Mommy makes the world go round

Posted in Monthly at 6:42 am by Pasha

That first sound of baby crying does something to a woman.

Recent mothers lactate, older mothers reminisce of their baby’s sweet smell, and us women who are yet to be mothers feel the pangs of what one day could be.

My sister Gleamer and her two children, 6-month old Cashel and almost 3-year-old Riesling came to visit over the bank holiday weekend. All sorts of feelings about motherhood stirred inside of me, feelings that have taken over many of my thoughts since.

I watched my boyfriend play with Riesling, giving her red bellies until her laughter was so strong I thought she might cry. I watched him bounce Cashel on his leg and say “oh buddy” when Cashel’s giggles threatened to turn into whimpers.

With that I saw Matthew not only as someone I love, but as a person who children and babies love too. I saw a someday father who would play with his children and take the baby on a need be basis.

However I felt something else too. I felt hurt when he didn’t tell me how lovely I was with the children. I was upset inside that he never once saw me with Cashel and thought that someday I would make a wonderful mother.

When confronted he gave the answer I expected him to give. He told me that he already knew I was great with kids and didn’t think he needed to say it out loud.

I always want to hear him tell me things, like that I am lovely, I am smart, or he is proud of me. Affectionately, I am a very needy person. I want to hear those things, maybe for validation, who knows, but I always feel starved of the words.

In Gleamer’s visit I also saw the realness of being a mother.

I have written column after column about motherhood after being inspired by my sisters and the relationships they have with their kids. But this weekend I saw something else.

I watched a woman who is usually unbearably inflexible bend enough to make sure her children were happy. They always came first in the activities we did, from playgrounds and carnivals to meals and double-decker busses. From nursing on the underground to packing peanut butter sandwiches, her children have become her entire life.

This weekend I also recognized, for some unusual reason for the first time, what an extremely tremendous responsibility the act of raising a child is. It is not a mother and father’s responsibility for one day or two or even 20, it is for everyday of the child’s growing life. I saw how much a routine makes a child secure and how much not responding to negative behavior brings about positive change.

With Riesling I observed how simultaneously rewarding and challenging it is to raise a young lady with a fiercely independent personality. How there is a fine line between nurturing that independence and losing the reigns of control. With Cashel I could feel how Gleamer as a mother worries if he is eating enough, pooping enough, sleeping enough, and if her attention is balanced enough between the two of them.

I saw Gleamer overwhelmingly exhausted and yet keep trudging along and keeping consistency with the children’s routines.

I especially felt the reward in being a mother this weekend. When one of the children needed true comfort, it could not be attained from Aunt Pasha. It only felt right to their young emotions if it came from mommy.

A child wakes in the middle of the night and cries out, not for ice cream or for a clown at the fair, they cry for mommy. And other woman who hear those cries naturally want to rock the little one until the tears dry up. But she can’t because the child innately knows that it is not who they requested.

It is only when mommy holds her child closely and rocks with “shshshsh’s” that the upset baby again claims security and peace.


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