Nothing prepares you for the emotion of becoming a parent. I’ve found myself swept along as a passenger on a complicated journey. Since having my son my emotions are a confusing map of blues and reds, orange and grey. I’ve charted that map like a lost tourist on the London underground. The stops have been numerous. When he was born I felt initially not a rush of love but an overriding need to protect. It was not what I was expecting to feel. At his birth I stepped on to a long steep escalator that carried me towards bewildering tunnels of unexpected and uncharted emotions.

I left hospital a few days after his birth and came home and I cried and cried and cried, not in sadness, possibly in exhaustion, some of it happiness, much of it relief. I just cried. I’ve continued to cry at random news stories, Christmas adverts, medal ceremonies. I cry with no particular direction, it’s a Circle line it just goes on an on, around and around. Yesterday, I randomly cried at line from the Disney version of Alice and Wonderland. One of those stops that makes no sense. What’s the point of Gloucester Road and why did I cry at Alice?

When he was small. Despite night after night of broken sleep and exhaustion. When I wanted nothing more than my child to sleep till 6 am and yet I have distinct memories of willing the morning to come because I wanted to be with my baby. The happiness of his presence, his smile. My own personal Jubilee line, a celebration of all the small things. As a parent I laugh more. We laugh together and I laugh at his antics. Like the Northern line, it’s not all plain sailing, the directions are confusion, the delays are often. Sometimes its nothing but frustration that is the other side of parenting. Some days it is just better to get off at Piccadilly circus avoid the Northern line all together and take the bus.

Of course, love. The overriding emotion is love, a big red Central line of unconditional love. An emotional journey and a great way to travel.

Grab your Oyster card and tell me your favourite stop.




  1. Peggy

    Cool perspective Gemma. I cry at all sorts of things too since I became a parent. I thought it was a baby thing, but now they’re 2 and 4 and I still cry. Can any mums with older kids tell me when the crying eases off? 🙂

  2. Jenny Paulin

    Ruddy hell Gemma your way of writing is just beautiful,! Had I not discussed what I did for today, the way I have felt since being a mummy emotionally would have been my choice too, but there is no way it would have been so cleverly written as you have just done! *in awe if your analogy*

  3. Molly

    Simply gorgeous post – you are such a talented writer (and I know you’ll HATE that compliment and tell me to shut up but I’m saying it anyway – because you are, you really are). I remember those times of wishing for morning so well. I used to physically miss F when she was asleep in her bed – even though I’d be willing her to get through the night without waking! Being a parent is a whirlwind of emotions nothing can prepare you for. x

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