Lets face it, within about 10 seconds of seeing that little blue line appear on the stick most womens first thought is "Bugger. I've seen babies, their heads are HUGE. That is going to hurt" for 8 months you torture yourself with thinking about the unimaginable and question whether you can actually survive pain so bad. Then at about 8 and a half months you wake up one morning and think "right, sod it. I don't care how it happens just get this bloody thing out of me". That's nature kicking in and helping you to welcome a situation you had thought you couldn't be dragged into kicking and screaming.
Here's another example. Myself and OH in car with 6 month old Emily in the back of the car, in her car seat. The stitches had healed, I hadn't had mastitis for a whole hour, was no longer breast feeding so my nipples had stopped being scabs that stuck to my breast pads, so that I had to shower the pads before I peeled them off or risk ripping off a nipple. (the "Breast is best" league would have my guts for garters!) and I was rather loving being a mummy. We were driving past a school at kicking out time. OH said "Weird to think Emily will be going to school in four and a half years time". This terrible realisation hit me like a tonne of bricks; my tiny, precious person that no-one could ever love or look after as well as me was going to have to go to school, six whole hours ever day where I would have to hope some woman with 29 other little people to look after would keep half an eye out for my baby to ensure she didn't run with scissors. I had to pull over I was crying that hard.
Exactly four years later and we are standing at the school gate. Well not standing, exactly. Em is clinging to me like a tiny marsupial and I am trying to shake her off without appearing to be too callous and unfeeling. I was working freelance and had her 3 yr old brother to look after and frankly it was time. She was ready for school and I was ready to let her go.
Emily is now 19 and still living at home. I suspect you may all have just worked out exactly where this post is going! It's going, my friends, to a flat or a house share. And it's taking it's washing, ironing, cooking and cleaning with it. It will however be leaving behind my phone charger, plugged in by my bed where I always leave it. My make up, in my make up bag and that £20 that "fell out" of my purse, safely tucked away for me to spend on me!
I have always dreaded the idea of my babies flying the nest but with Tom off to University next September the possibility of having a child free house is looking sweet indeed! As she has no plans to go to Uni, I had assumed Em would live with us til she was at least 30; we all get on, she's great company and ok so she's messy and in a week generates as much washing and ironing as the other 3 of us put together, but she's my baby and my friend.
And so mother nature has done her thing again! Suddenly Em and I are bumping up against one another, nothing major just a little parting of the ways and I am certain that she's as keen to leave as I am keen to see her go, which is exactly how it should be. Always safe in the knowledge that we love one another and that she will always have a place with us if she needs it, but for now she needs the chance to learn that she cant just fritter her salary away every month and that if she spends her weekends partying she is going to spend her Monday evenings ironing and watching Eastenders!
Just to bring things full circle I rang my mum yesterday to ask how I manage when my lovely 19 yr old daughter is going slightly off the rails. Her response? "Wait til she's 45 and rings you to ask what she should do about her 19 yr old daugther going off the rails. Then roar with laughter"!! I do love my mum