Motherhood

I’m No Instant-Mom

17 July 2014 1

“Growing up” is such a phenomenal experience: it’s slow but we’re aware of it, yet it still sneaks up on us.

I, of course, have been ‘growing up’ for the last 27 years, every decade being WAY different to the last. However, today really made me realise how different I am, compared to how I assumed I would be (before I knew better). I couldn’t grasp or understand how quickly your life can change, until this last year.

Those who are close to me know I am really not a neurotic mother (or as my friend calls it “Helicopter Mom”). I naturally learn to relax about most things, be loving but firm, and make good decisions for my Liya. I choose my battles – for example, I would really prefer Liya not have sweets. She’s just too little, and I am responsible for taking care of her and her health, until she can do so herself. I need to make good calls when I can. That said, it’s almost impossible if we want to attend birthday parties, let ouma spoil her or let US spoil her. I just love giving her a treat on occasion, like marshmallows, lollies or sharing a bit of what I’m having. This sounds so mundane, but it is so hard finding a nice balance that doesn’t push our boundaries too much while trying to not step on others’ toes.

Anyway, we loved the nursery school we put Liya into first. She would have been there a whole year in August, but the last couple of months it just hasn’t been good enough for my daughter. They were too relaxed, couldn’t say no to her and worst of all, the principal blatantly ignored my requests to do basic things: watch her more (should I really have to ask this of people watching my 1 year old?), don’t let her put sand in her hair, don’t let her have sweets…

They never asked my permission to give her sweets, but all the other kids get, so how can they? Uhm, how about no sweets at school like most nursery schools??

Anyway, the whole point of my rant today is: I suddenly feel like a real mom. Of course it wasn’t sudden; it’s been building over the last year. But today it really hit me, as I stormed out of Liya’s creche, clutching her and forcing back tears because I was so upset. I wanted with all my heart to protect her and give her the best. It felt like I needed to be angry about this, after I spoke to a principal who was giving me attitude about asking for simple requests for my child. As if it’s not my prerogative. As if I was being completely irrational. I specially spoke to other mom’s the day before to see if I was being absolute ridiculous asking our creche not to give my child a sucker that she could choke on. Most mom’s were horrified she had sweets at all. Some don’t even give their kids juice.

Do you think I overreacted?

There is a very good ending to my story today. It forced Bryan and I to go ‘creche’ shopping, which I had wanted to do for weeks, and God lead us right to the place we needed to be.

I just really wanted to share today how ‘mommy’ I suddenly feel, and how it’s not “instant” like I assumed it would be. I think a lot of mom’s feel the same – we assume natural instincts and motherly… things will just magically kick in. But that’s not the reality. It’s just another experience we have to grow in.

I want to protect and fight for Liya, no matter what. We will have many battles, but at least I know I want the best for her, even now when she doesn’t understand and won’t even remember. Even now.

There is 1 comment

  • Kylie Botma says:

    Well done to you! I am shocked that the school allows sweets. And the principal should never have given you attitude. It’s a problem that I see in a lot of schools these days – Teaching is no longer a PASSION. It’s become an “easy way to make money” and it’s just a job to some. They don’t care about the needs of the child or even the concerns of the parents. As long as they get their salaries at the end of the month, what difference does it make to them?

    I think you had every right to be angry and have reacted in the way that you did. I think you handled it very well. It is a hard balance to find, between protecting your baby – your world – and punching someone in the face.
    You did not overreact at all!