We all have moments in our lives where we think, ‘Wow, well done me.’ My earliest one such moment was winning a paint box when I was about eight or nine years old. It was a carved wooden box with all types of wooden paint brushes inside and every shade, of every colour paint imaginable. I can’t remember why I won it, and truth be told I think it might have been sent to me in error, as even with a ruler I cannot draw a straight line! I’ve had quite a few other achievements to date; winning various swimming events, being selected for the national team, qualifying to be a nurse, (despite the fact I was never the most academic student) and managing to stay married for over twenty five years.
Tonight I returned home after a night out with a great friend. Having had a couple of drinks I was a little mellow, to say the least. For a moment I thought ‘having such friends must surely be my greatest achievement’. My memory wandered to all I’d shared with my friends over many years, the wonderful highs and crushing lows. As I stood alone in the kitchen gazing wistfully into my past, I caught sight of the two photo collages hung on the kitchen wall. Many many photos of the last twenty five years of parenting.
And instantly I knew, mellow or not… this was my greatest achievement.
How time has changed me? For years I struggled with frustration and insecurity because I was a stay at home mother. The question, ‘What do you do?’ used to tear me apart. In my head the answer was, ‘Me? I’m only a stay at home mother.’ Now, with the luxury of twenty five years parenting behind me, if I am asked, ‘What did you do?’ I can point to my children, and the others I mothered at home here along the way, and say,
‘Look at them. That is what I did.’