As Mothers' Day approaches, I have been pondering the word mother. It seems the word has been romanticised to such an extent that we risk losing sight of what mothering is.
To be a mother is to nurture, love, care and to know when to step away - which is far more challenging.
That is where the true mothering starts.
I am the mother to three adult sons; Nick, Hugh and Will, and my daughter Jessie.
They are all so different, yet they are tied by an invisible thread.
I had Nick when I was twenty-two. Yes, it seems young now. But it has given me much time with him and his brother on the other side of life.
After nearly twenty years of marriage, I met my life partner Johnny.
I won't romanticise this time as it was very difficult for my boys. A big cross against my mothering!
But we survived it and blended two disparate families as best as we could.
If life is best led by example, I showed them what was possible in a loving husband and wife relationship.
They thank me for that. This backdrop is pivotal to where I am today.
My question about all that life brings is “what is the learning?”
A few thoughts on “good enough” parenting…
Set your kids free.
They are not yours to be anything other than their own hopes and dreams.
Teach them well. Not in the academic sense. Leave that to the professionals.
Teach them about justice, about caring for people who have less than them. And teach them to be true to their values.
Nurture them to believe in themselves and to value and be proud of their individuality.
Let your square pegs go where they wish. Round holes are for those who need to fit in.
When my middle son Hugh went to the foothills of Everest for six months at fifteen, some were horrified that I “let him go”.
My response was, “why not?”
There is risk everywhere. We take a risk just getting up each day.
Our job as parents, mothers - and nurturers - is to be examples of truth and then set our children on their own, unique journey.