To My Best Friend Who Just Became A Mother.
When you told me you were pregnant I ugly cried. Warm tears of delight. You had picture perfect planned for your baby and were incandescently excited.
But parenthood has taught us that perfect is a complicated and changeable word.
You became a mother and the world became different. It became beautiful and terrifying in a way no one could have explained before.
The sky becomes down and the ground up.
But like always, since we were eleven years old, you are not alone. I am here. No matter what. Whatever and whenever. When you are overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted. When you don’t know what you are doing. Do you want to hear a secret? Neither do I and I have six years’ worth of practice.
Motherhood is dealing with fears you never knew existed.
It is cooking nutritious dinners that are rejected in 3.4 seconds. You eat cold leftovers served with half a bag of crisps.
Parenting is explaining to another human being why we don’t lick electrical sockets.
It is self-sacrifice, losing yourself and finding yourself all in one sleep deprived moment.
Parenthood is sticky floors, miniature socks that go missing and singing nursery rhymes in the street. It is redefining love amongst piles of laundry at three am.
Call me no matter what. Without reason, without explanation. When you are out of your mind and are desperately needing a lifeline. Call me when you are happy, when you are proud. Even if it’s just because you washed your hair finally after two months.
You love your baby I know you do. Don’t feel like you need to prove this to anyone.
You will often legitimately feel like you are going bananas.
People will ask you how your feeling, don’t always say you are fine. The world and his mum will tell you what to do. Take my advice if you like, or ignore it I won’t be offended. We all have to find our own way. I will celebrate your choices that I know you made with love.
Also, don’t mourn the body you have.
Trust that everything is ok. You’re wondering what kind of mother you’re going to be, if you are uncertain, I know you’ll be a good one. The best one.
You have got this.
Never compare yourself as all parents, every day, are making this up as they go along. We have all cried in the toilet on the worst of our worst days. Felt stretched thin.
Guilt becomes a constant companion, bury it in the cupboard under the twenty pairs of stretchy leggings you now own.
The girls we were are gone.
Gone with easy summers filled with tea in china cups and a soundtrack of eighties music. We grew up whilst doing late night dances in circles with bare feet on cold floors. Rocking soft bundles through the sleepy darkness. We still drink tea together, now over an unsteady phone line. The cup is always now always cold by the time we get to sip it. We hang onto each other for sanity and hang up when the kids wake.
Our lives are full and fulfilled by our children, who have made us feel both brave and broken at times.
It’s a whole new world.
Welcome to motherhood. Prepare to step on Lego, lose your patience; and fall forever in love with a bed full of little feet and grubby bears.