow-deep in post-poo nappies.
· Q and her 4.45am wake-up calls. Exacerbated by the fact that I am still awake after midnight as it is the only time I get to myself.
· A supremely energetic baby who only feels the need for two 20-minute naps per day. When that day starts at 4.45am, that is A LOT OF TIME hanging out with the same person.
· Household chores. If we lived in some third world nation and exploited the indigenous people, I would have someone to do the laundry, cleaning, cooking, tidying, sheet changing and Tupperware drawer rearranging for me. It’s horrible, but sometimes I wish we did…
· Husbands making life more difficult. Come on ladies, I know I’m not alone. Fellas – if you open a door, close it. If you use the milk, put it back in the fridge, if you have a shower, use a floor mat. And a fan. Remarkably, you hold all the top positions in the world. Please show me how.
· Shopping with no pram. All the incidental exercise required to exhaust my sweet babe, means her chariot has taken a bit of a beating and finally protested by refusing to allow me to inflate its tires. I have the replacements, but it is far beyond my skill level to know what to do with them. So I carry my well over ten-kilo baby in one arm and my grocery shopping in the other. On the positive side, there is less need for me to concentrate on upper-body exercise. Welcome to my gun show!
· Baby guilt fatigue. Is this a recognised illness? I reckon it should be. It’s when a mother adores every iota of her small one, cherishes her every noise, delights in her every move, but secretly wants to sit on the couch and have a cup of tea in absolute peace and silence. Just for ten minutes. Fatigue made all the worse by guilt. A toxic combination, turned lethal when found in large quantities inside a sleep deprived, hormonal mum.
Ah mothers, the silent martyrs.
Yeppo, I am definitely starting to feel the hate.