“For your entire life you’re known by one name and the day you become a parent you suddenly get given another one. That new name, “Mum” or “Dad”, is like a totally new you. You give up your old self, you sacrifice the person you used to be, and it’s like becoming a totally new person.
Being a parent is an incredible experience. I find it a real blessing. All of us only get the chance to experience our own life. But as a parent it’s the only time you’re able to see another human life as closely as you know your own. And it does feel like living it again. High school, broken hearts, failed exams, all of these things are so difficult to go through and when you’re a parent you go through it all over again except this time without any ability to really do anything. And of course, sometimes you want to do something, because it really hurts you too! But you can’t…
I see the process of being a Mum as like building a boat. You spend so much time and put so much effort into it to building it, but it’s made to be set free. It’s made to set sail. If that boat stays tied to the shore it’s going to rock and get damaged.
Being a parent is about building your children up and setting them free into this world.
That’s really not easy. For so many years your children are your entire life. Having them gives you a sense of purpose. We spend so much time, especially in our twenties, searching for meaning and when you have kids you’ve finally found it. So when they’re old enough to set sail it can be very difficult. I had to put the focus on me once again. I’ve recently started trying to challenge myself. If I’m curious about something, and the rational self kicks in and tells me not to do it, I’m trying to follow my curiosity anyway. That’s why I’m here on coffee with you.
I remember watching something on TV when I was eighteen. It showed women from every decade talking about life. I remember them saying that your 40s are the best years. Your twenties you’re so worried about what to do, who to be with, where to live. Then your thirties you start building these things and by your forties you start enjoying them. This idea stuck with me, and it’s certainly how it felt for me.”
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