On Parenthood

I came to parenthood ‘prepared’. Our children were all planned for, dreamed of…plotted…chased. I thought I was ready. I thought we were ready.

I had shopped, read, planned, envisioned. I sat and watched my growing belly, certain that I knew what we were facing, and that I sat on the precipice of becoming a mother in complete readiness.

I was so smug. I had NO idea what it meant to become a mother. How for 9 months you grew that child in your body, but how that meant that I gave away a part of my heart with each pregnancy. My heart is now in pieces, walking around in 3 little bodies and floated away on our one little loss. I don’t want it back though – they are welcome to it.

I didn’t know that along with my heart, a fairly good chunk of ‘me’ would disappear for years on end, lost in the (seemingly) neverending calls of “mummy” and the ceaseless tugs of housework and dependence. I also didn’t know that, eventually, life regains a balance and I can answer the calls of motherhood, being a good wife, having a ‘self’ and looking outwards to a new career without feeling guilty and exhausted. (Two bastions of early motherhood which I didn’t expect in quite so large quantities!)

I learnt that planning to be a ‘perfect’ mother doesn’t translate to actually being one. My children (contrary to plan) turned out to be formula fed despite my best intentions. They had reflux and were medicated, screaming little urchins. They fought sleep with a ferocity I never expected. They sucked thumbs and dummies, refused solids at 6 months or grabbed my dinner off my plate at 4 months….neither circumstance as I had planned for! They were unpredictable and erratic, volatile and impulsive…they were perfect when I wasn’t and I adore them with a fervour that is utterly impossible to explain until you feel it.

Is it frustrating? Difficult? Consuming? Draining? YES! It’s also affirming, uplifting, and exhilarating and I’m so grateful for every moment.

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