With Mothering Sunday approaching I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about being both a mother.
There are lots of things that you don’t understand about your mum until you become one yourself. I remember so many occasions during my teenage years hearing my mum saying “One day you will be a mum, then you’ll understand” At the time the idea of being a parent was so alien to me that I kind of laughed it off and went on doing whatever I was doing that worried her so. I didn’t do anything extreme but just the typical teenage rebellion I guess – staying out too late, not tidying my room or shouting back at her when she made a not really unreasonable request for me to help with dishes or do my homework etc. I remember not really understanding my mother or why she seemed to worry all the time.
15 or so years later, I’m a mum of two. Yet I still feel like that 15 year old girl at times even more so now these past few months. I need my mum. I want my mum. I depend on her more now than I did back then or so it seems.
Yet is that fair? I think before I had children I imagined that to be a parent was to teach your child all the right things, be there for them, support them and when they became an adult and certainly when they became parents themselves they would stand on their own two feet and then it would be time for you to relax. To enjoy being grandparents. To stop the worrying.
But it doesn’t stop, does it?
The worry. The love. The joy. The sadness. The stress. It’s permanent. Which is a wonderful and slightly torturous thing.
I know that these past few years I have caused my parents more stress, more worry than in the previous 25. At a time in my life when I should be riding freely on my bike I still very much have the stabilisers on with a parent holding my back and promising not to let go.
I feel guilty because of this. When will my mum get a break? When will she have a time with no more to worry about than booking a seaside break at her favourite hotel?
But that’s not the deal.
The deal you make when you decide to become a parent. You enter into that deal with the knowledge that it’s forever. I know now that perhaps even when my girls are aged 38 and 40 years old they may be causing me more upset, more worry and need more from me than they do right in this very minute. I have accepted that. I certainly hope they are allowing us more sleep.
It’s a strange step, moving from being just a daughter to also having daughters and perhaps it will seem odd when I tell you that nearly 4 years later it’s still only just about sinking in.
The enormity of it all.
I am their mum forever.
They are my daughters forever.
I am a daughter forever.
She is my mum forever.
Mammy, mummy, mam, mum, mamaaaaa, mammmyyyyyyyyy. Mother.
I can’t imagine a day in my life when I won’t feel the need to pick up the phone and tell my mum something. I am so completely and utterly lucky to have her in my life. For our daughters to have her as a Nana. For those that are without their mums this Mothering Sunday, I am thinking of you. The greatest gift I will have this weekend is a hug from our girls and another from the strongest and most amazing woman that I know.
Thank you Mam. On these day when I doubt everything in my life, when I feel as though my children are suffering because of my illness or as though I don’t do enough for them. You remind me that I do. My children are my world. I’m not a rubbish mum. Even if just for this moment in time I know that – I know that it’s because of you.