I’ve heard a brand new mum say the following three sentences, in quick succession, without the slightest hint of irony:
“I never knew a love like this existed.”
“I feel like I was born to be a mother.”
“I feel like I might burst with happiness.”
I started to look under her hospital bed for booze.
When she started to tell me how “wonderful” she felt after pushing a sizeable infant out of her vagina just 24-hours earlier, my teeth actually started to cut through my tongue. A giggle bubbled through the blood in my mouth. The kind of crazed giggle that comes when you’re not sure if you want to laugh, cry or throw punches.
I managed to smile and nod and then run out of her room, with my kicking and screaming toddler and my husband, looking slightly green after the graphic and completely uninvited retelling of her mucus plug coming away and the chafing of her nipples.
I’m telling you this story to highlight the difference between that sort of mum and me. She’s one of those blissful #blessed mothers that beat you over the head with their flawlessness. Then there’s me. Not blissful, not #blessed. Just a normal person. A person plus a baby.
To be clear, I love my child. I love him with a ferocity that would scatter doves and make small deer scamper into the darker bits of the forest. Motherhood didn’t make me mellow and earthy. It made me wild and angry. Like a Mumma Terminator with a bionic eye scanning the crowds for anything or anyone who might hurt my baby. Even the words “hurt my baby” make me want to tear someone’s face off.
But, apart from the occasional bouts of aggression, I’m still pretty much myself – with a whole lot more on my plate. It’s hectic, it’s hard and it’s often really, really fun. But I’ll NEVER pretend life is perfect, that motherhood is all my dreams come true, or that raising a small human is oh-so-naturale and instinctual. That’s bullshit and anyone who tells you differently is lying.
So what’s The Thud? It’s the thud of daily life. It’s coming back down to earth with a thud. Mostly, it’s my little Thud. The thud of my heart.