I'll start by warning you that I'm feeling pretty emo today. I'm sat writing his in tears for reasons that I know are utterly ridiculous which I'm sure you'll agree.
You see, the thing is as a mother (a slightly unhinged one that feels guilty almost all the time), I just want every single day to be perfect and stupidly, I feel overcome with guilt that most of the time that simply isn't the case.
I've just sat looking back at old profile pictures on Facebook and amongst the multitude of hair colours, there are heaps of pictures of me with the kids, lovely moments and ones that I won't ever get back but would do anything for the chance. Being trapped on the sofa by a sleeping newborn sounds like heaven right now!
I think back to when Alf was a baby and we spent so much time at home in the beginning when I could have showed him the world, but does he care? No. Do I have reason to feel guilty? Probably not in the slightest.
I look back at when I was pregnant with Soph and Alf was in the thick of the 'terrible twos' and I remember being so upset by his behaviour, actually turning up at the children's centre one day saying 'help me' and bursting into floods of tears. Of course the staff there reassured me, offered me guidance and highlighted their reasons for thinking I'm a brilliant mum, which I know deep down I am. I feel now though that surely that little pale faced angel can't have been that bad? he can't have deserved to be told off so much or have his mother in tears surely?
My sane side tells me that he probably was hard work much like Soph can be now, but my guilt ridden side says I probably should have handled/coped with it better than I did and I think I'll always feel bad for that.
When Soph was born Alf was about the age Soph is now and to me she's still just a baby, but he seemed so grown up and in those gorgeous pictures I see a toddler still with his little baby face and squishy fingers. It's no wonder he wanted more reassuring cuddles at night and some extra attention, he was just a baby himself.
I also wish I'd done more before Alf started school and I wish I felt I had the stamina to do more with Soph now too. That's a future guilt trip all prepared right there.
The hardest thing about parenting for me is this retched guilt and I wish sometimes that the more logical side of my head would take over and remind me that I am a good mum. I can say it, but the guilt will always try and hold me back.
I really struggle to focus on the good which is really quite a huge percentage of the time I know, and instead let these niggling thoughts take over. I want the kids to be happy every day, I don't want them to remember those days of crying as I leave them at preschool or coming out of school in tears. Those days are very few and far between and are for them probably forgotten in an instant but for me, I can't help but want to change those moments.
One day I hope the kids will look back on their childhood and remember a fun Mama that was silly, funny, showed them exciting things and gave them a brilliant start in life. I'm sure those silly moments and snappy Mummy days don't last a second in their memories like they do mine.
The days are flying by now and these two are growing up so fast, we have amazing memories already and as much as the photos make me question my abilities at times I am so glad to have them to treasure.