There have been times this year when I have felt desperately unhappy. One of my daughters was having a difficult time adjusting to changes in her life and it seemed that whatever I did to try and help her would backfire and make things worse. It was frustrating and emotionally draining and the effects on the whole family were far reaching. I felt a complete failure as a mother. Thankfully now, for the sake of everyone involved, things are very much better although I don't doubt that the odd crisis will continue to challenge us.
Being a mother is the most fundamental part of who I am and when I feel that I am failing, it strips me of any sense of self worth. The flip side to this particular coin of maternity is that when something positive happens it is totally life affirming. It can be a simple as my little Addy telling me that I am the best mummy ever (although yesterday she told me that I was the naughtiest mummy ever and if I didn't give her cake she would leave home!) - and it can be completely unexpected.
Today I was reduced to floods of happy tears when an unexpected and life affirming moment happened for me.
My eldest daughter is many things including a blogger and a writer. At a recent meeting at our town's local Writer's Club, she was tasked with writing a poem. She published the results of her rhyming masterpiece on her blog. As an avid reader of her blog, I chanced upon the poem this morning and this is what I read:
A misplaced coffee cup, half full, gone cold.
A photo in your underwear, who says you’re too old?
John Denver on the CD rack, right next to Eminem.
A puzzle book left open, to dip into now and then.
Knitting needles, cast on, making zombies, skulls, the Queen.
A mountain of fresh baked cupcakes topped with buttercream.
Worn out clogs sit by the door, bleached by summer sun.
She’s chaotic, crazy, beautiful,
The poem is a near perfect snapshot of me (not sure about the 'beautiful' bit!) and to know that she sees me so clearly and embraces all that I am was the catalyst to precipitate my emotional response.
Being a mother has certainly taken me to the extremes of joy and misery. I have been stretched to near breaking point yet remade in an instant.
I am struggling to end this post in a way that does not sound cheesy and cliched. My life isn't always easy but I am a Mother... and wouldn't want it any other way.