To fully understand why every morning starts with a call or a text to my mother recounting another sleepless night you would first have to understand my mother. She is a proud mom of seven children ranging from 37 to 17 years old. Seven! The amount of time my mom has spent breastfeeding is measured in years; she had her last baby at home because the doctor said she didn’t need him to do this anymore. I have yet to meet anyone that has more experience in any field than my mom does with raising children. Not only did she give birth and provide everything for each of those seven kids until they reached 18 and then some, but they all grew up to be successful, healthy, well-adjusted adults. I’m trying to do this once and I’m having at least two meltdowns a day!
Starting from the day the lines on a pregnancy test confirmed my suspicions, my mother has been my Google on all things pregnancy and baby related. Not only is my mom providing me with enough priceless advice and pep talks to fill several leather-bound books on parenting and self-help, but she is also doing this for my sister who has two children under two. The constant ringing of my mom’s telephone verifies that, indeed, “a mother’s work is never done.” Even though her girls are 28 and 30, they still need their mamma.
Most recently I was (and still am) struggling to get my daughter to sleep in her crib. Basically she’s been on a sleepy time merry-go-round of snoozing anywhere BUT the crib. She sleeps well in her bouncer, in my arms, in my bed, on the couch…So, in an effort to form good sleep habits and to help save my own sanity I called mom to help me through a torturous cry-it-out session. I spent those awful minutes blubbering into the phone and using every curse word on the planet while my mother attempted to talk me out of running down the street, pulling my hair out.
The cry it out was a huge failure, but the fact that my mom listened to me blubber like a baby while I listened to my baby wail in the next room showed me that truly, no matter what, I can always call my mom. Despite being 800 miles away, I can almost feel her hugging me through the phone when she reassures me that I’m doing just fine, that everything is alright and that what I’m feeling is normal.
I guess the reason I’m even writing this is that as I learn what being a mother involves, which is basically your mind, body and every ounce of energy you have and then some, I am in awe of how she did this seven times over…Seven! I’ve always had an appreciation and respect for my mother, but never have I been truly in awe of her. Maybe because she made it look easy somehow or maybe because I was too immature or self-involved to understand the immense effort it took for her to achieve such a feat.
Everyone is always wondering if they’re doing this parenting thing right. I think the testament to a job well done is if your child not only knows they can fully depend on you throughout their adolescence, but also their adulthood. If I do this thing right, maybe one day I’ll get to pick up the phone at all hours and hear, “Are you there, mom? It’s me again.”