Saturday, 15 March 2014

Mothering: being the best mother I can be

My boys. Yesterday I was tired, and did a crazy crash-and-burn as the school run ended. Imagine a toddler on a sugar high and then the sugar runs out. I'd had three cups of coffee (my upper limit) to get through the day and yes, I was that mum when all the caffeine ran out. I shouted. I was impatient. There was not a lot of nurturing. They were playing up and it was the end of a long week but once they were asleep the guilt kicked in and I vowed to do better tomorrow.

Mothering is a funny thing. When you first start out, you try to be the best mother as defined by some book, some zeitgeist, or some universal ideal. It takes a while, but you learn that actually so much of mothering is defined by who you are, who your children are, and your family's needs and priorities. If you were a career-minded, over-achieving, OCD-leaning woman beforehand, it's unlikely that you're going to be a happy and thriving mother if you're trying to fit he 'earth mother' model. You discover the best kind of mother you can be, for the person you are and for the children you have. And that's the gold standard that you hope to hit every day.

Here I am at the start of tomorrow. I've washed yesterday out of my hair, both figuratively and literally. I have a house to tidy (my mother-in-law is due in two hours. TWO HOURS!!) There is a gymnastics class to go to, several meals to make, and a cake bake in the village to support. But through all of it I am going to be the best mother I can be. And that's one that loves and enjoys her children. Who listens to them. Who negotiates and explains. Who can be fun, who can be relied on, who is very cuddly. I will need lots of small successes on the practical side of life, but I will try and share as much of my day with them and try and see as much of their world through their eyes. Time to turn off the computer and go give some hugs.


  1. A mother hug for you. We all have those days - it's getting up and trying again tomorrow that makes mothers heroes.


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