Before I even dreamed of having children, when my nephews and nieces were the children I loved most in this world and I thought that my love for them could never be surpassed, I had a very clear idea of the type of mother I would one day be.
I would be that mum who is fun and playful. I would never raise my voice, preferring to talk things out with my would-be children. I’d hear their opinion about things first and then discuss with them which decision would be in everyone’s interest. I would never cut my hair short or put on weight and I’d take care of my appearance the same way I did back then. I would be my children’s best friend and they would respect me but also tell me all their secrets and prefer my company to that of anyone else.
I was delusional.
The moment Maia was born, I knew that my ideas of motherhood were idealised and based on a mental collage which I had cut and pasted from various films and books. Real parenting was a far cry from walks in the park with a cooperative, happy, rosy-cheeked child who hung on to my every word. I quickly learned more about myself than I had in the previous 28 years. It was indeed possible to love more deeply than I had ever loved before. I was insecure but I also tapped into a reserve of strength which I never knew I possessed. I was not good at taking care of myself. Most of all, I learned how impatient I could be. A lot of mums claim that parenthood made them better, calmer persons. In my case, motherhood turned me into a short fuse and becoming a mother of two turned me into a volcano threatening to erupt any moment.
I love my girls with all my being, I really do. My every waking (and sleeping) thought is about them or conditioned by them. Whatever I do, I do for them or because of them. That does not change the fact that I raise my voice far too much, there are days when all I do is hyperventilate and tell them off. I feel like a failure for not being able to show them just how much they mean to me and that my anger or frustration has very little to do with them and I am finally realising why. I won’t go into further detail in this (already too long) post but I will write about it when I have some more time.
Meanwhile, I have these two entertaining me with their antics. Seeing the photos of what they get up to makes me laugh and wonder how I could ever get upset with them…until the next time one of them uses marker on the walls or throws cereals all over the floor.
ps – you can see more photos on my Instagram feed if you wish.