Once upon a time long long ago, back in the days of long Sunday lunches spent lounging over a pub table with a bunch of equally single and hedonistic young people and wild Friday nights spent out at various hip and happening places across London, I thought that one day I would really like to be a mum.
What I thought at the time of what being a mum meant, I’m not too sure. Yes I vaguely knew that bringing up children was supposed to be hard. After all I wasn’t exactly a perfect teenager for my parents! But I think I definitely had very rose-tinted specs on when I thought of happy cherubic little babies and cute adorable toddlers. I had this grand scenario of a perfect family set up where me and my perfect husband would go on long bike rides in the sunshine with our little girl and little boy smiling along beside us. There we would sit and chat happily about school and life before finishing the day reading bedtime stories with a cuddle! This grand scenario did not include sleepless nights or exasperating temper tantrums whilst trying to clean up the other child’s projectile vomit!
As I got older and my friends started to settle down, the desire to have my own family grew stronger. I was jealous, I think, of what I saw of my friends’ seemingly wonderful lives with their happy partners and beautiful children. It failed to dawn on me that perhaps I didn’t see them as much as I had before or that they looked a lot more tired and stressed out. I was too busy still galavanting around town. I still thought that I could be a good mum and that it would come naturally. An idea harshly shattered the first time I was asked to change my god-daughter’s nappy as I put it on entirely the wrong way! At times I wasn’t capable of looking after myself let alone anyone else!
Even when I was pregnant, I don’t really think I thought of what being an mum would actually mean. Yes I loved the beautiful little girl growing inside of me but it was still just my husband and I and the reality of what an addition to the two of us never really sunk in. I had grand ideas of what type of mum I would be: how I would differ from my mother or which of her methods I would follow and how I wanted to bring my daughter up. I don’t think any of these plans, ideas or scenarios could have prepared me for the day she was born. I remember looking down at her and not feeling as everyone said this amazing rush of love and emotion but the more this complete desire to protect her, keep her close and never let her go. Perhaps the same thing you might say.
My journey into motherhood has been as much about me learning and developing as it has for my daughters. I love them uncontrollably but they drive me barking mad. Most of the time I’m absolutely shattered but Daughter no. 1’s super smile and infectious giggle is a much better cure than coffee at the best of the times. Seeing Daughter No. 2’s determination to crawl and follow her sister around makes me so proud whilst Daughter No. 1’s ability to spell her name at 2 1/2 makes me almost burst. I have this uncontrollable urge to show them everything, do everything, expand their minds whilst encouraging them to run around like lunatics. I can think of nothing better than spending a day with my family even if I know that the melt-downs are never that far away and that there will be at least three times in one day where I’m on the verge of losing my patience.
I had no idea what motherhood meant in the 20s. To be honest I’m still not too sure what it means right now. All I do know is that I’m going to find out!
- MamaBlogger365 – On Becoming a Mother (A Letter to My Daughter) By Kate Fineske, NAMC (mamazina.wordpress.com)