Imogen asks, “What would you like for lunch, Mum?”
“A sandwich... or... anything will be fine.”
A few minutes later…
“Lunch is ready!”
We hurry to the table, and waiting for me on my plate is the last slice of the delicious three cheese pizza we had for dinner last night.
“You didn’t have to give me the left-over pizza,” I say. “Someone else might have liked it.”
“But we wanted you to have it. Because you’re the mother. You’re special.”
I have no choice. My daughters are very bossy. I eat my pizza and I enjoy.
Later that day, after dinner…
Sophie asks, “Can I pour you a glass of wine?”
I am about to say no but Sophie is eager to do something for me…
“Yes please! I’d love a glass of wine.”
“Take your wine and go and sit in a comfortable chair,” suggests Charlotte.
“But there’s lots of dishes,” I protest. “I was going to help you with the washing up.”
“We can do that,” says Imogen.
“You’re the mother. You go sit down.”
“I’ll forget how to work,” I say. “I’ll become lazy.”
But the girls won’t listen to me.
“You’re very bossy,” I observe. “You’re always telling me what to do. You girls never let me do what I want.”
The girls grin. They are in charge. So I take my wine and retire to a comfortable chair and I think…
I think about my daughters, who boss me about, who tell me what to do. It wasn’t so long ago they were completely dependent on me, and I had to do all the looking after…
I remember all those nights I’d have to rouse myself to feed a baby, change a nappy, take a child to the toilet, change wet bed sheets, soothe away fears… I have to admit that sometimes I hadn’t wanted to do any of that. I’d wanted to stay huddled down in my warm bed and stay asleep.
I enjoyed all those baby cuddles and little child smiles but… there were times when I yearned to knit or sew or go for a walk on my own, and I couldn’t because I had little ones to look after.
I was so eager to be a mother. I loved my young children so very much but…some days I wanted to run away, even if only for a while. Sometimes it was just too hard. I struggled on, trying to accept the sacrifices I had to make. I was certain life would never change.
But life does change…
Gemma-Rose climbs onto my lap. She strokes my face and says, “You’re tired.”
“How do you know?” I ask.
“You’ve got your tired face on. Being a mother must be hard work.”
It is hard work. It involves lots of sacrifices, especially when children are small and dependent. But it's worth it.
“I love you, Mum. You’re so special.”
Yes, I am special. I'm special because I am a mother.That's a privileged role to have. I wouldn't change who I am for anything.