Motherhood is more often than not talked about in terms of what you give or give up. Each Mother’s Day there’s someone (normally someone trying to sell you something) telling us how much money a mother should earn or how hard their job is. I don’t see it like that.
I’ve never thought of being parent as a transaction any more than I think about how lucky I am someone’s not charging me for all of this air I’m breathing.
For me, motherhood was like the bursting of a dam. It released me from the restraints of limiting beliefs and allowed me to step outside of what was expected of me. Becoming a mother rubbed away the parts of me that gave a fuck and without them I could start to imagine a world in which I wanted to live.
And with the breaking of the dam came the flood of creativity. Writing, photography and making unfurled within me and all of the things I had been advised not to pursue returned me to centre.
At the moment when I felt like I was pouring my whole self into creating other people I also opened like a flower. I found myself and my direction.
No, motherhood is not a transaction. Motherhood is a mutual gift; one which births and renews. It’s with gratitude that I accept this gift and everything that comes with it.
Happy Mother’s Day friends. Sending love to all of you who are celebrating and remembering today.
I recall one of those tedious emails that went round offices back in the day when I worked in one. It was a musing on friends, ending in a call to send it on and return it to its sender to show that you had a lasting friendship. Misery guts that I am I don’t think I ever did so. Ho hum, what was I saying? Oh yes, this email thing talked about friends and one line stuck in my head: some people are in your life for a reason, some just for a season. That’s all I remember and I know at the time I felt odd about it. I’m the kind of person who, while I find it hard to express how I feel, cares deeply for her friends. I don’t like it when friendships end, when people move on. It cuts me right to my heart and takes me a long time to get over it. Sadly, I am a right pain in the arse and not easy to get on with. So more often than not, people have just had enough of my peculiar ways.
Recently it seems one of my friends has gone by the way side. As you can imagine I am very sad about this, it was with a heavy heart I accepted the inevitable. As I was thinking of what letting go of this meant for me, that reason/season line popped into my head. Today, as I cut a virtual connection, I thought not about the sadness of ending but about the season we had enjoyed together.
We became friends shortly after becoming mothers. I reached out to you and you responded. Gradually we spent more and more time together. Taking our daughters to baby classes, exchanging ideas, moaning about our day to day irritations. Our babies turned into toddlers, we conspired over our second pregnancies. We spent so many long days together and shared so much. Our tastes and interests seemed so similar. You knew my children better than some family and they loved you so much. I would have done anything for you and your children. You were interested and interesting, company which was always welcome. After my second child arrived you were one of the two people I told my blackest thoughts to. Thoughts I could only write down and never managed to banish. I thought you understood what it did to me.
Now as our children blossom and you bloom it seems our season has come to an end. If you had asked me where I saw this ending I would have told you we’d be trading granny tips and rolling our eyes at how our daughters raised their children. I did not realise that in the heat of the moment, what I said to you would spell the end. I am so sorry for this and wish it could be taken back. But even if it could be taken back I wonder if that would matter? Perhaps it was an inevitable catalyst which brought out resentments long seated.
Our season together was such a beautiful time in my life. I have never been more happy than I have been as a Mama and I treasure the times we shared. I wish light and love for you and your family. I will never stop hoping that we might find another season together some day.
Where would we be without our friends? Where would a housewife be without a chum to share laughs with? Or someone to offer their shoulder? Who would be outraged on our behalves or cheer us on? I have had a stormy week and have been feeling like I had not much to offer until my friends set me straight. So thank you to the wonderful people who I am lucky enough to count as friends. I owe you all so much. x
Three years ago in April I left work to begin maternity leave. I went a little early but I was so fed up I needed a little tranquility to get ready for my babe. As she was nearly three weeks late I had plenty of long sunny days to myself. I filled my time with yoga, pre-washing nappies, paninis and naps – what luxury! Then the baby came and despite the certainties of everyone else I didn’t find life tedious and dull. Far from it, my life blossomed. The rich and varied world of motherhood and housewifery filled my heart. I found ways to earn a modest living from home and handed in my resignation without having to return to work.
Three years down the line I have two children flourishing and I am just as in love with my role as I always was. My house is far from being the best kept (more like worst kept) but everything is done eventually. We fill our days with friends, creativity and giggles. Each April when the blossom blooms I feel the gentle calm in my soul and give thanks that I can walk this path in life.