Being a mother wears you to the skeleton. Takes away during your most vulnerable times (when they’ve screamed and roared for something other than yoghurt ricecakes and told you in no uncertain terms that they are not having a bath), your ability to think in a straight line. There should be a test when you’re going out into the world without a child attached; You’re about to converse with other adults now, have you collected yourself? Indeed, think along the imaginary straight line for a moment.
Even beyond the first year when, and I’m sure you’ll agree, on lucky days, you’ll check you don’t have a baby wipe hanging off the sleeve of your jumper, that there should be a checkpoint for mothers to go through. A policing for our own sake; have you reverted albeit for the duration of your children’s absence to the mature, intelligent being you once were. Hazzah, why not an oath? Do you solemnly swear to at least make an effort not to talk obsessively about your offspring for the length of your tall skinny latte?
There are those that I have granted leave of absence to, sense wise (I’m good that way), in the hope, nay, certainty that they will come back to their senses once their youngest goes to school. I will let them away with a multitude of silly talk, inane twittering about, take your pick, any subject currently clogging up rollercoaster or mumsnet. Knowing that one day, they will come to and remember how they actually can survive without the scaffolding of kinder talk; That they can converse and thrive outside of the, admittedly, narcissistic bubble of motherhood.
As mothers, today, we live in isolation. Generally, we no longer have the extended family to help out or indeed rein us back in, however abruptly, when we stray outside the parameters of sanity. We can no longer rely on the soundboard of family to gauge whether or not we’ve passed from plain boring to obsessive when it comes to our children. Just as we often don’t have the support of the wider family to come to our rescue in times of influenza or exhaustion, we don’t have the voice of reason to whisper the odd ‘pull yourself together love’ when your baby filter might have, by chance, become a bit clogged up.