I’ve been thinking a lot lately about motherhood and what it means to me. I can’t always explain it and over the years with the change in women’s roles I think there’s such a wonderful mash up of parents roles now. But what do I feel, where do I fit in to that, what is motherhood to me?
Well I am not an alpha mum. I know that, part of me wants to be but I’m most definitely not. I forget parents evenings, we have ‘lazy’ dinners at least once a week. Josh avidly watches crime dramas with me and I still try to get him to eat food he doesn’t like because I like it and refuse to make two dinners.
Josh also swears. Not to anyone other than me or in general conversation but, when he has a bad day I allow him to say as many swear words as he can fit in whilst I count to 10. So sue me. He always ends up laughing and that to me beats keeping it all bottled up.
I’m also definitely not the middle class nurturer. I don’t always buy organic, only if its cheaper, I never breast fed and I gave him wotsits rather than Waitrose organic cheese flavoured puffed corn snacks. Josh went through Asdas own nappies like there was no tomorrow and the thought of cloth nappies made me heave. I agree they’re better for the environment. He got in his own room the second I felt safe enough to do so and on occassion I let him cry through his frustration. Horrid woman aren’t I.
I’m not a hipster mum either. I have little to no natural style and Josh would live in joggers if I have him the chance. I do sometimes think I could grow a beard but that’s going off the subject.
I love all those bare bones get to the real stuff mummy blogs too. You know the ones where they speak about the kids face-timing nan and showing you having a poo. The sorts where they admit all the gory details. But I don’t feel like I associate with those mums either, because that just is what it is and I’mnot cool enough tobe interesting enough with those moments.
For me I think I’m just Joshs mum. If I could explain our relationship it would be ‘team’.
I’ve always been honest with Josh when he asks questions – I respond as openly as I can (within reason) it can make for an awkward moment, like yesterday when he asked me how girls masturbate after all ‘its natural and I’m a girl’
We talk quite openly about the world and current events from terrorism to why celebrities are famous. Again, not always easy conversations.
Josh is pretty self sufficient, with minimal supervision can make a decent meal. I potty trained him with a sticker chart. I drew a road with trees and houses along it, at the end of the road was a toy car. Everytime he went for a wee in the toilet (he never actually liked the potty) he got a sticker, when he got all the way along the road he got the car. He hasn’t used a nappy since the day I stuck the chart on the wall but he loves weeing inthe open air.
Motherhood to me is embracing your jelly belly whilst doing an exercise DVD and eating a doughnutat the same time as telling your child that its ok to have wobbly bits and to be kind to himself and others about their body. I’m a hypocrite.
Motherhood to me is teaching my son right from wrong, trying to be a role model when I don’t always want to be and I’ve called the school and told them he was poorly whilst he was still asleep just so we could get a duvet day together. Yes it was a long time ago but yes it was needed and the pros outweighed the cons for both of us.
It’s knowingly letting him stay up 20 minutes past his bed time because he thinks I haven’t noticed then, making enough noise in the bathroom so he switches his light off and goes to sleep, feeling as though he’s been a bit rebellious without crossing a line. When really I just love to hear him giggling quietly to himself.
For me motherhood is still taking his socks off super slowly after he’s spent all day on his feet because even though feet gross me out he tips his head back and whispers “ahhh that feels like heaven”
It’s setting limits and helping him break them, its being honest whilst lying to myself, its teaching but mostly learning. Motherhood is the best gig in the world.
Initially becoming the person responsible for another human being was tiring/exhausting and not exactly pretty but it was also hilarious when I let myself stop trying to fit into the above categories. It was empowering, the first time I genuinely stood up for me with the people who I had been uncomfortable with was because I had become a mother. It continues to educate me in ways I never knew I needed to be educated.
What is motherhood?
To me, motherhood is quite simply everything and the only category we are really in is is the category labelled ‘parent’
Thanks for reading.