Friday, May 10, 2013

This Mothering Gig


It is a little over 33 years since I first became a mother. My kids would say that I've never been one for quiet reflection - too much to do, so little time to do it all in. However lately I've been thinking if I'd had my time over again, what would I do differently. It is the toughest gig of all this mothering caper and I reckon if it was an exam, I'd have probably only scraped through with a C-. 

I was 23 & thought I knew it all. I'd seen life & death at it's best (& worst) after being chucked in the deep end of the Public health system at 17 when I went nursing. I'd worked hard, studied just enough to get over the line with a tertiary qualification & got married at 20. So then I thought it was time to challenge myself a bit more & I had one baby, then another & very quickly yet another......3 in 3 years. All over & done with by the time I was 27, a whirlwind of babies & toddlers.

They were such good babes, I was very lucky. However, their school years were not so easy, they had a single mother who was working long hours, travelling a lot & who was tired & weary most of the time trying to hold everything together. And then a little later, there was the challenge of becoming the wicked stepmother to 2 more boy cherubs. But despite having a C- mother, they've grown into beautiful independent men, who have forged good lives & who make me proud every day.

So this Mother's Day I want to say to the boys, sorry lads, I should have lifted my game a lot more. There wasn't enough fun & silliness, I should have listened more & rushed less. I'm aware that in the near future you'll be choosing my Nursing Home, so I hope I can redeem myself before then.

There are so many things I would do differently, better.......but there is one thing I wouldn't change for anything -  doing it all again with my gorgeous boys, with a few Mummy modifications!

Image: Pinterest Vintage For Kids
Photobucket

48 comments:

  1. Your beautiful quote by Auden above has left me speechless. I wish you a very happy mother's day and I am sure your lads all know the love that is deep in your heart for them. That is A+

    Helen xx

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    1. Helen thank you so much for your truly lovely comment. M xx

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  2. I think we all feel we don't do enough.... but it is enough just for children to know they are loved. I'm sure your boys know that, and I'm sure all the hard work you did in keeping it all together while they were kids was/is appreciated. Have a wonderful time on Sunday, hope your boys show you a bit of love and appreciation, and that you enjoy your first mothers day as a grandmother too! xx

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    1. Thanks Heidi, as usual wise words from you! Will be thinking of you on Sunday. M xx

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  3. They are wonderful boys because they have had the life they have... thanks to you Millie... I am sure they would agree...
    Mothering is the hardest, most difficult job in the world... and like you I was totally unprepared for what it would entail... I could say... If I knew then what I know now... :)
    Happy Mother's Day... xv

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    1. I've loved reading your observations on being a Mum over the years Vicki. This mothering stuff really is the last frontier of human experimentation! M xx

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  4. So funny reading your comment about them choosing your nursing home. Not long ago My sister, brother and I had to arrange to look after our mother who had a terminal illness. My brother was already to put her in a nursing home but my sister and I decided that she had done so much for us that we would like to look after her in her own home which we did. It did make me look at my own teenagers and think would you just stick me in a home and see me as a nusiance or bother to look after me yourselves.
    I may have to up my game!

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    1. What a lovely story Zoe! And yes, I'd put those teenagers of yours on a promise now about your Nursing Home preference & keep them to it. M xx

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  5. Oh Mill's,
    You are being far too hard on yourself. As is always said, having a baby doesn't come with a manual and we all just have to jog along as best we can whatever life throws at us in the meantime. I always think that your family seem well-adjusted, kind, caring, hard working and very considerate so, you must have done an awful lot right. Your boys are lovely and I know by the way that you write about them that you are very proud of them all and I'm sure that they love their mum SO much.
    Have a lovely Mother's Day Mill's and enjoy your very special family. Much love. XXXX

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    1. Aww Jac, thanks for your sweet comments. Hope your mob spoiled you rotten yesterday, they've got a very groovy Mum & Glammie to be very thankful for. M xx

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  6. I stumbled across your blog and read your lovely post here. Your words really touched me, as I was a single mom back in the day too. I have some regrets too, wish I'd taken more time with my daughter but remember feeling so busy and rushed and stressed at the time. But, there are no do-overs and all we can do is the best we can with what we have to work with, right?

    A very happy Mother's Day to you ~ and I LOVE the vintage cars on the walls of the nursery!

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    1. Great stumble Deb, so glad you landed safely here. You are now a Hedgie! M xx

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  7. I hope you have a lovely day with you family tomorrow. I'm sure that they will appreciate all you have done for them, and how much you treasure them. David.

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    1. Hello dear David, yep had a lovely day yesterday & was very spoilt. Apparently Son # 5 was about to buy me a bottle of Jansz, but his dear fiancee cleverly directed him up a shelf of 2 at the Bottle Shop & I ended up with a bottle of Bollie. He has chosen very wisely me thinks! M xx

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  8. It's a wonderful feeling when your kids turn out as strong, lovely adults, isn't it? I think we'd all change things about how we mothered, but in the end, most of us do as well as we could at the time. Hindsight is always better and it's easy to be critical of ourselves. happy mother's day, millie! xo

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    1. Betsy, what beautiful sentiments. You are one of my real heroes - I hope your gorgeous mob made your Mother's day just fabulous. M xx

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  9. Mum,

    You are an awesome Mum and you were/are/always will be.

    Sure you missed a few early morning Saturdays sports games that I would have loved for you to be at while I kicked that goal or took that catch so you could say you were prod of me but looking back considering all that you were doing to keep our family and our heads above water, its hardly bloody surprising.

    I can safely speak for my brothers when I say that you have our total respect for what you went through bringing us up. We watched you go from a full time Mum to having to go out and find a job to feed us after the divorce. You then took that that lowly secretaries job (no offence to any secretary's out there) and worked your tail off so in what was maybe 5 years you were the National Sales & Marketing Manager for a massive US company - all whilst trying to bring us up mostly single handedly which is nothing short of remarkable.

    I just wish I would have recognised it at the time when I was a kid so I could say thanks, give you a pat on the back, tell you that you were doing a good job and that it would all be worth all that hard work at the end of the day.

    Along the way we picked up our drive and determination from watching you struggle. Most people would have thrown in the towel when the child support payments weren't coming through or we were being hormonal and painful kids but you didn't and that's what make you great. That as well as your love/caring/empathy for other - plus that bloody sense of humour of yours............

    I'd be thankful if I end up being half the parent you were ;-)

    Don't worry, we all love you lots and next year we're all going to sell that lovely house of yours to one of your cashed up Hedgies and after we've taken half the money to try and buy modern, unattractive and tacky houses of our own then use whatever is left (after the holidays and new cars) and find you the best damn nursing home that we (you) can afford.

    Love you heaps, hope you like my present and I'll see you really soon.

    Myles

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    1. I'm speechless Sweetie - & yes it would be the first time that's occurred! Thank you for such a beautiful comment. Love Mum xxx

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  10. I hear you...another C- mum here! I am a firm believer though that kids turn out really well despite us. I know mine have. And bravo Son #3...you're a chip off the old block if ever I saw one. Make sure there are a few spots in that nursing home...I wouldn't mind sharing with your mum, as long as there's a bar fridge. Happy Mothers Day Mills xx

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    1. Thanks Kerry, yes a decent bar fridge in my Nursing home room is a must, thanks for reminding me! Mxx

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  11. You truly are priceless Millie.

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  12. I don't know how you did it. I just have one boy (2 if you count J-boy) and most of the time, the house is a wreck and I'm heating up a frozen pizza for supper. All the hard struggles just made you and your boys deeper more beautiful people. We have a tendency to be the hardest on ourselves. We compare our lives to other's. Comparison is the thief of joy according to Pinterest. I hope you had a great Mother's Day. You are a great mother and no more could've, should've, would'ves. Love, Heidi

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And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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