There are so many wonderful talented mums out there who can multi-skill the shit out of life and even give Martha Stewart a run for her money. There are helicopter mums, tiger mums, parachute mums, and even mums who plan out their child’s lives with great precision. They are amazing people, but unfortunately, I am not one of them. I have been called ‘laid back’ and ‘very relaxed’ for a mother of four A LOT. I admit I am easy going and calm but that comes down to maybe 50% personality and the other half most likely a result of losing my parents at a fairly young age. That major life-changing event taught me all about perspective and how quickly things can turn to shit, so as a coping mechanism I taught myself to embrace what I had in the moment.
My mother passed away after a battle with breast cancer shortly after my 26thbirthday. I was also four and a half months pregnant with my first child and it was tough. To lose a mother when you are about to become one yourself is devastating. She was my best friend, my rock, gave great advice whether I wanted to admit it or not, but above all else she was there for me. Then she was gone. And to make things worse I had lost my father 23 months before my mother passed. So, without either of them to guide me it felt as if I wasn’t handed the holy grail of parenting advice like the majority of new parents get. Or so I imagined anyway. Without any kind of parenting wisdom to fall back on I have had to navigate through motherhood blindfolded. And what a hectic entry into motherhood it was. And I guess for the decade that has followed…
Basically, my journey into parenthood has been a chaotic whirlwind of happenings. It has followed a pattern that goes a little something like this: fall pregnant, have baby, move interstate, fall pregnant again, have baby, move interstate. Repeat. Repeat. I gave birth to my fourth baby almost three years ago and am living in my 9th house since being married. We have reached the point that we don’t need to move anymore for work, which has enabled us the opportunity to get a house of our very own. I acknowledge that we have been blessed with beautiful children and given the opportunity to travel around Australia, but I feel sad that my children will never get to meet my parents. And conversely that my parents have missed out on all the momentous occasions in my life since becoming an adult.
Despite this heartbreak, however, and the cluster of moving boxes that has been the backdrop to our lives in recent years; throughout all those sleepless nights with the horrors of teething, fevers, exploding nappies; all those cringe worthy tantrums in the supermarket; and the chaos and near impossible logistics of taking four little children out ANYWHERE, there has been something that I have always strived to do which has helped when I am going through a difficult time.
Embrace the moment. Embrace the journey. And embrace my motherhood. Because each moment just replaces the last and if you get too caught up in being the perfect parent and trying to pre-empt the next step then you miss out on those precious little moments.
Like when your baby laughs so hard they projectile vomit all over your chest. When you find your toddler standing in front of the mirror proudly applying your new mascara to their eyebrows (great use of fine motor skills), or when you find your ten and eight-year-old sitting down together just chatting over a milo. These delicious points in time, no matter how fleeting they may be, make you realise that underneath all of the messy chaos of raising little ones there are so many special moments. Tiny fragments of happiness that accumulate to form the foundations of your family unit. Such imperfect perfection. What bliss.
So, cheers to embracing motherhood. The good, the bad, the crappy and all the giggles in between!
Your friend and parenting peer