It wasn't until I realised that I was, that I realised I hadn't been. All of a sudden one morning, as I sat with Tilly, watching her smile and grab at my face, I discovered that I was enjoying motherhood. And in that second, realised that before that moment, I had simply been doing a 'job'. It took me 10 weeks to finally find motherhood a joy.
There was something magical in that moment. It was a bit like one of those 'second chance' experiences. I'd been struggling so much with coming to terms with my new role, feeling like I was stuck in this Groundhog Day for the rest of eternity, when there was a glimmer of sunlight, and a wave broke over me. That thing that I had dreamt of since a child was truly actually a reality- I had a baby all of my own, to cuddle and play with and comfort and call my own. I'd been secretly wondering if it had all been a big mistake, that surely no one actually thought having children was a worthwhile experience, but here it was. The reason people go back for more (haha!).
It's in the little things. Singing silly songs that make her smile, working out how the noisy plastic toys work, covering her little face in soft kisses, even in dressing her each morning and forcing her to be the subject of countless photos. It's the funny squeaky noises she makes as she discovers her voice, her sloppy wet open-mouthed 'kisses' she smooshes on my face, how she's discovered jamming her fingers and thumb in her mouth. It's even in the way she calms when she's in my arms (although there are moments when I still wish she'd be calm without me for two blessed seconds!!!) and I know that I'm her safety. It's indescribable.
It's in the promise of things to come- looking forward to her discovering her feet (and having yet another thing to extract from her mouth when I'm trying to dress her- hello drunk octopus), starting solids, rolling and proper laughs and her first teeth and her first Christmas. And, now that the fog has lifted, it's also in what has already passed. It's discovering there are already fond memories of her first days and weeks, the newborn smell, the late night feeding snuggles, the tiny clothes she once wore.
There's also enjoyment in myself. True, I miss being able to wear the majority of my wardrobe and sleeping beyond daybreak, but I feel more present, more alive, more like the mother I dreamed of being. I've got a long way to go, and I'm learning and making mistakes and learning again, but I'm finding my own rhythm and finding my feet, and slowly, there is a new confidence brewing in me, a confidence that is different to the one I had before motherhood.
And I like it.