May 2015 archive

Having & Wanting

Oprah quote

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time or energy to come to this space. I want to write, I need to write, but somehow it is always the last thing on the “to do” list with many, many other competing priorities.

I’ve recently started volunteering for The Smith Family in their iTrack youth mentoring program. Once a week for an hour I take part in a live web chat with “my” student. Eventually the goal is for me to provide her with some support and mentoring around possible future career and training choices but for now we’re just starting to get to know each other. She has already offered me some fantastic advice around hair care products and, as is the way with most 15 year old these days, she is helping to guide my choice in movies and music (I’m generally incredibly “un hip” in these areas!).

We’ve only “spoken” for 2 hours so far but I am already getting the sense of a strong, determined, happy, engaging and independent young woman on the other end of the internet. I’m in awe of her already.

Today she wanted me to answer some of those traditional “getting to know you” questions and one of the ones she threw at me was “Do you have a favourite inspirational quote?” (see what I mean by awe?? I don’t think I even knew about the existence of inspirational quotes when I was 15!!!).

The quote I gave her was this one:

Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do

It’s an Oprahism that I have come across in a few places lately and it’s really singing to me at the moment.

There are some things that I just have to do at the moment that aren’t exactly floating my boat. But they have to be done. They need to be done. For now.

That doesn’t mean that the things I really want to do won’t happen. There are things I am working on behind the scenes to make sure that when opportunity knocks and the time is right I will be ready to go.

It’s not forever and always. Things will change. They always do. And when that happens those things that I really want to do will be there – and I’ll be ready and waiting for them.

Do you have things that you really want to do but the “need to do” things get in the way??

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Her Own Person

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Once upon a time, when I had decided I did not want to become a mother and I would tell close friends and family about this decision I would get a whole range of responses back. I remember one friend saying to me “But what about when you are older, who will visit you and look after you?”

Now this wasn’t this worst comment I heard during this period (I’ll save some of the best ones for another post!) but it was probably the one that made me the most angry. Is this truly why people had children – to care for and simper over them in their old age?? To be by their side no matter what – to comfort, protect and entertain them? To live their lives for their parents??And yet I was the one being called selfish for deciding not to have a child – go figure!!

Don’t get me wrong – I truly hope that my Sweet Pea decides she does want to hang around with me for at least some of the time when I am old and fragile (even older and more fragile than I am now!) but that’s not why I gave birth to her.

I gave birth to my little girl knowing full well that she is mine to raise and nurture, to comfort and protect, to guide and assist – into being her own person. A person who has the right to make decisions for and about her life without worrying if those decisions align with what I would want – or need.

And that knowledge kills me.

That one day this little person, who I adore and love beyond belief, might want to fly away and experience a different world, a different life. Away from me.

But that’s being a mum.

This week Sweet Pea brought home a mothers day gift for me that she had made at day care. It’s a tiny little hand print of hers with a poem attached which reads:

Someday I will be big, and gone upon my way,

But here is my little handprint, to remind you of this day.

And that “someday” feels really close. I look at her now and see the little girl she is becoming, and I know that I will blink my eyes one day and see a young woman – deciding her own choices, thinking her own thoughts, making her own way.

And it will break my heart.

But it will also be the greatest day of my parenting life.

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