CHARLENE O’BRIEN

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“Being a mum wasn’t as terrifying as I thought, as hard as I thought or even as lonely as I thought, but my God, was it way more emotional than I thought.

Would I change anything? No. All those sleepless nights only set me up for the teenage years, when you’d stay awake until the key came through the door, relieved that no harm had come to them. The terrible twos reappeared around 15, only this time a different approach was needed: no naughty step or smack on the back of the hand would do on those occasions. This was a waiting game, waiting in the hope they would come through the other side okay. To my relief, they did come through okay. In fact, they came through better than okay.

I’ve learnt that all you can do is your best and hope it’s enough. In my case it was enough, more than enough. I look at two ginger, freckly kids (now adults!) with such pride and love that no matter how scared or worried I was, it all turned out okay.”