Since today is the eve of Rachel's 7th Birthday it seems only right and proper to join in with this week's listable life Five things I didnt expect about motherhood. It's worth noting that this list could also be named The five biggest surprises of the last seven years.
1. Love love love
I honestly didn't realise that I would love Rachel so absolutely massively and completely. I loved her before she was born, but when I first held her it was like a lightning bolt of unconditional love. I didn't really "see" her for the first day; I just loved her. I say holding her in my arms just marvelling at her and soaking her up. Never have I felt anything so intense and joyful. (Almost) Seven years on the love I have for her is even bigger; I love everything that makes her her. I would do anything for her and when I'm away from her I miss her so much. She is the centre of my universe, a part of Mike and I; and I love love love her.
I didn't expect the heartbreak which comes with motherhood. I didnt realise that my heart would break every time she cried as a baby. I never thought that I could feel someone else's pain. I had no idea that being apart from her for even an hour would hurt so much. And that was all in the first week. Now the heartbreak I suffer is around her friendship ups and downs, her disappointments and her upsets; my heart breaks for her and it's worse than my own heartbreaking ever was.
I hoped that there would be laughter and joy, but I realise how funny Rachel would be, especially when she was breaking the rules. I never thought I'd laugh myself funny at her toddler tantrums. I didn't think I'd giggle for ages over being raspberries by tomato purée. I thought I'd be good at being firm; but usually I'm desperately trying to another a grin. Kids are hilarious and Rachel makes me laugh ever day; often by accident.
I hoped that I would find people I liked who had kids a similar age to Rachel; but I didn't expect to make the greatest friends I could wish for. My life is more full of friends than its ever been and I love it. I also didn't realise how my existing friendships would change; life gets very full and tricky to organise when kids arrive and I miss those friends I see only occasionally. It's a life change entirely becoming a mum and friendships are a part of that.
I never said I wanted to be a mum as a child; in fact I was into my twenties before I ever thought it might be a good idea. I didn't expect to be a good mum; I thought it would be a hard thing for me to do. I clearly underestimated the power of counselling. In reality it's what gives me the most contentment in life. Mothering Rachel always feels instinctive and fun; I know I get it wrong all the time, but it doesn't stress me too much. I never expected such contentment.
It has been a joy to spend an hour remembering and cherishing the last seven years of motherhood; I hope you enjoyed reading with me.