Occasionally my husband says to me, "You are such a great Mum". And do you know what my automatic response is??
"No I'm not."
WHY do I DO that? Why do I think I am not a great Mum? Is it because I get so tired some mornings I can't be bothered organising something for us to do and she gets bored? Is it because I accidentally hit her head on the car AGAIN? Is it because the carpet badly needs a vacuum and she is eating 3 day old bits of rice off it? Is it the leftover guilt for previously leaving her to cry alone in the dark??
Sitting here I am trying to find examples of things that should make me feel like a bad parent. But I can't think of many... so what is with my low mothering self esteem?
You know what? I AM a good mother! A GREAT mother even...
I am a good mother because I put Butterfly first, if there is a choice between something that is best for me and something that is best for her, I always choose her.
I am a good mother because I am still breastfeeding Butterfly 11 months on, even though the pain it caused ME in the early stages was almost unbearable. And even though there is societal pressure for me to wean her.
I am a good mother because I am willing to admit when I am wrong, to change my methods to benefit her. It was hard for me to throw away all I knew and stop following routines. But I did it. For her. It was hard for me to admit I made a mistake in having a c section. But it WAS a mistake, and one I won't be making again.
I am a good mother because I spent hour after hour pureeing Butterfly fresh vegetables instead of buying her jars. I have since learnt the benefits of baby led weaning and have stopped pureeing her food, but she still gets fresh, healthy foods. The only sweets she has are my home made date scones. She is only 11 months after all!
I am a good mother because I have researched baby products and am making changes in my house to reduce her exposure to toxins. It is a big pain, but it is so worth it.
I am a good mother because I don't give a toss what other people think of me, and will gallop around the shops with Butterfly in her carrier, just to see her smile.
I am a good mother because I get up to her every hour during the night (or WORSE) without complaint.
I am a good mother because I know her favourite food, her favourite song, her favourite toy and her favourite game!
I am a good mother because I can read her, I know when she needs me, when she needs milk, when she wants to be left alone.
I am a good mother because I will hold her to me when I know she is going to be sick, so she doesn't get it on herself, so she is comforted.
I am a good mother because I try to be. Because I want to be.
Thankyou for making my mothers day so special, for favouring "Mum Mum Mum" instead of "Daddadada" today! For the sloppy kisses. For giving me a spontaneous high five when I was so tired I was almost in tears. You cheered me up and gave me the strength to carry on. I love you more than life itself.
I am not a mother without you!