On a day like today exactly four years ago, I was preparing to meet you in person for the very first time. Since then, I’ve watched every milestone, witnessed you becoming a big brother twice and very soon I will be walking you into your first day at school. I had to hit pause and reflect on the fact that I have been deep in the trenches of motherhood for the last four years. Four long, stressful, exhausting yet liberating years of my life. I had you and your brothers in a short space of time. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, postpartum depression, identity crisis, repeat, repeat, repeat. It has been an oxymoron of a journey as it has been slow and fast all at the same time. So much learning and growing, many moments of trial and error and figuring it out as I go along. Although there have been days where I wished for you to do things on your own – it is a bittersweet heartache watching you grow.
Whilst reflecting on how much you have grown; I realise I have grown too. At some point I had lost myself in the craziness of motherhood. I was fighting myself for having alone time, the constant guilt of not being ‘good’ enough and the pressure of trying to be the ‘perfect’ mother to you and your brothers. I can’t pinpoint when or how but instead of fighting with myself, I decided to start fighting for myself.
That doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge how messy my life can be with the three of you keeping me on my toes or the constant battle of juggling the different hats that I have to wear. But the notable thing is that I am no longer losing myself in that mess. Instead of pointing the finger at myself for all the things I am doing wrong, I have begun redirecting that attention to all of the things I am doing right. I can now look in the mirror to a woman staring back at me and tell her how proud I am of who she has become, of where she has been and where she is going.
Instead of putting her at the bottom of the list, I now put her first. I check in on her and ask: are you okay? Do you need to rest? What have you done for yourself today? And I remind her of the power, strength and love she has within.
I was scared when I knew you would be joining your father and I but just like that before we could even gather our thoughts – there you were. Ten little fingers and ten little toes, three kilos of pure love and happiness that I didn’t think I was ready for. Slowly you have made me find myself. The real me. I have seen the world differently through your eyes. Who would have known that my soul would light up with joy by seeing the joy in you when you see ants crawling on the floor, birds flying above us or buses driving past us?
I made you, but you made me a mum.