Mum – I Appreciate YOU
• Guest post by Catherine from The Nursery Collective •
Ever since the day I left home at age nineteen, my mum has always said to me that she misses the days when my sister and I would come home from school, drop our bags on the kitchen floor and announce “I’m hungry Mum!” It used to make me laugh and I would brush off the comment, not able to relate to why she would miss that at all.
But the other night I had a small epiphany.
My three-year-old is currently going through a growth spurt and she’s always hungry. The other night when she announced after dinner (consisting of a very large serving of pasta), dessert, a banana and half an apple that she was STILL hungry. I suddenly thought of my mother’s words and felt a twinge of poignancy grip my heart. In that split second, I suddenly felt my mum’s words reverberate through me and it struck me that one day I would be missing these moments, these everyday mundane moments that can be so boring and tiresome and even annoying at the time.
That one day my kids would be out in the world and not come home every afternoon or evening. I knew my daughter probably wasn’t hungry at all, but rather trying to delay the inevitability of bedtime, so I wrapped her in my arms and breathed in the smell of her head which still has the sweetness of babyhood and hasn’t quite transitioned to the sweaty kid smell that will come before I know it. In that moment, I felt my own mother’s heart beating within mine and imagined how she would have held my sister and I in the same way when we were as small as my daughter is now. And yet – she too wouldn’t have realised back then that these moments will one day seem so fleeting.
My son is 6, and he’s already started to pull away from holding my hand as I drop him to his classroom. I’m lucky if I can still get a kiss goodbye at school, although he’s still a mummy’s boy at heart always open to hugs and kisses. He talks about wishing he was old enough to do this or tall enough to do that, or that he wishes it was his birthday next year already, in the way that only kids with their lifetimes stretched in front of them can. Baby images pop up on Facebook memories daily and I can barely recognize that chubby baby face in the growing child he is now. The thought of both my kids as teenagers makes me want to weep, and yet before I know it, they will be.
Becoming a mother definitely makes you appreciate your own mum in so many ways. I think of my mum and appreciate the unending patience she had with us. I appreciate the struggle she must have lived as a new mum in what was a foreign country, with no family support and two kids who were only 13 months apart. 13 months apart!
I appreciate that she had the ability to cook amazingly delicious meals every night for our family every day of the week, and lunchboxes that were the envy of all my schoolmates when all I wanted was a plain vegemite sandwich like all the other Aussie kids. I appreciate how she held us, read us stories, made us feel safe and loved… and yet how when the time came, she let us go.
Mum – I appreciate YOU.
More than you will ever know, and more than ever now that I am a mum too.
As mums in a modern world, we all struggle with mum guilt and the “mum-juggle” whether we’re a stay-at-home-mum, a work-at-home mum or a working mum. We read blogs about limiting technology for our kids and yet we also struggle with limiting our own screen time, well I know I do, especially as a work-at-home-mum. I have a love-hate relationship with my phone!
When I think about my childhood and the lack of screen time back then, I realise just how this impacts my own ability at times to be in the moment with my kids in the way my mum was. How often it stops me from noticing those everyday moments I should be treasuring. And yet as mums, we also need to be kind to ourselves. I know I’m doing the best I can, just like my mum did too. Whilst I often have to be on my phone for work, I also have the privilege of being able to capture special moments on it, and create funny snapchat pics with them which they both love to do.
If you’ve read this far and are thinking about YOUR mum, pick up the phone and give her a call today. Tell her you appreciate her. Or share this with her over social media, because that’s where we all roll these days right? Or simply take a few moments to appreciate everything your mum has done for you and really feel that in your heart the next time you’re having a moment with your own child – whether they’re mid-tantrum, or asking “Why” for the umpteenth time that day, or announcing that they’re STILL hungry. Trust me, it will help shift your perspective to just BE in that moment.
By the way – I did end up giving in and letting her eat some crackers before bed because you know, she was “still hungry”.
Catherine from The Nursery Collective
Catherine Nelson-Williams is the author of this article and founder at The Nursery Collective. She is a mum of two and juggles being a WAHM with blogging and running The Nursery Collective – a haven for mamas navigating the early years of motherhood. Where you can find blog articles, unique boutiques and services for Mum, Baby & Kids all in the one place.