Here I am. Walking beside you as you cautiously weave your bike over the bumps in the pavement; smiling at your success on the downward descent.
I’m here again now, quietly but tersely reminding you it’s time to sleep, praying for your eyes to close, patting your tiny back as you fight to stay awake.
You might feel my eyes on you sometimes as I pause my task to watch you. Busy with the fridge magnets, chasing a balloon, trying to move from chair to chair. Here I am darling – it’s me who picks you up any time you fall.
Here we are again, my voice louder than I would like, forgetting you are still so small, expecting too much. The coat to be worn, the dinner to be eaten, the hands to be washed – here I am like a flea in your ear and a voice you ignore.
Here I am in the morning, all of us sleepy as we wrap up before going downstairs, staying close for warmth. Here I am chasing you around the house to get dressed, here I am tidying the kitchen, here I am doing the stuff that doesn’t matter to you at all.
I’m here but drifting off, away from the game about firemen or dragons. I’m thinking about naps and schedules as I push a train around a track, remembering all I forgot to do as I wrestle through a nappy change and sing another song.
Here we are all together, a burst of pure happiness as we stomp along the street, finally ready and out of the house. The sweet taste of freedom before hunger grumps and tiredness looms again.
Here we are – you, me and another winter virus. Here we lie together, surrendering to your need to be attached at all times. Here I am feeling your hot chest as we breathe in rhythm.
I’m here and so are you – in the middle of the night – sleepy, connected, relentless.
I’m here even when I’m not; wondering about you both, hoping all is well while enjoying something other than being a mum.
Here I am with piggybacks and pat-a-cake. Here I am pushing the swing, buckling the seat belt, running the bath.
Day after day I am right here; buttering toast, wiping your nose, kissing it better.
Here we are doing my favourite of things, holding you close as I read you stories and forget about everything else. Here I am just in the moment, breathing you in.
Here I am laughing as we peekaboo, yawning as I boil the kettle, chatting as I do the washing.
Here is my tired face, my messy hair, my suddenly wrinkled hands.
Here I am holding on tight, not ready to let go.
Here I am at the central point of intensity, where both of you need so much of me each day. Here you will find me: grateful, worried, happy, doubtful. Here I remain, wishing things were easier while dreading time speeding past.
Here I will be, through it all. For all of the days, for all of the times you need me, for all of the simple and complicated things you require. For all of the cuddles, questions, love and freedom.
Through the gritty parts, the challenges and the adventures – here I am.
For the small, big, mundane and magical – the 24-hour days and the all too brief moments – I am here.
Here I am, my loves and here I will remain. For you, for always.
Written for my children, and to try and spill the mess of my head and heart into words, but I hope it speaks to some of you, too. Feel free to share your thoughts on the mind-mess of motherhood below. You can also sign up by email to receive future posts in your inbox and share this with anyone you think might relate. Thank you!