I remember holding it up to the window, squinting at it like a peeping Tom, turning it over and over in my hands just to be sure.
Yep, definitely a second line.
It was exciting and joyous and terrifying all at once.
My mind was racing. Somehow I knew she was a girl, and we’d already talked about her name. What would she look like? How would it feel to be pregnant? WHAT COLOUR SCHEME WOULD I PAINT THE NURSERY?
I didn’t know. I had so many unanswered questions, but one thing I was sure of; I was going to nail this parenting thing.
My child would never throw a tantrum in public. My husband and I would guide her with a gentle, but firm hand.
We would frolic in the wildflowers together, marvelling at ladybugs and snails. Strangers would stop us to comment on our collective beauty. Other mums would ask for my parenting secrets. I would run mother’s group; the children would play nicely while we sipped our herbal tea and munched on homemade scones with clotted cream. We’d all throw our heads back when we laughed. Girls’ nights would be spent engrossed in child psychology webinars.
There was also NO WAY I was going to buy pre-made baby food.
So, erm, as it turns out……. I was wrong.
To start with, pregnancy is bloody hard work. I was promised a ‘glow’, but I honestly think that’s just a nice way of saying ‘uncontrolled sweating’. I’ve vomited in more Kmart nursery departments than I’d care to admit, and had strangers insert their limbs inside more than one
of my orifices. Nobody told me that birthing my sweet, sweet angel could lead to 6 weeks of ice bricks in my knickers.
Not only that, four months after she was born, I was pregnant with her sister. I guess we didn’t have a Netflix subscription back then.
That baby is now a highly emotional and anxious 6-year-old, and I spend most of my time saying things like ‘I don’t friggin’ know, go ask dad.’
The closest we’ve come to frolicking is that game on the iPad that, I think, maybe has some flowers in the background. As for the scones and clotted cream, unfortunately McDonald’s is yet to add that to their dollar menu.
I did watch a webinar once.
Well, it was on mute while I watched The Bachelorette in my undies and yelled at the screen that none of them were good enough for her.
The bottom line is motherhood is damn hard and most of the time it feels like surviving instead of thriving.
Thankfully, by the fourth child (who was, fyi, born in the height of a global pandemic), I’ve picked up a few tricks to make life easier.
I can hide the dead ‘lights are on but nobody’s home’ look in my face with this skin-care and lip/cheek tint combo, and mask the fact that I haven’t showered in 3 days with the pit protector natural deodorant.
At the end of the day, we all go into this job fairly unqualified and spending a lot of time on Google.
One thing’s for certain though; we all do our best and couldn’t bear to imagine life without our living creations.
We love them, we sacrifice for them, and most of all…
…..we are enough.