I love a good meme, probably like the rest of you (which, in case you’re confused is one of those funny photos with a funny phrase on it). Who doesn’t want to see a picture of some eggs with faces saying ‘ a true friend is someone who thinks you’re a good egg, even though you might be slightly cracked.’ Personal I love a little funny, motivational quote or two.
But recently I saw a meme which said something along the lines of ‘mums are your first friend, your best friend and forever friends’. Well I’m sorry but I think that’s a load of crap.
I think the general understanding of friendship is a person you want to spend time with, someone who is on your side to fight your battles with, share secret squirrel stuff with and consume alcohol with.
Personally, I sometimes don’t want to be around my child. There are days we are at war and being allied seems like a fantasy. We do share stuff; my food, my money, my bed, I even share my toilet experience with her but not out of choice and it’s all very one-sided. If we went out late night drinking together, I’m pretty sure social services would be visiting my house very soon. So no, I’m not friends with my little girl.
I am her mother. I set boundaries, I cook and clean and go to work to make sure she is safe and secure. I will take her to school not bunk off school with her. I will be trustworthy and love her so much that I think my heart might explode and I will put her needs before mine (most of the time). Please don’t get me wrong, we have lots of fun, painting and dancing and some days we are on the same team but I can’t replace the friendships she has formed with the boys and girls at nursery and I don’t want to try, we are not friends, yet.
In my job and in my personal life I’ve seen and meet children who haven’t had this security, children who don’t have stability or know which parent to trust, who can’t rely on their parent for emotional support. Children who have grown up too fast because they have been exposed to things no child should ever know, let alone see. Children who have loads of friends but who desperately want a mother or father to tuck them in and read them a bedtime story and set some rules.
I hope when she’s older and we’ve set the foundation of our relationship, that we can then be friends. First, I want her to know that what ever she does, I may not always like her but I will always love her. The day she can tell me about her detention for talking in class or about the mean kids at school, I will feel like our friendship is developing. One day in the future we will have girly chats over ice cream and pizza, about her broken heart or what tattoo she wants to get, then we will be friends.
However, even then, being friends with my child won’t be my first job, but being her mother will.
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