It’s not changing nappies, wiping tears or hearing the ever present “Mama. Mama. MAMA!!”
It’s not folding little clothes, seeing the vast quantities of milk in the fridge or dealing with a snotty nose.
It’s not the fact that the most watched channel in our house is CBeebies, that toys are strewn everywhere or I read toddler books more often than my own.
It’s not when I open my bag and the first thing I see is a stick she insisted on having but wouldn’t carry, that I often leave the house with a sticker on my coat or when I find myself inanely singing nursery rhymes with 10 other women once a week.
It’s that moment just before I go to bed.
When I sneak into her room with only the nightlight to guide me, though I don’t need the light to make my way to her.
When I listen to her breathing as I can’t go to sleep myself until I’ve heard that slow, steady rhythm and reassured myself that all is well.
When I brush her hair off her face.
When I softly plant a kiss on her forehead.
When I tuck the blanket round her little body that little bit closer.
That’s when I feel like a mother.