Trying to figure out what being a Mum is all about can give you a headache. It’s not as easy as just saying…. “Being a Mum is hard” or “I love being a Mum” ……Figuring it all out is one of the biggest puzzles in the world.
When I fell pregnant with my first, everyone told me how hard it was going to be. You may have seen a post that went viral a few days ago along the lines of “People told me it would be hard but nobody told me it would be the best thing in the world” .
But for me it was different. Everyone close to me expressed concern. Everyone told me I would never have freedom again. They told me about sleepless nights and having no money. They told me my body would change and maybe I should wait a few years.
But I knew all that. I wasn’t stupid. I knew that being a Mum was going to be a hard old slog. Or at least I thought I knew. But how can you possibly know something that hasn’t happened yet? Because actually, with the arrival of my first born and my second two and a half years later….things weren’t all that hard. I suddenly had a purpose in life. I always say I got it easy. Maybe I would have a different outlook if the babies I had were different, if they were harder. The first year of being a Mum, and I really hate to brag, was easy. It was brilliant. It was love. It was everything I had ever wanted. My baby was ….well, she was a baby. She was perfection. She cried, she laughed, she smiled, she ate, she teethed. She did all the things I thought she would. She gave me sleepless nights but it hardly came as a shock. She made motherhood easy.
And if I thought she was easy…..my second born, my little man was the most chilled out baby you could ever ask for. He barely cried, he slept, he giggled, he teethed….he was a baby that did baby things. Of course, there was so much more to raising them than the sleepless nights and the stretch marks on my body. My girl could talk at the age of ten months but was a late walker. My boy walked at average age but was quiet and didn’t speak a lot. My girl had a smile that could light up a room from the age of six weeks. My boy had a giggle that sounded like wind chimes and fairies. My girl had a high pitched girly cry. My boy had a serious down in the dumps face if he was unhappy.
We rattled through life nicely. We muddled through. We were a unit. And everything that I expected from parenthood happened. Babies are babies. They will cry, they will poo, they will eat and they will sleep. But they are so much more than just hard work. They are the reason you get up in the morning. They are the reason you spend all day smiling. They are the reason you strive to be the best person you can possibly be.
Everyone said it was going to be hard, but they all said it was going to be hard for the wrong reasons. They all warned me about sleepless nights, but forgot to mention that the minute your child sneezes you sit there watching them in case it’s something more sinister. I didn’t know that instead of wishing I could sleep…I would happily give up forty years of sleep if it meant I didn’t have to watch my little girl go through an asthma attack. Who warned me that I would feel helpless and out of my depth as I watched my boy battle a nasty flu bug that left him weak for seven days? People didn’t tell me about the way your heart thuds with fear when your daughter is old enough to start walking to school by herself with her friends. I never knew that I would feel sick to my stomach as I watched my boy fall down in a game of football hurting his knee. I had no idea I would question myself every single night on whether I’m bringing them up right or if they need more. I never knew I would lose sleep because I will never know if I am giving them enough.
Those are the things that would be handy to know.
I think when you have a baby, It is hard to see beyond a year or so. I am obviously way out the baby years with my littles and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. Seeing the little people they have become, the people they will be….there is no better feeling and I love them with every ounce of my being. As today is Mothers Day….I need to thank them, as I do every year, for actually allowing me to be a Mum, and not just any old Mum….a Mum to the best kids in the world.
Parenting is so full of criticism these days. It’s sad. Everyone is a critic. I hate to say it, but it’s not only strangers and casual Facebook friends that will judge you, it’s also your close friends and family. Not because they are mean and cruel, but because most of them have probably had a kid of their own and did things differently to you. But that my friends, is the beauty of being a parent. It’s awful to think that the minute you become a parent, everything you do is up for scrutiny.
I know many parents are proud to shout about the way they are raising their kids and that is fine, I admire them. I try to keep my life with the littles private. Nobody needs to know if I breast fed or not, if I have a certain type of car seat for them, what age I potty trained them and how, If I let them cry it out as newborns, what dinners I feed them, what time I make them do their homework. Because whatever I say will be judged by someone, and I’m not open to that. I’m a Mum, doing the best I can, who is raising two very happy and polite children. I don’t need anyones opinion on whether I am doing it right or not. The only opinion that matters to me is that of my kids, who hopefully in twenty years or so time will take me for a lovely Mothers Day meal and say…. “You did your best Mum.”
That is all anyone can ask for. As long as you have your childrens love and respect, then you are definitely doing something right. I would urge anyone reading this not to be so hard on other parents. We are all just getting on with it.
Happy Mothers Day everyone!!