In the week of International Women’s day and Mothering Sunday, I thought it would be entirely appropriate to dedicate a blog post to my lovely mum.
Now I may be completely biased, but I think my mum is the best. She has always looked after me, she’s incredibly caring and she doesn’t moan when I ask her to take photos of me for my Instagram (ok, she moans a little bit but she never says no and that’s what really counts). She’s raised 3 children whilst building her career as a teacher, and taught my sisters and I what it truly means to be a #GirlBoss. She’s elegant, she’s stylish and she has a collection of Mulberry bags that any girl would die for. Having Lindy as my mother has taught me a lot of valuable things, like how to be kind and the importance of having lots of socks in my underwear draw as inevitably my feet will get cold due to poor circulation. But her most magical trait is that she has always made parenthood seem effortless.
On some levels, the thought of parenthood seems reasonably straightforward. When we are younger it’s painted as a pretty easy path. You meet someone, fall in love, get married and then have lots of babies; simples. Reproduction is the most natural and common thing in the world, and has been since the dawn of civilisation, so we are all well and truly used to it by now.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve realised that with parenthood comes massive responsibility. Now I know that sounds very obvious and not particularly mind blowing, but I’m talking about a deeper level than having to merely be responsible for another human being. What I’m actually talking about here more than anything is sacrifice.
Having a child means that you have to sacrifice so much; your time, your money, your ambitions. You can no longer pop to the shops or ‘treat yourself’ to a new top, as you have a little person you have to care for. And they HAVE to take priority over everyone, even yourself. As someone who lives quite a selfish lifestyle (I’m not a bad person, I just like to do things alone), the thought of having to lug a mini version of myself around with me everywhere I go is mind boggling. No more long baths alone of an evening, or spending an afternoon watching series on Netflix. There’s a person clinging to you at all points, who needs to be fed and entertained all the live long day.
Women also have to sacrifice their bodies, which for me is another big no no. My trips to the gym now are sporadic at best, but I take some comfort in knowing that I’m slim and that I can pick up those dumbbells and burn off all the mini eggs I’ve divulged whenever I fancy. No one is stopping me from moving around freely and I can live to a time schedule that suits me. Having a child means planning in advance, a skill that has never been my strong point, and I’m just not sure that I’m cut out for it.
So, the question is, why do they do it? What makes two people come together and decide that they are ready to throw away the live they know to become ‘mum and dad’? Whilst out for a Mother’s day lunch with my mum and my sister, I asked my mum what motherhood was all about for her, and she gave me a very honest answer. She said that for the first few weeks, it feels like you’ll never get your life back. But then after that, time moves so quickly and before you know it your sitting at home with three grown up children. Although Lindy has had to make a lot of sacrifices over the years, she has never complained. She has got on with her duty of being a mother, and has shown us love at every step along the way.
Now as you can see I am by no means ready to have a baby. I’m not even close. But one day, when I’m ready, I am hope that I have my mum around to guide me and help me raise my own babies the way that she brought up my sisters and I; seemingly effortlessly and with lots of fun.
Mama, I love you.