Wednesday, October 03, 2007

(s)mothering

In no way am I a natural mother. I put it off for as long as possible, believing that I really was not up to having children. Babies definitely "creeped me out" or held very little interest.

Then I reached 33 years old. Then I started to wonder. The question wasn't "Do I want to have a baby?" as I had expected it would, but rather, "Would I regret not trying?"


Another birthday arrived, in the middle of packing for a job secondment in Canada. We arrived at the beginning of September 2001. Ten days later my husband left for the airport to fly to Dallas. He missed his flight due to US immigration hassles and tried again the next day. He didn't fly. That day made history.


I realised that the most important thing in the world to me was family, my family - not a research career, not academic recognition, not a big salary but my family.


Just over a year and a half later, the wee guy was born (unnaturally as you can see above). He's now an eager, opinionated, energetic pre schooler who runs me ragged each and every day. I still feel no closer to being a natural mother at all.


Yesterday he really p*ssed me off big time while we were having 'coffe and cookie' in a cafe, and I lashed out with, "You stupid child!" Then I remembered a post from a friend (I hope she considers me a friend - she's been thru a whole pile of carp recently on the big orange E and is bravely sharing her experiences) in her blog about her childhood and instantly regretted my choice of words. It's hard to stay rational when you are faced with completely illogical behaviour and reasoning day after day. Sometimes I sleep well and can cope, other days I announce to my little travel companion that, "Mummy is feeling grumpy today, please have your listening ears on." How is it that every other mum out there seems to be mellow, sweet, quiet and wholesome? How come they never raise their voices or have grumpy days? What are they taking? (I want some too!!) Are they even human?


So what is being a mother? Is it a natural skill or instinct or is it learned? I'm still clueless apart from knowing it involves sleep deprivation, altered bodyshape, boobs, encyclopaedic knowledge of nonsense songs, spill-proof fashion sense, etc etc etc.


PS: a big thanks to the very kind lady in Starbucks that afternoon who actually came over to me to tell me I was a great mother, that she had been enjoying watching me sing silly songs with the wee guy after the "stupid" incident. I could have hugged you there and then!

Thank you.


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