Post-Tween Depression

When you are pregnant you hear a lot about post- natal depression, or the Baby Blues.

When you are pregnant and nineteen you hear how you have effectively ruined your life. You come to understand that you have been very bad and that you will spend the rest of your life paying for your shameful crimes.

I will never forget being accosted by a feisty elderly woman in the supermarket one day when Faith was a tiny baby. I had her swaddled against one shoulder while I was having my fruit weighed, and this woman walked right up to me and said, “That can’t be your baby!”

Now my first thought was that she was going to swoon over how beautiful Faith was (she was) and that she was being playful (she wasn’t).

When I replied “She is my baby, she’s three months old.” the woman got quite cross with me and said “nonsense! You’re lying! That’s not your child! Where’s her mother?”

At that point I walked away in shock. How could anyone be so vicious about something that had nothing to do with them? Anyway. So it went.

To do this day I get surprised expressions from people when they realise that I have such a big daughter. But fortunately people give you less of a hard time when you are thirty than they do when you are nineteen.

The funny thing is, when you are a young mother with a baby there are always people to rally around you, to help you out. Everyone thinks you will need support at that stage.

They are wrong.

What they should have warned us young mothers about was having your daughter hit puberty when you yourself are only just getting over your twenties.

The post-daughter –hitting- puberty Blues.

Let me start by stating that eleven is the new thirteen. Suddenly, through no fault of my own, I have a “pre” teen in my house.

There is nothing quite like being a single thirty year old with a hormonal youngster in your house who is more developed than you are.

The other day my daughter brought me all of her shoes which are my size because her feet are bigger than mine now. It was a terrifying moment. Being a mom to someone who’s age you can actually remember being is one of the most harrowing experiences ever.

I keep feeling like I have to say “I am the mom, listen to me” but at the same time I don’t want to admit that I have a child that size. Because young people can have babies but having a teen means that I am the grown up. I am the grown up and I am no longer the hot young lady of the house.

I feel like Juliette’s mother. No wonder she drank.

I look in the mirror and I see those line around my eyes that weren’t there last year and I have to take a deep breath and realise that they are never going away and not be there anymore.

I will never get my twenties back, I really am not going to develop any more in the chest area and I will most likely never be a rock star or an actress. Although fortunately I also no longer want to be!

And now there is someone else in my house who has those dreams – and a fare better chance of achieving them. I just didn’t think I would be handing over the baton quite so soon.

I think what strikes me most is how I always believed that my mom knows absolutely everything (She actually kind of does) but now, I am the one being asked the hard questions. And you know what? I haven’t a sodding clue most of the time.

I never realised just how much my mom was winging it!


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