Whenever people see me and my children they are filled with compliments and accolades that in truth, I often feel undeserving of. They witness child #3 preaching in church, or taking a lead role in the Christmas nativity production. They hear that he is in the top set at school and on the high achievers accelerated learning programme.
They see child #2 as a polite and incredible individual, she’s autistic and has learning difficulties yet she has an amazing way with babies and small children. Her disability is often hidden and unnoticed as she oozes with confidence when she is in a comfortable environment.
Child #1 is seen as the diva; beautiful and extremely funny, confident and intelligent. Then there’s child #4 LOUD, vibrant, confident, recognised as gifted and talented in drama at school and attended the Sylvia Young Theatre school once a week after successfully getting through Lion King auditions, acted in a couple of films and loves to perform, she sings from the moment she wakes up until the moment she goes to bed and I mean literally! She wakes up the household with her good morning song and often falls asleep singing to herself. Last but not least is child #5, the miracle that wasn’t supposed to be; but is. His angelic little face and beautiful personality are just heartwarming. Born mid-October 2016 (that’s a whole other story) he is just a dream.
But what people don’t see is the reality behind the faces. The trials, struggles and daily battles I have. When we step outside the home and present as a family we are in my opinion a beautiful picture to behold. But the reality is we STRUGGLE. I find it so difficult to be the mum that I want to be. I want to be like those perfect TV mums, you know Mrs. Huxtable from The Cosby Show or women like Miss Honey in Matilda but I’m not. Sometimes I just don’t even want to be a mum and I make it apparent by having one of my ‘mums on strike days’ and I do nothing for them. I really do mean nothing. I don’t cook, clean or even bother to tell them to get into the bath. I just curl up in bed and pretend that they don’t exist. That’s the reality.
I even go through phases where I dislike a particular child (hasn’t happened with Bubba though!) days where I just can’t stand them and wish they could just be fostered until I start to like them again. Some days I simply loose it and scream and shout at the top of my voice because they refuse to listen and make me sound like a broken record reiterating the same things over and over again. As a Christian woman, I know there are expectations of me to behave and conduct myself in a Christlike way, setting a prime example of principles and behaviours that will lead my children to the pearly gates. But I’m a sinner, a woman who is emotional and gets tired. A woman who needs to feel valued and appreciated for my effort and when I don’t, it’s hard for me.
Fortunately, it isn’t all doom and gloom and I do have incredibly joyous, fun-filled and beautiful moments with my precious little ones. They can often fill me with a great sense of pride and happiness that is immeasurable. They say and do the funniest things and then there are moments when they call me ‘mum’ and I think, hey, that’s me, your talking to me, I’m your mum. I’m a mum! Even after 23 years of hearing it, it still gets to me and the reality hits me like a ton of bricks, I’M YOUR MUM.