Upon hearing a friend saying that she didn’t want to have a child but did and loved him after he was born, my daughter immediately asked me if she was ‘wanted’. I looked at her and said 'yes'. She said 'good'. I don’t know why but her spontaneity and directness took me by surprise and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I don’t think it was something that I could ask my mother.
At 16, my daughter is honest, matter-of-fact and saying it as it is. I admire this in her. She’s such a strong character already, and raw. As a parent I feel I have to be diplomatic and objective. She’s a very sensitive soul and I always want her to be able to be herself, ask without hesitation and express herself freely. I never want her to feel unwanted or unworthy. Although at times I may not agree with her I try my best to be diplomatic and objective so that I don’t make her feel wronged, unvalued or unworthy in expressing her opinions, thoughts and feelings. I’m teaching her to be mindful and thoughtful in a way that she doesn’t realise she’s taking it in and I can only hope that she can carry herself with grace. Which I think she does a lot of the time.
Being a mother, parent is undoubtedly the most stressful and difficult job. And equally the most rewarding and beautiful job. It’s a balancing act all the time. Having worked with many mothers and working mothers in the past, it is without a doubt that our wellbeing is definitely of paramount importance for us to function and flourish as individuals, mothers, wives, and working mothers. From professional and personal experience I really cannot stress highly and deeply enough that we really do have to look after ourselves first before we can effectively or fruitfully function in our multiple roles.
To be good enough role models, to spend quality time with our children and family, to be present, to be available and to respond to the needs of our children. Because children pick up on the things that we do and not always what we say. Investing in our own wellbeing means we invest in the wellbeing of our children too. A lot of the things that I know now I wish I knew when my children were much younger. We can’t change the past and as parents being good enough is enough for our children. As long as we have tried and keep trying our best. Because that is all they ask for. Children are very resilient and forgiving and as parents we want to preserve and protect that.
As mothers of daughters, if we continue to fail to make our own needs met and always put others first, our daughters will see that this is acceptable and 'the' thing to do. Consequently, they grow up repeating the cycle. I certainly want my daughter to put her needs first so that she can continue to flourish, see herself as being the most important person in the world first so that she can be her best, do her best and give her best to serve others. And I am trying my best to teach her by setting a good example.
(She chose me to be her mum, there was no way on this earth I would consider refusing).