Nothing says ‘new mother’ quite like a blog post that’s three weeks late, so here’s mine!
I’ve been a mother for five months. I adore it. It’s equal parts difficult and wonderful. The responsibility is often overwhelming, but that feeling improves day by day, as the baby and I get to know each other better and I can respond to his needs more quickly than I could the last time.
The work associated with motherhood is often hard, dull and monotonous, but I do my best to find joy in it every day. I know that as LB grows and I return to work that I will miss the slow, quiet days we spent together in his infancy. Days spent rolling around on the floor together. Cuddling him whilst he naps. Watching him learn how to do new things and how pleased he is when he manages it. Watching him start to play. Best of all, his bright, beaming smile and the way he rests his head on my chest. Part of me even enjoys the eternal vacuuming, nappy laundering and wiping down the kitchen.
The hard thing is feeling as though I’m not contributing to our household. I know this is not the case, that I work hard every day to raise our lovely boy, that I keep him happy and safe and warm and fed. That I keep the house in something resembling working order. With my maternity pay steadily dwindling though, and the fact that bringing money in is how I’ve contributed to the household in the past, I struggle to remember that my contribution is valid and important. I’ve written more about this in this post.
Mostly though, I’m lucky. I’m so grateful I get to spend this time with him. I love being his mama. I love nursing him to sleep and holding his warm little body close whilst he naps. I love watching him and his daddy playing together. I love wearing him in the sling and showing him new places, people and things. I love just spending my days with him, even when it feels relentless and difficult, which it sometimes does.
I’m so grateful for my own mother, my sister and my mother-in-law who all love LB almost as much as I do. I’m so glad he gets to grow up with so many strong women in his life, just as I did. I’m grateful he knows two of his great grandmothers and for the love they show him, just as I’m sad he can’t meet the other two.
Has becoming a mother changed who I am? Fundamentally, I don’t think so. I always knew that having children and building a loving family was what I wanted to do with my life. It’s not been too much of a struggle to adjust to early nights and staying in – in fact, I probably go out more than I did before he was born! I feel as though motherhood has magnified the qualities I already had, and made me want to do better and be better. Which, of course, is no bad thing.
So, happy Mother’s Day. I hope you and yours are having a wonderful day.