Today is going to be a busy day for me, my son turns five tomorrow and whilst we are not having a party, there is plenty to do to mark the occasion – cake to collect from the Sweet Sneak girls, decorations to quietly put up after his bedtime and presents to arrange.
Birthdays for children are, quite rightly, an exciting time filled with presents, cake and love but for parents, especially mothers, it is a time for contemplation. Five years ago (only a few days after the photo below) I thought I had a good two weeks before our planned Caesarian (for medical reasons not out of choice) but my baby had other plans and I went into labour at 3am on the 1st October. I don’t write a lot here about being a mother as that isn’t what this blog is about but today my role as a mother is very much on my mind. Over the last five years, I have learnt a lot about myself and also my strengths. I have learnt that I can be more organised than I ever thought possible and more patient. I have learnt what is really important, that all the things that stressed me out before are nothing when you look at your five week old baby with a feeding tube in his nose, or you are waiting for an ambulance whilst your son is in the throes of anaphylactic shock. I also never thought that I would have the real tigeress inside me that I do when I feel I need to protect my son from hurt and pain. That I could ever feel that overwhelming burst of joy at being a mother that creeps up on you at sometimes the most ordinary moments. The pride I feel when he does something that scares him and comes running over beaming or when someone tells me how bright or interesting he is. Or when he simply gives me the ‘biggest hug’ in the world and tells me he loves me.
There are challenges of being a mother and some days I wonder if I am too soft for it all but the last five years have been wonderful and I can’t wait for all the others to follow.