Two days ago, my youngest child G turned 18. It signifies the end of my time as a full-time, stay-at-home mother to this feisty and spiky young lady.
I admit, it hasn’t always been easy. I am used to being “important”, having previously had a career where I reached a level of seniority where people obey me, and I also missed to a healthy pay-packet coming in at the end of every month without fail, which means I can spend without thinking twice.
I gave her my whole heart. Things that I had never been good at, I still wasn’t, but I tried with love laced on my efforts. Like this birthday cake last year, delivered to her at chemistry class:
I know I gave her my best, and more importantly, I gave without resentment from the notion that I sacrificed my life to raise her. It is difficult sometimes, watching from afar as my peers achieved career highs or have carefree holidays whilst I was decimated to cooking and tutoring and standing at the sidelines of the football pitch whilst she powers to glory.
But I had to. I had to give without resentment. Without complaining. Or don’t do it. A few years ago, I knew someone whose mother hated being forced to sacrifice her life for him and his two siblings, and they all grew up so unhappy. Because unhappiness and discontent take seed and grows in the next generation. And it starts with the mother. As Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga said (I paraphrase), the energy of the woman builds the family.
I do it for my mother, Marion. She was one of the few women to be offered a place to read medicine at Aberyswyth University. She turned it down to marry my father. At 82, she is still fiercely intelligent (she knows the names of plants in Latin) and every bit as talented as my father who has climbed to great heights career-wise whilst she focused solely on home and children. And she was never resentful. In fact, she always had that cheery smile on her face as she bustled around her sunny kitchen, bearing testament to the fact that motherhood is the most important job you will ever do, if you do it with all your heart.
Onwards, G, with a part of me embedded in your heart always, from the years we had together and the deep love I have been privileged to share with you ❤