The grime of the day


I’m staying with a friend for the next few days to help her while she fosters a four month old baby over the festive season and a ten year old boy she is in the process of adopting. One thing I can say so far is, if you have ever had to deal with a constipated baby, you might appreciate your parents a lot more. It is tiring work, to the point when we actually cheered the baby on as he started to push.

Last week was just chaos and it seemed to have disappeared before it even began. It was the first week we had the baby, I had to help out while my friend finished up with business deals for the year, went to visit her ten year old son, seeing lawyers and going to court. I pretty much lived my week in three hour segments of changing nappies, baby feeding and getting the baby to sleep, while I caught up on sleep whenever I had the chance. As a result I wasn’t left with much time to get anything done, looking after a four month old baby truly is a twenty five hour job and I take my hat off to any parents out there who are able to do it.

I know how to look after children, I have two younger siblings and my mother has been a day-mother from time to time looking after other people’s children and I imagine that to an extent there’s a natural knowledge there. I will however admit that I don’t have the natural ‘drive’ to be a mother. I don’t have the need to reproduce and continue my genes. I’ve been told that one day I will, but even facing 30, I can honestly say, that my favourite type of child is the four pawed kind.

I have been wondering lately, even with looking after this cute, incredibly well behaved child, why do I still not feel the urge to be a mother? I know my sisters and brother would like to be parents, so why don’t I? Is it perhaps evolution? There are so many children without families and the world has billions of people in it.

I am appreciating the small moments I get, filled with giggles and smiles but I’m also really appreciating my moments of peace and quiet. I have though been missing my four legged furry children a lot and I’ve appreciated the time I’ve spent with them. Perhaps my gift this festive season is for me to learn to really enjoy the love I have for my cats (without trying to sound too much like a crazy lady).

I am using this experience as a way of looking at myself to see where my heart lies. We can all make a difference in this world and perhaps my work is more with animals than human beings.

So while I work through the next few days, not only will I be helping out a friend but I will also be finding a part of myself.

One thing I can say for sure is that right now, I’m grateful to be a single, cat crazy lady and have friends that I will be willing to do almost anything for. Even feel like a grimy single mother for a few days.

First published 27 December 2011


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1 Response

  1. Helen says:

    Don’t worry Nathalie you are not alone. 🙂

    I am closer to 50 than 40 and the only times I have felt remotely broody was with animals.

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