I have to admit, I was super nervous when I received a letter in the post when my son was 8 weeks old announcing that my parent’s group would start meeting the following week.
I was nervous because I hadn’t really needed to go out and source new buddies since uni or since starting my last job, let alone meeting a whole posse of chicks who I may or may not have had anything in common with.
I was late to the first meeting by about twenty minutes and even though it was winter I was sweating – probably more from trying to breastfeed and watching Channing in Magic Mike.
I was so flustered and disorganised, carrying way too much stuff in an oversized nappy bag even though I had only walked 100 metres to get to the community centre from home. For some reason, I thought I needed eight nappies, six packets of wipes and four baby suits. My bag was so full I had to squash my Arnott’s assorted biscuits in, crumbling all the orange creams.
We went around the room saying our names, our baby’s name and a little bit about our experience to date. I always get really nervous in these circle discussions as it comes closer for me to say my bit, even though I know my name and have done so for over thirty years.
As I was late, I missed the part about the ‘little bit’ about your experience to date. I sat down in my flustered state and straight away it was my turn. Dammit.
“Hi, I’m Ali and this is ummmm… Alfred or Alfie. Yeah, I think he is an Alfie. Totally. Or maybe Freddie. We’re still not sure. Definitely Alfred though. I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know what happened nine weeks ago but I was renovating and I had a sore back and I think it was coz I was painting skirting boards, but then I felt sick. But we had a portaloo coz we didn’t have a toilet, it was arriving later in the week and I didn’t feel like going to the toilet. But I felt sick. So I woke up Reggie, oh that’s my husband and he’s nice and has a beard, and said that I thought I had the flu and that the bub in my tummy might get sick from the flu so I said to him I would drive to the hospital so they can give me some tablets, but I told him to keep sleeping because he had to work early in the morning. He said he would come, but I wanted to drive but couldn’t fit behind the wheel properly. So he drove. We have a little car. We had about four weeks to go before our due date so I just thought I had the flu. But we wanted to be sure that it wasn’t pneumonia or the measles or something serious like that. At the hospital they checked me out and told me my waters were leaking, which was really funny because I thought I had just done a little wee when I was laughing. So I said, cool as, can we go home and they said no. Then they broke my waters and it was like doing a massive, beautiful, massive hangover wee and they induced me and then I had a baby an hour later and I said the c and f word heaps. And I now really miss my vagina and I can’t wait until I feel like a whole person again. Oh, and I brought Arnott’s bikkies. Sorry. I opened the packet on the way, so there aren’t many Monte Carlos left.”
Verbal. Nervous. Diarrhea.
Then it was the next person’s turn: “Hi, I’m Karen and this is Marnie. I’m really excited to be here. Thank you.”
Dammit. I shared too much. I provided too much information. I used too much inside voice, outside. Too keen to make friends. Too keen to make an impression. Too much time spent alone in my house. Yowsers.
After the meeting we went into cuppa mode. I stood shyly in the corner, still sweating. Karen came up to me and whispered: “I miss my vagina too.”
I did it. I made a new friend. Over a cuppa and a discussion about our fannies.
Over a year on, my mum’s group still meet. We laugh, we bitch, we share way too much information with each other and it’s freakin’ fantastic.
Recently we caught up at a mum’s house and drank wine and discussed everything, as we do. It is like I have known these women for years, not just twelve months. They have seen me cry, seen me struggle, ignored my foul mouth, encouraged me, supported me and have heard my endless discussions about my fanny.
I can’t wait for our kids to get nits together, just so we can experience it as a gang. I can’t wait for our kids to go to school together just so we can share those awkward photos and have a bit of a teary. I can’t wait until our kids skateboard together and hold each other’s hands in the emergency department. I can’t wait until my son is caught climbing out one of the girl’s windows and our hubby’s have a man-to-man chat. I can’t wait, but I totally can. It’s been heaven seeing our kids grow up together.
This post first appeared on Bubba West.