Being a Mum has totally changed my life. Not only in the most obvious ways, but in all aspects of life. The way I react to things, the way that I look at and deal with people, the way I think about and analyse things, even the manner in which I think of myself. The way I react to the news, the way I see my future and the way that I feel about some things in my past. All have changed.
In my celebrant work I meet many amazing people. People that I am better for knowing. How lucky am I, to meet and get to know these wonderful people that otherwise I might never have met. On one of these days I met a small boy who made me realise that becoming a mother had indeed changed me, in ways that people could never have told me or explained to me. I shed tears for this small boy that I met and spoke to for merely minutes. Knowing things about him that in the past I might have thought were sad, now as a mother, were heart wrenching. We sang some songs together, I just wanted to hug him and hold him close. Of course I did not do that. I smiled at him and asked him about his kindergarten.
On another day at my sons music class, I saw a mum who’s baby is being cared for by his Grandparents. This particular time she is there and their interaction saddens me. The way that he doesn’t really know her causes me to think about her for the rest of the day and long into the next. These things I would not have noticed before being a Mum, and if I did notice I probably wouldn’t have given it much more thought.
No one could ever have explained this to me, there are mushy poems out there about how you will look at and fall in love with your child, how you will never look at your partner the same way after you see his gentleness with your child, blah blah blah. Yep I understand all of that. Most people do. But no one tells you about the the deeper things that it will make you feel. They don’t tell you how you will cry about news stories that you wouldn’t have thought twice about before or the empathy you will feel towards another parents pain when something terrible happens to their child.
My sons Type 1 diabetes diagnosis took some of these things to the next level, the hospital visit and the diagnosis have changed a lot of things for me. The worry for him, the fear for him, and the gratitude that I feel knowing he is ok. I worry about this disease that he will live with for the rest of his life or until they find a cure. I worry about kids picking on him when he goes to school. Will he look after himself when he is a bit older and do all of these things for himself? (I worry a lot, lets be honest) You only have to spend some time in the Royal Children’s Hospital to realise that this is by no means the worst that could happen to him. This is manageable and will be part of our ‘normal’ in no time, and it takes me back to the empathy I feel for those parents whose situation isn’t as manageable as ours.
I find myself telling myself on so many wonderful occasions to cherish this moment, remember this, ‘photograph this with your mind’ as I want to be able to draw on this memory in the future. It is a time that I feel full and complete and blissfully whole. I remind myself that this too shall pass and I need to hold on to this memory in a special part of my mind. I’m really not sure how to do this effectively. How do we remember all these wonderful moments?