Tuesday 19 May 2015

Face of a mother

There comes a time when you look yourself in the mirror and you see something. Something you didn't before.

You get so used to the same reflection, that you don't even notice the slight changes. You just go about your usual routine regardless. You know the shape of your face, the slope of your nose, the curve of your mouth when you smile.

But as time goes by, you change and those changes will one day show. Little by little. Almost invisible until you one day look at your reflection in a new way. Fresh light shows you new lines, new shadows and you realise your face has changed.

It happens to us all and it can take some time to notice, and I've recently noticed how my face has changed.

I thought it was the same old face I've always had but there's something different. Something I didn't notice before.

I am getting older, no doubt about it, and although my plump cheeks are still there, helping to give me a somewhat girlish look, there's other signs that I'm no longer a teen, no longer a 20-something.

No escaping it now! I've seen my face in a new light. I am older and, I hope, wiser. I am 10 years into my career. I'm five years married. I'm a mother of a wonderful two year old son.

And my face shows it all.

My face has the hallmarks of a mum.

I have slightly darker circles under the eyes. From the early days of sleep deprivation. From the jam-packed days a working mum such as myself leads.

My face has creases at the corner of my eyes that are there, even when I'm not smiling. Creases from all the times I have laughed at my husband's jokes and my son singing 'Let It Go'.

My face has lines here and there that are always there now. A line in the middle of my forehead that refuses to leave and only seems to get more pronounced with time. These lines are filled with the concerns of how to be the best mum, the best wife, the best friend, the best daughter, the best employee that I can be... and the worry that I'm not any of them.

Am I doing things right?

Will everything be ok?

Is this how things are meant to be?

My face still has the dimple in my left cheek, the one I have always had and that shows every time Ethan reaches a new milestone or counts to 10 or says 'Mummy, lub you'.

My face has a nose that goes 'beep beep' when Ethan pushes it with his finger, never failing to make him chuckle.

My face has similarities with my son's; the shape of our eyes, the same dimple, a cheeky grin that's easily given.

My face is the face my son first saw and the one he can recognise in an instant. In old photos or in person, Ethan knows my face almost better than I do. He's helped to shape it, he's part of the reason it looks a little older, a little more tired.

But most of all, he's the reason why my face is so full of pride and happiness.

Because it doesn't matter if I have more creases or lines or shadows than I did before. I have much more of everything since I have had him and my face shows it all.

Everything it means to be a mum; the good, the bad and the every day.

It's my face and it doesn't matter to my son.

Because it's me. His mum.


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