September, the start of a new school year and as my daughter is heading back to year eight I am left staggered at how quickly the years have passed. It has also made me consider some of the lessons I have learnt through being a mum. The serious and the not so serious, so in no particular order:
- That I’m tougher in certain situations than I thought and will hold it together if I see my daughter needs me to be firm and clear.
- I’d fight to the death for her. But I can’t fight all her battles, as she matures and grows I will need to step back and allow her to learn the consequences of some of her actions
- You really do feel their pain physically, when they are deeply upset, unsettled and hurting.
- I am learning that I need to ‘Pick my battles’, know when I really need to stand firm and when to simply ‘let it go’, especially relevant as she approaches her teens. More experienced mums have told me ‘you will not have the time and energy to fight everything, decide on your priorities and stick to them’.
- That as a mother I am more interested in developing her resilience and her ability to persevere and ‘bounce back’ than her exam grades, which I fear will be relatively short lived.
- There are times when I need to act as a buffer between her and the rest of the world, school and life in general. To give her the space she needs to ‘play’ and just ‘be’.
- That I can start to relax a little and let go of some of my anxiety. In the early days in particular I always felt I needed to be especially ‘alert’ and ‘watchful’ over her.
- When I need to step in and play, ‘bad cop’, and say ‘no’ on her behalf.
- Over the years I have learnt to cope with just about anything that emerges through sickness and illness (amazing what you will just get on and do, when you have to).
- “Mum, I am bored” is not a cue for me to leap about providing entertainment. The ability to manage boredom is an under- rated skill, one that I am determined she will master.
- “Mum I have a tummy ache” 99.999% of the time my response, “do you need to use the loo?” is all that is needed.
- Not everything is a drama, I don’t always have to get swept up in the ‘storm’
- Being consistent is helpful, I am consistently ‘grumpy’ mum as far as my daughter is concerned, but I am there for her and I think she knows that.
And my final lesson:
- My daughter is a wonderful ‘gift’, pure and simple.
So there you have it
Until next time………..