Wednesday, 1 May 2019

May for Mums

Today my daughter reminded me that soon it will be Mother's Day.  Again.  It felt like yesterday that it was Mother's Day.  In fact thirty years feel like yesterday when I found out I was to be a mom.  Time is like liquid on a down hill.

Motherhood.  It sounds so grand and formal.  It has a ring of perfection to it, as if you have everything under control, sorted and every little detail in its perfect little place.  It conjures up visions of Supermom, her super-hero cape perfectly ironed and blowing brightly in the breeze and her beaming smile topped by elegantly coiffed hair.
I still remember meeting my friend for a quick lunch.  She managed to make time for me between two corporate meetings.  She slipped into the booth carrying an elegant genuine leather briefcase.  She cast a quick glance at my toddler sleeping in her stroller.  There was a thinly veiled look of pity in her eyes.  We quickly ordered something and then we both did a heavily edited recap of our year so far.  My head spun with all the board meetings and overseas trips she had fitted in over a six month period.  She finally took a breather with "what on earth do you do with yourself all day long?"

I think I still owe her an answer.  Before I could reply, she announced that she had to run.  We air kissed goodbye and I finished my cappuccino as she hastily left, her high heels clacking over the tiles.

Her question stayed with me as I drove home, as I made supper, as I nodded absently while my husband told me about his day, as I cleared the dishes and finally bathed a squirmy and giggling two year old.  As I tucked her in and sleepily read "The Faraway Tree" the answer came to me.  I did Mommy Stuff.  All day.  Everyday.  I was so blessed.

No, I was no Supermom.  I was far from perfect.  My go-to hairstyle was a bun twisted messily on top of my head.  My nails were short and unpainted, but clean.  I could sing, mostly off-key, all the nursery rhymes Mother Goose ever penned and I could give a passable performance as a giraffe, or bunny or whatever animal my daughter dictated I be for the day.

Motherhood.  It has been my greatest achievement, my highest calling and my most treasured blessing.  I gave the best I could, I put in a valiant effort, yet what I received was much much more.  I nurtured my daughters, but they showed me how to love; I was their teacher but they taught me about life;  I raised them but they helped me to grow into the best version of me.

I still remember the first smiles, their first words and encouraging them to take that first wobbly step.  I recall the cuddles of their feverish bodies, drying their tears, and laughing at their silly antics.  I watched them grow from adoringly cute, to awkward and gangling to blooming into beauties.  Then the hardest part of all, to slowly let them go, slipping silently from my embrace into a big big world.  Watching them from the sidelines as they stride confidently into society and carving their own place into life, into new relationships and finally a family of their own, is not easy.  Every step takes them further away, to a place we can only see from afar.  Yet, it is exactly what we raised them to be - independent, capable and confident adults.  Like butterflies we set them free and watch as their wings shine in the rays of the sun.  In between tears of pride there are also tears for the end of an era, a time that has passed all too quickly.  But it was all worth it.  Every bit of Mommy Stuff.  I would do again and again.

For all the moms out there: Well done, you are awesome!  You raised princes and princesses and amazing human beings. 

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