Today I went to my third weekly Mothers Network meeting, in which the participants leave their babies with babysitters and spend the next two hours discussing topics relating to motherhood.
As keen as I was to get together with other mothers, especially first-timers, I don't feel much as though I'm bonding with the others.
I think I'm the only person in our group of eleven who didn't gush about being totally, utterly in love with their kid. I am the only person who said out loud that one reason that our expectations of motherhood are so different from reality is that if we truly knew what it was going to be like we'd be using double-thickness condoms for the rest of our lives. I did mean it half-jokingly of course.
I also noticed that occasionally someone would mention having suffered terribly in the course of trying to breastfeed their child, or being on the verge of post-natal depression, or the terribe disappointment at the amount of intervention at their child's birth, or being so tired that it was too much effort even to reach out for a glass of water. And yet these difficulties were only mentioned in passing, as though these women's overwhelming joy in their children was so huge that the negative aspects were rendered insignificant.
Which made me realise that I haven't actually had it all that bad: Baby's birth, though a little traumatic, was drug-free and mostly natural; my baby has defied her family history of allergies and skin problems, in displaying healthy, gorgeous skin; I didn't have too much problem in breastfeeding (there was that bout of mastitis, not to mention nipple damage - but we won't go there); although I'm often tired, I still have energy to go for daily walks and the time to blog; and while Baby's little feeding and sleeping foibles frustrate my attempts to feel in control, I'm certainly not what you'd call depressed (possibly thanks to regular doses of chocolate and full-fat ice cream).
I guess I'm just a grumpy mum who could do with a kick in the pants and some positive thinking.