My mother often says to me, ‘every day is Mother’s day’. I tend to agree… when you are a mother, the joy and the happy can strike at any time… it’s not a one day party. Being a mother is a life time journey of learning and celebration.
I wasn’t one of those girls who grew up knowing that she would be a mother. I was like an only child, a much older brother meant that I grew up alone in a house with my parents. I like to think I was spoiled, not spoilt… but my time was my own… and the noise of young children, of siblings was not one that I heard. Babies were not on my radar… I think this ‘non-exposure’ is why I never gave much thought to being a mother. As I grew older and matured I was drawn to friends with big families, with boisterous families… I loved the contrast with my own upbringing… the quiet and the ordered against the chaotic and the disorganised. Don’t misunderstand… I was very cosy and happy in my world … but it was these moments… listening to the squealing, the laughter and the constant wrangling between brothers and sisters that made me want a larger family for my own.
As things stand today, I was a young mother. I had three children under four by the age of 31. This was as unfamiliar from the childhood I grew up in as it could be. To say that it was a steep learning curve would be an understatement. In hindsight I would do things differently… but only small things… and only the unimportant ones. Children need love and security and if those elements are in place the rest will take care of itself.
As mothers, we unconditionally love our children. This is such a strange concept, when most of our life’s choices are based on what we do and don’t love. Do our children unconditionally love us as mothers? I don’t think so. I believe we earn our children’s respect and trust over time. As little people, of course they love us, but as they grow older, develop and have personalities of their own, the relationship between a mother and her child changes. Sometimes it doesn’t go according to plan… Our paths can divide and what we as mothers believe is the right direction may not be what our children have in mind. I have come to learn, because I see this every day with my own children, that sometimes we must let them go and discover. We must allow them to make their own mistakes and experience their own triumphs. This will enrich the relationship and those bonds of love and respect will be even stronger.
Being a mother is the hardest job in the world but it is also the most rewarding. It can be thankless, it is joyous. It can be annoying… yes… children can be annoying and as much as we irritate them… they can irritate us (funny that they never see this)… Tough but true… Do I ever begrudge this? Never… That is what mothering is all about… The life of a mother is full of surprises… and never what you expect. As much as you learn about your children, you learn more about yourself. The art of mothering evolves for each of us over the years, because as the children grow, so do we. As they change, so do we. As they mature and develop, so do we.
A mother’s life is full of tears… tears of sadness and tears of happiness. We cry at their wins and we cry over their disappointments… we make them our own. I am shedding a tear now just thinking about what magnificent young adults my three have become and how proud I am to know they are mine.
And as for Mother’s Day… yes, let’s spoil our mothers… every day, in every way… because we deserve it… xv