I was sitting earlier today trying to eat my lunch.
As usual, it was later than I would have liked and after everyone else had eaten.
But that’s the way it is when you’re a mum, isn’t it?
I’m a mum of two – Grace is five and Ethan will be two in March, and step mum to 13-year-old Madison.
We have one cat and four very lively cocker spaniels.
My husband works relentlessly long hours and in between school runs, after school clubs, feeding the little people, doing laundry, supervising homework, and all the other things it takes to keep a family ticking over, I’m also on the PTA and Board of Governors at Grace’s school (yes, I’m one of those mums!!!).
In the middle of all that, I try and squeeze in some time to be a journalist.
It’s fair to say our house is busy.
There have been days where I haven’t actually managed to go to the toilet or even drink a glass of water – I don’t recommend either (think very painful recurrent urinary tract infections and a trip to A&E).
These days, I’m making a concerted effort to keep my body hydrated, if only to avoid any further impromptu visits to hospital.
Which brings me back to my lunch.
While making my sandwich, I was interrupted by Grace running in to ask how to spell the word ‘dear’.
“Which one are you talking about,” I asked.
“What do you mean?” came the reply.
“Well, is it the dear that means expensive or the animal?”
“It’s the one you use when you’re writing to Santa.”
Off she skipped, satisfied she had the correct spelling, while I was left bewildered that she was writing her Santa letter in March.
I mean, I know she’s excitable and loves Christmas, but even this was crazy early by her standards.
Anyway, two bites into my sandwich, she returned to the kitchen – this time there was a book firmly clasped in her hands.
“I want to show you something,” she said.
“Here we go,” I thought.
As I steeled myself for a lengthy begging letter, I couldn’t have been more taken aback by what was handed over.
For those of you who don’t speak Primary One Handwriting, I’ll translate:
“Dear mum, I would like to have some time together. I love mum.”
This, this is exactly why I love being mum to this particular little person.
Not just because she loves me right back, but because she never ceases to surprise me.
Because through all the rubbish that has come my way over the years (and believe me there’s been plenty) she has been there to help me see what really matters, to put a smile on my face, to inject a bit of joy into my heart.
In a single moment, my beautiful little girl took my breath away – not for the first time either I’ll add.
Being a mum is tough, harder than I ever imagined it could be.
There are times when I look wistfully at the toilet and think back on the days when I was able to pay it a visit without the company of a little person.
I remember fondly enjoying warm cups of tea with the same affection I look back on those heady nights out in Kelly’s when I could stay up all night dancing and still function the next day.
And yet, despite the fact I’m almost constantly exhausted, that the money I spent on getting my hair done pre-little people now goes on shoes for said little people, and that my body is unrecognisable from the one I had when I met my husband, my life – and soul – are so much richer for being a mum.