Being a mother still boggles my mind every day. Only a mother will understand why I do the things I do. Like ironing a school shirt and making lunch boxes late at night when everyone’s in bed or helping with homework even though my own work is way behind, speech coaching for an oral exam even though I have a splitting headache and just want to lie down. Only a mom will understand the pain of having to console a teary faced child coming home from school after someone was mean to him or the disappointment of not making the swim team or school choir.
Being a mother is the bane of my existence. I know that might sound harsh to some, and make no mistake, I have never and will never ever regret the decision. But motherhood is all-consuming. And it is not something you can ever step away from for a breather or a vacation. And I won’t lie – it gets me down sometimes. The constant worry about whether my kids will be OK in all aspects of their lives are sometimes not only irrational but also very tiring.
Today I did something out of character for a normally sensible parent. I booked 4 tickets to a stupid boy band concert because my daughter is gaga over them. It took forever to get the tickets – I sat in the online portal for at least 30 minutes. And it took several tries to get it done. It didn’t make sense for me to do it. I can’t really afford it and we live in a different city to where the concert will be. Who can explain why I did it? I can’t myself.
But the look on her face when I told her about it was priceless. It all made sense in that moment.
What didn’t make sense was the fact that I felt judged on social media for being a sheep and allowing the hype to get the better of me. A sensible parent would teach their children to NOT be like the millions of mindless girls that find these bands irresistible, right?. And before I knew it, I felt the need to justify my decision to a bunch of strangers. This, after having one of the toughest weeks this year, trying to be a supermom and just about breaking under the stress of it all – why would I get upset about people I have never met and their opinions about how kids are spoiled these days. Or how silly the stampede for tickets is. Why? Maybe because being a parent is the toughest thing I ever had to do in my life – much, much tougher than even switching from a lucrative career in my thirties to become a self-taught photographer! I guess because in motherhood there are never clear lines or a moment in which you feel you have arrived, you finally mastered this thing. Or when you ever don’t question a single decision you ever make regarding your children.
So I console myself by thinking that being called a sheep for the sake of a very happy little girl, is a small price to pay. Because I’m a mom. And that’s how I roll.