The other day I was out and about doing a little window shopping. I was minding my own business waiting for the lift in Dunelm Mill and when it arrived a man and woman got out and saw me standing waiting with my Bugaboo Donkey pushchair. The hoods were completely down as the girls were having their afternoon nap, right on schedule and after a pleasant morning out and about. As the man walked past me, he laughed and said: “oooh double trouble, I’m glad I’m not you.”
It always irritates me when people say things like this and I try my best to smile, nod and ignore them. It always crosses my mind though… do people say things like this to mum’s of single babies and why do they think it’s ok? On this occasion, I couldn’t help but reply “actually they’re no bother at all and they’re fast asleep right now.”
I was hoping for the doors to quickly shut behind me and to escape the situation but instead as luck should have it, they didn’t. He turned, still laughing and said, “You won’t be saying that when they’re two and your life is hell.”
The lift doors shut and I felt like the light at the end of the tunnel had disappeared behind them. I’d been having a particularly hard couple of days and rather than letting things get me down and staying stuck in the house all day, that morning I’d got the girls ready and gone out to get some fresh air and take my mind off things. Since leaving the house, things had gone swimmingly; Edie and Mabel had been smiling at everyone and had behaved perfectly when I took them for lunch in a cafe, they usually get quite bored in shops but had been playing happily with their toys till they fell asleep.
Did the man mean it how it sounded? Probably not but I wanted the lift doors to open again and to tell him how unkind and hurtful his comments had been.
I am fortunate in that I haven’t suffered from post-natal depression but like everyone, I have tough days where things get on top of me.
I went to the baby changing room because we don’t fit in the women’s toilets with the pushchair and cried. I caught sight of myself in the mirror, mascara running down my face and contact lens about to escape when I realised I had managed to put my lenses in and mascara on that day.
Mentally, in my head, I told myself ‘pull yourself together woman.’ I’d managed to get myself ready, showered, dressed and even apply mascara that morning as well as sorting the girls and get out of the house and in the car by 9.30am. Then we’d had a perfect morning out and about – I wasn’t going to let this man ruin that. I sorted myself out and went for a latte in the cafe.
I asked the pregnant girl serving if she could wash the bottles out so I could make up the girls next feed and she jokingly mentioned she would practice for her new arrival. ‘When are you due?’ I asked as you do. ‘Not till October,’ she said, ‘but it’s only one baby thankfully. I’m so glad I’m not you, twins run in my partners’ family and I couldn’t think of anything worse.’
‘Funny that, I’m glad I’m not you either!’ I replied and enjoyed my latte while the girls finished their nap.