Let me start by saying that for many, many years I had little, or make that no, desire to be a mother. My own mum told me this was because my maternal instincts were satisfied by taking care of the dogs and maybe she was right. But I was never one of those girls who dreamt of having a family or pictured little people weaving around my legs. In fact, I will just go ahead and put it out there, with the exception of a couple, I do not really get children. Perhaps that comes more from a place of misunderstanding in that I was never really exposed to them much and, therefore, have little idea how to interact with them. You know when someone offers their newborn baby to hold and a queue of clucky women forms? I would be the one who declined and fielded the bemused looks that ensued.
So what changed?
In a nutshell, nothing. I still largely feel that way about other people’s children. But for my own, the love is overwhelming.
The husband and I had made a deal that we would not be under any pressure to discuss having a family until I hit thirty-five because, at some point, one has to be aware of the biological clock and make a choice one way or the other. And so I gladly put the entire notion right out of my mind. But then things started to change… not gradually over time as you might imagine but rather all of a sudden; my father was extremely sick and it hit me like a truck – family and what it meant to me on a greater level – as in, not even thinking about children per se but family as a general concept. And I realised almost overnight that this was something I wanted in my own life as I grew older and that if there was a small chance my Dad could be a part of that growth then I wanted that too. Less of a conversation and more of an emotionally fuelled blurt out followed and the husband, it transpired, was on the same page. He agreed so readily that perhaps he had been on that page for some time and was actually just waiting for me.
Pregnancy was no picnic physically and my anxieties were fuelled by birthing horror stories and motherhood ‘real-ness’ becoming more and more widespread. Like an Instagram epidemic, anyone and everyone was sharing the worst moments, the tired eyes and emotional middle of the nights, usually peppered with an undercurrent of love but mostly the prominent emotion was despair – that THIS was the hardest thing you could EVER subject yourself to. I love that social media has developed a less polished reality but, let me tell you, it sure can put the fear in you too. I mean, if you are in that zone, the support and community is certainly welcome but if you are about to embark on that pretty major journey yourself and you are not quite sure how it’s gonna go, then Instagram is there to freak you the heck out. It is gonna be tough.
And then it wasn’t. I talked about this in more depth in my twelve month motherhood update but suffice to say it turns out I adore motherhood. I am maternal (at least for my own). And my life feels full. Full of joy, full of precious moments, full of love – just full.
So I suppose what I wanted to say here was that I was perhaps the least likely candidate for motherhood and yet here I am. It might be that you feel the opposite or it might be that you feel exactly the same. It might be that you never ever want to. And all of those feelings are yours and they are perfectly ok.
When I reached out on Instagram stories with some questions about this post, the response was overwhelming. Turns out a lot of us are in the same boat when it comes to those elusive maternal feelings. But there were a bunch of questions too about juggling work and motherhood and what my typical day looks like and I will get to those another time but, spoiler, there is no typical day for me…
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knit – Zara
leggings – Zara
apsley boots – Emu Australia* (gift 2019)