Friday, 8 January 2010

How did she do it?

My Mother - how did she do it? She had 5 children by the age of 28, I didn't even start until I was 33!!

She has admitted that if she was given the chance she would do it all again and do things differently, but I think we turned out just fine! (twitch, twitch)

The question is: how did she do it and remain (reasonably) sane?? It does my head in when I've got 2 screaming children, but how about FIVE screaming children! Mind you, I would expect we weren't all screaming at the same time... THAT would be crazy!...

I requested for my mum to be at the birth of my children - cos there are times when a daughter needs her mother and giving birth is one of them! Just to basically say, yep it's ok, that's completely normal, yes it does feel like you're going to die or be torn in two but that's completely normal and yes it does hurt but you're actually going to be fine! So mum has twice flown from New Zealand to London to be at the birth of her grandchildren (and both times she has missed them being born but that's another story and not even her own fault) and to stay for a few weeks to help out with things, helping to get my head around what you actually do with babies etc.

You see, my mother is the Baby Whisperer. She knows things about children that other people don't. Not only because she is a Child Play Therapist and Counsellor, but also because she knows from experience how to be a great mother and how to lavish her children with love. There is only ever one person you can call 'Mother' and my mother really is the best of them all! No, she really is the best of them all!!

It totally amazes me that she managed to raise 5 very strong-willed (yet completely adorable) children (especially the second born daughter) while still keeping her sanity intact and making sure none of us felt left out or that one was loved more than the other. I was raised with such a security in the love mum and dad provided us. I never doubted their love, never felt I was less than any of my siblings or that mum and dad were more proud of one over the other. And it's this level that I aspire to reach with my own children.

Six very special weeks of having my mum stay have just come to an end. I know she felt like the wicked witch of the west most of the time while she was showing us how to set boundaries for our 2 year old while coping with a new born baby, but it was vital that she did so that both Austin and I could continue to function properly as parents and as husband and wife. The wisdom and direction she offered was always given gently and without intrusion. I can't say that my responses were always gentle as there was a lot of frustration, tiredness and self-doubt on my part, but thank goodness a mother's love is unconditional huh?

So... how did she do it? I still don't know! And even she admits that she doesn't know how her and dad did it!!... Great, well that's no help is it?

But looking at it from the perspective as one of their 5 children, my mum and dad just gave a whole lot of love and then some more.  We never doubted that they were always there for us and on our side, no matter what we did (within reason of course) or where in the world we were. And the fact that my dad would basically sell all they own in order for mum to get to the other side of the world to support and be with me and their 2 adorable grandchildren is the perfect example of the unconditional self-less love of a parent.

Mum, I never could properly say how truly grateful I am for you coming over to be with us. Whenever I tried there was always just a massive lump that would come to my throat that made any form of speech impossible...
I don't think you will ever fully know how so very much Austin & I appreciated your helping hands, words of advice and guidance, the cups of teas, the 'earth grandmother' baking, all the millions of loads of washing you did, the pooey nappies you changed, the middle-of-the-night burping of your newest grandson (although I know you secretly enjoyed those moments), the knitted garments, but most of all just your presence here was like a security blanket to fall into, because we knew you had been here before and got through it!
You create the perfect mould for a mother and grandmother (Mormor) - one who constantly loves, gives selflessly, is gentle, wise, beautiful, creative, funny, patient and totally adorable!
I aspire to be like you.
So thank you to you and my most wonderful, amazing dad for everything you have done for me, for raising me in a loving home environment that gave me security and confidence, for the family values you have given, for the Christian upbringing and Christian heritage you have passed on. I am so grateful and incredibly blessed to have been one of the 5 children who were given you as parents!
All my love,
Brigitte - second eldest daughter ;-) xoxo

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness Brigitte - tears are flowing already!!!
    It was my absolute pleasure to come over and to be there for you!!!
    Thank you for honouring dad and I with your beautiful words. Love you xx


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