family · Parenting · Rhyme

To The Mum I Thought I’d Be.

Image shows envelopes and a pen.

Five years.

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:

Dear Mummy,

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?

Forget it.
You’re delusional.
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.”

Said you.

Not yet a mum.

Those days you’ll spend together,
Learning French!


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.
But understand:

You will.

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.

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This post originally featured on the fabulous Meet Other Mums blog page, for whom I am proud to be a regular blogger.

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93 thoughts on “To The Mum I Thought I’d Be.

  1. Parenting really is a job you can never prepare for. Even with my 22 yr old baby there are things that happen that take me totally by supprise (some good, some not so good). #dreamteam

  2. What a lovely poem! “You know nothing. You are not one bit prepared.” It’s so true – there’s no way to be prepared for how challenging parenting can be, but you also can’t be prepared for how wonderful and funny it can be either. I’m not my mum I thought I’d be, but the mummy I am is doing a pretty damn good job. #DreamTeam

  3. Gorgeous words – there definitely isn’t a manual is there for parenting?! I used to get frustrated when I was pregnant and people would say to me ‘you have no idea…’ but now I realise they are absolutely right!! Every day I’m just winging it, making lots of mistakes, but learning a little bit more and enjoying the ride (usually with a glass of wine in hand!) #DreamTeam

  4. Learning French?! Really?! Whatever my completely unrealistic imaginings of motherhood before the Tubblet came, they never included languages! Priceless!

    1. Oh yes all of my perfectly well mannered offspring would of course be raised tri-lingual. I can barely remember a word of my A level French and German but it’s ok because of course I was going to just do a quick refresher while baby naps… pahahahahaha! (Slaps self in head.) Thank you x

  5. So good! Another great poem and lovely structure. I even think it’s not just believing that you could handle it before you had kids. When you have kids you are only experts on your kids and no one else’s. I remember working with kids with behavioural needs and you had your box of tools but unless you listened and dealt with the situation in that moment you were screwed. #DreamTeam

    1. I think you make a really good point there. I think we all tend to assume that we have all the answers once we have done parenting for a while, but the reality is that we only know what works for us and our own little ones. There really can be no preparation can there? Thank you x

  6. Honestly your posts really are the hightlight of my week! I love how you’ve totally nailed the whole parenting thing in such a very beautiful way. Thank you for all your hard work #DreamTeam xx

  7. Yes it’s so true. We all have an image of what sort of parents we’re going to be… and yet no-one can prepare you for what it’s actually like. But, thankfully, we grow and adapt as our kids grow and adapt, and we have to bear with each other and make mistakes and try to learn from them. Another brilliant poem from one of my favourite writers! #dreamteam

  8. I feel the same way most of the time. But to be honest, until you’re not a parent, you don’t even know how different it will be from what you thought it would be. And it will be even more different with each children. Lovely poem ? #dreamteam

  9. I absolutely adore this!! I was her once, too… But do you know what, you’re right. She could learn a lot from us, imperfect as we may be! Love love love xxx #DreamTeam

  10. Oh that gave me shivers of delight! This is exactly who I was before I had a baby – not a clue, you’ve captured it so perfectly. I think you should start writing musicals for the stage – I would totally watch your poems being acted out (a bit like cats ?) #dreamteam

  11. Lovely and funny all rolled up into one. I love reflecting on being a mum and how we develop and grow. It’s so good to laugh and share:)

  12. Nobody can prepare you for this job. As I’ve heard it said, it’s the hardest job you’ll love. Boy it’s tough! And toddler logic, threenager raging, and now I have an almost tween! I do feel like I’m winging all the time and I’m certainly not the mother I’d thought I’d be!

  13. Despite the classes that we attend in the early days and the books on parenting. It’s true that each child is unique and they’ve not done these courses and things. #DreamTeam

  14. I love it! This is so true, I thought I knew everything before I had kids. .how wrong was I!! Brilliant post as always lovely xx #dreamteam #blogcrush

  15. Ah Dawn, this is brilliant! I know just what you mean and the time has gone so quickly. Too quickly, but new adventures of school and pta’s here we come. Gulp! Thank you for being a fab #DreamTeam host and a wonderful friend. xxx

  16. If there was ever proof that you could throw away all the planning and plotting and wing it day by day, it’s that bundle of joy! Brilliant Dawn. Who knows what today will bring? I don’t? But we sure will be the very best we can be, or at least try! #dreamteam

  17. Haha this is so true! All of my well placed intentions are long gone. I’m currently letting her sit and watch QVC after she changed the channel on the TV remote. Anything for 5 minutes of her sitting still and being quiet ?

  18. I came here looking for the ‘starting nursery’ post but read this instead. Thank you so much for it. I was crying for “the gifting of your soul” onwards xx

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