And that’s OK!
When I found out I was pregnant, my very first thought before the shock had even set in, was ‘please let it be a girl.’ I am not biased and I would of course have been happy to have a boy. But somewhere deep down I knew I wanted a girl.
I wanted a daughter I could go shopping with. Someone to share ‘girly’ days with – to one day share pamper sessions and special day trips with. I wanted to do all the things for my daughter that I didn’t do as I was growing up – not because I had an awful childhood (far from it) but because that is what every mother wants. To give their child better than they had themselves.
I wanted to spoil her, dress her up in pretty dresses and encourage her to be confident and independent. I wanted her to grow into a better version of the me I hoped I would one day become.
Then I became a mother.
The day she was placed in my arms, something changed. Maybe is was wisdom, maybe understanding, maybe it was simply the after effects of the gas and air I had so greedily ingested during labour. Either way something changed.
“Hello my beautiful girl. You will have the best life. The best opportunities. The best start I can give you. I am your mum. I won’t be your best friend because I have to be your mum. I am your guardian not your keeper. You are not mine, but I am here to help you find your way the best way I can.”
I truly believe that children are not possessions. I looked down at my girl that day and realised that as much as I wanted the best in life for her, I was not prepared to hand it on a silver platter. As much as I wanted happiness and wealth and well-being for her, I didn’t want to push my dreams, ambitions and expectations onto her. I did not want to grind her down with my views on the world, but allow her to open her eyes for herself and explore, knowing that she always had me as a buffer.
I would not stand next to her like a best friend. I would not hold her hand and goad her into trying the new and impossible. I would not whisper in her ear thoughts and feelings that would influence her decisions.
I am not her best friend and that is not my role to play.
I would stand behind her. I would stand with my arms stretched out ready to catch her if and when she falls. Ready to be there and follow her down the wrong paths she will take in life so she knows that she always has a guardian angel to turn to – but never blocking her view. Never obscuring her peripheral. She needs to see the world without my baggage blocking her way. Always just that little bit out of sight over her shoulder.
I am the guardian. That is my role. I am here to help her find her path and show her that she is never alone in this world.
So my dear girl, the days that you scream at the top of your lungs from the bedroom as you slam the door “you’re not my best friend anymore” – yes my darling girl, those words cut like a knife.
But it’s OK. Because I am not your best friend. I am your mum.
And after slamming the door and screaming into your pillow, once your best friend has left you to deal with your tantrums and emotions by yourself, may you always know that when you open the door your mum will be stood on the other side waiting to hear your next plan of action.
Friends will come and go my dear girl. Best friends will stand by your side with all the excitement and curiosity they possess at their young age, but your mum will stand behind you with wisdom, knowledge and unconditional love.
That my dear girl, is why I will never be your best friend.