To my oldest child, today I got it wrong.
Today I shouted when I should have just spoke. Today I fed you chips and beans when I should have cooked you a proper dinner. Today you watch kids cartoons when I should have taken you to the park. Today I rowed with you because you disagreed with me, I should have listened to your point of view. Today I didn’t want to do your homework. Today you told me you hated me and I told you that I didn’t care. Today I rolled my eyes at you. Today I got it wrong.
I counted down the hours to bed-time, I rushed through your bed time story and felt irritated when you were trying to make me laugh. I cursed under my breath when I heard your footsteps coming down the stairs because you couldn’t sleep.
To my littlest one, today I got it wrong.
Today we stayed indoors when I should have taken you to baby group. Today I kept you in your babygro all day when I should have got you dressed. Today you had cheese on toast when I should have made you courgette muffins. Today your crying annoyed me. Today I spent too much time on my phone. Today I got it wrong.
I put you in your bouncer while I tried to tidy up and played nursery rhymes through Youtube. I cursed under my breath that you woke up from your nap 20 minutes early and made my coffee go cold.
To my oldest child, today I think I got it right.
Today we talked. You told me about school, about your friends and I listened. I listened and learned more about you. You’re growing up so fast. Today we spent the whole day outside, you ran and played and laughed. I bought you an ice cream, a big one with that disgusting blue sauce you love but I hate because it stains everything. Today I cooked a healthy dinner and watched in satisfaction as you devoured it and said “that was lovely mummy!” Today I hugged you, just because, and you hugged me back and told me I was the best mummy in the world. Today you made me laugh. Today I read an extra chapter of your bedtime story as you snuggled in the crook of my arm. Today I kissed your face a million times before bed and told you how precious you are. Today, I think I got it right.
To my littlest one, today I think I got it right.
Today we went out and sang songs and played with other babies. Today I made you veggie muffins and watched you wolf them down. Today I made you laugh and laugh by blowing raspberries on your feet. That sweet little sound makes my heart sing. We sat in the garden under the sun and I blew bubbles to you, I played with a puppet and threw you up in the air before catching you again safely in my arms. We read stories and I did all the voices. Today your cheek is wet from my kisses. Today I held you as you slept and soothed you when you cried. Today, I think I got it right.
I am not supermum. I wish I was because my kids deserve a supermum. A mum who makes healthy scones for snacks, sings nursery rhymes whilst playing guitar and keeps bloody chickens in the garden. Sometimes my parenting choices keep me awake at night, an endless chatter of shoulda-woulda-coulda and vowing to be better the next day. I wish I grew vegetables in my garden, I wish we did arts and crafts more often. I wish we baked more, made homemade jam, sewed frigging cushions and made daisy chains…. actually we are pretty good at daisy chains! But the point is, its too much pressure. I am only human and sometimes I’m too tired to show enthusiasm for Lego. Sometimes I don’t want to cook a dinner because I just want to stay in my PJs and eat cake all day. Sometimes (on the worst days) I envy the freedom those without children have, the fact that they can stay in all day under the duvet watching Friends re-runs totally guilt free. But I get up every morning with my children, and I give them the best mum I can be that day.
Sometimes I get wrong, but sometimes I get it right
To me, motherhood is not something that you ever completely ‘crack,’ because even when you think you have finally sussed it all out, your children keep growing and changing and each stage presents a whole new array of challenges and joys. As a mum, I’m always learning, and when you’re learning you have to make mistakes (that’s the teacher in me coming out!). Sometimes learning makes you tired, it makes you really tired. Sometimes I don’t want to learn, I don’t want to think, I don’t want to plan and prepare everything. And some days, this affects my actions as a mother. Everyone burns out eventually, you cannot give 100% every single day and it’s taken me a long time to make my peace with that. Some days it is enough just to keep them safe, fed, warm and loved.
Sometimes I get it wrong. but when I look at my girls, I know I must be doing something right.