Generally, I find children to be quite fascinating and often interesting to be around. Sure they can be like drunk adults with all of their brutal honesty, random vomiting and shitty coping skills but let's face it, when they are at their best little kids are just plain adorable. However, for the ultimate ego booster, there is nothing quite like seeing your own children all grown up, especially when they are bloody amazing and inspiring to be around; it really does put the icing on the motherhood cake.
And I have to say, my children have actually been two of the best teachers that I have ever had in my life because I have learned more about myself and how to deal with others through them that I have learned through anyone else and that is probably the biggest plus to motherhood of all. In fact now that I think about it, my children have taught me about a lot of things that I doubt that I would have mastered as well as I have without their help along way.
Firstly, I have completely gotten 'over' the preciousness of my physical self since I have become a mum. There is nothing like pregnancy, labour and the consequences of those two things combined to help you to get over the state of your physical body. Stretch marks, saggy boobs, flabby tummy, crappy uterus? Who cares? The physicalities are a mere blip on the radar of motherhood. Things that would have bothered me immensely about my body prior to having children are in the 'could not give a shit' basket now. Had one visit to the labour ward? Well then you've had them all and after a couple of dozen people have looked up your clacker and half of them have had their hand in there, well you just don't really care as much about stuff like that anymore. The old 'my home is your home' saying, is more like 'my body is everyone's body' after becoming a mum and you just can't afford to get hung up about it or you'll become a raving loony, so you just learn to let go and go with it.
My children have also taught me that it's okay to make mistakes and to not be perfect. Every new mother wants to be the perfect mother, but the perfect mother doesn't exist and trying to be one will just make you tired, frustrated and miserable. I have learnt that doing the best that I can with what I have is enough and apologising when I fuck it all up has worked an absolute treat for me. I have become so comfortable with my imperfections as a mum that I can now say to my children without any shame - 'I'm sorry and I wish I had handled that better' or 'I know that I am not at my best and I am sorry for that.' And they are fine with that, they don't expect me to get it right all the time, just like I don't expect them to, so I suppose that I have learned to accept imperfection as a kind of perfection in itself and that's something pretty amazing that motherhood has given to me.
I have also learned incredible patience, unusual kindness and intense levels of overwhelming pride and gratitude from my children that nothing else in the world has ever given me. I have discovered that I am not the centre of the universe, although sometimes I still want to be. I have learned that my children need to be their own people, do their own things and be with people of their own choice and it has nothing to do with me whatsoever, and that is a relinquishing of power and control that I have mastered thanks to my children.
I have learned that losing is not actually losing, it's learning. I have learned that most things don't require my comment or input at all and I have learned to pick my battles wisely and with great forethought (aka I no longer shoot from the hip) which I thank my children for assisting me with.
I have learned so many important and valuable things from my beautiful and wonderful children and I can say without a word of doubt that being a mother has made me a better person, a better wife, a better friend and a better daughter to my own mother as well. I'd be lying if I said that it has all been easy, but it has all been interesting and rewarding like nothing else that I have ever done before. And I have to say, damn I'm glad that I have experienced being a mother in this lifetime, what a genuine pleasure it has really been.
Release Date: 2008
Running Time: 97 mins
Touching would be a massive understatement when explaining this deeply moving Australian drama. Directed by first time feature film creator Elissa Down, The Black Balloon won a multitude of awards, sweeping the children's film industry for its powerful and realistic depiction of life with an autistic sibling.
Thomas (Rhys Wakefield) just wants to be normal a teenager, but his family is anything but normal. His mother (Toni Collette) is pregnant, his father is in the army and his older brother Charlie is autistic. When they all move to a new town, Thomas falls for local beauty Jackie (Gemma Ward) and attempts to win her over, but it is not easy when you have to care for a brother that can make something as simple as inviting Jackie over for dinner a major drama.
This felt like a genuine portrayal of the daily struggles that families must face when living with an autistic person. Elissa Down has clearly put her heart and soul into this film since she herself has two autistic brothers, and the story plays out beautifully without any stooping or cringe worthy cheap dramatics that are often so rife in movies about additional needs.
The acting is poignant and at times comical and overall the actors are just stellar; especially Luke Ford who plays Charlie with such a believable conviction.
FINAL SAY: All I know is he's my own, and you're weak as piss if you don't look after your own.
4 Chilli Peppers