Mommy Diaries: Letting myself go really hurts!


Being a new mother can be overwhelming at the best of times, with little time to spare for old pastimes like manicures and shopping, as APRIL DREW, together with her back and feet, is finding out.

April and Colum in Cape Cod at the Zooquarium.
How many firemen does it take to pick a Kerry woman up off the floor?
Answer? Four, but we’ll get to that later.

We’ve all heard the term “she let herself go.” It may actually be an Irish saying used by men (any shape or size) or women (usually skinny) to imply that a specific person used to be prettier/thinner/more athletic/had better skin/dressed nicer/fatter/lazier/she has bad skin and did she borrow that dress from her grandmother?

And it’s rare, if ever, that would you hear the utterance “he let himself go.”

It’s often been said that women sometimes “let themselves go” when they have a child.  They simply don’t have enough time on their hands to look after the new addition and continue to keep up the highlights, fit in a weekly trip to the nail salon and shop for new clothes.

We do try, but it certainly isn’t the same level of upkeep we were accustomed to in our pre-baby world.

As I write this I’m well overdue a trip to the hair salon (my roots -- now grey -- are truly scary) and I’m walking around with eight out of my 10 toes manicured.  I could get away with that if it was the winter, but not in June. I will be removing my own toe polish again this week, I guess.

And as for even attempting to make a fashion statement after having a baby – well, I’m not bothered at this stage.

I’ve put little effort into losing the baby weight (a few trips to the gym and a new diet every Monday) so I know deep down that I’ll never fit into my black leather skirt, skinny white jeans or silky summer blouses ever again. And let’s face it, who really wants to see Mama Drew in a black leather skirt again anyway!

However, I certainly didn’t realize the extent of things until a few weeks ago.  I was attempting to take Colum, my sixth-month-old, into the city to visit friends one Tuesday afternoon.

At the best of times I’m not very organized or punctual, but this particular day I must have been way off my game.

It takes approximately 10 minutes (sans baby) to make it up the hill to the train closest to my home, so by giving myself a generous 15 I thought I’d be all right.

I chose to wear a simple outfit, a pair of jeans, a baggy top and my favorite black and silver flat shoes. I was right on schedule when I locked the front door and began my journey to the train.

Colum was snuggled up in his stroller. As I briskly walked towards the train something felt off. Had I left something switched on? Had I forgotten my purse?

I assured myself everything was okay so I continued on my journey. I was about three minutes from the train station -- about to attack the hill -- when the sun glistened off my favorite shoes.

The light caught my attention so I automatically glanced down, and thank God I did.  My right foot was aglow in my shiny shoes, but unfortunately for my left foot it was still in the dark.

And why was that? Because I wasn’t wearing a matching left shoe. I had an old brown suede flat shoe on my left foot and I didn’t even notice the difference.

Oh how I cursed my stupidity and lack of focus.  I ran the numbers in my head. If I turned back I would have to wait another 45 minutes for the next train, but if I proceeded I would certainly be the talk of the train and the New York fashionistas.

And although a tough decision (yes, I nearly went into Manhattan wearing two completely different color shoes) I doubled back and took the next train.

Before having Colum I had an orderly shoe closest and this mistake would never have happened. Now I’m too distracted and too busy to be worried about such trivial things. But it’s obvious I need to be.

So that said, it’s Monday again and I’ve yet to put a piece of chocolate in my mouth, I’ve a list a mile long of chores that need to be completed in the house and have a mountain of laundry to put away.

Here’s hoping that I’ll get a few days at least out of this week’s “attempt” at making things semi normal again.

Colum is now nearly six and a half months old and getting cuter by the day. He is eating loads, demanding more attention than ever before and piling on the pounds.

And as much and all as I’d like to blame his weight for the following mishap it was, yet again, my lack of preparation that landed me in the emergency room last week.

We were on our first family vacation to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and we were having a wonderful time.

Colum had his first dip in the pool and enjoyed having Mammy and Daddy all to himself everyday.
On the fourth day I was frantically rushing around so we could catch the 9 a.m. ferry to Nantucket.  It was a little after 8 a.m. Colum, my 18-pounder, was chilling on the sofa.