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.