The booming laughter from my husband frightened me. I wondered what was so funny? Is he watching something? He’s looking at me, he’s laughing at what I just said.
I had forgotten I could make him laugh like that.
Grownups—real, thinking adults—reacting to me, often comes as a shock. My days are usually spent inside with a 4-year-old for conversation, where the funniest thing I experience is my son saying “fart” over and over. Not exactly stimulating chat…
I’m the snack bitch, the one who kisses the bump’s, the one they call in the middle of the night. But before motherhood, I was someone different.
I have hazy remembrances of that life. In that life, I put on fashionable clothes and a full face of makeup every day and went to work in a 5 * spa. I mixed with actually grown humans. We’d plan last-minute after-work drinks that would have us crawling home later than we should be. We’d laugh at each other’s stories, play pranks in each others treatment rooms, trying to catch each other out in the middle of treating a client. People would laugh at my jokes and take an interest in my life outside.
I spoiled myself pre-MH (pre- Motherhood). I got my nails done all the time. I changed the colour of my hair monthly. I would spend a whole day looking around shops and not just last-minute online. I had a fancy gym membership that I never used. I went to the cinema a lot. One time my husband and I spend the whole day just watching movie after movie as we didn’t have anything else to do. (The folly. The extravagance. All that free time.)
In that different life, we spend every weekend dancing. Laughing at ourselves for our drunken antics, having inside jokes that made sense to the others around us.
That woman was a good friend; I would meet my friends face to face and not just sporadic messages on my phone. I now sometimes go numerous weeks or months blundering by between contacts with those friends – forgetting to reply. We’d sit and talk in local bars for hours. I was always up for a last-minute night on the town, dinner at friends, I was in an acting group, I was always looking for a new hobby.
I would be the organiser, I planned the group get-togethers, the host. I knew the best places to go, the newest places to go – I knew what was hot and what was not.
But now, a mum of two – organising their social lives and forgetting my own. I’ve probably got a top on that I’ve had on for the last 4 days, food (not mine) down the front. I’ve watched every Peppa Pig but can’t remember the last movie I saw in the cinema if it’s not Disney, I haven’t seen it.
Sometimes I get little flashbacks to that old life. A song I danced to in the club, an aftershave I’m sure my husband used to bathe in and a sniff of alcohol that nearly killed. It takes me back to that young girl.
I think that girl is in there, despite all the apparent proof of having children with my stretch marks, mum bun and lack of adult human connection.
Hey 20-something Gail, remember all the fun you used to have – I’d like to take you out again sometime. We used to have such a laugh – you loved a night out with the girls, it’s still fun! Come with me and have a drink; we can party together.
It’s on me.