Wednesday, August 8, 2012
There are times when I mentally double take about being a Mum. The past couple of weeks, I have come to the realisation, I am happy! It is such a revelation, I have always been one of those people that 'will be happy when.....' - lose weight, meet the man of my dreams, have a baby, get the promotion etc.
It all started with a domestic moment in the new house. JBB love being outside and despite it being the wettest, coldest winter in recent memory, he's gotta go 'side, mummy, side' but I wanted to go back inside because I wanted to make him some stewed apples. So I got the bag of apples, my knife and bowls (a big warm coat) and sat outside peeling and chopping apples while JBB rode his 3 wheeler and chased the dog. It was in this moment, I realised that I am happy and it is these simple things that make me so. Watching JBB running around and hearing his beautiful laugh, seeing his cheeky smile - I just thought 'how lucky am I to be his Mum?' and then I had the mental double take 'I am his Mum'.
It is strange that after 2 years, that the title that sometimes fits like a glove, sometimes feels like I'm having a beautiful dream and that I will wake up and realise that I never had that successful cycle (that thought causes me to break out in a cold sweat).
At some point in the past few years, I have finally realised that you don't have to have everything you want in your life to be happy. Maybe I am a slow learner but I spent most of my 20's and 30's chasing after perfection, the perfect job, the perfect man, the perfect relationship, the perfect house, the perfect car, the perfect family. In my 20's, this chase for perfection inside and outside of myself led me to abuse myself in a variety of ways, eating, drinking, smoking and mentally beating up on myself. In my 30's, I started to move away from this behaviour and finally I met my 'perfect for me' man and we entered the world of IF.
I approached IF the way I approached most other things in my life, like a bull at a gate. All of our decisions early on were based on the 'get this done as quickly as possible' and then IF forced patience on to us. It also forced real sorrow, pain and heartache. It forced me to look at myself and my life. Previously, I was on the fast track at work, I wanted to work harder and better than everyone else because I 'was going places'. In the midst of preparing for IVF #3 with my own eggs, I quit my job and ended up negotiating to go back to them on a contract doing 3 days a week. This changed my view of work and career forever. My priorities had changed, the important thing no longer was proving how good a worker I was, it was to start to protect and nurture myself through the stress of multiple IVF cycles.
When, after two and a half years and 5 failed cycles with my own eggs, we turned to a Thai donor and clinic and experienced sweet, wonderful success. We welcomed our son into the world and I became 'Mum'. It is a difficult role, there is no handover, no manual and each and every child is different. You have to learn on the job. When you think you have something worked out, it all changes. It is challenging but sweet, so beautifully sweet.
My birthday on Monday was nothing out of the ordinary, I wasn't whisked off in a private jet to a tropical island to celebrate. I was woken by my boys, JourneyMan, JBB and JourneyDog who is Woolly. I was given presents, slippers (I LOVE them), magazines, chocolates and an iTunes voucher. I went to work and my Bestie took me out for cupcakes for lunch. When I went to pick up JBB from my Mum's, she had helped JBB to pick flowers for me and make a card and she gave me some presents (pi's, bras and a trestle table - all of which I loved!). We then had Italian takeaway for dinner and chocolate cake. This is the most ordinary of birthday's but to me, it was all bliss - I have never been happier.
I don't have everything that I want. Of course, we all know that I want another child, that is a given. I wish we had been able to buy a house rather than rent, I wish that we had more money so that I didn't have to work and I could be a stay at home Mum. I think that we all want more. Once we get something that we want, we immediately start to focus on the next thing that we want, that is human nature, I think.
Being a Mum is way different but also the same as I imagined. I love my life, I love my husband, I love my son, I love my Woolly dog - our family is wonderful. After all of these years, the thing that I wanted most of all, despite all of its challenges being a Mum has taught me the lesson that despite the fact that you don't have everything that you want in your life, you can still be amazingly happy.
Being a Mum is what I was born to be.