real life

A little something to remind mums that we're doing it better then we realise.

These mums learn the most valuable lesson from their kids.

We kick ourselves around a bit, we mothers.

We aspire to perfection in the pursuit of nurturing another being to adulthood. We desire happiness, fulfilment, creativity, resilience and empathy for this being, and we recognise that we play a big and unique role in developing those elements in our children.

The problem with perfection, as we all know, is that it’s unattainable.

And yet, still we strive but ever fail.

And so, we kick ourselves around a bit.

A video popped up in my Facebook feed earlier this week, and I’ll be grateful for a long time that it did – we had a rough time, last weekend, in our house.

We asked mums to describe themselves as mums and then got their children to describe them as mums. The responses brought everyone to tears. Image via the video.

Neither my husband nor I were especially busy, but we were both desperately in need of downtime and we were snatching at the small pieces of it that flickered in front of us.

Our son is a precocious and articulate child, and has recently started making grand statements of love.

Over the weekend, every second thing he said was, “Mummy, I love you”. Whenever I sat down, he climbed up on me. When I stopped in the kitchen, he wrapped his little arms around my thighs and squeezed. He told me over and over that I was his, “special lady.” (Parroting me back, I tell him he is my special boy and his sister is my special girl.)

I assumed this was a new frontier in manipulation for chocolate. Since I’m convinced that one day he will pretend he doesn’t know me when he runs into his mates at Woollies, I replied that I loved him back every time, and cuddled him for a moment each time he reached for me before setting him back down.

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But after some reflection, I have realised his clinginess was actually the nicest cry for attention I could possibly hope for.

My son didn’t want chocolate, he needed quality time. I was snatching at moments away from him at the same time he was desperately snatching moments with me.

The mums watched the responses. Image via video.

It’s these moments when I fundamentally question myself as a mother. I wish I could have seen what he needed in the moment that he was trying to clue me in on it.

And it’s in these moments that I have to remember that we mothers, we kick ourselves around a bit.

So this video. It’s a marketing video for a church in the States, and it was put together for Mother’s Day (which is celebrated at a different time across the pond). But, putting that to one side, it’s a comforting vignette.

A group of mothers are asked to come in and describe themselves as mums. These women talk about their struggles and doubts. They talk about what they wish they did better, how they wished for more patience, to remember to listen more. How they wished they spent more time being present with their children.

The children of these women were then asked to come in and talk about their mums. A few days later, the mums were shown what their children had said.

Image from video.
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“She’s just unique. That’s why I love her so much.”

“She’s like my heart, I guess you could say. Because she’s that close to me.”

“My mum is my hero.”

Almost all the mums wept. Image from video.

I spend so much time kicking myself, focused on the negative in my aspiration to be the perfect mother, I forget to see the positive.

My son might be seeking attention, but he’s doing it by telling me how much he loves me. Clearly, I’m doing something right.

How would you describe yourself as a mum? And what do you think your kids would say?

To view the full video go here.

Want more? Try:

“A stranger took my toddler’s photo and I did nothing.”

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