Some of my loyal readers (two blogs in, is that too much to ask?) may have seen my ivillage.com.au article leading up to mothers’ day. And while I gave thanks to my Mum and everything she has done for me, I want to also take time to thank the person who has shaped me as a mother, my daughter. So, my little possum, you may only be nine months old, but here are the six reasons I want to thank you this mothers’ day.
You put things into perspective
I love my job. I do. I’ve always enjoyed working, I also enjoy reading the paper (when I get the chance), going for a run, eating out at restaurants, drinking espresso martinis and sleeping in on the weekends. While I haven’t gone back to work and can’t comment too much on that aspect (there’s a heap of blog material waiting for me there!), I can say that all those priorities, all those things that felt so critical to my life, absolutely pale in comparison to breathing in the scent coming from my daughter’s little fuzzy head. After all, does the rest of that stuff really matter as much as shaping another person’s life? Didn’t think so.
You make me laugh
More to the point, I make her laugh. Never in my life have I been so funny! Who would’ve thought that burping in your daughter’s face could illicit such joy, not just to her, but to me – anyone else would be disgusted, and rightly so! I will dance around erratically, sing songs in public, blurt bellies at inappropriate times, all to hear the wonderful sound that is her laugh.
You make me want to be a better person
Before having kids I really didn’t have anyone to impress. Sure, I wanted to make a good impression, I wanted to be liked (I’m not a monster!), but it wasn’t like what I did was monitored with any great scrutiny. Now, I go out of my way to be kind, to engage with others, to be social, and to be less timid. No longer will I walk into a shop with purpose but be too uncomfortable to ask for help, no longer will I be too self-conscious to sing in public or ask a stupid question. I now laugh with abandon, talk to strangers and commandeer high chairs without self-consciousness. And best of all, I’m reminded me of the person I was before adulthood, responsibility and self-consciousness crept up on me.
You make me surprise myself
Never before did I think I would eat regurgitated food off someone else’s face, or pick poo off someone’s bottom. I didn’t think I had the patience to rock back and forth for two hours, or cope with being showered in poop – I now realise I have more capacity for the “greater good” than I thought.
You remind me that I’m not all that
That’s right, once you have kids you are a very distant fourth in your priority list, behind baby, washing and feeding … oh, there’s a husband in there too, right? Having a baby really does make you realise how overrated shaving your legs is, how unnecessary daily showers are, and how nothing beats cuddles, giggles and dribble running down your arm. You make me less vain. Ever wondered why people walk around looking like “a Mum”? I thought perhaps it was just a coincidental loss of fashion sense as age crept up. No, it’s the loss of time, it’s the loss of care, it’s the need to get out of the house for a coffee, despite having yoghurt smeared all over your top and half a ponytail hanging out after some vigorous hair-pulling. Some people might think it sounds sad, but for me it’s a whole new kind of freedom.
There’s so much love
I love my husband. I always felt we had this special connection, a type of “movie love” if you will. Then little miss was born. And it was a whole new kind of love. It hurt, it consumed, it made me smile, it made me cry. Never before have I felt so much complete devotion to a person, to my little family. And for that, little miss, more than anything, I thank you.
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