I know who I was. I was a career woman. I was busy. I was important. People knew who I was.
Then we decided to have a baby. Looking back I don’t think I really knew what I was getting into, but I thought I was ready.
I don’t know if I would have ever been ready, if I knew how this all turned out.
I gave birth, and became a mother. The single most important job in my life.
I got involved in playgroups, coffee groups, music for tots, and all sorts of things. I had friends. I was happy.
I got pregnant again. A planned pregnancy. And it was hard. I lost the baby. A miscarriage. Tests were done. The baby was ‘incompatible with life’. Whatever that means.
I didn’t grieve. I thought if I could replace the lost baby with another one, it wouldn’t hurt so bad.
And so my second child came along. A reflux baby. I had post-natal depression. I didn’t know how bad I’d got. I clammed up. I thought that if I was a real mum, I’d be able to do it. That I should be able to cope. But I couldn’t. I had days where I just cried. I had times I wished I was dead. I felt guilty for not loving my babies as I thought I should. I tried. But my best was never good enough.
My husband told me it was over. That he wasn’t happy. After fighting for 13 years to keep it together, I agreed. It was over.
Alone with my children, I fell deeply in love with them. I adored being with them. Spending time with them. Playing with them. Cuddling them. Getting to know them. Being their mother. I finally got over the hatred for myself, at the fact that I couldn’t love my children. I started healing.
And then I fell in love. He had 3 kids, but I knew it was meant to be.
We moved in together, and I became a partner, and a step-mother overnight. Life wasn’t all roses, but it was worth the odd thorn.
But who am I now? A mother. A step-mother. A wife. A divorcee. Sometimes it feels like it’s hard to justify all the emotions that go with being all of these things at once.
Life is a process, of loving, hurting, forgiving, and moving on. I am forever changing.