What does being a mum mean to you?
Becoming a mum is the largest love you will ever feel. It is a connection to another, so sweet, so intimate that even if you part for an hour in the first days, you find yourself literally running home to see your new-borns face.
As they crawl, walk, learn to dance and play football you naturally become a teacher. You are at your most honest, your most earnest, you are Love. When my children, Natalie and Jerome, now 18 and 22 years old, were small, I told them when things inspired me and I brought my passion for people and the planet home with me. We discussed it at bedtime, with stories of how ethics and fairness affect our lives and our choices can make a difference. They completely got it. I didn’t like it when my mum told me how lucky I was to have food and a roof over my head, so I tried to communicate this to my children with real life stories of people from my Fair Trade People Tree world. Around the age of 7 they developed a keen sense of social justice and couldn’t stop coming up with positive ideas.
When our children become young adults it all changes. Mum becomes ‘good cop’ or ‘bad cop’ depending on their father’s view or on the prevailing issue. No one can prepare you for this challenging phase. You are their greatest friend one day and a massive pain in the arse the next!
To me, being a mum means love and joy. It means loving totally, being in the moment when they’re young, and being very nurturing, then developing into a tongue-biting diplomatic ‘friend’ as they become grown up. It also means hoping you can look back when they’re adults and think that you did the right things at the right time for them. If they are happy and healthy you’ve done a good job. Being a mum is the toughest and sometimes the loveliest job that you can have.