T’s and C’s Apply

13 May

How often have we seen this very phrase and skipped or scrolled down the page and ticked the “I accept” box without thinking about what those two little words actually mean. When becoming a mother, whether surprised by the event or not, we all enter into a life long contract and only read the fine print when the poop hits the proverbial fan. Take me for instance,  I’ve only been a mom for six months now and now know that I had no clue what I was getting myself into when I decided to take the plunge. We probably give away all rights to complain when we’re handed our bundles of joy.

Example number one: our family holiday to Durban for easter. No one told me that I was the only one that wasn’t going to enjoy the holiday because technically, I was the only one still on duty!!!!!!!!! Let’s start with the enormous task of packing for Samuel and myself. I had compiled my list of things to pack a week in advance just to make sure that I had everything I needed for at least nine solid days. The items included: the travel bath, pram, night-light, breast pump (for when I needed to give him away), nappies (swimmers and the normal huge pack of pampers), clothes (for every season and for day and night, you never have enough for your child), towels and a facecloth, toiletries (an unending amount), medication (including the teething range) and all of this is just for Samuel. I haven’t as yet got to the one pair of jeans and shorts, few t-shirts, undies and toothbrush that I get to tag along. All in all, we had, one massive red suitcase (three-quarters filled with my son’s goodies), a toiletry bag, a toy bag, a massive blanket to play on and keep warm, the car seat, the pram, the going out bag (Samuel’s not mine – I no longer own such a fashionable accessory) and the feeding cushion. We were just short of the kitchen sink and then Samuel and I were ready to go! I say Samuel and I because his father gets to travel like a single man – and by this I’m not implying he travels light either. He had a bag for his clothes, a bag for his shoes, it would have been another bag for his wide range of toiletries if I hadn’t told him to pack in THE toiletry bag and then still he tags along his Wii, I mean really. So we get to sunny Durban and my dearly beloved husband has the time of his life. He’s off with friends and every ready to entertain while I’ve got to still do night duty and take care of the naps, feeds and such while secretly wanting to kill him every time he smiled or laughed because he was having such a wonderful child-free holiday.

Example number two: my first mothers day. It was such a special day. I was woken to a gift of lovely winter booties for home and a box of my all time favourite dark chocolates, Lindt. We then proceeded to get ready because we were joining the rest of my immediate family at the 702 concert at the Johannesburg Zoo. The weather was perfect, the music was great, the company and lunch was superb, there was nothing more I could ask for. Little did I know that my baby had contracted a viral infection and I would have a week from hell to inaugurate my first mothers day! I have never been covered in as much snot, vomit and medication or been so exhausted from a super-clingy baby ever in my life. He wanted to fall asleep with my next to him or him on my chest, now who on earth can sleep with eight kilo’s on their chest?! When I asked his father to help, Samuel with cry until I woke up or attempt to gouge his father’s eyes out with his little razor-sharp finger nails. I was up with him all day (now that I stay at home) and all night, while he coughed and I would lay awake listening to him wheeze, hoping him and I would be okay by morning while his father got his full nights sleep! I was seriously feeling harassed by my own flesh and blood here.

I guess, we all have different terms and conditions in our contracts as parents and I am definitely convinced that dad’s get way better bargains than mothers do. What I think it boils down to is the change or the mental shift women make before their babies are even born. Case in point, how many mothers do you know that take luxurious half and hour-long hot baths (or showers), who eat their meals slowly enough not to get indigestion or heartburn, have more sleep than their partners, that don’t have babies hanging on them every chance they get, who pack for the family and must still have enough energy to take care of the household???? Am I the only one out there who sometimes feels like she got the short end of the stick or is that also part of the contract???

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