Friday, 8 March 2013

Now I feel like a real Mom

Now I feel like a real Mom
7 March 2013

My motherhood journey started when I was still just thinking about starting a family.

And despite being a bona fide Mom from the second I fell pregnant, there have been quite a few moments, which have made me sit back and think, “Now I’m a real Mom”.

Normally these moments have all been firsts.  Perhaps something I’ve looked at from the outside before I had my own children.  Something I’ve thought of as being synonymous with being a parent and a mother specifically.

And what is rather peculiar, is the random array of things, that qualify in my “Now I’m a real Mom” list:

·         Walking down the kiddie aisle when I did grocery shopping and simply always loading a pack of nappies, or wet wipes, or bum powder, or baby food (sometimes all of the above) into the trolley.

·         Waiting with my groceries in the queue when I did my shopping and finding myself either pushing my trolley in an automatic forward-backward move as if I’m rocking a baby in a pram or alternatively, cradling a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk in my arms and rocking that too.

·         The first time I packed a kiddies school snack box was rather a big one for me.  However, the novelty would soon fade.  All of my kids did two years at a charming little playschool called Chatterbox.  Followed by two years at a fabulous pre-school called Happy Days.  Now if you add each child’s playschool, pre-school and big school years, it means that I’ve been packing school lunch boxes now for 29 years!  Yes, yes, I know.  It is hardly possible, I’m only 40.  And I most certainly didn’t have Luke when I was just 11.  But if you add each child’s schooling years together, it certainly gives you 29 looong years.  But chin up – only another 22 years to go, until I finish up with packing lunch boxes for Cole….. Sigh!

·         From the second I gave birth, I found myself being in possession of a paediatrician!  Yeah baby!  Real moms all have paediatrician’s.  It’s like a rule or a law or something.

·         The first time I paid school fees.  And you can bet that that particular novelty faded even faster than the lunchbox one.

·         I have on occasion found myself whinging about how fast my children’s feet are growing and how often I have to buy new shoes for them.  Real mom’s always complain about how fast their kids grow.  The same also applies to having to buy them clothes too, because they’re continually sprouting, and their clothes seem to shrink.  The shrinking thing mostly happens in the change of seasons.  When they put a pair of jeans on for the first time after summer, and all of a sudden it’s half way up their calf.

·         Having to remove bubblegum or prestik from a child’s hair.  They all do it.  BTW – peanut butter works best.

·         Having to remove a thorn – I hate this job, because my tummy turns to jelly.

·         Cutting toast soldiers – aaahhh – they’re the best.

·         Making pancakes for the kiddo’s on rainy days.  Real moms make the best pancakes in the world.

·         The first time one of my kids had chickenpox.  I felt like such a real mom.  A – I had to go to the paediatrician.  B – my kid could not go to school.  C – we had a communicable disease.  Bam!!!  Triple whammy!

·         Getting notices from school about cake sales and civvie days.  And given my “29” years of schooling with my kids, I have received enough of these, to make up a rather sizeable portion of landfill.  Sorry Mother Earth.

·         Doing school homework with my kids.  Real moms get to do school homework with their kids.

·         Signing my children’s homework books and tests.  Only real moms can get to do this.  Real moms that have done hard labour.  Not the type of childbirth labour – more teaching your child to read, write and helping them with sums labour.

·         The first time I got called into the principal’s office for a transgression by one of my kids.  Real moms certainly do suffer at times.  It was not my best experience, but one that I can now tick off my list.  Hopefully, it will not be repeated.

·         Living through the excitement of one of my kids playing a sports match, gala, recital, concert, etc.  Man, I completely lose all self-control, despite my best intentions beforehand and pleas from my kids to control myself.  Something just seems to take a hold of me and I become a whole one-woman ra-ra team.  The only thing missing is pom-poms.

·         Kitting my kids out with their sports gear – rackets, bats, balls, pads, goggles, ballet shoes, etc.  Real moms do lots of kitting out of kids.

·         Being able to say that my kid had an extra-mural.  Now I wish they would all stop with them.

·         Sending one of my kids off on a school camp.  Standing next to the bus as they’re leaving and having my heart lurch.

·         The first time I dropped them off at a birthday party, I was not staying at.  Letting them fly solo.

·         A first school dance – Luke’s Gr 6 Sokkie.  He just looked sooo gorgeous.  He even wore a tie for the occasion.

·         A school concert.  Simply nothing on earth beats seeing your kid perform as a littlie.  The way they’re so excited and practice before the time.  And then that moment when they step on to the stage, look at you, break out into the biggest grin and wave.  Heart melting.

·         Having kids doing an extra-lessons.  This is true.  The children of real moms all do extra-lessons.  And the moms drive around and wait.

·         Living through the experience of one of my kids learning an instrument.  It is so sweet, especially their enthusiasm in the beginning.  But in the same breath, it requires lots of patience and perseverance too.  From the moms, not so much the kids.  I’ve lived through piano lessons and guitar lessons so far.  And it seems as if drumming is on the horizon.  All I can say is thank you Lord, that none of them have expressed a desire for the recorder or the violin.  I’m brave.  But I’m not that brave.

·         Watching one my kids do an Eisteddfod performance.  I have watched the reciting of poems, choirs, the piano and signing.  On a horror scale out of ten, the singing rated about 137.  My shattered nerves.  And I really think that real moms should put more effort into discouraging their kids from doing these.  They age us.

·         Having a friend sleepover.  This is just so sweet.  But here’s the thing.  A sleepover is actually a misnomer – they don’t sleep.  Irrespective of it being boys or girls, they giggle.  They get over excited.  And they don’t sleep.

·         Having one of my children sleep over at a friend.  The first time each of my children slept over, I sobbed.  I was happy for them, but I missed them terribly.  And now?  Well, now, not so much.  Anyone willing to have my teenager this weekend?  Or perhaps my little diva?  And don’t forget the poster child for ADD – he’s fun, fun, fun!

·         The inevitable visit to an orthodontist for braces.  Real moms are really into braces.  All of their kids have them.

·         Preparing and teaching my kids an oral, with the accompanying awesome poster too.  Yay!  NOT!

·         Helping one of my kids with a project – man they’ve evolved since the days when I was still at school.

·         Surviving a kid with Gastro.  Rather predictably this usually only happens in the dead of night.  And the first warning simply always comes too late.  Necessitating a change of bedding, clothing and the need for a bath or a shower.  Normally not just by the kid either.  Real moms are really good at dealing with this.  Real dads?  Not so much.  But us real moms we tend to cope.  Why?  Because we have to.  The buck stops with us.

·         The children of real moms get lots of certificates.  More than you can ever imagine.  In my day, the powers that be were very selective in awarding them.  But now?  They’re not at all.  They give them for absolutely everything.  Even just for pitching up and being at the right place at the right time.  Imagine that!

·         Prize-givings – you simply are not a parent until you’ve lived through one of these.  And even if your kids have no real exceptional talent, fear not, they’ll at least get a certificate.  Please read the aforementioned point above.  Prize-givings are also way more prolific than in the past.

·         Watching a playschool nativity play.  Real moms have little boys who are shepherds, wise men or inn keepers.  Occasionally they’re even the cow or the donkey.  And their little girls always get to be adorable little angels.  Complete with tinsel halo.  It’s a rule, you see.  “Though shalt have daughter, wearing white and bedecked in tinsel.”

·         Even now I can quote the words to all the best nursery rhymes and I know the kiddie songs too.  Real moms are able to sing “The wheels on the bus” and “Twinkle, twinkle little star” seventy three times in a row on a long car journey, without having a break.

·         I have felt like a real mom when I’ve blown bubbles with my kids, played hopscotch in the garden, a spot of cricket and jumped on the trampoline.  Real moms also really dig colouring in.  And they’re pretty awesome at not going out of the lines.

·         I loved doing real mom things like reading to my kids in bed at night. 

·         And oddly I also felt like a real mom when they came to me when they got hurt, or called out for me in the middle of a night if they had a nightmare too.  Being needed and someone’s favourite person in the whole wide world is really kinda awesome.  And a huge ego boost.

·         I have felt like a real mom playing toy soldiers, superheroes and cars with my boys.

·         I have also felt like a real mom having tea parties, playing ponies, Barbies and subjecting myself to dress-ups and make-overs with Amber too.

·         The first time my kids did a little self-produced show for me, I truly felt like a real mom.  I have been witness to home performances of dancing, karate, balancing, hula-hooping, excellent trampoline skills, singing, the piano, the guitar, random acting and silly little skits too.  They get so involved in it all.  Rehearsing and planning their act for hours before, even issuing tickets for the event.  They are my best and actually make my heart physically ache.  Time is so fleeting and this all ends too soon.

·         I felt like a real mom when my boys declared undying love for me and asked me to marry them when they were little.

·         I felt like a real mom every single time I was brave enough to let Amber to give me a make-up make over.  Scary stuff!  And as for those moments, when she played hairdresser with my hair.  Pain like you have never experience in your life!

·         Real moms know all the Barney characters and the Barney songs too.  And as for those infernal Teletubbies!  They were the flavour of the day when my babies were all small.

·         I felt like a proper real mom when I was running next to one of my kids encouraging them whilst clinging on to their bicycle, trying to teach them to ride.

·         I felt like a real mom when I had to sneak around my kids bedroom at night, pretending I’m the tooth mouse, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny and Father Christmas too.

·         Few things make you feel more like a real mom than having a fake telephone conversation with your baby and toddler, using a plastic toy cell phone. 

        Real moms feed their babies and pretend that the spoon or fork is either an airoplane or a train, making noises the whole time
·         If you’ve ever amused either yourself or your kids by making bubble bath beards in the bath, you know how true this one is.

·         Real moms spend lots of time growing beans for all of their kids in glass baby food jars, for various science experiments over the years.

·         I felt like a real mom the first time I lifted a whole bunch of kids to a school outing and a sports match.

·         The first time I was the hostess at one of my kids birthday parties I felt very much like a grown-up, never mind a mom.

·         The first time I attempted to bake a birthday cake, I also felt ever so mommy-ish.

In fact, my life has been filled with thousands of these.  And my list could go on.

Perhaps what I should do, is loosely base the “Now I feel like a real Mom” thing on the Cubs/Brownie/Scouts system.  Hey, I could start my own organisation.  If Lord Robert Baden-Powell, could do it, then I’m sure I can do it too.  You know what I’m talking about.  Where you get badges for achievements and you pin them to your shirt.  Though perhaps, given the vast amount of things real moms seem to do, perhaps we’d need more than one shirt?  Or even better yet, a blankie filled with badges.  One that you would always have in your car.  So that when you’re sitting outside hockey practice at 19h00 in the evening, you’d at least be able to wrap it around yourself to keep you nice and warm.  Or when you’re sitting next to the swimming pool for a gala, you could spread it out like picnic blanket too.

Though, actually if I was really honest, I would have to admit, that the very first time I felt like a real mom, was the first time I saw my babies and held them close.  When they snuggled right back into me, all sweet smelling and pure.

And the truth of the matter, is that I’ve never been the same since that moment.  And nor will I ever be.  For the rest of my life, I will be filled with moments where I think to myself “Now I’m a real Mom”.  And how joyful is that?  To be filled with great wonder time and again.

For such is the love that a mom has for her kids.  And how truly blessed and fortunate I am to share in it daily. 

Like a perfect gift, that just continues giving.
My handsome boy, Luke
My magnificently beautiful little Amber-Berry
Cole - the charmer


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. no problem with the long as they are iron-one

  3. Lovely Helene! And the Momness never stops, with you watching over the kids experiencing first loves, learning to drive, matric dances,matric exams, being students,staying out late,finding jobs, moving out, getting engaged and married! And it will NEVER stop! Ask Ouma Leen! Her baby is 47! What a priviledge to be a Mom!