In the 4 hours leading up to our official site launch, we ran a short competition on Facebook to get people hash tagging Mum Life Stories, in order to find our very first story contributor. We’d like to congratulate Tia Burton on winning the contest and becoming our very first story contributor (outside of our administration) with her story ‘Helicopter Mum’. Please read on to be enveloped in her relatable, thought-provoking tale about two women who share a common stigma, which many mums today and in past decades have been undeservedly labelled with. You can also read the story here in our Flash Fiction library!
Helicopter Parent: “a style of parent who is over focused on their children.”
She sat there, slumped in the kitchen chair enveloped by her own exhaustion, a silhouette of light peered through the kitchen window landing on her tired hollow eyes. Our conversation drove through common places, talking babies, sleep schedules and the emotional exhaustion we both faced. I could hear a distinct heaviness in her heart.
At every conversational turn she began to justify her decisions regarding how she choose to raise her little men, it was as if she was standing before the judge, jury and executioner of the parenting squad. Underneath every justification there appeared to be unspoken wonderings “Is my parenting style just too much?” As I sat at the end of her words, I listened intently to how deeply she adored her babies, I could see her eyes ignite with joy as she shared all about their escapades and yet simultaneously the echoing anxious thoughts ricocheted from her mind and the unnecessary justifications cascaded out.
I realised in that moment she had been conditioned to defend herself before the attacks even began, she was suffocating under the helicopter mum label other ‘laid’ back parents had given her. I could see it, but only because I could see myself in her every justification. As she defended her right to not follow the cry it out method, I was reminded of all the times, I like her had been met with scoffs, snickers and eye rolls for my own parenting decisions.
As we sat there, we marvelled at the beautiful chaos we found ourselves in. Becoming parents meant we believe there is a chance the love we feel for our little ones could cause our hearts to explode. Yet, there is a madness we feel due to carrying the mental load of motherhood. Despite our different approaches to parenting we both felt the pressure of raising babes into functioning adults, and we were also united in our desire to see our children thrive.
However, as she sat there with the sun beaming through the thick glass, the helicopter label she had been given stuck, and she would unknowingly wear it. Despite the differences between us, or the similarities shared we could both agree that when it comes to raising our little ones there is no black or white just numerous shades of grey.
Tia Burton is a warm, energetic, often loud, ambitious and spontaneous wife to Chris, whom she shares the joy of raising their little Elijah. She can be found drifting off in thought, face deep in a tub of ice cream or racing around the place visiting her tribe while trying to cram in enough time to submit her uni assignments. Tia enjoys snuggles with her husband, giggling with her boy, food and all things creative. You can follow their family adventures via her Instagram @tiaburtonn.