Mommy Manguy wrote a letter to all the mommas out there and this blog is not quite an attempt to respond to her letter but is merely a confession from this monkey mom.
Mommy Manguy’s blog is refreshing in the rawness of her joy and struggle of being a mother and it has been such a pleasure to share that journey and be reminded of similar frustrations or excitements in milestones. Orion has been, from what I understand, a verily easy baby. All babies have their daily moments and when certain circumstances arise (sickness, shots, teething, separation anxieties, overtired, you name it symptoms), these daily moments become days long battles that have me looking for my white flags. For working mothers, we bear the stress of being the employee that is expected of us and sometimes armoring up to fight the big-people fights, regardless of how many hours of sleep we may have gotten the night before. On the drop home or to daycare, we take off the employee ID and put on the Mom Of the Year batch. For Stay-At-Home moms, “those moments” occur exponentially more and during the day when everyone is at work, where is the escape? Who do you talk to? Mommy Manguy is right, we are on-call. Even when we are not physically there, we are mentally on-call, we are always thinking about the well-being of the baby. There is no rest for the restless mothers!
To Mommy Manguy and other mommies: I have hid my face, I have locked myself in the bathroom, I have cried, I have walked away from my baby, I have stared at my baby, I have screamed in my head. Having grown up with an abusive childhood and having just somewhat reconciled with that past recently as an adult, I feared that I’m genetically cursed and during those moments when I felt like there was/is nothing left in me, fear and frustrations swirl within me and find themselves a new home as a ball of lead at the bottom of my heart. There are many moments when I felt hidden in the shadow of a past that I cannot change and a present that I cannot escape. Though these moments may only last for 15 seconds, to a mother it feels like an eternity, a mental and emotional prison of darkness. It is long enough to doubt your bond with your precious one, to doubt that you are not qualified/equipped/destined/ever going to be, a good mother.
So what do I do? Anything that can break me away. If no one was around, I have gone into the bathroom, sat at the edge of the bathtub and prayed. Another thing I liked doing was grabbing the keys and taking the baby out for a drive, even if it means a 5 minute drive-thru to the local McDs to pick up some ice coffee. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband who has been helpful in every way as we go through this as a family. I have came to an understanding of giving each other a break (like today, I asked for a short break after work to go walk around Target by myself, just to talk around). Scheduling date nights, scheduling girl’s nights, inviting others over to hang out and to “help” watch the baby while you hang out. These may not seem like immediate remedies for “one of those moments” but when you are able to have some regular down time to yourself, your tank gets refueled. For immediately effective “quick fixes,” as cliche as it may sound, prayers. It can be prayers for strength but most often I found myself in prayers of thanksgiving. Reflecting on Christ on the cross as a manifestation of God’s love for us fills my love-tank and reminds me to gather love not from myself but from Him who is love.
This post has deviated quite a bit from the usual lightheartedness and briefness, but let this monkey mom steal a post for once =).