I have sometimes wondered what would have happened to me in my life had I not had any children. In many respects they saved me.
Out of all the things that I have achieved in my life being a mother has brought me more reward than I could have dreamed of. It has shown me the meaning of true love, laughter and adventure.
I look back over the years and even though everyone says it, I wonder where the years have gone. I long to spend a day with my now 20yr old son as a 3 year old. A day at the park kicking a ball and having his favourite squeezy yoghurts. I think of the times I walked around this huge park trying to get his then baby sister to sleep. When I thought the biggest problems was him taking off her socks and look at today where they have fallen out over a Snapchat photo and both so strongly believe they are right that they haven’t spoken to each other in nearly 10 days.
I look back at myself and the kind of mother I was 20 years ago. Oblivious, care free and much more free spirited. I worry that the years have made my cynical. I would happily let our eldest children pin their artwork to the walls. Our living room resembled an art gallery for children but I loved it and I didn’t seem to be aware of danger like I am today but maybe that’s changes in societies that have made me feel that way too.
Giving birth at 18 was an experience. I bounced back a-lot quicker than I did at 35 but I wish I had, had the confidence to feed and trust in myself that I did at 35. People sometimes ask if it was easier in my twenties but I think thirties are a great age to have a child. I was settled in my life, marriage and settled career wise. In my younger years I was trying to figure out who I was and where I wanted to go with my own and family life but maybe that was half of the fun.
I wish I had appreciated more the times when all of our children would be home together, asleep under one roof. Even now when M comes to stay I check on him before bed and sleep a-lot sounder in my bed at night. The worry I feel for them all as they now take steps into the world without us is the same worry I felt when I wondered if I had fed them enough as babies or when I would watch them all sleep and prod them to make sure they were still breathing. The hard part of-course is not being able to be there every-time they fall and hit a brick wall.
The one thing the years have shown me is that the journey is the same. No matter how old you are, how much money you have, time is against us all and we will all go through similar milestones and experiences. You have to treasure the moments now because before you know it, they are gone and replaced with a different time.