New parent image paranoia

Today Amelia J and I are off to our second “new parents group” down at the local Maternal Health centre. This will be a weekly occurrence for 8 weeks where new mums sit around and talk about lack of sleep and poo (not the winnie-the sort either). Last week it felt like I was heading off for my first day of school. What will the other girls think of me? Will I like any of them? Will my baby behave or make me look as incompetent as I feel? And importantly – what should I wear??? Of course 15 minutes before we were due to leave I had the perfect outfit picked out which said “hi! I am friendly, not too frumpy, not too glam, not too boring – be my friend!” and apart from my old and smashed up converse sneakers which are my only comfortable walking shoes I was feeling totally appropriately dressed and totally in control. Amelia’s bags were packed, she was dressed in a cute yet not too hip outfit, the pusher was set up and I thought I should give her one last feed to see her through the afternoon. So feed her I did and all was going well… and then she decided to dirty her nappy and boy, was it ever a dirty nappy. So dirty, in fact, that my perfect outfit was completely ruined. With two minutes left until I absolutely had to wheel the pusher out the door I was running around frantically, digging through both (huge) clean and dirty laundry piles desperately trying to find something decent to wear. Finding something remotely appropriate I threw it on and dashed out the door. When I was half way to the centre I realised that I had pants covered in avocado from an unfortunate nori roll incident, that my shirt gaped open at the neckline almost too indecently and my shoulder was covered in baby vomit. I tossed my head back and thought “ok, I will just have to come across as a relaxed earth mother – covered in food and vom but with a big ol’ smile that makes up for it all”. Unfortunately I was punished for all my vanity a second time around when I got to the group and discovered that the top I had put on was the most impractical top possible to wear for breastfeeding. It meant that I basically had to pop it all out in front of my new, new parent friends while Amelia scoffed down the good stuff. What’s more, she is a noisy eater making huge gulping sounds so that everyone had to politely ignore the noisy child and totally exposed and blushing awkward looking mum in the corner. Today I will feed her in my pajamas and then change at the last minute… much safer.

I am dying to have an excuse to use Dawn’s Amelie action in photoshop. I tried it on one of my illustrations and it really didn’t work out, but on photos it looks very cool.

Some beautiful work – flameworked art glass beads by Michele Goldstein.

8 Responses to “New parent image paranoia”

  1. r@rowf.net

    Ugh, what a nightmare. I remember having nothing at all I could wear if I needed to feed. And when Samf was really young, she squeaked as she was being fed.

  2. flummel@attbi.com

    My friend and I were just talking about those days. Her best story was about heading off to a power meeting when someone stopped her and mentioned that she had spit-up dried in a big drip down her back. hehehehehe

  3. grumpygirl991@hotmail.com

    Oh this made me laugh! I’m sure you managed to carry the whole thing off with flair. And I really don’t think you can be held responsible for (or feel bad about)a baby who is merely enjoying her dinner…

  4. looloop@hotmail.com

    I so remember those days, two teenage boys disappeared so fast when my little one squirted all over me. And that warm, wet feeling, there is nothing quite like it. My daughter had one outfit that she never got out of the house in, every time she wore it she mucked-up,in the end she outgrew it, many times washed but never shown!

  5. momo@momofreaksout.com

    heeheehee! it sounds quite an adventure. i hope that the other mums were nice in the end.
    i’ve been walking around for 27 years not realising that babies were that messy (what, you really get poo on you?!! poo?!!), so i think all you mamas have been keeping this under wraps very well.

    perhaps a special t-shirt with well-hidden press stud flaps around the bosom area (kind of like those old fashioned pyjamas) could be good for breastfeeding without needing to totally disrobe.

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