Welcome to the 37th issue of the #beingamother project – woah we are finally full term! And to usher you into this lovely turn of events and reflecting on the shameless challenges of being a mother is Marie who blogs over on mum vs mom. Reminding us that being shameless really is the best way to get through motherhood unscarred..take it away Marie!
Being a Mother means losing all sense of shame. You soon learn that embarrassment is part of the job description and you just stop fighting it. You make your peace with embarrassment.
I mean, can you ever be truly embarrassed again after you’ve had a team of medical staff poking around your nether regions for hours while you desperately try not to ‘bear down’ and crap on the delivery table?
Many women yet to have children might think that the labour experience is where the embarrassment starts. But us mums and mums-to-be know it’s actually a lot earlier. While your friends and family are all gushing about your pregnancy glow, you’re trying to keep a lid on all that extra gas that your body is starting to produce – particularly lethal on a tightly packed London tube I learned. There’s the little ‘leaks’ when you laugh or cough when heavily pregnant. And don’t get me started on the haemorrhoids.
You just don’t have the time for vanity worries though. You are too busy worrying about the delivery, future sleep routines and breastfeeding. So you quickly learn to shrug off embarrassments and be shameless.
After baby arrives, you take the shamelessness to a new level. It’s all about survival. So what if I haven’t changed out my PJ’s in three days? So what if I whip my boobs out to feed? Once, long after a feed, I forgot to put my boob away and answered the front door. Poor postman didn’t know where to look. I shrugged the shame off.
With every month, every year, comes a new layer of embarrassment to shake off. Public tantrum? Block it out, ignore the stares and carry on. Sick or poop on your clothes? Grab a baby wipe and keep moving. There’s no time for shame, you’ve got a play date to get to this afternoon and a lunch time food fight and nap battle to get through first.
There’s also that embarrassment that comes with mums being social. Meeting new mums is like dating all over – but with even more insecurities. Will she like me? What if she says no to that park date? You have to learn to be shameless to approach them and ‘ask them out’ on that first play date.
And then if that relationship with your new mum friend works out, you have the embarrassment of a ‘mums night out’ to look forward to. When you forget that you can’t handle more than two glasses of wine nowadays. You end up shoeless dancing on the tables. On a Tuesday night.
But it’s ok. We are the poster girls for ‘keep calm and carry on.’ Mums have been re-programmed to feel no shame. The love, the joy and sense of overwhelming pride that comes with being a mum makes the gas and the haemorrhoids something to laugh about and to bond over. Because we have become shameless. It’s one of our many superpowers.
Plus there is plenty of time when our kids are teenager to get our own back and embarrass them. That’s part of the ‘Being a Mother’ job description too.