That "oh my God I'm going to be a mum..." moment is both terrifying and wonderful all at once.
Last Mother's Day was a bit of a blur for me. Joseph was only two months old and I was still using womb music to determine the difference between day and night. Normal routine had been suspended and days were lost to the endless abyss of Friends reruns, while cluster feeding a greedy newborn. Tea was administered almost intravenously and toast was eaten from dusk till dawn. I honestly had no clue what day of the week it was, let alone that it was Mother's Day.
Yet, with my second Mother's Day fast approaching and a slightly clearer head, its got me thinking about when I became a mother.
They say men become fathers when they see their baby for the first time, but for us women it begins so much sooner. Maybe it's the first kick or flutter, or it's your first round of morning sickness, or maybe it's listening to your babies heartbeat for the first time. Whenever that penny dropping "oh my God I'm going to be a mum..." moment is, it's both terrifying and wonderful all at once.
The moment I became a mother was when I was sat in the hospital having a scan. I had to have one very early as they were worried I was having an ectopic pregnancy due to stomach pains on one side (something you should always get checked!). I must have only been about 5/6 weeks pregnant at this point and the nurse said, "I doubt we will even see anything at this stage", but low and behold, there on the screen above me, was a tiny peanut shaped blob, dancing ever so rapidly inside of my tummy.
And as simply as that, I became a mother.
This didn't change the fact that I still, in no way, felt ready. I can look back now and say that with utter confidence because I don't think anyone really is – no matter what they tell you! No matter how many books you've read or expensive gadgets you've wasted money on, having a human life literally in your hands, is totally bewildering and nobody can truly prepare you for that.
Becoming a mother has made me fully appreciate my own mother as she made it look so easy. My mum carried, gave birth, nursed and raised me and my three sisters and looking back at my own childhood, not once do I remember seeing her struggle, stress or panic the way I do with one child. No matter what else happened, she just focused on her family and coped and I've always said that if I can be half the mother she was, then I'll know I've done okay.
Becoming a mother is loving more than you knew possible and being loved more than ever before. Sometimes, you may feel like you're failing but no matter what you do, you'll always be the best your child could ever have imagined and the only mother your child would ever want.
Being a mother is learning to do everything one handed. Enough said.
Becoming a mother is selfless. It's not noticing your grey hairs because your're too busy counting and washing and brushing all of theirs. It's wiping noses and bums and kissing bumps. It's running on fumes and sleepless nights. It's incredible highs and crushing lows. It's really not easy being a mum, but every single day, it's worth it.
I'm a first-time mother and I've found that I can't go out with my son without somebody giving me advice on how to raise him. There seems to be a general assumption that new parents have no idea about children, and it is everybody's duty to share their wisdom.