Nearly 9 years ago, back in November of 2003, I had my first child. Needless to say, motherhood has well and truly changed my life -forever.
As motherhood slowly grew on me, I knew I wouldn’t be a conventional mum, to me conventional is the likes of Bree Van De Kamp ala Desperate Housewives. I just can’t do that brand of perfectionism and the women out there who do it… wow …. seriously wow…how do you do it ? So yes, I was resigned to the fact that our house may not have a perfectly labelled pantry, well-behaved, silent children who read Jane Austen and circle difficult words to later find in a thesaurus or an immaculate school station (yes, people have school stations – where well behaved, silent children park their belongings ready for the next morning , notes to be signed, schoold bags, hats )
And yes, I am okay with that.
Now don’t get me wrong , I absolutely LOVE the idea and even attempted it here at Mumchic HQ, only I ended up doing all the stationing myself. Go on, you can judge me for not being consistent and setting the boundaries but honestly speaking, in the big scheme of things , the odd lost excursion note will not scar my child for life. Noone said childhood was meant to be sterile. That said, like every family, we do have a basic set of rules which we try to adhere to if we are to keep things sane around here.
Speaking of juggling sanity with motherhood, yesterday, a popular facebook community kindly featured my post, A Survival Guide To Raising Boys – The Good , The Bad and The Funny and a young, 15 something lad commented, “Come on now!!! Our moms need books to tell them how to raise kids?? :/” . Clearly, the difference between a blog and a book is lost on the young boy. But more importantly, I wondered if my children too, will grow up to be as ignorant and assume that motherhood is one easy walk in the park. Because, I can tell you, it is not ! Is it because we, as mums make it all seem so effortless and smooth, do our children not even realise the hard yards that went into raising them?
Being a mother is the hardest job in the world and you can pretty much assume a lifetime of exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Mothers are not born with the necessary skills required to raise half decent children.It is an on-going learning journey where mothers acquire major life skills like patience, anger management, the art of improvisation, cooking a decent meal in 5 minutes and speed cleaning, speed cleaning after speed cleaning 15 minutes ago to name a few.Being a mother, sometimes you do need to read a book on parenting or two to deal better with challenging situations. Sometimes you need a coffee and chat with a friend and sometimes you find yourself wishing your friend was a therapist. Sometimes you do send in a note a day late and you have not combed your hair for what feels like days.Sometimes, you feel like you could do anything to escape the madness even if it is just for an hour long badly done pedicure. It does not mean, you are a bad mother. It is okay.
As my children grow, I rediscover the values and ideals passed on to me by my parents. And while I do not promise my children a conventional mother, here is what I do promise them. I promise them a life enriched with knowledge, edcucation, generosity, thoughtfulness, righteousness and sensitivity towards others. I promise them confidence, faith, inspiration, the power of intention and I equip them to the best of my ability with the virtues of truth, kindness, selflessness, strength and courage. I empower them with the knowledge that you can not always win in life, that you will fall and make mistakes but that is okay. The key is to rise above those mistakes and come back mightier from them.We will learn together that giving up is the easy option and sometimes the simple answers may not be the right ones. We will watch movies, laugh together , ALOT ! We will bond over delicious meals or a book and share what we loved most about The Enchanted Wood. I will let my children see me as someone funny and humorous, someone who can take the odd prank….sometimes. We will explore and travel together and learn about the world’s many cultures, people and their food.Not only will I be their teacher, I will allow them to be mine.
Being a mother does not mean I know everything.
When I look at my gorgeous sons today, aged 6 and 8, I already see in them, intelligent, curious minds. I see articulate speakers, I see kindred souls and I know that though they may not be there yet, they are well on their way to becoming the men I want them to be.The last and perhaps most important thing I promise my children is an unwavering, limitless supply of love. Being a mother is certainly the hardest job in the world, but it is also the most rewarding when all your hard work is paid off in the form of pure, unconditional love.
Mothers are flawed, we were not born perfect by design but we learn and discover with each new experience.Sometimes we need a book, other times we need a friend and yet other times we need our our own mothers to refer to. Yet to every child, his/her mother seems beautiful and perfect..such is the sanctity of this bond. No mother should ever be made to feel incapable or imperfect because in our own capacities, we all strive to do what is best for our children.
I am a mother, I am not perfect !
Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful mothers out there ! Hope you have a fantastic day