What does a Mother’s love feel like?
It most probably feels different for every Mother out there.
I could ask all my friends that question and they would answer differently.
I felt something during half-term week that I have never felt before, since becoming a mum six years ago. Let me try and explain…
It took us a few years and a little bit of medical help to fall pregnant with our daughter, and of course she was so so wanted. When she arrived it was the happiest moment of our lives, of my life.
I knew I was happy. Yes, I was tired and we were skint and life had totally changed, but I was happy.
I knew that I loved her and would do anything for her. But as she grew, I realised that I didn’t seem to be experiencing the powerful feelings described by friends or other mums whose stories I read about. I didn’t get very emotional when I stopped breastfeeding her, I went back to work after eight months which wasn’t my choice, but I didn’t feel sad leaving her with the child-minder. I left her overnight with my parents when she was six months old, so we could attend a wedding and stay at the venue – I didn’t feel upset at leaving her. We moved her into her own cot in the box room next to ours when she was seven weeks old and this felt like the right thing to do for us, and I was okay with her being in a different room. Playing with her didn’t come naturally. I was great at giving her cuddles and changing her and feeding her correctly; all the routine day to day things, but I wasn’t very good at entertaining her, or thinking of fun things I could do to help her development. We watched a lot of CBeebies I am embarrassed to admit…
When I fell pregnant with our second daughter, it felt like the natural progression. We were so happy to be able to provide our girl with a sibling after our original difficulties falling pregnant.
Our second girl was also so loved as soon as she arrived. And then things got really tough. I really could not handle having a toddler and a newborn. I spent the next couple of years mainly fire-fighting. I can’t remember much about those first couple of years of my second girl’s life. I look back at pictures from that time and feel sad that the whole period passed in a blur of sleep deprivation, crying, guilt, shouting and more guilt. In the pictures, she is smiling her cheeky little smile, but I just look knackered and felt like I was drowning. I can see now that I was doing a good job, as she was happy, but I couldn’t recognise that at the time. I just felt numb. I wasn’t enjoying being a mum, and I felt like I was failing. I questioned whether I should have become a mum in the first place. And I still hadn’t experienced a flood of love for them both.
I now know that I had some form of post-natal depression.
Gradually the fog started to lift, partly helped by going back to work, partly helped by my youngest finally starting to sleep and very much helped by me finally getting some help with my low mood. I became more able to sit back and enjoy my girls, and I started to feel more of an emotional connection with them.
Fast forward to February half term 2016. The girls had been to stay with my parents for a few days, and I had two days to myself. I had a great time. The first day, I stayed in bed until Midday, watching Homes under the Hammer, drinking tea and eating toast. The second day I caught up with the laundry, and cleaned and sorted the girls bedrooms. I felt rested. On the third day I went to pick up the girls, but stayed overnight with my parents to spend some time with them. Hubby was at home working so wasn’t with us, so I decided to share a bed with the girls to save my mum having to make up a second lot of bedding.
The girls were fast asleep when I got into bed, and I squeezed in-between them and tried to get comfy to nod off.
And that is when it happened.
I was cuddling the girls while trying to get to sleep, and I suddenly felt a huge rush of love for them both that overwhelmed me. I felt like nothing could come between me and them, that they were MY girls and no-one else’s, that I wanted it to be just me and them forever and I didn’t want to let them go. EVER. I felt like a Mother Bear. I wanted to keep them safe from the ENTIRE WORLD. A feeling of absolute and total contentment washed over me.
I had genuinely never felt like that before.
I have always loved my girls and been proud of them. But at that moment during half-term, that Mother Bear natural instinct kicked in without me trying to make it happen.
It may have taken 6 years, but it was worth the wait.
Happy Mother’s Day to you all. You are doing an amazing job.
©2016 Hopes, Dreams and Chocolate