I have been reading a very interesting book which lists the ten most important things you can do for your children. The book states that if you want to be a good parent then your children have to be more important in your life than you. To me this means that you have to be at a place in your life where you are ready to put your children first. You have to have had "the awakening". I will explain.
I am a mum of two and like other mums every day and minute of my life revolves around the children. I take them to school/nursery/after school clubs, I feed them, wash them, clean up after them and comfort them when they are sick. And even when they have been packed off to their school or nursery it doesn't end there, my thoughts are invaded by them - "Freya hasn't done her homework yet, better do that tonight!", "I wonder how Finlay is settling in to his new nursery today?" and I still have to wash and iron their clothes, tidy their bedroom, prepare their dinner.
Being a parent is a 24/7 responsibility and one which I never took lightly. I waited to have my children until I knew I was completely and utterly ready. I had ticked off my "before I settle down and have babies to do list", I had visited those exotic destinations, clubbed until sunrise, spent the whole of Sunday in bed. I had never had the slightest inclination to have a baby. Never peered in a pram and looked into those big blue eyes and thought "I want one of them". Then one day, I can't recall the exact moment, but I just remember waking up and thinking "I'm ready, I want a baby".
The funny thing about "the awakening" is that those babies you previously ignored as horrible little screamy dribbly things suddenly seem like the most beautiful little bundles of cuddles you have ever laid your eyes on and you really want one of your own and you want it now!!! You want to completely and uttlerly dedicate the rest of your life to one.
So now, aged forty, I like nothing more than to spend a Saturday evening curled up on the sofa with my husband and kids watching X Factor, or watching my daughter fluff her steps at her ballet class. I love being a mum, I worship my family and would even forgo that lovely pair of red wedge shoes just to see my little girls face light up when I give her that pretty dress she really wanted. I am proud to say that my children are more important in my life than me and I guess that is what makes me a fantastic mum.