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The Best Mum

Fat Mum Slim /

The Best Mum | You're good enough. You are amazing. You are the best mum your children have. Read more...

I knew I was born to be a mum. It didn’t mean I was going to be, or that I am, amazing at it, but I just knew that it was part of what I was born to do.

When I was about 10, my mum used to look after my baby cousin every day. When he was just a tiny baby, he loved me best. I would be the one he’d come to to be comforted and nurtured. And then my other little cousin was born, and she spent her first overnighter at our house. She was small, and cute. I was the one who nurtured her all through the night {not realising I would do this many times over as a mum}. She didn’t want anyone else but me. I didn’t sleep a wink, but I loved it.

So, I knew that being a mum was for me. At 18 I became a nanny, and looked after other people’s children. But I didn’t just look after them. I loved them. I was everything they needed {during my working hours}. The older kids would tell you that I was protective like they were my own {oh, they’d laugh when the protective mama bird would come out if anyone dared mess with them!}, and I cared for them like I’d want someone to care for my own children.

And then I became a mum. I still vividly remember the moment Lacey was born, and that instant she was placed onto my chest. That warm newborn skin on mine, and instantly I cried. I was a mum. I looked at Hubby, and he was sobbing too. We were parents. If I died today and I had to tell the person at the top what my favourite moments in life were, they were those moments. The moments I met my girls. I felt changed each time. I’d relive those moments time and time again, if I had the chance.

Of course, the moments beyond those magic moments is when the hard stuff happens. The feeding, the sleepless nights, the exhaustion, the worry… but I’d live it over and over again.

Being a mum isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and we have to get up every day and do it all over again. All those years ago when I dreamed of being a mum, I didn’t think about the hard stuff. We’re constantly making decisions that will shape our children. It’s constant worry that we’re doing the parenting thing right {well, for me – the natural worrier}.

Last year particularly, I felt like I was getting it all wrong. The juggle of working and being a mum seemed out of whack. At times I was frustrated with life, and how hard it seemed. I couldn’t find balance, and I didn’t rate myself as a mum. I was my own worst critic. I believed I sucked.

I loved them. Oh, I always love them. Lacey was diagnosed with Pyrroles Disorder, which just makes her angry, frustrated, anxious and a little harder to parent {but not harder to love}, and that’s a constant struggle for me. I feel like I fail her, because as a mum everything must be my fault.

Sometimes all it takes is the words from someone you love to make it all okay. At the start of the year Lacey was anxious about all the changes a new school year brings. Normal new year stuff, but heart-breaking to experience. I’d called my older sister after drop-off and was talking about it all. I told her what we were doing to help her, and how I was hoping she’d settle in soon.

My sister told me one simple sentence that changed everything for me, “You are the best mum I know.”

I felt my chest puff out, and pride trinkle over my body. The best mum? I’ll take that, I thought.

This year Lacey is thriving. At her parent-teacher interview, I had the last appointment of the day, and we sat for longer than normal chatting about everything. First we talked about how Lacey is loving school life. I feel like a switch has turned on and she’s finding her groove. And then we talked about the struggles of parenting {the teacher has a child similar to my lovely Lacey}. We got teary, we shared, and we related to each other.

Lulu is the happiest kid in the world. Of course she has her two year old challenges, like being the owner of a shriek that can make cranky old men leave waiting rooms when we arrive, and not wanting to eat anything but 2-minute noodles. But she’s content, and happy, and healthy.

That moment when my sister told me those words, my perspective changed. I told myself, ‘You are an amazing mum’ because sometimes we need to hear it from ourselves. I am doing the best I can, and it’s often challenging {but no more challenging than most people, and definitely easier than so many others have it} but in my circumstances… I’m doing just fine.

And you, you are doing just fine too. You are good enough. You are loving. You are awesome. Don’t forget to tell yourself that too. You are the best mum your children have.

On this special day, Mother’s Day, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re doing a beautiful job raising your children. xx

@Fatmumslim