Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm a Mum

I'm a mum.

I've been one for over 26 years now. My babies are all grown up now - even though they're still living at home and I still cook their dinners and tell them off for not keeping their room tidy.

My role as mum has changed enormously over the years.

When they were little I was the centre of their universe. I was the one who provided for all their needs and taught them right from wrong. I was the one who encouraged and nurtured and forced them to do the things that were hard but built character. I cheered. Listened to stories that they thought were important. Watched as they did 'amazing' dives into pools, 'amazing' tricks on their scooters and other 'amazing' feats of physical prowess. I wiped tears and bottoms. Spent hours worrying about fevers, assignments, disappointments and whether I was doing a good enough job as a mother.

And then one day it had all changed.

The change happens slowly. They wrestle control away from you bit by bit. And bit by bit you let the reins go until they are strong enough, wise enough, capable enough.

And the mother in you cries a few silent tears. That her babies have grown - even though that is what you want to happen and know will happen and can't stop happening even if you try. That you're not the centre of their universe any more - even though you're so very happy that they have significant others who are wonderful people who have become family to you. That those little pudgy arms don't wrap around your neck any more when they're sitting on your lap - fully grown men don't really fit on their mother's laps.

And you wonder what your role is now. How you fit into their worlds. How to be a part of their lives without meddling, interfering or interrogating.

It can be a hard time when they become autonomous. But then you get those interactions that tell you that you're still part of their universe - maybe not their sun but still important.

I had a couple of these on the weekend. They were just little things - texts, Facebook conversations, real-life conversations. But they reminded me that I haven't passed my used-by date as a mum. And they made the mother in me happy that I have new, grown-up relationships with my boys. With my men (who will always be my boys).

Once a mum - always a mum.


  1. Great pictures and I love this post, Char! You are a bit ahead of me with your three boys, and I can really feel myself moving into this phase as my oldest just started university this week. It's a big transition for us both!

  2. OH - I loved this!!! None of the early growing up phases with my boys were hard for me until the past year or so (high school!!) and I think it is because of the feelings you just wrote about.
    So glad that your boys still show you how important you are to them.
    And, I love that picture of them as young ones!!!

  3. Yes indeed. I'm closer to my mum now than I was as a youngster (I was a daddy's girl!).

    I suspect - not having kids - will remain one of my greatest disappointments in life... I love the role you've played and continue to play in your sons' lives!


  4. Completely agree. Once a mum, always a mum.

  5. Beautiful post. I miss my mom and I am sorry because I didn't understand in time how important a mom is forever. I can understand more this concept looking at my wife and what she does for our children.

  6. Aw your boys seem so great! When I became a Mum I definitely had a new appreciation for my Mum. Lucky for me I'm still wiping tears, and just occasional bottoms!


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