Anyway, this week I have another lovely mother, Rachel to feature, I do so love reading the different ways motherhood is expressed through this series.
Rachel & Henry 22 months
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Motherhood. There's definitely a 'before' and an 'after', don't you think?
It was sobbing over a positive pregnancy test after waiting longer than I wanted. Retching at two hundred decibels in the office and trying to convince colleagues it was a burp (dignity, thy name is 'first trimester'). Getting kicked in the early hours to within an inch of my life. Realising I loved this little thing fiercely, despite the wakefulness and the trapped wind and the varicose vein I was sure would ruin my life forever.
Then realising I hadn't seen anything yet.
When I first saw Henry, screeching and covered in goodness-knows-what, I was too numb to feel anything but relief and bewilderment. It crept up on me in the hours afterwards, this motherhood. This feeling that I'd been laid bare, dismantled and rebuilt with a new beating heart at the centre of everything. This anxiety that I'd never, never be enough, and that nothing would ever be the same again. This reassurance that I knew him and he knew me, and for today, that would be just fine.
I spent the early days in a haze of love and worry. I read pages of baby advice and ate ten tons of chocolate gateau. I needed validation he couldn't give me, and the adjustment from twenty-something professional to barely-dressed baby-mother was a hard jump to make. Not that I was ever terribly professional. But now I definitely wasn't. Most days I counted it a victory if my hair only pointed in three directions.
Then slowly, slowly, we grew alongside each other. Twenty two months on, I feel like we're starting to hit our stride. He's the kind of boy who sprints through life with his arms in the air. He climbs high and jumps without looking down. He is all fire and impatience and curiosity. There are blazing tantrums on the rug and quiet early mornings with his arms around my neck. I can barely keep up. I spend a lot of time banging my head against the wall. And oddly, I can't get enough of it. I never thought I'd be a toddler person, but I adore this phase, and everything in it.
Oh, that boy. He has my heart and soul and everything in between. I feel more vulnerable, more inadequate and more flawed than I ever have before, and that can be painful at the end of a long day. But somewhere underneath the baked bean stains the reassurance remains, this constant, this thing that motherhood means to me more than anything: I know him, and he knows me. And for today, that will be just fine.
Rachel's expecting another little bundle of joy in July, and on that I'm finding myself increasingly interested in how feelings on motherhood change the second time around (not pregnant though!). Obviously you love each child as intensely but are you more secure in your skills, more chilled out? I wonder how this all affects how we feel about motherhood in general?
Thank you Rachel for your thoughts and congratulations on soon becoming a mother of two!
If you'd like to be featured you can see past posts here. Just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe next year I'll do a Fathers on Fatherhood, but are there enough fathers who blog I wonder...