After a busy, and very lovely, holiday period, I came down with some form of overbearing sickness, combined with exhaustion and just general ‘feeling shitty-ness’.
Luckily, I have a wonderful husband, who I view as an amazing father. He has been there to clean up the puke (namely mine), bring me food I can’t eat and, most importantly, look after Bonnie and Isla while I have been feeling much too rubbish to be any form of responsible parent.
Of course, from my sick bed, all I feel is guilt and ‘failure’… In hindsight (and in the cold light of day after a night of vomiting), I ask myself why should I be so harsh on myself? I was sick, not a failure, lose the guilt, the girls know no different. But that offers no reassurance. I still feel bad, and as though I ‘lost a day’ being a mum to them.
I woke up this morning, I took my little ladies down for their ‘bobo’s’ and profusely apologised to them for “being a poopey sick mummy”. In return, I got some pretty little goofy smiles and a two minute monologue of sheer gibberish from Bonnie (which of course means something very important to her, so we sit and we listen with great enthusiasm), while Isla perched herself on my knee and cuddled in to me, requesting kisses and rubbing my arm.
As the girls got on with their very important morning of playing with their toys and trashing anything that belongs to Paddy and I, I began to reflect on the last seventeen months, and what stood out was how happy Bonnie and Isla have been, yet how I have often been reprimanding myself for not being good enough, not keeping the house tidy enough, leaving important things until the very last minute, not taking the girls out enough, missing out on time with them when I go to work, not losing the extra weight yet, when the girls get sick- that’s my fault, when the girls don’t eat all of their fruit and veg in the day- that’s my fault… I manage to go to astounding lengths just to make myself feel like I am not a good mum. BULLSH*T!
In reality, I am a good mother. All of my ‘little failures’ I have in my head are unfair.
I am well aware that I am not the only mother who has ever felt this way. I have made four amazing friends for life, who also happened to have had babies at the same time as I had the twins, I watch them with their little ones…
We sit enthusiastically clapping for the thousandth time that week alone, as our little one has managed to spoon yoghurt from their bowl in to their mouth (or at least around their mouth).
When we go to the park we spend most of our time chasing after our children, and each others, because they’re too close to another kid in a swing, or they’re halfway up a climbing frame and one slip away from a bone breaking. We make sure our little ones are safe.
We light up when a random member of the public stops us to admire our beautiful little rascals, because we are oh so very proud of them.
There are so many good things we do without even noticing. We are in autopilot, and in reality, our default mode is set to ‘Awesome Mum’!
So perhaps it’s time we stopped every once in a while, and reflected on all of the good things we do, and not only because it’s our ‘job’ as a mother to keep our children safe, not only do we do our ‘general duties’, but we also keep our littles ones oh so happy, and oh so very loved.
That’s why I am a good mother, and that’s why you are a good mother too.