I’m torn. My three are hurtling towards five with grubby knees from the school playground, a million priceless questions and spaghetti sauce down their jumpers. Jake has started secondary school and is on the brink of a whole new chapter. They are all still the centre of my universe and I theirs and for that I’m truly grateful but…there’s a but and I’m trying to figure out what it is.

I’m mum, mummy and sometimes mumma and I love it. Occasionally Louis refers to me as ‘stupid lady’ but that’s only when he’s really cross.

They need me as much as ever and I most certainly need them. But something is missing. The balance has gone awry.

Is it wrong to admit that there’s an increasingly large part of me that’s fighting for some airtime? A part of me that wants to not just be mummy and remember what it’s like to be Em?

As my trio are growing, I think I am too. Or changing or… something.

But how do I make room for something more? Is it wrong to even want something more? Shouldn’t being ‘mum’ be enough?

The choir I sing in once a week is great for my spirits and a lovely break from the routine. The friends I adore keep me going and make sense of the world when all I see is chaos.

My health is good, I remain cancer free and am no longer dealing with constant drama from a certain person. Life is good. I believe life can be great. I’m just a little restless, wondering what the final piece of the jigsaw might be.

I sometimes look at Ella, Louis and Theo and wonder how they got here. I mean, really…how is it that these three high spirited imps have taken root so firmly in my heart but continue to challenge me like nothing else. What a different parenting experience to any that I’ve known so far with Jake. These three are wild and strong and noisy and yep, challenging. Really, really challenging.

Ours is not a calm and ordered home though I used to think I was calm and fairly ordered. Emotions are expressed at top volume, objects are thrown and tears are shed. Every single day.

I spend a lot of time thinking I’m getting it all so terribly wrong but then I look at them rolling around like lion cubs, falling off the sofa and into fits of giggles. I look at Ella reaching out to comfort Louis or Theo in a rare moment of softness. I look at Jake being the most incredible big brother and how much they all idolise him.

‘I like you, mummy,’ says Theo at least once a day and I breath a sigh of relief.

I like you too, Theo. I like all of you.

I guess we’re doing okay….

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