thoughts and things

Tag: Mum

Finding Mummy

I feel more like myself now than I ever have. Before I had Nancy,  I worried that I would lose myself, but to be honest I feel like by having Nancy, I found myself. I feel more confident, more sure of my decisions and I […]

Questions I often ask myself now that I’m a Mum

Questions that go around and around in my head now that I’m a Mum. Can you add any to the list? Let me know!  How long can I leave her staring at that stranger sitting behind us before it gets uncomfortable?  Can they tell that […]

Mother’s Day: ceramic chickens and sentiments

OK – I’m going to say it. I am not a fan of Mothers Day. Yes, I know, I’m a mum. But why should I or my child feel compelled to celebrate me on a specific day? The fact that it is coming up this week – well I don’t feel anything about it. I’m not excited, I don’t expect anything. If anything it just annoys me that I’m here wondering if I should be feeling something about it at all.

Where did Mothers Day come from? What is there to celebrate? I’m a mum, yes, but I don’t know if I feel the need to have a day dedicated to it. I get that it is to give mums a ‘day off’ but I find that a little condescending to be honest and most of all it is actually a lie. You don’t get a day off when you’re a parent.

All I’d want to do is sleep all day anyway if I was given the option. In reality you’re forced out for a roast dinner (and you know not that that’s a bad thing mind) and then there are the dubious presents – most of which look very pink and often useless. I remember buying my mum a ceramic chicken one Mother’s day. She did a great job of looking like she actually wanted it. I’d only bought it as I was in a rush and couldn’t go home without something.

But that’s it you see. For me, It just feels false. I really struggle with this outpouring of emotion that we are supposed to give out on days such as this. Valentine’s is another example. I’d rather not do anything on the same day everyone else is. Just like my ceramic chicken, why am I buying this crap just because someone (I’m going to guess a card company) wanted to make more money. It feels like you must do this or else your mum will never know you loved her because it’s done only on this day.

I’m not a really cold hearted idiot. I know that it is a nice opportunity to meet up with family and I know my mum appreciates the sentiment. I wouldn’t not ‘do’ Mother’s day for my mum as I know she enjoys it (although I stopped buying random presents a few years ago). I know other people use it as a day to remember their Mums too so I know that for many people the day serves a purpose.

I just have an issue with the fact you feel you have to do something.

I also find the fact that it’s a Sunday is difficult. I find Sundays very boring and the fact I’m working the next day means you can’t really let your hair down (i.e. drink a few G&Ts).There are many other days in the year for us both to show appreciation of each other in a more personal and fun way. Maybe we just need to reinvent Mothers Day and start doing things differently. Like doing it on a Saturday when the shops are all open or go zorbing or having an uninterrupted shower.

Last Mothers Day, my first, I was in a bad place. I was struggling to feed Bubs and I couldn’t really function. I did get a lovely framed photo though and it is only now I appreciate it, looking back. It was a lovely thought from the person who gave it to me. I think if you make it what you want, it’s not so bad. Just don’t feel you have to do this or buy that. It was a lot better than a ceramic chicken. Sorry Mum.

A Year as a Mum: In Review

One year I have been a Mum. How do I feel? I feel relieved that everything feels like its falling into place at last. That I have something called ‘Normal’ that I can relate to again, a baseline upon which to base my days. Normal […]

Near or Far, Wherever You Are, Mum

I’ve spent most of my life trying to get away from my Mum, my Dad. Getting away from my family. Is it something innate that makes us want to break away when we are young, to repel what we have been brought up with, with […]

Mum and Me: changing roles when a baby is born

As I was driving home from my parents yesterday, I was thinking back about my relationship with my Mum. I thought about all the times I had taken her for granted, had been annoyed with her, had said horrible things to her, when I was a child and a terrible teenager. My Mum has always been there for me despite all of these things. And now I have my little girl, I am thinking about all of these things that I will have to experience too. I will need to be prepared for my little girl to love me, hate me, make fun of me, be annoyed at me. It is only now I can appreciate my Mum, and everything she has ever done for me. I feel terribly guilty that I used to be so blase, that I used to treat my Mum so indifferently. When I was pregnant, my Mum was very excited, too excited some may say, and it really, really annoyed me. I know I upset my Mum at this time, and I now feel very bad about it indeed. The fact was I was too scared something would go wrong to enjoy my pregnancy the way my Mum wanted to, and I took it out on her. Despite all of these things, My Mum is always there at the end of the phone, and would come and see me whatever time of the day, if I really needed her. She is a great support to me.

Throughout my life, there have been things that have happened in my family, like all families, and we have our ups and downs, fallouts and make-ups, mistakes made and repercussions faced. Some of these things over the years I have found hard to let go and forget. I held onto some things for so long, and felt so bitter about them, that one day I wondered why I was doing this. I love my Mum and Dad, and we have a very good relationship nowadays. I think a part of growing up is learning to accept people’s faults, and not holding it against them forever. I still have a few things I think I need to let go, but I am working on this. However I realise this is the past, and I don’t let this cloud the way I feel about certain people now and in the future. I certainly wouldn’t let it affect their relationship with Nancy, for example.

I think it takes a long time to realise your parents are not infallible, they don’t know everything and they are figuring it out as they go along, just as you are.

I have also been thinking of my little girl’s relationship with my parents. This is the week of the 2 year anniversary of my Nan’s death, and it made me think of how I think about my Nan (someone I adored, and loved, and was very close to). Nancy will think this way of my parents, I hope. I hope they have the same close bond that I had with my Nan and Grandad. My parents have made mistakes, they have done strange things, there have been highs and lows in my life and my relationship with them – but none of that will matter to Nancy. She will love them for who they are today, she is not burdened with the knowledge of the past, as I wasn’t with my grandparents. My Mum and Dad adore Nancy, and they are falling over themselves to do things for her, to make her smile, to be the grandparents. They live an hour away from me, and so I have been going down there to stay for a bit so that they can get to know Nancy. To start with, when Nancy was born, I felt like they should come to me, and I waited for them to come, and wouldn’t go down to them.  They visited a few times, and I was pleased about this. Hopefully they will visit us again soon, but my Mum is not well, and can’t travel well due to mobility issues, and so in the end I went down to them. It wasn’t fair to hold them to ransom like that. My Mum and Dad, are my Mum and Dad, and they may not be very good at visiting me, but if I go down to them, they are very happy, and Nancy gets to see them, and build a relationship with them. I can’t stop that from happening just because we live apart.

A friend once told me that your relationship with a Grandparent is very different to that of a parent, the issues you have with parents are removed, and you have a relationship of conspiratorially eating of chocolates, staying up late, watching things on TV that your Mum would never let you. It’s a relationship free from the stresses and strains of parenthood. In my eyes, my Nan could do no wrong. She was a confidante, a conspirator, and most importantly, a friend. I know my Mum probably had a very different relationship with her, especially growing up. I know my Mum will be the same as my Nan was to me, and I will do all I can to support her, and Nancy, to have this, despite the distance between us.

For me, I realise my Mum has sacrificed a lot for me, put up with a lot from me, and relies on me as a daughter and as a friend. I love her more now I see what she sacrificed for me, now I am a Mum too. All the things I scoffed at, and pooh-poohed, and dismissed, I now realise she was right. All the things she instinctively knew and I used to scowl at her for knowing, all the times I ignored her advice, or just got annoyed at her. And I want to say now that Mum, I am sorry I did that to you. But you knew that I would, and you knew I would realise this in the end. Because that’s what Mums do. x

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