Thursday 23 August 2018

The trials of becoming a mother

It's a "poppy seed"...a "grain of rice"...a heart that starts to beat.
It's a "lentil"'s a "chickpea"'s an "olive" with webbed feet.
Twelve weeks go by, and then you reach a very special time.
You have a scan, and on the screen, you see your little "lime".

But still you have a way to go. The waiting's just begun.
Less caffeine, and no dodgy cheese. No alcohol. No fun.
The delivery is messy, and you don't produce a doll:
It's a living breathing human - though it may look like a troll.

And you wonder, "Maybe motherhood is something I can't hack?
My "pineapple's" so helpless and I cannot send it back."
On you, it seems, and you alone, the infant must depend.
It feeds - or not - and what goes in, comes out the other end.

That vision of the Mummy role, all calm and so serene,
Is plain nonsense as you struggle to establish a routine.
You're still flabby round the middle, and you know you look a fright,
But beauty sleep's elusive, when you're up eight times a night.

So what happened to the woman who was capable and strong?
Whose life's become one question: "Am I getting this all wrong?"
In your tiny son or daughter, you'd invested so much hope,
But now you lurch from hour to hour, and struggle just to cope.

What's arrived is not as specified! How can one feel maternal,
When your alien won't settle, and appears to be nocturnal?
Your existence is just one long round - of nappies, milk and chores.
Is your baby someone else's, for s/he surely can't be yours.

The "experienced" may tell you all the work will seem worthwhile
When, in six weeks' time, your little one rewards you with a smile.
Huh! It's little consolation, when you're down and feeling blue,
And you're thinking, "IF we get there, it's the least the child can do."

That twitched-up mouth's a milestone and it only marks the start:
There are many more to follow, and a mother must take heart.
Right now, both of you are screaming, but you will win through the tears:
That creature will be off your hands in, maybe, eighteen years.

S/he'll be potty trained, have learned to walk, and talk, and work, and play.
There'll be trials and tribulations, plus much joy along the way.
S/he'll have grown into adulthood and, with luck, will be your friend.
But as for all the stressing? The worries never end.

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