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Just recently my darling daughter and her husband announced that they were expecting their first child, and this news was received with much joy! This will be our first grandchild and due in March 2018. But becoming a mother for the first time is a huge endeavour and brought back many memories of my own journey, as a young and inexperienced mother. My thoughts also drifted back to my own mother and how she must have felt during her time, bringing up 3 small children under very difficult circumstances. Over the years, I have come to understand and appreciate, that as mothers – we try to do our best, sometimes we fail, sometimes we succeed, but most of all – we hope for the very best for our children.
— New Arrival —
Surprise – “We are pregnant!” Shock and then, joy — grandparents-to-be at last! Sudden thought – it’s scary; being a new mother comes saddled with trepidation. It’s a life altering event – where’s the instruction sheet? First there is: dreaded morning sickness ballooning of self to proportions unimaginable and sleepless nights of turning, wheeling, arching, stretching, curling with no comfort in sight Then there is the never-ending: When is the baby due? Is it a boy or a girl? Don’t eat green pickles, Rest more, walk some. You’re putting on too much weight. What names have you chosen? Where are you having this baby? What did the doctor say? How did the ultrasound go? Are you going back to work after the baby is born? How much is this all going to cost? Do you have the money? What does the baby need? What can I do? You’re huge! Haven’t you had that baby yet! and never-ending advice from well-meaning by-standers Mind-boggled parents-to-be stand poised, pensively waiting like race-horses at the starting gates of a Melbourne Cup. Then there is: Baby’s abrupt arrival The never-ending needs of the newly born creature devouring everyone’s mortal time. Then there is: the lumpy bumpy hollow womb Post-Natal depression New learned-on-the-go parenting skills Nights without sleep Demanding cries for mother’s milk Nappies full of pooey, gooey surprises Vegemite smeared high-chairs and banana splatter walls and floors Never ending piles of tiny clothes awaiting a wash Baby vomit appearing when least expected Abandoned toys, abandoned husband, abandoned self Then there is: falling in love with the little one its first smile, its first steps, first words your hearts melting huge hugs with every achievement a baby adored with as much love and care as can be mustered Then there is: much joy and happiness worries concerning childhood, teenager-hood years of lifetime altering events Surprise! – there is no instruction sheet! – Ο – List Poem © Karen Robinson, August 2017 ∗Please click here to read the back-story about this List Poem
There is nothing easy about being a parent, especially for the first time round. Each child brings joy, hope and constant challenges. It requires strength, endurance, love, kindness, patience and flexibility. It also requires us to forgive ourselves as mothers, when we don’t get it right, and to congratulate ourselves, when we succeed as parents. I have always understand that for me, success looked like this: being able to put a roof over my head, cloths on my back, food in my belly, and hopefully be a person who could love, and be loved in return! I decided a long time ago, that if my children could success in being able to do these things for themselves, then perhaps my overall role in their lives as their mother – represented some form of success as a parent…
NB: A special thank you to Judy Bird who continues to provide me with ongoing support with my creative writing efforts.
© Karen Robinson – September 2017
Whilst you are here – please check out my home page! Post-traumatic Growth – My Art Therapy Journey – A window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy, photography and storytelling…by Karen Robinson