Please don't imagine that my point of reference for motherhood is limited to floating around in a cloud of organic breastfeeding loveliness. In fact, I think that might be the core of the dilemma: this question of whether to use the word "mother" is just terribly reductionist, as though motherhood can be only one thing.
I know I've said it before, nevertheless, I think it's always beneficial to recap. I set sail on my blog voyage as a cathartic way to liberate some head space -to get it all out there (lord help me, and perhaps you) and indulge my ramblings. But possibly, more often than not, offload and sometimes have a good moan.
You will suddenly realise that, you never knew what it feels like to really be touched and touch: the top of your baby's head, their tiny little hands wrapped around your finger. The tickle of your child's breath as they whisper into your ear. When they want to be lifted and carried all around town.
If asked, many so-called 'mumpreneurs' will admit the initial transition to self-employment was not as a result of a positive choice, but as a frustrated response to inhospitable workplace cultures, the rising cost of childcare, inflexible work schedules, poor quality part-time jobs, and discriminatory attitudes
In all your beautiful newness, your freshness tangible, I feel daunted by the task ahead. As I look upon your face, your eyelids flickering uncertainly, I realise that there is so much you need to learn. Lying in my arms, so helpless and fragile, I promise to be your guide upon the journey to becoming you. And I think: there are so many things that I must teach you.
With talk of houmous and gluten free this and that, Bad Moms is the most American, middle class depiction of motherhood but as long as you know this before seeing it, you'll enjoy it. Thankfully, Kunis' beautiful, mesmerising, gigantic eyes are enough to distract you from the filo pastry thin plot and lack of gags.
So here we are, hoping for better days, for the grief to ease a little and for the sleepless nights to rush by; but at the same time wanting to press the pause button on my two little miracles. Just stop and live in the moment, breathe in the warm, baby scent of N, and delight in M's transformation into a proud big sister, so independent already but still needing her mummy.
I know when I'm being judged. And it stings. The judger only sees a snapshot of my parenting or my kids, or an interaction that is missing context. I am parenting 24/7 with 4 little ones running circles around me, all of them at different stages in their development with different demands, challenges, and different temperaments. I encounter many judge-worthy situations. Some smaller; some bigger. And I pick my battles wisely. Because you gotta.
As an antenatal educator, I am often advised of the many ways in which I failed to prepare people for what it's really like to have a baby, and find yourself relentlessly on call to a tyrannical but adored bundle of cute, who speaks no language that you know, and for whose health and well-being you are entirely responsible.