Motherhood is The Big One. For me anyway. I wanted it to change my life, I knew it would but I had no idea what it would mean in reality. Does any woman? I woke up the morning after having Sam, on a Monday morning, after a weekend of labour culminating in a caesarean, in a different world, in another dimension. The weight of the responsibility just starting to dawn on me, the lightness of the joy still enveloping me.
I lost my Mum at about the time I fell pregnant and so her life and death and my pregnancy and Sam’s birth were and are irrevocably tied.
Ultimately the ‘weight’ has set me free. It is both the hardest and easiest job on earth. I hope that one of the things I achieve as a mum is for Sam to know who he is and to have confidence in himself. To love himself. I believe the best way to do this is to teach by example and so I have had to face up to some home truths and to take better care of myself. I have started to place more value on myself and the things I do.
The idea of weight and lightness came into focus when I read Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being recently for uni : “The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life’s most intense fulfilment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become.”
Sam is my responsibility- I don’t think of him as a burden. But this resonated with me. Being a single mum is about taking the responsibility on both shoulders.
I miss my Mum now, almost three years later and I talk to her every day. Mums are human and not perfect but there is no one like your mum and you will never know this or how much they know about you, truly, until they are gone. And it is irreplaceable.
One of my oldest and bestest friends wrote “You are the mother” on the card she sent me after Sam was born. It has become my mantra.
So to all mothers I say:
You are The Mother. Rock On.
And for all mothers-to-be:
I salute you.