There’s no hand book with instructions when you take on the most important job that you will ever have. Being a mother is many things, teaching another human being (almost) everything that they will need to know is daunting, exhausting, time consuming, and you will never be rich. In return though you will know love on a whole different level which you never thought possible.
So, let’s start with the fact that you’ll never have a lie-in ever again (unless they sleep out somewhere) and you’ll get to know the tv night schedules when you’re up pacing the floor with a baby that won’t sleep. On the plus side a baby will stay where it’s put until of course it starts walking and then you have to have eyes in the back of your head which is when the fun starts. A toddler likes to form an attachment to one of the popular characters on children programmes which usually means a soft toy which has to go EVERYWHERE so god help you if it gets lost. On the plus side this is when Christmas gets more interesting as it’s the time to start family traditions in your house.
Once a child starts school you might feel that you’ve managed to get some time back for yourself but you’ll spend most of it worrying about what’s happening in the classroom. Does he/she like their teacher? Does the teacher like them? Are they making friends with the other kids/getting bullied/causing trouble? And this doesn’t only apply to primary school, god no, you’ll feel like that throughout their whole time in education. Why haven’t they been picked for the school netball/football team when you know damn well that they are the best player that the school’s ever had.Why have they been overlooked for the main part in the latest drama production again when you know that you only need a talent agent to see them and they’ll be off to stage school before you know it. All these things and lots of others might make you lose a little bit of sleep at night but the main lack of sleep is one word.
I would hate to be a teenager again, all that self hate, insecurities, hormones, doing stupid things, and of course thinking that you know everything. All of a sudden mums are embarrassing, know nothing, have no dress sense and please walk 10 steps behind when we are out anywhere. This can be a really stressful time as boundaries are pushed making you think that maybe there was a mix up at the hospital as this wilful, sullen, cocky, secretive child can’t possibly be yours. You worry constantly about girlfriends/boyfriends, where they are, who they are with, what they are doing and what you can do about it. Showing an interest is seen as being nosy, when the fact is a mother not showing any interest is one who doesn’t care. Trying to keep a grip on what’s going on is hard, as half the time you won’t have a clue who their friends are never mind where they’re going. But this will pass. Yes you’ve probably gone grey, but if you can weather the storm the person on the other side is the beautiful, charming, kind, sensitive, generous adult that you can now relate to. But since the day they were born you will have asked yourself, “Am I doing this right?”
As for single mums I salute you. It’s difficult enough with two parents but when you have to be both good cop, bad cop the job becomes a lot harder, but here we all are. Another Mothers Day where we are surrounded by love, count your blessings ladies, how lucky are we?