I have never professed to be a perfect mother. No-one really is, we all just try our best. This morning was one of those less perfect moments. For some reason I have not got my oomph back since our trip so am playing catch up all the time. We were running late for school, I had only got to bed well after midnight trying to fix a washing machine that had clothing soaking and locked in it, the pest control people were coming in at 8.30 to do their annual spray thingy, I was trying to tidy up at least a bit, whilst brushing my teeth and Jem was waiting for me to do her hair and I was throwing on my clothes, knowing I still had heaps to do when Kate started calling Mom, mom, mo-o-o-o-mmm, mo-o-om. Mom! Ohh, fuck off, I said. It was what I felt so I said it. Just quietly and matter of factly. Enough. Jem was in earshot, caught my eye, she looked horrified and I looked sheepish. We burst out laughing. I did explain that I didn’t really mean it, I just meant it a little bit. Because sometimes, just sometimes, just for a little bit, I do hate the word mom.
Another friend, a very supportive friend, commented on how difficult it was for her to share. And how uncomfortable her family would be it if she spoke about them the way I do mine. I respect that. I respect her. She always makes me think.To be honest, Jem has an issue with my posts. Her issue is that I always post about Kate. Actually Kate has an issue too. Hers is that one of her friends saw my drama post and said gee, your mum swears. A lot. And you all do know of course despite my potty mouth, neither of my kids swear. Or probably because of it. So uncool mom. I think I have always been able to share. But I also know I used to censor myself. I used to only share the bits that would paint a pretty picture. And that’s where I’m not alone. But life isn’t very pretty all the time. But it is a journey. And for me it’s been a journey of finding my self respect. Of earning my self respect. Respect is everything to me. I respect you, and that’s why I am happy to share. To be honest. About everything. I know it bothers some of you and I know some of you just aren’t interested. And that’s all good. If only one of you gets some comfort, some courage in my daily (or not ) sharing about my issues, issues we are all confronted with, and some that I pray none of you will be, then I am happy. And I’m especially happy when that one is me.
A friend of mine who has only just started the journey we have been on for the past three years and eight months (I’ve finally stopped counting the days, hours, minutes and seconds) is struggling. She knows why it is right to be here away from family, friends and the familiar. So many of the same fucked up reasons we all share. I tried to reassure her that it does get better, that change is essential for growth, that her girls will love her for the resilience she is instilling in them without even realising it, that people who matter will always be there, and those that don’t will disappear, which will make it even easier to be here. And not there. But to be honest, the only thing that makes it get better, is the only thing she doesn’t have yet. Time. Time brings new shared experiences. Time enables you to find the friends who get you. Time makes you realise you don’t have to be polite anymore to be accepted. Those that matter will get you, even if like me, you have a potty mouth (the best birthday card ever, Susie, reminded me of the card the advertising agency I worked for did for me when I was going on maternity leave to have Katie … the headline was “Fuck, my mother’s in advertising!” Yip, I’ve always had a potty mouth). Time makes you realise things might not be the same here as at home, but often they can be better. You can be better. So, my friend, hang in, keep your heart open, but your eyes too, take one step at a time, don’t look back and you too will find friends that get you, here. The new you, ready for the adventure of the unknown.