Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Living my nightmare (and loving it).

A foreword: People started asking me why and when I blog. As I am sitting here on my favorite sofa, having had my dinner, with my laptop resting on my lap, my husband is watching yet another Steven Seagal movie. Everyone is happy. I am allowed to blog, and he is allowed to watch the movies I would otherwise divorce him for.

I am not a baby person. I am not a very child friendly person either. In order to appreciate how child-unfriendly I used to be, you just need to know that once, completely fed up with my mother’s remarks about me aging and not wanting to breed, I said I would just have my ovaries removed to end this pointless debate.

It is not just that I did not want any kids; I actually did not like them.
Children were my nightmare. Everywhere I went they were waiting for me. When I went for a quiet romantic dinner, they would be running around my table. Every time I got on a plane, I knew they would be there to spoil my journey. If it was not the screaming, it was kicking my seat from the back. If it was not the kicking, it was puking near me. Needless to say, when I met my future husband and he expressed his lack of enthusiasm for having babies, I knew we were meant for each other.

For the first five years of our married life, we remained true to our original intentions.
We already had a dog, and that was a good insight of the commitment and patience involved. We also kept seeing badly behaved children wherever we looked, and that worked better than any contraception. Until a cool couple we both liked had children. And they did not become boring as we expected them to. Their kids were surprisingly nice. They were well behaved and pleasant. We both started suspecting having children does not have to be the end of fun. Managed carefully, it could contribute to it.

I can still remember going to Whitstable for a day. We were discussing moving to the seaside (we occasionally do). As we sat there in a café on the beach, husband pointed out a group of yummy mummies with their babies having coffee in the corner. Look at them, he said. We will move here, and that will be you one day.
I swear I broke into a cold sweat. Just the thought of sitting there with a baby, surrounded by other mothers and 5 babies, breastfeeding and discussing the colour of baby excrements was enough to make me want to run all the way back to my mummy in Baku. That picture was my idea of hell.

And just look at me now. Today was one of the hardest days I had for a while: It was my turn to host an NCT coffee at my place.
I have to explain for those who never heard of this wonderful organization, that NCT (National Childbirth Trust) is a fantastic thing. Without it, I would probably end up in a mental institution ages ago. First of all, they put you together with other local pregnant women who are due around the same date as you. You attend classes where a (always slightly odd) teacher explains to you everything you need to know about how babies will forever change your life. Bonded by a shared fear of what is about to happen to our lives and bodies, we make quite good friends.

Having crossed over to the breeder’s side, I decided to make the most of it. I took a year off work and, without any family near me, I needed any human contact I could find.
So suddenly, the picture of mummies hanging out together was not scary, but quite useful and enjoyable.
And even on the days like today, exhausted both physically and psychologically by 8 noisy toddlers in my house, I remind myself about benefits of this group.

Only a few years ago, if anyone told me that I would welcome not just one, but eight little children at my place, cook dinner for them all, tidy up toys and clean the mess afterwards, I would laugh so loud they would hear me back in Baku.

But, as Michael Jackson said to Bashir, when he insisted he had never had any plastic surgery…People change!


  1. Hi dear scare azeri!

    I read your posts and see how valuable are Azerbaijanis leaving abroad and being active. Thanks for this blog and each of your posts. I do enjoy reading them.

    the best,

  2. That was me! Ten years it took my husband to pursuade me to have a baby. Even now I'm not a baby person and I can't abide badly behaved, undisciplined children in public. But my daughter? She's a gorgeous, adorable and joyous reason for living (and blogging!)