Motherhood After Losing My Own Mum - A Child Grows

Motherhood After Losing My Own Mum

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by Hannah Macdonald
Mothers Day is always filled with many mixed emotions for me.  Until 2006 it was a day I felt sadly disconnected to because having lost my mother when I was ten the reality is I can’t really remember celebrating a Mothers Day with my mum.  I don’t remember if I made her a card, picked her flowers or brought her breakfast in bed.  I hope I did.

When I became a mother it shifted a little, but if I’m honest the absence of my mum always tainted the day and left me feeling empty and alone.

Then about year ago I had a revelation.  Until that point my sadness over the loss of my mother had been in many ways a selfish one – that I had grown up without her.  But as I marveled casually at my children it hit me that her loss was in some ways so much greater – she didn’t get to watch her 4 children grow up as I was watching mine.

It wasn’t even about the firsts – first tooth, first step, first day of school, first day of college, first job, first true love and first grandchild – it was all the little things in between.  It was the unexpected kiss on the knee for no reason at all, it was the handwritten note with a love heart that now lives in my wallet, it was the tooth knocked out before it’s time and placed under a pillow for an unprepared tooth fairy, it was the little warm hand that still reaches to be held when walking down the street and the dozy smile early in the morning.

I know it’s sad not to expect a lifetime with my children, but by not taking that for granted, I have become hedonistic with the time I have with them, and I have started to enjoy the simple pleasures of motherhood so much more.  There are many landmarks in life, but it is the days leading up to them can be so much more meaningful.

It isn’t even about the firsts – first tooth, first step, first day of school, first day of college, first job, first true love and first grandchild – it’s all the little things in between.  It’s the unexpected kiss on the knee for no reason at all, it’s the handwritten note with a love heart that now lives in my wallet, it’s the tooth knocked out before it’s time, it’s the little warm hand that still reaches to be held when walking down the street and the sleepy early morning smile.

I don’t expect a lifetime with my children- I just can’t it for granted because of my past, and I know that’s sad. But now I’m a vacuum, a hedonist: I’ve started to enjoy the simple pleasures of motherhood so much more. There are many landmarks in life, but it is the days leading up to them can be so much more meaningful.

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Hannah Macdonald is co-owner of Bump Brooklyn, a boutique of well priced maternity clothes, contemporary designer lines that can be worn during pregnancy, nursing and transitional wear, products to pamper and prepare, and a place for moms-to-be to connect before their bundles arrive.

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