Friday, 22 February 2013

Looking at the world through Mummy-coloured glasses

Right now, I’d like to throttle every Mother I know who is currently treating their daughters (my besties) like crap. I’d like to slap every Mother who complains on Facebook about teething, crying and sleepless nights. I’d like to yell at the woman at the next desk who just said “All of my pregnancies were unplanned.”  I’d like to shake them all and say wake up to yourself people – do you not know how lucky you are?

My tolerance level for such things has been breached. I would kill, literally, to experience any of that. It makes me realise how as humans, the minute we achieve our dreams, we spend the rest of our lives taken them for granted.  I guess it comes down to you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

I know my own experience means I now look at life through “Mummy-coloured glasses.” I’ve become hyper vigilant and judgemental of what makes good and bad Mothers.  What I’m most enraged about right now is older Mothers, those with teenagers and older children, who feel they are entitled to treat their children like crap. It’s funny because these Mothers raise their children to be strong, independent , kind, caring and well adjusted people. But it’s like they add an exemption clause for themselves that lets them say things like “You look like a tart in that.” “You should have realised your husband was no good and should never have had your baby.” “I don’t understand why you’re upset that I threatened to boycott your wedding.” “I don’t understand why you’re raising your child like that.”

When did these Mothers stop seeing their children for the amazing creatures they are? How did they let the issues, disappointments and regrets of their own lives spill over and give themselves permission to take their frustrations out on their children? Maybe they feel entitled to it - clouded by the assumption their children will always be there to cop their crap. A lot of the times they will be but I wasn’t. Several years ago, I told my Mother I was prepared to walk away and no longer have a relationship with her if she didn’t start treating me with respect. I’m enormously glad she was capable of change and now our relationship is stronger than ever. But I meant every word I said – the relationship had reached such a toxic level that it wasn’t healthy for me to continue being a part of it.

As I now sit and listen to my friends who are so upset so by the way their Mothers are treating them, it reminds me of the kind of Mother I don’t want to be. Everytime one of my friends tells me some horrible thing their Mother said I make a mental note – “don’t ever say that to your child.” Every time my friends tell me how they are purposefully raising their children in the complete opposite way they were raised, I congratulate them and tell them they’re doing a great job! Their Mothers seem incapable of telling them how proud they are of them, so I make sure I do!

One friend has been through hell in the past year. She had to separate from her husband in very difficult circumstances and left the house with the clothes on her back and a bag packed for her 2 year old. She had to find somewhere to live and  money to pay the rent and the mortgage of the house she was forced to flee. She has to deal with her husband still trying to bully her to get what he wants. Yet, despite all of this, she refuses to talk negatively about him in front of her child and won’t let anyone else do it either.  There are some days where she can barely get herself out of bed in the morning but she does it because of her son. She is raising him to be a kind, gentle and loving little boy which I see him become.  Yet on top of all of this, she has a Mother telling her she should have never have had him.

This beautiful, amazing little cherub of a boy is so devine that every time I see him my heart melts. He is a little miracle that my friend had to fight so hard for just to conceive. He’s already emotionally intelligent enough that when he sees someone is upset, he will walk up to them, put his arms out and ask “hug?” How could anyone ever suggest this little soul should not be walking on this earth? It makes me want to go up to her Mother and slap her – slap her really, really hard.

I am enormously inspired by Mothers like my friend. She is the kind of Mother I want to be – the kind that will go to any lengths to protect their child because she knows their true worth. The kind that will take a week off work because their child is sick. The kind who will stand up to anyone who wants to bully her child because she knows she’s the only one he’s got to protect him. She’s forging the kind of relationship with him that her Mother failed to forge with her. She is the kind of Mother who every time she looks at his face, she knows exactly how lucky she is to have him. Even in 20 years, I have no doubt she will still look at him like that because that’s what the very best Mothers do!

Image by Teeratas
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