Friday, April 24, 2009

I've been memed by Kath. It all started here.

I'm a little vague and sore-throaty today so I'm just going to wing it. I think the point is to write 5 things I love (or not) about being a mother. This is dangerous territory but I'm going to give it a go.

1) Becoming a mother wasn't easy for me. My children are adopted. My body let me down, nothing to be done about that. I prefer not to dwell on negatives. My children's birth mothers couldn't care for them; I couldn't have a baby. Somehow, through the mysterious workings of the universe, DoCS and the court system in both Guatemala and Colombia, I became their mother. The sadness, regret and pain of both of these situations live within me always. They are tiny atoms fused within my heart. 99.9999% of the time I don't think about them or feel them. But occasionally something will happen to make me re-focus on their existence. The weight of these moments is more than I can bear, but I have to, and soon the moments pass. I don't want to think that these atoms affect my parenting but I fear that they do. I can not articulate these fears, I just feel them fluttering there, under my heart, sometimes.

2) Because of point (1) there is some part of me which still can't accept that I am actually a mother. Someone has surely made a mistake. I like to turn these strange sensations into a positive. I live by the idea that my children are only lent to my by the universe, I do not own them, just as no parent "owns" their child. I felt "owned" as a child and I do not want that for my children. I want to walk side by side with them, guide them where I can, aware that I know so little, that I can not foresee or control their path. These ideas free me and trouble me. I see other parents sharing a more intense, more intertwined relationship with their children and wonder if there is something wrong with me; am I missing some maternal spark.

3) I find the day to day of parenting a heavy weight to carry. It is not just the fact that there is not enough hours in the day to fit in the children's needs, housework, paid work, other family issues, hobbies, friends, etc, etc. Though this is a significant fact. It's that I am selfish. There is a strong internal faction inside me which demands "me" time, whether it's to write this blog, or go to a mums' dinner, or simply plop in front of the tv in peace and quiet to watch some reality tv trash which I sadly find entertaining. Mothers want to be with their children all the time, right? Shouldn't I want that too. Maybe it's that my children won't be compartmentalised, they won't stick to the rules that exist in my mind. Play when I want to play with you, eat when I want you to eat, go away and play quietly when I want you to do so. They do normal annoying child-like things and sometimes that is hard for me to cope with.

4) So far it seems that there is nothing I love about being a mum. I guess that's just my processing. It's funny because I so love almost everything about being a mum; a mum to two beautiful wonderful little people who I am so priviliged to be able to parent. It is almost like the emotional part and the physical/mental part of parenting are two very different things. How can I describe the joy of snuggling in bed at night next to Will as he settles into sleep, listening to his comments and questions about the day past and the day ahead? He is my fragile little man, the baby who eight years ago lived with the possibility of never walking or talking, now almost ten years old, robust, happy, friendly and loving. My heart swells to bursting with admiration and awe at how far we have all come together since the day we first held him in our arms in Guatemala City in September 2000.

5) Then there is Marianna, our dynamic diva. Whereas parenting Will has meant living with the fear and joy of a dependant child, parenting Marianna has come with all the opposite fears and joys. She is so independant it is strictly her lack of disposable income which prevents her from moving out and living life as she sees fit right now at the tender age of almost four. I adore her and I fear her; I know she is capable of bringing immense happiness or possibly causing terrible pain. I am sometimes scared at what the future may hold for her and us. Anything is possible for my bright, beautiful, strong-minded princess.

Well, as usual, I've meandered into a whole lot of useless navel gazing. Barely touched on the theme at hand. I am much better at the basic memes, as opposed to these more DAM ones. Bugger it.


Kath Lockett said...

No you're not better at the shallower ones, mate, this one is brilliant. Honest and affecting.

Claire said...

. . you've moved me to tears.

Julia said...

Ditto Kath and Claire.

Thanks KB. I love you.