I have seen and read a lot of quotes since becoming a Mum, and I guess before that without taking as much notice, about how Mothers are selfless and giving and all sacrificing for their children and families. While I think many actions and thoughts of Mothers make this true, lately I have been thinking, certainly about myself, that mine is a more selfish kind of love.
While I would give and sacrifice anything for them without question, I have lately realised that being their everything in return is what I have come to love…
Rightly or wrongly, the thought of them turning to someone or something else makes me a very unhappy Mummy! While sometimes it may be suffocating and exhausting, I want to be the person they call in the night when they wake up afraid from a bad dream. I want to be the face they search for in the crowd. I want to be the one they run to when they have scraped their knee. The lap they want to sit on when they are tired or poorly. The cuddle they need before being able to go to sleep. The ear they seek for their troubles. The voice they listen to for advice. The hand they hold when they need stability. The heart they rely on for unconditional love. I want them to need me.
Being all these things has been, and continues to be, part of my parenting journey. I have realised lately though that I have however come to rely on this to validate my role as ‘stay at home Mum’, my reason for being at their beck and call. My excuse for not doing anything else. Because they need me. But really, I need them too.
Yet I know there will come a time, perhaps in the not too distant future, where they will start to spread their wings and want to fly solo. They will be able to cope without me. They will discover the joy and pride in doing something independently. Of realising they are stronger and braver than they thought. They will turn to friends, other family members, teachers, dare I say girlfriends!, for support and love also. They will realise there is a big wide world out there for discovering and exploring. And I fear my selfish love will come back and bite me on the ass, so I had best start preparing to be a bit more willing to share them.
As my five year old said to me this week, “I’m a big boy now aren’t I?” Yes you are my love. While they will both always be my babies, I think the time is coming to accept my boys are growing up and I need to make sure I am always being the encouraging, supportive and enthusiastic Mum who helps them to be their very best. They are still both so little so I don’t need to worry about letting them go just yet, but I should probably work on releasing my grip. Not too much, just a little bit. Sometime soon. Maybe 😉