My sister and brother-in-law came to stay with us this week, with their beautiful 10 day old son. They stayed for exactly 33 hours, which in newborn years (with 3 hourly feeds) feels like 4 days. It was over these blissful hours that I have learnt so much about my own journey as a mother....
From the moment I gave birth to my first born, where my husband and my mum were left in an empty room as I was wheeled off to the operating theatre for a cesarean (a crazy and scary birth for anyone let alone first mum), my journey of motherhood has never been what I'd pictured it. It wasn't floral dresses and skipping through the park or baking in the kitchen with matching aprons, it's been scary, infuriating, confusing, sleepless and stressful. Feeding time for a newborn was the worst. My emotions and hormones a complete wreck, I couldn't understand why this baby demanded so much of my time and my body. I was convinced that my brain was totally crazy and that no-one would ever understand just how insane I was going sometimes. I felt like I had to fit into the 'stay at home mum' mould. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I'd ever have any knowledge to pass on to future mothers. Or that my now, 5, 3 & 1.5 year old children would give me any experience on the matter of being a mum. And a working mum at that.
My beautiful flipside to motherhood, is 3 super crazy and loud, but ultimately happy, babies who I call my own. Our life is close to insanity. It's non-stop from 6am til 1am. There's school drop off and pick up, mealtimes, cuddles, snack times, conversations about who's better...the Hulk or Captain America?... bath times, screaming, homework, more cuddles, work, adventures and friendship. The joy my kids find in running around with no clothes (the dance that Jordan does when his nappy comes off is utterly hilarious) and seeing them wrestling each other brings me back down to earth. It's these simple joys that I need more of. I need to stop and take a moment, when they call "MUM", the urge to be 'busy' is strong but the look of love on their face when they're really listened to is the most beautiful thing.
I'm so thankful for my little sister. She is the cool exterior I've always wished for. I'm thankful to her for allowing me to be the big sister and aunty that I've always dreamt of being. Somehow, in the act of her relinquishing control of nappy changes, burping and settling (which I'm sure she was probably secretly pretty stoked about), I have found strength in myself as a person, a mum and a woman. I've found reassurance that I actually know a thing or two about being mum to my babies, but sometimes perhaps my emotions are too close that it's hard for my mind to focus. I've found peace that simplicity and endless amounts of love is really all that is required to be a mum. So, thank you little sister, even at the start of your journey as a mum, you have already taught me so much.