Just a mother…

I just knew I was pregnant…

The first time, I was lying in bed on a boat on the Norfolk broads; my first ever boating holiday.  I’m a vegetarian.  I like late nights and late mornings.  I had been craving fish.  I was waking at 6am, bright & alert.  I had this feeling.  I’d been through over a year of heart ache about not being able to conceive.  We’d set limits on how long we would try, how invasive we would allow the treatment to be, planned an alternative if parenthood was denied us…And I waited a whole week with my secret.  Delicious and delicate, I couldn’t bear to tell anyone, just in case…And when we returned home, on my birthday, I made excuses, rushed to the chemist, hid in the toilet…And that little pee-stick confirmed my secret joy.

Second time around, sure it wasn’t long after Christmas, and we’d only just decided this was the year to see if we could conceive again.  But there it was, that feeling…And sure enough, on the day one of my dearest friends gave birth to her second child, I peed on another stick to confirm the budding joy in my belly.

I just knew…

I just grew a placenta, and I just grew a baby…

Nature is an ordinary, every day miracle.  My instincts told me I was to become a mother.  My body just knew what to do…

I just laboured,I just breathed, I just made this great, pure effort…

I just gave birth to my babies, breathed them out into my arms, welcomed them earthside, kissed their bemused faces, gazed into their open, curious, loving eyes…

I just breastfed my babies…I trusted nature, and my body nourished & nurtured my babies…

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Tandem style ;D

I just changed around 12,000 nappies…

I just woke hourly to my first born for over a week, who could not sleep in his moses basket alone.  So I just brought him into our bed, which has become our family bed…I just brought my second newborn straight into our family bed…I just nursed and comforted, sand to and soothed, my babies, keeping them close…I just welcomed my three year old into our family bed once more, wakeful and anxious will illness or bad dreams or both, he sleeps with one arm around my neck and I just about get the odd hour of sleep and I just managed to wake in the morning and I just still pack lunch, walk the school run, persuade my reluctant eldest once more to walk into school, I just manage to do it without crying at the relief that today a teacher did not have to drag him sobbing, peeling his arms from my neck…I just manage to admit that I cannot meet a commitment made and I just acknowledge that I need someone to soothe my soul…and I just find that in friends I can be nurtured and understood…and we just take our sons to the beach and swim in the sea and feel cleansed & revived and we just sit in the sunshine and make names in seaside stones and dig for buried treasure with magic sticks…and we just dream that we can mothers and make a living doing something we love and something worthwhile and something that other mothers like us will love too…

I just let my babies begin to wean themselves.  I just noticed that tiny hands grabbed at morsels on my plate, that little bodies were strong enough to support the sitter unaided, that little tongue did not thrust curious mouthfuls floorward…I just noticed, my almost 6 year old eats nearly as much as me…

I just rolled out the roll of second-hand shop wallpaper in the garden, filled the plastic plates with paint, stripped my baby naked and let him revel in the rainbow and spread his hand and foot prints all over the blank sheet and my heart…

I just washed the millionth load of family laundry…I just cleaned the loo…I just changed the bedsheets…I just cooked hearty soup for lunch and mouthwatering mascarpone & tomato pasta for tea…I just grew some veg in my back garden patch and watched my child eat sweet raw corn on the cob with eyes wide with glee…I just tidied away the same toys I tidied this morning, and yesterday, and the day before, and last week…I just hoovered up couscous…was it from the mini treasure hunt game or dried from spilled dinner two days ago?…I just sorted out small clothes that once swamped the tiny frame of my little person but that his little brother has even outgrown…I just played hide & seek and was told every time where to hide and where I could find my toddler even as his feet stuck out from under the coffee table…I just read the book I read every day for a month last year, and will read again and again and again until I can recite it sleepily without having to see the pages over the head that is gradually resting higher and higher against my chest as my smallest child grows in my lap…I just sang the songs that I have sung nightly for 6 years and will sing until I am told “Mum…I’m too old for lullabies…” because I just know that one day those words will almost break my heart…

I just abseiled, and ran into the New Year’s Day waves, and picked up a spider with my bare hands, and walked smiling and laughing through dark woods with my child in a sling held close to my heart so that my son will see a brave woman, a strong woman, and will know there is nothing to fear…

I just lost my temper and used harsh words and a cross voice and then tearfully held my child close and apologised for just being human and would he forgive me…And I just got a hug that only my child could give that knows that I am unconditionally in love with him…And I just know that he loves me that way too…And he won’t always like me, nor I him…But we will always have these moments of kisses and cuddles and stories and songs…

I just know that I will never regret a moment spent in the company of my babies, my toddlers, my children…I just love them, heart and soul, with every fibre of my body and every breath I take…

I’m just a mother…

OMx

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I am just a mother, and these are the lights of my soul & the songs of my heart

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