I’ve been a mum for three and a half years, and I’ve only recently started to enjoy it.
When I say that, I don’t mean that I hated being a mum before that. But it’s only now that I can look back on my time as a mum, so far, that it has dawned on me that motherhood feels different now. This feels like a terrible confession to make, so allow me to explain.
When my daughter was very young, I struggled. When I went back to work, I coped much better, but I used to dread the weekends coming. Isn’t that awful? As the weekend approached, I’d have an anxious knot form in my stomach, worried about how I’d cope all weekend, at home with my family. My family, who are lovely and amazing, might I add. Mr P is one of those real hands-on dads who’d get up with me for every night feed and who splits everything we have to do 50/50 (actually, he probably does more around the house than me….) And my gorgeous baby daughter (as she was then), learning to walk and reacting with joy to watching In The Night Garden. We’d do fun stuff at the weekend, like visit the park, but the days were based around her naps, her snacks, making sure she didn’t kick off and start screaming in public (like all one-year-olds inevitably do). I was a big ball of anxiety.
Other mums would speak about (or blog about) how blissful life with their kids was. Some would tweet about being sad that the school holidays were over and the kids were going back to school. Some would say that being a mum was their calling. And I just didn’t really get it. I’d look at what they were saying, and then look again at my life, and how I was feeling, and it didn’t add up. There were moments of joy, of bliss, and I never once wished I wasn’t a mum. But I didn’t really ‘get’ motherhood.
But recently, something must have changed, because I don’t feel like that anymore. Now, I genuinely look forward to seeing my daughter every day after work. I’ll be sitting on the train home (or standing, wedged in between a cross city worker or two) and I’ll smile, thinking about seeing her little face. I get that Friday Feeling again – a real excitement about the weekend arriving and knowing I’ll be spending time with my family. Whether we have no real plans, and we’ll just be lounging around in our PJs, watching TV, playing shop and drawing… or whether we have an action-packed weekend of seeing friends and squeezing in a birthday party or two… I know we’ll have a brilliant weekend.
Now that my daughter is three, we have real conversations. She asks (a lot of) questions, like “Why do mummies have boobs?” and “Why are there pipes under the road?”. She makes me laugh with her daft facial expressions and voices. We have kitchen discos (her waving a wand, me riding a hobby horse) and she reads us stories (she can’t actually read – she’s not a genius – she just remembers the stories and repeats them to us.) She runs through to our bedroom every morning, shouting “morning time!” before climbing up onto our bed and giving me the best cuddle ever. We play teachers, where she tells me where to sit, what my name is (I’m usually Little Georgina) and she is teacher, telling me what to do. We sing along to Frozen, loudly.
I love hanging out with her. She’s such a cool little person. All my anxiety and worry about family time has vanished, and I’m enjoying being a mum.