Obviously I know the sensible answer to this question, but at one point over the weekend I actually wondered when, if ever, I’ll be able to be sociable again. More importantly, if I’ll ever be as fun as I (think I) once was pre-mummahood.
Last weekend was a busy one for us as we were invited to two social events, a family BBQ and a first Birthday party. As much as I enjoyed both gatherings, man was it hard work.
Long gone are the days when you only have to worry about getting yourself ready and, once there,(probably on time) what you’ll drink next. Oh no, social events these days are literally about showing your face and keeping your untrained chimps in line.
Take Saturday afternoon for example. We were only an hour late, which is a win in my book when you’re trying to get a family of four out the front door looking half decent. When you finally arrive it’s all about logistics. It all starts with access to the venue. Luckily there was ample space for our
horse and cart double buggy and we were able to get it around the side of the house with about as minimal effort and disruption as it would take the Chuckle Brothers to manoeuvre a small sofa. It was a breeze. Next is finding a suitable place to park our abundance of baby paraphernalia so that we can a) be out of the way from all the normal folk trying to have a fun time and b) get access to it at all times and still be a part of the fun. So we arrived, late, slightly sweating and dishevelled, but we made it and that’s all the that matters. Now let’s have some fun.
Wait a minute, silly me, we still have two sprogs to take care of amongst all the fun happening around us. The toddler is set free and of course she makes a bee-line for the water feature with as much eagerness as I imagine a professional gambler does when they spy a poker table. There was no stopping her. Thankfully I brought with us seventeen changes of clothes. You know the standard amount of clothes one tiny human requires for an evening out.
So whilst Elsie’s loving life by the water feature and trying to soak anyone who walks past her, (apologies Auntie Lauren) the Hubster and I are are presented with drinks. Then I do what I’m sure most breastfeeding Mumma’s do, check the clock and wonder when the last feed was/next one will be and of course I have absolutely no frigging idea and take a big bloody gulp of that chilled wine because you bloody deserve it. I’m having one drink and I’m going to enjoy it.
Cue baby waking up needing a feed. Clock shmock, breastfed babies couldn’t give a rat’s arse about time. Wine aside, I’ll have a pint of water thank you. Excellent. Boobs are out, let’s get this party started.
The rest of the evening pretty much follows the same pattern as it would at home. Keeping little people alive. This meant keeping Elsie away from the pond, (yep a pond, every parent’s worst nightmare next to roads, car parks and choking objects) away from the side access to the house which led to the road, (excellent) watching her down steps, from eating anything she could choke on, touching anything breakable, drinking from beer bottles…you name it, she was into it. Thankfully she didn’t clock the shots doing the rounds as they look like perfect toddler treats in those sprightly coloured sized sippy cups, who wouldn’t want one of those.
If I wasn’t on toddler watch, did I mention there was a pond?! I was changing a soaking wet toddler or a pooey baby or sat in the corner with my boobs out feeding baby, secretly giving evil eyes to every other sod there who could indulge in several alcoholic beverages irresponsibly, whilst attempting to be sociable.
The babies were an absolute hit with everyone there which was lovely and thankfully we had a whole lot of help from family so we could have the odd free moment, but for the most part I don’t actually think I asked one person a question about them. I was even showered with lots of compliments about my blog from people who I didn’t even know and yet in the midst of them talking so kindly about both my real babies and my virtual baby, I was always distracted. Later, as we rounded our little troop up to head home just as the sun was setting and everyone was entering party mode, I couldn’t help but wonder, would I ever be sociable again?
Then came the first birthday party on Sunday. The Hubster couldn’t make it so I trudged in two hours late, baby in her car seat in one hand, baby bag and toddler on reigns in other hand and the birthday present practically balanced on my head. Same procedure as the previous event- arrive late, bundle in, say hi to people that you will only then inevitably say bye to a few hours later without anymore conversation happening in between and then find somewhere suitable to set up camp.
Thankfully at this event, there wasn’t a pond. I quickly found my fellow Mummy friends, well as quickly as an overloaded donkey can anyway, and sat down for round two of attempting to be sociable. Within half an hour of being there I’d used up a packet of wet wipes on the aftermath of Elsie devouring an ice lolly the size of a traffic light and clearing a splendid amount of projectile vomit from all over my neck (arms, chest, back, boobs…) curtesy of Billie.
But as I glanced around, pretty much everyone else was also doing something similar. We were all in the same parenting boat. OK so I was the only one caked in regurgitated breast milk, but everyone else were too cleaning up, telling off, feeding, wiping, consoling, dragging away from sudden danger or preventing some sort of destruction caused by their small humans. The most commonly used word amongst the chaos was “sorry“. Sorry, you were saying? Sorry, I missed that. Sorry, hold on. Sorry, do you mind helping me? Sorry, could you watch her for me. Sorry, I’ll be back. Sorry, sorry, sorry.
Sorry… for being a parent?
This is life now. It won’t always be like this. There will come a day when I won’t be needed as much and I know I’ll miss it. I’ve had years being sociable, having unlimited drinks and enjoying the carefree life and it was during this time that I was always yearning for the life I have now. I wanted to be a Mumma so badly that my heart ached. I didn’t want to be carefree anymore, I wanted to be needed. The me back then would never have imagined that life would be this crazy wonderful. OK so I didn’t imagine the stress, the mess, the copious amounts of crap I’d be covered in on a daily basis, but the me back then would never have dreamed that by now I’d be this lucky. Right now I’m a parent and I’m needed. Being sociable has just changed it’s definition for the time being and for that I’m not one bit sorry.