I’m sorry

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for not understanding how important it was to meet your daughter when she was born and both of you were still in hospital. I’m sorry I asked you to come over to my place instead because I was too busy at work. I’m so sorry to have called you so many times to tell you about work, my partner, my problems with my mother, and not taking the time to listen all about your then newborn daughter. I’m sorry, my dear friend, for not acknowledging how important it was to be there for you when you first became a mum; today I know that motherhood is isolating.

Photo credit: Jason Pratt/Flickr

My friend’s daughter looks like her mum and has two siblings – I didn’t visit them at hospital either. I wish I could their mother give a call, ask for advice, because sometimes I feel lost and don’t trust my gut.

Misguided by myriad ads, I thought having a baby was like having a party and that the first year was filled with play, cuddles, love, and then more cuddles. How mistaken I was.

Indeed there are cuddles and love and play, but there are so many naps and sleepless nights in between; so many feeding sessions that end with a sore breast or a bruised nipple; so many questions without answers. So many mistakes … so many.

It’s with motherhood that the word ‘selfish’ acquires a different meaning. You stop having time for your friends and squeeze a few minutes out of every day to be you, to rejoice in who you are, and discover that underneath the ‘mummy uniform’ there’s still traces if you. Selfish means being you, even if it’s just for a few seconds. I’m so sorry, my friend, I didn’t understand this when you first became a mother. I’m sorry I called you selfish for not understanding that I had a deadline.

I now, my friend, why you stopped talking to me, why you didn’t go to my wedding but nonetheless sent a present I carried with me to a different continent. I understand why you didn’t comment on Facebook when I first posted a picture of my son.

I’m sorry my dear friend for not being there for you. I’m really sorry.

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