Two things hit me when I became a mother. The first one was what on earth did I do with my time BC? (Before Children). And the second, more alarming one was, this is hard!
Depending on what stage you are at in your mothering journey, you will have different answers, and indeed, different perspectives along the way. I also think it is fair to say that whatever else might change, the demands on both you and your time, will not.
Your little baby starts by going longer in between feeds, and maybe even sleeping at night. It is time to become reacquainted with showers that last longer than three minutes. Maybe even a phone call whilst you are enjoying a cup of coffee. Bliss!
Don’t get too comfortable, however. There are a lot more stages to come. Least of all the crawling and walking stages. It’s all onwards and upwards for growing little people who are intent on exploring this fascinating world that is just one big playground as far as they are concerned.
It is hard. It is hard when little ones have no concept whatsoever of time. No concept whatsoever of your time. It won’t matter to them that Mummy has a much longed for and well deserved night out planned with Daddy. Teething, unexplained high temperatures followed by fevers are their scissors to your paper.
Your precious night out is cancelled.
It’s all a phase and this too shall pass will become regular mantras.
What can be of great help through these challenging times is a good support network.
No-one can know how you are feeling unless you tell them and there is nothing wrong in asking for help. Even a walk to the shop for a pint of milk has its advantages. Least of all for some much needed fresh air and a break from the confines of the house.
On the way there, you will always see someone with a line of kids in tow, looking fantastic and totally unfazed by the modern pressures of parenthood. Think of the swan gliding serenely on the river with not a feather out of place. Now look closely under the surface of the water and watch the frantic paddle paddle movement of her feet.
We all have a little bit of that going on inside. Some of us are better at hiding it than others.
Many a banal and trite conversation has taken place beside the ride-on machines in the supermarket. Those conversations can be a life saver. A little light in an otherwise dark day.
They certainly helped me.
Sometimes it can be easier to talk to a complete stranger over the heads of your children.
And it can be music to your ears to learn that you are not alone.
It is nice to know, in fact it is important to know, that even on your worst day, someone else has been there and come through it.
And guess what? You will too.