15 weeks ago, I changed. 15 weeks ago, I became a Mother. The title carries so much weight and the role of Motherhood sits heavily on my shoulders, but what does being a Mother even mean?
I know it means looking at your small human and loving them in a way that you've never loved before. I know that it means putting your own needs way at the bottom of the pile, so that said small human has everything they need. Don't worry Mama's no judgment here, teeth un-brushed at 2pm? Shower lasted approximately 30 seconds? Legs that look like you may be of relation to Chewbacca? It's fine we've all been there. Motherhood means being sensible, being a grown up, doing what you need to do instead of what you want to do. Motherhood means taking one for the team, forever.
What I didn't realise was Motherhood meant being a superhero. Transforming into a person that could rival Wonder Woman. How so? I hear you ask. Well, who ever tells you that once you put on the Mother cape you can magically learn so many new things? Including but not limited to; doing most things with one hand, like in my case - typing this article, but also things like applying make-up, cooking a banquet, aka jacket potato or hanging a load of washing. Ask me 15 weeks ago if I needed both of my hands and I would have undoubtedly argued that yes, I do, now I'm not so sure that they are necessary although I'd quite like to keep both if I'm honest. You just never know when having 2 thumbs might be needed!
Other superpowers of the Mother cape are Ninja Skills. Like when you need to retrieve something from 'The Pit' formerly known as your own personal bedroom sanctuary before the lodger moved their moses basket in and made it into their room. Sometimes, once my baby is asleep, I realise that I need something from the room he's in. Of course, I don't want to wake him up. Never wake a sleeping dragon. Oops I meant, a sleeping baby. Soz. So, with my cape on I'm able to transform into a real life ninja. Tiptoeing to within an inch of my life, missing the squeaky floorboard obvs and retrieving my item all without even causing him to even breathe out of sync. It's an amazing skill I tell ya.
But the last skill that I will touch on - because there are loads and if you're a brand-new mother, I don't want to spoil the fun that you have coming in the next few weeks – is Ears of Steel. What are these steel ears you're wondering. These ears can't be bought with money nor diamonds. They can't be found unless you are a Mother. Ears of Steel are given to you, as a gift by someone in the universe who is awfully kind. You see, Ears of Steel block out everything. They block out the noise of Alvin & The Chipmunks constantly on repeat because your small human likes it. They block out the brain numbing whining of a baby that is over-tired yet point blank refusing to sleep. They drown out the sounds of your little one babbling or in my case, screeching, when all you want to do is watch Netflix and literally Chill. Seriously, this motherhood lark is a proper rock n roll. Now I don't want to come across as mean, I love Alvin's cheeky attitude as much as the next person, I joke, I love my baby babbling and learning to talk BUT once you've gotten used to the new development milestone that they've hit, sometimes you just want a bit of quiet time. That's when Ears of Steel come into play.
So, Motherhood. What does it mean? It means a new journey. It means undeniable love and patience that you didn't know you had. It means leaving all self-respect at the door and I'm not referring to the birth, if you ever catch yourself in the mirror and see the faces you make to accompany your high pitched/American/robot voice that entertains the small human then you'll know what I mean. Dignity, gone. Most of all being a Mother, to me, means improvement. Improvement on your pre-baby self, improvement on the skills we are constantly learning as Mothers and improvement of your life as a whole. Babies might drain your resources i.e time, money, energy, sleep reserve and biscuit tin (okay, the small human didn't actually eat the entire packet of hobnobs but you ate them because of him so it was kinda his fault) but they really are an enhancement to our lives.
I've been thinking back over the past 15 weeks about all of the changes, about how my life, the only life I knew, has been unpicked, re designed and sewn back together to make the most perfect quilt. A quilt that fits me like I've always had it, it feels so familiar. Of course, it's very much a patchwork quilt. It's a little frayed around the edges and not all of the pieces are symmetrical or chic (the same can be said about my appearance some days). The stitching is rough and there are a few stains in places but it's imperfectly perfect, much like Motherhood.
And just to round off nicely, please Mothers, never forget – we created these human beings as a means of being looked after when we get old. These humans will be our future carers, so let's try and do our best by them always because before you know it the tables will have turned and they'll be cleaning our nappies.
Kym can be found in the suburbs of London, after leaving the East of the city to set up home with her wife and new baby. Sporting a sleeve of tattoos and often found in trainers, this Mama has a great love for baking as well as writing and can often be found in the kitchen creating something sweet.