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In the lead up to Mother’s Day this year (my first as a mumma), I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a mother and especially what it means to me.

It took me a long time to be a mumma (not as long as some but long enough for me). The road to motherhood had it’s heartache and tears. At first I didn’t think I ever wanted children but then that biological clock started ticking and there was no stopping the endless day dreams of one day holding my own bundle of joy.

What would come after that would be close to 5 years of trying, not trying, trying again.

Going to the doctor, being prescribed drugs, going to the specialist to be told the doctor was wrong. Another specialist, it’s something else, an operation and nothing fixed. All the while still trying and not trying. Until eventually IVF was mentioned and thankfully we only had two cycles before we had our big fat positive. Nine months later, almost to the day, we had our bundle of joy. What I felt after that was the biggest shock of my life.

There was no blinding flash of love. There was no instant connection. There was, however, a lot of awe at this little being that I had been carrying for nine months and wonder at how such a small thing could have started from just a bunch of cells on a screen.  Then came the unbelievable tiredness, soreness, more heartache, more tears and absolute shock of what the hell has just happened to my life.

No one can prepare you for those first days, weeks or months. No one can say, it’ll pass, you’ll be okay, remember you wanted this. You need to experience it yourself because everyone is different and no two people feel the same when it comes to childbirth and a newborn. But I’m so pleased that I have come out the other side and now feel that blinding flash of love and that connection that I hope will never break.

I say hope will never break because since becoming a mother, I think of my own mother. Constantly. Daily in fact. It hurts. I don’t want to think about her. I have cut my mother out of my life and I’m all the better for it. The hurt and anguish I suffered from that woman was too much for me to bear and I needed out.

But there are these thoughts, all the time. Did she feel about me the way I feel about my daughter. Did she ever look at me while she fed me, while I slept, while I learnt a new skill; did she look at me and feel an overwhelming sense of pride – I made this. Did she feel unconditional love – no matter what my daughter will do to me, I will love her forever, I will put her needs above mine, I will cherish all of the little things and all of the big things this beautiful girl is going to do. Did she want the best for me, did she want me to succeed in life, be happy, feel love, and feel joy. Did she want to shield me from pain and anguish and betrayal?

These are just some of the thoughts that go through my head, every day. And I can’t help but think, surely, surely at some point in our lives together as mother and daughter, my own mother looked at me and wanted me.

There have been times in the past 6 months where I have wanted to contact my mother and ask her these things. To check that there was a time when I felt this mother’s love. Because I know as I got older, with the drugs and the alcohol, these feelings and thoughts just weren’t there. Or if they were, they were certainly not expressed towards me. I have no happy memories of growing up, any feelings of joy I once had are gone and what has replaced them are feelings of sorrow. Sorrow that I don’t have happy memories.

But I don’t want pity. I definitely don’t want that. I know that I am a very lucky person. Compared to others, my life growing up wasn’t that bad. It’s just that feeling I get, when I look at my daughter and I think, no matter what you do, I will always love you and I will try never to hurt you. I never want to make my daughter feel about me, the way I feel about my own mother.

So as this Mother’s Day approaches, my first as a mother. I will think about all of the days, weeks and months to come where I will continue to be a mother and I will try to be the best mother I possibly can.

Because my daughter deserves that. She deserves to know that her mother loves her and will always love her.

Can you relate? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCES in the comments below. 

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • My first Mothers Day. My daughter was 3 and a half months old and all she had done since the day she was born was to scream. The day she was born I was transferred to another hospital by ambulance and the Ambulance driver said “In my 20years of Driving and Ambulance your baby is the only one thats cried all the way from start to destination”,,, she didnt stop. Several Doctors visits and then i gave up as they kept telling me there was nothing wrong with her. One day after her screaming for 12hours nonstop (who knew a young baby would have that much stamina?) we took her to the Doctors only to be told yet again that there was nothing wrong with her. How she made it to a year old without me throwing her out the window I dont know. How calm I remaind amazes me. It wasnt a fun time though. My first Mothers Day my husband didnt do a thing for me and when I protested he shrugged and said “But your not my Mum”… he was darn lucky i wasnt because I surely would ahve tossed him out the window :D

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  • Thank you so much for sharing.

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  • congratulations on your first Mother’s Day and hope you have many more to come. I have also had my first Mother’s Day and although I didn’t do much it was a special dayball the same

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  • This is beautiful thank you for sharing

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  • I could almost have written this myself.

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  • I wish i had a mothers day that was special. It always ends up cancelled or we fight :(

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  • Your first mothers day is special as you do do a lot of thinking about the meaning of it for you. I hope you had a lovely day.

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  • Being a Mum for me is my greatest challenge. It is the hardest job I’ve ever done, but hard in terms of processing information, knowing what to do, learning on the run, being so in love with your child that you want to do it right, intense feelings, relationships with so many different people/groups. My greatest and hardest challenge, but also the best.

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  • Sorry to hear your mum wasn’t able to show you the love you needed ! The fact that you didn’t feel instant connection with your child might well have it’s root in this. But reading your story I’m glad you were able to break that circle and love and cherish your girl. Well done mum and happy first Mothers Day !

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  • Congratulations! It takes courage to share such a raw feeling about your own mum, but determine to be a good mum to your daughter. Well done.

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  • Mother’s Day always brings mixed feelings for me – terrific ones that I have shared with my children and regretful ones for what might have been with my own mother. I don’t think she was unloving mother, just was for some reason unable to show that side of her. Can’t even remember her kissing my dad, let alone me. So I made sure my kids had the best mother I could be and one who showed her feelings.

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  • As a mum who struggled theough 9 years of trying to have a baby, through 4 miscarriages of 5 babies, through testing, through the well intentioned but awful ‘it was meant to be’ comments I agree that Mothers Day makes me think of my mum. I am so sorry you do not have a close bond with your mum, for I cherish mine. I have never had a doubt that my mum will have my back, will support me even if she doesnt agree with my decision.
    I want to be this mum for my child

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  • Best wishes on your first Mother’s Day – it will be a special time for you. I hope you make some lovely memories and traditions for yourself and your child.

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  • Congratulations on your first Mothers Day! Don’t be too hard on your Mum as I’m sure she looked upon you lovingly just as you do to your daughter. Some people just don’t make the best parents. You won’t make the same mistakes as she did. Just be you.

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  • congratulations on your first mothers day

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