Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Going Out

I'm in the grip of turmoil and only just emerging from some kind of hazy fog (thanks to sleep training, my husband's willingness to bounce on a fit ball at three thirty am and red, red wine). It has been a beautiful turmoil as anyone who has made it through the first year of their first child's life can attest to. This past week I have slept my first six plus hours straight since halfway through my pregnancy (just over a year ago). Longer baby sleeps means the return of a glass or two of red in the evening, more civilised conversation between myself and hubby and a vague glimpse that the 'real world' is still going on outside my mummy bubble.

I will not bore with details of cascading regurgitated milk (possetting does sound cleaner doesn't it), midnight car rides to beg sleep of our daughter, the poo, the breast milk (everywhere, all the time), the singing, the rocking, the bouncing, the swaying, the shushing, the questions, the million right answers (and the even more wrong answers), the solids (oh the solids! - can you tell I'm still there? What I wouldn't give for a self-cleaning stick blender and a wand that dices food perfectly and puts it in Tupperware for you), the toys (everywhere, all the time), the nappy bag and the etc etc. I know there are those out there nodding their head.

Goodness, where was I. That's right, longer baby sleeps. So, hurrah! She is finally sporadically sleeping through the night (and five hours is not sleeping through you crazy baby textbook). I mean, eight to five am kind of sleeping through. Grown-up sleeping through. And, I have refused to feed her back to sleep at night times. FREEDOM. Amazing, sleepy, 'hubby can deal with it at two am' freedom. But with great freedom comes great responsibility. 

I am currently typing this wearing a pair of high heels I bought eight years ago. They are the only 'going out' shoes I currently own, (everything else could double as casual or work related) a kind of bronze pewter stiletto I'm convinced goes with everything. I had to laugh at myself as I trawled through the bottom of my cupboard finding them. Dresses swishing over my head that I refuse to get rid of even though I can't access my boobs in them and the zipper stopped doing up two months past bub's conception. The reason for the shoes? I am possibly 'going out' in a week. Major new mummy milestone. Going out in heels again. Going dancing! Where everyone will be ten years younger. And ten years thinner. And ten years tanner than I. And their clothes will be ten years tighter than mine, and they'll still look ten years younger. (And I am only twenty six). I have to practise. Hence, wearing the shoes whilst blogging. 

I am not scared or self conscious or anything of the sort, but today's events have shown me how out of this world I have been for almost a year. I spend my days gazing lovingly at the most splendid creature I believe exists on this earth coercing giggles out of her and building towers out of plastic blocks. My favourite thing to do is watch how she reacts to another mushed up or finger-sized stick of food and then I will make exaggerated, praise-filled remarks as though she just won first prize for allowing a new sensation to hit her palate. I just don't think it will compare to loud music that evokes gyrating bodies in high heels and seven dollar mixers. (Or is it eight now. I can't keep up with inflation.)

So I'm sitting here wearing high heels because I can't remember how to walk in them. I'm only five foot three. I like wearing heels. I love the different perspective and the illusion of longer legs and the way it makes me feel a tiny bit more like a Bond girl. I like wearing 'look at me, I've put effort in' dresses (as opposed to the 'look at ALL of me, I forgot my dress' dresses) and wearing makeup and doing my hair. I like buying a drink with a lime wedge on the side and two straws. I like dancing and getting so hot from it I have to hold my hair up off my neck and blow down the front of my outfit to feel cooler. It's the best thigh workout I've ever done. It's fun. It's a special night out. It makes me feel pumped and gives me a good ol' high.

What's my point? I feel like at this stage I'm supposed to reveal a great epiphany related to clubbing and motherhood. You'll probably be disappointed at the lack of coherency you've experienced in this post so far. I apologise. But, let's see... here are some truths I have discovered in bullet point form for those seeking a Baptist-sermon-like summary:

  • Baby bodies are gorgeous. I have never had a 'hot bikini body' and have always found swimwear shopping awful (hooray for thinking like a normal female!). Chuck in a saggy baby tummy, an increase of two dress sizes all round, bigger feet, rare but awkward let down leakage and long, red stretch marks (to add to the adolescent long, whiteish scars that already circle most of my, as Fergi puts it, 'lovely lady lumps') and you have a recipe for self-loathing and baggy t-shirt days. Everyday. BUT, I do not hate my body.  I love it. More than ever before. I just do. Baby bodies are gorgeous. Every body is gorgeous. Imagine if every time you saw a person you saw a clip of them as a baby smiling and laughing for the first time. How precious. How amazing. Just pure joy!  

  • To be pretty, feel pretty. No one else can feel it for you. Wearing heels can make me feel pretty and more sensual. Drinking a drink (be it lemonade or a Sunset Something-rather) with a cocktail umbrella makes me feel pretty and happy. Curling my hair makes me feel pretty and different for that day. Making brownies makes me feel good because it tastes freaking awesome. (Actually eating is a big one. I LOVE food. Lucky point one has already been established.) Sitting at home feeding my baby yoghurt and receiving a dairy facial at the same time makes me smile. A BIG smile. It makes me feel VERY pretty. In a nutshell, bub has done me an excellent service in letting me know that what other people think of how I look is a moot point. My husband has been trying to convince me of this for years as well, so sorry Hun. It's finally sunk in. (If you follow me long enough, you'll see he's an absolute keeper!) But there you have it, pretty is a feeling, not a tight butt. 

  • Every day could be the best day of your life. Don't live waiting. This is starting to sound mightily poetic of me but you just never know what will happen tomorrow. Life is way too short and there is so much awfulness happening around us that you have to learn to be content in your today; not what will come tomorrow or what you are aspiring to do or be in the future. As much as it's a sombre thought, anything could happen and you don't want to live today with regrets. So eat ice cream, wear the red lipstick, say I Love You and visit those you care about, often. And for goodness sake, stop dieting for your thighs and working out to fit into a dress. I'm ALL for health, but not a life lived around waist measurements.

So on Thursday night whilst we trawl through the usual evening routines and kiss our babies before they go to bed think of me deciding on something to wear and breastfeeding my eight month old before bed. I'll be wearing heels, and will change my earrings for the first time in three months to feel special. I will try hard to enjoy my evening without checking my phone every five minutes for an SOS call from hubby. I will be with friends, laugh, worry, laugh more, probably trip many times in unfamiliar footwear and stumble into bed ready to be exhausted when my baby wakes at five thirty am to feed.

And I know you'll all understand.  

Photo credits,  Anders Adermark and Valentina

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