Welcome to the 19th edition of the #beingamother project. Please join me in welcoming this week’s blogger, Lucy from Bottlefor2! I really relate to Lucy’s contemplation of parenthood – that whole journey of losing, then re-finding yourself whilst nurturing and discovering your own child as a mum are to me, the elements which make motherhood just so hard, amazing and mind-boggling all at the same time…sound familiar? It seems we all went through it…and proof here is Lucy’s take on what motherhood means to her…
To me, being a mother isn’t exactly what I expected, but how on earth can you really know what to expect. You can’t. There may be a bestseller written about it, but we all have our own story.
My most raw feeling on being a mother can only be compared with a lioness protecting her cub. It sits deep within me at all times or the night and day, whether I am with my daughter or not. She is at my core. And I am there, ready to pounce in whichever direction necessary.
The challenge with that emotion of protection is that it directly conflicts with the need to let them go a little. And it is important to do that, for both of you.
I certainly won’t be turfing her out of my herd and into the wild, but when you have to go back to work, for example, you need to find a responsible zoo keeper you can trust.
Who knew it could be so hard to let someone else take care of your young.
Being a mother is much more complicated than I had imagined.
Something that ought to be ‘simple’, isn’t.
You wouldn’t think that sleep, eat, poo (as they say) would be that complex. But if you were to over analyse each one of those, you’d find there are a million things your brain will be trying to process (while seriously lacking in number 1, sleep).
I won’t list the million things, but let’s face it, we worry about their sleep, our sleep, how much they are eating, how often, how much is coming out the other end, how often, what colour is it? You get the idea.
That whirring around in your brain 24 hours a day can drive you a little mad.
I remember in the first couple of weeks of Elsie’s life, my husband and I kept a little chart (built from an excel spreadsheet) which would document all the times she ate, slept and pooed!
It was hard to remember everything on no sleep. I think that was our logic.
What were we thinking?
I guess we were trying to ‘manage’ parenting, until it came naturally. I soon stopped being a chart slave and let instinct take over; but at first, you feel so suddenly responsible for such a precious life you don’t want to cock it up!
You begin to question yourself on things that would have been a no-brainer before. Whether it’s sleep deprivation that’s affected you, or emotions getting the better of you, there are some days when it all can feel a bit too much.
To me, being a mother has been a journey of re-finding myself as well as nurturing and discovering my child.
I hadn’t thought I would get lost in Motherhood. I was always a strong personality, with something to say, something to laugh about and things to be doing. How could I get lost? But for a while I did.
Now I am coming out the other side. I’ve readjusted. And life will keep changing and readjusting as she grows. I accept that, and will face and embrace each challenge with the best of my ability.
37 years doing whatever I liked (within reason), had to change once Elsie arrived. Out with the selfish, in with the selfless! We (my daughter, husband and I) are finding a new way of life. Becoming a parent changes everything.
I always used to wonder why people used the phrase “in the club” to describe pregnancy and parenting. Now I know. Being a mother is a sisterhood, there is an unsaid, unwritten respect to all mothers you meet. As you just know. That’s pretty special.
We were on holiday recently, a big group of us, for a family celebration. I really felt the love from other Mums. They understood the challenges of holidaying with a baby. They offered their help. I felt their support, without them even saying at times.
I think that is an amazing thing about being a mother.
My daughter brings me joy in ways no one can ever explain. She breaks my heart with her point and cry technique (as I leave her with someone else). She frustrates me like nothing else when she chucks food all over the floor, and she melts my heart when she reaches out to hug and kiss me.
She makes me proud each time she learns something new; delights me when she charms strangers. I’m so grateful l, (and ever so slightly smug), when she sits nicely in a restaurant, letting us actually enjoy a meal. (Sort of)
She makes me laugh, a lot. She tests my patience beyond realms I thought possible, and yet as a mother, all you do is love her. Love her with all your heart each and every day.
To find out more about the #beingamother project, how you can take part, and to catch up on previous issues hop over here.