‘You’re a mum now Lou’ my friend informed me as I sat before her, tea in hand, despair draping my face. ‘You’re going to have to learn to deal with it.’
I silently opened a packet of Teddy Bear biscuits as she continued.
‘You’re just won’t be able to be funny anymore. Happens to the best of us. I use to be fucking Conan O’Brien till I had kids. Now everything I say comes across as if I’m giving a speech at the Hague.’
And just like that, she had confirmed my deepest fears – that now I’m a mum, everything I say and do will forever be read and taken with all seriousness.
F**k. For someone that makes a living from writing funny things, this did not bode well. I mean, I’d had a baby, there were bills to pay, a new car I’d bought to live in…
Yet the thing is, I had/have cause for concern. It had already started – the ‘with all seriousness.’
Last week my boyfriend/fiancé’s face flashed up on my phone – ‘F**k, he can’t live without me’ I chuckled to myself as I paused Netflix’s F.B.I Files (‘True stories from the F.B.I.’) ‘I bet he’d kill for me if I asked him….’
‘Yo, waz up?’ I casually enquired with my usual greeting.
‘Is everything ok?’ He blurted out between tears. I sensed something was wrong so I paused the TV. I’m good like that.
‘Why? Should something be wrong?’
‘I just got a text asking if We were ok. Are We ok? Why would We not be ok?’
I thought about it. Were We ok? Perhaps this was my out? Mark Ruffalo had recently landed in the Gold Coast and I had just gotten my legs waxed a month earlier…coincidence?
I decided to give it a go.
‘I don’t know. You tell me. Are we ok?’
‘I mean unless you’ve done something wrong?’
I un-paused the TV. This definitely was a conversation that could continue with background noise.
‘No, no…I mean don’t think so.’
‘Are you sure…?’
He fell silent for a moment, searching his brain for an incident, one where he’d fucked up so much that it would undoubtedly drive me into the arms of The Hulk.
‘Someone from work rang. Said you posted something on Facebook, about our relationship. She was worried.’
I flipped over to a documentary entitled ‘My Time in a Cult’. Winner.
‘And then she said it was something about me no longer being your lover, that I’d become your carer.’
‘Oh, that? It was a joke.’
‘She didn’t think it was a joke.’
‘It was clearly a joke. That’s my thing.’
I scrambled to pull up Facebook on my phone, only to notice 11 unread text messages had popped up, including 3 voicemails and various Facebook notifications.
‘And then my brother left a message asking if it was true –
‘- You are not my carer.’ I assured him from our bed, wearing an adult diaper, pushing 100 kg, wheelchair idling by my side table, power pumping two boobs at a time…
‘All I wrote was…’
‘Remember, from the other night when you were reading that SBS article, and I thought it was funny given I’d just wet the bed for the second time that evening and we’d laughed about how we really needed to get around to buying a mattress protector. Remember? It was funny.’
I scrolled through the messages:
Saw your post – it gets better xx
You and JK will be fine xx
I’ve sent you a link to a single mother’s Facebook group. Mostly widows but heaps of great tips. xx
I never liked him. Let’s do coffee soon x
This is just a kindly reminder that your ANZ card payment is now overdue.
I’m on my way over. Bringing chocolate! How could he!!! ☹ ☹ ☹
Did I leave my hairdryer at yours????
The Facebook messages were much the same
‘Thinking of you and the bub during your turbulent time xx’
‘Not you guys!!!’
‘Hi, my name is Kirtia and I like sex and men. Please meet??’
I couldn’t understand what was going on.
It was clearly a joke. I only ever posted funny things. I was the funny girl. What was happening?
And so this was when I called my friend for reassurance, the one who now works for the Hague…
‘Everything you do, write or post about from this point onwards will be met with a degree of earnest belief and genuine concern. Gone are the days of flippant remarks, you’re part of something bigger than yourself- being a mum on social media.’
‘But I’m not just a mum.’
‘As of now Lou, yes, yes you are.’
I took the last remaining Teddy Bear biscuit offering none to my friend.
‘Don’t despair Lou. You can still be funny in private, you know, as long as no one is watching, listening or reading you, but once you post your funny on Facebook, Twitter, Insta, blog about it, or continue to post on that YouTube Channel you made that no one ever watches – it will only be seen as a cry for help, a need for support, a plea for understanding, shit Lou, I mean with any luck you might end up a mummy blogger – purely by default.’
‘You shut your mouth!’ I spat at her.
It was a truth bomb I clearly wasn’t ready to hear.
‘You need to leave’ I said shaking ‘Get out of my house’.
And with that, she was gone.
A few weeks late I took to social media again. This time posting on the hilarious feeder-esque situation I now found myself in.
It was my comeback. A nuanced, funny observation on breastfeeding-
My phone beeped:
‘OMG Lou. Are you ok? Just saw your post. Can I recommend Lanosin for your chafed nipples…’
Beep! Another message…
And just like that, my fate was sealed. My friend had been right. I was f**ked. Chafed and f**ked.