I GET TO STEP OUT OF THE RACE My son is developmentally delayed. I love that this removes me from the general sense of competitiveness that can permeate the mum club. I never feel tempted to compare him to dextrous little Millie or chatty little Luke; I feel free to accept him as the unique boy that he is.
THE HIGHS ARE SO HIGH Every win for every child is amazing but when we reach a milestone that we've been waiting for or working towards for weeks and weeks I feel completely entitled to spam the inboxes of all my friends and family with photos.
PEOPLE ARE INVESTED We were lucky enough to be given an idea of Roscoe's delays before his birth, which meant from day one our nearest and dearest rallied round with words of encouragement. As he grows, people are so quick to ask how he's doing and celebrate his life alongside his father and I.
YOU'RE ALLOWED TO COMPLAIN People say things like, 'it must be hard' and that gives me space to express my fears and share my troubles but do you know what's hard - motherhood. Full stop. It's hard to be a parent or an engaged spouse, a good friend or employee, a decent human being. We all have our cross to bear. I've learned from this not to be so stoic about anything. People close to me want to know me completely, the good and the bad.
PEOPLE TELL YOU YOU'RE DOING WELL Parenting is sometimes made out to be this 'natural', effortless process, not something that one succeeds in. I don't know why this is the case, anyone that has ever been part of a parent/child dynamic knows that at points it's anything but effortless. I love that, knowing some of the struggles I've had, people remind me that I'm doing well. I'd love every parent to experience this - if you're reading this, you're doing great.
YOU APPRECIATE HOW MUCH SUPPORT THERE IS I've been so lucky in terms of my personal health - giving birth to my son was my very first hospital stay. I never fully appreciated all the wonderful people and services dedicated to supporting children and families.
YOU CAN FIND A COMMUNITY QUICKER Early motherhood can be an isolating time and it can sometimes feel difficult to bond with only the fact that you've got a mini me accessory in common. It's been a lot easier to approach a network of people having a similar parenting experience.
YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'VE BEEN CHOSEN I've always felt that this child has come into our lives for a reason, to teach us something wonderful and because we have something specific to offer him. Having had this experience I now know that every child has a specific purpose for every parent. And with every birth, adoption, blended or extended family, there is the chance to create something extra special.