I have reached that stage of motherhood where my boys, now young adults, have nearly become human. They can not only look after themselves if they have to, but they can also hold (short) but decent conversations. They have their own opinions on everything from how their school/sports club/workplace should be run, to how the government should deal with violence on our streets. They can voice their opinions and argue them sensibly, rather than throwing themselves on the floor, screaming and thumping fists and feet.
It wasn’t always this way. I have to admit I was one of those women who hated being pregnant. I didn’t like my body being distorted, my sleep being disturbed and my stomach being turned by that little being growing inside. Breast feeding my eldest was a nightmare. I had mastitis, he didn’t suck well, we both suffered. Then came the second and the third and I was exhausted, overweight and an emotional wreck.
Despite this I threw myself into motherhood. I did try to do the best I could. I played with my boys, I read to them, I took them to the park and, when I simply couldn’t do any more, I confess that I did sit them in front of the television while I either tried to nap or make dinner or clean the house or do the ever mounting laundry. However, television only captured them for a brief time, maybe 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Then they were off again, running through the house, three mini tornados with all the destructive force of a major natural disaster.
The older they got the better I coped. Thank goodness for schools and sporting clubs. Lord only knows how I would have kept them occupied out of school hours if there hadn’t have been basketball, football, indoor cricket, swimming and athletics. The hours of driving to training and games were worth every minute. At least while they were busy with their sport I could catch up on adult conversation with other parents or attempt to read just one chapter more of the book I had started so many weeks before.
The driving them around to sporting commitments never really stopped. These days I drive my youngest and often his friends to football training. Their gratitude is enough and, while it doesn’t fill the car with fuel, I just have to remember the cheery “thank you – really thank you for taking us” as they each squeeze their 6’ frames out of the back of my little car, to make it all worthwhile.
I once told my youngest I believe before we are born we choose our parents for whatever reasons. There might be lessons we need to learn from those particular people or lessons we need to learn from that situation. He doesn’t really agree with me but it makes me proud when he tells me that if he were to be born again, he would still choose me as a mother!