Tomorrow I will have been in charge of another human for seven years. SEVEN WHOLE YEARS. In parenting, you’re not allowed the seven year itch where you trade in your child for a new baby (well I know I certainly won’t be; my womb has now shut up shop) but seven years in – I still don’t always “feel” like someone’s Mom.
I was 23 when I had Charlie. When I have told people in the past they recoil in horror
“You were just a baby yourself”
“I couldn’t look after myself at 23”
All actual lines I’ve had people say to me, but at 23 I was besotted with this little blob that was thrust onto my boob, after a somewhat awful birth where he managed to get wedged in the birth canal and I ended up blue lighted and with an emergency c-section where he had to be resuscitated. But this little blob and I were to embark on quite the journey together in the first few years of his life. After a rough start, I vowed it was us against the world. I remember an old work colleague commenting on me breast feeding saying “look at how big he is, you did that!” and just shrugging it off. Because that’s what you do as a parent. You crack on and get through the day usually with a few tears but plenty of laughs and cuddles.
But do I “feel” like someone’s parent? No not especially.
I think back to my childhood and how I viewed my parents. My Dad was incredibly hardworking; he worked away so that my Mom could be at home with us but when Dad came home he was the most wonderful Dad. He couldn’t do enough for you and would go above and beyond to make sure we were happy. He would even take me on the scary rides at Alton Towers which I only found out in my teens that he was absolutely petrified of; I had no idea as he never let on but did it for me! He was completely selfless and would do anything to put a smile on our faces.
And my wonderful Mom. She gave up her career to dedicate her life to us. She moved away from all her family and set up home here. Every single event at school she would be there. She would help out in class, at swimming and cheering me on at any sports meeting. I can’t ever remember a day where she wasn’t waiting in the playground to pick me up nor getting home from school to an empty house. Again, she was all about her family.
My parents were strong and my heroes. They always sorted everything and I would always go to bed happy and loved.
But will my children feel the same? I don’t feel like anyone’s hero. There are days where I shout, I cry, I feel sad and know I have been a crap Mom where they’ve had crisps for lunch and watched way too much TV. I dance to One Direction, laugh along with Sooty and have a right giggle at something silly on TV with Charlie; I feel like a teenager myself so how can I be the adult everyone looks up to and depends on?
Tomorrow I’ll have a seven year old. I can’t recall what it felt like to hold all seven pounds and four ounces of my little baby boy but I know that since that day my heart has felt full and whilst I may not feel like a parent – I am blessed to be his and my little P’s.