I never wanted to be a mum. I couldn’t figure out why anyone in their right mind would want to give away all the spontaneity in their life, all their freedom, late nights out on the town and long lazy sleep ins, in order to raise kids. What were they thinking? They must be insane.
So, fast forward ten years and here I am – the mother of four boys – the youngest of whom, three year old Callum, is sitting on my knee as I write this. It’s pretty difficult to reach the keyboard, and the backspace button is certainly getting an aerobic workout. But he’s been in the pool with his older brothers and has turned into a little iceblock in need of defrosting.
My husband had to talk me into having kids. My suggestion of getting another puppy didn’t float with him. My logic was this: dogs only eat twice a day and drink water, they crap outside, sleep outside and are easily distracted by a ticking clock in their bedding should they get lonely at night. Kids, on the other hand, are dependent twenty four-seven for atleast eighteen years. You do the maths. It’s a no-brainer, really.
But eventually I succumbed to his pleas to have a child. There were plenty of excuses I could have used for the next ten years, until I was too old to have kids, such as job promotions, holidays to go on, etc. But as he explained, we didn’t know how long it was going to take us to fall pregnant. We could have been one of the couples that tries to have a baby for seven years without success. The clock had started to tick.
So, we jumped into the unknown. I threw away the pill packet and plotted my ovulation cycle. We had loads of sex – so much that at the end of each cycle we were sick of the sight of each other naked. I told him not to take offence that I had absolutely no desire to shag him for another three weeks. He felt the same way.
Three months later, we were pregnant. Nine months after that we were parents. Six years later there are four pairs of eyeballs staring back at me in the rear vision mirror of my car. Shiiiit! When did I become such a grown up?
My life is full of washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning and picking up assorted items left on the ground for the dogs to chew. The pile of washing to be sorted is so high that the three year old uses it as a step to reach the freezer to help himself to an icypole.
Each meal is disturbed by a request, complaint or fight and I have an audience each time I go to the toilet. I have a personal policy of only reheating each cup of tea three times before I ditch it in the sink and contemplate starting again. It’s a victory if I get one cup of hot tea a day. It’s not a glamorous life.
But would I change it? No bloody way! My kids have made me the person I always wanted to be. The bring unlimited happiness into my life each and every day. They motivate me to be better, kinder, more compassionate and to help make the world a better place. They inspire me to be an inspiration to them.
My husband is a former military pilot and has lead an exciting life. He’s flown into and out of danger, he’s helped to feed thousands of hungry people during famine relief operations and has evacuated people to life saving medical attention. Our boys love hearing his stories and watching film of him flying – it makes them so proud. I always wondered what I would do to make my life extraordinary – and now I know. I am a mum.
Not everyone sees being a mum as something extraordinary. But to all the mums out there, I am here to tell you that you don’t need to perform amazing acts of bravery or write best sellers or head up a multi-national company to be considered extraordinary, because you are already extraordinary every day of your lives.