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Mother's Day: How it is to be a mother of five

Growing up, I always knew that I wanted children one day. In my mind’s eye, I’d see myself with one child, a daughter who looked just like me, and she’d like all the things that I did and we’d go to plays and circuses and theme parks together and just have non-stop fun.

I know. Naïve or what?

When my son was born and they placed him in my arms, I felt a fierce rush of love, the like of which I’d never felt before. I might just have had a baby, but I felt even more broody than I had before I had him and 14 months later, his sister was born.

It turns out that babies are really addictive. We immigrated to New Zealand and my husband went first while I stayed behind to sell our house. Two and a half months later I joined him with our children and since we’d really missed each other, within three days of arriving, I was pregnant.

We’d planned to have two children close together, a break, then two more, but my third child threw our timing out. Still, I had my mini-me at last, at least in terms of looks, and we loved having three children. Fast forward a couple of years and we had baby number four, our last, or so we thought. However, my youngest son had other ideas, so we welcomed him into the world when our oldest boy was 7 and at last our family was complete.

Owl

A lot of people ask me how I cope, but to be honest, I think the more children you have, the easier it is. I look at people with one child and wonder how they cope. You have to be sole source of entertainment when you only have one child and no matter what way you look at it, children are hard work. However, when your child has siblings to play with, it makes things a little easier because they’ve got someone else to have fun with, at least for a little while.

I do have a strong routine established. I have to – we home educate our children, so I’m juggling taking them to swimming lessons, Brownies and Guides, youth clubs, etc., while trying to squeeze in time for writing. I’m lucky in that I write fast and I’m a night owl, so my brain doesn’t really get into gear until the children are starting to wind down for the night, so we can do all the things we need to do during the day and I can write in the evening.

One of the things I love about home educating is that we get to do so many things together that wouldn’t be possible if the children were in school. My children have a fantastic childhood, one I wish that I’d had! They do their formal work in the morning (maths, English, etc.) and the afternoons are free to do whatever we like. We live in South Wales, so we have a lot of castles and countryside within easy access and we often go exploring with our little dog, Dali, a shih tzu/bichon frise cross.

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Having children has also helped my writing career. As a freelance writer, I’m often asked to write pieces about parenting and much as I wish that I’d started freelancing earlier, I believe that the experience I’ve had with my children has really enriched my writing. They’re all such unique people and growing up so fast. I want to take every moment with them I can, because I know it’s not going to be long before they’re going out into the big, wide world.

I want to wish a very happy mother's day to all the mothers' out there. And if you would like to share your experience as a mother with me, feel free to contact me or tweet mentioning @SophieWritealot. I'd love to talk to you and hear all your stories!

 

Sophie Childs is the author of Behind the Scenes, available in paperback and e-book through Amazon, So Vain Books, The Great British Bookshop, Wordery and anywhere books are sold online!

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