A Sunday treat and much needed time for myself (with my daughter), I attempted to re-watch (I had fallen into an exhausted slumber during the first attempt) an episode of Chicago Med (the episodes downloaded by my son, Owen as a reprieve and my down-time).
Useless at the sight of blood, I am forewarned by the daughter “not to look” at the more gruesome procedures. In this particular episode, the widowed doctor was about to deliver her son with the aid of a midwife and an over-zealous mother-in-law. There was some difficulty, a caesarean was called for by the obstetrician which was refuted by the doctor and midwife who was convinced that that baby could be turned. Finally, the baby was born naturally but with a few intense, panicky moments. Mother named her child Owen (Little Warrior).
Needless to say, I was emotional as I too, suffered extreme discomfort and pain with the doctors eventually performing an emergency caesarean. It was a miracle that my son (also named Owen, “my Young Warrior”) survived. He was the most placid and easy going child who has more than made up for those quieter years. My odd grey hair, my daughter attributes to his doing. In hindsight, those teenage years could have been worse. I was determined not to let my child slip through the cracks and I am blessed now with a decent, well-mannered young man.
I remember with fondness and fear :
- The suspicious silent house… Turns out my daughter wanted a temporary sister and transformed her brother into a little girl, “Owena”, she said. Son was chuffed with the attention from his elder sister. I walked in on them to meet a delightfully smiling boy, made up face, lipstick included.
- As a todder, I instinctively woke up with fear to see Owen not napping but immersed in a bag of rice. A mother’s instinct made my look into his suspiciously smiling mouth before I popped his bottle in. Instinct bang on. There was a wad of plastic in his mouth.
- For some reason, I always battled with the car safety seat but persisted. That saved both of us on our drive down to Granny. Thank you God for the daughter’s mechanical skills.
- When he was older, I chanced upon a post on Facebook about a shooting in the school, his grade, his class, unknown child. It was a mad dash home and dizzying relief when he answered the door. Yes, some other mother was in a worse of position that me.
Yes my tiredness has been plumbed to newer levels best not explained. Some days, I doubt myself, castigate myself to the extreme, worse when the children are gently asleep. Some days I never feel that I have done enough, full time working mom of two that I am. I regret deeply the missed sessions of seeing them off to and receiving them from school. Thank God for Grandmothers. Homework sessions were frenzied between a mad dash to prepare supper, feed the pets, feed the family, check on the mountain of educational activities. Weekends were fraught with deciding which family social to attend in favour of school or due to a grounding session. Indian families are large and relentless with their sometimes (okay… most times) unwanted advice and opinions. Bear in mind that there are two sides of families to make happy, His and Mine…Yes, both families need to be fulfilled and included. Why? Simple! We too will reach that age/stage and photographic memories should not be their only comfort, nor can older adults be discounted, forgotten or farmed out to nursing homes. Major pressure indeed and a huge win, if all unite given their geographical and personal circumstances.
Of late, I have had a forced medical reprieve. Alas, it also meant keeping a low profile technologically, being unable to read, blog, crochet or do any of the little bits that generally keep my soul buoyant. On those days, a peep outside reflected a blooming garden and lazy pets languidly lounging within touching distance. Kitties took adult-sitting somewhat seriously. Rest was punctuated by a reversal of roles as the kids monitored my progress. In those days, the kitchen relaxed as my recuperation meant an absence of freshly cooked food and convenient take-out meals (major win for the kids, husband too!)
Some advice :
- You are not indispensable at work. Leave work where it belongs… at work!
- Get the sick note, use it, the doctor knows best.
- If your bed beckons and your pj’s offer comfort, retreat. Forget temporarily, the stilettos and killer-make-up. Forgive your facies.
- Go to the loo again, if only to escape. Wait, this may not always work. If they camp outside the door, prepare for a feeble conversation. Or remind them of a chore.
- Make after 8pm, your personal wind down time. Guard it selfishly.
- Couple time? What’s that? An overshare here but a fanlight over your bedroom door is not a good idea.
- Locked your bedroom door? Hide the spare key.
- Finally got rid of the kids but the kitty is meowing outside your locked door? You know you have raised a good son when he offers his bedroom as alternate sleeping quarters.
- Retreat if you have to, a good cry and hearty laughter is necessary for your equilibrium.
- Take the injection (ugh), take the drugs. Your adrenal glands will thank you.
- Order the food, it only money!
- Pizza, pasta, breyani, wine, that is Love of another kind. Find your good kryptonite, make it work for you.
- Marathon watch your favourite series if you can.
- Call in those favours, let the family baby sit.
- Celebrate small wins, they all add up.
Some of these are bingeable (yes, that’s a word) items . Get back on the diet another day, acknowledge the reprieve but give yourself a break!
When you do get out, albeit a little slower for wear and tear, age and gravity, groping groupies that they are, celebrate yourself. Despite feeling alone by yourself or even in a crowd, move past the anxiety and celebrate yourself. That faking it till you make it? It works.
It could have been worse and we have so, so much to be grateful for. Remember that :
You are loved.
You are valued.
You are the centre of someone’s world.
You are the Hands that rock that cradle that rules the world.
Rudyard Kipling said it best when he said, “God could not be everywhere that is why, he created Mothers“.
Motherhood is definitely not without its tribulations. Challenging, exasperating, it is but it is and will always be my greatest joy in my life.
Image Credits : Pinterest