On the 30th April I attended the Irish Blogger Association Conference. One of the guest speakers was Alison Canavan. Her talk sparked something inside me. I spoke to Alison afterwards and her words stuck with me. I purchased her book that day, Minding Mum.
A few weeks later, I was sitting on my bed reading Alison’s book, Minding Mum, when Isabelle (my 8 year old daughter) came to see why mam was being so quiet!
I will never forget the way she looked at me, there was sadness in her eyes and with her head tilted she asked, Who minds you Mam?
There was this silence between us that I can’t explain but one that was very uncomfortable until Isabelle spoke again. (Keeping in mind she just read the name of the book in my hands) “You mind me and daddy, but who minds you?” Again I couldn’t answer her. I didn’t know what to say until finally, I said, “you and dad do.” She gave me a kiss and a hug and went back to watching TV.
At this point, I had to put the book down. I couldn’t process the question. I had so many thoughts going through my head. And then I started to question, who does mind me? Who brings me a cup of tea when I’m not feeling good? Who makes sure the house is running smoothly if I’m not?
In Alison’s book she says,’ A happy Mum is a happy house’.
So I asked myself, what makes you a happy mum? Of course I thought of everyone else being happy and cared for but not about myself.
A long time ago, My dad told me that making a cup of tea for you can be a hard thing to do some days. I never got what he meant until my daughter asked that question. I bring Isabelle to parties, on days out and so on. I go out with my husband, we go out as a family, but I always have my daughter or husband or both with me when I am attending something. That’s OK, but I am my own person. I am not just Mam and wife.I have a name, its Rita.
As a Mum we can be quick to make excuses about ourselves. We always put our children first and sometimes we seem to disappear behind our children and partners. It seems that no one is actually minding mum. As I continued to read the book I understood that Minding Mum comes from you. It is in you to mind you.
Since having Isabelle I have searched for the old me.
The pre mam me.
The girl that had no responsibilities.
But since reading ‘Minding Mum’ it got me thinking about whom I actually am.
I am not the pre mam me because I am not 24. (I was 24 when I had Isabelle). This person I have wanted, needed is not there. I am a mam now. Until reading ‘Minding Mum’ I have never fully understood how important it is for me to be happy and well.
So for now I am enjoying getting to know this person that has been here all along.
Have you read Alison’s book?