Dear Mr McBigBoss and Ms MiniChief,
I have extensive experience in the field of parenting, dating back to May 2012 when I first discovered I was pregnant with Mr McBigBoss. I immediately started creating a warm, loving environment for my unborn child by spending unnecessary amounts of cash and time in the highly respected institutions of Mamas and Papas, Mothercare and JoJo Maman Bebe. I am still unable to pronounce the latter of these without sounding like an extra in Only Fools and Horses. Yet despite feeling like an increasingly portly imposter I persisted and managed to create a beautiful nursery that you Mr McB, and later your sister, would literally shit on. With the ferocity of a brown geyser.
I am thorough and dedicate time to researching a project before it starts, and so before we met I read all the baby books. I decided I wanted to be a relaxed mother who ran to a tight (and therefore effective) routine, enjoyed sleepy cuddles but NEVER let my baby fall asleep on me and I would follow the EASY acronym as outlined in the Baby Whisperer. It would be easy and I’ve always been persistent. My colleague/ your father can provide multiple occasions on which I have shown resolution in my stance and, ahem, won.
I took the necessary training and after shelling out £250 to NCT I was resolved to dilate my cervix quickly, use all the oxytocin available to me to birth naturally and immediately breastfeed. And once my cherubs had sailed through babyhood, I would become a French mother who spends the afternoon baking Gâteaux de Mamie and running through lavender fields in white linen and bare feet. Little did I know.
The reality of motherhood didn’t quite live up to the conflicting literature and NCT ‘guidance’. Both of you were delivered via c-section – not the lazy choice despite what Kate Hudson says but a medical necessity. Like many new mothers, I started this exhausting and challenging journey by having my stomach muscles severed and sewn back together, and prior to that having my uterus manually palpated. No shit. I felt them doing it. And then vomited on myself and the anaesthetist. Yet – tenacious to a fault, I didn’t let this incident or shaky start weaken my resolve to be a cracking Mummy.
I ploughed on and tried my best at all the things I had on my new Mum ‘To do’ list. I am a tireless list maker – which I am sure will be evident should I be successful in my application. I breastfed both of you, despite my first time in the lactating arena being ridiculously painful and frustrating. Think cracked meringue, but replace ‘meringue’ with ‘nipples’. Then replace ‘frustrating’ with ‘soul destroying’.
I got you both into a loose routine, had the odd sleepy cuddle and put you both down in your Moses baskets ‘drowsy but awake’ (mantra). I walked around the block for hours on end listening to the Ricky Gervais podcast and willing you both to drop off to sleep, which you both duly did EVERY TIME we had given up and reached the front doorstep. Literally every time. My neighbours did their level best to avoid me, as I resembled a zombie maniacally pacing around looking like I was on the worst conference call of my life. Not even the witterings of Karl Pilkington could raise an exhausted smile by that point.
I spent mornings in the park pushing you both gently on a swing, padded out with a blanket as you were both so tiny, and hung out with other Mums and their babies. I forced conversation, made some friends but always felt lonely and anxious, like I was failing at the hefty ‘To Do’ list and failing you as a mother. My friends tired of me, some called out my anxiousness, which only made me feel more anxious. It was a vicious circle only broken by chocolate and the smell of both your delicious baby heads.
I didn’t bake anything. I sweated for hours making purees you both wouldn’t eat, so I gave up and starting buying Ella’s Kitchen. In bulk. I suffered the judgy looks of people in cafes as you both happily slurped them straight from the pouch, and I went home and cried alone in the toilet because no matter what anyone thought I was most definitely NOT suffering from PND. Not at all.
And when our family went from 3 to 4, more quickly than anticipated, I started my field training in ‘how not to lose your shit.’ Miss MiniChief cried 90% of the time and I did all I could to be a good Mummy, including breast feeding lil Ms in a baby carrier whilst changing Mr McB’s nappy. This is solid experience of multi tasking and something I will demonstrate in spades, should I be offered the role. Because the only thing tougher than having two babies is two toddlers. Then two young children. And then probably two teenagers. There is no emoji for the feeling of terror that’s crept on after thinking about that.
After 2 years and 2 months of maternity leave, I returned to my professional job for three days a week and loved every second of being back in the world again. Like Ed Sheeran on a gap year, I found myself. I’d been missing for a wee while. And on reflection maybe I had experienced a little bit of PND. Twice. And maybe I loved you both so much, I’d battled on and got to a place of being OK without intervention. I was lucky. Some aren’t.
And for those reading this who aren’t my two prospective bosses, and who have felt this low, I send ALL my love and support and hope you find your way through. You are NOT alone.
And so now Mr McBigBoss and Ms MiniChief, as we enter this next phase in your lives, I’ve made the choice to apply for the role as your stay at home Mummy. It means stepping back a little bit, which is scary considering the dark places I went to during the maternity leave years when I lost myself and 234 muslins. But I feel the progress you’ve both made over the past 4.7 and 3.5 years is something to be proud of, and I would like you to consider it whilst you consider my application.
I would also like to reference the multiple visits to farms, the seaside, the playground, bloody soft play and the dance parties we have regularly as evidence of my suitability for this role. Especially the glow stick dance parties. They might happen past your bedtime and often result in you laughing so much you get hiccups, but I am sure you will agree we all love them. Because sometimes my darlings, you just gotta dance in the dark like 90’s ravers to the Trolls soundtrack.
I hope you are willing to progress my request and look forward to hearing from you by return.