The transformation began long before we were bitten, maybe even before we had given birth. But it was so slow—so very slow—that it was really hard to even suspect anything.
Or perhaps, we were just too distracted to notice what was really happening to us. But from what we would later learn, my kind fell one by one as the infection spread. One minute, we were walking the streets in kitten heels, ready to seize the day and change the world.
The next thing we knew, we were lurking in the shadows, our arms outstretched, hoping to get a cup of coffee and five minutes of peace and quiet. The only change we cared about now was nappies. Dirty. Poopy. Nappies. We were obsessed with little creatures that we ushered from one point to another.
We didn’t care what we wore.
We didn’t care what we ate.
We didn’t care what Putin said or what Biden did!
Who was Roe? We went from activists to women who wondered if organising nappy drawers’ could count as a hobby. Seriously, does it?
From mum to “mombie” : The transition
So, wait, what happened between then and now? How did we end up covered in spit-ups, pushing strollers, and unfazed by appearances—and what was that smell? (Oh God! It’s us!)
And why was toilet training the only thing on our minds? It was then that we learned about our true nature. We were now mombies with dark eye bags in the middle of an apocalypse, desperately wondering HOW to survive.
Well, here’s how:
Step 1: Acknowledge your state
Call a spade a spade. Admitting the problem is the first step in finding your way out of this mess. At first, we mombies are naïve- unaware of our surroundings. I remember that I never questioned the looks I got as I aimlessly wandered the food and produce aisles of the supermarket.
I must have made five rounds of the same section before I finally found an assistant. He screamed when I tapped him on the shoulder. I’d like to believe I startled him, and he probably didn’t see me approaching. I should have known better. I mumbled a hello and asked for the toilet paper.
He seemed to be new because he responded by pointing his shaking fingers at a large pile. His legs trembled and his lips quivered, which I thought was strange. But since I was too tired to hold a conversation, I let it slide.
That should have been my first clue, but I was too busy wondering how I had missed the giant tower. It could be spotted from a mile away by a blind rat.
I slowly made my way to the pile and picked one from the corner, accidentally knocking down a few in the process. Ugh, I could bend down, but since I hadn’t been spotted, I just decided to walk away slowly. I’d been picking toys all week and just didn’t have the strength to bend down one ….
Oh, look, there’s that new nappy rash cream everyone’s been raving about. How exciting! I don’t remember the rest of the journey or how I made it home, but what I do remember is standing in the kitchen with a fresh cup of coffee. I look down, and I’m halfway through my fourth cup.
I have never felt so alive. An hour later, I’m slowly making my way through the laundry pile with a zoned-out look and dreaming of my next cup. Just 3 more hours to go.
Step 2: Step back and reflect on your reflection
Many of us have lived years before realising what we have become. For some of us, it’s that awkward silence that follows the question, “Yes, but how are YOU doing?”
And we realise that all we do is talk about our children and the state of their bowel movements and diets. Some accidentally assume their own reflection to be a stranger. (I may or may not be that person.)
“Wow. That woman looks tired.” They think to themselves. “Wait, I think I’ve seen her somewhere before…” And then it sinks in.
“Oh God! I’m a mombie!”
Step 3: Find yourself …again
So, how do you save yourself? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that there is an antidote! The bad news is that most of us will resist it.
Because the thing is, we all stepped into motherhood, thinking we’d be immune and somehow beat the virus. We’d have our routines and lives, but for many of us, the hours turn into days and days into months. Self-care starts to take a backseat. And with responsibilities, work, and coordination, our own interests and priorities shift.
And then you find yourself running around town, bags in your eyes, sniffing out coffee instead of brains. “Must get task done.” No! Stop!
The laundry can wait. The dirty dishes in the sink aren’t the end of the world. So, slow down and find time for yourself. Go do things you enjoy! Show up at that pedicure appointment you’ve been delaying. Take that nap or shower – or both!
Accept your mum’s offer to babysit and enjoy lunch with your girls. Organise mundane tasks, and please leave the research to the researchers. You don’t have to stay up late Googling every ingredient in talc powders. Trust the organic products that experts recommend.
And please walk over to the skin care aisle instead of spending fifteen minutes in the rash cream section!
Step 4: Fill up your cup—and no, I don’t mean with coffee
Fill up your cup and recharge yourself by taking an evening off! Coordinate with your partner and find a routine to do things you love, or just head out for a spa day. For example, you could alternate Fridays for an evening out with friends.
The point is, this isn’t something that you can do once a year. It has to be a part of your routine.
Many mums sideline friendships after the baby arrives! When, in fact, this is the time you need your friends the most. Remember, you can’t pour from an open cup, and you need to recharge so you can love your little monsters even more.
So make sure when you fill up your calendar, you pencil in “mombie antidote.”
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