Nobody saw you,
nobody at all
at 3am when
they woke again.
Nobody saw you
picking up the peas,
wiping up the beans,
emptying the laundry basket,
taking out the bins
Nobody saw the crust of toast
that fell out of your bra when you got undressed at night,
such a glamorous life
trying to stay calm.
Nobody saw you
when you were so bored of playing princess ninja pirate turtles
but you said, ‘ok,
just five more minutes,
just one more time,
just one more go,
just one more round’
and then said it again ten minutes later.
Nobody saw you
holding the toddler who wouldn’t be put down
but also wouldn’t go in the buggy
but also wanted to walk but only in the opposite direction
and ‘oh look!
a stick/discarded lolly/dog poo/pebble/cigarette butt/the sky!’
Nobody saw you holding the sick bucket in the night
or on the way back from school
nobody saw you holding a jacket,
a rucksack, a book bag, a sunhat,
a scooter, the baby, a half-eaten apple
and an art project made out of three cereal boxes taped together
and covered in glitter glue,
holding soft little hands at bed time,
holding angry little bodies still kicking and shouting,
holding it together,
holding a hungry little head
to a boob as hard as concrete
in those early days
Nobody saw you winding the bobbin up
and winding it back again
and pointing to the ceiling
and pointing to the floor
and pointing to the window
and pointing to the door.
Nobody saw you when it was raining again
and the kids were sick
and you didn’t leave the house for three days.
Nobody saw that.
Nobody saw how many times you watched ‘The Gruffalo,’
on the third day,
how many times you read about what happened to igglepiggle’s blanket
or the one about the inappropriate pets
sent by the zoo.
Nobody saw you in the car
when you dropped the baby off for the first time
when you promised yourself you wouldn’t
but you cried all the way home
all the same.
Nobody saw when you were empty
but you gave something
but you made something
but you thought of a game
but you said sorry to a little face
for being cross, for snapping again.
I haven’t seen you for a while
we haven’t chatted for too long
but I when I see those lovely pictures of your kids
you post sometimes
I feel like I am seeing you,
the mum behind the kids
behind the babies
and the bumps
and the toddlers smiling into the camera
I see the wipes and the nappies and the games and the songs
I see the snot and the poo and the tantrums and the kisses
I see you putting little arms
into little cardigans
and brushing tiny teeth.
(whilst being kicked in the face)
Nobody sees all of the things that you do
all of the ways that you manage
and with questions like,
‘So when are you going back to work?’
You can end up feeling like one of the hardest jobs
you have or will ever have done
is simply reduced to dossing around at home.
Nobody sees you sometimes
but you are building something
that will never be torn down
a love that cannot be removed
and sometimes it is boring
and sometimes it is the worst
and sometimes you have never been happier
Nobody saw how much you gave
Have I ever told you
that I think
you are such a wonderful Mum?
Let’s get pissed together soon ok?
I kind of wrote this for a friend but I hope it means something for you too.