HAVE I BEEN THE BEST MUM (THAT I COULD HAVE BEEN)?
THIS is the question I keep asking myself at the moment.
The one that is continually repeating itself over and over in my frazzled brain. Have I been the best Mum? Have I? Have I?
Have I been as good as I could have been? (To date, obviously.)
Like thousands of parents across the country, yesterday was a big day in our household because after months of waiting, we finally found out where Elsie will be going to school in September.
And we’re incredibly lucky. We did get our first choice of schools and Elsie will be going to the most fantastic primary school, that we think (and hope) will suit her perfectly.
Oh, the relief! Oh, the happiness!
(I know many of you reading this, will understand.)
But the whole school thang, besides being totally nerve wracking, has also brought up a whole bunch of feelings that I really wasn’t expecting. Certainly not so soon.
Because whilst I’m so excited for my girl, I’m also really emotional. Like really.
Because whilst I’m super happy for her and for what will hopefully be a wonderful new chapter in her life, I’m also feeling so sad that our weekday time together will soon be coming to an end.
That our ‘mummy & daughter” days will soon be done.
And whilst I know how fortunate I am to work part time and have more time with her, than many parents are able to have with their children, I just can’t help but feel that time is ticking and that it’s going far too fast.
And as the clock ticks down to starting school time and as the days pass by in a flurry, this question keeps on rearing it’s intrusive head. Keeps on persisting.
And it’s making me question everything about my parenting.
Everything that I’ve done to date. Forcing me to look back and think about the choices I’ve made and what I could – and dare I say it – should, have done differently.
We do at the time what we think is right of course. At that moment.
But I have to admit, there’s much I would change, if I could go back in some kind of motherhood tardis.
If I could hop foot it into a phone box and go back in time.
I’d have given us more space to be together, just the two of us. I’d have had less visitors in those precious first few weeks. I’d have listened to my own parenting instinct and ignored the ‘well meaning’ advice.
I’d have taken her to nursery when she was a little younger so she wouldn’t have suffered so dreadfully from separation anxiety and could have settled better. I’d have cuddled her more in the middle of the night when she couldn’t sleep, instead of trying the dreadful yet recommended ‘cry it out’ method.
I’d have put my foot down when people tried to interfere in my parenting. I’d have done less of the ‘right thing’ when it comes to pleasing other people and done more of the ‘right thing’ when it came to us.
I’d have cleaned a whole lot less and played a whole lot more. I’d have worked fewer days and taken more days off.
I’d have taken more deep breaths when I felt like I was going to shout. I’d have been kinder to us both when we were exhausted.
I’d have ignored the housework, switched off my phone more and focused on my girl. I’d have stopped watching the clock and appreciated the moments.
Have I been the best Mum?
Well no, not always sadly. I don’t think I have. Looking back I think I’ve made many mistakes.
But although there are so many things I would change if I could, it seems that thankfully, my wee cherub would not change me.
As we walked home yesterday, hand in hand from a celebratory ‘going to school soon’ lunch, she stopped me in the street to tell me that she loved me “sooooo much” and that I was “the best mum in the world.”
And whilst I don’t think this has always been the case, I gotta say, her testament will absolutely do for me.
What do you think? Am the only parent to feel this way? Does thinking about your little one starting school in September make you emotional too? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.