Today, is the day after Mother’s day, so I felt a deep desire to write something about being a Mum.
Some of you whom already know me will know that I am a mother of three sons with my eldest being 39 years of age.
I go back today to the visions I had of mother-hood and how I wanted to be as a mum. It took me 4 1/2 years after becoming married to make the decision to have children. I decided that I did want to have children, because I didn’t want to miss out on this once in a lifetime experience and opportunity.
In 1979, my first baby was born, Matthew and really you can never put the experience into the words to describe this absolute miracle. I had so many things going on in my head as to how I wanted to provide this tiny miracle with the best life possible. One of those being, I didn’t want him to be an only child, as I was an only child and found it very lonely and at times distressing. I enjoyed being a Mum even though being a first time Mum was to say somewhat challenging. I look back now and like most Mums if I had my time over again I would have done things differently, as I did to some extent, with having my second and third sons, Leith and Benjamin. No less of a miracle than, that of my first, Matthew. However, a little more comfortable each time.
You may say – “Julie, how would you have done things differently?” The main thing here would have been to trust my heart and not allowed outside people who had no idea about my children or circumstances to have a say. But as they say it is all a learning experience, with you as the Mum learning, growing and developing with your children everyday. There are times when you are their teacher, there are also times when they teach you.
It is very much as roller-coaster-ride with all the varied emotions, trying to bring about a solid foundation for yourself, your children and your family. The interesting role of maintaining a healthy, loving and intimate relationship with your spouse or partner. It has been said – “That the only difference between a happy marriage and an unhappy one is that you don’t both crash at the same time.” I think that I can firmly say that I do believe that to be true, the other essential key is to continue to learn from each other, to truly, unconditionally love each other whilst remaining honest to who you are and want to be.
I have come across many amazing women and men whom the relationship with their partner or spouse has come crashing down upon them for many reasons and they have become single parents. I have learnt from listening and talking to these people, at first can be very daunting, a great emotional and societal challenge. Once, overcoming the initial challenges, getting back to what their core desires are, for the life they want build, for their children and being a family, they go on to be amazing parents, doing an amazing job.
It is not possible in an article or blog to go into all the emotional elements, involved in all the years of raising children. I must say the raising part may come to a close when they become adults, at this stage a different role emerges for you, as their mentor, friend and confidant.
If I wanted to share with you one thing today, that became very apparent with a wonderful conversation I had with my son last night, is that as a parent, even as you work at being the best parent you can be, you don’t have all the answers.
- The best thing you can do is to keep learning and finding answers, that are going to serve you and your family well at any given time.
- To “Never to lose sight”, that the most important role you have to play as a parent is that of setting a foundation and base for your children to build their lives from. I have found this to be the key factor in helping me, to build the strength, courage and commitment, necessary to keep being the best me and learning, no matter area my role is in today.
- Forgiveness is just important, each one of us makes mistakes, say the wrong things, do the wrong things. So the answer here is if you have done or said something wrong, forgive both yourself and the person involved and don’t do or say it again.
- Each of your children are/will be different, it doesn’t make them better or worse. It just means they will choose to live their life hopefully with the foundations you have set down, but each will be in a different way and this is OK.
- No one is “Perfect” making mistakes is all a part of life, learning the lessons to build a significant and happy life is what life is all about.
- Communication, embracing, sharing one another’s lives and experiences. Not so as to condemn but to empower building strength in one another.
I love my family with all of my heart, it can sometimes be very scary because it just takes over your whole being at times. It is all in finding balance, understanding, compassion and empathy, first with yourself, then it will become easier with your family.
Have you ever wondered why relationships are so hard?
Why they can feel so blissful in one moment and so frustrating in the next!