My 12 year old daughter, M, told me last week that she wants to do ‘something crazy’! Social media influencers are apparently doing things they ‘don’t normally do’. Guess we are all seeking something different to do each day to vary our current new routine. I have to admit, I am running out of ideas but agreed we should do something out of the ordinary.
I was inspired by a friend recently. She and her family enjoyed the quietness and peacefulness of an empty beach at sunrise. How idyllic!
After much thought, we decided it was not possible to take on a ‘crazy yet safe’ challenge.
We decided instead to drive to somewhere scenic where we could watch the sunrise. Despite the easing of lockdown, as a family we have chosen to stay home and only travel out of home if necessary. However a one off early morning drive in a car to watch the sunrise seemed like a necessary thing to do after being indoors for 10 weeks.
My older daughter K who is shielding and my husband N, were quite hapy to have their normal Sunday morning lie in and not join us.
I was surpirsed at how easily M and I got up at 4am. It was definitely an unusual thing for us to do and even more so as we have hardly driven out of our driveway for 10 weeks. Seeing 2 foxes in the middle of the road next to our house was exciting enough. I was hoping to see more wildlife roaming our roads like shown on various videos recently on social media but sadly that wasn’t the case.
We drove along happily with music turned up loud. There was excitement and a rush to take photos and videos of the sunrise as I drove towards it. Photos that M wanted to share on her Tik Tok account.
We then enjoyed a packed breakfast in the car. I asked M if she felt happy and satisfied that we had done a ‘crazy thing’ and she said ‘Yes’. We must do this again, we told each other.
I felt like a ‘cool’ Mum. It definitely made my day.
After we returned home at 6 30 am, we had a chat, catching up on events of the week as it was half term and sharing our thoughts about the current ‘Lockdown’. I was pleased we had just created another memory during lockdown. I do not remember the last time I appreciated the beauty of a sunrise or a sunset. Quite often it’s a quick glance at it, as we rush out of the door for work and school. Getting this opportunity with my daughter made it even more special.
This opportunity with my daughter meant even more after going through a week that challenged my mothering skills.
My older daughter K is 18, she is at a stage she sees herself as an adult , however still has teenage qualities. I started to feel like my presence irritated her constantly and I could not find the words to make her happy. I have also been helping K with developing her ambition but felt it was thrown back at me one day last week. I felt down, teary and confused when this happened. Have I misunderstood what her ambition is? Was I subconsciously imposing things on her that she does not wish for, or had I just failed as a Mother.
I then remembered my sister telling me how the teenage years are testing times for most Mums. I just have to wait till this time passes as she discovers herself in the world of adulthood, developing her personality and opinions and moves away from these difficult transition times.
‘Motherhood’ is a word that I have never used in reference to myself as a Mother. Despite being a Mother for almost 19 years, I do not see myself as an expert. Experienced yes but still learning. The word ‘Motherhood’ had always given me an impression of eliteness and being perfect. This is not how I see myself and I think most Mothers feel this way too. In reality, although most of the time we probably feel content with our ‘mothering’, it doesn’t take much to rock this sense of security.
Motherhood in the dictionaries are quoted as ‘State of being a mother. Qualities and characteristics of being a mother’. In my opinion a vague but appropriately vague definition.
We each create our own description of Motherhood as we embark on this journey with our child/children. The definition of Motherhood also changes according to our children’s needs and stages in their lives.
Motherhood is a responsibility that Mothers acquire from the stage of pregnancy. We are nurturing our unborn child and continue to do so for the rest of the years that we are needed by our kids. However I believe Motherhood is also moulded by what we learn from our children.
Lockdown has given me the opportunity to spend time with both my daughters as they both transition into their adult years and teenage years. M, who is the baby of our house has grown and matured so much in the last 2 months. She has taken on so many responsibilities in the house and has also used this time to develop her interests. I have cherished the Mother and Daughter conversations we have had. The amount of time we have spent together was reflected yesterday when M made a comment and my husband said ‘ That’s what Mummy would say!’.
The words ‘lit’ and ‘flex’ have taken me to a new dimension. I have learnt about a new dictionary called the ‘Urban dictionary’. I have also learnt what Tik Tok is but not been brave enough to actually be in a video with my girls.
My feet have appreared in M’s first ever short film that she wrote and edited. This is now on You Tube ! I have pledged to appear in her next short film.
Despite the ‘moments’ I can have with K, I am enjoying the quality time I manage to spend with her during lockdown. Over 90% of the time K is her usual kind self. She gives me a hug several times a day and tells me she loves me. However she is also teary several times a day or gets angry. The current situation of isolating herself along with this crucial time of making sense of adulthood must be so unsettling for her. As M approaches her teenage years, I am hoping I will be more prepared, and have better understanding and tolerance.
As human beings we can easily be distracted by the negatives in life. It is hard to focus on the positives when life is difficult. I would like to remind all Mothers, including myself that we are often the targets of our children’s frustrations. We are seen as an ‘easy’ target but a ‘target’ that is perceived as non-judgemental and providing unconditional love.
I started writing this article a week ago but several things have delayed me completing it. I complete this article on #BlackTuesday 2nd June 2020. My mind is so troubled and heart is so heavy with sadness of the death of George Floyd and the handling of this case by the American Police and the American Government. Racism is rife in the 21st century and not just in America. A lot of the times it is hidden and subtle, making it difficult to prove it has happened. At a time like this we as human beings, no matter what colour, need to step up, question and make efforts to stop this horrible, sad and shocking crime. A crime that has gone on for far too long. If anger and sadness is not expressed, we will not be any further forward to supressing racism. There is never a reason to be racist. Racism has been discussed openly in our household. Acceptance of one another is a crucial quality we can instill in our children.
Motherhood to me is allowing my children to grow and learn at their our pace, encouraging them to reach their best potential, showing love and support, learning from them and growing with them, accepting our failures and our children’s failures, being there for them when we are needed, teaching them to respect and honour the diverse society we live in, and loving and believing in themselves.
#Motherhood #Blacklivesmatter #stopracism #uniteagainstracism #inclusionanddiversity #teenagers #teenagelives #mother #children #daughters