Little Runner Girl

Running as a little Prep girl.
Running as a little Prep girl.

Oh for a manual on how to be a parent. A real live manual that applied directly to your child, not something general, but one written just for them. As I reflect and look back at my 24 years of parenting I cringe with many many many memories of bad decisions and wrong actions.

Being a mum was number one on my life to-do-list. It didn’t happen easily. Nothing seemed to happen for months and months and months, then two miscarriages, more months of nothing, then finally pregnant for a third time but it wasn’t looking good. Months in bed, months being ill and a few different hospitalisations. Finally on May 6, 1991 a tiny little girl was born. Ten days early. I was a mum.


Then one became two and two became three; in five years this lucky woman was the mum of three wonderful children.  Brown-eyed daughter #1, Blondie daughter #1 and son #1 (they are all number ones to me).

As an unsporty type it just so happens that my three are unsporty too. Many a discussion was had with fit, muscly, tracksuit-clad sports teachers about why my brood didn’t participate in sport. It wasn’t that they weren’t allowed, I would’ve taken them; they just weren’t interested. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree it would seem.

But sport teaches discipline, sport teaches team work, sport teaches commitment.

Really? So does working in a Girl Guide or Scout Patrol. So does learning to play an instrument and learning to be a ballet dancer. So does playing in an orchestra and so does taking a role in a musical.

Those poor sport teachers – they were no match for my unsporty arguments.

A Nursing Mothers Fridge Magnet from many years ago - it still rings true. Is there any job more worth doing than being a parent?
A Nursing Mothers Fridge Magnet from many years ago – it still rings true. Is there any job more worth doing than being a parent?

I’m not sure if my approach was the right one but it’s too late now. Those children of mine have all grown up and flown the nest. One is about to wake up on a Saturday morning and prepare to be a Bride. That is my little runner girl.

This is proving to be a huge time of reflection for me. With all the twists and turns of my life, dark days and sunny, no matter how I assess the quality of my parenting one thing is for sure.

My three children are happy.

They know how to be disciplined, committed and how to work in a team. They are active. They are living their goals. They are all working and earning their own incomes. They do things that they love to do. They have friends. They love their mum.

Many many many bad decisions, yes. Regrets and wishes that I had done things better (whatever better may have been, I do not know and will never know).

But those babies of mine have turned out just fine. I think in amongst all the bad I must’ve got a few things right.  And you never know, one day they too may discover for themselves the unbridled joy of running just like their unsporty mum has.

Happy running 🙂

14 thoughts on “Little Runner Girl

  1. Madam Number 1 was also born in 1991! She would tell you all the mistakes I made in detail! For the most part I would agree, but no doubt like yourself at the time we were doing the best we could and doing what we thought was right. Think of those Grandchildren-they will be runners and so proud of running Granny!!!!! X

  2. Annie my guess is that you are being far too hard on yourself. My guess is like all of us there were some things we could have done better but overall we loved them senseless and they turned out happy and grown. Wishing you a wonderful wedding and celebration. Big hugs xoxo

  3. I hope the wedding went well, as it would have been yesterday now. I’m sure the worry of being a mum never ends, will her marriage be happy, will she have children of her own, will you be part of their family as much as you’d like. The thing about being a mum is that you look out for your kids because you think that nobody else will ever care as much as you do, or that’s my view at least. I want my son to be happy, but not at the expense of others. If he achieves that it will be ok, but it doesn’t stop me wanting him to get good grades at school, play sport and a musical instrument etc – but what does he want to do? Play computer games. Sigh. Like you say,my our wish you had the manual!😊

  4. What a beautiful post Annie! I loved reading your daughter’s story and it resonated so much with me and my children. You got a lot right I’d say! I had lots of the Nursing Mothers gear too as I was a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor for many years and still think that magnet says it all. Your children are very lucky to have you as their mother. All the best for the big day and the happy years ahead. (PS I visited our ‘newly married’ daughter and her husband yesterday for the first time since the wedding and it was great to re-live the whole day all over again).

    1. Thanks for your lovely words Debbie x I still have vivid memories of taking a two week old Anna to our first ever Nursing Mums meeting. Such a lovely group of women doing such a wonderfully supportive thing for each other at such a bewildering time. How lovely to go visit the newly weds. We’re still all systems count down here. Oh my goodness!

  5. Why is it as mothers we tend to second guess ourselves, occasionally beating ourselves up over perceived errors? There were many times I wished I knew everything was going to be ok so I could stop worrying so much.

    In spite of our human-ness, our babies grow up and – surprise! – they are wonderful 🙂

    Congrats to the mother of the bride on a job well done. As you said, you obviously did so many things right!!

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