It may take a village to raise a child, as the cliché goes, but it wasn’t until I searched the Huggies box for instructions on how to put on a nappy that a horrifying realistion dawned: the village had packed up its motor home and left long ago.
My husband and I were on our own, and we were both as clueless as each other.
There was no one to teach me how to mother, no one to take my daughter for a walk while I got some sleep and my husband worked, no one to pick up groceries or bring around a casserole or do a load of washing.
Both sets of grandparents live in other cities, and my friends were all childless professionals and just as inexperienced as me. I’d only just met my mothers’ group and didn’t feel like burdening people who were struggling too.
When breastfeeding wasn’t as straightforward as the brochures suggested and my daughter woke every hour – day and night – for five months, and I was so exhausted I started hallucinating rats, I had nobody to call for help.