Mum, Mummy, Ma, Mamma….. whichever you have chosen to call that wonderful woman or to be called yourself, make no mistake… there is truly no one more powerful, more fierce and more unconditional in every way.
This post is especially special to me because not only am I a mum of two glorious little ladies, but today is my eldest daughter’s 5th birthday. Yes folks, at this very moment 5 years ago I was at home with mild contractions and a fire (and human) in my belly from the knowing that I was soon to meet someone I’d already fallen so deeply in love with.
If you’re a mum, you are probably sitting there nodding your head right now with a memory of that familiar feeling. While I won’t go into the nitty gritty of my 48 hour labor process and all the twists and turns that that ride took me on, I will leave you on this topic with a quote from Ibu Robin Lim.
“Birthing is the most profound initiation to spirituality a woman can have.”
I think the best advice I got during my pregnancy was to dive in without expectation. It’s a hard thing to do because as human beings we plan, we fantasize and we expect… and a lot of the time those expectations are high, especially the ones we hold ourselves ransom too. And one could assume, I feel I can safely say, that the higher the expectation the harder the fall can be. So, this piece of advice was golden… because one of the two certainties we can waltz into motherhood with is that we don’t really know what we are doing. Even with round 2 or 3, you are in unchartered territory because you are again meeting the challenge of new person all together. None the less the other certainty is that you will love your person more then you heart has imagined you could ever possibly love.
No one is ever prepared for motherhood, or parenthood in general. I don’t care if your Nanny McPhee reincarnated, or if you’ve been around kids your entire life. There is no such thing as a professional mum. We are all rookies, doing our best every step of the way. Our best won’t always be good enough and unfortunately our worst critic tends to be ourselves, but if you can rest your head each night knowing that your best is good enough, even when you feel like it was an epic fail…. If you can close your eyes at the end of a tough day knowing that you still mean everything to your little someone and are the absolute love of their life, even when you’re not so pretty side came out to play several times that day…….and if you can come from a place of compassion toward yourself in this crazy mumspehere we have entered, instead of swallowing a mountain of guilt when you’ve had a meltdown because exhaustion has reared it’s torturous head and you’ve had to lock yourself in the bathroom for a 5 minute breather or sob while the kids bang on the door…..then you are “ smashing it ” ladies!! Our biggest hurdles here aren’t our little people, our biggest hurdles here lie with the ideals and unrealistic ‘job description’ we hand ourselves day in and day out.
I have learnt that my girls love me no matter what, and although that is not my que to be a narky, overtired, selfish biarrtch, it gives me wriggle room to be and to feel human. To put me first from time to time, to have a cry if I need to even if they spot me on the couch with a handful of tissues, to “let there be mess”, because you miss so much when all you do is run around like one of those awesome Dyson Cyclone vacuum cleaners with all the bells and whistles. The best lessons, in my very humble opinion, that we give our children as their parents, are shared when we are real and raw.
Life is not always peachy, it is quite literally a rollercoaster ride consisting of ups and downs and all the twists and turns in between. If they see us weathering all the aspects of our ride then what we are actually doing is showing them that even though life can be peachy, it can also let us down …... and that weathering their crazy ride is not only something we will help them through because we have done it, but that it’s both normal and nothing that they cannot handle and embrace.
I could have gone on and on and on about the joys of motherhood to honor Mother’s Day 2021, but we are all aware of the indescribable bliss and the moments of meaning that we get. I mean, most of us go back for person number 2 don’t we?? (some for round 3 and 4 …. bravo btw to those of you nuts enough to do so lol).. I decided on this day however not to honor a feeling but to honor the person, the person in all her perfect imperfections and her unconditional love. The person whose sleep is little but whose ability to keep on going is next to none. The person whose boobs have seen better days after breastfeeding but who throws on that push up bra and goes about her day. The person who packs the kitchen sink in her giant handbag before she ducks out, even if it’s simply to do the grocery run, just in case it’s needed because her humans will not go without whatever they need at any time. The person who puts everyone else ahead of herself because it is second nature to do so.
To all my fellow mothers and mums to be out there, never underestimate yourselves. You were born for this gig but there is no such thing as mastering motherhood, there is no diploma issued or certificate of completion because we never stop learning and growing. The magic happens in the knowing that they will guide us and teach us just as much as we will guide and teach them, that their love is just as unconditional as ours and that we are all in this together.
Stay awesome, keep that inner critic in check and remember that in the eyes of your tribe you are truly a superhero.