Having worked for the best part of twenty years I was totally unprepared for motherhood. Yes, I'd read all the pregnancy books. I knew from week to week what my apple, grapefruit, football sized fetus was supposed to be doing developmentally. I read the pregnancy symptoms guide and was grateful to only have heartburn (so long as I had a bottle of Gaviscon to swig from). We had names chosen and baby clothes bought, washed, arranged and then rearranged seventeen times in their drawer. I had written my birth plan - yeah yeah, complete waste of time, didn't take it out of my hospital bag.
I couldn't see beyond the birth. I could not imagine what it would be like to have a child. I had a couple of friends with babies, but I was never really that interested. Before I met Andy I had resigned myself to never having children. I suppose I had distanced myself from all things maternal to avoid that ache, that need to be a mother.
When we brought Presley home from the hospital I stood with him in my arms. I had absolutely no idea what to do next. I put him in his pram, put far too many blankets over him, and sat and watched him breathing until he woke up. Then we muddled through, trying to work out what he needed. Trying not to break him.
The next day I got the thunderbolt. I felt such an overwhelming rush of love for this tiny boy. I couldn't believe he was mine. I still can't. He is amazing and it is too much for my little brain to take in, but we made him and his equally amazing little brother.
Despite the awe, I found it difficult being at home with a baby. Before I went on maternity leave I was a senior manager. I was used to being in control. My days had structure. When Presley was small it was an achievement to get washed, dressed and out of the house for some fresh air. If I arranged to meet my NCT friends I struggled to get there on time, even though I had spent all morning worrying and calculating when I would need to leave, allowing plenty of time. We'd be heading out of the door (on schedule) when, uh oh, I needed to change his nappy, his clothes, my clothes. Chaos.
One day, when Presley was about eight weeks old, I had a flash of inspiration. I realised that being a mother was my new job. I decided to treat motherhood as my new career and this totally changed my outlook. I relaxed.
I didn't have anything else to do apart from care for this lovely baby.
So that's what I did. That's what I'm still doing. My life revolves around my children and making sure they're happy. Sometimes I forget this, as I walk over to the laptop to check my email. Mostly though, I only look at the online world when my real life world is asleep. I have a routine, but it's all for them. Being a parent is the hardest job I have ever had, but of course it is by far the most rewarding.
There is no job like it, no job where you will get a cuddle and a 'love Mummy' from a nearly two year old.
My job today involved watching my boys play shops. They loaded toy food, books and cars onto the conveyor belt (also known as our sofa). Nearly three year old Presley looked up and saw me smiling. He said 'make Mummy happy'. Yes, my darling boy, you do.
This post has been written as part of the Sleep is for the Weak Writing Workshop. This week I chose prompt no.2 - Tell us about a eureka moment, when you had a sudden flash of inspiration and insight.