I absolutely love being a mother. Whilst I didn’t love being pregnant, I do love the fact that I carried both my girls. (I love always having a one up on pain threshold over my husband because I kicked ass at childbirth). I love that I ultimately make the decisions for our children and even though sometimes I find the responsibility a bit of a burden, I LOVE that I am their mother and not their father.
However, in saying that – I think that we can learn a lot from how fathers parent and I’ve been thinking lately that I really want to take some of the parts of being a father and perform it as a mother.
Patience: I see how my husband talks to the girls. He will stop and listen. He won’t be preparing for the next meal and half listening, he won’t be cleaning as he chats, he will put down whatever he is doing and look the kids in their faces and take it all in. Unfortunately mothers are very time short that we often don’t stop. But really, if the kids eat 2 minutes later will it make a difference? If the dishwasher isn’t unpacked till later – will it matter? Absolutely not! But having that conversation there and then with our children will make a massive difference to them.
Silliness: My husband and dad are silly. So silly. The kind of silliness that makes me roll my eyes. But my kids absolutely love it. I hear a laugh come out at these times and admittedly I am a little envious. They know their mother loves them, they generally know what I expect of them and I’m pretty sure they would think their mother is fun but do they know that we can be silly together too? Probably not. I have often made jokes to my husband about how I try to bring up well mannered ladies and he undoes that when he is so silly with them. But the more I think about it, I think they have plenty of time to be ladies and that laugh that he got was completely warranted.
They see the big picture: I have heard my friends complain that when they look after their children, the house is clean, a nutritious, home cooked dinner is on the table and that everything flows wonderfully but when their husbands look after the kids there is havoc. Dinner is a last minute meal thrown together, every toy is sprawled out on the floor and the kids are wound up. I just think that their husbands decided that playing that extra game was more important than tidying up the previous one. And that the mess could be cleared later. The dinner was a late thought because it’s not a big deal to have one dinner of pasta with cheese and sauce. And they definitely don’t have words in the vocabulary like “wound up”, they just see it as “having fun”.
So yes, today is Mothers Day. A day where I am so greatful to celebrate being a mum. A birthday is just the day that happens to be when you were born but Mothers Day is saying something. It’s a day where I say to myself, I am doing the toughest job in the world. Sometimes I’m not sure what I’m doing and sometimes to be completely honest, I actually am just winging it BUT what an amazing honour it to be their mother.
Today I also can’t help but think about those that are yearning to be mothers, those that dread days like this. I remember walking around the shopping centre only able to see pregnant stomachs and prams and feeling so envious of them all. I remember sitting on an uncomfortable chair hearing fertility test results and thinking Mothers Day will be for someone else. I also remember hearing on the phone that I was pregnant and not even believing them without seeing those two lines neatly next to each other myself. I just want to say to those women and mothers feeling incomplete that I’m sorry we have days like this, days that feel like we are rubbing it in and to all of you. To you, I truly send the most love.