For as long as I can remember, the only thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up, was a mama. Alongside that were everchanging career dreams of primary school teacher, midwife, architect, neonatal peadetrician (yep!), writer, nanny, crafter, graphic designer, baker, photographer and ever it will continue, I'm sure.
The dream of becoming a mother was something I could physically feel inside of me, ebbing and flowing between a calm knowing and fierce, impatient and perhaps fearful, desire.
As with most mamas, when I was pregnant with our first, I just knew. I was excited but not surprised by the two pink lines on the pregnancy test. I adored every minute of my pregnancies - we'll, to be fair, 8 months pregnant in summer is no treat! - and even smiled through my contractions because I knew that with c-sections looming, it was a gift to experience them. Breastfeeding them was physically and emotionally hard work for the first six to eight weeks and then ... I adored every moment. My goodness that experience has been irreplaceable, and I'm sure healed those c-section disappointments more than I gave it credit for at the time.
Mothering them has been the easiest thing I have ever done in my life. Not because parenting them is always easy, but because they are and always will be the most important and precious people in my life. Daily my heart swells with pride and adoration for them both, and every time the intensity of it catches me by surprise. And I know I'm not done having babies, even if we have another, I'm sure I'll never feel 'done'.
Becoming a mother has changed who I am in more ways than I can count. I've learnt things about myself I didn't know before them - my patience wears thin quickly, I'm not as selfless with my time as I'd imagined I'd be and, I guard unbroken hours of sleep like the piles of gold and jewels that it is. I am more in tune with life, have gained more sensitivity and awareness, embraced my inner hippie (and my outer hippys ;) I understand more than ever that we are all just doing our best, so while my choices in pregnancy, birth, feeding and raising children are passionate and I will advocate for them to no end, they are mine, for me and I support yours as just as equally, regardless of how they differ. Surprisingly though, alongside becoming more sensitive to others, I've become more sensitive to myself. Thank the universe, for it has taken some time.
Today on Mother's Day, I told my husband that I would not be traipsing all over the countryside to see our respective mother's like we do every year, the children and I would be staying home, he was free to join us. And he has. This decision came with so much guilt and angst, but it has come with so much peace for myself. Aside from writing this (next to my son while he naps), I've ignored the chores and the 'should do's' and have played with my children. All day. I've been on the verge of tears more times than I can count. I know it's a 'hallmark card' holiday, but it's my hallmark card holiday and I've missed celebrating it for myself these passed six years that I can claim it as mine. Today has been a gift from myself, to myself, surrounded by the people I love most, bunkered down in our little home together.