I wanted to share one of my favourite poems by Hollie McNish, Do You Remember?, from her award winning book Nobody Told Me.
Every time I read it in one of my baby massage classes, I find another part to relate to. The poem continues, touching on all parts of a mother’s life which may have changed and the feeling of a loss of identity.
Do You Remember by Hollie McNish
Do you remember what it was like to feel awake?
Do you remember what it was like when your body didn’t ache
and getting out the house didn’t take an hour and a half?
When you try not to cry but breathe in
When you are just out the door and then just as you are leaving
your kid starts screaming and you have to go inside again to change them?
Do you remember what it was like to have a shower or a bath
without little faces peering over the bathtub
begging to get in?
Do you remember what it was like to feel comfortable in
your own skin?
Before looking at your body consisted of memories of
Do you remember the times you could admit to being bored (without feeling guilty?)
Before speaking secretly to other parents about craving
About how slow your toddler walks?
Do you remember what it was like to talk to people your own age?
to engage in conversation that made your brain feel tight again?
Do you remember your body before it made and fed and raised a life?
Do you remember what things you like?
Do you remember your own hobbies?
Or what it’s like to have some space to think?
Or take a bath or drink a tea while it still steams?
To have a wee in peace?
Do you remember the days before you knew how this love really felt?
Love so strong some days you feel you’ve sacrificed yourself for them?
Body, heart and mind
and then some more?
And some days you long to crawl
body dragged across the floor
roll over on your back
and stare up at the ceiling
Please just leave me here to lie down
to close my eyes
and sleep some time’
but no one’s there to hear your cries!
so you carry on instead
and do not really mind
as long as that little sunshine of a child
smiles from time to time.
To buy a copy of Hollie’s award winning book on Amazon click here