Just on Friday I stood at the sink washing up and pondering on several things about life.
The house was rarely quiet as both Ethan and Megs were at school, and I decided that I was going to do a spot of baking for my little family. Why I do not know, as I am pretty naff at it, but it was just a huge urge I had which then triggered a whole host of others thoughts and before I knew it I was in a deep reflection on life. It was here I realised I was feeling something I hadn’t so easily in a while; I felt relaxed and I just felt happy in my role as a mother and excited for the future. I felt I was doing great things and that I was actually being a great mum. Baking some buns whilst dancing to Taylor swift made me emotional and joyful as I realised I had been less focused on our home recently and more on our kids. That joy had been found in the small things once again like baking, crafts and little outings, and that I had dreams and plans for more adventures. I felt like for that ordinary moment on a Friday afternoon, home alone, I was back, on fire and feeling like mum.
Despite having a million dreams of what I wanted to do when I grew up, the only one that has panned out and kept me driven is marriage and having kids. I have flitted between dreams of working in law, education, medicine, social work… you name it and its probably crossed my mind as a good idea for my future, and on several occasions I have even started on that path, only to discover the passion and motivation was no longer there. But from being about 12 I would often say to my school friends that I couldn’t wait to meet my man and get married. I wanted most in life to be a mother, and whilst for a few years mid teens it seemed so awful to me, my life has pretty much headed in the direction of wanting to be a mum of several kiddies, domestic goddess and wifey to a dishy husband. How lovely to be living the dream.
Only it isn’t all lovely is it? Innocence sometimes is a great thing, because as a young teen, it never occurred to me how hard becoming and being a mother could be. I never imagined PND after my 1st baby, long hard days where you barely have to time to eat or breathe, No more peeing in peace..huge amounts of whining in your ears, nagging…constant nagging and small humans pushing you to the brink.
Who ever knew about the mountains of laundry, constant cleaning, little sleep, a snappy temper I never knew I had, days when you are just reduced to tears and cleaning up sick, pooh and who even knows what that was! I never knew the wrong coloured plate or cup, asking someone to wear boots instead of sandals in winter and asking a child to pick up their toy could cause the biggest melt downs known to man.
I didn’t picture the heartache of having to birth a sleeping child or having a funeral for one of my kids, and nor did I ever imagine the intense struggle of trying to parent through grief or emotional trauma.
I just simply expected it would be a natural thing for me because it was my dream; a joyful life with fun, laughter, me loving my role and cherishing every moment.
Thankfully there have been thousands of those moments that I dreamt of and they are what makes being a mum so wonderful – The discoveries on days out together, the snuggles whilst watching movies, little hands holding your face and kissing you with the softest little kisses known on earth. The questions that really make you think and ponder on the world too, the smallest achievements that qualify for the biggest cheers and tears of joy and the days spent together just loving that they are yours. All ordinary moments that make life what it is (a wonderful thing really). They make the hard days, the weepy days, the anxious days and the down right awful days all worth it. They make you realise you were right to dream this because living it is fabulous and in those moments its where I really cherish being a stay at home mum, and a mother generally. But yes, unfortunately we have to take the hard days, the hard periods and seasons along with it because life is not perfect, it just holds moments that are perfection and that make dreams a reality.
For a long time I didn’t really feel like a mum, whatever that means. Perhaps I mean I didn’t feel like a good mum and I didn’t look like the mum I imagined and that was hard, and made me feel like at times I was failing. I often felt out of control or just hanging on and I know now that has a lot to do with the fact that it hasn’t been an easy adjustment for me with the plagues of self doubt, depression and anxiety from the start when PND was born into my life with Ethan, and it made me wonder why this thing I imagined was just so much harder than it seemed for others. But I battled on and it got easier with time and having Megan. But again motherhood became a period to just battle on when with our 3rd baby we had to say goodbye far too soon. I guess whilst most days I do enjoy my life and being a mum, it has felt strange that my dream has often actually been a battle. I have resented some days that it just seems to be a tiring long up hill fight to survive and just feel the joy in it all.
These moments go beyond the slog of hard parenting days that I know we all have, and they stand out to me to be moments where I was actually broken, but they were also moments that led to self discovery and analysing and then helped me to believe in me, in my abilities and become a stronger yet more sensitive individual. Hard parenting days are still sometimes made harder because of the sheer emotions that I carry from missing my baby, and because of those moments I have been through. But I have seen in retrospect that actually those emotions also help me be a little more loving, tender and compassionate. They help to make me who I am now.
I cried a lot this week with relief for the blessing of a healthy new baby coming, and that I will be a mother to 4 soon and finally I relaxed about all of these chapters and stopped trying to be something else but just embraced it, and then I saw the bigger picture and who I am and have become and it was then I just felt like a mum…
Yes I am a mum to almost 4 beautiful individuals and yes of course I know now after almost 6 years that that is an all consuming task. It is something I have wanted but at times also resented, but it is something I absolutely do love. This role in life makes my heart full and blesses me with oh so many moments every day where I look upon beautiful little faces and realise that this what its always been about, this is my source of happiness and joy, my source of constant learning, my place where dreams are made. It is a role I have battled to adjust to, but I am glad I have, because it makes me want to keep fighting on the hard days and the emotionally draining days, because really there is nothing else I would rather be doing and no other thing that makes me feel so fulfilled than living life with my family, doing my homely little things for them and dreaming of adventures.
I am grateful to be living in a moment or season now where I finally feel like Mum. I carry pain and miss my daughter daily, I struggle like most mums do at times but this week in an very ordinary moment of baking for my family, I felt clarity and a huge increase of joy for motherhood. I accepted me and I embraced my life. I am mum, I am strong and I love it.
Linking up with Katie from Mummydaddyme for #ordinarymoments