The truth is motherhood just doesn't come easily to me....and part of the reason is that I am not entirely sure anymore what constitutes a good mother. A Good Mother is something that many of us aspire to be. But what does it mean?
I suppose the traditional representation is one of a woman baking something fabulous, wearing an apron and a gingham dress, with long, blonde curly hair and a self satisfied grin as she watches her offspring sat at the kitchen table working on their homework and gasping in awe as she answers questions on history, mathematics and english literature.
My equivalent offering consists of me in jeans, t-shirt and alice band, opening a can of alphabetti to go with the fish fingers and oven chips while my child shouts at me from the living room, sat two feet away from the screen watching Ben10 and ignoring my reminder that he hasn't done his homework.
I think this illustrates my self perceived short comings quite eloquently and I can add to the weight of evidence against my motherly prowess with the following additional facts:
- I have left it until the last possible day before child returns to school to get the obligatory school bag, lunchbox and drink bottle. Result being less than cool "Stig" lunch set and (bullies beware) a Tesco Value rucksack.
- My idea of a nutritious lunch for child today was a plate of takeaway chips, a slice of white (God forgive me - not even 50/50) bread and a big old pile of ketchup to wash it down.
- Child is now in position in front of TV while I am typing this, in a different room having spent all morning at work while he was at a holiday play scheme
Fact is......my biggest strength in motherhood is my ability to cuddle. I have the necessary badge of honour to make this as pleasant as possible for said child. Why only this morning child delightedly informed me that my tummy had progressed from cuddly to "super-squishy" rendering all cuddles "squashy" and "nice".
Skipping over the hugely obvious issues of rock bottom self esteem that my "super-squishy" status brings, I am very keen to cuddle my child. Cuddling is how I make contact. It is how I assert my position as queen of his world. What I lack in culinary ability/interest or organisational skills, I try hard to address and compensate with cuddles at every opportunity.
But even this now presents a problem....the child gets older. The child is still quite accomodating but on the whole, cuddle levels are on the decline and we have sadly now moved well beyond the stage of holding hands straight out of school. I now have to wait until we are out of sight of the school gate before my hand gets grabbed, and a furtive glance has to be undertaken beforehand in case any rogue peers are lurking behind a lamp post.
In short, my affection based aproach is reaching its expiry date and I am flailing around searching for another way to connect with my baby. Answers on a postcard please!
I will have to save my thoughts on the perils and pitfalls of the working mother for another time. Off for a cuddle now.....advert break!