pregnancy and parenting

What I could never have known about the paradoxes and contradictions of being a parent . . . .


That this could feel so unimaginably good,

And so hard.

That it’s a long distance race as well as a sprint,

And that the time goes achingly slow just as it goes achingly fast.

That some days I’d feel like you’d always been here,

And other days I’d look at you, lying, sitting, standing, walking beside me, and marvel you were actually here.

That I’d learn (and sometimes fail at) skills in risk management, and crowd control,

And that I’d find some of my greatest moments of peace with you heavy-warm-asleep in my arms.

That no matter how many times you called my name ‘Mummy’ it could melt me,

And depending on how you said it, it could drive me crazy to despair.

That you’d ask profound questions we couldn’t answer,

And ask the same basic questions over-and-over-and-over again.

That I’d wonder if this-stage would ever pass,

And then I’d look back and realise it was already that passed-us-by stage

And I’d miss it.

That you would nearly always be at your most run-around,

When I was at my most run-down.

That I’d long for time apart from you,

And long to see you again

That you could be so needy and vulnerable in the night,

And so wild and wilful by morning.

That though we’d do the same thing every day,

Every day you’d find a new way to resist, and surprise.

That tears and laughter are closer than I’d ever realised

And that you could drive me to both, sometimes in the same hour.

That you’d teach me to slow down and simplify,

And that just being around you could make me feel like I’d lost my breath.

That you’d bring our marriage-partnership closer,

And force distances between us we would have to work hard to cross.

That though our family would grow in number,

Our love for each of you would not divide.

And that even though you each came from me and him, and share so many things with  us,

You do not ultimately belong to us,

But to another