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Humble pie

Posted by Esther Walker
Esther Walker
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on Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Before I had a baby, whenever people said that having a child makes you “humble”, I always dismissed it as utterly pathetic - because what I thought they meant was that you were so humbled by the miracle of life and the marvel of the child.

No: what they mean is that having a child teaches you humility. It teaches you that although you might think you’re a big shot or a tough nut or an independent, don’t-need-nobody type, that all goes out of the window once there’s a buggy in the hall. It teaches you that you are wrong about everything – wrong, wrong, wrong!

Your plans for being a super-strict routine queen with the baby sleeping in its own room collapse as you welcome junior into your bed on day three and can’t get rid of it until it turns ten. Your loud assertions to breastfeed exclusively for six months even though you know it will be “hard” crumble as nothing but a weak dribble of milk ever appears. Your vow to keep going out, up with the news and down with the kids vaporises as you discover your attention span, free time and energy drying up like a puddle in the sun. You learn you have to rely on the kindness of others, as you block gangways with your buggy, trash restaurants and silently beg others to be nice to you when you are tired and tearful, un-showered and broken. You learn that you are no different from anyone else.

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