Happy Mothers Day

I have three children, beautiful children, wonderful children, inspiring children. Of course just about every mother will tell you that about their children. Beneath the challenges mothering brings there is a deep connection between a mother and her children. Something that starts during pregnancy, an ongoing umbilical cord which stretches beyond birth through the generations, from each of us to our mother, their mother, their mother and so on. The mother love that passes through this connection is very real.

My beautiful children

It is easy to go all lovey dovey, perfect world, soppy when talking about this strong maternal connection. Truth is life is far from perfect and most mums I know (myself included) don’t realise how wonderful a job they are doing, we tend to focus on what we would like to do but don’t have time for or the skills for of the ability to offer. We tend to compare ourselves with others not knowing that often those others we admire so much are comparing themselves with us in exactly the same way.

My children are some of my biggest teachers and conversations with them about what they remember from the years gone by have taught me to give myself credit for all of these little things. They remember fondly everyday things we did together that I didn’t even consider and they have no memory whatsoever of things I went out of my way to do in order to give them happy childhood memories!

When my daughter was a baby it was a tough time for me, I didn’t think I was doing a great job at all. She was born prematurely at 32 weeks gestation, spent a month in the special care nursery during which I juggled expressing milk, visiting her as often as I could and making time for her two year old brother so he wouldn’t feel neglected. When she came home it was easier but became clear that she wanted to make up for our time apart by being with me all of the time. She cried a lot, I often couldn’t console her or stop the crying so I spent hours just being with her while she cried, holding her while my heart broke as I told myself what a terrible mother I was not being able to make it better. Family and friends offered support but Kelsea cried even more when she was separated from me and if they tried to give me a break by taking her away she would scream even louder. I felt like at least I was doing something by being with her. It was all I could do.

I was given advice from everyone, family, friends, strangers who heard her crying and felt compelled to”help” by telling me what to do. While mostly their intentions were good more often than not their advice went against my mothering instincts and I felt judged, seeds of doubt about what I was doing were sown in my mind. I questioned myself and thought I was weak for not being able to leave my daughter to cry alone, to make her tough it out, could that be what she needed as so many people told me? I just didn’t have it in me to do that. I felt I was not qualified to mother this baby, it was too hard, I didn’t have what it took.

Then one ordinary day my mum was over and she said something that really made a difference for me. I am sure that at the time she was doing her best to care for me, a mothers job has no end date. She may not even remember this but for me it was one of those moments that I will always remember as it made such a difference for me and I often thought about it when things got tough. She told me that she believed Kelsea had been born to me because there were very few others who would have the strength and patience to hold her, to keep being there for her, to not walk away or give up or break down over the months and months of crying and tears, both mine and hers. This recognition of what I was doing and that I was doing it well and doing the right thing for my daughter meant more to me that anything else she could possibly have said or done. It got me through those endless nights, those lonely days, those times I doubted myself and my parenting choices. A beautiful example of Mother love going through the generations and helping and healing as it did so.

I don’t think I ever really thanked Mum for those words, so here it is, thank you Mum, you helped me get through a really tough time and Kelsea and I both appreciate it very much.

I should say that Kelsea is now 13 years old and one of the most well adjusted, secure, confident people I know. We got though those tough times together and now have a wonderful bond and are very close. I honestly believe some of this is due to the fact that I was there for her all those years ago, I didn’t give up, I held her and I cried with her and we slowly healed together.

To all of the mothers reading this, give yourselves a pat on the back and a cup of tea or coffee or a soak in the bath or whatever it is that gives you some time out. You are doing a great and very important job.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

 

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