Motherhood hasn’t come naturally to Daisy Leverington. Three years in and she remains wide-eyed, terrified and in awe of the little person she’s responsible for. Stay tuned to follow her parenthood progress.
I don’t know why I’m surprised I don’t look like I used to before ‘Mum’ was added to my biog. Three solid years – that’s more than 1,000 overnights by the way – without a lie in will do that to you.
Not that I fit with my own prejudice of what a 30-something who has pushed a person out of their Valerie would look like.
I’m tattooed and bleached, don’t own any smart clothes and have had my style described as ‘homeless chic’.
This is not how I thought I would be at this point in my life. Oh how I daydreamed that upon turning 30 I would emerge, Halle Berry-like, from the sea of youth, shaking droplets of knowledge from my adorably tousled mum-hair.
I’d have developed a sudden and very keen interest in Laura Ashley interiors and coral jewellery.
I would be able to throw together a lunch of quinoa and olives while holding a baby to my bosom and gazing misty-eyed out over a west London park from my four-bedroomed semi.
I haven’t washed my hair for two days, my lunch was an iced bun with a side of my daughter’s crisps and my house is 150 miles north of my desired postcode.
I do have a coral necklace I bought from Rhodes in 1997 though, so at least that’s the nursery run accessories sorted.
So, how do ‘mums’ look? Is it possible to pick them out of a line up?
As is often the case with the roles we play in our lives, there does seem to be an ideal as far as motherhood is concerned. And as per usual, this can be best observed by taking a look at the relevant rack in your local newsagent.
When it comes to parenting magazines, you will invariably see an ensemble of mostly wool-clad ‘mums’ involved in some sort of smiling cover competition… and none of them look like me.
I don’t think I’ve ever smiled while trying to get my kid to eat broccoli. A cover photo I saw recently suggested this ‘mum’ had never enjoyed anything more.
Why wasn’t she covered in beans, hysterically waving a spoon in the direction of the kid’s face and making train noises? WHY?
At this point I’d like to offer my services to any parenting magazines out there. If you’re ever looking for an honest cover girl, look no further.
I’ll grace your magazine with the true face of a mum in 2014. Holding my phone in one hand (it’ll be playing the same episode of Peppa Pig on a loop) and a forkful of something that was frozen, oven-heated and possibly potato-based.
I’ll attempt a simultaneous smile, but your photographer better have quick reflexes.
OK, so we’ve established I don’t look like how popular media tells me I should. But I still look like me, right? WRONG.
I’m me with two-stone of padding and bags the size of my washing pile under my eyes. I look nothing like I did at 25. I look like I ate a 25-year-old.
Dealing with feeling different to other mums is one thing, but feeling separate from your actual self is a whole other ball game.
I used to think if I wore the right kind of ‘mum’ clothes I would be camouflaged, no one would see into my terrified, insecure heart.
But after a couple of years of ill-fitting and ill-advised pashminas I think I’ve accepted that a black t-shirt and jeans is as much a mummy uniform as a floral two-piece.
As long as I’m wearing the coral necklace of course.
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Daisy Leverington - Actor, mother, expert at winging it.