28 Apr Some Kind of Mother
We spent yet another long, harrowing day at the doctor’s office yesterday. Although Julia got the clean bill of health day before last, she nearly blacked-out on her class field trip. So, it was back to the waiting room. Petrified that something might really be wrong, I was feeling rather heightened, on top of being totally frazzled from week we’ve had around here. I wasn’t the only one beginning to crack under the pressure. Iris was still feverish herself (being 3 days behind her sister with the virus), over-over-tired, cranky, and hungry. You’re recognizing the potential in this ugly combination,I know you are.
As I sat there waiting, Julia quiet and peaked next to me, Iris was running circles around us, shrieking and whining and climbing and jumping around the germ infested sick ward barefoot (because she was insistent that her shoes were “bawvering” her and wouldn’t let it go until I surrendered and let her take them off). I was on the verge of tears, head in my hands, at a breaking point. Suddenly, I had this overwhelming awareness that I was THE MOM that everyone was staring at. I was the mom that I used to stare at. Seriously, who lets their child run around a medical building barefoot? WHO? Certainly not me. At least not until I had Iris. So, there I was, being judged by the moms who held their sick babies close, who had shoes on their kids feet, whose children weren’t yelling and whining and climbing and jumping. But worst of all, I was being judged my myself. What the hell kind of Mother have I become?
As I think on it now, I know what kind of mother I am, even when I’m at my worst and I’m embarrassed about my parenting choices. I’m the same mom I’ve been since my first daughter was born eight years ago;
one that will rock her babies to sleep at 3 months or 3 years,
one that nursed them despite the pain and pumped despite the inconvenience,
one that’s unphased by poop, pee, spit up or throw up (no matter where it is)
one that never tires of art projects, tea parties, blocks, books, trains sets, dress up (and even when she does, she still does her best to play),
one that teaches her children to value and respect life because everyday is a gift,
one that loves her children more than life, even when things seem at their worst,
one that’s willing to go to any length when her children need her,
and one that will sit for hours on end in the waiting room to be sure her daughter is OK.
That’s the kind of mother I am.
And hopefully, I’m also the mother that is just a little more accepting of the moms who take their kids out with crazy, matted bed-head, with mismatched socks, and dirt on their face. Or the moms that have to leave their full shopping cart at the store because a tantrum forced them to, or those who get their kids junk food at the Target snack bar to buy themselves a little time to shop. I strive to be that kind of mother now. And, I hope I remember to offer a reassuring smile and nod to the mothers out there like me, who try everyday to do their best a maybe do it a little better than the day before with more tolerance, more patience, more love and more forgiveness.