It wasn’t until I first looked in Mr. T’s eyes did it hit me; the magnitude of what I was about to embark on. Throughout my entire pregnancy, he was this figment of my imagination. I imagined what he would look like, I invented the life we would have together. I envisioned what kind of mother I would be. Then they placed him on my body and he took my breath away. Everything that I had been fantasizing about was tossed to the side. This was real. This wasn’t a story that I was writing in my mind. My needs and wants suddenly seemed less important. He was it. My family changed in that instant. My world became much smaller; I now lived in a world of three; Mr. C, Mr. T and myself. Nothing else mattered. All of a sudden I knew that I would do anything to make sure that he lived a beautiful, happy, peaceful life that helped him grow into a lovely young man who had the courage to follow his own path and find his bliss.
Exactly two years and 10 hours later my family grew to a family of 4 when Ms. J burst into our world. Though I had been through this once before, again my own imagination couldn’t prepare me for how big my heart would grow to wrap itself around this wonderful little girl. A girl that has taught me more in 4 years about courage, kindness, and acceptance than I had even come close to learning on my own in the 32 years before she was a part of my life.
This is it. My entire life I had spent wondering where I was going. Each and every path I took just didn’t seem entirely right, as though something was missing. Yet here, in this moment, it seems as though all the stars have aligned perfectly and these two amazing little people fit like a glove into my heart and my soul. Those paths that didn’t feel quite right? They were leading me to my village. The village where I belonged. This village of mothers.
Yesterday, I took my kids to the park and as I pushed Ms. J on the swing, I watched Mr. T play soccer with another little boy and his mother. I felt thankful that she was playing with Mr. T so that I could push Ms. J on the swing. It took away that feeling of guilt that I sometimes feel when I can’t be in two places at once. Later we chatted while the kids all played together, she referred to me as auntie. Her kids had never met me before but they referred to me as auntie. This, I thought, is what it should feel like to be a part of this village of mothers.
Later, as we sat eating our dinner together, I found myself wishing that every mother could feel as though they were being supported by their tribe every single day. I know that so much of our journey in motherhood is shadowed by guilt. Guilt that we bestow upon ourselves when we make our mistakes. Guilt that others push onto us when they pass their judgements on the decisions we make for our families. I wish instead of passing judgements, we could embrace each other. Be the person another mother can lean on when they are struggling. Help each other stand when motherhood tries it’s best to knock us down.
Motherhood is a universal language. Look at families across the globe and you will see that across every race, culture and language, mothers everywhere have the same wish for their children; that they are happy, healthy and loved. We are all in the journey together.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mummy’s out there who are doing their best every day. I make you a promise that I will always be a part of your tribe if you will have me.
Happy Mother’s Day to my own mummy, who taught me that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful and who has always been there to pick me up when I have fallen and to cheer me on when I have succeeded.