Tomorrow I will become the mother of a 10 year old.
10 whole years with a wee girl with the blondest hair and bluest of eyes.
You’d think after a decade of this parenting stuff I’d have it all figured out. If it was a ‘real’ job then I’d have been sacked by now if I hadn’t. Well, actually, I don’t. This being a Mum thing literally turned me on my head, it is something else. And I don’t think it matters if you’re a stay at home parent or a working parent or a single parent or an involved parent (I’ve been all of the above), the highs and lows of having a tiny human to keep alive effect us all the same.
We spend a lot time worrying about what we need to ‘teach’ our kids to help them navigate this weird, harsh, social media addicted world. But along the way she’s taught me a thing or two;
Oh. My. Goodness.
I go to work and have to exude this air of calm and patience and I manage it.
And then I come home and she’s staring at me telling me she just ‘doesn’t care’ that she needs to eat and I can’t make her do ANYTHING and her life is SO UNFAIR. And I have to learn patience all over again. Some days I succeed. Other days I fail and I apologise to my neighbours for that. Patience is certainly a virtue.
Having a girl in this day and age is scary. She already likes makeup, she knows what Love Island is, and she can navigate her iPhone better then I can. I spend a LOT of time trying to make her strong, and confident and capable, so she is unaffected by words or opinions. And yet, she is already strong. She was born strong, it’s who she is. And boy don’t we know it. Now I just pray for the poor sod who decide he wants to marry her one day.
Oh boy isn’t she just beautiful. She has no idea what self-esteem and body confidence is because she has never come across it. She throws on clothes and just looks magnificent. She never lingers at a mirror wondering if she looks fat or ugly because those words do not exist for her. She is everything I wish I was and every day I try more to be like her.
Oh how I wish I could forgive as quickly as she could. We fall out – sometimes a lot. And here I am huffing around raging at her for being a brat and here she is holding my hand chatting about this and that like I’m her best friend. Because I am. And she is mine. Even when she makes me rage.
I remembering worrying once that she’d see some children as being different to her. I asked her once what the difference between her and one of her black friends was and she looked at me and said ‘well he’s a boy and I’m a girl Mummy’.
She doesn’t see colour. She doesn’t see race or religion or gender. She doesn’t see disability or additional needs.
She sees friends. And family. She sees PEOPLE.
I had a baby and realised I can be serious sometimes. A lot of the time. Sometimes it’s ok to stick a unicorn horn on your head and prance about like a mystical creature as if no one can see you.
Before I had a baby it was all ‘me me me’. I didn’t think about anyone else because I was the centre of my own universe. Then I had this little person and suddenly it was all about her. She made me more considerate. She made me more selfless.
Do the scary things
I watched her earlier navigate this really high tree top climb. She was terrified. But she did it. She has taught me that it is only by actually doing things that scare you that make you grow, that make you better. Doing things that scare you is less about getting it done and more about proving it to yourself that you can.
From the moment she was placed in my arms, all screaming and wrinkly and new I loved her. And I’ve loved her every day since. Sometimes she infuriates me, sometimes I wonder what the hell i’m doing. But she is one of the few people who I will love no matter what. She holds my heart in her hand, and there is nothing that could change that.
I’m doing ok
Watching her grow and seeing the girl she is today shows me that I’m doing ok. It isn’t always obvious, and some nights I go to bed and worry that I’m doing it all wrong. Does she spend too much time on a screen, does she have enough friends, does she do enough stuff? But when you look at your child and realise the decisions and choices you’ve made have helped bring them to today and they’re doing ok, well that means you’re doing ok too.
Happy Decade N…we love you 💓