This is my second year being celebrated on Mother’s Day. Last year my little boy was just four months old and breastfeeding like the hungry caterpillar which meant we were mostly glued together. I was still in that complete topsy-turvy state that comes with being a brand new mom and I was just holding it together really. (Most of the time at least. There was that one time when I walked down the road with my dad in full view of everyone and just cried and cried for reasons I still can’t actually articulate.) I don’t really remember much about that Mother’s Day to be honest but I do remember that I sent my own mom probably the most heartfelt Mother’s Day message I’d ever sent her. Ha! What a new appreciation I had for all the years of sacrifice and selflessness.
This year my boy is 16 months old, as busy as can be, still breastfeeding like the hungry caterpillar and not yet giving us the beauty of a full night’s sleep. At this age, they change on what feels like a daily basis. Just as you get used to one thing they need another. Actually, it’s been like that at every stage so far. So I guess motherhood is basically just one big transition all the time. Oh, and then there is the pandemic. So I guess everything is still topsy-turvy and I guess I’m still mostly just holding it together. (Most of the time at least. There was that one time when I asked my husband if he could find somewhere else for him and my son to continue in lockdown so that I could just be left in peace.)
Motherhood truly is the best of times and the worst of times. In my first 16 months of being a mom I have grieved deeply the loss of life as it was before, I have cried more tears than my entire 30 years before that (except for maybe when I was 16 months cos it seems kids that age like to cry A LOT!) and I have discovered that I have a fairly serious anger problem which is triggered by things being out of my control. Well, joke’s on me cos that’s another thing that seems to pretty much sum up motherhood – being out of control. And never have I had to give so much of myself to anything, pouring out even when I think there is absolutely nothing left.
But – and like my mom always said to me, you only know the depth of that but once you’re a mom yourself – the challenges I’ve experienced in being a mom have truly shaped me, deepened my faith and brought me more joy and freedom that I thought possible. I have never felt this kind of delight, my heart bursting in a joy bomb at the smallest little smile or twitch of an eyebrow. I have never felt so proud and felt as much love as I feel for this small human. And although we’re the parents and we’re responsible for taking care of this small human and helping him to grow well, in the process, I’ve found that he is helping me to grow. And while that’s not expected of him, I want to acknowledge the fact and say thank you to him, because I’m grateful for it.
Motherhood is everything. To quote Tess Guinery, I am totally ‘into it’ and so ‘over it’, so alive and so tired, so hopeful and so unsure, so brave and so afraid, so confident and so crazy, so purposeful and so aimless, so intentional and so ‘go with the flow’.
Moms, Happy Mother’s Day – you are a force to be reckoned with! All I wish for myself and for you is that as we continue to figure this all out, we can continue to mould and shape each other as we seek to live well in our world… oh and this Mother’s Day, given current circumstances, I’d love a short cuddle in bed and then a LOT of alone time.