Hey, you. You there. You with the heavy bags under your eyes, with the cold coffee left forgotten on the kitchen counter. You with the Dairylea triangles smushed into your only pair of jeans, with the same ponytail or bun in from two days ago. Hey friend, with uneaten beetroot and falafel all over the floor, who ran out of nappies but hadn't realised until the shop was about to close. I know it feels like you aren't enough for your baby, that you don't have a long enough attention span, that your arms aren't strong enough to hold them the whole day. I know you wish you had more time to just be yourself, the one before babies, and that when the opportunity arises you don't even want to leave them. Parenthood, though it is the most natural thing in the world, is altogether strange and fascinating no matter how many times it occurs.
You grow this person inside you, you literally grow a whole new organ just for them, and they feed off you, depending on you to survive. Then, from the moment they arrive, your life isn't yours anymore, and you don't even want it back. You realise that your purpose and responsibilities are huge, that you are helping lay a pathway for a new little life, and that fills you with awe and dread. 'I can't wait to take him to the pine woods and watch him chase squirrels' vs. 'what if I do something by accident that affects her negatively forever?'. The mere fact that we even question if we are good parents, probably means we are. It doesn't matter if you live in a rented apartment or you own a palace, if the toys you buy are brand new or second hand, if you're a dungarees mama or a brand name dada. All those little people are going to remember, when they're big people like you and I, is how much they were loved. The cuddles and kisses, the positive reinforcement and acceptance, the cosy nights and the exhilarating days that only require your attention and some imagination. Take it from a mama who always worries that the dinner wasn't tasty enough, or that the clothes aren't warm enough, or that the house isn't tidy enough - if you parent with love, you're doing a great job.