Family portrait

I am a mother of two. I have two boys. My beautiful boys.

I like to say it to myself, it gives me pleasure in the same way I expect a new bride might feel when she says ‘my husband’ to a stranger. There is a sense of fulfilment in the uttering of the words, confirmation of a dream made real.

I am a mother of two.

I am awkwardly rediscovering selflessness. I am plagued by thoughts of all the things I’d like to do but can’t (read a whole book, write one, go to the theatre, go to bed and wake up at noon, drink an entire bottle of wine).

These things will have to wait, they will come too soon I know.

I am a mother of two.

I survive with little sleep but find that, in the darkness, when I press my lips into the soft, billowing, cushion of your cheeks, my tiredness disappears.

Life passes in slow-fast hours, where nothing and everything happens. Where I perform endless, small, menial tasks and accomplish so little of what I set out to do each morning and yet…I am keeping a human alive.   

I try not to be disgusted by the reality of my body. It is doughy and misshapen but I search for beauty in its soft, swollenness, try to admire what I see in the mirror; a miraculous machine that conjured you from nothing.

I summon energy from the depths of my being to read you your bedtime story, so that at least for a moment each day, it’s just the two of us again.  I make you laugh so you know that I still love you.  (You call out ‘Daddy ‘ in the night now. My heart breaks a little every time.)

I am a mother of two.