I was a new mother. It was all I had ever wanted. I had a tiny baby in my arms. I was trying to feed him, but he wasn't latching on properly. I was hot and tired and stressed and worried. He looked at me, his dark eyes trying to focus on his mummy. I realised my face showed all too clearly how I felt. I wasn't smiling at my darling baby. As I forced my face into a grin, tears made their way out.
I've now been a mother for fours years and seven months. My children are amazing, they bring me joy and still I forget to smile at them.
I am tired and stressed and worried. My old back injury has flared up and I am in pain. My movements are limited. I can't pick up my boys. If I get down on the floor to play with them I struggle to get back up. I am worried about my mum's test results. I am worried about my friend who has cancer. I am worried that I have upset another friend. I am worried that whatever I say will make things worse. I just want to make things better. I never seem to have enough time to get done all that I want to do. I am easily distracted by the internet and can lose hours making sure I'm not missing anything. I'm not, but that doesn't ever stop me idly flicking between Twitter, Facebook and all my email accounts and Google Reader. My laptop is on it's last legs so I can't watch video or look at images. Even Pinterest makes my laptop to overheat and switch itself off.
Being a parent far exceeds any expectations I had about having children when I was pregnant for the first time.
There had to be a but.
My goodness, it is hard work sometimes... most of the time. My children are so full of energy I can't keep up. I know they need to run around outside, but just getting them dressed, getting their teeth clean, getting their shoes and coats on sometimes takes hours. They ignore me. They don't listen to me. They fight. They crayon on walls, chairs and computer screens. Okay, they did this once and I don't think they'll do it again, but still...
This gets me down. I shout at them, my dear sweet boys. I feel completely inadequate. I feel like everyone else is a better parent.
When your four year old says 'I just want you to be happy, Mummy' and you realise you haven't been smiling at that beautiful face, that's when you fix a grin and resolve to be a better mother. Then you turn away and cry.