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Jess Farchione: May you be celebrated for ‘just being you’ on Mother’s Day

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I learnt very early on in my parenting journey that no one really knows what they’re doing.

Every new parent is just trying their best, trying to figure out what works for them, for their baby, for their relationship.

My daughter Lucia is only six months old but I’m sure even seasoned parents, people with adult children, are still navigating firsts and trying their best to figure out simply, what is right for their kids.

As we approach Mother’s Day (my first on the receiving end), I have been reflecting on a comment made by Kate, one of my best mates about me as a mum.

We were enjoying a high tea at the time, with beautiful cakes laid out in front of us, and Lucia started fussing.

I picked her up, settled her back down, replaced the dummy and went back to the cakes.

Kate smiled and said, “I’m so happy that you are still you… you’re still Jess, just with a child”.

I know a lot of women, a lot of my friends, who have described motherhood as transformative.

They have described a second birth in a way – supplementary to the one where their child was born – the birth of them as a mum.

For Kate to say, I am still me – initially, I thought, “oh no, I’m doing it wrong!” I am meant to be transformed!

I was meant to unlock this well of patience and perspective, forgiveness and skill that we expect of mothers.

I was meant to forego all other descriptors like radio host, wife, daughter, friend, passionate foodie, commentator, writer etc.

When women are described in the media, how often do we see that the first thing written about them is “mother”?

When a woman introduces herself, how often is the number of children she has, the first dot point on that list of qualities?

How often whether a woman is a mother or not dissected in the workplace, on the sportsground or online?

It is the greatest privilege of my life to be Lucia’s mum, but after reflecting on my friend’s comment, I do see it for what it truly is – a massive compliment.

My friend still sees me as Jess; her best mate, a person first.

Someone she can go to when she needs, who still has things to say and contribute, who still wants to get out of the house and have beautiful experiences… just with her mini-me by her side.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone. May you be celebrated for just being you!

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