There is a lot of talk around society today about how being a mum is hard; the sacrifices of our body, our time, and our dreams. However, as my children are starting to grow from newborns to independent little souls that are wilful and wonderful (all at the same time!) I have been reflecting on what it means to find joy as a mum.
A new mum recently remarked to me that she would never have believed me if I tried to tell her what being a mum was truly like.
Being a mum means that your decisions are no longer predictable, they revolve around naptimes and a thousand possibilities. Will the baby sleep in the car? Is this reflux or did he just drink too much? No matter how decisive you seem to be, you will second guess yourself constantly.
Becoming a mum will change your relationship with your husband, but not in the way you expect. It is hard to explain how you can love a man more because he got up to the baby before you could even swing your feet off the bed.
There is a bond that binds mothers together, a common knowledge and understanding that when a child screams in the supermarket, your baby isn’t bad, and you aren’t a bad mum, your little one is just having a moment. You discover that bond when you become a mum.
If my friend had asked me to explain the joys of motherhood I wouldn’t have had the words to explain how exciting it is to watch your childs’ personality develop and share in their wonder as they grow and discover. I wouldn’t have known how to describe the exhilaration you experience as a mum, the joy that is so real it is tangible!
A few years ago I got to experience the success of my eldest boy and I had tears and screamed like a crazy woman for him! It has always been a joke that I would become a ‘soccer Mooommmmm’. We had the minivan and completed the prophecy by not only having a little soccer player but also coaching and managing the little team!
For the first few weeks of the season Adley was excited about playing, but he really didn’t show any great enthusiasm on the field, focussing instead on the other kids boots and when he could eat the oranges. But then one game, he was focussed, keen to play, and joined in chasing and kicking the ball. He checked on a teammate when he was hurt and encouraged his team, cheering them and high fiving. I was so proud, and then he topped it all off by intercepting the ball and kicking his first ever goal.
You should have seen his face! He turned around to me, beaming with a smile that wrinkled up his eyes and threw his arms in the air!
“I did it mum! I kicked a goal! woohoo”
Oh my goodness! I had so much joy at that moment I could taste it!
My little man, who drives me crazy with his constant noise; singing, whistling, jumping and creating pandemonium. The little guy who is sweet and kind enough to play mums and dads all morning with his little sister. My boy who is creative enough to turn LEGO into rocket ships and boxes into swords and the kid who snuggles up next to me as we read the Chronicles of Narnia together.
My boy, the one who made me a mum…. he scored a goal…and the first thing he did was turn to me and scream “I did it Mum!”
Yes. I never will regret becoming a mum and I am thankful beyond measures for the children I have been entrusted with. I hope and pray that as they grow they will continue to turn to me and share the joys and successes of their lives because I never want to lose focus that while being a mum has its challenges, the joys of the little moments are overwhelming and life giving.
Wife, Mum, Foster Mum and all ’round extraordinary human being.