Hello! And welcome to the first issue of the #beingamother project of 2016! The new year is in my book – the perfect time to reflect on the many accomplishments of the previous year, and years before that…and that very much includes parenthood. As a mother, we wear so many different hats throughout the year, and indeed through our lifetime as a parent – and it’s with that sentiment in mind that I’m handing over to Jenny from Midwife and Life to reflect on what exactly it means to be a mother.
A lot of the time I feel like I wear multiple hats as a mum, some of them done willingly, some less so, including:
It’s holding them and carrying them when they’re ill or need reassurance, carrying them when they’re far too heavy for you. It’s looking at them and seeing some weird and magical combination of you and their dad but also just a unique person. It’s protecting them and championing them whilst letting them forge their own path. It’s being there for them and going to them when you’re beyond exhaustion and physically and mentally ‘done,’ long after you would for your closest friend or your partner because you can’t bear to see or hear them unhappy.
But there’s something else, something you just can’t name, or probably a combination of unique qualities within us and in our physicality in each of us that forms a special blueprint for our children, just as our mothers did for us. It’s probably why we end up sounding like our mothers, it’s imprinted on to us and it’s the only example we know!
I’m lucky I had (and still have) a wonderful mother to model myself on and if I’m feeling a bit down or in need of comfort there’s something about her presence and touch that provides such comfort that can’t be measured. If I’m struggling to juggle everything or getting exasperated with my children, it can be good to remember this. We are often the only person who can understand them and who truly know who they are and what they need before they do. It’s our job to sometimes make them unhappy in the short term for their long term gain which can be heart-breaking to do but we put on a brave face for them.
When they are babies it’s so completely precious and gone in a flash, that magical sweet scent of a baby’s head and the softness of their skin next to yours. The chubby hands and fingers grabbing at you and the special smile just for you all gums and the odd tooth. The finest of downy hair soft and fluffy and tickly up your nose. The huge round eyes looking for you and arms reaching out for you.
When they are growing older it’s wonderful to see them grow a sense of humour, humility, see the man or woman they will become, spend precious time in their world yet they still need you to kiss it better when they fall and want you by their side in their achievements.