I always knew I wanted to be a mother, my own mum was one of eleven children and I grew up surrounded by cousins. I always had a baby on one of my hips. When my now husband told me he had a seven-year-old daughter I wasn’t confronted or phased by the fact there would be three of us.
I have always put his role as a father first before my needs. I have heard many stories from women who know their partner has a child or children when they begin dating and still expect their wants or needs to come first. Over time as our family has grown there is no longer a division and naturally all decisions are made as a unit.
I have always truly believed that it is my role to love Charli unconditionally with the same devotion as my two sons whilst never expecting the same level of devotion back. Charli has two parents and I have always respected she has a mother and father. I am very lucky though as I am loved deeply in return.
There is a lot of negativity when it comes to blended families which surprises me because they are so common nowadays. It still seems unchartered and murky waters for schools, other parents and society in general. I have found time is the best remedy. Time for everyone to grow accustomed to your role and for you to have more confidence.
When I found out I was pregnant with Harrison my whole life change, I felt life inside me. I loved being pregnant, I loved putting my hand over my growing bump and talking to the person growing inside. We never found out the sex of our babies but I had vivid dreams for both that they were boys.
I had two completely different labours, Harry was a 22-hour marathon and Maddock was a five-hour sprint without so much as a Panadol. With Harry my body went into shock. He was eight days over and born eight pounds 13 ounces. I remember changing my mind about 12 hours in and thinking I’d made a massive mistake. I dragged my body around the hospital floor, in and out of the shower.
Nothing can rival the elation though when I finally heard his first cries. When I held my son for the first time, when I became a mother. I have never doubted myself and whether or not I am a good mum. My devotion to my children, all three of them is unwavering. Nothing else matters. Doing my best to ensure they are loved deeply, they laugh and can enjoy life is all that matters to me.
Life definitely changes once you become a mum as you’re no longer responsible for just yourself. You can’t go on adventures, have drinks, dance or go for walks on a whim. Your freedom has to be planned and even when you do experience freedom you also carry guilt. A guilt that is planted in your heart the moment you bring a child into the world, growing steadily alongside your children.
Sometimes when I imagine going to sleep in a motel alone for a night, or having a facial, spa or going to the movies I look into my son’s eyes and I realise it’s all worth it. I remember that when I had all the freedom in the world I wasn’t happy and now my heart is full, there is no where else I’d rather be.
Jessica Louise Nicol
Freelance journalist Stay at home mum to Charli, Harry and Maddock