Top of the list of surprises that will make being a mum seem worthwhile, in spite of everything, has to be the first time your child says ‘I love you mum’ without being prompted. It’s guaranteed to choke you up, and you’ll remember it forever.
It’s also surprising when your child starts to want time alone. For the first few years of your child’s life, he or she will demand your constant attention. But one day, you will hear silence, panic, and discover that your child is quite happily playing – all by herself.
Another big surprise will come when your child gets too big for your lap. It will seem impossible that the tiny person you remember is now too big to sit with you when you read together, or any other time.
On the unpleasant side, there will come a time when your child will hurt your feelings. You may be called mean, or your child may tell you that your bum is big. It might be honesty, but it still hurts!
At some point, your child will start to remember things that you’ve forgotten, like where the keys are, or he or she may even master the new home entertainment system before you’ve even had a look at the manual.
Your child will be brave. Whether it’s for an operation, or to help a friend, there’s nothing that will give you as much pride as watching your child be courageous.
You will find that you’re a better person because of your child. All those times that you did the right thing to set a good example will add up, and you’ll find that you’re nicer, kinder and less hard on yourself.