Before I had children I had visions of what motherhood was like. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. I certainly didn't make my mum's life very easy, so I was never going to be blessed with incredibly compliant children. I was a very maternal child, the kind who babysits all the time and seems to attract young children, all of whom want to play with you. I enjoyed it. I had plenty of nappy changing experience and once took four children under three, including two under six months old to the park together. I am pretty sure I wasn't older than 12, but I was trusted and I was good with children.
Fast forward quite a few years to me having a tantrum because my daughter won't listen to me. I realise that it isn't quite as simple as I imagined. There is some kind of bond with children who aren't yours. Something about knowing you can hand them back which gives you infinitely more patience than when you try and deal with your own child. I was a nanny for two years and once had an argument, of the is/isn't variety for nearly an hour. His mum had to leave the room because she couldn't bear it. I just enjoyed the challenge, although I can't remember who won (but I was definitely right, it was a crab, not a spider). Now I just want arguments to be over quickly, the challenge doesn't hold quite the same enthusiasm from me.
I hadn't imagined how messy being a mother would be. When you have a baby you should always expect at least a daily staining, either with sick, poo or snot. On one occasion my son threw up all over me when I was half an hour from home. I had to sit on a plastic bag in the back of my friend's car. Obviously I had taken spare clothes for my son, but absolutely nothing for me. I definitely had more time when my children were little. They slept a lot in the day and I had time to write, read, watch TV. All things which barely happen these days!
Motherhood is tiring, there's no doubt about that. I don't know one parent who hasn't fallen asleep on the sofa when their children were babies! As they get older it is more of a constant doing things kind of tired. Never really stopping or getting any time for yourself. Motherhood is rewarding in so many ways I didn't think possible. Watching your child ride a bike for the first time, swim across a swimming pool, or even whistle when they have been trying for weeks to get it just right. The pride you feel when they achieve something they have worked hard at is unbelievably amazing. Motherhood is challenging, anyone who has dealt with a toddler tantrum can tell you that! Motherhood is lovely. Those cuddles and kissed with the little people you created. The hugs when you have been away for the weekend and they genuinely missed you. Motherhood is tougher than I ever imagined, but so much more rewarding too. I feel completed by my children and I couldn't imagine life without them now!
Motherhood is amazing.
Disclosure: this post was written in collaboration with the Cussons #voiceofmums campaign as they launch the new product for easing snuffly noses Cussons Comfort to Snuffly Noses. Hopefully meaning the end of the snot sucker (eww)!