Andrea T Edwards

It’s a Privilege Being a Mum, a Scary One

Chatting it up with Oprah
In case you didn’t notice, it’s Mother’s Day and I think that’s fairly universal, except maybe in Europe? As I’ve written about before, I’ve always had mixed feelings about Mother’s Day, but it comes around every year and of course, it must be celebrated. One of my big struggles about this day is the women I know who haven’t had their chance to become mothers. It’s worse now with social media – there is no escaping the day. I can only imagine how hard that is.

I never thought I’d be a mother. I spent years alone, never finding the guy that had the qualities necessary to be a dad for my kids. I was always determined that if I didn’t meet him, then I’d accept a life with no kids. It was better that way. But I did find Steve and the output is two magnificent sons that make us laugh and scream every day.

The minute I was pregnant, the big change I noticed is that my life was no longer my own. I wasn’t a private human being living in my own world anymore. From being touched by complete strangers when I was pregnant, to blokes I didn’t know well enough talking about my boobs and breastfeeding, all the way through to well-intentioned people providing advice and insights when you’re little lad is struggling… My world got crashed in on by people in ways I never imagined before. I haven’t always liked that.

Little angels
In the journey of parenting, we’ve had a very turbulent time – mainly with our Lex. The worst part of that turbulent time is the opinions of people who have no idea what they’re talking about, but feel entitled to share it with you anyway. It takes a lot of strength to grin and bear it let me tell you. I’ve never been rude to people (even if I was screaming inside) because it’s not who I am. If I expressed everything I felt in all of those situations, people wouldn’t like me very much.

The reality is, people think they’re helping, but have no idea what you’ve done, what you think, the worries you carry inside (and share only with your husband) and the mountains you’ve scaled for your child already. We’ve left no stone un-turned with the Lexster, and the journey is ongoing, but one thing I can tell you is this: we’ve always been right. He just needs time to develop at his own pace after missing out on the first four years of development due to hearing issues.

The hearing issue is fixed and he’s going to be OK, even if we wish he’d bloody hurry up and get on with it…. But nah, that boy does things on his own timeline. I admire him for that and WE need to be patient. He’s an expensive child that one.

We’ve experienced some brutal times along the way with Lex too – including being abused by a teacher (that was fucked let me tell you) – and getting kicked out of schools, rejected by other schools, and at many points along the way, left us wondering if we’d  have to move countries to help him move forward.

All through this, Jax has been a solid and happy little man, until recently when his teacher told us he’s having confidence issues. Really? Jax not confident? Bloody hell, how do we help him? A new project commences, because what’s more important than confidence and self-respect?

They met lots of famous people at Madam Taussads, Singapore
So for me, being a mother has been a struggle and it hasn’t always been a lot of fun. Equally, I have massive ambitions for myself, and these ambitions are only getting stronger. I want to make a positive contribution to the world in my own way, so keeping that dream alive is really critical to who I am. But equally, I take the family responsibility seriously. I have seen the results of parents “fucking it up” and I don’t want my boys to be those adults. I can’t guarantee that they won’t be, but I don’t want to look back and know it was something I missed along the way – like making sure they know I love them, believe in them, respect them and value them.

If you go back through my blog you’ll find many posts railing against the duties of being a mother. The first 7-8 years were not amazing. They were grueling and confusing and hard and horrible and frustrating and exhausting and much much more. But they were also amazing and beautiful and precious and divine and funny and adventurous and fascinating and so much more of that.

Being a mother is the weirdest thing I’ve ever done. But I tell you one thing that’s undeniable. I love those two little dudes with a passion that scares the hell of me sometimes.

Anyone else not had the easiest journey in the early years?

Yours, without the bollocks

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