Here are eleven normal-ish things that will terrify you when you become a mother for the first time.
You’ve been walking up and down them all your life. You’ve gone down them on your bum, made them into a slide and even used them as a storage unit. And then you had a baby and suddenly they are not only the worst obstacle in the world they are also terrifying! They threaten to trip you up, loosen your grip, trick you into lobbing your baby down or up them.
They become a menacing kaleidoscope of colours and patterns convincing you there’s definitely an extra step, an awkward floorboard, a missing step despite the fact there were twenty six of the buggers when you bought the house, twenty six when you went to the toilet earlier on and twenty six when you called the postman in to double check your counting skills and to hold the baby whilst you made a hysterical phone call to the doctors proclaiming your madness/hallucinations.
2. Petrol stations
The bane of all mothers lives.
Do you; leave the baby in the car whilst you pay, locking the door and legging it so fast over the forecourt you break your neck and die?
Do you; get the peacefully sleeping baby out of the car seat, waking her up in the process, ensuring she screams, draws a lot of attention to yourself as you get hot and bothered, sweaty and sweary because naturally you’ve left your purse back in the car?
Do you; refuse to put petrol in at all and run out in the most inconvenient black hole possible; no phone signal, no nappies left, not a soul around you for miles?
Do you; take husband with you who complains profusely about paying?
Or do you; take husband with you who complains profusely about the baby crying whilst you go and pay running across the forecourt so fast you break your neck and die?
3. Children (other peoples)
Where to start with this one? Maybe the bit where everyone else has managed to produce something with the same genetic makeup as Lucifer himself? Or maybe the fact everyone seems to accept that their little beauties carry/spread their germs with same ease as the snot trickles down small-Satan’s face?
Heavy handed, germ infested, loud, jealous little mites that like to showcase their interest of the most precious thing you’ve ever owned via sticky hands, silly sounds and whatever dangerous weapon, I mean toy, they think the baby would like on their head.
4. The weather
The weather has always been something you’ve been mildly interested in, excuse the pun. But then you have a baby and a thermometer and suddenly every season becomes a challenge.
Too hot, too cold, too windy, too wet, too dusty, too anything that may interfere with your bundles temperature, outfit choice or sleep pattern.
I became particularly vigilant by purchasing a thermometer that displays it’s unhappiness of the temperature via a sad face and flashing light which is particularly handy on hot or respectively cold nights; you know the ones where your desperate for sleep but then have to strip/layer the baby…
5. Bank balance
Checking your bank balance post baby becomes not unlike what I imagine Russian roulette is like.
Maternity pay plus cute necessities such as hats with ears that cost more than month’s mortgage payment, equals a worrying financial situation.
And it’s ironic really that one should find themselves in such scary squalor after having pretty much at least nine months warning of such expense.
‘Babies cost!’ The masses continued to warn and you continued to ignore.
Babies cost which means bank balances take a bashing!
6. Night time
The sole reason the night time becomes so terrifying is because it’s when sleep should happen! And we all know that when a new baby comes over the threshold sleep becomes a treat not a given.
Sleep is so precious. Well, it’s precious, in demand, worryingly elusive and because it should normally happens at night time, when it’s dark and quiet the night time becomes the most anxiety fuelled period of having a baby.
Like most brand, spanking new mothers I spent a lot of time in the beginning, during the night, just watching my baby breathe.
Around the five month mark I had managed to almost rid myself of this habit, albeit the odd check, when my beloved step-dog passed away in her sleep. She just stopped breathing during the night; cue the obsessive checking once again!
7. The post man
Post (excuse another pun) arrival of a new baby the post man fuels morning anxiety on a major basis. He becomes a new mother’s nemesis within the first week.
Not only does he pick the precisely worst moment possible to slam letters through your box, knock as loudly as he’s able or chose you as allocated parcel minder for the entire street.
But You can guarantee he will turn up the minute the baby latches on, the exact second the baby decides to nap, on you, making it nigh on impossible to move, or at the only moment out of the entire day that you’ve been able to use the toilet. Failing all this, he also obviously has to witness the complete breakdown over the stairs!
It almost makes me think that there’s a whole module at posty school dedicated on how to ruin maternity leave.
Six months in my posty kindly told me I was looking far better than I did; ‘You know,’ he gestured ‘better than when he was first born.’ I refuse to tell him that he is a she again.
8. Outside in general
Outside with a new born literally becomes a minefield of danger! I mean, eagles could literally swoop your baby away, comets could come crashing into the pram, everyone looks like a potential serial killer and that’s without getting started on the atmosphere in general! The germs, the poisons, the everything’s that could contaminate the baby and then there’s the old people that insist on touching/kissing/ramming their dirty fingers far too near the precious skin of your baby!
My advice; stay inside until said baby hits puberty.
9. The grandparents
They mean well, they really do but the whole ‘in my day’ theory really is quite terrifying! So terrifying I cannot bear to think about it!
10. Health visitor
Your allocated health visitor has social services on speed dial! This is a notion I found difficult to shift upon meeting mine for the first time and then when she suggested I take out my scented plug in because it could harm tiny airwaves I was pretty sure the baby was already on some sort of at risk list.
Relations were not improved when I told her I was unable to eat a biscuit in case someone died.
‘That’s OCD.’ She said with a look of such concern I practically shit myself.
‘That’s dieting.’ I wanted to reply but given she was already making me an appointment to see the GP, singing me up for a ‘stress club’ and checking the baby for signs of neglect I thought it best to keep quiet.
I’ve never been afraid of dying. Everyone does; it’s as much a part of life as being born. (I’ve always had the mad notion that I’ll Meet my fate by being run over but that goes hand in hand with the not being able to eat biscuit side of things.)
But then I had a baby and the thought of not being on this planet to hold her hand, watch her grow, be part of her life absolutely terrifies me!
Not that I wanted to die before she came along but now…I really do not want to snuff it!