Six years ago today I became a mum, 6th May 2009 at 15:38.
I remember it so clearly, the waters breaking, the onset of contractions, the wait at home, the trip to the hospital… I can watch it back like it was just yesterday. But I’m so radically changed from that day it feels like I’m watching it happen to someone else. I felt like I’d been in the happiest car accident, in that everything hurt, (no one warns you about the aching whiplash in your neck, bruised legs from someone – can’t even remember who, possibly my husband – holding them so tightly to keep me still and let the midwife perform an episiotomy at a crucial moment, or the inability to sit down without emitting a high pitched ‘heeeeeeeeeeeeee’) yet I felt like I’d won the lottery – I had.
God, I thought I had it all planned out…
Six years ago I thought 4 babygros and 2 teeny weeny vests were adequate for a short stay in hospital.
Six years ago I thought I was having a girl.
Six years ago I didn’t think I could love my husband any more than I did at that moment.
Six years ago I decided I couldn’t love any other child as much as my new baby boy.
Six years ago I knew absolutely nothing.
Today I’m at home looking after a poorly toddler. I’ve sent that enormous boy off to school wearing a number 6 badge and a gap-toothed grin. It amazes me, in such a short amount of years how much he’s changed and become a funny, energetic show-off. Mad about football, opinionated, a little sarcastic and kind, he is so kind.
I also feel like it’s a milestone for us – mum and dad, surviving those 6 six years and three children. Some nights we have snapped at each other, so tired and frustrated at the dictatorship of ‘toddler-dom’. Exhausted with the repetition of routine and the monotony of saccharine coated television shows we swore we’d never let them watch. Sometimes we’ve silently glowered at the other as we complete a nappy change/cat sick clean-up convinced the other one has it easier. But more often than that we have laughed, watched countless crap TV programmes, recounting silly things the children have done, and I can honestly say that I look forward to him coming home every day.
Today I know that parenting is tough. Having children is without doubt the best thing I have done, but there are days when I pushed to my absolute limit.
Today I know that there is no such thing as ‘the favourite child’, although there are momentary incidents where one may be ‘less favourable’.
Today I know, that despite the fact that I will always love my children… there will be times when I don’t necessarily like them or the way they are behaving.
Today I know that Sudocrem is a bugger to get out of carpets. And hair. And clothes.
Today I know that you cannot ‘pop to the shops’ with three children and use a self service check out without a public bollocking, a stern look from a member of the public or a fire door alarm going off.
Today I know that the more children you have, the louder they get.
Today I know that no matter how old they get, they will always be our babies.
Today I know that expensive price tags and fancy labels are pointless. Want to entertain 3 children under 6? Try a pair of shoes that make a farting sound and a long corridor.
Today I know, that when they say they need a wee, they really, really need a wee.
I often wonder what I will know in a year’s time, 2 years or even 10. I think I will look back on where I am now and partly wonder why I wasn’t an alcoholic and part of me would no doubt want to say: Are you kidding me?? Those were the easy years!