I was sitting at our local cafe. Mila was in her pram next to me, Jordan had gone up to the counter to order our food.
All of a sudden someone came up to me and hugged me - she was rubbing my back and repeating “well done! You are so clever, she’s just perfect”. I muttered an awkward “Thank you” and waited for the person to release me to see who it was. When she finally stepped back - It turns out I had never met her in my life!!!
It is quite an adjustment - this cafe we have gone to most weekends long before I was pregnant. Apart from the staff who recognise us as frequent customers we usually fly under the radar. As it turns out when you have a bubba under the radar is no longer something you should expect. Even having a cover over the capsule or pram won’t always stop the curiosity of granny McPhee having a peek.
It’s shocked me how just a simple errand will often result in conversation with a stranger. Most the time it’s simple, short and sweet. Every now and then it’s cringe worthy or full of unsolicited advice.
The unwanted advice starts from the public announcement of your impending arrival *cue the ‘I ate Sushi when I was pregnant and never had a problem’ or the ‘you think you are tired now! Just wait until your baby is born’. I have had strangers tell me l that they had an over supply of breast milk and fed the excess to their dog.... okay too much information and in my opinion ew!
However there is another side to it. The ‘village’ side - You know, the quote - village it takes to raise a child. The last 9months there have been times I have felt unbelievably alone. But in those movements I have been lucky enough to find support in various places.
Some of that village has been through my Instagram page, some have been someone letting me in front of them in a line because Mila is grizzly or just because you are holding your baby while pushing a seemingly useless empty pram (after tending to your bubba plenty of times in the pram before giving up and holding her)
What about when I had all windows open due to a gorgeous Summers day.
Mila had very little sleep and all of a sudden did her incredible 0-100 scream (now for a baby sitting on the 5th percentile her lungs are something we have no concern about). All I did (the terrible mother I am) was put her in her cot so I could go to the bathroom to pee. As I was walking back to her bedroom i heard a knock at the door.
Our next door neighbour from 2 houses down came over to check that everything was okay and if there was anything he could help me with. As a Dad of 3 children he has ‘been there done that’. His willingness to help and share his knowledge is a gesture that was just incredible.
The unwanted attention is a change I never expected yet the help people we don’t even know that will far outweigh the weird or uncomfortable experiences.they are the people that make you realise you are not alone.
Thank you to my village- whether you know you are part of it or not you are making each hurdle that little but easier. Sharing my journey is also to let other parents know that you too are not alone, so from my family to yours – you are doing an amazing job, it’s hard, it’s challenging but oh so rewarding.
xoxx This post comes from Kerryn who you can find on Instagram @heymama_heymila