I question myself as a mother sometimes. I try not to but inevitably it happens.
If we go out for the day with friends and Mads is the one who kicks off and has a tantrum in soft play, I wonder if it is something I did wrong. Did I give her too much sugar? Am I spoiling her?
Or if LL won’t go to anyone else for a cuddle I worry that I am making her into a Mummy’s girl. Am I making her too dependant on me? Should I be giving her to other people more? Should I stop feeding her now she has turned one?
As I battle night after night of Mads eating nothing except Thomas the Tank Engine spaghetti for her dinner, I worry it’s me that’s made her like this. Should I have cooked more home cooked meals? Completely stopped her from having any treats?
I often think I should be doing more. I see friends doing beautiful crafts with their toddlers and I think I should just stuff my cream carpet and get the paints out more than I do. Or I worry that I shouldn’t stick them in front of the TV for an hour at 4pm just because that’s our quiet time of snuggling on the sofa before Mr E comes home from work.
But then I stop and actually think about it from the other point of view. I am the best Mummy for my children. Why? Because I am their Mummy. They don’t know any different and they love me unconditionally. Just like I love them. They don’t see my flaws, they don’t care that I am a crap crafter or a disaster in the kitchen. All they care about is that I am there for them always and that I love them with my whole heart.
How do I know this? Because of the way they look at me. When I look deep into their big blue eyes all I can see is love. Unconditional love. Powerful love. And happiness. If I am happy and having fun, then they are too. They don’t care that I haven’t cooked a homemade fish pie from scratch or spent two hours making robots out of egg boxes. They don’t even care that I haven’t washed my hair in four days or that I have big dark circles under my eyes from far too many late nights. All they care about is that I am there for them. Which I am. Always.
Mr E took the above photo of me and LL on her birthday last Tuesday. She had finished her milk, and was snuggling down next to me in bed which we always do before I take her to her own room. She was putting her fingers into my mouth, she likes to do this and it really hurts, but as it makes her laugh I grin and bear it. It’s a grainy, horrible iPhone photo but I think it might just be one of my favourites ever. I just love the way she is looking at me.
Those little glances, those happy blue eyes dancing in the light of the fairy lights on my bed frame, and those moments snuggling just before bedtime happen every single day. But they are the ordinary moments that make motherhood hands down the absolute best thing I have ever and could ever experience.
It’s unconditional love.
And it’s utterly intoxicating.