Mother’s Day was on the weekend, and while I don’t subscribe much to the Hallmark holidays it is always a nice opportunity to see the matriarchs of my family and buy them some nice things. This is my 2nd Mother’s Day (my first one I was 6 months pregnant) but this was the first “official” one*. I spent some time reflecting on what it means to me to be a mother, and the things I’ve learned from the mothers in my life. There are the practical things: my sister taught me how to use cloth nappies, my mother taught me how to breastfeed. My baby has taught me more things than I can say. The latest thing he has taught me is that I will pick something up again and again when he drops it. Yeah, he loves that one. But I’ve also had lessons in the intangible. From my Mum I’ve learned that you should always follow your passions whatever they may be, and that there is great satisfaction in throwing yourself headlong into something. From my Nanna I have learnt that there is no greater joy than being surrounded by your loved ones. From my sister-in-law I’ve learnt that you are able to face anything that comes your way, even when it turns your whole life upside down. From my sister I’ve learnt that the cliche is true: love overcomes all things. From my colleague I’ve learnt that teenage boys are a terror to behold but that it’ll be fine. From a dear friend I’ve learnt that it’s never too late to make a huge change in your life, even when that seems scary with kids at home. From my mother-in-law I’ve learnt abounding generosity which I hope to emulate. From my cousin I’ve learnt that babies do sleep eventually, even if not all the time*. I’ve even taught myself that I can function on 8 months of sleep deprivation – who’d have believed it?! I’ve also learnt so many lessons from the childfree mothers in my life: the mothers of art, science, and music, the mothers of jokes and laughter and friendly gatherings, the mothers of furry creatures great and small. They have taught me what it is to be myself seperate from my baby, which is a lesson I hold so dear. I hope to teach my son that while I am his mother, I am also myself. Who knows what other lessons I will learn on this adventure into motherhood, but I am so grateful to be held and guided by so many loving hands.
*actually, I call bullshit on that – I started worrying about my kiddo as soon as I knew he existed so I think that’s when you become a mother.
*thank you for giving me hope!