I was toying with the idea of writing a post earlier in the week about there being babies everywhere and my mixed emotions about having another, but I’ve put that on hold to a later date. What I thought I would write about is how well adjusted Grace is and how proud I am of her.
Some Mothers live vicariously through their kids. Their children are the ‘be all and end all’ of their lives, it’s what they’ve become – someone’s Mum. Their timeline on Facebook becomes some sort of shrine to their kids and they cease to exist as an individual anymore, they are an extension of their child.
Not me, not ever.
Whilst I like to post pictures of Grace, I love that I’ve kept my own identity. I’ve always been of the opinion that my daughter is in my life to enhance it, to give me a responsibility, a sense of pride about what she does and who she is becoming, a sense of duty to ensure she becomes a well-rounded, loving, loveable person whilst making sure she knows what is right and wrong, how to eat sensibly, how to make sure she recognises when someone is treating her badly and to bring me joy and happiness, as I try to bring to her. To this end I maintain that, the reason she is becoming this person, is because I don’t put my own life on hold or live my life through her. I don’t make her the centre of my universe, she is a PART of it. This doesn’t mean I don’t love her any less than the other Mums love their kids, I just don’t want her to become self-centred, and don’t want her to think that she can do, and get, anything she wants.
Yesterday something happened to help me to see that the job I am doing as a Mother is so very right.
As I arrived at school to pick her up, her father arrived at the gate. My face dropped. He hadn’t asked, he hadn’t cleared it with me first. Grace wasn’t overwhelmed to see him it has to be said, and was very matter of fact about him being there. He had brought her a bunch of roses and a Valentines card. She proceeded to show her flowers around the playground as her father made his excuses and left. My heart was in the pit of my stomach. All he had ever done was treat me badly over Valentines Day. Even down to the point where one time he had some Valentine chocolates in a drawer. I discovered them and he told me that because I found them, I wasn’t getting them. (much later, after we split, I found out that these were from one of the many women he saw behind my back – these chocolates were from the one he had even had the nerve to buy a house with whilst living with me!!).
Trying to disguise my feelings from a very excited Grace was so hard and I didn’t want to make her feel bad. I emailed Ross to tell him what had happened and he suggested maybe I gently explain to Grace what had happened to me on Valentines with her Dad. So, as we drove home I said to Grace that I had some chocolate hearts for her for Valentines day but cards and flowers are really for Mummy’s and Daddy’s, or boyfriend and girlfriends, who love each other. The reason I felt a bit sad is because Daddy hadn’t been that nice to me about Valentines Day.
What happened next made me have to stop the car due to my breaking down in tears.
‘Mum,’ she said ‘I haven’t had a chance to get to the shops so I would like to give you this.’ With that , she pulled a rose out of her bunch and extended it to me from the back of the car. I emailed Ross as I cried my eyes out. He told me that she’s a lovely child with a great Mum.
As I continued to cry on the half hour journey home, I apologised to my daughter for getting upset. She told me ‘Its Ok Mummy, it’s your feelings and you need to express them’.
My six-year-old, loving, kind-hearted daughter is so very right.