There I am in the paper #21.

My latest article for the Irish Examiner’s Feelgood. I confess, I didn’t always appreciate my Mother.

Mother’s Day is upon us. As a child, I remember being annoyed because we never celebrated ‘National Children’s day’. My parent’s comment, was always, “Every day is Children’s Day.” I disagreed quietly, because I’m brave like that, and argued to myself that as far as I could see every day was, Mother’s Day! A Mother never had to go to school or do homework and could watch television all day, not that I ever remember my Mum watching television.

The value I put on my Mother didn’t change much over the years, until approximately one minute after I delivered myphoto credit: Jack Fussell via photopin cc first baby. Holding my tiny new born in my arms, traumatised by birth, my opinion of my mother soared and I wondered how she had gone on to have five of us.

Throughout my pregnancy I’d imagined what sort of mother I’d be. The best way to describe my vision, was something between Mother Earth and Lorelai of the Gilmore Girls. Arriving home for the first time, my tiny crying bundle in my arms, I sat stunned. I was a Mother! I’d no idea what lay ahead, but I had little doubt that this baby and I would be friends for life. I was going to be a great mother, possibly the best ever.

Unfortunately, the birth hadn’t quite gone to plan, with the natural delivery falling by the wayside very soon after I’d made it all the way to one centimetre. Now with my babe in arms I continued to aspire to the ‘Best Mother Ever’ title, by breastfeeding. It was best for baby after all and so natural. Except when it came to it, it didn’t seem a bit natural, and it was painful. However, I stuck with it and in the end, we both learned and I even grew to enjoy it.

As the years passed and my baby became a toddler and pre-schooler, I never gave up on my ambition to be Ireland’s Greatest Mother. I insisted we follow a routine to the minute. Our house became toddler friendly with locks on everything from the fridge to the toilet and the steriliser was worn out. I insisted everyone adhere to my high standards. All went well until baby number two arrived, then three and finally number four. Standards began to slip, until in the end there was no routine, no locks and the steriliser was only used for storage. Surprisingly no one died.

One afternoon a while ago, sitting with my now almost reared children, in a moment of madness, I asked them what they would remember me most for? I’d been thinking they might say lovely things like,

“Your hugs.”
“Listening to bedtime stories.”
“You were always there, Mum.”

Instead they paused and after a minute or so the first began,
“Burnt toast. Whenever I smell burning, I’ll think of you.”
“Oh yes, and keys. Whenever I see keys I’ll think of how you always lose yours.”
“And the time you sent my uniform in for recycling by mistake.”
“Or how bad you were at doing our hair.”

Well their replies were not exactly pleasing so I stopped them, or at least tried to, as they continued to remember my too many failings with the greatest of ease. Listening to them I wondered at how quick they were to remember the less fantastic moments in life. I mean surely they remember some nice things about me?

Or do they? Perhaps that is just the way it is, until we have our own children. So I’d like to take a moment here to put

My Mum and I.

the record straight.

“Mum, I do remember…and thank you. Happy Mother’s Day.”

Now I only have to wait until one of my own crew have children so they can finally confirm, I really am a great mother.


photo credit: Jack Fussell via photopin cc

London Irish Graduate Network

17 thoughts on “There I am in the paper #21.

  1. You’re my inspiration, tric. The other day, I got home and went to take the shopping in from the car only to discover it wasn’t there. After some head-scratching and ringing the shop, it transpired I’d left it on the forecourt after strapping our one in. I just hoping she’s old enough to remember the good times…

    1. Hahaha. I don’t often laugh out loud but this did it for me.
      You are sunk. Time to stop trying it’s already too late for you.

  2. I personally see the above conversation as “Greatest Mother Ever” success –

    For that conversation to have taken place, the kiddos had to have felt loved, safe and secure in the space to speak their mind and share their memories – Giving the gift of “motherhood looks different for each of us, given our talents, skills and past experience” you have given your children the foundation of being free to ask for help, fail, succeed, all without trying to reach some narrowly defined list of “Good Mothering” – 😀 I LOVE this post!!!!

    1. Thanks TamrahJo that is a very different insight into our conversation and one I’m delighted to embrace. Sorry for the tardy reply to your lovely comment.

      1. No worries 🙂 Any mom who cares will rarely come up with a good story for herself that outside-looking in folks see right away! Lol. I have Mom friends that tell me alternate stories, too! 🙂

  3. Well at least they were talking to you Tric – I thought on Sunday while enjoying our family gathering of the mothers who were left outside the circle.

    1. Yes I did too, and also to those who have had their children and for whatever reason the relationship has broken down. The whole day is about ‘perfect’. Life is not always like that.

  4. ‘Whenever I smell burning I’ll think of you’ 😂😂😂 Brilliant! I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day

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