"There is one thing nobody warned me about when I became a mother: what a breeze it would be. I was warned about everything else. All I had been told since I became pregnant was to prepare myself for the toughest job of my life. For years of sleep deprivation, boredom (yes, boredom) and my life not being my own. I was bombarded with tales of cracked nipples, all-night vigils and vomit on the carpet. I was more than mildly worried, as a result, about how on earth I would cope. I am someone who needs my sleep and had a decades long habit of calling my own shots. Would the requirement to be at the beck and call of a little one – even my little one – do my head in?
So, I got the most pleasant surprise to find that being a mum is one of the most seamless, joyful, intuitive things I have ever done. Yes, there are sleepless nights (many of them, in a seemingly endless row), but there is nothing difficult about being up all night with the love of your life. I know our baby boy is only nine months old and isn't even crawling yet, let alone tearing through the house crashing pots on to the floor. I know I only have one child who is healthy and I, thankfully, escaped the cruel curse of postnatal depression, but still I can't see what all the fuss is about.
Ask me if I have another, but from where I stand motherhood is a cinch."
All I could do was laugh and laugh and laugh. I think she's right - babies can be quite straightforward and some women do find themselves with extra time (thus, the many postgraduate degrees that get started while on maternity leave). But I laughed because she hasn't really got that far down the track of motherhood yet. Some of the 'hardness' of being a mum is not because the actual tasks are that difficult but because it just gets repetitive. It goes on and on.
AND she hasn't got a toddler yet who wakes at 6 and then doesn't have a day sleep, whines all day, argues with you and won't eat anything that is vaguely healthy. Add another baby into the mix and then it gets just that bit crazier.
So if you read this and feel disheartened, don't. Because let me reassure you that while there are times when mothering is pretty straightforward there are a whole lot of other times when it is hard, hard, hard work.