Welcome to the 11th edition of the #beingamother project. This week sees Kirsten from The Guilt Free Guide to Motherhood, one of my favourite blogs for incredible insights into some of the issues and emotions we encounter and try to address in motherhood. Being the wise owl that she is (given her background in counselling, hypnotherapy, and psychotherapy) her take on what motherhood means is the perfect incisive reflection..
I had not wanted children for most of my life until a very unexpected change of heart came upon me. I was settled, had a great man beside me and to my surprise (as well as his) I began to want a child.
It was very strange because I found babies slightly scary and I could not really imagine myself as a Mum. However over the years I had learnt so much about psychology (I am a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist) that I felt I would have a good basis to raise a child ( I say this with a smile now).
When I was pregnant I read loads as I didn’t know the first thing about babies and I wanted to be well informed. But no amount of reading could have prepared me for becoming a Mother. I was blown away on two counts. Firstly how amazing it is and secondly how tough it is.
I realised that what was difficult was not just caring for a baby but dealing with all the conflicting emotions Motherhood brings with it.Consequently I decided to do some research into other women’s experiences of Motherhood and now, after interviewing many Mothers in depth, I am writing a book that looks more deeply into the emotional impact of becoming a Mum.
I am certainly not the Mum I thought I would be. I have changed so much and learnt so much. I actually like the Mother I am now more than the idea of the person I had in my mind. That is not to say that I don’t feel like I have failed plenty of times because I do, but then I bounce back and realise I am okay, not perfect but okay.
So from that perspective here goes with my thoughts on what Motherhood means.
Valuing my children more than anything else.
Loving so much it is a joy.
Loving so much it hurts.
Finding my kids the most fun, infuriating and wonderful people I know.
Knowing that I am loved, wanted and needed, not for who I am, how I look or what I do, but because I am Mum.
Endlessly learning about children, myself, my flaws, my ability to love and the wonder that is life.
Being pushed to my limits and discovering skills of endurance I didn’t know I had.
Learning with time that there is not one way to do it.
Attempting to balance so many needs all at once with no guide book available.
Coming to terms with the contradictions in how I feel.
Having very little time but valuing the time I do have more.
Being stronger than I have ever been yet more vulnerable.
Being more restricted but more creative.
Getting tired and frustrated but knowing I would not change it, because I am Mum to my boys and that is everything.