An ordinary person's thoughts on the complexities of art & life ...

An ordinary person's thoughts on the complexities of life ... or just ramblings from the mind of a working Mum with far too little time to think!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On being a Parent

I can say without reservation that I have enjoyed almost every moment of being a mother. From the very first time I looked into the eyes of my tiny newborn son, I knew that I had found what I wanted to do with my life. And now with four almost adult children and many frantically busy years later, I am still a believer.

Being a parent changes your life irrevocably, as you move from the relative security of being totally in control of what you do and where you go, to stepping onto an exhilarating roller coaster ride where things change every day and you have to learn quickly how to fly by the seat of your pants. Life with children, especially my children, is never boring!

Right from that very first glimpse, your life is tied inextricably to another, and you feel each smile, each joy, each disappointment, each frustration and each heart ache that your child feels, as if it were your own.

Often you find yourself puffing up like a mother hen, ready to chase down that rude girl who dared to upset your precious little chick, or that ‘know-it-all’ rugby coach who sent your little boy after the ball right into the middle of the head-splitting scrum, or that dance adjudicator who obviously did not know how to recognise the most talented little ballerina in the competition!

Being a mother is so much more fulfilling than anything I have ever done. I have flown aircraft, parachuted from airplanes, sailed and lived on a yacht, travelled to exotic places, and had many, many exciting times, but nothing compares to the simple moments shared with my children.

And yes, there are hard times too, and many frustrating times, when you feel that your head is going to burst and all you want to do is to run away and sleep for a very long time!  And times when, whatever you do, you cannot make everyone happy and you feel that you are always the mediator, always the one in the middle trying to make peace.

It is difficult when you reach the point where you need to step back and let your children make their own decisions, and then have to watch while they struggle to find their way. It is even more difficult to let go as they move towards independence and trust that you have taught them what they will need to navigate their lives successfully.

But these times are few and far between all the joyful moments along the path of parenthood, the moments of such intense happiness and inner warmth that you feel your heart might overflow. I never knew how much love my heart could hold until I became a mother.

And would I do it all again, as someone recently challenged me? 
An emphatic yes! I would not change a thing, except perhaps some of what I have said to my children in moments of anger or frustration.

I have learned so much through the eyes and the hearts of each of my children, so much that I could never have learned any other way.

I have learned how to really love, how to give unreservedly, how to laugh, how to enjoy the simple things, how to argue and debate with devious minds, how to lose gracefully at scrabble or boggle, how to diagnose and relieve all sorts of aches, pains and ailments, and how to care for all manner of kittens, puppies, rats, mice, parrots, chickens, ducks, horses, turkeys, goats and all the other abandoned animals regularly brought home by my middle child! 

My children have taught me how to navigate my way effortlessly around computers, i-pods and mobile phones, how to tweet and be comfortable with social media. I am able to follow games of rugby, soccer, basketball, volleyball and tennis. I know much about ballet, gymnastics, jazz ballet, irish dancing, fencing, dressage, cross-country riding and show-jumping, and I am sure I have attended enough music lessons over the years to play the violin, cello, piano, flute and trumpet!

I am so very fortunate to have such loving, giving children and I am grateful to have had the opportunity, four times over, to experience the incredible range of feelings and emotions that are reserved only for those who are privileged enough to be called Parents.

“A mother holds her children’s hands for a while … their hearts forever.”

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post. Reminds me of my children, and how much I have learned from them. And from their loving mother.