I think, for me, that my biggest flaw is indecisiveness. I’m sure if I asked others, their choice of my character trait to maybe criticise may differ but for me, it’s my inability to decide. It runs through my entirety. It’s been there since I was small. Which colour bucket and spade should I choose whilst my sister has her choice held firmly in her little hands. How does one have the ability to be so confident in their choices? I envy her. I envy them. And now, as the New Year approaches, the questions that run through my head, do I continue with the blog or do I finish my novel? Why can’t I do both? Why does it have to be a choice?
Oh, what a luxury to have such choices. I should relish in them. But, when it comes to motherhood it really isn’t such a luxury. What kind of parent am I? How should I raise my children? Cherish them but give them wings. Nurture them but let them have independence. Clear the path but let them make their own mistakes. You know how it goes, the constant questioning. That wretched mother guilt. The constant wondering what your viewpoint should be. Holding firm or letting go. Views you thought that would never waiver do. They spiral off into oblivion as Motherhood engulfs you. And now, only years into parenting, have I begun to grasp the meaning of these conflicting views. Happiness.
We crave to see our children happy. For happiness feels light. There’s no heaviness to the word. No underlying issues. No wrong. But whilst the desire for our children to be happy prevails, motherhood feels lost as they age. Motherhood, as I know it, is changing. My oldest leaves this week for three months to travel. Oh, how I want to be the mother who is carefree and chilled about this. One minute I am. But the indecisive voice is shouting loudly. Be more protective. Be more worried. Fret more. Be that mother. Don’t you care? The emotions are ridiculously mixed and today I don’t know how I’m meant to be. Indecisiveness has given up on me too. So, I’m left with a void. A void full of confused emotion. A void as a mother.
For eighteen years I have been the protector. Motherhood keeps their children close. It’s what she does, motherhood. Motherhood is defined by holding close. But I am having to learn to adapt to what physical closeness actually means. A letting go. A real provision of wings. But there appears to have been no warning, no understanding that this day would become reality. As if one minute my beautiful little girl laughing and ringlets bobbing is suddenly of an age where she can leave.
So, whilst part of me is saying go have the best time my lovely, the other part wants her to stay, for I’m not sure parenting is as straightforward as being able to let go. There’s a whole other host of emotions that for me, who procrastinates greatly and can’t make up her mind at the easiest of times, is finding disproportionately difficult to pop into words. It is not as easy as choosing to be the carefree mother or the not letting go mother. I need more choices before I can even begin to understand what my definition of motherhood at this point in time can be … just saying.