Since becoming a mum I have thought a lot about what constitutes happiness. Being born in the 1980’s means I have witnessed rapid development in various areas of life from how we travel, to how we communicate. The fact that I’m able to write this blog and for it to be read by people all over the world, would probably have seemed like a crazy idea to most not long ago. Now it’s reality, things are constantly changing, and Caspian will experience this even more than I have going forward.
I’ve been fortunate to travel from an early age with my parents taking me and my siblings on holiday to explore new cultures. Getting on an airplane isn’t much different to getting in a car for many of my generation. Still, having had my baby boy has made me appreciate the smaller things in life.
Like the first time Caspian gave a genuine smile. His tiny hand wrapped firmly around one of my fingers as he’s sleeping in my arms. The squeals of joy I hear from the room next door when Daddy Long Legs engages him in a game of ‘bouncy bed’ – from Caspian too! This is what’s important now. It is what makes me happy.
But it has also made me realise that we as parents are responsible for Caspian’s happiness – not the other way around! Life isn’t always easy – we would kid ourselves if we didn’t recognise that we’ll go through hard times and heart ache now and again. But I very much believe in positivity, in appreciating all that we have rather than wasting our energy envying what we don’t. I do believe it is important to strive for things, but only if it makes you happy and to always remember to enjoy the journey rather than solely focus on the end result.
I will do my best to teach my boy that it is important to work hard, follow your dreams, and try your best. But even if he fails I’ll be there with unconditional love willing him to try again or perhaps try something else. I want to teach him about values, to respect other people, to understand that we are all created equal. That whatever path he chooses in life be it for work or love I’ll be there supporting him. That he can come to me for advice and guidance and I’ll do my best to tell him what I hold true. And if he doesn’t feel he needs my help that’s okay too.
I’ve been fortunate to have had a good life so far. I’ve followed my dreams, some have come true, some haven’t – but still might. There has been big changes in recent years – meeting Daddy Long Legs and Caspian’s arrival being the biggest and greatest. But what I’m realising at the moment is who I am as a person and what really matters to me – and possibly what I want to take with me going forward. I have a lot I still want to do. Places I want to visit. People I want to meet. Challenges I want to conquer.
I’m realising that by knowing what makes me happy I can be a better mother. That by sometimes putting myself first I can be a better mother. That I never want for Caspian to feel he owes me anything. Or for him to feel responsible for me or my happiness later in life.
I will encourage his independence with the knowledge that it might be difficult for me at times. That letting him make his own mistakes in life is important however much I want to protect him. I hope he becomes a good man. Someone who gives rather than takes. And that he embraces all life has to offer.
And lastly I’m hoping this post will be available for him to read as he’s older so if needed he can hold me to my words.