The Greatest Day In My Mothering Career
Today's guest post is by Melanie, a brilliant Newborn Mother in my online community.
I could never plonk my boy in front of a telly to babysit him while I selfishly drink coffee and talk to my friend on the phone. I could also never ... never, ever, ever use a pacifier to shut him up! I would never swear in front of him or pull birdies with him in the car, watching my behaviour from the back seat.
I would never keep him up after bedtime to watch my favourite band live. Or take him to my dope-smoking friend's garden to play with her flea-infested dog. I would never dunk him naked into the ocean. Never drop him whilst playing. Never forget to strap him into his highchair. Never leave dangerous items in arms-length.
Nay, not I.
I would and could NEVER put him in Child Care while I go out and try to be someone doing something in the world.
Nope. Not me.
Oh, parenting! Nothing like becoming a parent, and a tired, weary one at that, to disabuse you of all the stupid, unrealistic and largely unimportant, standards we set ourselves up to fail to achieve.
My Son, I Realised The Very, Very Long And Hard Way ... Wants ME As His Mum.
Not Julie Andrews. ME. Cutting my teeth on him, screwing it up, eating my words.
Not an alternate-Universe-version of me that's perfect and organised and reading child development books. Just ME.
He doesn't give a shit if I attachment-parent, co-sleep, control-cry, baby-led-wean or breastfeed...
He needs ME, and he loves my style of parenting simply called CO-PING!
I'm just coping. And he loves me more than anyone else in the Universe.
Look how he looks at me, our intimate, sacred dance. Our electric connection.
This little breathing, heaving, squirming, learning, suckling boy loves ME!
Straight outta my vagina, I brought him into this world, beating heart and kicking toes, squealing purple-faced little slimy fish.
And, So No One Can Tell Me How To Do Me!
I grew his body, gifted his first breath, gave him this life. I've got to follow my gut, reject well-meaning advice, carve out our own, unique groove.
He is engraved into my aura; I to his. Meshed, eternal.
Nothing, no one can do this gig better than little ol' me! A Newborn Mother raising herself.
I am the perfect mother for him. Today, every day. Strumming guitar while he hits xylophone. Peas in our pod. Our routine, no-routine.
Arriving at this cognition comes after a long, hard, lonely road.
Mums, comparing, worrying, learning. Overthinking, over-researching, under-estimating our innate wisdom. Looking wildly outside myself, wide-eyed and painfully self-conscious - grasping for methods, data, the 'right way'.
You know. You know exactly what he needs. Ssssh, listen... do you hear it?
His heart telling yours.
Mama walk with me. Mama dance with me. Mama lay down and sleep next to me. Mama sing me a song. Mama help me be brave. Mama go be someone. Mama it's okay to be without me sometimes.
He is telling me and I am listening now.
It's A Great Day In Our Mothering Careers When We Reach What I Call The Fuck It Point.
It's a good, good place to be!
A sun-flooded window in your favourite coffee shop, a deep sigh of relief.
I'm Okay. Not Perfect. Fuck It.
Finding my feet. Loving, all the time loving so hard. Growing a man in this world.
Nurturing, cradling, protecting, hoping. Falling, getting back up. Trying something new. Always doing my best by him.
Go, girl. It's okay. You've got this!