You might think I am a day too early, but this has all happened after midnight you see. If you must, let’s call it Mother’s Day Eve.
Or just Motherhood, or Parenthood, right? Because putting things mildly, things went from crabby to horrific in a matter of hours tonight.
We were at a function on the other side of town. Baby girl had been better today, amazingly so, and so we went. She complained of something new though – her teeth. She said they were sore, and so on and on it went… from the car… to the reception… THE ENTIRE NIGHT.
We left as early as we could. She fell asleep in the car as expected. But then, woke up about 20 minutes from home.
And she cried and whinged the entire time.
At times she screamed. She whimpered as if having a bad dream. Her breath stuttered from crying so much. She was even hysterical.
What did we do? Well I tried to reason with her. I told her to stop. Ask her what was wrong. I told her I was there for her. I told her she had to calm down. I wiped her nose, and held her hand – while driving.
It barely helped.
So I did the good cop bad cop routine, and put on my angry hat and DEMANDED she stop crying. She was being ridiculous. She only cried louder. She was red and babbling and upset and no matter how angry I got, again, nothing seemed to help.
In fact it made it worse.
What was Hubbie doing? Well he tried. But let’s just say if she is not working with me, she won’t have a bar of him.
We finally got her inside the house. She cried as we walked up the driveway, after midnight, and I was sure her frantic cries would wake the neighbours and make them want to call the police.
The end of the night, had been a disaster. I was so upset. Is this what my weekend would become? Was this my lovely payday leading up to Mother’s Day? Did I deserve this wholehearted crap heaped upon me and my family?
Was this it?
I rugged her up and put her into bed, securing the blankets around her tightly. I sat close, and whispered to her as I gently stroked her head, to sleep.
“Shh, Mama’s here.”
“Mama loves you, always remember that.”
“I’m always here, whenever you need me.”
Her ragged breaths rose and fell, her small body shaking with every stutter, and as I made my strokes on her head more gentle, more softer, more deliberate, her breath evened, turned into whispered starts, and went silent.
Her body and the cold bed had merged as one, warming itself like a cocoon, and I could see from her face she was getting deeper and deeper. I sat there watching this peaceful face. This face that had made me so worried/mad/sad, and now all I could see in that moment, was love.
She had had enough of everything. She was over it all. She was tired. She just needed a break.
Go figure. I had thought it was the teeth. All she needed was bed, my gentle touch, and my loving words.
A Mother’s work is not easy. It is trying and exhausting and it will make you cry from frustration as much as it will make you cry from happiness.
But when you watch their still and peaceful faces at the end of a long day…
You come to understand that the flowers, the chocolates, the gifts on Mother’s Day, mean nothing.
Because it is in these moments of reflection and tiredness, relief and grounding, that you come to appreciate what Mother’s Day is all about.
Simply, being a Mother. In every way, shape and form, through sunshine and storm.