When everyone knows you but nobody does
Once you’ve had a baby, it’s like you’ve become a part of a new GIANT group. The Mum Group. And all the other mums know what you’ve been through, what you’re feeling and the challenges that pop up when you’re a mum. But the thing is. They don’t really know do they? Noone really knows what it’s like to be a mum in your own little family. Except you.
Only you can put your lips to your child’s forehead and have the intuition to tell whether they’re too hot or too cool.
Only you can tell your child to dust themselves off after a big fall, with the courage that they are not seriously injured.
Only you can cherish dearly your 3 children, yet mourn every day the loss of the two little ones that never made it past their first scan.
Only you can tell your little one how wriggly they were in your belly. How their little foot used to kick out when you lay down.
Only you can lie in bed crying silent, ridiculous tears after a beautifully happy day, as you trying to stop yourself imagining teen car accidents, house fires, head traumas, broken hearts, assaults. The inexpicable fear that you’re too blessed. Three healthy children. What if something happened to them? How would you cope? Yet you know the next day you will send them into the world to climb trees, make new friends, learn their boundaries. That’s your job.
Motherhood is a thing of great confusion. It is a feeling of strength to call yourself a mother. A feeling of companionship and connection to be part of a group of mothers. A feeling of self belief, and overpowering love.
Yet it is also a feeling of isolation, loss and disenchantment. Who am I now? I’m a mother. But who else? Where has the rest of me gone? My body has been so strong. It’s carried and born a child. Three full term in fact. But it’s so weak. The ligaments stretched, the bones soft, the breast full and tender, the body plump and pillowy.
Being a mum is a juxaposition.
It feels like there are so many other mothers who know what I’m going through, who have felt what I’ve felt, who have ached, or laughed, or sighed, or burst with pride, or not-slept, or been frustrated the way I have. We are a team. A mob who support, cajole, honour, humour and encourage one another.
And yet I’m all alone too. It will always be only me. Only me who is my children’s mother. Only me who knows exactly what my children felt like in delivery. Only me who can tell you exactly what their head feels like cupped in my hands.
I feel like everyone knows me, but nobody does.
I am my children’s mum. And I am the only one who will ever be this.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.