|It's Mother's Day in the US today but we celebrated back in March. However yesterday (13th May) was my daughter's birthday, her first as a Mum. It was also the 5th anniversary of the death of my Mum so it's a day that made me think about Motherhood. Strangely, my Mother took her leave at the exact time that my daughter entered the world, 4.13 am give or take a minute or two. This picture is my Mum and me.|
|Mum with Rebecca|
|Rebecca with Nathan|
My Mum didn't have perhaps the best example of motherhood. Her Mum didn't make things easy for her. As the eldest of 4 girls Mum was often looking out for her sisters. Money was tight and having gained a place at the local grammar school only one set of uniform could be afforded. Mum did a lot of overnight washing to ensure she was always clean and tidy for school. The start of her married life was spent living under the same roof as her parents where she had the lion's share of housework to do. And despite sharing the house until I was born (by which time my brothers were 12 and 7) there was very little babysitting done by my grandmother.
Fortunately for me that led to my Mum being very different. She was mostly there for all of our childhoods, only taking part time jobs once I was older. Once I was married and had children of my own she was always willing to babysit. We lived close by and in addition to the babysitting she was often at our house, doing ironing, cooking and just generally being another pair of hands and of course helping with the kids, reading, playing games and so on. I don't think I would have done such a good job of bringing up my kids without her help or example. That might sound like bragging but I think my kids are genuinely the sort any parent would be proud to call their own. They also had a great example set to them by their other Grandparents. So it's definitely been a team effort and of course hubby played his part too.
Hopefully some of this has been absorbed by my daughter now that she's embarking on her own Motherhood journey. Followers here will know it's been a bumpy start. Baby Nathan was 6 weeks old on Friday but he's still only just over 5lb. He is doing well but it's been hard watching my daughter having to cope with all the uncertainty. The constant round of expressing milk. Trekking backwards and forwards to the hospital. Leaving him behind everyday. The constant checks and ups and downs are naturally causing her and her wife to be anxious. Thankfully it's definitely more ups as he gets bigger and stronger but I am so proud of the way they have coped.
We spent time with them yesterday and managed to get out for a birthday lunch but they were both constantly checking their phones for the time and messages. Fortunately there was no call back from the hospital and all was fine. We made it back in time for Nathan's next feed and although it wasn't how she expected to be spending her birthday this year I think Becca enjoyed it.
I realised though this week that I've been wallowing a bit. It's understandable I know, given I witnessed the birth first hand and have lived through this difficult time along with them. And of course anniversaries remind us of loved ones we've lost. My children were lucky enough to have my mum in their lives for at least 20 years but I did miss her yesterday. She would have been so proud of my daughter and would have made such fuss of the baby (if she'd been in her right mind). But she would also have been giving me a good talking to along the lines of "Yes it's hard watching your kids struggle with situations and it's hard not being able to cuddle the baby yet but the world's still turning and there are still things to be done. Get off your backside and back into gear!"
Thanks Mum, for everything.