“Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine” (Dumbo soundtrack)
I am a mother, have been for (almost) 8 years now, that is my first thought when people ask me who I am, what I do etc. I am a mother. I am many other things, but that part of my identity is the one that has the most impact on my life, it colors every aspect and affects every decision and step I have to take in my life.
Most days I feel like I have this whole motherhood and parenting thing “down”. I go through my day pretty peacefully. We have a schedule and a structure to our days as a family that allows us to keep all of the balls we are juggling in the air. That peacefulness can lull me into believing – hey! it’s not so complicated, we are doing alright, but then just to ground me back into reality, I get weeks like the one I just had.
This week was one of those in which everything goes haywire at once.
Is started with my first born looking upset and acting angry for a few days, alerting me to something being wrong. Took me a couple of days, but I got him to finally open up and share what was bothering him. My heart ached for him, he was crying and upset and for a few moments he climbed into my arms like he used to do as a toddler, so unlike the independent boy he insists on being these days. I wanted to cry with him but couldn’t, I had to assure him that he’s got this, that I got him, that we will fix it, had to become a fighter again, had to get feisty and a little confrontational (which I am bad at being unless it comes to my kids well being).
It took another couple of days, but we took care of it, got him back on track. Then of course, just as I was thinking I could relax, my other son had a mini-crisis of his own. Yet again, another emotional conversation, lots of frustration. I had to steer him through it and steer myself out of my own self-doubts of am I failing him? am I missing something? and all of the “fun” thoughts moms like to torture themselves with. He is such a happy kid by nature, and kids are so resilient anyways that by that night he was back to his normal carefree self. I was a wreck but pulled myself back together just in time for my youngest getting sick.
I don’t get rattled easily when my kids get sick, but this time I was so drained to begin with. She got sick out of the blue – went to preschool in the morning just fine, and a couple hours later they called to let me know she is running a fever. By the evening she was burning up. Usually, she is a little tired but otherwise comfortable. Not this time. She was achy and miserable and I was too right along with her. As I was rocking her in my arms at 3 AM, my universe shrank to that spot, that moment, listening to her shallow breathing and heartbeat. Come morning, her fever broke and she was back to being her happy energetic five years old, and I was ready to call it quits. All I wanted was to run back to my own mother’s arms and hide there for a week. But that’s not a luxury us moms have, we “shake it off” and soldier on.
I mentioned here before that one of my favorites quotes talks of how life is not about waiting for the storms to pass but learning to dance in the rain. Now it’s the weekend, and everything is back to normal, and I can look at the positive side of it all.
My boys are resilient, and they know to communicate their feelings and express themselves, ask for help when they need to. My mommy instincts are still spot on, nobody can SEE my kids as well as I do and know right away when something is troubling them. They are all in all healthy, my girl kicked that fever in a day and a half and bounced right back. The sun is back out – the storm passed and we danced our way out of the rain.
That, in a nutshell, is what motherhood is for me – you never really have it “down” it’s a learning experience that lasts a lifetime.
When a child is born it’s a miracle, but what is also a miracle is that a mother is being born right at the same moment – a woman that all of a sudden knows how to rise to every challenge that is thrown her way because that’s what mothers do. Being a mother you go through ups and downs, some great times, some complicated time, your kids change constantly and so do you – we grow just along with them, it’s part of the joy of it.
So here is to all you mothers out there – the fighters, the teachers, the nurses, the always creative, the nurturers, the cheerleaders, because you are all that and more – and you are AMAZING.