I recently read “All Our Mothers” by Joanna Glen on the recommendation of my dear friend Melissa (take a look at her incredible book recommendations here). This book resonated deep within me as could most probably be expected given that I have become one. It is written about all the ways different women mold and shape us and that there is more than one mother figure that comes into our orbit during our lives. It discusses the beauty, bravery, delicacy and vulnerability of these relationships and the way they live in our hearts forever.
I lost my mom very unexpectedly at the age of 11 as a horrible result of an attempted hijacking outside of her friend’s home. I still remember the last time I saw her. She looked absolutely radiant in a beautiful blue and turquoise summer dress. She was a 6ft tall, striking redhead with a vivacious personality so she turned heads everywhere she went. She dropped us off at school that morning, gave us huge hugs and said goodbye and that was the last I ever saw of my incredible mother. She was a very successful business woman, an accountant, a world-champion cyclist, fun-loving, a dancing queen, a gregarious social butterfly, a phenomenal tennis player, family-centric and, through and through, a mother. She would always come and listen to me practicing my piano pieces or ballet dances. While she worked so hard, she never missed my swimming galas or dance concerts. She taught me that you can be anything you set your mind to so long as you put in the hard work and that you’re kind to others. She loved and adored her children and that love kindled a warm flame in the centre of my heart that has stayed with me long after her heart stopped beating.
There is not a day of my life that I do not miss her but some have been more difficult than others. The day of my first wedding dress fitting was a tough one. If you’ve watched this video, you will have noticed. The absence of my mom as I have become a mother has been tough too. She was the mother of all mothers and it goes without saying that I would have loved to have shared this journey with her. I’ve shed many a tear this year wishing she was here with me, but I have faith that she is near and looking over Teddy and I, hopefully proud of the mother that I have become.
I always knew that I wanted to be a mother, but having become one, it’s difficult to put into words this unconditional, all-consuming, self-sacrificing love with the depth of the oceans and the vastness of the galaxies that I’ve experienced. The joy that Teddy has brought me is indescribable. Let me not glamorise motherhood, though. It’s hard work and requires so much sacrifice of your time, energy and body. It’s far easier to work a full-time job because the role of a mother is not limited to business days or hours. Months of broken sleep, wrist and back pain, cold tea, eating meals while standing at odd hours or the total absence of the time I once had to curl my hair, do my makeup and other vanities have humbled me. It is, however, a labour of love and adoration. On the busiest of days when I haven’t had a moment to myself, I look at my son and I feel the flame that my mother kindled in my heart burn brighter. That is the purest form of joy. He is every blessing I could ever have wished for. This journey of becoming a mother has been the most extraordinary experience of my life for which I couldn’t be more grateful.
It was an honour to have been blessed, even for a short while, with a mother that loved me so unconditionally and now having become a mother, I can only hope I will kindle that very same love in the heart of my son.
On reflecting on the role of mothers in our lives, I also have to take a moment to pause and consider the other women that have molded and shaped our lives. My grandmother was another woman that mothered me so tenderly. She was another guiding light and role model that I was lucky enough to have had. Today I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful mother-in-law. There are other wonderful women in my life that have also been mothers to me. Each has taught me their own way of loving and shared their unique personalities, life experiences and life lessons. Mothers come in all shapes and forms, which “All Our Mothers” portrays and it is beautiful to weave together the best of them all. That being said, I hope I can be every type of mother that my son needs and nurture him and this bond we share every day we have on this earth together.