…I became a mother to a child with a life-threatening heart condition, multiple co-morbidities and more than one syndrome.

I became a mother to a child I had to fight for, a child that came with a list of diagnosis, a child I felt like I had to read medical journals to keep alive.

When I became a mother I became a children’s nurse first. The motherhood I expected of decorating a nursery, buying cute outfits, weaning, play dates and stair gates was put on the bench whilst I lived in hospital for the first year, learned unheard of genetic syndromes, learnt how to feed my child through a variety of tubes and send him for high risk surgery.

When we finally got out of hospital after around one year I didn’t know about cot bumpers and would always forget nappies or wipes or a change of clothes like I’d just left with my newborn.

When I became a mother I also became an advocate. An advocate for special educational needs and disability. An advocate for flexible working as I was deemed unemployable, something many mothers face. Neither roles had ever appealed to me before but I adapted and thrived because, I’m a mother.

When I became a mother I became a self-trained; physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, dietician, children’s nurse, renal and cardiac specialist and more. Whilst having studied nursing so these jobs weren’t undesirable, no one goes to school to become every health professional there is. It’s impossible, until you’re a mother to a child who needs them.

When I became a mother my whole world tipped upside down and I felt feelings of joy, sadness and fear so intense I didn’t know how it was possible.

When I became a mother I discovered real love, real happiness, real responsibility and real strength.

When I became a mother my life changed in ways I could never imagine. Some ways I’d never want it to and other ways I’d been missing my entire life without even knowing.

When I became a mother, despite the circumstances, diagnosis and different path I was blessed beyond belief.

When I became a mother I became more. More kind, more considerate, more knowledgeable, more aware, more understanding, more driven, more determined, more compassionate, more empathetic. I became a better person because I became a mother.

Kaytee Jones is a 27 year old first time mum single-parenting Jaxon who has multiple diagnosis at just 18 months old. Kaytee is a newly qualified nurse who loves to travel to show her baby the world against all odds, whilst raising awareness on Instagram and YouTube about living with special educational needs and disability. To find out more and donate to Jaxon, please go to Kaytee’s Just Giving page.

In the run up to Mother’s Day and to celebrate the launch of Create a Relaxing Gift Box, we’re giving away three packages worth up to £50 each chosen at random from anyone joining in our #whenibecameamother campaign on Instagram. To enter:

1. Post a picture on your own Instagram account and include a caption about what you learned, or something you felt about your own experience, when you became a mother.
2. Include #whenIbecameamother in your post
3. Include the sentence ‘I am posting this to enter a @dontbuyherflowers competition’ at the end of your caption.

Entries close on 23rd March at 11.59pm. Winners will be drawn at random. Prizes can be delivered to UK and ROI addresses only.