Some days, being a mother feels like playing dress-ups.
I am clunking around in a pair of stilettos ten times the size of my little girl feet with bright red lipstick applied clown-like to my little girl mouth.
Some days, I am masquerading as a grown up.
Becoming a mother empowered me in ways I can't adequately express. I felt the enormity of what my body could do; the weight of responsibility as I held aloft the tiny creature that was somehow 'mine'; the fierce determination to protect this child in whatever way I must.
Becoming a mother turned me into a woman.
But still, I am a fraud.
Because if I am heartbroken or frightened, confused or anxious and always and especially if I'm throwing up, I want my mum.
I can't imagine a time when that won't be true.
Today and for the last few weeks, I have been clunking. I find the clunking becomes more pronounced as my children get older.
Newborns? Specifically my newborns? Piece of cake. Loved every second of it. Found it very easy to make decisions on their behalf. Decisions for babies are relatively straightforward. The variables are minimal.
But as my sons get older, I am finding the decision-making process to be an emotional minefield and like taking the wrong path in a video game, I'm just waiting for one of my kids to explode.
Right now, it's about LD. What he wants, what he needs. Being that LD is just days away from being four years old, I have been consulting him in the decision-making process.
Wow. There's a mindfuck for you.
For a few weeks now, I have been driven slowly insane trying to decipher exactly what he wants based on exactly what he says. And then trying to read between the lines – but then, do four-year-olds have lines in which to read between?
LD is the classic stereotype of the flip-flopping politician. It's yes and it's no. Sometimes in the same conversation.
So I talked to my mum. Because, remember, I need her.
She told me to stop asking the four-year-old and just make a decision on his behalf.
She was, of course, a bazillion percent correct. But bottom line?
I DON'T WANT TO.
How the fuck did I get this job?? I feel woefully under-qualified.
I make hundreds of decisions on behalf of my children every single day. But when the decision could impact on their immediate happiness and then reach further into the future, I admit, my confidence gets shaky.
Today, I clunked for a bit and then I traded those stilettos in for a pair of combat boots and I took some action. I know the decision I have made will cause some upheaval to my child. I know I am moving him outside of his comfort zone. But I also know that this temporary change can lead to an overall happier experience for him.
I am proud of the big girl steps I took today. But inside, I am still teetering on those heels and hoping like hell that I've done the right thing for my beautiful kid.