This will be the third Mother’s Day that I wasn’t sure I would still be here for. Does this mean my children came rushing in serving breakfast on a tray, wearing Little House on the Priarie style cotton nighties? No. Although full disclosure, if they did, those nighties are unlikely to have been all white and hand pressed.
Instead they emerged in their own time. First to come in was my gorgeous Miss Lipstick presenting me with a hand made card and a pair of PJ’s that she’d bought with her own money. Teenage Mr Mac, by comparison, remained in his bedroom glued to his iPad, until he was “encouraged” to make me a cup of tea.
Reassuringly, all of this lets me know that our tight little family unit is doing OK. Normal life service has resumed.
It was the same after treatment ended and how I could tell that I was looking better. After holding it together through the cancer hangover, their release came towards me as a barrage of life’s injustices – Why do we have to get up so early for school? Why do we have so much homework? Where are my shoes? What’s for dinner/breakfast/lunch/after school/just because its 1pm somewhere in the world? It was a strange relief. I was back to being the full Oracle mum once more.
Mother’s Day is just one calendar day where we receive the results for an exam we didn’t sit. The reality is that being a mother is a constant 24/7 event. Whether we are feeling sick or low we show up to give our children unconditional love, compassion and a nurturing safe space to grow and be themselves. How can we do all this so easily for our children, but find it so hard to do this for ourselves?
Our roles as mothers can be tricky to navigate as we struggle to constantly evolve as the needs of our children change. It can also open the doors for “acceptable” judgement from outside sources, family, friends and even total strangers on whether you are being “enough of a mother” or not enough. Our own instincts can get swallowed whole from the constant outside chatter if we let them consume us.
So, when you get a chance to reflect on your own mother status quo today, be gentle with yourself, trust your instincts and know you are doing great by showing up everyday, for this wonderful motherhood life time journey.