One of Sonny Jim’s newest phrases is “mummy, lay DOWN. Poor tummy. Poor mummy.”
He’s started doing this ever since I was rushed to Southend hospital just before Christmas with suspected gallstones.
Though I managed to get him tucked up in bed before the ambulance came (and he had no idea his auntie Bear – my sister – spent most of the night on the sofa while I lay was prodded and poked and tested for hours by doctors) he has witnessed me spending a fair bit of time feeling utterly pathetic on the sofa.
And though I’m still not right (we’ve got no proper diagnosis despite the brilliant consultants and the dozens of tests) it has made me realise a few things.
Firstly, that it is possible to be sick and smile at the same time so as you don’t frighten your little one.
Secondly, that even when you feel awful (honestly, the pain at one point was worse than child birth) once you’re a mummy you are ALAWYS a mummy. Your needs still come second to making sure your child is okay. You don’t get to switch off the worry, even when people say you should.
Thirdly, mummying is constant and exhausting. It was only when I literally couldn’t do anything but lay on the sofa and watch Fireman Sam with my boy, that I realised how non-stop my days usually are. How I’m forever doing not two things, but three things at once. How I can cook his dinner, while replying to emails, while fixing the wheel on his “Fireman Sam truck”, without a second thought. How my brain never stops running through the never-ending list of things that need sorting. Cot bedsheets that need drying. The milk that’s running low. The shoes that might be getting a bit small.
Truly, it’s only when you’re forced to stop, that you realise you’ve been walking a tightrope and never even knew it.