The third day of April is a very significant day for me. It’s the day I reflect on the experience that most changed my life. Four years ago on this day I gave birth to my first baby. It’s the day I stared in utter amazement and wonder at my daughter. It’s the day I became a mother.
On the 3rd of April 2009, on a wild and stormy autumn day, my long-awaited daughter was born. After much coaxing and a fair degree of force, Miss A was placed in my arms and she was the most perfect thing I have ever seen. Oblivious to her pronounced cone head (a result of the aforementioned force) I felt a surge of emotion that will almost certainly be the greatest experience of my life.
I had anticipated that moment for a very long time – far longer than 9 months. I had wanted to be a mother for a large part of my life. I yearned to have children and create a big family. Perhaps I wanted to recreate my own experiences because I had such a loving mother and great family life. I enjoyed a privileged upbringing brimming with of opportunity, education and adventure. I was lucky to grow up with four siblings by my side and parents who shaped our futures by providing us with basic building blocks for life: love, support and trust.
I would have gone to great lengths to become a mum but fortunately I was very blessed and when the time was right in our lives, we conceived Miss A with very little effort at all. The births of all my children were amazing but there’s nothing quite like your first, and the passion and intensity of the moment you become a mum.
Learning about myself through mothering is fascinating. I talk here on my blog about the experience of motherhood. Motherhood brings many challenges and sacrifices but there are great personal rewards too. Becoming a mother has irrevocably changed me. There are some obvious changes and some more subtle ones – changes that have crept up on me.
Motherhood has given me a greater appreciation for the gift of life. It has reinforced my set of values and beliefs. It has enabled me to connect with others more easily and see different shades and perspectives. It has softened me; it has shown me how to love more freely and how to express love. I feel a strong sense of fulfilment as a mother. I know, without reservation, that this is the essential ingredient of my life. Motherhood is the greatest expression of who I am. I know that I am making a difference – a vital contribution to three important lives. Overall I feel more confident now than I ever have. I feel calmer. I feel grateful. I have everything I ever dreamed of having.
Becoming a mum has highlighted the cycle of life and given me a greater appreciation for nature. It has brought into sharp focus my own mortality and how precarious and precious life is. But most of all, it has reconnected me with my childhood and the child within me. And there’s nothing more liberating than being silly with your children. In these moments, when I shed all inhibitions and responsibilities, I am not a mum. I am “me”, 30 years ago, having the best bloody time of my life.
My special Miss A made my transition to motherhood very gentle and easy. And she continues to be an absolute joy to be around. I am a better person because of her influence. She is inherently kind and compassionate and she sees the best in every situation. She fascinates me and she fills my days with an energy that didn’t exist before her time. It’s hard to describe this energy but it’s something I feel very deeply. It’s spiritual. It is such a privilege to know her; the fact that she is my daughter is the greatest blessing of my life.
Happy Birthday Miss A. May your fifth year be filled with exciting discoveries, adventure and bucket loads of fun!