Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Best of times, worst of times

Since having a baby of my own there is a message I send to any other friends or acquaintances who have a baby, apart from the congratulations on your arrival one which is of course the most important one. It varies depending on how well I know the person, but I send it around the six weeks mark and it goes something like this:
Dear X,
Now that x is roughly six weeks I thought I should send you an email to see how you are doing. Having a baby is awful isn't it? Wonderful, but awful. The lack of sleep (and subsequent sniping with those you love), the hormonal surges that make you question mortality and the nature of the universe, the sheer sense of utter responsibility for life (an actual life!), makes it truly the best of times and the worst of times. Hopefully you are feeling fine but if you aren't then know you are not alone. You are allowed to be teary and upset without it being pnd, and to find bits of motherhood shitty - and not just the bits that are literally shitty - and to still be a good mum. I am sending you this because I wish someone had sent me something similar and I promise you it does get better, though you won't believe me at this point.
Love X.
Everyone I have sent this to has got back to me saying yes, it is awful isn't it, thank you for having the courage to say it out loud and I reply yes, the only thing worse than having a baby is the thought that you might not be able to have one. Except the one person who replied saying 'Thank you but everything is wonderful, our life is brilliant, sorry you're not coping.' The fucker. And the sad thing is, probably they need that email most of all, because anyone who says every aspect of those first few weeks is wholly amazing is surely lying aren't they?


  1. I think that's a lovely email to send and I think if someone had sent it to me I would've been in tears!


  2. Would you advise sending it to people who haven't had their baby yet? Or is it too abstract until you've actually been through it? A couple of good friends are about to become mothers for the first time, want to send them your blog link but perhaps it would be better to wait?