Nothing really sets you up for it.
Looking back the actual process of giving birth was the easy bit for me.
I read books and bought the appropriate bits and pieces for feeding, changing and nursery.
But then it hits you.
This tiny little life is yours to look after.
The responsibility can feel overwhelming.
I now have three adorable bundles aged between five and nine years old.
It’s fair to say we’ve had some challenging times and a series of diagnoses.
But, it’s really only in the last few years or so that I thought about what my own mother will have gone through having my brother and I.
Not long ago, our middle son David, had to into hospital.
It was a simple procedure that meant he had to have a general anesthetic.
Something that thousands of people have every day.
However, David is autistic.
He didn’t understand what a hospital or doctor was, never mind what would happen when he had a general anesthetic.
As his mother I was simply beside myself.
I felt sick as I held him down while he tried to fight the gas mask and screamed through his dummy.
I cried as I felt my son’s body go limp.
And then after it all I thought about my own mum.
When I was less than a year old, I had an operation on my hands so I could use them.
My parents still have a photo of little me, sitting with both hands all bandaged up.
As I remembered this photo, I was in awe.
It’s so easy to underestimate what mums go through.
I’d never before thought of how my mum had felt when I looked at that photo.
Now, I absolutely know how she would have been there for me.
My mum was there through several operations and general anesthetics for me.
She’s went through my life with me even though I didn’t realise it at the time.
And now I’m a mother myself I understand more than ever why and often need her help and guidance just as much as before.
In many ways, I’m still a little girl with bandaged hands stretching out her arms for her mother.
Now I’ve three kids of my own to look after too.
My mum may not have raised children with the same challenges that mine face but she’s still here supporting and loving me.