I was invited along to an event recently, which was a first birthday bash and a celebration of women in business. The day was about giving likeminded ladies a chance to come together, to eat wonderful food, to network and to listen to a panel of business women talk about how they’ve managed and made it in a sometimes male dominated world. Sounds pretty good, right? Hugely inspiring yes? On paper, yes. The problem was that I didn’t think too much before heading there and when I got there, I panicked. I felt like a total fraud.
When you have a child, you get told so much. Oh my, so much information is thrown at you, either by yourself from reading books and online, or by professionals, friends, family and strangers. Everyone wants to reveal their tips and tricks to you. You get told how amazing it is, how exhausting you will find it, how babies are hard work, how times flies and how much they change. You get warned about the body changes, the sagging boobs and the slight potential change to the, erm, downstairs department and you get told about the stretch marks, but does anyone ever tell you about, ‘the fear?’ Let me just explain what I mean (sidenote: there’s no dramatic music when saying the words, the fear, although you can create if you want) I’m talking about that overactive imagination that kicks into gear as you’re trying to sleep at night, creating horrible scenarios from harmless activities or days out. Scenes are replayed in your head with alternative, horror endings. It’s all just tricks of the mind of course, but this parental fear wasn’t something I was prepared for when I became a mum.
Mothers Day is fast approaching and I’ve been thinking about the fact that as my years creep ever closer to forty (I mean, really?!) that I’m slowly but surely turning into my mother. Actually scrub that, I don’t notice it so much, it’s my husband who tells me I am. It’s inevitable really isn’t it what with the DNA and all, it’s something that can’t be helped or stopped, no matter what your relationship. I love my mum dearly, she’s done so much for me over the years, the one I look to for advice but it hasn’t always been this way. We had a rough ride when I was younger. I was a typical teenager and I caused her a lot of heartache and grief, for which I carry a lot of guilt for (it’s okay, I’ll be punished via my own daughter, karma and all that) I used to hate it when people told me I looked like my her but now I love it, I’m her daughter, that’s our eternal link and bond. Now that I have a daughter myself I understand that link that will always be there. Plus I know that I can’t fight it, it’s happening whether I like it or not. I’ve had a bit of a think and here are a few signs that I’m turning into my mother.
Being a mum is a whole load of swings and roundabouts emotions. It’s a constant up and down from the moment you have your baby. A lot of people suddenly have an opinion once you become a parent. It’s like the world now has the right to chip in about how you adult your children. And what with being judged, there’s also us judging ourselves. With Social Media now there’s a lot to compare ourselves too. You can’t but help look at that ridiculously smiley, perfectly edited family on Instagram and wish your child would just bloody well sit still for a photo, wearing those hilarious comedy glasses you bought. Social Media can at times make us think that our lives aren’t pastel enough, colourful enough, or fun enough!! Argh!! You can also (without meaning to) spend a lot of time comparing yourselves to other mums that you meet, at playgroups, softplay or at the school gates. This post is about not being that mum who seems to have it all.
My husband and I had a face-draining, heart stopping, stomach churning moment with the kid recently. One that has imprinted a thought to the forefront of my mind. A thought that seems so obvious given that I am now a mother and together we are parents, but sometimes we forget this one thing, this one simple thing and that is, ‘responsibility‘. Our responsibility towards our child. This isn’t a dramatic story (I realise that I may have built it up slightly) but the situation was enough to make me stop and take stock, and sometimes as a parent a reminder is needed.