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Before I Was a Mum…


My good friend Mama Zoe shared this poem with me a few days ago, and I’ve been reading and re-reading it over again, each time getting amazed at how on-point it is.

Before I was a Mum
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mum
I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.
I made and ate hot meals. I had unstained clothing.

Before I was a Mum
I had never been puked on. Pooped on.
Spit on. Chewed on. Or peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mum
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.

I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mum
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mum.

Before I was a Mum
I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn’t know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mum
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth. The joy. The love. The heartache. The wonderment.
Or the satisfaction of being a Mum.
I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mum.
– Author Unknown

Each time I read this poem, it makes me smile deeply, from the innermost bit of my heart. And it especially brings back fond memories of my good ol’ days (mkondo wa mwisho included). I wonder what mom wrote it because unfortunately, the poem is not credited and so the author remains unknown. But wherever she is, I wonder if she knows how many other mums have read it and how moved they have been by the emotions she jotted down.

No doubt she captures the essence of what every mother feels and that’s why I thought to share it with all the Mummy Tales readers. It’s such a beautiful poem, isn’t it?

image: dreamstime.com



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


  1. Beautiful poem,thanks for sharing.
    A song that used to get me all teary the first time i became a mum was Martina Mcbrides “In my daughter’s eyes”.

    It still does.


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