It’s Mothers Day today. I was awoken by a gorgeous bunch of flowers from my two daughters, and they also let me have a lie-in, which was jolly decent of them!
I always feel a bit of a fraud on Mothers Day. Accepting presents and cards just for having enough strength to push a watermelon out past my lady garden goalposts. Twice.
Is it really the hardest job in the world? Some mums would emphatically nod their heads; of course it is. But I think those women working 14 hour days in dirty, unsafe sweatshops in India may disagree.
Is it really the most important job in the world? Well it’s certainly up there in the top ten, although the scientist who works on developing cures for cancer might not agree either.
All I know is that it’s hard. Harder than I ever expected, as a young, starry-eyed mother to be. That little bundle of perfection; a miraculous blend of you and your partner, will take your last nerve, and stamp all over it, from birth to the day it packs its bags for college. It will take your motherly love and raise it up higher than the sun, and the next day make you question you ever had a maternal bone in your body. It will make you teary and sniffy with pride at school recitals, and then cringe with embarrassment in public, with its childlike honesty. Your children will frustrate you, exhaust you, bankrupt you, and astound you. Question you, annoy you, delay you and underestimate you. But most of all they will love you… unconditionally.
Whatever you did, whatever you said, in the heat of a crappy day’s moment. When you were so goddam tired and overwhelmed that you just snapped. But they forgave you, instantly, because you are their mum, and their little hearts are pure and infinite and forgiving. And you felt like such a complete shit, and vowed to do better, be better, and to be a supermum if it kills you. But it’s just so hard, because no one ever told you how. It’s all instinct. Trial and error. A HELL of a trial, and a LOT of error!
Now I’ve gone and made motherhood sound awful, and that being a mum is the absolute worst job in the world. But it’s not. It IS one of the hardest jobs I have ever done, but it’s definitely the most rewarding. I just wanted to balance out all the hearts and flowers ‘my kids are the best kids in the world ‘ crap. Some people do have great kids, yes. I have a friend whose kids surprise her almost monthly with flowers, gifts and little treats. She’s lucky. They obviously have no trouble expressing their grateful emotions. Mine are very different. Good kids, but reserved. They’d rather friend me on Facebook than say ‘I love you Mum!’ And that ain’t never gonna happen.
Despite that, I know they do, (love me that is!) Of course they do. Or they wouldn’t leave me that last choccy cupcake in the box, would they? Or still allow me to kiss them goodnight at ages 14 and 19 respectively!
If I had to choose any ONE thing as the hardest about motherhood, it would be this: not leaving.
Yes, I’ve wanted to leave – a good few times. My marriage wasn’t always a happy one. Some days, the only thing that kept me there was the children. They needed me, and I had a duty of care. I could have taken them with me, but they would have suffered. I live abroad, so it’s a bit more complicated. So I stayed, and stayed, and now they are growing into well-rounded, kind and talented young women. So I did something right. If there is ONE thing I would like them to be thankful for; it’s that I didn’t leave. I stayed the course; and sometimes that’s the hardest thing for a mother to do.
Maybe I DO deserve that bunch of flowers after all!
Happy Mothers Day, comrades!!! 😀