I Knew I Was a Mother When…

Technically I was granted the title of ‘Mother’ on 30th April 2001. The birthday of my precious firstborn son. But what I was not expecting, and what no one tells you, is that you don’t immediately feel like a mother. In fact, I felt like an imposter.

I half expected a nurse to tap me on the shoulder as we were leaving the hospital, to stop me from walking away with this precious little bundle. My bundle. Of course no-one did, and that’s when I realised, this is real. This is my child. He is mine. The first real thing that is actually mine. This living breathing tiny marsupial belongs to me.

For a while I felt like I was just playing house. I was 22, not ridiculously young, but still I was at least 10 years younger than the other Mums’ in my Mothers’ Group. They had careers and mortgages and well paid Husbands. I had a ditched University degree, a rental agreement and a husband who was still studying. It all served to make me feel more like a fraud. Like I was pretending to be an adult. Like this mothering gig was an act.

I can’t really say when that feeling went away. It just did. One minute I was staring at this tiny little being afraid that I’d break him, and the next I had him scooped into my arms knowing exactly what he needed. Knowing that I was the only person in the world that could calm him. Knowing that I earned my title, I was no fraud.

And every day since I am reminded that I am a Mother.
Oh let me count the ways…

I knew I was a mother when I stood at the supermarket checkout rocking a loaf of bread.

I knew I was a mother when the midwives at the hospital greeted me with “Hey, it’s you again!”

I knew I was a mother when I dived into my handbag for my keys and found a pre-sucked-sticky lolly, a matchbox car and an odd sock.

I knew I was a mother when I stopped being revolted by bodily functions.

I knew I was a mother when the Wiggles ‘It’s a Wiggly Wiggly World’ DVD made me nauseous –in fact it still does (and not for the reasons you’d think)

I knew I was a mother when I happily paid $250 for tiny shoes that would inevitably be worn 3 times.

I knew I was a mother when I paid $180 for school photos that I knew would be nothing less than hideous, and that they’d then spend their lives in the bottom of a drawer.

I knew I was a mother when I picked up my babies dummy, dunked it in my wine/coffee and sucked it clean before popping it back in bubs mouth.

I knew I was a mother when I wiped drool with my sleeve

I knew I was a mother when I cut my Childs’ hair. (In my defence I wasn’t attempting to channel Joh Bailey. I only ever shaved the boys’ heads when they were little….still; I have created an illogical fear of haircuts)

I knew I was a mother when I could breast feed my baby whilst vacuuming. True story.

I knew I was a mother when I could juggle a feeding baby, a crying toddler, and their two squabbling siblings while stirring a pot on the stove, taking a phone call and still drinking my wine. (or is that just alchoholic? ;-))

I knew I was a mother when I changed Captain Clumsy’s dirty nappies on the floor next to the toilet so that I could reach the toilet to vomit (morning sickness, or should I say 24-hours-a-day-sickness, with Princess)

I knew I was a mother when I reflexively, and accidentally, smacked someone else’s child in a McDonald’s playground because they were pummelling my baby.

I knew I was a mother when I woke up at 3am, knowing there was something wrong, to find The Actor with a fever of 40C. The Mummy Superpower.

I knew I was a Mother when I answered questions with ‘Because I said so’

I knew I was a Mother when I wanted to take all my childs’ ills, every cough, every sneeze, every tummy ache, and suffer for them.

I knew I was a Mother when I suddenly realised, and was so grateful for, my own Mother.

It might take a while to creep up on you, this realisation or identification of oneself as Mother, but when it does, it just keeps coming and coming and coming.

This entry was posted in Secret Mummy Business. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I Knew I Was a Mother When…

  1. Cida says:

    i love reading through your blog, thank you for sharing with us.

  2. Pingback: The Game of Parenting | lifelovelunacy

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