I love being mum but being just mum is not and will never be enough. Today I said this aloud to a friend for the first time. And it felt good.
Mum is my leading role right now but there are supporting cast members. The writer, the friend, the wife, the sister, daughter and granddaughter. All these fit into my one-woman show called life.
This Sunday I was all mum. Took the kids to a village festival, then a splash about in The Level fountains, the play park and cooked home made burgers for tea. And I loved it.
I loved it because all week, while they’ve been at school, I’ve been gleefully beavering away on work projects. And although they are work commitments to pay the bills, I’m developing my own original ideas and pushing my brain cells to twist and turn creatively at a higher pace than usual. It’s been a busy month and I’ve either been planted in front of my computer or away from home.
For my own sanity I’ve needed this long stint in an adult world. I needed to put myself in problem solving mode where I actually have a chance at finding solutions to problems, rather than guess the motivations of a four-year-old melting down because today I cut her toast into four pieces when she wanted two. I love silliness with the kids but craved wit and banter rather than ‘poo’ and ‘butt’ word rallies.
I’m physically and mentally tired after last week. The role of mum comes back easily with these two captivating girls who give me giggle therapy and unconditional snuggles. My mum-guilt subsides as i realise they are learning to live with desk mummy and swimming lesson mummy in equal measure. Because I need the fun and the silliness to reboot. I am accepting that some weeks will feel strained, trying to juggle my roles. And that simple acceptance ends the battle. Put one foot in front of the other and the rest will follow. A nugget of wisdom shared by another mum, handed down from her dad.
When I admitted to my friend today that being mum is not enough I was relieved. Thinking it felt far worse than saying it. I know what I mean after all. It’s not a rejection of my family simply admitting that they need to recognise me in my other roles. They need to be able to say, that’s my wife, my mum, she’s a friend, she’s creative and loves working on her projects. The same way I am starting to see my daughters in their roles.
Being mum is top of my list and the most important role I play but it will never be enough on its own.