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Mum and Dad

I didn't know how scared I'd be: A poem about motherhood

I didn't know how scared I'd be: A poem about motherhood


BabyCenter Guest Blogger

posted in Parenting

By Helen Farmer

I didn’t know how big I’d get, or that you’d kick so hard,
I didn’t know that tiger stripes are like survivor scars.

I didn’t know how scared I’d be, how frightened of the pain,
I didn’t know I’d pay a million quid to not push you out again.

I didn’t know how small you’d be, just like a baby bird,
I didn’t know you’d demand so much without a single word.

I’d never heard of cluster feeding, of those hours in The Chair,
Of bleeding boobs, pumping for days, topless and laid bare.

I didn’t know that in one day I’d cry from joy and rage,
Or mutter like a lunatic “please just be a stage”.

I didn’t know how tired I’d be, I though it was a joke,
Or that sleep is like a currency – and I was always broke.

the mothership-helen farmer

I didn’t know my cash would go on milk or tiny shoes,
Or conversation would revolve around the frequency of poos.

I didn’t know I’d lose some friends, they’d wonder where I’d been,
Or that I’d somehow make some more, uniting through caffeine.

I didn’t know I’d lose myself a bit along the way,
That on the day I became a mum, something truly changed.

I didn’t know you’d be my boss, and that the hours were slave labour,
That I’d miss that 9 to 5 and not feeling like a failure.

I didn’t know I’d fall in love with the scent of breath and skin,
Or that my biggest fear would be losing everything.

The Mothership

I didn’t know the pride I’d feel to see you growing up,
Or it’s possible to ruin someone’s day with the wrong coloured plastic cup.

I didn’t know I’d harbour hate for a simple kids’ cartoon,
But I’d merrily take out Peppa [Pig] with a bloody great harpoon.

I didn’t know that time alone would be so very precious,
Or that a prison sentence would make me feel quite jealous.

I didn’t know that my own mum was such an unsung hero,
Until I had my own kids and I realised what she’d been through.

I didn’t know that the life I knew would be gone without a trace,
Along with my waistline, my sanity and my lovely unlined face.

But would I turn back the clock? Would I change a single thing?
Of course not, my little one, but I’d love a long lie-in…

This poem was originally published on Helen Farmer’s Facebook page — The Mothership.

What didn’t you know about motherhood?

All photos from Helen Farmer

Helen Farmer is an editor and journalist, mum to 2-year-old Phoebe and baby Tabitha, wife to Nick and a mummy blogger (“even though I don’t really identify as one, but I blog, and I’m a mum, so there you go”). She’s been living in Dubai for the last 10 years, working in books, magazines and online, shedding some light on the good and bad of life, work and motherhood in the UAE. Check out her blog, The Mothership, and follow her on Facebook. and on Instagram.


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