With Mothers day fast approaching I have been reflecting on my own Mother.
As a child our Parents are often seen as holders of all knowledge, and I adored my Mum and all that she did for me. Unknowingly by watching her I was constructing my perceptions of how a Mum should be, and she set the bar high. She was a single Mum for many years, was always in paid employment as well, kept the house in immaculate condition, encouraged me to do my best, stood up for me and always kept her calm. I never doubted that she would be there for me through anything and I could talk to her about anything. As a Mum now myself I realise that she was even more amazing than I thought back then.
One of my favourite memories of my childhood was when I was about 4. Mum and dad were still married and Dad worked late on a Friday night. Mum and I would eat dinner, get ready for bed and then snuggle up in her bed for a Movie. I always felt so special. It never felt forced or any less exciting for her than it was for me. I felt like we were like co-conspiritors, sneaking around breaking the rules- staying up past bedtime, food in the bedrooms and lollies after dinner all in one neat little package. I cherish those memories and while we were not doing anything unique it Always felt special.
Throughout my entire childhood I never doubted Mum had all the answers and had my best interests at heart. I hoped that one day I could be as good a Mum to my kids as she had been to me. When I became a Mum myself she was there by my side (literally holding my hand) and as I held my own daughter I realised just how deeply a mother loves her child, how quickly I would give my life to save hers, how I would do this without thought or hesitation. I called my Mum so many times in those early weeks and she came to stay with us often to help out and bond with Princess Pea. Unknowingly I was always comparing myself to her, never measuring up, how did she have the answers, how was she so well organised, and always so calm?
3 kids, one bout of PND and several anxiety attacks later I asked her these questions. Her response- she did not have all the answers, far from it. She had her challenging days, and she had people around her to ask the same questions I now ask her. Some days she was not so calm, some days she didn’t know what to do next, she just made it up as she went along. I realised that as a child we only see so much of our parents, and that my kids only see so much of me. They see me working hard, they see my doing my best and they know no different. They do not see the tears of exhaustion as I rub their legs, sore from growing pains for an hour a night, they do not see the crumbs on the floor when I fail to sweep after dinner, they do not see the unending piles of laundry folded while they are at school. They do see draws full of clean clothes, healthy meals on the table and a Mum who will sit with them and soothe their pain in the only way she knows how.
I am no super Mum with all the answers and the perfect house, body and kids. Trying to be one led me down the path of depression and anxiety as I pushed my mind and body beyond its limits. I want to be a Mum who connects with her kids, one who snuggles up with them for a family movie night, when Dad is at work, one who leaves them feeling loved unconditionally. That’s the real definition of a super Mum isn’t it? I know I had a Super Mum growing up and I wouldn’t be were I am today without her.
I love you Mum xxx