Every now and then, we were shown a child sleeping in the road frighteningly close to a passing truck or bodies strung out on drugs and covered in flies.
I’m struggling to put the weekend into words. It’s been such a revelatory one that I don’t feel like I can move on to talking about anything, whether deep or inane until I write about this. So, instead of making this a week of silence at Circus Queen, I’ll try to explain it, to myself as much as to you, in objects.
So I had a fight with our airer or whatever it’s called. I’m partial to calling it the evil-umbrella-washing-line-twisty-thing. I tend to get physical with misbehaving household items when the “real adult” isn’t around. The sorry-looking smashed pieces of smoke alarm would tend to agree.
We’ve been talking through our finances recently and I often sigh over “When – if ever – will we be able to buy a house?”, “When will we be able to go to India?”, “Will we be able to afford ballet or football lessons for the creature?” and the list goes on. But the question that trumps all of those is: “What will happen to my career?”
I woke up on Saturday raring to pick up our pram and car seat. I didn’t know how symbolic these objects were or that they’d freak us out.
When I mentioned the uni-boob scenario the other day, it was an attempt at being amusing. My mother read it and all she could think was: “Good grief, my child needs to be clothed!” She speedily got in touch, in her worried mother way – a way I shall soon learn, no doubt.
I tweeted about this video a while ago because I think Valerie Stone Hawthorne’s blog, The Mompetition, is a brilliantly humourous and affirming depiction of motherhood.
The night out begins with me ransacking my wardrobe to find something that still fits over the epic mass of my breasts without smooshing them together in the horror that is uni-boob.
When I told people this weekend that we were going to a home birth group discussion around the theme of attitudes to pain, they looked at Laurence as if feeling for his pain.
I’ve been thinking about the relationship between mental health and motherhood ever since I realised nine years ago that what I was experiencing was depression. I’ve worried that depression would make me an unsupportive friend and wife, and a frightening mother. But I’ve also known I don’t want it to determine how I’ll live my life.
I don’t have a problem with it. I understand that immigration needs to be controlled… What I always find hard, though, is feeling a little bit like a criminal going through the process or at least like I’m begging to stay here – just a teeny weeny bit.
As a younger teen I often bragged that I would never get married and certainly never have children. Mostly, I got a kick out of making controversial statements. I also considered myself a feminist (still do) and naively felt that this was at odds with pursuing family life. But mainly, I saw marriages suffering all around me, with children caught in the middle, and it scared the hell out of me.