I see your battle dear daughter, as you pull up your tights, all on your own, with strength and with might. I’d offer to help, but you’d scold me and say, "not today mummy, i’ll do it MY WAY".
It takes 5 minutes longer, and sometimes there’s tears, but you’re reminding me daughter that i must face my fears.
Fears of running late, of things taking too long, fears that i realise are not yours to hold.
But sometimes dear daughter, it feels so overwhelming, to sit with my fear, and ignore its loud growling.
Nevertheless i push my fear down, I smile through the feelings, and straighten my ‘Modern Mum’ crown.
“Mummy I’m done!”, You gleefully say, but i glance at the clock and my smile fades away.
I bend down to lift you up off the floor, i grab both our bags, and I rush to the door.
“MUM MY SHOES”, you squeal as i rush past the shelf, “I want to put them on ALL BY MYSELF”!
My anxiety rises “but we don’t have the time! I’m late for work, it started at Nine!”
The tears well up in my daughters eyes, and I see her anxiety, a reflection of mine.
My heart feels heavy, and i lean on the door. Then i crumple up into a heap on the floor.
They say that we mothers can have it all, that we’re liberated, free and pushing down walls.
They say that our daughters will see what we do, that they’ll learn that as girls they can have it all too!
Then why is it that this is not what i see? I see mums forced to rush through work and through tea, while holding in bottled up, anxiety.
My version of motherhood feels lonely and hard, not the picket fenced version with grass and a yard.
My version of motherhood sees my daughter of three, grow into a teen whose resembling me.
My version of motherhood sees young women suffer through generational anxiety, passed from mother to mother.
Because statistics you see, show that life is too fast, that we’re rushing our children from task to task.
Our statistics are showing that children, teens and mothers, face crippling anxiety which they hide under covers.
And as New Zealand’s anxiety rates continue to soar, our house prices, workloads, and lives demand more!
We can hope for the best, but what we need is more time, to raise our children, according to their pace of life.
So if our children are copying the behaviour they see, can we raise a generation, anxiety free?
I don’t have all the answers, but i know we must start, if we’re to raise sons and daughters who have half a chance!
Let’s call it what it is, a national crisis, because our children deserve better, and together we must fight this.