Mum, mom, mother, mama, maa…
So many ways to describe that woman who gave birth to you, raised you, and made you what you are…
I am very lucky, I have only had a positive experience of that maternal influence. My mother is one of the biggest influences and heroes in my life. She gave up everything to be a mother to my brother and I. We were fortunate in that, despite being in a new country, having moved from Kenya to the UK, my Pops, as a dentist, was financially secure enough that when God blessed them with their first child, me (most definitely a blessing!) she was able to be a Stay At Home Mum. In fact, they had been here a while, and my mother had been offered a job with the British Civil Service just before finding out she was expecting. But being the best mum she could be was more important than a career to her.
Being a girl and their first born was never an issue to my parents, though there were others we knew who were lamenting the birth of a girl… The first born should have been a boy, and all that, but it made no difference to them. My brother followed after 3 years and so, our family was complete.
My mother and I
What do I remember about growing up? My mother being there every minute for us. From birth, we were the single most important aspect of her life. I was a food brat, she struggled to make me eat (unfortunately I don’t have that problem anymore… My waist shows that!). She shed tears over the fact that I was not eating the wonderful dishes she created for me. But she managed, well I’m standing here in front of you, writing about it, aren’t I?
She instilled a love of learning and for books and reading within me. Something I will be ever grateful to her for. She ferried us to and from school, to extra curricular activities, she ensured our homework was done on time. She didn’t force me into the kitchen to learn how to make roti, instead, preferring to make sure I was concentrating on my education, a gift that my parents gave us, a good education.
She taught us the importance of family, and all about respect for elders and youngers. She taught me, especially, how to be a great wife, and daughter in law too.
She had been my rock throughout my life, even now, as I am over 40, it’s my mother’s reassuring voice that lessens worry and pain, it’s my mother’s eyes that light up with pride when I achieve anything, and my mother’s hugs that make everything better.
My only wish, that I could be a mother like her, heck, even half like her would make me an awesome mum! My own journey to achieve that ‘mother’ status was a pretty tough road to travel, being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovaries. It took a couple of years of a medicated haze, and one step from the IVF route to fall pregnant with my first child.
During those tough years, I drew even more strength from my own mum, who fell pregnant with me pretty late, well it wasn’t the 9 months after marriage time frame that many Indian women were expected to conform to, anyway. She would be questioned by some insensitive people as to why she hadn’t given them some ‘good news’ yet. It was my parents choice though, to set up home in a new country and give any prospective child a secure future first.
It echoed questions I was being asked, 4 years into my marriage too, but I would just say “It’s all in God’s hands” and it was…
I can’t speak about motherhood and not mention my Mother In Law either! She’s not your stereotypical Mum In Law. A lovely lady who gives me so much love, and is a wonderful grandma to my children too. And she gave me the most amazing husband too! She never once questioned my inability to conceive easily. Instead, she stood by me every step of the way too. The pain of those -vs tests were as much hers as mine, and the hope, with a missed period, aching breasts, she was there, alongside my own mother, willing me along.
So, once it finally happened, my son made his grand entrance, (on my mother’s birthday no less!) the task to be a good mother began. I felt I failed miserably, not being able to breast feed, but guess what, my mum didn’t either! The food situation, yup he was as tough as me to nourish, but you know what, we got through it, and when he was a little older, we thought the time was right for a try for number 2. The same medications, more complications resulting in me losing an ovary, made me think my son was going to be my one and only blessing.
But God blessed me three times after. Twice, my babies were too precious to Him, so He took them back to live with Him. Those tough times made my Mum-In-Law open up to her own 3 losses in between her 2 boys. Two miscarriages and one, she was advised to have a termination due to some abnormality with the fetus. She didn’t get much choice in those day, it was decided by the elders and her husband, and her being the good Indian wife, agreed, heavy heartedly.
Back to my journey… After bidding my two angels farewell, another +ve test was confirmed. I was again so cautious, and this pregnancy resulted in the arrival of my beautiful daughter. Feeding was not an issue this time, and she was a dream baby…
Now, 9 years later, I am a mother to a beautiful 9-year-old teenage daughter (yes, really!) and a wonderfully stroppy talented 11-year-old son.
Me with my two blessings
It’s not been an easy road, bringing them up. I have often sat back and thought, ‘was I really cut out for this?’ but then I came to realise that you can only do your best, and if you have the right guidance behind you, you can be the most wonderful mother in the world! And honestly, though there are days I could tear my hair out, and scream and shout at them, I love them with all my heart and thank God every day for these two miracles.
My heart melts when they hug me, I feel so special when only ‘mummy’ will do when they are feeling upset or hurt. The smiles they give can turn an awful day into the best in the world… Yup being a mum rocks!
I thank my mother, for giving me the best example I could have hoped for, as a mum. Like I said before, if my children think I’m even half the mother that mine was to me, I’d be a brilliant one!
Happy Mothers day to all you fantastic Mothers out there, today,and every day!
Taken from a guest post I wrote for The Champa Tree a couple of years back.