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Outside your comfort zone

I don’t fail well. For all Lachlan’s resilience, he didn’t inherit it from his mamma. As a child if I wasn’t naturally good at something I instantly wanted to give up. And when I didn’t succeed, the internal reprimanding was intense. As a thirteen year old girl, whose friends were her world, I failed to make the school state netball team that would compete in Sydney, where ALL my friends would be playing, because they made the team. So in a way only a thirteen year old girl can, I had a my-world-will-soon-end meltdown, because I wasn’t good enough, because I was missing out, because I felt so much like a GIANT failure. Thirteen year old girls don’t have much perspective.

With time, I’ve learned my strengths and for the most part, I’ve learned to stick to them. And while this has been a great strategy in preventing thirteen-year-old-girl-meltdowns it also means that I’ve avoided stepping out of my comfort zone. For eighteen months of full-time mammahood I’ve been safely cocooned within the notion that if I give my very best to Lachie, as his mum, then that will be enough. But my feet have been itchy and my mind has been wandering, eager for stimulation, for a challenge. And yet when a challenge presented itself I hesitated. Unsure. Despite knowing that I was capable. Despite having the piece of paper to prove it. And the family support to back me up. Despite it all, I hesitated. Because I was afraid of failing. Terrified in fact.

Yet two weeks after taking the leap into the grey of part-time self-employment I couldn’t be happier that I did. It’s early days yet, I know, and there will be challenges and no doubt failures ahead, but I feel like the biggest hurdle has already been overcome. I stepped outside that comfort zone. And began.

What about you, are you good at pushing yourself beyond what you know, what your comfort zone?

Every now and then it hits me. The completely obvious and yet hard to comprehend idea that my little boy will someday be a grown man. And instantly a lump forms in my throat. And it’s hard to swallow, this realisation that with each new word he learns and every centimeter he grows, he is less and less my little boy and more and more his own person. It’s a part of parenting I wasn’t really prepared for.

When I imagine Lachie as a teenager, and then a grown man, a father, I see a life full of adventure and experience and love. A full life. It’s what I hope for him, more than anything. And yet I know all of these things mean I will have to let go, a bit more every time.

So for now, while I can, I cuddle him tightly and kiss him gingerly. And try my best to savour just how much he needs me, painfully aware it won’t last forever.

Am I bit crazy or do you think about these things too? Or is blissful denial a better strategy?

1. The biggest and cuddliest of bear hugs, when the Monster wraps his little arms around my neck like an over-sized, wriggly koala.

2. Hearing the words ‘mum, mummy, mum-ma’. After being called ‘dad’ for six months I can’t think of a sweeter sound than the Monsters voice ‘mum, mum, mum-ing’ around the house (ask me again next year and I may have changed my tune).

3. Getting to be a kid again. Making drip sandcastles, playing chase-y, blowing bubbles, popping bubbles, and being amazed at the most inconsequential of things.

4. Kissing the Monsters ridiculously soft, chubby cheeks.

5. Holding Lachie in the quiet of the night as he sleeps in my arms, a rare moment of peace savoured.

6. Witnessing this little person grow and learn, his experience of the world expanding at the most rapid of rates.

7. The laughter (even the laughter through tears).

8. The bad days. Because they make me appreciate the good ones.

9. Teaching the monster about the world and learning so many lessons in love and patience in return.

10. The heart-bursting love. Always.

Wishing all the mummas out there a beautiful mothers day, especially mine. I love you mum. xx

Tell me, what things do you love about being a mum?

(Image from here)

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