It dawned on me the other day. It’s May 2017.
10 years ago, in May 2007 I fell pregnant for the first time.
So that’s 10 years of me being pregnant or breastfeeding.
THE ENTIRE 10 YEARS. (Well, with the one exception of a 13 month period in 2013).
That’s a whole decade. A freaking decade.
I can’t even begin to count how many hours of sleep I’ve lost breastfeeding or resettling at night and how many times I’ve wanted to cry because I’m so incredibly exhausted… I can’t even imagine what it’s feels like to not be tired all day, every day.
Or how many cups of tea have gone cold and how many dinners I’ve eaten one handed because I had to hold my baby.
I’m not sure how many events I’ve had to decline with friends because it was too hard to bring a baby – and I couldn’t be apart from him (or her) yet…or how many cafe visits I’ve given up because it’s all just too hard with a toddler.
I don’t know how many times I’ve felt fat in jeans, or not wanted to step on the scales, even months post birth.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve left the house with baby spew, dribble, wee or poo on me (sometimes all at once!).
Who knows how often my back has ached from standing trying to settle a baby or how many times I fed my bubba “just one more time” in the hopes they’ll (finally!!) nod off to sleep.
How many times, half way through dinner have I had to put my fork down and head upstairs (again!) because my baby has woken up…
I can’t even imagine how many nappies I’ve changed, how much washing I’ve done, how many baby purees I’ve made or how many times I’ve wanted just 5 minutes to myself…
How many dinners have I made? Lunches have I packed? Socks have I matched? Loads of laundry have I done? How many bags of food shopping have I unpacked? Toys have I put away? Dishwashers have I loaded?
I also can’t count how many snuggles I’ve had, or happy tears I’ve shed.
How many times I’ve rolled over in bed to be greeted with a cheeky grin. Or how often I’ve sighed with happiness at a simple memory shared with my children.
How many times have I felt the warmth of their cheek against my chest or listened to them guzzle as my let down kicks in?
How many bedtime stories have I read? How many goodnight kisses have I given? How many times have I heard the word “Mumma?”
I’ve lost count of how many “I love you’s” I’ve shared and how many hugs I’ve received.
How many home made cards I’ve been given, or how often I’ve played play dough.
How many bruises have I kissed better? How many photos have I taken?
How many milestones have I witnessed? Celebrations have I shared?
How many times have I played peek a boo? Or held a chubby hand in mine as we crossed the road?
How many times have I tucked a baby in bed? Or said goodnight? How often have I counted the stars? Or stared at my sleeping child?
How many times have I loved with such ferociousness that I can hardly breathe?
10 years may have passed and I most certainly look different… there’s more lines on my face and bags under my eyes, my jeans don’t fit properly and I have curves on my body that were never there before…
but I’m so incredibly grateful for each of those marks upon my body and my soul… because each grey hair, wrinkle or saggy bit tells a story.
A story of love, sacrifice and gratitude that knows no boundaries… a love so all-consuming that sometimes I can’t help the tears falling as I watch them sleep…
Thank you for the last 10 years my little ones… and here’s to all the years we have ahead of us…
With love, your Mama
Emma Anthonisz is a mama to 5 children, 3 dogs, 60 fish and wife to a busy husband who runs a number of businesses. She majored in Creative Writing at university, then teaching and spent the next 10 years plying her craft and beginning her family.
If you would like to read more from Emma, make sure to check out her blog here