Last Sunday was Mother’s Day.
This year I was away from my little family until the evening, so my lovely husband arranged a special gift in advance.
And he nailed it.
It’s just that…well…you see…he bought me slippers.
Genuine ‘Mum’ slippers. Woolly and warm and cosy and practical and I love them. But…I did have a moment of realisation that this is who I was now. A genuine ‘mum’. Not a funky ‘mum’; not a saucy ‘mum’; not a wild and wacky ‘mum’. Rather, it was quite surreal to acknowledge that I am ‘Anna’; otherwise known as ‘mum’ to my two, adorably cheeky, happy kids.
And I am more than OK with that. Most of the time.
But it did force me to think about the ways that Motherhood has completely and utterly changed my whole world.
- The weekends are no longer a time to rest up and recharge. It is no longer about nursing a cheeky hangover, doing a Maccas run and heading back to bed for an arvo kip. Now, weekends are about kids sport (and really bloody early in the morning might I add here), parties with their friends and coming up with creative ways to tire them out.
- It is no longer just about me. If I miss a school note, forget to reschedule an appointment or put off doing the washing just a little longer, it is not just me who is out of clean undies. I am now a PA to two tinies and if I stuff this up, it has repercussions on others.
- Spontaneity is a swear word in my home now. Though my kids are getting a little older and this ban is starting to lift slightly, I really struggle with the whole last minute, ‘let’s just do whatever’, at the drop of the hat. I need to plan. I need to pack biscuits and water bottles and underwear and pencils. I need to get my head in the zone.
- I am incredibly fierce and strong. I birthed two babies and risked my own life with each. It hurt in ways I cannot even explain. But I did it. Me. Yes; I had an incredible team of medics, but at the end of the day, regardless how tight my love held my hand or egged me on with a Grand Final 3/4 time footy speech when it went a little haywire, I did it. Now my kids are here and out in the big, bad world; I am their person. If I have to, I will always fight for them.
- I worry ALL THE TIME. The minute those lines lit up the stick, my mind went to places I had never even imagined. It never quite returned. My heart races the minute they let go of my hand and bolt. My eyes scan the surrounds of rooms we enter and playgrounds we head to. I worry about their food intake, their friendships and the water temperature changing randomly in the shower. I am now even prone to worrying about my worrying. My own Mum tells me this never stops, and regularly asks me to send her a little message when I get home from a night out; even though I am in my 40’s and living in a different state. God love her. But the thought of carrying that forever is both incredible and exhausting.
- Love changes. No longer do I wish to race into bed with my husband the moment he gets home from work…unless it is incredibly late and time to sleep. Rather I want to race out the door and handball the kids as he crosses the threshold. I pray I am lucky enough that he will always be my person, but now it’s quite a glorious (look at all we have done together), loyal, safe and incredibly special relationship, where I can be exactly who I am. Sure there is still passion, but lord help me, the moment has to be 100% perfect, otherwise I am just not going there.
- Going out for meals with the family is not particularly ‘relaxing’. Oh hey you; white table cloths and matching wines…I haven’t forgotten you, my friend, but you are completely on standby whilst we raise these kids. You want chips? Oh…you don’t like chips anymore? Oh you want what I’m having? What’s that? The toilet? Now? Where are they? Where have they gone? Just try not to spill anyt…Oh WAITER? Do you have a cloth please? Sorry. Sorry. They’re not normally this loud. Feet off the furniture! Get.Off.Your.Sister!
- A night out costs a bomb. And I am not talking about jager bombs of old, my friends. A movie and dinner? Lovely. A drink out with friends? Just what I need. But add the cost of a babysitter in and your expenses may just double.
- Shopping is a nightmare. Remember trying something on, then going to another shop and comparing? Then you would slip back to the first and think ‘stuff it, I deserve this’ as you splurge and add the shopping bag to the rest clutched tightly in your hands. Now it’s an ‘in and out’ mission; timed carefully around naps if you still have a child secured in a stroller. Even better; you shop online. With wine and a dangerous credit card.
So much has changed.
So much I simply was not prepared for or simply had absolutely NO IDEA.
But when I sip a wine on a Friday evening (this week I will have my new slippers on), gaze in awe at the two wonders we made (who are in turn gazing quietly and still at the TV), the husband is on the way home with some takeaway, and he has promised to do the football run in the morning and bring both kids…well…I think I ‘get’ it. As much as I crave for that ‘old’ life, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be queueing up for a club in belting rain, ‘wasting’ my Saturday watching yet another box set, or truly believing I was the centre of the universe.
This is me now.
Anna. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Teacher. Writer.
Happy Mother’s Day to the one who showed me the ropes.
Much love for last Sunday and always.