A beautiful look at just how much parenting has changed over the years.
You only had the chance to meet one of my babies. You held him and kissed him and fussed over his eyes. You laughed as you said he had a ‘dog’s name and did I want to change it’ and you scolded me as he was cold.
“He’d be better off here with me,” you said in your lilting Irish accent before I took my little Aussie boy out into the Dublin streets.
You didn’t meet my other two, you passed on before they grew into people, but I know you watch from wherever you are.
You’d like to think it was heaven.
I know you see me and wonder.
I know you question the way us ‘modern mums’ do things.
I know the paper-thin skin on your face that I remember as being soft and floury wrinkles as you puzzle over the struggles we seem to have.
And I know you would smile, bemused as you saw how difficult we make it for ourselves.
I can feel you with me at times watching over us, and at other times I can see you would be a little cross with me.
You would watch the way we rush from minute to minute. The way we schedule in every last fragment of our children’s lives. The way we load them with activities and outings and stimulation. You would see them on the go from early morning till dinnertime and you would cry out for us to stop.
You would watch the tantrum brewing from lack of rest and be left unsure as to why we can’t see what you can.
You would watch the way we strive to give them everything, to make sure they lack nothing. The sleepless nights where we have been unable to let go of thoughts that we aren’t providing it all, that they are missing out.
You would watch the way we judge and line ourselves up against others and feel we fall short. You would see our unrelenting focus on the minutiae, the tiny details of others lives. How we roll our eyes at other mums and how we gossip about it on our phones and iPads, snitching and bitching and tutting at each other on social media.