There are many things I would have liked to have been over the years – a singer, a world traveller, someone who can cook, many many things. The problem with wishing to be something you’re not is that you spend so much time comparing yourself to others that you miss actually being who you are supposed to be. I hear from other Mums how guilty they feel sometimes about not being the Mum they would have liked to have been or wish they were. When I see those Mums who are those earth Mums – baking with their kids, painting, doing crafty things, or sporty things, gardening, I do wish I could be like that. I think growing up with that kind of childhood must be great.
Of course we all love to compare ourselves to others and there’s always someone we think is ‘better’ than us at certain things. I do wonder sometimes with the matching process of adoption how well the actual personality and lifestyle matching is taken into consideration. I sit on a local panel for adoption and I know we look at the emotional match – can the prospective adopters meet the needs of the child. But should we also be looking at the other aspects of the match? If the child loves the outdoors and animals but the prospective adopters don’t…..if the child has been around music but the adopters aren’t into music. Of course this relates more to older children and within our current process children over 4 are waiting to be adopted as most adopters want under 4’s – more like under 2’s actually. But even then when you have a very small child placed you just don’t know what their personalities or challenges may turn out to be. There is the wrong assumption that if a baby is put into care very, very young as in under 6 months then there won’t be any lasting issues. This is not the case and I know of one little girl who had exactly that experience – going into care at 6 months old and then adopted at 22 months old and she has had the most difficult of journeys since.
Why am I talking about the matching process? Well I do wonder sometimes about the nature, nurture debate. If the way I bring my children up is in as healthy a way as I see is possible does it mean they will develop into healthy adults? Not necessarily, there are of course genetics, their early experiences and of course the fact that I am not the Mum I wish I was too….we are not perfect, no parent is.
So how do we make sure we are being the best us we can be? I’ve given up comparisons (well most the time) as I know all that does is paralyse me to act in the way I feel is right, whether with my children or in any area of my life. Instead I choose to take how others are as an inspiration to change if I want to. So yes I would like to be a more caring Mum but I’m not going to beat myself up about it if I miss the mark. Yes I would like to be a better singer, but I’m going to enjoy and embrace the voice I have and the opportunities I have. And yes I would love to be the next Business woman of the year but I am going to dedicate my working life to making a difference where I feel I can. I think that’s all you can do and then maybe I will be the me I actually want to be.