I realise today is Mother’s Day. I do. My Mother knows already how much I cherish the chances I have been given in this life.
She knows I haven’t always had it easy, and that she is a major part of the reason I bounce back from Life’s challenges as well as I do (although I note that she is careful to assign the stubborness/pigheadedness of which I am capable firmly at my father’s feet). I think that our city pharmacist, working solo-in-the-bush in the 60′s Ma has been an amazing role model for her offspring, and is a pretty cool chick all-round.
Today, however, I want to be a little selfish and focus on my own version of Motherhood. It was a life ambition that I never really felt as an adolescent or in my early 20s. Not til I found a certain tall handsome blue-eyed bloke who made me see the light.
For me, despite initial misgivings about my fitness for parenthood, having children has proven a treasure trove of wonder.
First and foremost amongst these revelations is that I struck gold when I chose their father. (He will of course claim that I chased him and wore him down, which is so far from the truth it’s hilarious, but I like to humour him when he tells the story!). Seriously though, the man is an awesome Dad.
I have also discovered many MANY things about myself.
I found out that I am not QUITE as self-centred as I suspected. For instance, I discovered I can clean up vomit without ‘going out in sympathy’… but only just. (And let me tell you, for the first year or so of his life, our Dash tried out that particular reflex on a close-to-daily basis). I discovered I can go without sleep, don’t really need to paint my nails and Life will not come to a screaming halt just because I don’t fit perfectly into on-trend fashion.
I also discovered a whole myriad of previously untapped nerve-endings. My capacity to feel exploded with the arrival of these two little people. My ability to experience their pain and their anguish and their joy and their humour is stunning. It’s exhausting and exhilarating and fabulous and gut-wrenching.
Nobody warned me of the emotional rollercoaster of parenthood. And I am so glad they didn’t.
I hope to get some trinkets and cuddles in bed this morning, as the sun rises on Mother’s Day in Oz. But as any mother knows, the real gift is not so much in the trinket or breakfast offering, as it is in the wriggling excitement of your kids as they await your reaction. I anticipate that fizzing fabulous moment above all others…
I realise this post is hopelessly self-indulgent… I am adding a PS below to temper the message here. But first…
To Dash and Violet – thankyou. For whatever you give me today. And for my everyday rollercoasters too.
The Luckiest Mum in the World…
I want to note that I don’t think motherhood needs to be for every woman. As an ex-journo I chanced upon a number of people who should never have chosen to be parents, and whose children suffered terribly (and often tragically) as a result. It’s part of what made me nervous about being a parent. ALL kids deserve to have parents who truly want them – I don’t know that there is a greater gift.
And I deeply admire women who can clearly and logically assess their own situations and outlooks and choose NOT to have children. It is a courageous choice (in a society that holds family upon an often unrealistic pedestal) and should really be celebrated too.
That said, my heart breaks for each and every woman who yearns for motherhood and has that choice elude them. Nature is so bloody unfair sometimes.