How many UK mums woke up this morning to luke warm drinks and cold toast served up on a tray with a side of daffodils? Happy Mother’s Day, Mummy! No, my lot are beyond that – in fact only one of them is here and she had to be dragged out of her pit. But we did have our 7 year old nephew staying and he was awake bright and early – Uncle Dunc’s job to play, watch Lego You tube videos and generally entertain. So I was greeted with an enormous shout of “Happy Mother’s Day, but you’re my auntie” as I entered the kitchen.
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I haven’t heard from either of the boys in person yet…they may just be emerging from their pits. The student engineer went out with his boyfriend and his parents last night, and I did try to wangle an invite too but the thought of us turning up sent him a delicate shade of grey, tinged with an air of panic! But….yesterday morning the doorbell went at some unearthly hour and a delivery arrived for me. From the politics student…for Mother’s Day. Wow!!! Very impressed with a lovely box of chocs – but what is with the note?!
All the talk of Mother’s Day on TV & radio this morning has got me thinking about some of the things I’ve learnt since being a mum….
- Yes the love is unconditional and two way – until you find felt tip all over the walls, or the lovely 12 year old turns into a teen….hormones, smells, trainers, mouldy food, and you are “the worst mum in the world” – maybe a little doubt creeps in
- There is no right way to do it – but there is your way (and believe me it will be different to everyone else’s!)
- Parenting is bloody hard and no it doesn’t get easier….it just changes! Some days you will long for the time that your offspring was portable and could be strapped in to a carrier, rather than this 6 foot something hulk looking down on you determined to do his own thing.
- An appreciation for your own mum – I’m lucky as she is my biggest supporter, has my back and is my friend. Hope I can say this about me and my girl too.
- Breastfeeding is not the most natural thing in the world for everyone. Yes I did it people, but…..all 3 babes struggled to latch on (another design fault in my bodywork), I spent weeks walking round with cabbage leaves in my bra and got a fab dose of mastitis each time….twice with the lovely girl, was seen by every feeding counsellor under the sun and had a “let down” reflex that was so strong it even tuned in to passing lorries, leaving me with rivulets flowing down my shirt!! And….I had enough milk to feed the entire post natal class, I kid you not, even my midwife asked if I’d considered donating some (this was before the days of internet breast milk sales….can’t get my head round that). Of course now I take full credit for their combined intelligence as being completely down to my super milk and my bloody mindedness (10 months for the boys, 6 for the girl)
- Just because your gorgeous toddler eats everything, including his greens, doesn’t mean he will not turn into the fussy eater from hell! And leaving him with the food in front of him or telling him you are not cooking anything else…well if he is strong willed and bloody minded (wonder where that comes from) he WILL go hungry! Even in his teens and twenties!
- The playground can be even more competitive as a mum than as a child
- You really can’t do it for them, no matter how hard you might try – be it walking, writing, revising, taking exams or joining the world of adults.
- When this human you bore is hurt, physically or emotionally, it really can hurt you more than anything else – strange, but true!
- They may only call when they need something (money, a lift somewhere), but it is YOU that they call….
- Kids are expensive – a whole post in its own right!
- My reserves run so deep – be it patience, impatience, anger, frustration, love – and I can cope with so much more than I would ever have dreamt possible. But I still feel like the same person I was at 22….
So I am raising a glass to all the Mums out there past, present and future….and to all of us kids, be we babes or grown ups, for being some Mum’s baby.