Sunday, May 30, 2010

My motherhood

The intense joy my grandmother had when viewing the birds and the flowers in the garden became part of me too.

As a child I took the opportunity to enjoy the things I did.
I could play with full intensity, learn to write the curl of the g with pleasure and dedication, and sing at the choir the best I could.

One way or another I knew that whatever was difficult would always turn into something positive, because the birds would always sing and the flowers would always bloom.

This was a great support through life, but also an inspiration that was always present.

Living with full dedication, intensity, grapsing the challenges of life, were always the aim of each new part of my life.

So university life was enjoyed to bits, even though I had to work hard and I had to have a job to pay for my expenses. I did it, and heard the birds almost every day.

Then the time came to move from woman to mother.

Nothing happened in my body as my mind was ready.
Some professor told me that there was hardly a chance of me becoming a mother and I remember standing at the house of a friend with her baby in my arms, trying to see some meaning in life's difficulties.
I knew I couldn't get it all. But was thàt what was written in the stars?
The sadness and pain was so very intense that all I could do was cuddle my friend's baby and be kind to it.

Not even a year later I was pregnant, and with happiness I received my first son.
We were the normal average family, and with great happiness I found out that I conceived again and would be a mom again.

She was born on a very beautiful day, and died the next day in my arms.
Even though all the kind people in hospital wanted her to live, it didn't happen.
Her sweet face looked like sleeping when I held her for the last time.
I was mother again, but motherhood was taken from me by death itself.

Yes, I've seen it all: joy and respect for another new life, and the emotions which come with miscarriages and even a stillborn baby.

6 children stayed alive and each of them were welcomed with open arms.
The respect for life... I can't explain how deep it goes.
And with it came an intense feeling of responsibility for the wellbeing of each and every child.

The boys turned out to be autistic.
We had to adjust our lives, our ideas about being a family and our dreams.
But we did it.

I taught them how to look people in the eyes, how to behave, how to play, over and over again.
We smiled often, because they took things literally which resulted in funny situations.
We cried often, because each parent wants a child to have a life without too many problems and each parent wants a child treated by others the way is best, but there are always times that each activity seems to be a struggle and there are always people who don't understand.

Receiving the girls showed us aspects of parenting we didn't know yet.
They grew up without the problems the boys had to face and they embraced life with it's activities with so much ease and pleasure.
We got huge compliments at schools, we could go shopping, and I could teach them things in one time.

We took life's hurdles as a family if needed, and with attention for each individual child.

The intense feelings of responsibility, care and love never left.
I prevented hot coffee from being too near to hurt them, stayed with them when they were in bath and playing outside, so nothing bad would happen to them. I taught them not to walk on the ice on the lake, taught them when to hurry inside when bad weather was coming. I worried when it took a bit too long to arrive home from school, bit my nails when they had a difficult exam, and I cried my silent tears when the first left home.

I saw so many aspects of motherhood, that people asked me for advice and I was almost always able to help them.

And each spring the flowers grew and bloomed, and the birds visited my garden and found worms enough to feed their young.

Gradually the time of motherhood was reaching the last years.
A deep feeling of gratitude took hold of me, because even though we had and have a very difficult family, we were able to handle it well.
Each child has been able to develop to it's full potential or is the process to, and each of them is a wonderful person. There's a kind of mutual respect for who we are, even though we see each other's lesser qualities and we have to support each other at times.
That's being a family isn't it?
That's being happy as a family.

And now life has taken a turn I never expected and my motherhood will be questioned and examined this week.
I can't believe it's happening.
People who will never stand face to face with a family like mine on a fulltime daily basis will judge me to see if I'm fit for motherhood over my daughters for the next year or so.
It's a nightmare happening.
It's like I'm in the run for being the perfect mother and winning is impossible. Because the definition of motherhood itself implies that perfection is never possible. Each mother wants to be better than she is, sees upon reflection things she should have done better and hopefully could have done better.
Motherhood is a day to day seach for being the best person you are bringing the best out in your children.
It's the challenge of motherhood itself which keeps mums awake at night, and which is criticised so much by those who look on it from the outside.
(Judging a mom's life with a textbook based on those who failed to deal with life itself can't be called a fair treatment, because judging should be based on those who were able to deal with life at their own strengtsh too.)

I've already experienced that those who failed to professionally support my children turned their back towards me, or even criticised me to hide their own neglect and lack of following up their promissed commitments.
I can only hope that those who know me best will be asked for their opinion too and that they are able to honestly answer all the questions asked.

I'm a good mom and I know it.
My children would have never ever become the fine people they are without a proper mom.
They're good people. They don't do drugs, don't drink, don't smoke, don't hang out on the streets. They don't steal, harrass people, bother them.
They never stood before a closed door because mom thought she was more important.
Oh, we didn't go on vacation, because part of the boys couldn't cope, but we had our fun.
And we have special family habits like celebrating the birthday of friends who are not with us (any more) with a special dessert, and singing aloud with the euro vision contest's songs we know just a tiny bit.

We're a strong bunch, reaching out to other people, enjoying friendships in real life and online, with our hobbies, and ofcourse our ballet and music.
We're not the Von Traps and sadly didn't become The Waltons, but we might come close when a few more years of motherhood are granted.

All I can hope is that those who do are able to see my life with the wisdom I've reached.
With the same respect I feel.
And that they will sense the dedication, the responsibility and the deep love I have for each child.
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