Children: Ted, 7yrs, Albie, 5yrs and Dusty who is their middle brother who was born asleep
Expectations of motherhood: I thought I’d be brilliant at it. I’d dreamt about it all my life, however my dreams were of daughters not sons!! Although I got over that fact as I obviously only bred boys! I had visions of good children, and would fall in love as soon as I laid eyes on them.
Reality of motherhood: I am good at it, but not in a way I expected. I sometimes pretend I don’t see them punch each other so I don’t have to deal with it. I wish they’d not asked me if they could have chocolate for breakfast and just steal it.
It took a while to fall in love with Ted, being first (and after a section where I was asleep as I’d developed sepsis), but we got there in the end. Seven years in, now firm best friends.
Taking your children home: Forget the world around you as you’re in a bubble. It’s amazing and hard, and does also feel like someone has hit you over the head with a cricket bat.
Best and worst advice: Take care of yourself. I’ve only just started doing this 7 years down the line but it’s so true. It makes you better and whatever you do.
Sleep when they sleep – bollocks.
The hardest part of me being a mother: Giving birth to my second son, knowing he had just passed away inside me. Having one (and only) walk with my second son from the maternity ward to the mortuary. Handing my son over knowing I’ll never see him again.
Spending 12 hours with my second son kissing him and inhaling every inch of him.
The best part of motherhood: Laughing with my 2 sons. Knowing that me and their dad are doing an ok job. Watching my sons, as I know they are happy, and if that’s the only thing I do for my sons then my work is done.
Motherhood changed me: I lost my personality initially. I thought that was the new me, but recently realised that it wasn’t. I’ve got my personality back by now putting my well-being first, and I’m in such a better place for it. I’m a better mum now I have found myself again!
Has being a mother changed your attitude to work? I’m a full-time detective in the police, but once I had children I had no interest in it. I wanted to be a stay at home mum. Now I realise my priorities have changed, and I just want to be passionate about what I do for work as passionately as I am about being a mum.
I want to take my sons to and from school. Not because it’s enjoyable – believe me that can be the most stressful time of the day – but you get snippets of amazing-ness that makes it all worth it.
Hopes for our family: We remain happy and laugh a lot and grow old together. Recently having a brain tumour, which has now been removed has made that last part so important. I want to see my children settled and happy in their lives.
Advice for new mothers: Do the best you can, and look After yourself first. We can’t control everything that happens, but take hold of the things you can control and make them yours.
Irene has just released a book called ‘Look for the rainbows‘