It’s true what they say. The only time you know everything about raising kids and parenting is before you have them. After that, you’re plunged into the turbulent waters of parenthood, always thinking you can do better, always striving to be perfect ,always trying to do everything and failing.
I don’t think we truly understand what it means to be a mother until we become one. How it changes the very core of our being.
I know that our kids have absolutely no idea about our inner selves, our struggles with parenthood or indeed the rest of our lives, what we did or were before we became “mommy”.
I know they’re too young to read this and understand but this is what I would explain to them if I could.
She Loves You More that She Can Express.
Before your mother was born, she was young and full of the excitement of life.
Parachute out of an aeroplane.
Dive to the bottom of the sea.
Run a marathon.
She had the audacity and recklessness to try anything and everything, to seek that adrenaline rush, to tick it off her bucket list.
The moment you were born that changed.
Her world shuddered, swung on a hinge and started spinning into a different orbit. You become the single most important thing (or things) in her life. You become the sun around which she revolved. You became her focus.
She stopped enjoying such nerve racking things because at the back of her mind she knew she had to be there for you. To care for you, to look after you but really just to complete your world.
Her most important task is just being there for you.
You Hurt Her.
It was uncomfortable before you arrived and agony when you did.
Breastfeeding hurt when you bit down hard with those boney gums and as you got older you didn’t stop inflicting pain on her.
It hurt when you scratched her, pulled her hair, slapped her in the face and bit her again, this time with your tiny but very solid and sharp teeth.
You hurt her but she still loves you more than you know.
She Knows She’s Not Perfect.
Every time she makes a parenting mistake, she beats herself up about it.
She is her own worst critic.
She knows there is no such thing as a perfect parent but she still aspires to be one.
She fails on a daily basis and although she knows she should forgive herself and move on, she’s not great at that either.
She Watches You When You are Sleeping.
In such contrast to the shouts and the screams of the day, one of her favourite times is to creep into your bedroom and watch your angelic face while you sleep.
The rhythmical breathing, the peaceful slumber.
She can forget the noise and chaos and plant a tender kiss on your sticky forehead.
You are her perfect children.
She would Trade Places when You’re Ill
The worst thing for her is to see her baby unwell, sad and miserable.
She will look after you every second of the day, clear up your vomit in the night, change the dirty sheets and give you fluids drop by drop if she could.
She would rather trade places with you than see you unwell or hurt.
She Wants What is Best for You
At times she may go about it in a funny way but everything she does for you is because she wants to teach you to be an amazing person. A kind, happy and generous person.
Most of all she wants you to be happy.
At times it’s difficult to know the best route to teach you happiness and “awesome human being” powers so please forgive her if you don’t agree with her methods.
She Once Had a Very Different Life Before You Were Born
Before you were born she had a totally different life.
Perhaps she had a career, working long hours, weekends and nights.
Her spare time was hers to do whatever she liked.
Read a book.
Go to a party.
Travel the world.
Now she considers a solitary trip to the bathroom as “me time”. She gets 2 whole minutes to look at herself in the mirror, to remember who she was, to see who she is now.
She Was a Child Once Too
Even before that, your mother was once a child too.
She played in the dirt, bounced a ball, cuddled her teddies, sat on her grandmother’s knee.
Perhaps she even dreamt about having children of her own but it seemed like a dream that would never happen.
She Used to Fight With Her Brothers and Sisters
You know how she's always always telling you to stop fighting with your brothers and sisters?
Well, here's a little secret. She used to fight with hers all the time. Bicker, argue and squabble!
She still wishes you wouldn't do it though!
She Dreads the Passing Of Time
Although there are times when your mother is angry or cross or sad or overcome, she cherishes this time when you are small and need her.
This time when you’ll still hold her hand and sit on her knee and turn to her for a cuddle when you hurt yourself.
The thing she most dreads is the turning of time. The passing of years as you grow up and find your independence and no longer need her help for all those little things in life.
She also dreads the wrinkles and dust that will happen to her.
When you next look at your mother, you only see one person. The person who loves you and tells you what to do, who provides you with food and clothes and love.
But your mummy is all of these things. She is that child, that teenager, that young adult. Now she is that mummy and one day, chance permitting, she’ll be that wrinkled old lady.
Your mommy is all of these things and she loves you beyond words.