I have 2 children.
Being their mum feels mostly like sunshine.
I don’t have a favourite but I do feel differently about them.
My youngest son came to me when I was in a good and steady place. I had a husband. I didn’t have to work because we had security. Everything was settled and I was ready for him. We had planned for him and I knew what I was in for. He was born into a happy family and we work through life together as one unit, bouncing off each other providing a solid family structure as we move around. We had support and I managed to keep my head straight. I got to be a stay at home and I relished those newborn months. Even though I was tired I was joyful and he was so innocent. He really needed us and we had so many things to teach him. These younger years make me happy, I can simply be there for him selflessly and I always feel like I am enough for him. Being his mum is what I always imagined motherhood to be like and though he is wild, he is easy and my role is very cut and dry. He makes my heart happy. He lifts my spirits. He is my son, I am his mother and I love him in every capacity a mother loves a child. Im comfortable here. This is what being a mother feels like.
But I don’t feel like that with my oldest. There are maternal elements there of course – I understand my role as his mother but our relationship is different. He came to me when I didn’t know where I was in life. My world was turning upside down and things I thought would always be the same were changing outside of my control. I didn’t have a house or a career or a husband or anything I thought I’d have when I became a mother but I had him. I didn’t need a test to tell me that I was pregnant and I knew who he was long before he was born. I knew he was mine and made for me and while I share him with other people – I will always consider him mine.
But he challenges me. I feel I struggle with him often. I take things personally. I get overwhelmed with guilt because Ive never been able to repay him for everything hes done for me. I know that some of those challenges come from a place of safety, I am his constant so he feels comfortable expressing himself to me. I know that now our family is complete, I dont need to rely on him as much – but its still hard. I said at dinner a few weeks ago that I find this age the hardest and my sister replied that I’ve said that about every age. Maybe I have? Maybe that’s OK because I’ve never done this before and every age comes with different challenges but maybe I just find it hard being his mum and im OK admitting that. Maybe the reason I struggle to parent him Is because I don’t always feel like just his parent.
I feel like he is my equal. I have always been told he was born with an old soul and maybe that soul and mine have been together through the ages. Maybe we are 2 parts of one person. As much as I am his protector, I feel that he is mine too. I know that here and now I am his mother and I know what my job is but when he was born to me, I realised he was a part of me I never knew I needed before. He was born so wise. He knows how the world works without needing to be taught about it and he always knew just what I needed. He gave me a purpose when I wasn’t sure I had any. He gave me calm in all my chaos and he made me brave. He was the strength, courage and resilience I needed to get through hard times. He gave me a reason to smile in the misery and as he grew, I grew with him. We grew up together and through him, I was able fufill my role as mother to his brother. Without him, I wouldn’t be in this here and now and this is the only place I could ever want to be.
He weathered the storm with me, always, without complaint. He went where I went and held me up when the weight of the world was crushing me. He inspired me and he loved me when I felt unloveable. Even though I couldn’t be there for him selflessly all the time, even though I never felt enough for him – he loved me unconditionally. He gave me grit. When things were uncertain, atleast I knew the I would never be alone in this life again; I would always be loved.
Because we are built the same, because i am forever reconciling guilt – we clash often and even though I may not always feel it, I know he will always have my back.
He came into my world and he saved me. Even as a tiny baby, even through all my battles, he never needed more from me than what I had to give. Even though I feel he got a pretty raw deal in the early days, he was just content with being mine and through this life and on into the next and beyond we will walk this earth as soulmates.
He is my partner in life. My first born. My equal.