|Image by Benjamin Earwicker|
Everyone said: "Oh it's just because you're a first-time mother." (Here's a tip: if a first-time mum is having a tough time, never ever tell her it's because she's an uptight first-time mother. It's the very last thing she needs to hear. Believe me.)
Many times I thought, maybe I have post-natal depression? Maybe I'm just not mother material? What's wrong with me?
When I was pregnant with Goosey, I was fearful of the whole new baby thing again. Very fearful.
Everyone said: "It will be different this time. You'll be more relaxed. You won't have time to worry."
Then she arrived and I had a couple of weeks of oxytocin-new-mum-bliss. Then the old feelings returned. I was coping fine, I wasn't depressed, I just wasn't jumping out of my skin with happiness at being the mother of two babies. This surely meant I was a terrible mother, at least that's what I told myself.
Then as the girls grew I began to enjoy it more. When they were both walking and talking and interacting, motherhood became great. I really, really enjoyed being the mother of a two-year-old and four-year-old, the blissed-out mother thing finally hit. It was then I realised, I'm not a terrible mother, I'm just not a good mother to babies (luckily, they're only babies for a short time). Then when people asked if I was going to have another baby, I found myself saying: "Yes, as long as it comes out as a 1-year-old." The thought of going through the baby stage again was just too much.
I've talked about this to a couple of other mums I know who struggled through babyhood and they agree with me. Then around the same time I was thinking about all this stuff, I read this post from Jodie at Mummy Mayhem and found myself nodding the whole way through it.
I hear other mums longing to have a tiny squishy baby again and I must admit, I shudder. I hear of lots of mums wanting to have another baby so they can have another baby. I'm not one of them. I'm sure there's lots of people reading this that must think I'm a monster. I'll admit that I'm planning to just survive the first year, I don't have any expectations on myself to be blissfully happy. It took a long while to feel ready to have another child and feel able to go through babyhood again. But looking at the bigger picture, I definitely wanted another child, if not another baby.
I am looking forward to having another little person in our lives though, a person to watch grow, a person to have those long funny chats with, another person at the dinner table to listen about their day.
Someone I know recently had their third baby and told me how much they enjoyed the baby stage and how it surprised them. Who knows? Maybe I'll be surprised too. If not, I'll still love this little being with all my heart and know that the really great times lay ahead.
Have you found you've enjoyed motherhood at one stage more than another?