Friday, 8 March 2013

Day 67 - A piece about

Friday 8th March

This is going to have to the fastest blog in history and probably my shortest.  I always blog when I think my day is coming to an end.  However, I have just had a phone call from the shop in the village that sells my flowers and they have sold out!  So my day is about to start all over again.  Delighted, of course, with the sales but someone needs to tell my body that.

Let me tell you something scary.  Molly has just driven through the city of Lincoln on only her second  lesson.  People of Lincoln, get off the road!  You just know I am proud though. 

George is busy making cakes for my course tomorrow and he has been in the kitchen for hours.  Me thinks he will need some gold pennies for his efforts.  Pete is on his way home and then we are off again to get even more flowers.  I did spend a lovely hour doing thee arrangement for the boys at Coast and I am really pleased with it.  A sneaky peek.....

I will enjoy my Mother's Day when it comes but before then I want to share with you a piece I wrote a couple of years ago.  It was for a competition and it came second to a far superior piece but you might find it interesting. 

All our mothers
I am a mother.  I did not expect to be a mother.  I fell in love with a man who desperately wanted children so I became a mother.  I like being a mother; I have four children.  For me the role of mothering is deeply complex and perhaps even flawed.  It is a role that engulfs us and provides us with the greatest moments of joy and the saddest moments of them all.  If it is flawed it is because, as mothers, we can never get it right all the time.  But if we accept this we reach new heights in our relationships with our children.

From the second that wriggling mass of flesh and redness is placed on our chest everything changes.  We spend nine months preparing for this moment, but the first time it happens we are at a loss.  At a loss to know what to do and even how to feel.  For some love comes instantly, but for many shock is the first instinct as love takes a while to take hold.  What we all do have in common though is a huge sense of responsibility and that stays with us always.  My eldest is about to leave home and forge a life of her own, but I still feel the same sense of responsibility as I did the second she arrived into the world.

These are all strong emotions and perhaps the best thing we can do, as new mothers, is take our time.  I am continually appalled by the pressure put on new mothers by the health profession.  In the UK they are even running breast feeding adverts during the breaks between popular dramas.   This is no doubt to try and catch a captive audience.  But let us be realistic about this.  The chances are the new mother may just have got her baby down for the night after a long day.  A day when she has had those greatest joy moments, but also, a day when she has felt a failure.  She is tired and begins to relax and then she is hit with the advert.  Some sort of misplaced collective conscience that is, frankly, unnecessary and definitely unwanted.

The months that follow are full of new hurdles to jump and even newer emotions to experience.  This often brings a new depth to life and all this is exhausting.  Reading Charlotte Perkin Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is a profound and necessary experience.  In this the author recounts her experience of post-natal depression.  Not that it was known as that in her day!  The emotions that she explores become more and more extreme, but I would argue that the embryo of each of them is familiar to most mothers.  It is a powerful and disturbing read that takes our understanding of motherhood into new places. 

Once through those early years the role of mother seems to become more complex.  As that little baby grows into a little person we, as mothers, have to learn and respond appropriately.  We are tested and retested in a role that appears to know no boundaries.  There are times when this is exciting and fulfilling, but there are times that are just plain scary. 

With everything in life, however, we need to understand the essence.  The essence of our role as a mother that is derived from those early feelings.  To protect, to cherish and to love have always dominated my essence in differing degrees, but they all hold firm.  I love to remember that a childhood is about making memories and that part of my role as a mother is to help create those memories.  All four of my children can tell you about their favourite birthday party, trip to the seaside or other family day out.  But they can also tell you about their sad times and in everyone I am there.  I have always taught them that I am always there……this has been a help to both my children and myself over the years.

As Mothering Sunday is upon us once more I take time to reflect on my role as a mother.  It is a role that has made me who I am and I will always be grateful.

Until tomorrow. xx   Picture is of my four beautiful children.