I was thinking about motherhood the other night, as Eliza slept between Alex and I in our bed. She’d woken up at 2am crying, so we’d bought her in between us for the rest of the night. She fell back asleep pretty quickly, and of course spent the night in a series of wide starfish positions, taking up as much room as possible and waking us both up in the process. But I never mind it; I love being able to stroke her hair as she sleeps, and hear the soft rise and fall of her breath. And snuggling up and reciting Bear Hunt and reading a million Miffy books when she wakes up.
Thinking about motherhood, I remember my own mum, of course.
My mum was and is always the spontaneous one (my dad is far more reserved). She’d be the one taking us on the perilous mountain-top cable car to show us right over the edge, while he’s scared of heights. My poor dad, but me and my brothers loved the experience. It’s hard to pick a handful of memories from a childhood that was full of happy ones, isn’t it?
I’m lucky now I’m a mum to have the love and support of my mum, my mother in law (who even writes guest posts for me), and my maternal grandmother. My mum and my mother-in-law were the first visitors to see us in the hospital after having Eliza. I remember how they were both filled with happiness and joy. My mum – who’d wanted a grandchild ever since I reached childbearing years – rushed over to give me a hug and said ‘I’ve got the rest of my life to get to know the baby, but wanted to check on how my own baby is first.’
And I remember the first time I really felt like a mum. It was all such an overwhelming whirlwind at first, that we just got on with it without really thinking about it. A few days in to having a newborn, Alex had been dispatched to the shop (probably for cake and yet more maternity pads) leaving Eliza and I alone together. As I was changing her tiny vest and sleepsuit, she looked so tiny and fragile that I just wanted to scoop her up and protect her. Which I did, crying happy and hormonal tears.
When I think about motherhood, I think of my past and the present and the future. I think of all the memories and the milestones and the millions of little moments in-between. I think of all the day-to-day, the unremarkable events, and the good ones and the tough ones. And then I think about the best part of every day, first thing in the morning when Eliza wakes up and I scoop her out of her room, she clings on to me tightly and we hug each other and she says “Mummy!” And it’s better than Christmas every single time.
(The photo is a retro-fabulous family portrait I’ve always loved, from when I was about six months old. I’m the one on my mum’s knee in the middle. Also I wish my mum had kept that dress – I would totally wear it now).
To celebrate Mother’s Day, I’m giving away a £50
gift card to readers of A Baby on Board – this post is part of the #MumMemories campaign.
Enter using the Rafflecoptor widget below. The competition opens at 2.45pm on Friday 21st March and closes at 12.00am on Monday 7th May. Good luck!