At 27, I was also the first of my close friends and family to have a child. So I had been busy making friends with other mums-to-be where I lived, who were about to become my lifeline.
I knew exactly the parent I was going to be and I definitely wasn’t going to let it change my life. A planner, I had read guides, books and done birthing workshops and had my birth plan ready.
And then he arrived, 15 days later than expected, to change our lives as we knew it. A new life dawned in his face and as he curled his tiny fingers around ours. And those perfect little toes. Order and plans were replaced by a world focused on figuring out and meeting his needs.
One of my earliest lessons of parenting was that life had most definitely changed and that no amount of reading, research or planning can set you up for the joy, the challenges and the love you will experience.
Since our boy’s arrival almost five years ago, we have watched him grow into a child who is learning to read, to write, to swim, how to care for others, how to draw and colour in the lines and how to be a good friend. Two years ago, our daughter arrived so he’s also learning to be a good big brother too (most of the time anyhow!).
Last weekend, it struck me just how far he (and we) have come in those five years. For all of those days of little sleep, tantrums and tears there has also been a wealth of moments to be proud of from watching him button up his little sister’s coat to the way he does his best at nearly everything he tries.
Five years in to this parenting lark, there are still days where I feel as though I am #wingingit. Last Saturday, for example, I was unable to stop my daughter gleefully emptying an entire pot of purple glitter all over the floor of her ballet class. And on Sunday I turned up to a birthday party without realising I had snot on my red cardigan.
But for every winging it day, there are plenty more where I watch our children in awe of who they are becoming, what they do and what they are learning.