I thought I’d be a mum who took it all in her stride. But I wasn’t. I was a mum pushing a pram in the driving rain, crying my eyes out and wondering how on earth I was going to get through the next few weeks, let alone years.
I hoped I’d be a mum who’d say airily “oh, she’ll eat ANYTHING we put in front of her!” But I’m not. I’m a mum who’s seriously considering handing my food shop straight over to the binmen just to save time, and slightly concerned that Miss O will think ALL dinosaurs were made from turkey.
I thought I’d be a mum who strode confidently back into work in pristine business attire. But more often than not, I’m a mum with butter on my trousers, crumbs in my hair, and Peppa Pig stickers on my arse.
I thought I’d be a soft play boss, not the sweaty, panting, panicking mum firmly wedged between two slightly whiffy foam rollers.
I hoped I’d be a mum who kept on top of the housework, and ALWAYS kept her cool. But I’m not. I’m a mum who has to pop into the kitchen to let out the ‘mum rage’, and hasn’t seen the living room floor for about 18 months.
I hoped I’d be a mum who ‘cherished every moment’. It turns out, some moments are a little bit shit.
I AM a mum who gets up again every morning and heads once more into the breach; who knows all of Miss O’s ticklish spots; who would get 100% in a Paw Patrol quiz; who powers on through a dead arm when commando-crawling away from the cot after FINALLY getting her to sleep; who will get that sodding muffin tin out of the cupboard ONE more time in the hope that this time, she’ll actually try my Karmel-stylee toddler-friendly quiches, and I am the mum she will always run to when the world gets a little bit scary.
And I’ve decided that I’m OK with that. Because life’s too short to beat myself up for not being the mum I thought I’d be, when there are plenty of reasons to be proud of the mum that I am.