I am Leiba. Read that again. It is a complete sentence and includes a subject and verb. It is whole.
Have you realized that as soon as your children start preschool or even before that your title changes and you are now referred to as someone’s mummy? So, if your child’s name is Jayden you are now referred to as Jayden’s mummy both by his classmates and teachers. Whilst nothing is wrong with this, we continue to be Jayden’s mummy until we die, even when Jayden becomes an adult and is living his own life. Too often many of us obliterate who we are to fulfil our mummy role. This is something we need to unlearn as women.
I am uniquely who I am. I am not the sum total of my children’s accomplishments or lack thereof and I will not be defined by them. I say this unapologetically. I was a complete person before my children got here, living my life and doing things. Having children has made me a biological mother yes, but there are women and men as well who have no children and have excellent nurturing and mothering skills just the same.
My children were gifted to me by God, to shape and mould but I do not want clones. I shudder to think what the world will be with two Leibas in it. I do not attempt to relive my childhood through them. I want my children to be independent thinkers who are capable of making decisions and learning from their mistakes. Of course, I guide and scold when the need arises, but I also must come to terms with the fact that they will make decisions that I may not like and accept that.
I love the outdoors so I decided to take my two young adults on a hike. The firstborn, the voice of reason, told me that this would be his last hike with me and his sister agreed. He said it wasn’t his thing and he just came along to provide emotional support. Here I was thinking that they would be thrilled to be bonding with their mother on a nature trail enjoying the great outdoors and they were tagging along just because. I felt dejected for a bit, however, I appreciated his honesty and glad that he knew he could express himself freely. Do you allow your children to do that? Or do you tell them how to think and be, and invalidate their own feelings in the process? If you do, please stop.
Your children’s behaviour does not determine who you are and no one has a right to judge you based on it, both for your adult child and tantrum-throwing toddler. They are who they are. You are who you are. Allow them to be who they were born to be and allow yourself as well. It is natural to want to shield them from every broken heart and to wipe away every tear and kiss every bruised knee but they also must learn to do a lot of things on their own.
My message to you this Mother’s Day is to live YOUR life. Take your dreams off the shelf. Get back to doing the things you loved to do before the children came. Discover YOU again, you owe it to yourself!
Happy Mother’s Day!
Leave a comment and tell me about your mothering journey. What’s it like for you?