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Jess Farchione: Sorry mum… now I understand

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What is it about becoming a parent that makes you want to apologise to your own parents? Oh yeah, a little thing called GUILT!

At the time of writing, my daughter Lucia is just a few days shy of four months and for every day of her short life, I have come to understand and really feel – like a splinter under my fingernail – that saying about how having a child feels like your heart has just decided to go walking outside your body. Which is to say, I REALLY feel it.

Lucia is still mostly in the – what I like to call – potato stage. I can put her down somewhere safe, have a shower, and she is pretty much exactly where I left her.

And yet, even in this potato stage where little harm can befall her, when she is out of my sight, I have an unignorable urge to want to check on her, hold her and be with her.

She is this gigantic joy in a tiny little package and it’s like my pulse depends on her comfort, safety and happiness.

Having a child feels like your heart has just decided to go walking outside your body.

Jess Farchione

My sweet angel smiles at me with such purity that her eyes seem to shine, she cries every time she wakes from a nap in her darkened room and immediately calms when she hears my voice, she holds my heart and sanity in the palm of her tiny hand, and I think she already knows it.

Which brings to me to the guilt. When I think about my mum feeling this exact way about me… and then thinking about some of the things I put her through… I shiver.

Yelling dreadful things, taking off, staying out late, not picking up phone calls, fighting, lying… thinking how these things would’ve made my mum feel at the time and how I would feel if Lucia returned the favour makes me physically ill.

So, I’ll finish with a story about a friend instead. When she was three years old, she took off on her mum in a department store and hid underneath a rack of clothes for 15 minutes while her mum tore the shop apart looking for her.

She just thought she was the ultimate hide-and-seek player, her mum thought she might die of panic. Ever since that friend had a child herself, she has apologised to her mum once a week for that incident… as she should!

So, on behalf of all kids who just won’t get it until they get it… SORRY MUM!

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