Thursday, 11 August 2011

What my children have taught me...

Image from here
This post was written as a guest post at Maxabella loves... in October last year.
I was feeling nostalgic and wanted to re-post it here today.

Sometimes I think I am unrecognisable. A completely different person to the person I was before my children came into my life. Both mentally and physically transformed. I am sure it is not true, but it feels that way. My life changed irrevocably when I had children.

My first lesson came early in the piece. Let me just start by saying that I never saw myself as the Mother Earth type. The fact that I have a tribe (four children, five and under)* came as a complete surprise. Quite literally with some of the pregnancies. I just never knew I’d be so fertile!

Once things got ticking away, I learnt that I actually don’t want to ‘sleep like a baby’. Not all babies sleep it seems, which means that their Mums and Dads don’t either. I would have sworn that I couldn’t cope without 8 hours of sleep a night. After more than five years of interrupted sleep, I have been proven wrong.

Being a non-consumerist is a handy quality when you are a Mum because a) you never get to spend any money on yourself anyway and b) even if you get ‘only the essentials’ your entire house will eventually pile up with children’s paraphernalia.

My twin pregnancy taught me that if your tummy stretches to the point that it can sit in your own lap, it probably isn’t going to spring back. Abdominoplasty may in fact be a solution for many, not just the vain, Barbie doll types. A sanity saver in fact.

My children have also taught me just how full your heart can be. I have always loved my family. I love my husband with all my heart. Then along came Nugget, Doo Dah, Dew Drop and the Minx. My heart just kept getting bigger and I found I could love them all. Completely.

And having children taught me how amazing a parent’s love is. I remember after my first child was born calling my Mum and saying “sorry”.

“What for?” she replied.

“I just didn’t realise how much you love me. How much all those crazy stunts I pulled as a teenager must have hurt you. I just didn’t get it”, I said.

She said, “Apology accepted. I am just so glad that you have had the opportunity to experience the love of a mother for yourself”.

Yep. My children have taught me that I am a Mum. The ‘real parents’ aren’t going to be turning up to raise these gorgeous things. That is the life-work of me and my husband. Every day there will be new challenges and new experiences. Every day will also hold a lot of ‘sameness’, ground hog day qualities and routine. But every day I will get to enjoy these little people that I have helped create until they are released into the big wide world to find the opportunity to experience the love of a parent for themselves.

What have your children taught you about you?

*Nugget is now six so things are looking up!


Megan Blandford said...

Beautiful post.

I still remember sitting at the hospital and wondering why people were handing the baby back to me when she started crying - what was I meant to do with her?!

Maxabella said...

I loved this guest post and I'm glad it lives at your place now too. x

Photographer Mum said...

I never knew that I could love another child as much as when I had Miss 4, but when both Mr's 3 & 1 arrived, there was plenty of room for them too.
My kids have taught me patience (or lack thereof, depending on circumstances), kindness & love in ways I could never imagine. I now get it when Mum always told my brother and I that she loved us equally, not one over the other. A mother's love is very difficult to describe, but once you are in that position, you just get it. It all makes sense.
Yay for families and kids. Such wonderful blessings.

Aakriti said...

heya....will read this post of urs soon..till then,,here's ur answer to who are Vanilla people

keep dropping by at Yarn of ~ Words:)

Kirsty said...

I said sorry to my mum last year, you really don't get what they did for you until you have to do all that stuff for your own little people. Those loving little eyes just make you want to be a better person. Beautiful post about mother love, it just oozes out of you.

A Farmer's Wife said...

What a lovely post. Being a mother is still hands down the absolute best thing I ever did with my life.

Take care.

Mama of 2 boys said...

Just beautiful. Love this post. I agree with so many aspects of your learnings, children really do open your eyes to the world, almost as if you've been living in a bubble all the time prior to their arrival.
I seriously believe the day I became a Mama I stopped being a child. Not that I WAS a child at 29, but I still felt sooky when I got sick and I would sulk after a bad day at work and I'd spend my pay primarily on ME. Having children confirmed to me that indeed I am IT! These babies are mine and my hubby's responsibility and I have to be made of tough stuff because I am the adult. They have taught me to be stronger, braver and more resilient. I expect I will never stop learning things from them and I look forward to the lessons... warts and all! xo

Jaimee Hunter said...

Fantastic beautiful and full of love. My daughter taught me that I didn't have to give birth to her to be able to love her like I did. She's also taught me that I do have a fighting spirit when it comes to her.

Rhonda said...

I remember leaving the hospital with my son and thinking wow they just turn you loose with these things huh? I actually asked the nurse if she might want to come stay for a few nights. Just in case.

Mel said...

Fantastic post! Brought a tear to my eye when you mentioned how you phoned your Mum and said "sorry". I too have done the same thing - you never know what your parents went through, or how much they love you and therefore sacrificed for you, until you become a parent.

I'm definitely a stronger person since becoming a Mum - I have learnt to say "no" to people and to stand up for myself - I'm now one of those obnoxious Mums who will put in her 2c if I feel that there is a need - especially if my kids and their welfare are involved.

And according to my Mum, you don't stop learning from your kids either - and funnily enough? I believe her!

Diminishing Lucy said...

Delicious post.

And true. I am nodding at your observations...


Karen said...

Love this. Didn't know how much I could stretch, grow or love before kids. I never saw it coming.
Great post. :)

Alison said...

Having my daughter (she's 16 in October!) taught me how much I appreciate my Mum. I too apologised to her when my Baba was about 2 or 3 years old and I realised how much she had gone through with me and my sister. Parents and children are wonderful things, even when they drive you mad! x

Mel @ Coal Valley View said...

Lovely lovely post!

Well it took 4 kids but they have cured me of any perfectionistic tendencies I previously had - something I never thought possible.

It took having kids for me to slow down and smell the roses.

They have also pushed me to my absolute limit, which I am actually grateful for because I thought I was invincible before having children. This has been the greatest lesson for me.

Kymmie said...

Aaaw, this is so beautiful. I don't know about you, but sometimes I write the best stuff when I'm exhausted out of my brain. Now I'm just running around after my children, I'm definitely not as soppy or reflective.

This is such a gorgeous post, and yes, our children change us more than we think. Even more than just our stomachs ;) xx

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