Are you a baby bore?
Are you a baby bore? You know the type. No matter what the subject for discussion is, they manage to bring it back to their darling little ones. At first, their stories are cute but it doesn’t take long before you have to curb the urge to roll your eyes when it becomes clear that your friend is no longer capable of talking about anything other than motherhood and their children’s achievements and escapades.
Before my Little Man arrived on the scene, I swore I would never be like that. How sad I thought to myself. Imagine if motherhood and your baby became your whole life, to the point that you had nothing else to talk about. What a tragedy!
Fast forward a year or two, and I think I’ve made my way to the other side of the fence on this one. I put my hands up. I am a baby bore! Or a toddler bore I guess – Little Man is no longer a baby after all.
In the days when I sat in judgment on baby bores, I was working on the assumption that I knew what it would be like to be a parent. After all, I had seen other people do it and I can empathise with people, right? I was sure I had a good idea what post-baby life would be like. And I had plans for it. I wouldn’t allow becoming a parent to change me too much. I’d watched a few parenting shows, read a few books, and I was pretty sure I knew what type of parent I would be.
Just last week, I was visiting a friend of mine who has just given birth to her second child. During my visit, we were talking about motherhood, and life with a newborn. And we were laughing about how little we understood what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to have children. I mean you know the theory of it – 24-7 commitment for 18 years to life. But knowing the theory is distinctly different to living it!
So now we understand why it is that people cross that line and become baby bores. It’s because being a parent consumes so much of your life. Whether you want it to or not, it affects almost everything you do. Do you think I get up at 6am on the weekend because I choose to?! And if I want to go somewhere or do something, I first have to think about whether or not I’m bringing Little Man. If I’m bringing him, what do I need to pack for him? Where will he nap? Will he need to be entertained while we’re there? And if I’m not bringing him, who will mind him? What do I need to do to organize that?
And those are just the practicalities of parenthood. There are all the other aspects too. The physical effect that sleepless nights can have on you. The worry and the fear that you feel that something may happen to this little person. The joy that you feel when they do something new or something lovable.
So is it any wonder that my thoughts constantly stray back to this Little Man when I’m in conversation with someone? I actually worried about it when I went back to work. I didn’t want to be the one sitting at the lunch table boring everyone with tales of her child. But I had all these stories to tell, so much I wanted to say about my experiences. Within two months of returning to work, I started my blog, and it’s there, on Mama.ie, that I do my best to get my “baby bore” out! It’s my personal venting space. So far it seems to be working!
Since I started the blog, I manage to have normal conversations at work and with friends without them drifting off while I recount another “fascinating” story about poop, or sleep, or new words, or whatever else is on my mind about Little Man that week. I save those thoughts and anecdotes for my next blog post, and I think it allows me to hold “normal” conversations with friends and work colleagues. I still mention Little Man now and again, but not in every single chat!
What about you? Have you found a way to keep the “baby bore” in you in check?