Baby waiting for dinner

Being mum: The dream vs the reality

To celebrate R turning 10 months old I look back at how I thought our journey would begin – and laugh because I really had no idea!

A year ago as I awaited your arrival excitedly,
I had a good idea of the mum I thought I’d be.

I imagined all the incredible things that I thought we’d do.
But now I can see that I was naive – I didn’t have a clue.

I hoped your nursery would be pretty perfect – we’d clean it every day.
Books on the shelf, teddies lined up and all your toys packed neatly away.

But I didn’t realise just what a little hurricane you’d turn out to be.
You find such joy in emptying all the boxes at any given opportunity.

There’s not enough time at the end of the day to make it spotless and clean.
It’s been longer than I care to admit since your bedroom floor was seen.

Baby making a mess
Making a mess

I thought I’d iron all of your clothes before I put them away,
So you could wear something perfect every single day.

I have no idea what was I thinking. I must have been a fool.
There really isn’t enough time on earth to get through it all.

I said I’d never dress you all in pink. You’d wear the colours of the rainbow.
But when everyone started calling you ‘he’ pink was the way to go.

Baby pink dress
Pretty in pink

I thought my social life would still go on – it wouldn’t be the end.
I’d still get out of the house and enjoy some time with friends.

But even when we have a babysitter I don’t often want to go out.
I’d rather get the cleaning done and then laze about.

I said I’d learn to cook new dishes so we’d always eat nice food.
We’d stop eating out at restaurants more than we really should.

I’d get really organised and plan our meals for every day.
So that I’d spend less time in the kitchen and have more time to play.

I didn’t get organised. I haven’t planned one meal.
The fact that I even thought I would makes me want to squeal.

Fortunately, we eat quite well – but that’s all thanks to daddy.
He’s the real cook of the house and that’s alright with me.

Baby waiting for dinner
I’m ready for my dinner

I hoped we’d make the most of maternity leave and do something great each day.
Maybe even leave the country on an exotic holiday.

Whilst we have had lots of fun making memories that are great.
Some days we didn’t even bother getting dressed until it was too late.

I imagined us watching Disney movies together snuggled up in bed.
But as soon as you learned to move you had other ideas instead.

As for the holiday, you didn’t have a passport and we didn’t have the cash.
And, maternity leave was over quicker than a flash.

I thought we’d take a special picture for every milestone card.
But I didn’t realise that taking one nice photo could really be so hard.

You wriggle and you giggle as you crawl quickly away.
Laughing as if to say: “There’ll be no cute photos of me today.”

Baby milestone cards
No pictures please

I had the best intentions – I promise that is true.
But I didn’t understand how hard it could be looking after you.

I knew our lives would be full of love, laughter and happiness.
But I didn’t realise that there’d be some days that I’d enjoy less.

And whilst I am eternally grateful for every day with you,
The sleepless nights and endless doubts have been hard to get through.

But I wouldn’t change a single thing about the journey we’ve been on.
I’ll continue to treasure every moment because in a second they’ll be gone.

So even though I’m not the perfect mum that I hoped I’d be,
The way that things have turned out is more than good enough for me.

The Rhyming Mum family
My world

Is motherhood exactly what you’d thought it would be? Or has there been some surprises along the way? Let me know in the comments below. 

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29 thoughts on “Being mum: The dream vs the reality

  1. This is such a lovely poem and just spot on! Your note about the expectations of maternity leave made me smile. I thought I would use mine to study some new roles (I used to be an opera singer) but I never had a minute to do that! I mentioned this to my mum, and apparently before I came along she’d thought she would use her maternity leave to study for an Open University degree! So funny – we’re all the same! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Before I had my baby I read loads of blogs about people who had achieved so many amazing things on maternity leave. People who became authors, travelled the world and set up really successful businesses. I was lucky if I managed to brush my hair some days! And it must only get harder the more you have! I don’t know how they do it. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I definitely had high expectations when I was on maternity leave with my eldest, but they weren’t lying when they said that time goes so much faster when you have kids. I just didn’t have a minute. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  3. Brilliant!! I was so young when I had mine that I had tonnes of energy back then (although I was permanently exhausted for a solid 5 years) and my mum had twins when I was 13, so babies smearing poo on the walls and pulling my hair out by the roots was part of my teenage life. The weird thing was how broody I got as soon as I was married… #SharingtheBlogLove

  4. This is all so true! I was the same about dressing my daughters in pink but I found it practically unavoidable and now it is their favourite colour so I don’t stand a chance. 😉

  5. This is all so true! I had all these ideas for maternity leave, we were going to go on a big family holiday, well we still haven’t been on it and it’s been 19 months!! #sharingthebloglove

  6. Such a sweet poem. Motherhood never turns out the way one thinks it is going to… the reality is completely different to the dream. But you, just as you never expected the long days and nights and short amount of time, it is also amazing that you feel more love for them than you ever would have thought you could. Thank you for linking with the #HoneybeeLinky lovely! xxx

  7. LOVE, LOVE LOVE this – you are in my head!!!! I struggled with so much of this – the expectations V the reality and I think it is hardest with the first. We are so much more kind to ourselves the more children we have and lower our expectations (a little anyway!). My hubby too keeps us all nourished appropriately…. The line which really gets me is “And whilst I am eternally grateful for every day with you, The sleepless nights and endless doubts have been hard to get through.” MY LIFE. Thanks for normalising this stuff. I’m going to share on by FB page xx #thesatsesh xx

  8. #thestasesh hahah love this, so true and I too imagined and instagram nursery with perfection and a fresh bleach smell….which never happened (expect for when he projectile vomited) lol

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