Becoming a mother has certainly been life-changing for me in so many ways.
Time - has become an incredibly symbolic word; the lack of time I now have for myself (which includes not prioritising a once standard trip to the toilet, because I am knee deep in little people's needs &weighing up how long I can go before my bladder will no longer hold on, because after 4 vagina births my pelvic floor has retied to the Bahamas); to the time I have to complete, get through and figure out a long list of what needs to get done in a single day (in between toddler tantrums, sibling fights and a teenager that thinks unfair should feature in every sentence.
To the feeling that since I've given birth, somebody has pressed fast-forward on my life and I'm now pleading with my teenager to come out of his room( that is so dark I feel like I'm in the nocturnal viewing section in the zoo), when it seems only like yesterday I was praying he would be able to occupy himself for 10 minutes without shouting 'mummy!'.
Parenthood is a complex journey and can often feel like an assignment that never gets finished. That the goal posts change literally as you wake up every day - if you were lucky enough to get to sleep in the first place.
Comparing yourself to the mother whose baby just smiles and coos, while you having a hot flush in an effort to settle yours, whilst trying to still look interested in the conversation about how great her husband's job is. To the parent who never loses her shit, never shouts at her children, even though as they run towards the side of the road your heart nearly stops. It likes living on an express train- you chose this journey but you had no idea where it was going, or where you might stop along the way.
At the time we are wanting the phase to end-if only they could be 12 weeks, 6 months, a year, then they would sleep! If only they could feed themselves, be old enough not to need a nap and then not whinge all afternoon because they are tired! If only they could safely climb the slide, so we could chat to our friend at the park, without fearing we may have to rush to A & E at any moment! If only they were old enough to walk back from school, so I don't have to rush to stand and wait with other parents and have daily meaningless conversations about the bloody weather!
Then the teenage years hit and oh my!- you have an epiphany 'Where is my sleep thief, boob addict, non-verbal, cute little baby?'
What I'm trying to tell you is that parenthood is made up of many moments- some hideous, some challenging, some amazing but overall moments that you would do anything to re-live. So live in the moment as much as you can and that is not to put anymore pressure on you (God- you have enough). It is to say that quality over quantity any day. Make eye contact with your baby, laugh with your child, listen with purpose to your grown -up child. This takes minutes but will have a lasting effect on them and you.
For all those times you will feel like a rubbish parent (this comes with the job but is in the small print in terms and conditions), you can remember all those amazing moments that you surrendered to and that IS enough and you too are also absolutely ENOUGH.
Parenthood is tough but we were chosen to be their parent and I know however they see me, whatever memories they chose to remember, I know that I always tried my best.