Saturday, 31 December 2016

Five Years Of Motherhood

One day old

This week my lovely daughter turned 5, which of course means I have now been a mother for 5 years.

I find it strange that, on children's birthdays, all the focus is on them, and there is no celebration of the parents who are having their own little anniversary of their lives changing forever. Let's face it, we should be able to mark our surviving of another year of parenthood!

One year old
But anyway. What have the past five years taught me?

Well, they've taught me a lot about my daughter. In some ways, she astounds me. She's such a bright spark, teaching herself to read when she was 3 and continuing to learn and work things out that I couldn't expect of a child her age.

Two years old
In other ways she exhausts me. She is energetic, loud, intensely curious, demanding and highly strung. I keep telling myself she'll grow out of it but it hasn't happened so far. In fact, I often think dealing with a 4 year old was the hardest stage yet - but then maybe I'm mis-remembering the previous years!

But she also melts my heart. She has the capacity to be so kind and loving. She's an incredible big sister, even if she still struggles to see that sometimes baby brother needs more attention than she does. She's funny, and zany, and confident. I'm so proud of her.

Three years old

Being a mother for 5 years has also taught me a lot about myself. I've always been an impatient person but I assumed motherhood would teach me patience. No. I still battle with my temper on a daily basis, and lose that battle more than I'd like to. But I've learnt that I can try, more than I ever thought I could. I can empathise far more than I used to, really putting myself in my daughter's shoes to try and understand her perspective.

Four years old
Motherhood has expanded my horizons in some ways. Trying to understand all the phases of childhood has got me interested in psychology and the workings of the brain in a way I never was before. And Eleanor's natural curiosity about science has pushed me to learn about an area I'd always dismissed as 'not for me'.

All in all, the last five years have changed me more than I imagined possible. As my daughter has grown and developed, so have I. It's not been easy for either of us. But it's been worth it.

Five years old

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