When I saw that Natalie from Surviving Life’s Hurdles tagged me in a post about ‘Rocking Motherhood’, I felt both flattered and a bit nervous. If you ask my husband, one of the biggest things that I worry about is being a good mum to our kids (aged 9 and 7) despite me having MS. I stress that I am not able to give them the same opportunities as other children and that the limitations that MS poses on me will also impact on their quality of life. But reading Natalie’s Rocking Motherhood post made me realise that I am doing (lots of ) things right – maybe not perfectly (show me any Mother who is!) – but right. So, thank you to Natalie for tagging me in this post. I really recommend that you check out Natalie’s blog – she writes positively about living with a chronic illness, sharing some fantastic crafty tutorials along the way.
The #RockingMotherhood tag was created by Pat from White Camellias as a way of celebrating the small but great things that we mothers do every day. So, without further ado, here is my list of ten things that mean that I am #RockingMotherhood:
I will always be a Mother first and an MSer second.
My kids are my life – as it is for most Mums out there, I’m sure. Ok I may have multiple sclerosis, but that doesn’t make me who I am – my kids do. They have made me learn more things about myself than MS ever will – that I can be patient, adaptable and that my love is limitless. Their needs trump mine and I am 100% ok with that.
I tell my children that I love them every day.
My son would probably argue that I do it too much (typical 9-year-old boy!) But underneath it all I know that he feels safe and secure and that I will always be there for both him and his sister.
I do what I can, when I can.
Ok so I can’t run around easily anymore, but I can take them out using my scooter so that we can still do activities such as going to the park or a ‘walk’ down the sea front. I think of activities that I can easily do with them whilst we’re sitting down (board games, crafts) so that even on a ‘bad’ day, we can still play and have quality time together.
I try to feed them well.
Regular readers will know that I stick to a mainly plant-based diet to try and help my MS. The upshot of this is that my children are now eating a wider variety of vegetables and pulses – not always completely willingly, I hasten to add – but enough that I feel happy that I am helping them be as healthy as they can be.
I am helping them become caring, compassionate an open minded.
My children don’t really know what is is like not to have a Mum who tires easily or who can’t go to some places due to a lack of disabled access. ‘That’s not very disabled-friendly’ is something they will say on a regular basis when we are out and about. My kids will go out of their way to help me – holding me steady when I am attempting some yoga poses or moving bins out of my path when I am on my scooter. As much as I hate having MS, I can’t deny that it has made the children more aware of other people and the difficulties they may face.
I am also trying very hard to bring my children up to be open-minded and non judgemental. I want them to know that the world is made up of all kinds of different people and that we do not judge people on the colour of their skin, their sexual orientation or any disability.
I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself.
Singing out loud, attempting to dance… sometimes it makes my children cringe but most of the time it makes them giggle – I just have to make sure that I am not doing it in front of their friends!
I am honest.
We have recently had a few questions about the birds and the bees and I am a big believer that if a child is old enough to ask, they are old enough for an (age appropriate) answer. I have always said to the kids that if they have any questions, they can always come to me and that I would answer them as honestly as I could.
I’m not perfect… but who is?
I like to think that I am a good role model to my kids – but I know that I do have days and times when the stress of being ill, or the kids acting up, gets to me and I may become the shouty Mum that I never wanted to be. However, I learn from my mistakes and am not afraid to admit when I am wrong. I think that it is important for kids to know that no one is perfect and I do this by apologising or saying sorry when I need to.
I am body confident.
I might not have a perfectly working body, but I have nowhere near the same body hang-ups that I had when I was a teenager and young adult. I am very aware that children are becoming more and more body conscious (both girls and boys) so I don’t criticise my own or other people’s bodies. Instead, I place emphasis on being strong and healthy. See this post, where I reflect on body image and chronic illness.
I appreciate and reflect on what I have every day.
Things in my life might change, for example my MS symptoms or my ability to work, but one thing that does not change is my family. I love them all so much. I am so conscious of time going by and the kids growing up that I try and be very mindful of every moment that I have with them. I love all the ‘little things’ that make me a parent – baking with them, reading to them at night, even being shouted for in the middle of the night – all because I know those little things won’t last forever. I can hardly remember what life was like before I had kids and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So that is my list! At times it was tricky to try and think of something but I think it is typical for most Mums to down play just how well we are doing – we beat ourselves up all the time but I bet our children wouldn’t want any other Mum.
I know LOTS of great Mums and would like to nominate the following bloggers to share their own top ten:
Hayley from Mission Mindfulness
Jamie from Multiple ExperienceS
Kat from Frau Naish
Shannon from MSnubutterflies
- Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
- List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10. I really don’t mind.)
- Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
- Grab the #RockingMotherhood badge and add it to your post or sidebar
Thank you again to Natalie for the opportunity to take part in the #RockingMotherhood tag. I would love to hear from any other Mums, with and without chronic illness on how they rock motherhood. For any readers who don’t have kids yet but plan to – how do you think you will rock motherhood when the time comes?