Tonight I am sharing what I have learned over my lifetime as a mother. A blogging buddy called Learner Mama has posted “Ten random things I have learnt as a mother”. She has invited others to join in and share their own experiences. I loved the idea and so here are mine.
From childhood I imagined being a mother, and what a mother I would be! My children would adore me, we’d be best friends and would live life in harmony.
Yes that was lesson number one learned. I would never be the mother I thought I would be.
It was not entirely my fault, it was just that I never imagined having children with minds of their own. Minds that from an early age differed greatly from my own. Little minds that decided what they liked to eat and how little they needed to sleep. Bigger minds that decided what they wanted to wear, how much homework they thought was necessary and even bigger minds who decided just how late they would like to come home.
Lesson number two. That even though I loved my partner dearly I had never truly experienced love until the day my first baby was placed in my arms.
That moment took my breath away, and that love affair is as fresh today as it was that very first second I saw my children, held them close and watched their little eyes as they blinked and opened for the first time.
Lesson number three, that it is possible to love each child as they arrive, just as passionately as I did my first.
I can remember apologising to my as yet unborn second child, in tears as I explained I could never love him like I did my first. As he was safely delivered, I held him in my arms and instantly adored him. Just as I did my first, third and fourth child.
Lesson number four, With the arrival of my children I said goodbye forever to the independent individual I had grown up to be. I was now a mother first and last. Never again would life be about me.
Even after twenty three years, I still put my children first. I look at people without children and I cannot imagine only having myself to think about.
Lesson number five. That having a baby is the best and worst time in a marriage.
We never knew how to argue until we had children. What with the lack of sleep, the arguing over why they are crying, and the division of labour we sure learned how to disagree. Not to mention differing ideas on parenting.
Lesson number six. That looking after small children is physically and mentally so very tiring.
Never being able to sit and relax because a small child needs someone constantly on duty, day and night. They are also so well able to push your buttons, ensuring that many of the well intentioned rules you had intended to enforce, got discarded.
Lesson number seven. That looking after teenage children is physically and mentally so very tiring.
School runs, after school activities and collecting after a night out is physically exhausting. The rowing, arguing, disciplining and second guessing nearly breaks you. This was not how you imagined it to be when you looked into your future.
Lesson number eight. That there is nothing in life can come close to a heartfelt, spontanious hug from your child. No matter how often you experience it, it melts your heart.
There are times when parenting takes everything you’ve got. You are running on empty. And then in a moment your child turns to you and hugs you tight. It doesn’t matter what age your child is, in that moment you forget everything and love them unconditionally.
Lesson number nine. That your children’s happiness means more to you than anything in the world.
Their tears are your tears, their upsets and disappointments break your heart. Equally their smiles cheer you up and the sound of their laughter makes everything alright in your world.
Lesson number ten. That the health of my children is beyond measure the most important thing in life.
Last year my close friend held her twelve year old sobbing son in her arms. He had just been told he had leukemia. For almost a year I watched as she and his Dad fought along side him. With an aching heart I was beside her as she said a last goodbye.
I am a different person since. Every night now as I go to bed, I look in on my children and I take a moment to really appreciate all that I have. As I join the millions of mothers around the world whispering “Goodnight, I love you”, I am also aware, just how much I love being a mother. Whether we stay at home, or work outside, being a mother is the best “job” in the world.
photo credit: RTD Photography via photopin cc
31 thoughts on “Ten things I have learned as a mother.”
Beautiful thoughts. I’ve lived every one of those ten things, including a friend’s loss of a child, and I’ve felt each of these things. Thank you for sharing. -Amy at http://www.momgoeson.wordpress.com
Thanks so much for reading. The loss of a child is a pain I can not imagine, but it is so hard to stand by and watch.
these are fantastic and honest and realistic things you’ve learned. especially the last. puts all the rest in perspective.
Lovely post Tric, I agree, the unconditional love for your child is something else. I can never understand parents who don’t put their kids first. Love is the one thing that doesn’t divide (not like cake!) but multiples as each child comes along.
I recently read about the Irish lady whose husband, child and unborn child were all killed after a car accident when holidaying in the UK. She is doing wonderful work celebrating their lives and getting involved in the community. Her bravery takes my breath away. I don’t mean to be negative here but I know if something happened to both my children, I’d be suggesting a few packets of paracetomol to my husband.
Children aren’t my reason for living but I wouldn’t want to continue living without them.
I love this. Being a mother is the best job in the world! Even through the hard times, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Oh I am with you there. It is tough but definitely the most rewarding job ever.
Beautiful post. Thanks so much for taking part!
Thanks for the idea. I loved it and have been afraid to read the others as I didn’t want to be influenced by what others had learned. Tomorrow I intend having a good read of them.
That’s beautiful Tric and now I’m crying again 🙂
Sorry to have had that effect on you! Hopefully all us Irish bloggers will meet someday and you’ll see I’m not a misery in real life!
no no crying in a good way 🙂
Phew! Hope you have a peaceful night, and you remember all these wonderful lessons at 4am! 🙂
Tric I couldn’t read this without applying it to my own life. My own feelings. Incredibly beautiful and heartfelt, by my.
Thanks Coleen. If I was to write this two years ago I think it would have been different. Now I think I have my priorities right.
I think you are quite right in your priorities.
So personal and truly beautiful to read. Nothing better in the world of the ours than being a mother. I love it so.
Yes it is wonderful, and each of our children so precious it is scary! Glad you enjoyed it.
I knew you’d have ten great lessons… and they are!
Thanks Naomi. I was afraid to read the others until I had written my own. Now I can go away and read and enjoy.
That was really beautiful, Tric, and so true. My grandma used to say, “When they’re little they step on your toes, and when they’re big, they step on your heart.” I think no matter what they do that might cause you pain, you will always love them just the same.
Oh that is a beautiful expression. I am definitely going to store that one up, as it is so very true. How lucky are we to be able to experience motherhood in all its ups and downs.
Since I am now taking care of small grandchildren, #6 really resonates with me. Well said, Tric and so very true. Love my kiddos!!
At least you will be fit, and mentally agile, and of course you can give them back. Manys the day I would have been happy to give mine back! 🙂
Fabulous list. I do not have teenagers yet, but I am with you on the whole list. I work in healthcare with children and my experiences there make me so very grateful for everyday that I spend with my children and hubby.
I loved my time as a mother of young children, but even though teenagers can be difficult, I am really enjoying their company.
All so very true! Motherhood is a miracle you can never truly understand until you experience it yourself!
Agreed. And you can never explain it properly to someone who has never had children.
Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Tears in my eyes reading this. Such a way with words. Xx
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.