As I wander around my Google Reader, looking at post after post celebrating Mothers Day, celebrating inspiring, special, wonderful Mothers, I feel a band tighten across my forehead. I start to feel… envious. Jealous.
I admit it.
I’m Jealous of your Mum.
I’m Jealous you have a parent you can Admire.
A Mother you Respect.
I read posts about the lives your Mothers have lived, the amazing things they have done, the way they have brought you, their daughters, up to be strong, independent, opinionated women. They relationships you have. The way you talk – a lot. The way you see your mothers as a role model. As someone you hope one day you will be like.
And I look at your pictures. I greedily stare at the images of your mothers. Imagining what it would be like.
To have a Mum Like That.
But I don’t.
I have My Mum.
And I loved her very much. I still do. But her version of mother love? Well. She’s not a role model I aspire to.
Don’t get me wrong. If I scraped my knee, she was there with a kind word to make it better. If I had a nightmare, she was there with a soothing voice and a warm hand. If I was ill, she was there to straighten the tangled sheets into smooth cool comfort, to dissolve an aspirin in a teaspoon of water. She was there, she knew that the Little Grey Rabbit Storybook was the best most perfect present I could have got the Christmas I was 6.
She Loved me.
And yet. When it mattered most.
When I hid away inside books rather than be in the moment, she just thought I was ‘bookish’.
When I was WAY too far ahead of myself in physical maturity, she never questioned why.
When she discovered what he had done to my sisters… she still left me home alone with him.
She just didn’t want to see.
She let me down.
And still that same bloody 8yr old girl inside stamps her feet and says WHY didn’t you love me enough to see? To put ME first? WHY were you so weak?
Because now I am a mother.
Now I know.
Now I understand just how wide, hollow and gaping a chasm there is in what I knew as Mothers Love.
But. That’s it. I am TIRED of this. I am tired of Sad. Bored with Angry. Onwards and upwards away from the dark bit of the year. No more of this darkness, I promise.
For I do intend to use my Mother as an inspiration. As a role model. As a way to show me exactly what matters. And I will be a Mother my sons and daughter don’t just love and adore when they’re 6. But one they’ll respect and be proud of when they’re 36 too.
Because this mother loves her children.
It doesn’t matter which of the children that is in the photograph at the top. It could be any or all of them. It’s not about them – it’s about me. That is what my husband saw when he looked at me as a mother to a new baby. It is what I will always be. It is all I ever hope to be for them. That Mothers Love which means that no matter how much I get shouty, or forget to wash their school jumpers, or feed them pasta-with-cheese three days running… I will never ever allow anyone to hurt them.