I’m a different person now. I’m a mum.
Things they never told me. They never told me being a mum would hurt. I don’t mean childbirth; I mean being a mum. They never told me motherhood changes you. This is how I’ve changed:
I no longer sleep. Its not just because my baby wakes a lot during the night. Its because six years, 4 months and 12 days ago I became a mum. I lost my ability to sleep soundly. I became able to stir at the slightest sound, on full alert and ready to spring from sleep because somebody needed me.
I have more morals. I no longer smoke, I feel guilty when I drink wine, I hardy swear anymore and I turn rap music down.
I got myself a career. I decided I wanted a job that my children could be proud of. I wanted them to say, ‘My Mum is…’ instead of ‘My mum does…’
I stepped into a new world. A world full of more than just nappies, breast-pumps and calpol. A world full of pride, joy, love, fear. A world that meant I could never turn back or run away.
They never told me I would be able to pick out MY child’s cry from a sea of a hundred others. They never told me I would know the back of my child’s head from any distance. They never told me about the fear you feel when you lose them in the supermarket, or the utter relief when you find them crouched by the comics eating wax crayons. They never told me how horrid it would feel to see them sitting alone on a bench in the school playground, waiting for you to come and get them, to give them a hug. They never told me how lovely that hug would feel. They never told me how frightening it could be. They never told me how much I would laugh. Or cry.
Fourteen months and eighteen days ago, I changed again. I dipped a toe into dark waters and I shrank back again. I moved away and I’m moving on, but I’ll never be the same again. Things I wanted then aren’t the same things I want now.
I no longer take things for granted. I no longer expect things to just happen; I know I have to go and get them.
I’m a different person now.