It is early rising and midnight waking, it is wiping noses... and bums. It is the park all year round; it is play dough, sand and crayons. It is travelling heavy and never 'nipping out'; it is laughter - so much laughter.
It is a shift in your relationship, it is rare evenings out, it is talking in yawns and gestures. It is discussing nappy rash, weaning and sippy cups - with gusto. It is toys in the living room and a prayer for more sleep; it is different than expected and more than you hoped.
It is making sacrifices, it is rushing home for bed time, it is another trip to the Doctor. It is kissing bumps better and battles with medicine, it is making mistakes then making them again, it is guilt - so much guilt.
It is living all over, it is excitement at planes... and diggers... and dogs. It is hours in the garden, it is a tantrum at the shop. It is forgetting half of what you knew, it is learning so much. It is feeling clueless, it is guess work, it is crossing your fingers.
It is milk and washing - more, more, more; it is overwhelming, amazing, heart filling. It is nursery rhymes and counting, it is please, ta and thank you; it is the same book again, again, again. It is the everyday, it is the mundane, it is the extraordinary.
It is cuddles in the dark and company in the toilet, it is a smile, it is home. It is discovering strengths and recognising weaknesses, it is persistence, it is holding your breath. It is victories, it is losses, it is holding on... and letting go.
It is changing priorities, a shift in perspective; it is odd socks, smiles and worry. It is a million photographs, it is crying and screaming; it is giggles and soft snores. It is losing you and searching again - new, old, different, the same.
It is slow walks in the sunshine and splashing in the rain, it is moments of pure happiness... the highest of highs. It is consuming... bewildering; it is making a mess. It is new friendships and resealed bonds, it is finally understanding your parents. It is marks on the walls and stains on the sofa, it is rejected dinners, it is love. It is love.
It is long days and short years, it is exhausting, it is exhilarating, it is everything.
All of this... is motherhood.