Tuesday, 27 March 2012


I’ve been tagged by the lovely Polly at Caught Writing to answer eight questions in a meme on motherhood.  So, here we go, eight questions and eight answers:

Describe motherhood in three words

My greatest achievement

Does your experience differ from your mother’s? How?
Yes and no.  My mum was a SAHM until I was eleven. She had three children to look after though, whereas I only have one.  My parents lived in a small village and my mum did not have a car; her experience of motherhood was rather isolated. I think she was lonely. She put everything into mothering us and loving us, and filled her days doing lots of crafty stuff and making fabulous homemade meals.  She still lives in that village and I know that there is no way I could live there with my child without going stir crazy.  For me, living in a busy place, with lots of parks and things for Pip to do makes life as a SAHM easier.  My own experience of motherhood has made me reflect a lot on what a superb job my own mother did. As a child, you just take it all for granted, now I’m a mother myself, it’s quite humbling just thinking about what she did for us.

What’s the hardest thing about being a Mum?
Making him do things, even though he doesn’t want to, because I know it’s for his own good.  Swimming, for example.  For the first few months of swimming, Pip cried and cried, and even when he stopped the crying, he still wasn’t a fan.   It was so hard taking him each week knowing he didn’t like it. But I did it, because one day, being able to swim might save his life.  With the help of a wonderful swimming teacher we broke through the pain barrier, but at times along the way I did question whether it was worth it. 

The constant stream of staying guests and sharing the best bits.  I have a good relationship with my family, my husband has a good relationship with his.  We’ve all always ‘got on’.   We both left home at 18 to go to university and we both never went back. Both of our parents live a good distance from London. Pre Pip, although we spoke weekly on the telephone we only saw them every 6-8 weeks.  Post Pip, we now have one set or the other staying for 3 nights every 2-3 weeks.  I do understand; he’s the only grandchild on both sides.  They want to see him, it’s hard when they live so far away, but it’s been a big adjustment for me.  I have seen my parents (and my husband’s) more in the last 3 years more than I did in the previous 18. When Birthdays, Easter, Halloween, Christmas arise, everyone wants to be present, to contribute, everyone has a vision of how it should be.  This means that sometimes, my plans or the way I wanted things to be, get put by the wayside.  It’s just the odd little thing and there is no point being petty about it, especially as it’s all because everyone loves Pip so much, but sometimes I do find it hard.  Having him has bought us all closer together, but just occasionally, it does feel a little overwhelming.

What’s the best thing?
Pip has bought unimaginable joy to my life.  We have a strong bond, he is definitely a ‘Mummy’s boy’.  I feel that I really do understand the meaning of unconditional love now I have him.  Watching him grow and develop into a person is just wonderful. Really, there isn’t one best thing. There are a million or more best things. That’s one of the joys of motherhood. 

How has it changed you?
I don’t really know if motherhood has changed me that much.  I still feel the same person inside.   I have become very planful and organised when it comes to admin with regard to schools/courses/activities for Pip, but that’s partly symptomatic of where we live.  There are lots of organised Tiger mum’s in these parts and I learnt the hard way in the early days, when I was told I had to join a waiting list to go on the waiting list for swimming lessons!

What do you hope for your children?
A month before Pip was born I wrote him a letter, telling him about our pre-baby life, how we were getting ready for him, how much his ‘porsche’ of pram had cost (will be interesting for him to look back on if he ever has children of his own.)  I also wrote about my hopes for him, so yesterday I looked the letter out, to reflect back on what I’d written, to see if my hopes had changed since he arrived. 

They haven’t really. 

I hope he is kind and gentle.  I hope he has the confidence to follow his dreams and the willpower and determination to see them through. I hope he is comfortable with who he is.   I hope he is blessed with good health. I hope he doesn’t squander the educational opportunities he is offered, but makes the most of them. I hope he always has friends and family at his table to eat his meals with. I hope he finds true, everlasting love, and someone that loves him back, in the same way.  I hope he has enough money in life to mean that he is never a poor man, but not so much, that he ever forgets it’s value.  I hope he has a long, happy, contented and fulfilled life.

What do you fear for them?
I think it’s inevitable as a mother to have fears for your child, but I try very hard to think positively about everything for fear of projecting negative thoughts onto Pip. My own mother was fearful of letting me do things, or go places for fear of things happening to me. I think it limited my confidence as a child.  I want Pip to be bold, confident and fearless.  (I hope these traits are coupled with an ounce or two of sensibility.)  I am sure he’ll have some challenges and knock backs along the way, and when he does I’ll be there to pick him up, dust him down and help him onwards. 

What makes it all worthwhile?
So many things; hearing him say, ‘You’re the best Mummy in the world’. (Yes, I do accept there are lots of other best mummies in the world.) Watching him sleep peacefully, stroking his gorgeous soft skin and marvelling at how perfect he is.   And knowing that when I leave this mortal world, I’ll have left my genetic imprint, and so, in some strange way, there really is a chance I might live forever.

I’m now tagging:

Rollercoaster Mum
The Rambling Pages

Postcards from Pramstead


  1. This meme is so nice. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's answers. I often find the constant stream of visitors staying with us a little hard. One of the downsides of living abroad ... they don't go home at the end of the day.

    1. I agree, I've enjoyed reading other people's answers too. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if the Grandparents lived around the corner. Would I prefer it more or less? I'm not sure if I'll ever get to find out...

  2. Echoing above, this is a really lovely meme. I wrote a letter to Little A before she was born too. I take my hat off to you for perservering with the swimming. Sometimes we have to do difficult things with our children. Your bond with Pip sounds wonderful. He's obviously a very lucky boy to have you as a mummy. Lovely post.

    1. Ah thanks. I love the fact you wrote a letter to Little A too. I found it quite a special experience actually - it was a special time in that last month before he arrived, and it really helped me focus on the past, present and the future. x

  3. Lovely post Claire and thanks so much for participating. I have the opposite problem with mine and my husbands family, they never, ever visit even though four live in the same county as us and one lives only just the other side of London. I find that just as difficult in its own way. Your post makes me want to go and cuddle the little man, right now! Polly x

    1. Hi Polly. Just goes to show, you can't win either way! I can understand how that would make you feel. I think I'd feel the same. Thanks for the tag. You were right, warm and fuzzy feelings are guaranteed. x

  4. I love that you wrote Little Pip a letter before he was born. If I could turn back time I would definately do that for my children. I am trying to do that, now with letters on their birthdays. A lovely blog post. When Little Pip reads this as Big Pip he will know the true meaning of A Mothers Love. x

    1. I love the idea of birthday letters. That's something I meant to do but didn't get round to. I guess it's not too late to start! x

  5. Aww this is a great post. I'm following all the links to this meme and reading the stories, it's bringing a tear to my eye. Such precious moments and I love the letter idea! x

  6. This is a lovely meme, and I can relate to all your answers. I'll definitely follow your lead, but I think I may struggle to find anything original to say! I think we all hope for the same things for our little ones, give or take.

  7. Just realised I haven't replied to this tag - sorry *hangs head in shame* been rather busy with birthdays, Easter hols and new job - I will get around to it eventually I promise! Love the idea you wrote him a letter - I wasn't nearly so organised!