When I was growing up, I wasn’t really set on many things.
I never had a career path unwinding ahead of me, no visions of being sat in front of ‘my team’ pointing with purpose towards a whiteboard decorated with scribbles. Power suits were someone else’s intended costume, income was just needed to survive and travel made me fizz with nerves having only ‘holidayed’ in North Yorkshire where we lucked out with a rare balmy 24 degrees one year.
One thing I was certain on, was motherhood. That was so important to me. That was to be what defined me, what made me feel settled and planted and grown. I grew up in a household where the father figure brought more fear than stability and my mum was the perfect antithesis. She was a tactile, loving constant to his volatile, detached presence and I wanted to give to my children, what she gave to us. As a small child it seemed simple; she was just a kind person and my mum. Now I realise that she, as a young woman with four children, no parents, a full-time job and a husband with serious mental health issues, is/was a lighthouse. Her ability to weather the daily storm and still provide stability and pockets of beautiful memories means she’s a stronger force to be reckoned with than I ever realised.
So, for me, no role has ever been held in the highest regard as a mum. It’s what I’ve always seen as vital. However, when Milo came along, shreds of who I was before seemed to fall away with the hair I was shedding down the shower plug every week; it took over a year to properly feel myself again. At the time I felt lost and rather than feeling welcomed in to a role I felt I was fully qualified for, it was like turning up for work at a nuclear power plant. On very little sleep. With a broken body.
We finally got there and now I feel like we muddle on just fine, more than fine some days. The thing with motherhood is that there’s no right or wrong (however much people on Instagram like to argue about it); you just have to do what gets you all through. When I became a mum it helped me not only see my own in an even greater light, but it taught me I need to be patient with myself. Child-me, twenty-something me , didn’t know what future-me wanted to do and why on earth should it? With the birth of my children I’ve learned when I want to push myself, I’ve found a role I define and which suits me more than any office job would. I’ve created two people I’d fight like a wolf for. And I get to share part of my life with two new best friends.
When I became a mother, I met a better me.
Read more from Susie on her blog My Milo & Me.
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