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'I'd slept two hours in 24.' If you think I'm nailing motherhood today, here's how I was yesterday.

If you saw me yesterday at the park, I had only slept two hours in 24. 

I hadn’t washed my hair for four days, the ankle sock on my right foot had come off in my shoe and I was feeling engorged. 

My newborn baby was crying, but I had to get my toddler’s shoes off first, so she could run into the playground’s sand pit. 

Her impatient whining of, ‘Come on Mummmy!’ was grating on me as I crouched down to untie her laces, my lower back pinging in pain. 

My phone was ringing, but I had to let it go to voicemail again, because by now my newborn was hysterical. 

I desperately needed to feed her. 

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If you saw me yesterday, you would have seen a mother with what appeared to be a very short fuse.

If you saw me at the park today, you would have marveled at my shiny, silky, straight locks reflecting the sun’s rays. I had woken up well rested after my newborn and toddler had both slept through the night for the first time. 

My husband and I had decided on a tag team sleep routine and it was working. 

I had also managed to take a nice, warm shower and find time to actually consider what to wear today. 

You would have been impressed that I was breastfeeding my newborn, whilst FaceTiming her daddy at work and cheering my toddler on as she attempted the obstacles in the playground unassisted, yelling out, ‘Mummy I love you!’ as she slid down the slippery slide for the tenth time. 

If you saw me today, you would have thought I was a well-adjusted mum of two under three, nailing life.

If you saw me at home yesterday, you would have questioned my hygiene and how long I was willing to wear the pajamas I had on. 

They were so stinky; I wondered if the postman noticed when I gingerly opened the front door to snatch up my online shopping from him. 

You would have also noticed the overflowing washing in my laundry basket and the full clothes line of dried clothes that had already spent two days on the line. 

You would have been terrified to walk around barefoot in my living room given that my toddler had just unloaded every single item in her toy box and flung them across the carpet in an expression of frustration that I couldn’t play tea parties with her because the baby needed mummy’s boobies, again.

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If you saw me at home yesterday, you might not want to come back today.

If you saw me at home today though, you would have spied freshly baked chocolate chip cookies cooling on the drying rack in my impossibly clean kitchen.

Two coffees before 9am gave me a sudden burst of energy and I cleaned everything. Everything. 

You would have marveled at my neat apron (that I’d just found in my clean up), that I'd had time to actually put on. 

You would have also noticed a tidy living room, all kids' toys fashionably packed into a Hampton’s inspired toy chest, looking every bit like the photo online that had inspired me to buy it during a 3am Instagram scroll. 

You would have only seen a content, just fed, happy baby cooing in her rocker, also enjoying the quiet calm a day care day for the toddler brings. 

If you saw me at home today, you would have been able to enjoy a cup of coffee and finish sentences and stories with me. You would have asked for my chocolate chip recipe.

Motherhood is a rollercoaster, no less so for a new mother, learning to adjust to life with two little humans by her side. The mum you see today may not be the mum you get tomorrow nor the mum you saw yesterday.

Sometimes she has it all going on, and sometimes nothing is going in her favour. Be kind to her, she needs it more than you might realise.

Erin is a freelance writer, mother of two gorgeous girls and a primary school teacher currently on maternity leave.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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