This morning I was hit with Mummy Guilt as I struggled with our 6 month old through the fog of chronic sleep deprivation (relieved by Awesome Spouse/Dad swooping in and taking over). It got me to thinking about the 5 Stages of Grief (or 7, depending), and so, with a thirst for knowledge not dampened by parenthood (but apparently all recollection of my studies in psychology has been), I Googled it. 30 seconds later, I realised that a) it's a bit extreme to compare parenting to grief; and b) it's not as funny as you might initially think. So I Googled the 7 Deadly Sins next (I can only ever remember about 5, and usually repeat Gluttony at least once when reciting them). This is a far more fitting framework to describe our parenting journey, from conception to 6 and 3/4 months (but who's counting?):
- Lust: Do I really have to explain how babies are made? (if you're really not sure, check out my other blog:
- Gluttony: This relates to pregnancy. Scoffing an entire bag of Haighs chocolate-covered almonds should have been the first sign I was pregnant (normally I am restrained at 1/4 of a bag in one sitting). From there, it only went downhill: toffee for breakfast, chocolate every 42 minutes, lemonade (fizzy and traditional), pizza... It was like my usual diet, only instead of spreading it over a week or two, I'd eat it in a day. It was a little hard to slow down once O arrived, but I'm proud to say I no longer eat toffee for breakfast or drink traditional lemonade.
- Greed: It's a bit of a harsh way to describe it, but for your first born, you think you need everything. We've been pretty good, not buying everything the books and magazines command you to, but O still has things he doesn't use (like his cot) and that really could have waited. It's a bit like the day before a 4-day weekend: you think you will never have an opportunity to buy bread and milk again, so you stock up and join the 47-deep line at Woolies, not twigging that the IGA will be there if you need it (and that it's Easter, and not the Apocalypse). You can actually buy stuff after your baby comes home. We bought a bassinet on the second day.
- Sloth: I'm not sure I dressed more than about once a week in the first 6mo of O's life. This is partly down to sleep deprivation, partly because he was feeding so often, and partly because I love my PJs and now had a great excuse to sloth around in them (seriously, I have bed PJs and "company" PJs). After a contractor came knocking at the door just as my milk came in (ladies, you know what I mean), I decided that it was time to actually dress in the mornings.
- Wrath: This is a hormonal thing. The pregnancy hormones are still controlling you until around 6mo. This means there are times when you start crying for no apparent reason, tell your partner off for leaving coffee granuals all through the sink you spent 10 minutes cleaning, and take most things out of context. Sample dialogue:
Innocent request from husband "Honey, can you pass the chocolate, please?"
Irrational response: "Oh, so you think I'm FAT do you?"
I'm looking forward to normal PMT, which looks pretty similar but doesn't last as long.
- Envy: Despite the fact that I have THE most gorgeous child that has ever lived, there are things that other babies do, like, you know, sleep, that make me a little jealous of other mums. When I hear the phrase "Oh, he sleeps through the night", I have to suppress the urge to either give the other person a swift kick up the backside or point out all the ways my child is far superior to theirs. This is down to a dangerous cocktail of raging hormones, chronic sleep deprivation and trying to cut down on coffee, (as if having only one cup of instant coffee a day will somehow help my situation). Conversely when an other mother tells you that their child has a love/hate relationship with sleep, you want to hug them, compare "I've tried everything" notes and share a pot of Earl Grey, even you've just met. This is also down to hormones, sleep deprivation and caffeine withdrawal.And last but not least:
- Pride: This is the little thing that stops you from handing your child to the nearest friendly-looking stranger and running in the other direction. I am literally proud of everything my son does. He rolls over? It's my status update. He picks up a leaf and tires to eat it? I try to take a photo (before it disappears entirely). Isn't sleeping at night? It's only because he wants to practice his awesome rolling skills! Seriously, I'm even proud that he does the most heinous farts in the history of butt-gas. And unlike the others, Pride wont fade (oh. And number one. Sorry, honey). My child is the smartest, most gorgeous, generous and funny soul anyone will ever meet. So, suck it, the rest of you, because your children will never come close to mine.
So there you have it. 7 deadly sins as they pertain to parenthood. I'm sure they're deadly, as each of those could well result in someone punching you in the face at Playgroup or Kidergym.