Monday, 9 May 2011

Mums the word

Clearly, this is late. I have been having some issues with blogger so I apologise for the delay. The sentiment, however, remains entirely true and I hope that everyone is grateful for their mothers every day.

look at our ghetto TV aerial
Sunday was my first mothers day and while it was essentially a day like any other, it gave me a chance to think back over how much my life and indeed myself has changed over the passed seven months. Gratefully Gabriel slept from 1-7, which was a surprising and very awesome gift followed by other awesomeness from my own wonderful mother who made sure that my sister and I did not get left out as our children are too little to put in that kind of effort. I stayed up late and got up early so that I could finish an album I made for her, there will be a tutorial on it later in the week...

For me, the greatest change that I have noticed since becoming a mother seven months ago is the seemingly infinite expansion of my capacity to love. Mums may run short on patience with their children, and probably money... but never love. I asked some friends who are mums to share their thoughts in an effort to keep the day from being too cliche or materialistic. This is what they said.

What I think is so wonderful about motherhood is how it makes the mother, but it makes her slowly, so she hardly sees the process, the becoming. We're not asked to do everything all at once, slowly we're eased into pregnancy and learn care and connection. Birth and bonding make for the nature of nurture and fierce protection. Gradually, as baby becomes child, we're eased through a process of change. If I could call that young woman on the cusp of motherhood, and just chat with her on the phone I would say. It will all happen so fast, enjoy every day, never wish one away. You will find so much happiness just being with their kids - encourage their quiet sense of humours, catch them serving, surround yourself with women you admire. Most of all have the courage to admit you made a mistake and be the moral touchstone for your new flock. Smile more. Be grateful and express your gratitude for all the abundance of love your husband has for this new family. Record the little things, take photos of the every day before it changes. Enjoy all the rich association extended family will give to your children. Make sure you sing, you have adventures, and make things as least busy as you can on any given day. Motherhood is long and exhausting and real hard work, but it's great to go to bed tired and happy, and know you are raising awesome funny little people.

Carli (who has a beautiful blog full of photos of her awesome funny little people)

Well, I would tell my younger self that you don't need to teach them to obey the word 'no' at one year of age; that it is really important to eat well and look after yourself so you're not forced to give up breastfeeding at 12 weeks, especially when you enjoy it so much; to marry a man you want your children to be like when they grow up; that letting them watch M rated stuff at 9 yrs old was stupid; that you did a great job of being patient when things went wrong and remembering always that they were more important than material things or spilt things; that letting them make little decisions and live with the little consequences needs to start really really early so they know how it works when they get to the big ones; that all the moments of joy would make up for the angst; to really enjoy the times they wanted to be with you and tell you everything, it wouldn't last forever; that you will never actually know if you're doing it right, just keep praying and do the best you can; that through loving them and stretching yourself beyond what you thought possible you will come to love yourself so much more; that it is vital to set the boundaries on technology and teenage stuff BEFORE they become teenagers cos it will be a huge battle to set them later; that the more you react, the less they will want to tell you; that living the council of the prophets is so important because if they go down a different path at least you will know you did all you could; NOT to change schools for them so often, they need stability; that letting them live with a healthy and happy marriage is the best life experience ever....just try to make it the first marriage!

I don't think it gets harder as they get older, it gets different. Your physical demands become more emotional and although it is ultra scary to let them make their own decisions it is also an exercise in trust...not trust that they will always choose well but that HFather loves them as much as you and that you have given them a strong foundation and that they will work it out if you keep loving them to bits.


Within hours of giving birth I found myself ‘wounded’ and alone, yet filled with a sense of strength I had no idea I could yield. 
By the late afternoon we were approved for discharge from the Hospital and transferred to the luxury of the Birthing Centre.
Although I couldn’t tell you an exact time when it happened or of a poignant moment that had occurred, by this stage I was slipping fast and deeply in love.
Second cousins meeting via the computer :P
I wish someone had mentioned about the Intense, emotional, unconditional and overwhelming sense of love that is felt for your Child.  I recall thinking:  Why didn’t anyone tell me becoming a Mother leaves such an emotional wound so raw and vulnerable?  I wish I had been warned that the joy we feel is so real and so close that it hurts.  That the whirl of emotions buzzing around feels too much for one human vessel to contain. 
By Day 3 I have a completely new definition for LOVE.  We know love goes hand in hand with ‘becoming a Mother’ – albeit for some, hours after the initial crowning of the new calling.  I knew I would love my Son but had no idea of the extreme level of love it would be. When I drove my Son home for the first time I had a new outlook of the big wide world, I was scared of what it would do to my Son, and the usual 3 minute drive from the Birth Centre to our Home took at least fifteen.  A new level of cautiousness kicked in. This Love was so beautiful yet surprisingly daunting.  I quickly learn that there is no wordily description to sum up the Love for your Child and no way could it’ve been added to a ‘LIST’.
Becoming a Mother can be looked at from so many different perspectives. One that has always stuck out to me is this LOVE that is involved. The word ‘love’ does no justice, there should be a word above ‘love’ that describes it to its fullness, but the only way to understand this love completely is to become a Mother yourself.  To say becoming a Mother has completed me sounds cliché but it’s absolutely true.  Today I think my Son is a beautifully stunning masterpiece I have been entrusted. Whom I still can’t comprehend is my Son.

Anneke (my beautiful and very talented cousin, wish I could have shared everything she wrote, it was so good!)

  If I'm totally honest it still feels surreal to me that I'm a mother. I look at my baby and I can't believe she's MINE! Having said that, I miss her when I'm not with her (which at this stage has only been for short periods of time) and now I cannot imagine life without her. I have truly loved being a mom and a lot of the transition to this new role has happened naturally and instinctively. Perhaps that is why it feels surreal. However, some of the adjustments have been difficult and certain aspects of being a mom are really hard!

This past weekend I had someone tell me that I looked radiant and happy and that motherhood suited me. :) It was one of the nicest things anyone has said. It made me happy to know that people can see that I enjoy being a mom and that I absolutely love it! Yes, I worry a lot. Yes, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the responsibility. Yes, I miss uninterrupted sleep and am jealous of my husband who seems to sleep through all of the baby's cries. Yet it is all worth it when my baby looks up at me and gives me the biggest smile and I know she recognizes me and knows who I am. So ultimately it is and has been AMAZING to be a mum!

Anna-Liisa (should move back to Australia!)

coolest way to recycle ever.
Being at home with little ones makes me feel more like the real me than I ever have. I was so relieved at the thought of leaving work to be at home, chill out, hang around and do all the things my mum did for me that made my childhood so happy. Time together, home made food and laughing. BUT It's incredibly hard coming from a corporate job where I got recognition every day for the work I did. I was in control and saw fast results. I got paid well and could work at super speed. What a difference! It's taken me a long time to slow down and enjoy it.
Now, after 4 years of being at home I'm LOVING it. It's taken me ages to adjust and I truly believe that having children is a refining process for us as mothers. I can't think of anything else that has made me want to be better, more consistent and had me re-evaluating myself so often. Also increasing my compassion for other people and seeing that small and simple acts give great long term results.

My boys are bursting with life! With energy, enthusiasm, smiles and creativity that constantly surprise and delight me (Can I add exhausts and frustrates me too!). I love to spend time with them. Free, simple and happy time. Mostly in nature, finding bugs, observing, catching. Swinging in the hammock, having picnics under the trampoline, digging in the garden, walks, bike rides, cuddles. Sitting together to eat. Involving them in service and giving to others. Family time.

I'm not looking forward to when school starts for them. I want them all to myself! Mother's day is important in our house. Motherhood is such a thankless job and one of the best gifts to give a future daughter in law is to teach my boys to love  and appreciate the women in their lives.

Suzi (who also blogs!)

My thought on being a mum is that it's the greatest joy in my life and yet at the same time the greatest challenge.

The love and happiness Tristan brought into my life is indescribable.. there are times though I wish I could be this great person who has this infinite patience and invincible ability to endure when things don't go my way.. it could be frustrating for me sometimes because I am still so far far from being that great person.  I hope all my efforts and experiences of trying would make me that little wiser in the end so I could help my Tristan steer the course of his life a little bit better when he needs me.  

Nicole (I didn't know which photo would be okay so I just got one of Tristan... he's so cute!)

and finally:

"Because we are being constantly exposed to the world's definition of greatness, it is understandable that we might make comparisons between what we are and what others are-or seem to be- and also between what we have and what others have. Although it is true that making comparisons can be beneficial and may motivate us to accomplish much good and to improve our lives, we often allow unfair and improper comparisons to destroy our happiness when they cause us to feel unfulfilled or inadequate or unsuccessful. Sometimes, because of these feelings, we are led into error and dwell on our failures while ignoring aspects of our lives that may contain elements of true greatness.
 In 1905, President Joseph F Smith made this most profound statement about true greatness: 'Those things which we call extraordinary, remarkable, or unusual may make history, but they do not make real life' 
After all, to do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all mankind, is the truest greatness. To be a successful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successful statesman"

Howard W Hunter. 1987.


  1. I must have checked you blog a few times in anticipation of this post. I enjoyed reading each mym's comments. Love the quote by President Hunter! PS- I'd like living in Australia again, but it would be hard to be distant from ALL of our family. At least here we're close to Alex's and mine are only and 8 hour flight. Living in Oz would double that flight time.

  2. Forgive the typos- I'm not so good with the 'keys' on this iPod

  3. Anna-Liisa I have a tip for you. A short sharp shove is all it needs. Or claim Saturday night as your sleep night and Daddy has a turn at learning to settle. I'm rubbish without sleep I feel for yoU!!

    Lovely post Eleanor

  4. Beautiful entry, Eleanor! I love that I know most of these women and I am impressed by their wisdom. Wish I had been so wise when I was a younger mom. Especially love that one of these mums is my own daughter, a beautiful new mum herself. Truly one of the greatest blessings of being a mother is seeing your own daughters become capable, loving mothers to your grandbabies. I adore being a grandmother!! Thank you for the lovely post. All of you are doing an amazing job! p.s. I wouldn't mind if Anna-Liisa moved back to Australia either.