Yesterday I read a discussion on Facebook via Bounty (www.bounty.com) The question asked was 'what one word describes life after having a baby?' The word that immediately popped into my head? Well, it had four letters, began with S and ended with T! Clearly this wasn't a view shared by other mummies, all of which chose words like 'amazing', 'magical', 'perfect', 'complete', and other such gushy sentiments! Now I admit this isn't my feeling all the time, but it did get me thinking about how much life changes when you have kids.
This morning I opened the cupboard to get the bread out and it fell onto the kids bowls of cereal, knocking them over, spilling milk and rice crispies all over the floor. In the midst of cleaning this up, to a background noise of my boys whinging and my daughter coming in to inform me that it was rather a mess (thanks love!), oh, and potentially accidentally teaching the children some inapproppriate words, I had a brief moment to reflect on what had happened to my life and who I had become? What happened to the person I was prior to having kids? The one who could make her own breakfast without spending half an hour sorting out demanding children who are oblivious to the fact that mummy is yet to eat. Because that is what happens. The minute you pop out your first cherub you stop being Karen (or whatever your name is) and are instantly just mummy AKA a woman who merely exists to carry out the demands of others - not dissimilar to a servant! I do know this is a risk you take when choosing to have children and fear I will be criticised for even daring to suggest my little darlings aren't adorable at all times, filling me with feelings of joy and utter contentment.
And then there is guilt. Take what happened a little later this morning - Whilst at my regular baby and toddler group, a place where I now have to watch my boys like a hawk after their newly developed fondness of biting, I was once again embarrassed and left deflated after one did indeed take a chunk out of another child. Despite my best efforts to supervise them, the little man waited until my back was turned and I was putting his brother's coat on. So I came away feeling disheartened yet again and thinking who are these people who find that motherhood leaves them fulfilled and their lives enriched? Am I the abnormal one?
OK, I admit I was a bit harsh with the S word (although it honestly was my first thought!). My children are without a doubt amazing and of course they have enhanced my life in many ways, but if I were to choose a word, or words, to describe life after having a baby I probably wouldn't choose any of those that conjur up images of perfect commercial style families. I think the words I would choose would be overwhelming...or stressful!
So what words would you choose? And please tell me I am not alone!!