When I was growing up I always knew I wanted to be a mum. I wanted a lot of things as I wandered around my small life. There were longed for trips to Paris and dreams about becoming a human rights lawyer (in Paris while I lived in a loft) and, of course, there were Chinese applique clog thongs that my mother wouldn’t let in the house.
But this one, the one about being a mum was so central to who I was I didn’t need to talk about it. I didn’t need to workshop it. I didn’t need to lie on my tummy and whisper to friends about it, because I just knew.
I thought I’d have four kids. Two boys and two girls. I felt I’d covered all the bases with that combination: siblings, genders, decent sized family, fun with naming rights.
My family lived inside me as I grew up. Quiet and present and mine.
I was never a girl who imagined her wedding. I picked a wedding dress in 10 minutes and was told by the florist I was the easiest, most relaxed bride-to-be she had ever dealt with. In my early 20s I made a “joke” deal with a male friend that if we both didn’t have children by 35 we would have two together (I thought two was better than none). Being a mother wasn’t a game like being a bride is.
I never cared really if I got married, but I cared about becoming a mum.
Last night on I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here! Laurina Fleure, 31, lay on her tummy on a lilo and told Val Lehman, 72, as she floated in the waterhole that she didn’t think she was “cut out for motherhood”.
“I’ve always said my whole life, that it feels like it’s a lifetime away,” she said.
“And I said that throughout my whole twenties and I thought maybe once I’d get to my thirties I would get clucky but it still feels a lifetime away. Maybe another lifetime.”
Missed it? You can watch Laurina’s confession below. Post continues after video.
Laurina is like me when it comes to being a mum, she just knows something too. She knows she doesn’t want to be one.
It’s not selfish, it’s not unnatural (how can it be unnatural when it’s simply what’s inside you?). It’s one of the most natural things in the world. This knowing. Knowing what you want to do in life, what you feel you can do in life, what your dreams are in life.
The reality of being a mum is very different to the two boys and two girls perfect family combo of my youth. It’s so hard some days you simply can’t describe it. Some days you want a break from being a mum. But I knew I wanted this – and even then I can get my resentful pants on faster than I can passive aggressively mutter, “Well, I’ll just empty the dishwasher myself then”.
Or I can worry the entire house down because one of my kids hasn’t responded to a text and my heart races and I can’t think properly, because what if something terrible has happened?
Motherhood never lets up. Ever. It’s 24/7, seven days a week, just when you are falling asleep someone vomits on your hair. You can lose yourself. You can find yourself. You can throw a packet of cotton wool wipes at your partner because he said, “You just really need to not worry about it so much”. It’s awful and it’s divine.
I can only imagine what it feels like to be a mother while being a person who never really wanted to be a mum in the first place. It could surprise you, or it could be the most toxic decision of your life.
We don’t all have the same desires inside of us. That would be like asking us all to look the same.
Laurina and I are very different in a lot of ways, but when it comes to motherhood, we’re two women who just know what we carry inside.
It’s ours. Different but the same.