I get it now.
Pre baby delirium.
Before I became a parent I had aspirations about the kind of mother I would be. You know the sorts of things, the kind of delusions that if someone mentioned them now you would laugh hysterically and then cry because you feel like a failure. But achieving the dizzy heights of full hair and make up and the latest trends minus puke stains is just not obtainable day to day - not for me anyway.
I would like to think I was never judgemental towards other parents before I was one but, you know, I'm all about the honesty and there were definitely moments an eye roll would sneak out or just a slight groan when I would see certain posts on social media. One of these moments was the day that school admissions got announced, and those 'first day of school' pics in September. I can say this now because I'm a parent and I know I was an asshole. I can say this now because I'm about to go through it and get my comeuppance. Let me explain.
When our beautiful son came into the world it wasn't plain sailing; I don't believe our experience was particularly rare but it was definitely new to us. It was scary and guess what? It was our first head-on with that classic parenting battle - expectation vs reality, and the battlefield that is 'your mind'.
It's where that iconic phrase can really shine 'nothing prepares you', and I will use the usual response 'it's SO true'. Nothing prepares you for the worry and the suspense of just getting them into this world safely and your mind flits through all the time you spent, thinking about who this little being was nestled in their secret space, and you try not to panic.
Nothing prepares you for when they are here, and you want to hear that famous cry, but are they crying too much? Nothing prepares you for the love, whether it comes immediately, 2 days in or 2 months in, it will hit you somehow in your own way and there is nothing the same.
Then you get home and you're in awe of this ACTUAL human you've created. But what do you do with it? Then you have these crazy thoughts like 'what if I just drop him on his head?!?'
Your days merge into one big blob of sleep, milk feeds and visitors and in my case 3am Breaking Bad escapades. You're not quite sure what the heck you have done but your old life is well and truly gone forever. But would you take it back?
All mums work hard.
Being a stay at home Mum I can often focus too much on all the things that are hard about being a parent because I live it every second of the day with no break times. Some people have this crazy idea that stay at home mums have an easy life where they go to cafe's and don't have to work. Well now I know (yep, I was one of them) that this is so far from the truth it's hilarious.
I have no idea how people do this parenting lark AND go out to work, and don't get me started on the amazing breed that is single parents (hi Mum), all I know is that every now and then I stop with the moaning and I just savour how lucky I am to be at home with my babies all day everyday.
Speaking of my Mum, she always told me that if I had a chance to be home with my babies, I should seriously consider it. She didn't have a choice and it broke her heart many times over. Milestones missed.
On the eve of the School admissions announcement it couldn't be anymore poignant to reflect on this amazing experience I've been lucky enough to have.
Having been at home all day with my son I know it's going to be incredibly hard to let him go when it comes to September. I never used to understand why people cried when their children went off to school - and now I am literally crying as I write this, so there's that reality thing again.
I don't think it's going to be any easier for those parents who have to work. Just because they already have time away from their children regularly won't make it any easier. Perhaps their heart will break for the time they couldn't give, just like my Mum.
I found Nursery and Pre School a welcome break, especially when my daughter came along, and boy do I feel guilty about that now, now that I know how precious time is.
Being a parent is tough and no matter what you do you will always wish you did more.
An ode to motherhood.
It is hard to convey what being a parent is like without cold hard experience. Releasing your child from their family bubble into a world where others may hurt them with words, or exclude them and squash their spirit, is incredibly scary but here's hoping we have a win with this one. Here's hoping reality exceeds our expectations in a good way.
The driver, the chef, the best entertainer, she’ll overthrow a mini dictator.
A highly skilled fort engineer, with kisses that make the pain disappear.
A rep for him with that penchant for red, she’ll switch tooth for money right under your head.
She’ll fashion a costume, the best in disguise, with her Doctor’s ‘hat’ on she’ll poop analyse.
A translator, a baker, a crafty - crap maker, the role of a mum will never forsake her.
The future is theirs.
To the incredible mix of parents waiting for the news of where their babies will be going to school, good luck but please don't fear.
All the sleepless nights, the dinner time battles, the supermarket tantrums and the endless kisses and cuddles have lead them to where they are now, and no matter where they end up they will always be coming home to you - their foundation, and those foundations are what will hold up their future.