I’m in my car, waiting for it to warm up. Phone starts to ring.
“Have you left work yet?”
“Yeah I just got in my car, why?”
“I’ve made you some of that pasta you like, so you don’t have to cook anything tonight…. come and pick it up on your way home.”
“Do you mind if I just beep?”
40 minutes later, and I’m beeping the horn in front of my parents’ house. 20 seconds pass before my parents come out. My Mum carries a large frying pan covered in four plastic bags to avoid spillage. As she goes to place it in the backseat, I catch one of her classic pissed off/worried looks.
That’s my Mum. Wanting to do everything in her power to help and make me feel better, while simultaneously being shitty that I’m sick and convinced that it’s because I do too much.
We go out too much.
We don’t sleep enough.
We go to bed late.
We put everyone first but ourselves.
We work too much.
We try to see everyone.
We never stop.
But alas, that’s how a Mum thinks.
The above is a classic example of the lengths my Mum goes to for my sister and I. In fact, for many people in our family: our Dad, her grandchildren, son-in-laws, among many others. It’s most likely a familiar story, as you yourself may be thinking it sounds like your own Mum. Always putting others first and not worrying about herself ’til she is run ragged. Making others happy, even if it’s to her own detriment. Pleasing everyone by being there. Making the appointments. Making the food. Making it all.
Today she helped me out big time. But having said that, it’s nothing unusual. I’ve always grown used to this type of help, and I have appreciated it, and most particularly appreciated her. But nothing made me appreciate her more than when I became a Mother myself.
I felt it this weekend, in the deepest and most emotional way I could imagine. I was feeling particularly low yesterday, in one of my many down and sick moments, and realised I was really craving rice. I wanted the creamy rice that my Mum makes.
And soup too. I wanted chicken soup.
With despair I realised that
1) I didn’t have all of the ingredients
2) I didn’t have the energy to make it even if I had the ingredients, and
3) Hubbie couldn’t even make it for me, due to number 1) but also number 4) he wouldn’t know how!
I had a really low moment, sobbing to myself and then to Hubbie. It was too hard. I could now remember clearly my Mum when I was younger, and how upset she’d be if she were sick or had one of her bad headaches. She would almost breakdown. And now, I think I get why.
As a Mum, you’ve got no one to look out for you.
Your kids depend on you. Your husband depends on you. And then when you are sick, life and the household and the world is expected to keep turning on its axis while you lie there on the couch moaning that you just “can’t.” It’s too much.
Back when I was at home and I’d be sick, I’d have my Mum cooking for me; making me teas; whipping up strange concoctions to cure whatever cold/flu I had to keep it at bay; delivering food to my bedroom while I lay there in bed, watching soap operas and midday movies. I was looked after, and I was cared for.
I realised with much sadness, we weren’t of much help to our Mum when she was unwell. Sure I would always try to do the dishes and wipe the sink, hopeful that she would see my trying efforts the next morning. But until this weekend, all those words my Mum had said to me before about “the woman has to do everything,” though so archaic then, seemed so relevant and true now.
It’s not that hubbie wouldn’t try to help, or help me out the way he knows best. He is amazing and I am so grateful to have him there by my side, especially tonight, as he bought home doughnuts and cooked and then washed up too so I could have a break.
But this post is about my Mum. And a Mother’s love, a Mother’s care, a Mother’s help, is just something else. It is irreplaceable, and something to be treasured and appreciated ’til the end of time.
I love my Mum. So, so, so much. I realise how lucky I am to have someone not only watch my child for me and cook for me, but support me, be there for me, help me when I need it, and provide me with much needed laughter and inspiration. She is the greatest blessing in the world. She is so precious to me. From now on, I’m going to do my damndest to do more for her. God knows she deserves it. She bloody well needs a break too.
And I should know. Because I’m a Mother too.
As a Mum, you’ve got no one to really look out for you… except your own Mum. If you have her, hold onto her for dear life.