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Wednesday, June 06, 2007


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I used to love it too. When people would compliment or pay attention to Grace, it made me feel that maybe I was going to be OK at this strange new mothering thing. Which although I'd wanted more than anything for years, didn't always sit easily with me (does it ever?). I try to be friendly when I see new mothers out and about but often they look a bit frightened. And I worry that it's me, so I pull back. Maybe I'm forgetting how scary it can be at that stage...

It's funny but I don't recall much of strangers coming up to me when either of mine were small. I am pretty sure they must have done so but I think I was too busy to remember it all. I do recall many of the older ladies from the social group of my in-laws giving all sorts of advice when D was small, which we rarely took. At the moment I can't even recall what sort of advice it was...probably about how often to feed and sleep schedules, etc. Of course nobody thought to offer to help out in those early days. My MIL wasn't here and we pretty much learned it all on our own. I was still new here so didn't know anybody. Our child health nurse was quite helpful and offered all sorts of practical advise. Aside from when N was first born, she also was there for his early years. It's been a few years since we've seen her officially but we sometimes see her when we are at the library (which is in the same complex as the child health nurse).

My husband was amazed when we had our first child at the attention that he attracted at the local shops and wished that he had discovered babies earlier. It is difficult not to smile or admire a baby and the parents or carers are so delighted.
Everyone produces the 'most wonderful baby' so its great to have some acknowledgement of your cleverness. I remember being shocked at the reality of motherhood, bloody and long birth, exhaustion, terror and felt that I had been the butt of some cosmic joke. Makes you scoff at any talk of 'intelligent design'.

I have also been surprised by how generous other people have been with compliments about Lily. Naturally I think that she is the most beautiful thing that has ever existed, but it is extremely kind of other people to play along with me.

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