Sunday, 18 March 2012

How Was it For You?



The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new” (Acharya Rajneesh)

In the past, when I was merely a woman, Sunday mornings went something like this: hot coffee, hot toast, a Mozart CD and the newspapers. A tranquil stroll along the river to church and an hour of peace in a pew. A tranquil stroll back and five hours of peace on the sofa.

Now I have been graced with motherhood and one day a year is dedicated to celebrating my transformation. Today is that day. And my morning went like this:

1.   Unblocked the kitchen drain that had flooded the patio with purple ‘porridge’

2.   Laundered the school uniforms

3.   Served breakfast

4.   Washed up breakfast

5.   Mounted the kitchen worktop to scrape the scurf of the tops of the units.

6.    Hung out the school uniforms

7.   Washed the kitchen floor

8.   Helped ten infants conjure flowers out of coloured cardboard in Sunday school

9.   Supervised homework

10.  Cooked lunch

11.  Helped to construct an Easter bonnet

12.  Arbitrated three quarrels

13.  Replenished Marmite, bread and loo roll at the mini mart. In the rain.

14.  Read five chapters of The Twins at St Clares

BUT -  I was roused before 7am by toast and tea tilting suspensefully on a tray over my pillow. I was presented with six paper tulips, two modelling-clay roses, a crooked trinket pot, a cardboard picture frame and a tube of shower gel. I had a briefly harmonious child under each arm, before the day resumed like any other. 

Except that it wasn’t quite like any other. Because, somehow, that dawn affirmation had transmuted the daily chores. The scrubbing, the scraping, the sluicing and the supervising didn’t seem so much like chores today; they seemed like tributes to my children – celebrations of my good fortune. 

So I told myself. 

Sofa indolence and all-day pampering would not have fulfilled me so much as extracting the snail, the sludge and the throng of dead slugs that were blocking the drain. 

So I told myself. 

For the gratitude, in clay and cardboard, for being a good mother made me want conspicuously to deserve it. And so I scrubbed cupboards that didn’t really need to be scrubbed. And cooked a meal when I usually fling fishfingers. I even lined up the jaded school shoes and polished them. To prove myself to myself, as well as to the children.

By this afternoon, though, my radiance was fading. The drizzly trudge to Co-op felt like any other shopping trip. When the fourth quarrel erupted I cussed and scarpered. Motherhood had lost its fleetingly regained novelty.
 

‘Mummy!’ drawled my seven-year-old who was browsing Amazon on my laptop. ‘Yes!,’ I   snapped suspiciously. He was perusing Nintendo games and I could guess what was coming. But – ‘I’m so glad,’ he said, leaping on me and my washing basket, ‘that you’re my mummy!’ 
And suddenly, as I hauled another load downstairs, sifting soiled underwear seemed a privilege.

So, how was it for you?

 


7 comments:

  1. Didn't sleep a wink last night, started laundry at 8am, DH arrived home from work & made me coffee, drank coffee & tweeted, took dog for a walk, hung laundry on line, started another load, went to store for DH, hung more laundry, tweeted,nagged 17yr old to do his chores, folded laundry, hung more, nagged 17yr old, tweeted, ate leftover pizza while tweeting, more laundry.

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  2. That was truly written from the heart and had me shedding a tear or two. There really is nothing like being a mother. It is the best job in the world.

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  3. Lovely post!! Actually it wasn't for me, here in France our day's not 'til May, and most years I'm away on a school trip with work so don't actually see my own kids!

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  4. Wonderful. Though, those serene Sunday's were good, weren't they?

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  5. Great post. Mothers day was just another normal day in our home with me doing the usual stuff

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  6. I had a wonderful mother's day. Of course, I did go home to my mother for the weekend, so I'm pretty certain that the only reason I had a bit of a break is because someone else was mothering me!

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