I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. And again. Motherhood has given me a wildly different perspective when it comes to my life. But in particular, when it comes to my own mother.
When you become a mother, the only person you want to be around is your own mother. This primal instinct to learn how to nurture your own, from the one who nurtured you has been the thing that resonates the strongest with me on my parenting journey so far.
It is a strange tightrope to walk, that of an independent, confident Mum with that little girl inside, and one I constantly struggle with. Like a flower looking for sun, I look to my Mum for approval at every juncture. “Do you think he is sick?” “Would you cut his hair differently?” “What would YOU do, if you were me?”
And there she is, walking her own tightrope. Trying not to overstep, allowing me to make my own mistakes, even though she KNOWS how it will end, because after all, she is my mother. Supporting me, cheering me on, encouraging me.
We were talking yesterday about a tribe in Africa, where the women of the tribe raise all of the children equally. When a child becomes seven, he or she will be introduced to their birth mother. My Mum suggested that it was a way of ensuring that all children had an equal opportunity to grow up safe, and loved.
The mother in me agreed, but the little girl was shouting “NO NO NO! I don’t want to share her!!!” I grew up safe, and loved. My mother is a ferocious lioness when it comes to her tribe. I see it with my boys now; the strong matriarchal line that is the backbone of my family is protecting them, loving them.
Mists clear when you become a mother. The world is suddenly starker, and filled with light. It is in this clearing, when all the silliness of day to day life has melted away, that true love really shines. Motherhood has shown me this love, and in turn, the love that was shown to me.
Every morning we chat on the phone, my mother and I. It’s a nothing chat, a catch-up of the day before, a filling in of what is going on in our lives. It usually ends in a flurry, because the boys need something, but those few precious minutes are essential to my day. They set me up, and give me strength for a day to come. They fill me with love, and make me feel safe.
Love you Mum x