When I wake in the morning, it is usually by my 2 month old baby girl. It is 7am, my husband has just left for work and my 2 year old son is still sound asleep, usually in my bed. Jocelyn (the baby) is crying because she is hungry after a long night sleep. I go to pick her up to feed her and as I get to her bassinette I stop and look down. Her head of black hair that she was born with is slowly falling out, she is shedding her baby hair. Her dark blue eyes stop watering and she looks intently into my eyes. In the next second I am rewarded for getting up early with a enormous, ear-to-ear, gummy grin. She is happy to see me. Whether it is just because she knows I am about to feed her or not, I don’t know. After I feed her, she lies in my arms looking directly into my eyes. Her eyes dart from my eyes, to my nose and my mouth and when I smile at her, she smiles back. She then starts to ‘talk’ to me. “Ohhh” and “Ahhhh”. I start to think back to when she was born. 9 hours of labour, a lot of pain, and then a great big fright when she was born with the cord around her neck and she was not breathing or responding. A few moments of me becoming hysterical were rewarded with a little cry from afar. About an hour later, my lazy son will get out of my bed. He comes out and stands next to me in a sleepy daze. I ask him if he had a good sleep and he nods his head, still in a trance. When I ask him what he dreamed about, he looks at me and says ‘I dream of Mummy’. He then climbs onto my lap and gives me the biggest, warmest cuddle that no one else can give me. I tell him that I love him and he says ‘Luv you’. When I think back to what I went through with his birth, I almost shudder. 36 hours of lots of pain and a lot of trouble pushing his big head out. I am only a 55kg, 165cm tall petite woman and he was a big 8 pound 10 baby with a big 35cm head circumference. There was inevitably a great deal of pain with that one.
Throughout the day I a faced with tantrums, biting, hitting and swearing from a temperamental 2 year old who doesn’t always get what he wants, and a baby that still hasn’t realised that when you feel tired, you should go to sleep rather than join in with the toddler’s screaming antics.
So to answer the question, being a mother begins with some fun, then you go through sickness, pain and discomfort. Then the pain of labour and birth and being stretched further than you thought humanly possible. Then sleep deprivation and very sore nipples, if you breastfeed. Then come the tantrums and the parrot stages where everything you say is repeated, whether it is a bad word or not, but surprisingly ‘please’ and ‘thankyou’ don’t sink in as well. But the moment I see my daughter, and she smiles at me, or my son looks me in the eyes, kisses me and tells me he loves me, all of that bad stuff suddenly disappears and it is like it never, ever happened. Until next time it happens!
Being a mother is hard, like anything in this life, but it would have to be the most rewarding experience than anything else I have ever experienced in my life!