I wrote on International Woman’s Day what my Mum means to me, so I will not embarrass her again so soon, instead I will ponder what being a mother means to me. You know that I am Mum to 18 year old Joshua, but you may not know that I also had three miscarriages after Joshua, so it was not that we wanted him to be an only child, it was simply not to be. I adore being Joshua’s Mum, it is an absolute privilege. I wear several hats : Daughter, sister, wife, Governor, Director, friend, but none of those other roles occupy my mind every hour in quite the same way.
I am on red alert 24/7 as a Mother, listening for noises when he is in bed and watching him closely for signs of an approaching seizure. He needs me to dress him, change him , feed and bath him, but lately he also requires attention most of the day, as he is less happy to entertain himself than he once was. I fight on a daily basis so that he gets what he needs and deserves, so I am his advocate and his voice, as well as his Mum : I have had to push for continence products, for orthotics, for respite and even to go to tribunal for the right school. That can make me a stroppy mum, one who is ready for the battle at a moment’s notice.
Joshua and I are inextricably linked, so when he is ill or not eating, then I am absorbed by that and cannot settle until he is back to normal. If someone is rude or mean to Joshua, then I take it personally as I am his defender and it will bring out a primeval strength in me. If he does something inappropriate while out and about, like lifting a lady’s coat up as he did yesterday while out shopping or flicking a stranger’s ponytail, I leap to his defence and loudly say ” Oh no Joshua , not everybody likes that” with a smile, hoping that they will realise what is going on and will smile back , with understanding. Nine times out of ten he gets that response, luckily.
I am a very proud Mum so I celebrate his successes, no matter how small they might seem, and I share them with friends and family. We have photographs of Joshua, at all ages, all over the house and I share my favourites on social media too. He is very handsome and has twinkling eyes and a great smile that is tricky to always catch in a photograph.
I am often told that Joshua is lucky to have me as his mum to fight his corner, which is very flattering, but actually, it is the other way around : I am very lucky to have him as my son. Happy Mother’s day!