I’ve always been a little selfish and self-obsessed.
I even trained as an actor so I could be centre stage. Never happened by the way. I wasn’t pretty enough for the romantic leads or ugly enough for the character roles. Too fat for Juliet, not fat enough for the nurse was always my story.
That career was not meant to be. So I decided to cast myself in my own lead role.
I became a mother.
Now, what are our reasons for becoming mothers? Apart from just giving in to that basic instinct to survive and procreate, why do we do it?
For me, I wanted to become a mother because it was my dream. My destiny. I was great with kids and so I thought that maybe after failing at being an actor, this was a career I could be successful in. Also – if I’m totally honest – I was drinking and partying quite hard back then so I thought having kids would be way cheaper and a lot less humiliating than a stint in rehab.
I was becoming a mother for – ME. Motherhood would surely make ME happy. This was the only meaningful way for ME to be fulfilled, content and not terrified of dying. Was it not?
ME, ME, ME!
But motherhood is NEVER really about you.
You soon realise it’s all about THEM. It’s about school runs, washing PE kits, and buying kids clothes when you’ve actually gone shopping for you. It’s about constantly worrying about them. Wondering how you can serve them better. Nurturing them, caring for them and making sure you’ve got enough bread for their sandwich boxes. It’s about sleepless nights, sacrifice and putting them before anyone and anything else, including yourself (95% of the time).
I became a mother for my husband when I made him a father. For my family who I made into grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and second cousins. I became a mother for my community. For the schools, leisure centres, libraries and playgrounds. I became a mother for all my children’s friends. To fill up kids parties, eat cheesy puffs and demolish birthday cakes. To make sure Disco Dave has enough money to pay his mortgage.
I became a mum for Disney, Cebeebies, Peppa Pig, Pokemon and even Mr twatty Tumble. For Julia Donaldson, Judith Kerr, Roald Dahl and Dav Pilkey. I became a mother for mini Ikea kitchens, Melissa & Doug, Beanie Boos and Microscooters. For Bird’s Eye, Cadbury’s and Clarks. Hell, I did it for the economy and the future of mankind (winks). I became a mother for the midwives, the teachers and the lollipop ladies. I did it for the whole cast of Toy Story 1, 2, 3 and 4.
So you see, motherhood is not for me. And it’s not for you.
Motherhood is selfless, generous and self-sacrificing. Motherhood is unity, connection, love, humanity, family, community and society.
It’s not about standing in the spotlight taking a bow to rapturous applause. It’s not a one woman show. It’s about playing your part in a cast of millions. It’s about being a vital and valuable supporting role. It’s about standing in the chorus line and singing your bit of the beautiful harmony.
Motherhood is not – and never was – for me.
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