When I was a girl, sitting on the kitchen table watching my mother cooking spaghetti bolognese or ironing shirts, I would ask her over and over again: "How do you know how to do that?"
And she would always smile at me and answer "Mummy school - Page 495"
Almost two years into being a mummy, I've still not found the Mummy school manual, let alone reached page 495 - but just lately, with new years resolutions tucked firmly under my belt and a real desire for change, I do feel that I am learning.
I'm learning that mummy chores are endless and that cursing them will do nothing to change that fact; I'm learning that a little often is better than a manic purge every other week; I'm learning that a clean(ish) house gives me the space to be present enough to play; I'm learning that planning meals in advance will save me hours in the supermarket; I'm learning that resenting people for making messes will only make me miserable; I'm learning that fresh flowers are not frivolous but important; I'm learning to accept that my house will never truly be clean.
Above all, I'm learning that this is my work, that it's an intrinsic part of the life that I've chosen, and that I am capable of doing it well.
And so gradually, with many hiccoughs along the way, I'm learning to feel less resentful of it, less frustrated by it, less demeaned by it and less defeated by its endlessness.
Slowly, slowly, I'm learning how to be a mummy. I'm just a long, long way from reaching page 495.