Five actual years since we first saw that faint blue line.
Five years since we began our family’s once upon a time.
I knew the pre-school days would have to end eventually.
But here’s a little letter to the mum I thought I’d be:
You know nothing.
You are not one bit prepared.
You’re right to be quite nervous and perhaps a little scared.
That list of all the shiny things you think you’re going to do?
You have not got a clue.
“Just give them some attention!” You would mutter with a tut,
Whilst judging some tired mother scrolling Facebook on her butt.
Whilst all her feral offspring climbed around her raising hell.
Of course you knew far better.
Guess what Mummy:
Time will tell.
That toddler causing carnage that you eye-balled at the shops?
The one laid planking fiercely in the mother of all strops?
“Engage with them!” You’d reason.
Make them giggle! Make it fun!
“It’s really not that difficult.”
Not yet a mum.
Those days you’ll spend together,
Those picnics in the garden drinking non-existent tea.
Those weeks that would be jam-packed full of mind expanding themes,
Space exploring? Global history?
…All the stuff of dreams.
You can’t of course be criticised for that which you believe.
It wasn’t meant with malice.
You were just a touch naive.
You hadn’t yet experienced that state of sleep-deprived
That leaves you feeling not entirely sure how you’ve survived.
You hadn’t grasped the toddler logic yet,
And how could you?
How would you come to reason that THEIR RED PLATE SHOULD BE BLUE!!
You hadn’t yet evolved beyond the gifting of your soul.
Surrendering identity is bound to take its toll.
You hadn’t, Mum I Thought I’d Be.
And through it all the pre-school accolade will be yours still.
You’ll learn that with the best intentions things don’t go to plan
You’ll ride the journey day by day and do the best you can.
The global history lessons might be pushed to the back seat.
Replaced by walking to the shops and dragging tiny feet.
The idea that you’re nailing it gets overwhelmed with doubt.
You’ll find new things to worry for each time you work one out.
All feelings will be amplified to levels off the page,
The sheer responsibility, frustration, even rage.
But with this new capacity comes other feelings too,
You’ll love them proud and fiercely with each single inch of you.
You’ll laugh so hard in ways that you have never laughed before,
And test the fragile limits of your useless pelvic floor.
You’ll find new joy in ladybirds, in puddles and in snow.
You’ll relish opportunities to share, to teach to show.
You’ll gain an extra piece of heart with each new passing day,
And just as you’ve received it you will give it straight away.
Five years will fly so quickly from the sight of that blue line.
The path may hold surprises but guess what:
They turn out fine.
Sometimes to meet the big demands the finer points will slide.
But five years on the journey will emblazon you with pride.
And maybe things won’t quite turn out the way you thought they would?
You’ll know that in the scheme of things you did the best you could.
Embrace the next adventures and the challenges they’ll bring.
Drink in the precious moments.
Hold them deep beneath your skin.
You cast a heavy shadow once,
Dear Mum I Thought I’d Be.
But Mummy, on reflection,
You could learn a lot from me.
This post originally featured on the fabulous Meet Other Mums blog page, for whom I am proud to be a regular blogger.